Art of the Barrel

Bloor-Yorkville presents an innovative fundraiser that brings

together the worlds of contemporary art and winemaking


“Art of the Barrel” artwork to be on display in Bloor-Yorkville neighbourhood then auctioned off for OCAD and Casey House

(Toronto—April 28, 2010) Bloor-Yorkville Business Improvement Area is thrilled to present “Art of the Barrel,” a collaborative fundraiser that brings together the worlds of contemporary art and the art of fine winemaking in support of the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) and Casey House.

Twelve iconic wooden wine barrels have been transformed into exciting works of contemporary art by senior students from OCAD’s Faculty of Art, and will be displayed in the Bloor-Yorkville neighbourhood from May 10 to 26 in anticipation of the Grand Finale and Auction on Thursday, May 27.

“Bloor-Yorkville has a long history of culinary and charitable events such as Toronto Taste and most recently IceFest, which raised significant funds for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario,” says Briar de Lange, General Manager of the Bloor-Yorkville Business Improvement Area. “This unique fundraiser that links art and winemaking while supporting emerging artists and people living with HIV/AIDS, is the kind of event Bloor-Yorkville is proud to support.”

Mark S. Bonham, a leading supporter of Casey House and OCAD and the former owner of Stoney Ridge Estate Winery, is the driving force behind this creative initiative. Bonham donated the aged oak wine barrels, and contributed funds for an OCAD scholarship.

“Art is an ideal way to bring people together in support of an idea or a cause,” says Bonham, Chair of Art of the Barrel. “Art of the Barrel can raise awareness for the ongoing issue of HIV/AIDS and provide a platform for emerging artists to display their creativity. As a fundraising initiative, this is a unique opportunity for art patrons to acquire original artworks that will demonstrate their passion for art, wine and vital heathcare and cultural programs in our community.”

The Barrel Art
Internationally renowned Canadian artist John Scott, an alumnus and instructor at OCAD, created the first barrel prototype. Scott has been at the forefront of Canadian contemporary art for nearly two decades and his work is much sought after by museums and galleries across the country.

Talented fourth-year students at OCAD competed for the opportunity to participate by submitting proposals, and twelve successful teams or individuals were selected to create their barrels for evaluation by an esteemed jury. Each finalist received a $1,000 award in order to create a barrel artwork. The winning design will receive a $5,000 grand prize, with additional $1,500 prizes available.

“I’ve seen the conceptual drawings for these barrels and I was struck by the extraordinary flights of imagination and creativity displayed,” says Tony Aspler, Honorary Patron of Art of the Barrel. “The twelve sculptures are a testament to the skills of Canada’s next generation of artists. They have made us look more closely at the components, as they have disassembled the wooden staves and steel hoops to draw life lessons from these workaday materials.”

The jury includes Anda Kubis, Chair of Drawing & Painting, Faculty of Art, OCAD; Ann MacDonald, Director, Curator Doris McCarthy Gallery; artist Brendan Flanagan; Francis LeBouthillier, Chair of Sculpture/Installation, Faculty of Art, OCAD; George Yabu, Yabu Pushelberg Design; Linda Book, Director, Drabinsky Gallery; Perry Tung, Perry Tung Contemporary; Tom Deacon, AREA Design Inc.

More information on the artists, their designs and their statements can be found at www.artofthebarrel.com.

The Art of Fundraising

Several barrels have already been acquired by art patrons and corporate sponsors, but a public auction will be held on Thursday, May 27, where art patrons may bid on the stunning original works of art.

Art of the Barrel Grand Finale & Auction
Thursday, May 27, 6 to 9 p.m.
The Bram & Bluma Appel Salon at Toronto Reference Library
789 Yonge Street, Toronto
Tickets: $75, available online at www.artofthebarrel.com

All proceeds will support OCAD and Casey House. Proceeds for Casey House raised though Art of the Barrel directly support the Emerging Artists Collection of Art with Heart, raising much-needed funds for Casey House community programs. Those programs include nursing care, recreational therapy and street outreach. Proceeds raised for OCAD through Art of the Barrel will support student awards and scholarships, and OCAD’s ongoing leadership in innovation in art and design, collaboration and research.

Viewing the Art
From May 10 to 26, the public is invited to come to the Bloor-Yorkville neighbourhood to view the Art of the Barrel sculptures displayed throughout the area at venues including:

1. Hazelton Lanes, 87 Avenue Rd.
2. Four Seasons Hotel Toronto, 21 Avenue Rd.
3. The Colonnade, 131 Bloor St. W.
4. Bonhams Canada, 20 Hazelton Ave.
5. Over the Rainbow, 101 Yorkville Ave.
6. Sassafraz, 100 Cumberland St.
7. The Windsor Arms, 18 St. Thomas St.
8. Perry's Yorkville, 1250 Bay St.
9. Bay-Bloor Radio, 55 Bloor St. W.
10. Indigo Manulife Centre, 55 Bloor St. W.
11.Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St.

For more information on the Bloor Yorkville area and Art of the Barrel locations, go to www.bloor-yorkville.com. For previews of the barrels and a map, visit www.artofthebarrel.com.

About Bloor-Yorkville
Since entrepreneur Joseph Bloor founded the Village of Yorkville in 1830, the heart and soul of Toronto has distinguished itself as the premier shopping, dining and cultural destination in the city. The Bloor-Yorkville neighbourhood is bordered by Scollard Street to the north, St. Mary Street to the south, Avenue Road to the west and Church Street to the east. For the latest information on stores, events and parking please visit www.bloor-yorkville.com.

About Casey House
Casey House is a specialty hospital with community programming including home care and outreach programs. Founded in 1988, it was the first freestanding HIV/AIDS hospice in Canada. Our commitment is to provide compassionate health care to people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS, in collaboration with our communities. www.caseyhouse.com

About the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD)
The Ontario College of Art & Design (www.ocad.ca) is Canada’s “university of the imagination.” OCAD is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. The university is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinarity, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

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To book an interview with a spokesperson for Bloor-Yorkville Business Improvement Association (BYBIA) or for more information, contact:

Nicole Manes, NKPR
416-365-3630 Ext. 28

To meet any of the student artists or speak to a spokesperson from OCAD, contact:

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer, OCAD
416.977.6000 Ext. 327 (mobile Ext. 1327)

To speak to a spokesperson from Casey House, contact:

Kathleen Sandusky, Communications Specialist, Casey House
416-962-4040 Ext. 297


Canada's 'University of the Imagination

Ontario College of Art & Design 100 McCaul Street Toronto, Ontario M5T 1W1 Canada Tel. 416.977.6000 Fax. 416.977.6000 © OCAD 2007