Comox Valley Kus-kus-sum project set for Paintings, By The Numbers event

Painter Ken Kirkby stands with photographer Bryan Walwork - Photo by Caila HolbrookPainter Ken Kirkby stands with photographer Bryan Walwork - Photo by Caila Holbrook
Lightning Tree (Ken Kirby painting) – Photo by Bryan WalworkLightning Tree (Ken Kirby painting) – Photo by Bryan Walwork

Comox Valley Project Watershed Society is a year into the restoration of Kus-kus-sum.

Over the past 12 months project workers have removed the concrete, asphalt, rebar, and underground pipes from the site. Another milestone was met just this March as a small portion of the site near the 17th Street Bridge was planted with native species.

“While we have raised over 64 per cent of the funds for the restoration process, we still have a way to go,” said Caitlin Pierzchalski, Project Watershed’s executive director. “Ken Kirkby and Nana Cook are contributing to our efforts in a big way by donating 50 original paintings, valued at more than, $100,000 for the Paintings, By The Numbers event.”

The event is being sponsored by Odlum Brown Limited and hosted by 40 Knots at their Vineyard on Anderton Road on May 14, 2-5 p.m. The funds raised through ticket sales will go towards the Kus-kus-sum project. Tickets to be a participant of the event are $500, spectator tickets to watch the event unfold and enjoy a glass of wine are $15.

The artists themselves are planning to attend the event and musician Luke Blu Guthrie will be playing guitar. “Ken is quite a character, it always entertaining to hear him speak,” said Caila Holbrook, Project Watershed’s manager of fundraising and outreach.

A $500 ticket guarantees the holder an original Kirkby or Cook artwork.

Each artwork is valued between $1,000 to $4,000. As Kirkby himself says, “It is not a deal, it’s a steal.” Participants will get to choose their painting in the order they are drawn from the paintings that are available. Participants will receive a booklet and list of the paintings prior to the event so that they can pre-select their favorites. Participants will have only a few minutes to choose their painting once their name is drawn.

“This event is filled with emotion, as people vie for their favorite images at a fraction of their market value. Participants are allowed to make alliances, and trades to get what they want,” said Holbrook. “After all is said and done, it will be a fun afternoon for a worthy cause.”

Project Watershed is hoping to raise over $25,000 at this event as it is the main fundraising event for Kus-kus-sum in 2022.

To get more information and tickets visit

ALSO: Kus-kus-sum project in Courtenay gets a little greener

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