St. Matthew’s first online auction!

A collection of Thornton Burgess books is up for bids. Photo: Pam Mackenzie

Donna Lynd’s “Merlot Conversations” is just one of the treasures in the St. Matthews’ online auction November 13 to 21. Photo: Gordon Metcalfe

By Margret Brady Nankivell

Like many other charities, St. Matthew’s Anglican Church has had to change its fundraising plans because of COVID-19. The church holds a major auction, with all the trimmings, every three years, and this wasn’t meant to be one of them. But instead of “Jazz & Tapas” originally scheduled for the fall but cancelled, St. Matt’s is looking forward to its first-ever online auction.

The auction will open for bids at 12 a.m. on Friday, November 13 and close on Saturday, November 21 at 4 p.m. More than 150 lots will be on offer, just in time for Christmas shopping. Please visit St. Matthew’s website to register (no charge) and see the items. (

Money raised through the auction will support St. Matthew’s projects, the FACES refugee program and Cornerstone Housing for Women.

Once again, the church is stunned by the generosity of its parishioners and the community. Sponsorships from Capital Home Hardware, McKeen Metro and Tracy Arnett Realty Ltd. helped cover online auction costs. Ottawa artist Donna Lynd contributed a marvellous painting entitled “Merlot Conversations” to use for the auction promotion and as an item to purchase.

St. Matthew’s parishioners will offer various entertainment options, such as a succulent Moroccan lamb shank dinner or slow-cooked Boeuf Bourguignon with wines to be delivered to your home. Or consider a wonderful private boat trip from the Rockcliffe Yacht Club to the famed Chateau Montebello on an elegant 18-ft bow rider, with lunch included. Various mouth-watering baked items will be offered as well.

Items also include Canadian and Indigenous arts and crafts, antique and first-edition books as well as mystery book collections curated by St. Matthew’s book expert Carolyn McMaster. Mystery bags will include novels that won or were shortlisted for prestigious awards such as the Scotiabank Giller prize, the Man Booker Prize and the Pulitzer.

The auction features travel certificates for accommodation at beautiful Caribbean and Panamanian resorts. The booking deadline on these is generous – rooms only need to be booked by December 20, 2022 for travel well into 2023. Rooms are subject to daily food and activity fees but are excellent value. Certificates are for up to three rooms for a week to ten days, depending on the resort.

Ottawa artists Huibert van der Staay and Patti Davis have donated lovely paintings to the auction. In addition, we have works by Etta Benjamin, Sydney Berne, Fred Brown, Alex Chowaniec, Bruce Heggweit, Ken Johns and Gordon MacKenzie and aquatints by Esperanza Perez-Martinez (1934-98), who studied under Diego Rivera. Also included is a stunning trio of abstract photos paying homage to Art Deco by local photographer Pam Mackenzie.

Among the many other items are an elegant Mexican art deco-style vase, a handsome marine barometer clock and some very fine handcrafted African baskets, a hand-carved African game and tapestries.

St. Matthew’s looks forward to welcoming you to this lovely array of items.

Margret Brady Nankivell is chair of St. Matthew’s fundraising committee.

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