Project 31 raises much-needed funds for OCAD U students

Auctioneer Stephen Ranger, photo by Martin Iskander
Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - 11:30am

Once again, OCAD U’s Project 31 fundraising auction was a great success, raising much-needed funds for scholarships and bursaries for students in financial need and the purchase of specialized equipment. This year, Project 31 featured 39 works donated by 42 of OCAD U’s award-winning faculty members and alumni.

This year’s auction raised $144,250 (gross) and since 2010, the event has raised more than $1 million (net). Project 31 is part of our remarkable Ignite Imagination: The Campaign for OCAD University.

Many thanks to the participating artists who generously donated their stunning works for the benefit of OCAD U students:

Claire Brunet; Linda Carreiro; Judith Doyle; The Drawing Board (JJ Lee, Amy Swartz and Natalie Waldburger); Scott Everingham; Mitchell Fenton; T.M. Glass; Francisco-Fernando Granados; Jody Hewgill; April Hickox; Mark Jaroszewicz; Simone Jones and Gord Peteran; Alison Judd; Andre Kan; Anda Kubis; Greg Mably; Lindsay MacDonald;Virginia Mak; Hugh Martin; Wrik Mead; Henrjeta Mece; Peter Morin; Sarah Nind; Emma Nishimura; James Olley; Diane Pugen; Colleen Reid; Lauchie Reid, Stuart Reid; Kate Schneider; John Scott; Gordon Shadrach; Rosalie Sharp; Meera Margaret Singh; Peter Sramek; Jennie Suddick; Derek Sullivan; Gary Taxali; Michèle White.

The event came together thanks to the dedicated staff and faculty who made up the Project 31 Committee, Rob McKay, Director, Sponsorship & Corporate Partnerships  and Elaine Gaito, Manager, Sponsorship & Corporate Partnerships and their team of volunteers.

Many thanks to all of our sponsors and supporters: Bazil Developments (Presenting Sponsor); Borden Ladner Gervais (Artist Participation Sponsor) and in-kind event supporters: 13th Street Winery; Chair-Man Mills; Northern Valet by Indigo; Steam Whistle; Underwood’s Catering; Waddington’s and Westbury National.

Thank you, also, to the brilliant Stephen Ranger, Vice President, Waddington’s, for leading the auction.

President Sara Diamond (left) at Project 31, photo by Martin Iskander

Arrangements announced for the passing of Peter Milligan

Portrait of Peter Milligan
Sunday, November 11, 2018

Philanthropist, lawyer, advocate for Canadian contemporary artists and friend of OCAD U Peter Milligan passed away at age 69. The public is invited to bid a farewell at Turner and Porter Funeral Home, Yorke Chapel, 2357 Bloor Street West, Sunday, November 18th, from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 6 to 8 p.m. There will be a private family interment.

Milligan and his wife Dorene MacAulay Milligan, an OCAD U alumna (Painting & Drawing, 2001), were tremendous supporters of the university since 2003.

“Peter Milligan's death comes as a terrible and unexpected shock. Peter was an inspirational figure; a philanthropist, art lover and collector, expert sailor and navigator of deep water, supporter of Casey House and talented lawyer,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, President & Vice-Chancellor, OCAD University. “Peter was a close friend and colleague. Our deepest sympathies are with Dorene and his son Jeremy.”

Through Project 31, bursaries, student assistance and other programs, the Milligans donated more than $350,000 to OCAD U. They also funded the position of Dorene and Peter Milligan Executive Director, OCAD U Galleries, held by Francisco Alvarez.

The Project 31 fundraising auction was especially significant to Milligan, who was involved since its inception. Over the years, he bought many works by faculty and alumni at the event. Milligan refused to call himself a “collector” of art, preferring the word “custodian” as he felt artworks should be accessible to all.

“I may acquire art, but over time it has to come into the public domain,” he said in a 2015 interview. “I was happy to see these pieces at Project 31 and they are now in our home.”

