Battling Artists, dancing violin musician and amazing adventure packages at After Dark!

Submitted –

For immediate release
27 August 2015

Battling Artists, dancing violin musician and amazing adventure packages at After Dark!

Abbotsford, BC – “As if electrifying pianists Mel Bowker and Johannes Weber and an auction offer to fly with pilot Ken Funk to Victoria for lunch adventure at the After Dark at The Reach fundraiser on September 12th aren’t enough to stimulate your palette! Now we’re tossing in a live Make Art Not War battle with three amazingly talented local artists, plus a performance or two by Abbotsford’s Calvin Dyck and his dancing violin,” says Ingrid Epp, Director of Development at The Reach.

Imagine the excitement and suspense when artists Riley Charters, Ursula Rettich and Shannon Thiesen get the ‘ready, set, go’ for their live 20 minute paint-off of their masterpiece. The soiree guests will not only cheer them on, they also get to vote on their favorite painting and later bid on the three pieces.

Who are these brave artists that have signed up to battle it out on a canvas at After Dark?
Riley Charters is all about the challenge of capturing the light and feeling in a painting and if as result, the viewer senses the heat of the day, gusts of wind or puts her/himself in the painting with ‘I’ve been there,’ then it’s goal achieved for her. Ursula Rettich’s life started on an island in the Nordsee, where artists came to paint. Primarily self-taught with some help from a private tutor, Rettich’s motto is: the creative process should always explore the new and unknown but revisit the old. In my art making I attempt to express more than what I see; I allow the subject to guide me and in turn let the colors speak. Shannon Thiesen is a 5th grade teacher at ASIA North Poplar Elementary and an active member of the Central Fraser Valley Graphic Guild, showing at Kariton Gallery and other venues throughout the Fraser Valley. Originally from Powell River, Thiesen is inspired by the environment, people and other organic elements. She recently won Art Battle Chilliwack and was a finalist in the Art Battle Regionals in Vancouver.

Throughout the night while guests applaud the rousing music of the pianists and violinist Dyck, they will bid on a collection of beautiful masterpieces and have their portrait sketched by caricaturist Ted Couling. The art collection includes an original Business on the Move piece from/by professional artist Myrtle-Anne Rempel, Play Full by Misty Bedwell, who only paints for charities and fundraisers, all the way to upcycled patio chairs by Shona Brawdy, Shirley Wilson and Stacey Somerville and repurposed vintage windows by the artistic Reach team. And who would not hope to land one these must-have auction packages: an engaging and creative tour of The Reach with bus transportation by Abbotsford School District for your entire child’s or grandchild’s school class or executive Chef Sue Wiebe cooking dinner for you and 7 guests in your home, compliments of Wiebe, Tracycakes and Save On Foods Whatcom, and the auction adventures continue.

“After Dark at The Reach with its elegant artistic foods and chic corporate lounges is truly about raising dollars for kids from all walks of life to experience the joy of often messy, always creative hands-on arts and heritage learning with their families,” says Milt Walker, Chair of The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford Board. “Leading by example are local businesses that choose to support this event, including: Cap-It International Inc. – Hank & Elaine Funk, Assante Wealth Management, Canadian Western Bank, Giesbrecht, Goodrich & Co, KPMG, La Galleria – Quadra Homes, RDM Lawyers LLP, TD Bank, Dr. Michele Wang Inc and others.”

Show your arts and culture community spirit by purchasing your tickets now to After Dark at The Reach on Saturday, September 12 at 7pm at 32388 Veterans Way in Abbotsford. Tickets are an affordable $100 to $125 per person if you pay by September 1st; after that it’s: $125 to $150. Call 604-864-8087; email: or go to


Photos att: Abbotsford battle artist Shannon Thiesen, and Business on the Move art piece by Myrtle-Anne Rempel

Media Contact:
Ingrid Epp
Director of Development
t 604 864 8087 ext 123
f 604 864 8048
The Reach
Gallery Museum Abbotsford
32388 Veterans Way
Abbotsford, BC V2T 0B3

Leave a Reply