Art For Life auction raises money and awareness in Yaletown

Art For Life 2014

The 21st Art For Life auction and fundraiser was held on Nov. 22 in Yaletown. Photos by Benjamin Yong.

From Freddie Mercury to Lady Gaga, celebrities were out and about last night at the 21st annual Art For Life fundraiser — in painted form, at least.

A converted ballroom at the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre was full of people listening to live jazz music, enjoying hors d’oeuvres and admiring works of art donated by local artists. There was also an opportunity to bid on everything that was on display during an auction emceed by the very funny and larger than life Joan-E— the aforementioned Freddie Mercury acrylic and resin painting titled King of Queen, by actress and artist Elisabetta Fantone, was one of the more popular pieces selling for $3,100.

Freddie Mercury painting by Elisabetta Fantone

Attendees were dressed in their evening best for the event in Yaletown that supports the Vancouver Friends For Life Society (FFL), the only comprehensive wellness centre in North America that provides complimentary services to people living with various illnesses such as ALS and Cystic Fibrosis.

Over 50 different therapies and types of counselling are offered to clients, embracing a wide range of influences including eastern medicine and naturopathy.

The crowd went silent when Michale Ascher, a FFL board member, took to the stage and told a story of battling cancer for the third time. Claps and cheers from were heard from the audience as she said that being a part of Art For Life has been a welcome distraction, helping her get through a difficult time.

Auctioneer Joan-E at Art For Life 2014

Last year’s fundraiser raised over $225,000 for the organization, and there has been a total of about $3 million donated since the first Art For Life was held in 1993. For more information, visit

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