Most recently, Peter Milligan was the driving force in bringing the exhibition Imago Mundi – Great and North, to Onsite Gallery from October 24 to December 16, 2018. Milligan saw the international Imago Mundi exhibition at the Venice Biennale and met with exhibition patron Luciano Benneton and curator Francesca Valente to bring the stunning Canadian portion of the exhibition to Toronto. 

Peter Milligan was a member of the President’s Advisory Council and the Ignite Imagination Campaign Cabinet. The Milligan family has kindly included OCAD University in their list of expressions of sympathy (Globe and Mail obituary). 



Embed Video: 
Jeremy and Peter Milligan seated at art auction
Francisco Alvarez and Peter Milligan standing

Another successful Project 31!

Auctioneer on stage
Thursday, March 29, 2018

When auctioneer Stephen Ranger’s gavel fell for the final time, a record 48 lots had been snapped up at OCAD U’s Project 31 fundraising auction. Once again, the event was a huge success, raising more than $240,000 (gross) for initiatives that support the student experience. Since 2010, the event has raised more than $800,000 (net).

The funds finance scholarships and awards for students in a wide range of programs, including Criticism & Curatorial Practice, Drawing & Painting, Illustration and Indigenous Visual Culture. In addition, the event funds bursaries for students in financial need, equipment and materials for specific programs and opportunities for off-campus studies, among other areas.

Many thanks to the participating artists who generously donated their work to benefit of OCAD U students:

Barbara Astman; Jason Baerg; Monica Bodirsky; Kotama Bouabane; Claire Brunet; Ian Carr-Harris; John Deal; Judith Doyle; Theresa Duong; Scott Everingham; Pat Fairhead; Mitchell Fenton; T.M. Glass; Melissa General; Kate Hartman; Catherine Heard; Jody Hewgill; April Hickox; Mark Jaroszewicz; Anda Kubis; Colette Laliberté; JJ Lee; Ginette Legaré; Bogdan Luca; Greg Mably; Lindsay MacDonald; Hugh Martin; Linda Martinello; Wrik Mead; Henrjeta Mece; Immony Men; Sarah Nind; James Olley; Luke Painter; Diane Pugen; Lauchie Reid; Stuart Reid; John Scott; Rosalie Sharp; Meera Margaret Singh; Peter Sramek; Jennie Suddick; Derek Sullivan; Amy Swartz; Gary Taxali; Natalie Waldburger; George A. Walker; Michèle White; Tek Yang.

The event came together thanks to the dedicated staff and faculty who made up the Project 31 Committee, Katherine Needham, Senior Manager of Advancement Events, and her team of volunteers.  

woman holding a pink blown glass sculpture
woman looking at artwork on a wall
People seated in the audience

Project 31 auction

Auctioneer on stage
Friday, March 31, 2017

The Project 31 fundraising auction on March 29 was another tremendous success, raising more than $200,000 overall in support of OCAD U students. Alumni and faculty members who donated works to the auction designated the proceeds to a wide range of support:  scholarships, bursaries for students in financial need and  initiatives that enhance the student experience, such as opportunities to study abroad, guest speakers, specialized workshops, leading edge technology, and more. The event was made possible thanks to the amazing generosity of the participating artists who donated their work and gave their heartfelt support:

Rachel Babineau, Monica Bodirsky, Kotama Bouabane, Linda Carreiro, Cathy Daley, Paul Dallas, John Deal, Judith Doyle, Benjamin Edmiston, Scott Everingham, Mitchell Fenton, TM Glass, Francisco-Fernando Granados and Manolo Lugo, April Hickox, Johanna Householder, John N. Inglis, Mark Jaroszewicz, Acacia Johnson, Alison Judd, Anda Kubis, JJ Lee, Greg Mably, Hugh Martin, Linda Martinello, Wrik Mead, Rob Nicholls, Lauchie Reid, Stuart Reid, John Scott, Rosalie Sharp, Vladimir Spicanovic, Peter Sramek, Jennie Suddick, Derek Sullivan, Amy Swartz, Gary Taxali, Natalie Waldburger, George A. Walker and Tek Yang.

