Art bought in hours, not dollars

Tara Bradbury
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Timeraiser event support local artists and charities

Sylvie Bendsza’s “The Neighbourhood” is one of the pieces of art that will be up for bids at the Timeraiser event at Dusk Ultralounge in St. John’s Thursday evening. — Submitted photo

Dreamed of owning an original piece of art but not able to pay the prices they often fetch at auction?

Instead of cash, donate your time to a worthy cause.

Timeraiser will hold its first event in this province at Dusk Ultralounge in St. John’s Thursday night, in two parts: first is a volunteer fair, followed by an art auction at which volunteers will keep their cash in their pockets, and bid hours of service to the organization of their choice instead.

“We like to say it’s a fun, funky night on the town with a social mission,” said Amanda Grainger-Munday, Timeraiser’s communications manager.

“The first hour and a half is kind of like speed dating for volunteers — 20 different non-profit organizations will be represented, and we encourage people to go around, grab a drink, and have conversations with them about volunteer opportunities.”

At Thursday’s event, volunteers can choose from organizations including Big Brothers Big Sisters, Habitat for Humanity, the Salvation Army, Neighbourhood Dance Works, and the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association.

The art for the auction comes from local artists, and has been bought from them by Timeraiser, with values up to $1,000. The money to purchase the art comes from Timeraiser’s corporate sponsors. In St. John’s, artworks by Michael Young, Earl Rose, April White, Christopher Peet, Po Chun Lau, Philippa Jones, Kim Greely, Mike Gough, Louise Collier, Sylvia Bendsza, Renée Baldwin, Iakov Afanassiev and Louise Markus will be up on the block. Timeraiser’s goal is to raise 4,000 hours in total.

“We suggest people bid in increments of 35 hours, to a maximum of 100 hours,” Grainger-Munday explained. “We want the pledge to be reasonable.”

Timeraiser’s corporate partners will hang the pieces of art in their offices until the winning bidder completes their volunteer pledge. Then they’re free to take it home.

Since 2003, Timeraiser has held 42 events across the country, raising more than 100,000 volunteer hours for charity and contributing $600,000 to emerging artists.

“Our mission is to support local emerging artists and introduce them to a new audience, and we’re also really excited to encourage volunteerism to people who maybe haven’t considered it before,” Grainger-Munday explained. “And they get to have a memento of an awesome year spent volunteering.”

Tickets for the St. John’s Timeraiser event are $20. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the silent art auction will begin at

8:30 p.m.

Winners will be announced at 10 p.m. More information on Timeraiser is available online at

Twitter: @tara_bradbury

Organizations: Big Brothers Big Sisters, Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army Canadian Hard of Hearing Association.The

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