Governor General art winners and renowned Canadian artists auctioned in fundraiser for Toronto's Artbarn School

The school's first online art fundraiser, hosted by MaxSold

TORONTO, April 12, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Artbarn School in Toronto has sourced more than 160 works of art donated from professional and aspiring artists for a fundraising auction opening today.

Notable artworks up for auction include ten photographs by Montréal-based Bill Vazan, who won the 2016 Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts, and several works by Istvan Kantor, who won the same prize in 2004. Donated works by significant Canadian artists Menno Krant, Rebecca Baird, Agata Ostrowska, Joseph Drapell and Steven Livick as well as widely collected American artists Ben Schonzeit and Alan Sonfist are also being auctioned to raise funds for the school.

This year’s auction is the first time Artbarn School has used an online platform for fundraising of this scale. Previously the school held live auction events, but COVID-19 restrictions have challenged the organizers to move online in order to safely reach bidders and supporters and achieve their fundraising goals.

“We’re happy to connect virtually with our community of artists and students,” says executive director Linda McMaster. “We hope that Artbarn can continue providing enriching art experiences at this location.”

Artbarn will use proceeds from the auction to support Art for Cancer programs, scholarships for under-served children to attend art classes, and to sustain the school through pandemic closures.

In recognition of the difficulties facing charities during the pandemic, MaxSold stepped up, helping Canadian nonprofits and charities raise more than $290,000 since July. Through the charity-zero campaign, charities and nonprofits can use the online auction platform on a zero-commission basis.

“MaxSold is a new spin on the timeless art of auctions. I am thrilled that we’re able to host this fundraiser online, assisting with marketing, registration, bidder support and collections for Artbarn,” says Sushee Perumal, chief executive officer of MaxSold. “In the start-up community, we think of partnerships between business and other sectors as a way of adding social value back into the local community.”

Artbarn has also been negatively impacted by years of construction along Eglinton Avenue, close to where the school is located.

“Artbarn is a vital part of the North Toronto community. As a charity, these events are crucial, and we are grateful to MaxSold for providing a free, online platform for not-for-profits,” says Kia Mathews, Communications Coordinator and Studio Manager. 

The auction opens on Saturday April 10, 2021 and will be open for bids until April 20. It can be viewed here.

About MaxSold.
MaxSold, Online Downsizing and Estate Sales, is Canada’s leading online platform for auctioning home contents quickly. MaxSold has been named in the Financial Times 2020 ranking of fastest growing companies in the Americas and The Globe and Mail’s Top Growing Companies. MaxSold handles the technological side of selling used goods. In terms of clearing contents from a house, MaxSold is the easy and fast solution, while recovering maximum value for items. The company has grown substantially, now serving thousands of clients annually with a strong presence in 35 metropolitan areas across North America.

About Artbarn School.
Founded in 2005 by Mary Thelander, Frith Bail and current executive director Linda McMaster, Artbarn is a welcoming, not-for-profit community art school for children and adults alike. Artbarn strives to be an inclusive zone of exploration and creativity, and to provide a fun learning environment for aspiring artists. Artbarn offers scholarships to talented children who cannot otherwise afford an artistic education and supports Art for Cancer, a program to give free art instruction to people living with cancer.

For further information:

Kate Morris, public relations, MaxSold / 647-358-7385

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at 

Istvan Kantor_53A Rebecca Baird_54 A Agata Ostrowska_73A Carl Heywood_70 A Joseph Drapell_90A Bill Vazan_102 A