September 19th, 2018 ~ Vol. 89 No. 38
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14th annual Harvest of Memories Gala Fundraiser
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Herald contributor photo
Pictured is a painting by Crowsnest Pass-born and raised Rick Gillis’ painting, Waiting for Danny, which he donated to the Crowsnest Historical Society to use as a live auction item at their annual Harvest of Memories fundraiser.
ANNA KROUPINA
Pass Herald Reporter
The Crowsnest Historical Society is hosting their annual dinner, auction and live music fundraiser, the Harvest of Memories Gala, on Saturday, September 29 at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church Hall in Blairmore.

“It's a great time, it's a good pa rty. we usually have great entertainment. it's just a nice event. it is a fundraiser and it has a very spec goal of raising funds for the mus. "we don't want it to be too cramped. it'll be a nice comf night with some great ent and we'll all have a gerat time."

You can expect talented live music, a deliciously catered dinner and a chance to snag goodies at both the silent and live auctions. And on top of that, you are donating to a keeper of tradition and history of Crowsnest Pass.

The Harvest of Memories is the largest fundraiser that supports the operation of the Crowsnest Museum and plays a big part in helping it run through the slower, winter season.

"It really helps keep the museum financially stable through the winter as we head into a slower season and allows the staff to continue operating behind the scenes, working on the collection, getting ready for the next summer season, planning programming, bookings schools. It allows us to do all those things and still open 5 days a week throughout the winter and operate as normal as we can.”

Doors open at 5:30 that evening for a cocktail social to the music of Shelley and Tynan Groves. Dinner, catered by Country Encounters, begins at 6:30. A silent auction will be going all evening and a live auction will be held following the dinner and live music by the trio Sestra will provide musical entertainment into the night.
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There will also be chances to win draws for a VIP table, a wine table and tickets for next year’s event.

“We have great pieces during the live auction, anywhere from 10 to 12 pieces each year. It's fun seeing a live bidding war,” says Matthews. “We're very appreciative of all the sponsors, donors and guests that come out.”

All auction items are donated and as Matthews puts it, from art pieces to photographs to sports equipment, “there’s something for everyone.
Some of the auction items are donated art piece by former locals, Rick Gillis and his wife Jeanne Kollee.

The two paintings they donated embody Crowsnest Pass history in different ways.

Gillis’ 48 x 36 inch acrylic titled “Waiting for Danny” illustrates a young girl waiting for her boyfriend by the old Roxy theatre in Coleman.

“I liked the idea of the Roxy. I had a pretty nice picture of the Roxy that I had taken when I went up there and thought that it would be a dead picture if I just painted the theatre itself. I like to put people into my paintings and lot of my paintings have a storyline to them,” says Gillis.

Gillis has been a longtime supporter of the museum and the Crowsnest Historical Society and this isn’t the first time he has donated to the Harvest of Memories fundraiser. Last year, he contributed a special edition of his book, “The Boy Who Couldn’t Die”, signed by many of the characters from the book.
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“Jane and I both feel an attachment to the pass and we just wanted to do something,” says Gillis. “I’ve always had an interest in the history and the preservation of history in the Pass. I think it's a worthy cause to contribute to."

“We have a close relationship with the Pass and the people of the Pass," adds Kollee. “We have friends that still live there and there are a lot of things in the museum itself that remind you of your childhood and how you grew up."

Titled, “Fire in the Canyon: The Blairmore Blaze”, Kollee’s oil painting represents an entirely different moment in Crowsnest Pass history.

It’s an expressionistic depiction of 2003 York Creek Fire.

“I grew up in the Crowsnest Pass and my dad had a house in Bellevue and when the fire was there, he sat out on that porch and watched it burn up the mountain. To me, it was a devastating thing to happen,” says Kollee.

The annual fundraiser always takes place during Alberta Culture Days at the end of September. This year, the provincial celebration of arts, heritage, diversity and community spirit takes place from September 28 to 30, 2018.

The Holy Trinity Catholic Church will create a cozier, more intimate atmosphere than the locations where the gala fundraiser was formerly held in prior years, but at 150 spots, that also means that less tickets are available this year than there were in prior locations like the MDM and the Elk’s Hall.

Tickets can be purchased from Copy Magic in Blairmore or the Crowsnest Museum in Coleman.
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September 19th, 2018 ~ Vol. 89 No. 38
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