And for the first time, the event offered for sale a limited edition of twenty hand-embellished digital paintings by Anda Kubis, Associate Dean, Faculty of Art.

Thanks go out to the members of the Project 31 Committee, for their invaluable support and enthusiasm:

Philippe Blanchard, Linda Carreiro, Ian Clarke, Paul Dallas, April Hickox, Brian Hinds, Amanda Hotrum, Johanna Householder, Richard Hunt, Sandra Kedey, Anda Kubis, Caroline Langill, Jenn Long, Jana Macalik, Dorie Millerson, Michael Prokopow, Nick Puckett, Colleen Reid, Ryan Rice, Angelika Seeschaaf-Veres, Vladimir Spicanovic, Jennie Suddick, Adam Tindale, Natalie Waldburger and Ryan Whyte.

As well, sincere thanks to the generosity of our event sponsors and supporters. This year, for the first time, we were very pleased to have a presenting sponsor– Bazil Developments Inc.

Many thanks to all of our sponsors and supporters: Delaney Capital Management; Borden, Ladner Gervais; First Capital Realty; Canadian Art; 13th Street Winery; Chair-Man Mills; Steam Whistle; Underwood’s Catering; Waddington’s and Westbury National.

Thank you, also, to the brilliant Stephen Ranger, Vice President, Business Development, Waddington’s, for leading the auction.

And, a special thanks to Katherine Needham, Senior Manager, Advancement Events, and her team, who ensured it was a wonderful evening for all those in attendance.

Stuart Reid, Gary Taxali and Jessica Rysyk standing in front of work.
Guests looking at a series of digital paintings

Project 31

Project 31 raises more than $216,000 for student experience

Image of the auctioneer at Project 31
Image of the Waisglass artwork on auction at Project 31
Tuesday, March 29, 2016 - 4:00am

A cheer went up each time auctioneer Stephen Ranger’s gavel slammed the podium at the seventh annual Project 31 fundraising auction. More than half of the 46 lots in the live auction were sold for over their estimated value. A work by faculty member and alumnus Nicolas Pye sold for $9,000, the top bid of the evening!

For the first time, a silent auction of works by medal winners of the past decade took place after the main event, giving a record number of guests another opportunity to take home art by talented alumni.

Proceeds of the event go to student bursaries, scholarships and awards, studio materials, the Dorothy H. Hoover Library, the Florence Program, the Student Gallery and more.

Thanks to all of the participating artists for generously donating their work and for their heartfelt support:

Barbara Astman, Teresa Aversa, Omar Badrin, Gillian Batcher, Heidi Berton, Philippe Blanchard, Monica Bodirsky, Kotama Bouabane, Maggie Broda, Ian Carr-Harris, Shea Chang, Hudson Christie, Amanda Clyne, Nicole Collins, Danny Custodio, Cathy Daley, Paul Dallas, Theresa Duong, Scott Everingham, Mitchell Fenton, Michelle Forsyth, Simon Glass, Catherine Heard, April Hickox, Kyle Hittmeier, Gillian Iles, Mark Jaroswicz, Anda Kubis, Chris Lange, Ginette Legaré, Antonio Lennert, Jennifer Long, Erin Loree, Greg Mably, Rachel MacFarlane, Linda Martinello, Wrik Mead, Faye Mullen, Amanda Nedham, Robert Nicholls, Sarah Nind, James Olley, Connor Olthuis, Luke Painter, Meghan Price, Nicholas Pye, Stuart Reid, John Scott, Christina Sealey, Rosalie Sharp, John Shipman, Sara Sniderhan, Vladimir Spicanovic, Peter Sramek, Jennie Suddick, Derek Sullivan, Veronika Szkudlarek, Gary Taxali, Elaine Waisglass, George A. Walker, Alia Weston, Kate Wilson

Special thanks go to the members of the Project 31 Committee, for their invaluable assistance and support.




