Yukoners are being invited to open their wallets and share their stories at two events this weekend in honour of Ted Harrison, one of the territory’s most influential artists, who passed away in January at the age of 88.
This evening, the MacBride Museum is hosting a fundraiser benefiting the Ted Harrison Artist Retreat Society.
The organization runs a visual arts retreat at Crag Lake to allow artists to focus on their work in a remote, inspirational setting.
But it’s been a few years since there has been an artist in residence, and the group has faced financial challenges, said board member Shayne Fairman.
He and Harrison’s son, Charles, joined the board last year to change things around.
They hope to have an artist in residence by the fall.
“We want to revitalize the (residency) program and live out again what Ted’s wishes and dreams were for that property,” said Fairman.
Close to 90 pieces of art will be auctioned on Friday evening, including a few that have been donated by Yukon artists such as Halin de Repentigny, Emma Barr and Mark Preston.
Jim Robb has also donated one of his next two limited edition prints, available in June, depicting Old Crow and Dawson City.
“We’re telling people it’s free admission, come and enjoy yourselves, there’s likely something for everybody,” Fairman said.
At least eight or nine pieces will be live auctioned, he added.
The fundraiser will also feature live music, appetizers and a cash bar. It runs from 6:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.
On Saturday afternoon, the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre will play host to a celebration of life for Harrison, which Charles has coined “Ted Fest 2.0,” given a similar event was previously held in Victoria, B.C.
“Ted’s will was very specific that he didn’t want a funeral or a memorial, he wanted a party and he wanted the drinks to be on him,” Fairman said.
“He made sure to allow for libations so it should be an entertaining time, and lots of stories about Ted.”
The event, which will also feature live music, will be held from 1:30 p.m. until 5 p.m.
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