This painting, entited “Kelby’s Drums,” is among dozens up for auction this week as part of a fundraiser for local jazz musicians at the Martin Batchelor Gallery on Cormorant Street. Photo contributed

Victoria art auction supporting jazz in the city

Proceeds from sales of donated pieces to help promote jazz

A group of artists are banding together to support the musical community connected to Hermann’s Jazz Club with an art auction at the Martin Batchelor Gallery in Victoria.

Dozens of art pieces, ranging in price from $40 to $500 or more, have been donated by artists or collectors for the auction, which began with an open house and impromptu concert Wednesday. The bidding closes at 4 p.m. on Dec. 31 at the gallery, 712 Cormorant St.

Heather Atkinson and Margaret Hantiuk are among a group of established and emerging artists who contributed works to the auction. They began organizing the event in the summer, with the goal in mind to create a fund to rent venues and host jazz events in the new year, or put the funds where they will best promote local jazz.

“Music, and especially jazz, is such an important part of our lives – it keeps us sane,” Atkinson wrote in an email to the News.

The club, run for many years on View Street by the late Hermann Nieweler, is in a building that was put up for sale by his family. The Jazz on View Society was attempting to raise enough money to buy the building and operate the club, but collected only about $1 million in pledges toward the $3 million asking price by the Oct. 31 deadline.

RELATED: Future uncertain for Hermann’s Jazz Club

Batchelor has provided space in his gallery for the five-day fundraiser. There is live music and refreshments available there every afternoon from 1 to 5 p.m. Among the local jazz musicians who have committed to play through the week are the Tony Genge/Kelby McNayr trio, Miguelito Valdez, Karel Roessingh, Paul Benton and several others.

For more information, contact the gallery at 250-385-7919 or visit

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