Songbirds Are Singing in a Birdhouse Fundraiser

A non-profit group, Yukon Women in Music, is going to the birds – literally!

YWIM has taken to the skies with a fun, whimsically decorated birdhouse auction for its next fundraising event, showing that these songbirds can really sing.

The innovative fundraising idea sprung from board member Kathy Craig’s childhood where she grew up on the rocky shores of the East Coast. “My sister was part of a non-profit that built birdhouses, plain-Jane, and then sold them to local businesses.

“The businesses then decorated them and donated them back to the non-profit, which hosted a gala event to auction off the works of art.” Craig recalls, fondly, being in the band and performing during the auction.

The birdhouse auction was a huge success and fostered friendly competition between the community businesses. Craig was inspired and suggested the event to Erica Heyligers, president of YWIM.

“We have never attempted something like this, before. Usually, we put on house performances or garden parties,” says Heyligers. “We’re into trying new things, and we hope this really takes off.”

Fresh off its most recent success, its third compilation CD of Yukon female musicians, YWIM is doing its utmost to support local female talent.

“We’ve been very busy with the CD launch, touring with the artists and supporting them. It’s been very positive and we’re hoping, with our newest fundraising, [that] people take notice,” says Heyligers.

Kathy Craig even took the birdhouse event to her workplace, Northerm Windows, to kick-start the event. The birdhouses, all 12, were hand-built by Erica Heyligers and YWIM members, and then sold for $20 to local businesses that took on the task of decorating them.

“It was a great team event,” says Craig of her birdhouse decoration with Northerm. “Everyone got involved and it brought us together as partners in creation.”

The Northerm birdhouse was built early to provide a model for the event, as well as to possibly add some impetus for other businesses to step up to the decorative and artistic challenge.

And the Northerm birdhouse has definitely set some standards as it is a gorgeous creation of etched mirror, exotic mosaic and expert skill.

Established in 1998, to support Yukon female musicians, YWIM has continued to grow and provide performance venues and support. Many YWIM members will be performing at the birdhouse auction, and the event is guaranteed to be a unique and fun experience.

The birdhouse auction is on Nov. 20, at 6 p.m., at Arts Underground. The public is more than welcome. There will be appetizers and plenty of local music.

The doors open at 5 p.m. with Selina Heyligers-Hare, on piano, providing background music until 6 p.m. Then, performers Kim Rogers and Caroline Watt will take over. There will be an auction of six birdhouses, then more music by Jill Murdoch, with Erica Heyligers providing a brief accompaniment. The performances finish with Kathy Craig and Kate Weekes. Auctioning the six remaining birdhouses will close out the show.

The event will co-incide with a Yukon Arts Society party and show opening.

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