British Columbia

Splash 2016 postponement means financial loss for Arts Umbrella

Vancouver organization offers arts programs to kids and relies on annual charity event to help offset the cost for three out of five students.

Organization offers arts programs to kids and relies on annual charity event to help offset costs for students

Splash is the yearly fundraiser for Arts Umbrella, which provides arts classes to youth — some for free — across Metro Vancouver. (Arts Umbrella Splash 2016)

While the power of the latest B.C. storm to hit the South Coast is being debated, it has hit Arts Umbrella hard.

Since 1979, the non-profit, Vancouver-based organization has been offering arts classes to youth — some for free — to help spark creative minds.

And it relies on its annual Splash fundraiser, which auctions off art from B.C. artists, for half its annual budget.

The 2016 version was to take place Saturday on Granville Island, but tents had to be dismantled at the last moment because of bad weather.

Arts Umbrella president Paul Larocque says the organization has lost thousands of dollars.

"We'll have a greater idea early next week, but it will be in the tens and tens of thousands of dollars," he said Sunday.

Fundraiser expected to raise $400K

More than $25,000 in catering had to be donated to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, and Larocque says there are additional costs associated with the postponement.

"The loss comes at a time when the organization had anticipated raising more than $400,000 at the fundraiser," said a release from Arts Umbrella.

Splash 2016 will now take place Thursday, Nov. 3 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, which will allow Arts Umbrella to host an additional 300 guests.

All the art donated for the auction, which includes pieces from Gordon Smith, Paul Wong, and Bobbie Burgers, was safely moved and will be part of the new date for Splash 2016.

Arts Umbrella programs are offered to more than 20,000 youth each year, with 12,000 participating for little or no cost.

with files from Kamil Karamali.