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News Release

Artists exemplify The Art of Giving
by donating work to fight kidney disease

April 12, 2006

TORONTO - Artists from the Greater Toronto Area have joined forces to show that giving is indeed an art form. Several artists are taking part in The Kidney Foundation of Canada's annual fundraising gala, which this year celebrates The Art of Giving by featuring a tribute to renowned Group of Seven artist A.J. Casson, who lived with kidney disease for many years.

"Giving is such an important element of who we are as a society. It defines us in many ways and on so many levels," said Maryann Kerr, executive director of The Kidney Foundation of Canada, Central Ontario Branch. "Whether people give their time as a volunteer, give their money to support our programs and services, give a kidney to a loved one or simply help us by spreading messages about kidney health, every effort is priceless to us."

Casson, the youngest member of the Group of Seven, lived with kidney disease for many years and since his death 15 years ago; his family has remained involved and supportive of the Foundation. Casson is best known for his depiction of landscapes, forests and farms in Southern Ontario and joined the Group of Seven in 1926 after an invitation from Franklin Carmichael.

During The Art of Giving Gala on April 27, 2006, at the Toronto Sheraton Centre, several artists will produce works on site, many of which will be auctioned off at the end of the evening. The artists come from a diverse range of backgrounds, from college students wanting to do their bit for the community to kidney patients who understand the challenges people with kidney disease face on a daily basis. The evening's signature silent and live auction also feature works of art and memorabilia from many well known Canadian artists, including original artwork by Charles Pachter and Rose Lindzon and an original set of Casson paintbrushes.

Tickets to The Art of Giving Gala can be purchased online at www.kidney.on.ca or by calling 416-445-0373, ext. 234.

The charity event, which last year raised over half a million dollars to help people living with kidney disease in Ontario, offers guests a wonderful evening of fine dining and dancing and gives them the opportunity to take part in the bidding for one-of-a-kind auction items and a signature key event for a pair of Rolex watches. Gord Martineau, news anchor for Citytv, is the celebrity guest host.

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Established in 1964, The Kidney Foundation of Canada has awarded more than $73 million to support kidney-related research, helping millions of Canadians suffering from kidney failure and related disorders such as high blood pressure, kidney stones, diabetes and urinary tract infections.

It is estimated that 2 million Canadians have chronic kidney disease or are at risk - most don't know it because the symptoms are silent. Each day, an average of 14 Canadians learns that their kidneys have failed.


Wendy Kudeba, Communications and Marketing Director
The Kidney Foundation of Canada, Central Ontario Branch
416-445-0373, ext. 242, wkudeba@kidney.on.ca
Mobile: 416-735-8408

Iain McLaren, Communications Coordinator
The Kidney Foundation of Canada, Central Ontario Branch
416-445-0373, ext. 229, imclaren@kidney.on.ca

On Site Artists: Bios
Andrea Lau: Natural images encompass most of Andrea Lau's artwork, which are based on stylized forms of animals and landscapes. Her love for nature stems from childhood memories of summers spent in Parry Sound, Ontario. Andrea is also an avid papermaker and has included her prints on her handmade papers. Encaustic-wax painting has allowed Andrea to explore abstracted natural forms. Most of her encaustic-wax paintings are vibrantly coloured organic forms swirled together. Andrea will be graduating this spring with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a Printmaking major from The Ontario College of Art and Design.

Paul Aiello: Coming from a mixed background of Italian and Irish descent, Paul Aiello's identity is very complex and he finds his comfort in the urban landscape. Born in Toronto, Aiello paints the futuristic city using a photocollage from the present, and paints to allow a new and distinctive look in the post-September 11th contemporary world.

Bogdan Luca: Bogdan Luca is a Toronto based artist. Born in Romania where he grew up and first became interested in the fine arts, he then moved to Canada where he graduated from Sheridan College with a classical animation diploma in 2000. Bogdan is currently in his third year of studying towards a Bfa in drawing and painting at the Ontario College of Art and Design.

George Blahitka: George is a concept artist and creative designer. After graduating from the Graphic Design program at George Brown College and working for various studios, he started his own company. It was during this time George found out his chronic kidney condition had developed into a need for dialysis. Wanting to make the most of his time at the dialysis clinic, George further explored his artistic side. In December 2005, George had a kidney transplant. During his recovery, his art became even more important to him as it was the only activity he could enjoy and it took his mind away from the situation at hand. George's work can be seen and purchased at The Olde Tyme Country Craft and Studio in downtown Brampton, where he often spends time on the weekends doing his drawings in the store.

Artist Donors: Bios

Charles Pachter: One of Canada's leading contemporary artists, Charles Pachter is a painter, printmaker, sculptor, designer, historian, and lecturer. Born in Toronto, Charles holds degrees from the University of Toronto, the Sorbonne, and the Cranbrook Academy of Art. He holds an honorary doctorate from Brock University, is a member of the Order of Canada, and a Chevalier of France's Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. His works hang in public and private collections around the world. His images of the Queen, moose, and Maple Leaf flag are pop icons of Canadian art. McClelland & Stewart publications include an illustrated biography of Pachter and his work, and The Journals of Susanna Moodie, his celebrated collaboration with poet Margaret Atwood.

Rose Lindzon: Born in Poland, Rose Lindzon is a Canadian citizen living in Toronto. Rose studied art at the University of Toronto and the Ontario College of Art and has taken part in many artist workshops. Rose studied fresco in Italy where she also participated in an archaeological dig in Etruria. Rose is also the author and illustrator of a book on Ancient and Classical Greece.

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