Project 31 at OCAD University

Thursday, March 24, 2016 - 10:00pm to Friday, March 25, 2016 - 1:30am


The 2016 edition of Project 31 is our biggest ever. With 46 pieces on which to bid, you will be astonished by the diversity of the art, produced by some of Canada’s most impressive artists and designers. New this year is a silent auction of work by OCAD University medal winners. View the 2016 Catalogue here

For more information, please contact:
Isobel Medel
Coordinator, Development Events
416.977.6000 x 4861

Thursday, March 24, 2016

OCAD University
100 McCaul Street 
The Great Hall, Second Floor
Toronto, ON

6:00 p.m. Reception & Silent Auction
7:30 p.m. Live Auction 


Venue & Address: 
OCAD University 100 McCaul Street The Great Hall, Second Floor Toronto, ON
416.977.6000 x 4861
$125.00/ person
Project 31 banner

Fundraising auction most successful to date

Synthesis, mixed media artwork, by Anda Kubis
Photo of Auctioneer with artwork
Photo of woman bidding on piece
Monday, March 30, 2015 - 4:00am

Project 31, OCAD University’s annual auction to support student success, has raised $183,000, the largest amount in the event’s six-year history. By the time Waddington’s auctioneer Stephen Ranger announced the final winning bid on March 26, all 42 lots were sold. Twenty-four of these lots went at or above the catalogue estimate, with the most memorable competitive bid — a whopping $11,000 — winning a piece by Anda Kubis. Attendance exceeded 250, a number that included many of the artists whose works were up for auction.

Project 31 proceeds will support scholarships and awards for students in Drawing & Painting, Illustration, Digital Painting and Expanded Animation, Integrated Media, Material Art & Design, Photography, Printmaking and Sculpture/Installation, as well as bursaries for students in financial need, equipment and materials for the Woodshop and Ceramics classes and the Photography and Jewellery Studios, the Digital Painting Atelier, Diversity, Equity & Sustainability Initiatives, the Centre for Students with Disabilities, and more.

The OCAD University community is grateful to the faculty and alumni who donated their works: Philippe Blanchard, Monica Bodirsky, Kotama Bouabane, John Carnes, Ian Carr-Harris, Nicole Collins, Douglas Coupland, John Deal, Judith Doyle, Mitchell Fenton, Paul Fournier, Nancy Friedland, Lisa Hampton, Spencer J. Harrison, Lynne Heller, Jody Hewgill, April Hickox, Mark Jaroszewicz, Anda Kubis, Colette Laliberté, JJ Lee, Ginette Legaré, Derek Liddington, Hugh Martin, Linda Martinello, Alex McLeod, Meryl McMaster, Laura Millard, Julie Nagam, Sarah Nind, Paulette Phillips, Diane Pugen, Edmond Rampen, John Scott, Rosalie Sharp, Vladimir Spicanovic, Peter Sramek, Gary Taxali, Elaine Waisglass, Natalie Waldburger, and George A. Walker.

We would like to thank members of the Project 31 Committee for their hard work: Tom Barker, Paul Dallas, Paul Epp, Roderick Grant, April Hickox, Bruce Hinds, Amanda Hotrum, Tony Kerr, Caroline Langill, JJ Lee, Wrik Mead, Gayle Nicoll, Luke Painter, Michael Prokopow, Barbara Rauch, Lenore Richards, Vladimir Spicanovic, Peter Sramek, Gillian Flanagan, Adam Tindale, Dot Tuer, and Ken Vickerson.

We would also like to thank our supporting galleries: Alison Milne Gallery, Birch Contemporary, Christensen Fine Art, Daniel Faria Gallery, Danielle Arnaud Contemporary Art, Diaz Contemporary,  Division Gallery, Erin Stump Projects, Galerie Youn, General Hardware Contemporary , Katzman Contemporary, Mira Godard Gallery, Miriam Shiell Fine Art, Nicholas Metivier Gallery, p|m Gallery, Roberts Gallery, Stephen Bulger Gallery, and Susan Hobbs Gallery.

