You don’t know what
you got till it’s gone
Legacy Fund Auction donors tell why they are giving
By Carole Reed
September 12, 2022
The September 15 auction at Hurley’s was born when Charlie MacLeod, current president of the Green Coalition, asked wildlife artist Barry Kent MacKay to donate a painting to raise funds for the Legacy Fund for the Environment as a thank-you for the financial support the fund has given the Green Coalition’s member groups. Barry graciously accepted. “I’m so entirely delighted to see my passion for art employed in the interest of protecting the environment, and all who live therein.”
As a child, Barry MacKay loved bird watching in the wetlands that were all around him in the 1960s. But when he went back years later, many of those wetlands had disappeared, swallowed by suburbia. “As a child, I was obsessed with nature and driven by two desires that I saw as complementary: to be a bird and nature artist on one hand, and an ornithologist on the other. My mother’s early pioneering efforts at wildlife rehabilitation, specializing in birds, brought me to the realization of just how much humanity was harmfully imposing its needs and interests upon inhabitants of the non-human world.”
The other artists supporting the legacy fund auction share Barry’s feelings. Lisa Kimberly Glickman describes nature as her muse. “Doing what I can do to protect the natural environment is a moral obligation and imperative for me. I hope my art speaks for nature in a way that gives it a voice.” Hear the Calling is one of the limited-edition wolf prints donated by Susan Nimbley, who has been plein-air painting for three decades and feels that “nature is essential to my creativity as an artist. I’m honoured to participate in the Legacy Fund auction, as their mission is close to my heart and my raison d’être.”
Scott MacLeod grew up surrounded by the natural beauty of Hudson and Cape Breton “Some of my first oil paintings, watercolours and drawings were of that natural world. Sharing art and nature’s beauty through initiatives such as the Legacy Fund auction is a way to acknowledge that we are a part of nature.” Anne Doyle’s modest hope is that her donation can help. “We must all strive to do the least harm. The planet can’t take any more of our abuse.”
… nature is essential to my creativity as an artist. I’m honoured to participate in the Legacy Fund auction, as their mission is close to my heart and my raison d’être.
– Susan Nimbley, artist
Then the Montreal Canadiens and the Montreal Alouettes jumped on board. Their donations range from signed team sweaters to personal appearances of some Habs and Als players. Do you want to know who? Come to Hurley’s this Thursday to find out.
What we do know is that Montreal Canadiens translator and archivist at the Hockey Hall of Fame, Carl Lavigne, will be joining us to sign the successful bidder’s copy of Glorieux d’un Soir. Also up for auction is Helen Antoniou’s signed copy of Back to Beer… and Hockey, the story of an iconic national family and our national sport, a tribute to her father-in-law, Eric Molson. And, a treat for Habs fans, sports commentator and former host of Hockey 360, David Arsenault, has donated a copy of Un Glorieux au Coeur de la Dynastie, the story of that famous night when Yvon Lambert scored the overtime goal that saved the season. And finally, in the spirit of the evening, Justin Kingsley, a multimedia storyteller who has made books, films and series, has donated a signed copy of Le Livre de Don.
The Legacy Fund auction would not be complete without the presence of donations from people who actively protect nature. Our special guest for the evening is former Quebec environment minister Tom Mulcair. You can also bid on one of three nature walks with three knowledgeable environmentalists, David Fletcher, Alison Hackney and Ryan Young. Charlie MacLeod feels that the reason for going on a nature walk with a naturalist is to “understand what you have and understand what you have to lose.”
Ryan Young, who has worked as Park Naturalist in several Ontario provincial parks, shares Charlie’s concern. “I think increasingly people are disconnected from nature because we spend so much time in front of screens, but there is so much to know about our local natural history. People need to know what they have so they’ll know what they could lose if they’re not vigilant.” Ryan can show you how to see a forest as more than an assemblage of separate trees that are static with no animal in sight. He can show you plants and trees in terms of their history and use and, “even if you don’t see animals in a forest, I can show you the traces of their recent travels by the track and sign they leave behind.” He wants to reconnect us with nature. “My walk will illustrate how everything is connected and even interconnected underground. Ultimately the more you learn about how the natural world works, the more you’ll understand and know yourself.”
