Two portraits by local artist Elfrida Schragen which are part of an online gallery saluting Greater Victoria’s female leaders. Visitors to the gallery can bid on portraits, with funds going towards Our Place Society. Pictured here are Florence Dick and Elisabeth Wagner. (Screenshot/Elfrida Schragen Fine Art)

Greater Victoria’s female leaders honoured in ‘unique’ online gallery fundraiser

Online gallery fundraiser will support Our Place Society

A unique fundraising event will allow community members to see some of Greater Victoria’s female leaders – in portrait form – online.

Our Place is inviting the public to the online unveiling of 40 portraits of female leaders in Greater Victoria. Renowned local artist Elfrida Schragen created the online gallery to benefit Our Place Society during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I painted these portraits to honour women in my community whom I, and others, find admirable and effective in whatever they do in life,” Schragen said.

READ ALSO: Beauty Day spreads ‘brightness’ at Our Place

Money raised from the online event will support Our Place and the work the organization does to support some of the region’s most vulnerable women who are struggling with poverty, mental or physical challenges or homelessness.

Schragen’s portraits feature women who have achieved notoriety in different areas. They include political, community, religious, media and Indigenous leaders from across the region.

“As we cope with the effects of the coronavirus on our lives and the lives of our neighbours, it’s so vital that we celebrate all that continues to make our community so special,” said Our Place communications director Grant McKenzie. “We honour those who struggle and have struggled to make life better for us, our family and our society.”

The public is being asked to visit the gallery at hibid.ca/events/admired to check out each portrait and read about each individual’s story. Visitors can decide which of the women they would like to pay tribute to by making an online donation to Our Place Society. The goal is to raise $1,000 per portrait.

READ ALSO: Social services groups take extra precautions for Victoria’s most vulnerable amid pandemic

All bidders will be invited to a future art show of the completed portraits at the Bay Centre once the current health crisis is over.

Funds raised will be split to support Our Place Society’s emergency programs and services during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the Women in Progress project for the organization’s Next Steps to Employment program. The project invites women to sign up for customized skills training sessions and supports women in their job searches.

shalu.mehta@blackpress.ca


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