Fred UnLEEshed: March 12, 2015

FRONT AND CENTRE: The Western Front was founded in 1973 by a group of artists who wanted to create a space for the exploration and creation of new art forms. It quickly became a gathering place for poets, visual artists, musicians and dancers interested in exploration and interdisciplinary practices. Internationally recognized, the centre was a focal point of experimental art. Esteemed alumni include Stan Douglas, Ian Wallace, Laurie Anderson, Janet Cardiff, George Bures Miller, General Idea, Paul Chan, Jimmie Durham, William Burroughs, Veda Hille, Ken Lum, Rodney Graham and Young Marble Giants. To support its continued efforts of presenting diverse arts and music programming, the organization staged its 42nd annual art auction and gala. Art enthusiasts converged at the East Vancouver space for a Hawksworth-catered dinner before snapping up works of art from local and internationally renowned artists.


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PERSIAN NEW YEAR: Nowruz — also known as Norooz — marks the first day of spring and the beginning of the year in the Persian calendar. Like Lunar New Year, it’s one of the many multicultural celebrations embraced by Vancouverites every year. On March 21, families will gather together to observe the occasion on the day of the astronomical equinox, the moment the sun crosses the celestial equator and equalizes night and day. In advance of the new year, members of the city’s Iranian community filed into the Sutton Place Hotel for the fourth annual Neekoo Soiree. Chaired by Saeedeh Salem, the Casino Royale-themed gala in support of student scholarships saw partygoers play games of chance before enjoying a sumptuous dinner and spirited auction. By evening’s end, a reported $90,000 was raised.


SWEET TOOTH: The British Columbia Dental Association’s Save a Smile (SAS) program supports children in need of urgent dental care. Working in partnership with public health dental staff across the province and UBC Dentistry, SAS assists children from families who do not have access to public or private dental coverage. The charity was the beneficiary of the 15th annual Toothfairy Gala, presented by Scotiabank. More than 350 industry professionals took in the annual awards dinner and marquee cake auction, held at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Yours truly once again played auctioneer, hawking 10 designer cakes in support of the community-based program. The sweet creations fetched $60,000 contributing to the $105,000 raised for the public outreach initiative. 

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