by Sam McBride

The Online Auction in April 2022 in support of the New Library Project in Kaslo, British Columbia raised a total of $22,396 – more than 10% above its fund-raising target.

Anne Heard, chair of the Kaslo and District Library Board, said she was thrilled with the response to the auction, as it once again exceeded all expectations.  Special thanks go to a long list of donors who provided an appealing variety of Kootenay-style experiences, services and products to bid on.

Bids came in from many parts of B.C., and from as far away as Quebec, California and Texas.  Items up for bid included adventures like ziplining and historic tours; places to stay or visit in Kaslo and Ainsworth; beautiful art work including prints, paintings, quilts, and stained glass; services from massage to yardwork to ancestry research; and music, including lessons, entertainment, and Kaslo Jazz Fest tickets.  The auction ended with a lively bidding war to win a priceless BC Totem Pole created by Godfrey Hunt – Kwakiutl, of the Thunderbird, Whale, and Chief Women.

The auction was part of an ongoing effort to raise funds to build a new library in Kaslo.  Last year an accessible downtown location at the corner of 5th St and Front Street was acquired via Village of Kaslo support, grants from Columbia Basin Trust and Community Fund of North Kootenay Lake Society (CFNKLS), several donations, and the first online auction in 2021. Since then, an additional $308,000 has been raised to go directly towards planning and constructing a new library.   

Currently the Planning team is working with Carscadden Stokes McDonald Architects to update the design, incorporate energy efficiencies and carbon neutral materials, and acquire more accurate class B costing to prepare for a federal grant application.  Stay tuned!  Updated plans will be presented in an open house this summer. Visit the Kaslo library website for details.

In her comments on the auction, Kaslo Mayor Suzan Hewat said “Congratulations on exceeding your fundraising goal”.  Comments from bidders included “What a wonderful selection of unique items in your fundraising auction,” “Go Kaslo library!”, “I celebrate the new library plans & the board as well as all the community members whose participation will bring it about,” “Happy to support this very exciting project! “, “Good luck with your fund raising!  I love Libraries!”.