Vancouver — Guests at the Vancouver Art Gallery's biennial fundraising auction, Saturday night, were treated to a surprise unplugged set from Elvis Costello.
Playing five tracks including hits "Alison" and "Peace, Love and Understanding," Costello also sang "Sulphur to Sugar Cane" an old campaign song from the 1930s, when Roosevelt trounced Hoover. "There's an election coming up down south," he said, recalling a meeting with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. "Mine and Diana's twins were born in New York and I wanted to tell him, 'You can never be president, but our boys can.'"
The show was the culmination of a night of live and silent auctions featuring donated works by local and international artists including Jack Shadbolt, Huang Yong Ping, Stan Douglas, Lincoln Clarkes and Fiona Tan. A Gordon Smith canvas took the highest bid selling for $60,000. The 89-year-old artist put his head in his hands as the bids soared for North Shore Winter, 2008. Awarded the Order of Canada in 1996, Smith is a painter, sculptor and printmaker.
The live auction raised over $600,000 and, added to the proceeds of the silent auction and the dinner (where tables sold for up to $10,000 each), the gallery expects this to be a record-breaking year.