‘Our special guest for the evening is former Quebec environment minister Tom Mulcair. You can also bid on one of three nature walks with three knowledgeable environmentalists, David Fletcher, Alison Hackney and Ryan Young.’
Alison Hackney invites you to “come on a walk with me to experience the vastness and majesty of the Grand Parc de L’Ouest.” She will introduce you to the Grand Sentier de l’Ouest, an 8.3 km trail that will lead you through the meadows and forests that the group she co-founded, Sauvons L’Anse a L’Orme, fought to protect. She can tell you about the dynamic lives of birds and explain why they need all habitats, forests, wetlands, hedgerows and fallow fields, to thrive. Birds are important environmental indicators because they are so easy to see and because their disappearance is a clear sign that an environment is no longer healthy. Alison wants you to “be intrigued by the birds, the plants, the diversity of species” now protected in the Grand Parc and she invites you to “experience the calming and healing power of nature.”
David Fletcher, co-founder of the Green Coalition and a tireless promoter of nature conservation, fears that we are not only losing wild plants, insects and animals, but we are also losing the ethos we once shared with nature. He feels that today we are so preoccupied with economics that we see nature as an inventory of things that are useful to us or that please us aesthetically. But in the natural world, everything has its own economy; in taking there is always giving back. “Nature knows no waste.” On a nature walk with David, not only will you be fascinated by his wealth of information, you will also be introduced to the interconnections among all species, including our own, that we are only beginning to understand. And you will gain a deeper understanding of our responsibility to the natural world. By destroying it, we are not just destroying the ecological services we need to survive, we are also losing our love and respect for all life.
‘If you wish to join us for the raffle, auction and concert only, admission will be free on a first come, first serve basis.’
Memory plays a key role in conservation. As future generations lose sight of the fullness of blooming meadows, the plenitude of birds and butterflies, the variety and majesty of the trees, and even the size of the fish in a world that existed less than a hundred years ago, we will lose all perspective of what our world should be. If “we don’t know what we got,” then we won’t ever know what’s gone.
The Legacy Fund has posted an online catalogue where you can learn more about our contributors and see what is up for auction.
Tickets are on sale for a three-course meal with wine in our VIP room.
If you wish to join us for the raffle, auction and concert only, admission will be free on a first come, first serve basis. You can buy your own food and drinks from Hurley’s menu, buy a raffle ticket for some great door prizes, including tickets to an Alouette’s game and a keg of beer, be entertained by CJAD’s Andrew Carter, enjoy the jam session with Brian Greenaway, John McGale, Jonathan Moorman and Charlie MacLeod, and of course bid on some great items.
Legacy Fund for the Environment Annual Fundraiser
Thursday September 15, 6 pm to 9 pm
Hurley’s Irish Pub, 1225 Crescent, Montreal
Tickets: $250, all-inclusive, click to purchase here
Raffle, auction and concert only: free admission on a first come, first serve basis
A tax receipt for the maximum allowable amount will be issued
If people can’t make it but want to help, they are asked to consider buying a ticket for one of the tireless Legacy Fund volunteers to attend.
Tax-deductible donations of any amount can be sent to canadahelps.org
If this cause is close to peoples’ heart, volunteers are always welcome.
For further information, please contact Charlie MacLeod, President, Green Coalition, 514 574-9670 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Feature image: detail from Hear the Call by Susan Nimbley
Images: courtesy of the Legacy Fund, unless indicated otherwise
Carole Reed spent her childhood in Pointe Claire climbing trees, playing in the woods, and biking through farmland. She became an environmentalist in 1972 after reading Silent Spring. Now retired from teaching, she is devoting the rest of her life to saving the planet for her great granddaughter.