Project 31 is generously sponsored by Delaney Capital Management, Borden Ladner Gervais, First Capital Realty and David Smith, Smith Advisory. Final thanks also to event supporters Canadian Art, Waddington’s, Underwood Catering, Westbury National, Steam Whistle Brewing, 13th Street Winery and Chair-man Mills.


Photos by Gary Beechey


Project 31 features work by Elaine Waisglass and Jj Lee

Project 31 Artwork - Waisglass
Project 31 Artwork - Two Blue Jays
Thursday, March 19, 2015 - 4:00am

The Project 31 art auction features 42 works by OCAD University faculty and alumni. The proceeds (more than $400,000 in the past five years) are donated to various OCAD U programs and initiatives, as chosen by the artists. Two of the artists participating in this year’s sixth annual event are alumni Elaine Waisglass and faculty member Jj Lee.

Elaine Waisglass started her career as a visual artist, majoring in sculpture and fine arts at OCAD. Enchanted by the time she spent as a child in her grandmother’s flower garden, she restored the large garden in the house she and her husband bought in the 1990s. But it wasn’t until she saw a Monet painting at the AGO in 1998 that everything came together and she changed her artistic focus. Inspired by Monet, Waisglass began photographing the flowers in her garden and produced images that seem both photograph and painting at the same time. The deep colours and familiar shapes of the blossoms, arranged in the vases she collects, appear both hyper-real and surreal as they float, barely perceptibly, on the surfaces beneath them. Her technique, using digital brushes and digital paint, results in sculptural, almost three-dimensional images. Lee Waisglass is donating Hibiscus (Rose of Sharon, “David,” Lot 23) to Project 31, and she is directing the proceeds to OCAD U’s Photography program.

At first glance, some of Jj Lee’s paintings suggest a traditional Chinese motif, but within the wash of colours and images of birds and flowers, it’s clear that the Halifax-born-and-raised artist is re-interpreting Western and Chinese painting traditions. Combining precision and suggestion, traditional and unexpected images interrupt each other and draw the viewer into a landscape that is at once familiar, yet strange. Lee’s sensual paintings are a collage of identity markers and play with ideas of space and place. She uses a variety of materials, including oil, ink, crayon, chalk, gouache and pencil, and incorporates scientific and historical images from textiles, books and advertising to address notions of a hybrid identity. Jj Lee is directing the proceeds of her painting Two Blue Jays (oil on linen, Lot 32), to OCAD U’s Office of Diversity, Equity & Sustainability Initiatives.

Tickets: $125
Group Discount Rates:
10 tickets at $115 per ticket; 20 tickets at $110 per ticket

Thursday, March 26, 2015
6:00 p.m. Art Preview and Reception
7:30 p.m. Live Auction

OCAD University
The Great Hall, 2nd Level
100 McCaul Street,
Toronto, ON

For more information, contact:
Emilia Ziemba
416-977-6000 x 4883


Project 31 at OCAD University

Project 31
Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 10:00pm to Friday, March 27, 2015 - 2:00am

One of Canada’s best contemporary art auctions, Project 31 represents the best of OCAD University: our talented and renowned faculty and alumni generously creating opportunity for our talented students. This year, Project 31 features 42 works made by faculty and alumni from across the institution — from programs such as Criticism and Curatorial Practice, Drawing & Painting, Illustration, Integrated Media, Material Art & Design, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture/Installation and Graduate Studies.

Over the past five years Project 31 has raised more than $400,000, supporting a community of over 4,500 OCAD University students - the next generation of cultural leaders and the drivers of Canada’s creative economy. 

Artwork Preview: 6 p.m., Live Auction: 7:30 p.m.

Purchase your tickets online