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Annual painted rain barrel auction a success (4 photos)

EcoSuperior has five winners to announce from last weekend’s 9th annual Painted Rain Barrel event.

THUNDER BAY -- EcoSuperior has five winners to announce from last weekend’s 9th annual Painted Rain Barrel event, but the big winner is our community, as the event raised over $6,475 to support environmental programs in Thunder Bay.

The event was sponsored by Landale Gardens, and featured 30 amazing works of art displayed over three days at the Home and Garden Show.

The top-selling barrel was by returning artist Joanne Valley “A Cozy Barrel.” Valley skillfully created a hand knit sweater design, featuring familiar northwestern animals such as geese, moose, deer and fish throughout. The barrel was an incredible sight to see, with a final selling price of $310! Valley is awarded 50 per cent of the bid!

The Children’s Choice winner was selected by youngsters visiting the display over the weekend who gave the most votes to Emma Kettunen for her barrel “Nebulae Foxes,” with colourful imagery of two curious foxes exploring the forest. Winning the Best Individual Theme, Isis Budiselic painted “Patterns of Water” a design based on how water connects everything and how precious it is to all life. Best Group Theme was awarded to Willow Springs Creative Centre and the elders from Southbridge Lakehead Manor for their barrel ‘Spirit Animals” a vibrant woodland styled barrel that celebrates local indigenous culture and animal spirits of Northwestern Ontario. Each artist was awarded a $100 cash prize!

The money raised will go towards community programs such as the nature-based summer day camp for kids, Central Gardens Natural Environment Park, litter prevention activities and school programs. Many businesses have supported the promotion of this year’s event as well as providing cash prizes for artists, including Landale Gardens, Dougall Media, Crazy Kazy Customz, Auto Home Paints, Copperfin Credit Union, CLE, Northern Credit Union, Michaels and Northern Window and Door Manufacturing Ltd.

“This event has become a great spring tradition, with people coming year after year in hopes of having a winning bid for one of these beautiful works of art,” says EcoSuperior’s executive director Ellen Mortfield. “And of course, we couldn’t do it without the tremendous support of all the artists, who put many hours of work into these barrels.”

Artists interested in participating in next year’s event should contact EcoSuperior at 624-2141. Homeowners looking for an unpainted rain barrel can purchase them at EcoSuperior’s office on Red River at Hill Street for $75.