As a fundraising professional for the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT), Daniel Knox puts on some of the most important fundraising events on the Toronto nightlife scene. We caught up with Knox, the Director of Development for ACT, after yet another highly successful edition of SNAP!…
Tell us a bit about yourself. What should people know?
I grew up in the country… but I love the city – the pace, the culture, the food, and of course the people. I am passionate about the non-profit sector because it’s ultimately about helping people, whether it involves providing basic needs and much-needed social services to protecting our environment or supporting arts and culture. All of these things are necessary to help our society thrive and make a livable city. Working as a fundraising professional for the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT) has been incredibly rewarding. ACT’s impact in the community is huge: last year we had over 16,000 service user visits to our agency for support, information, employment training, and social interaction activities. We reach many thousands more through our outreach and HIV prevention activities that take place in the community. I am proud to help support the ongoing delivery of these much needed programs through important fundraising events like SNAP!
You’re the Director of Development for ACT. What makes SNAP! (which took place on March 6th) such a not-to-be-missed event?
As the photographic art scene has grown in Toronto over the past dozen years, SNAP! has grown alongside it. It has become an important event on the Toronto photography scene, with a serious, curated live auction collection featuring beautiful works by artists from Canada and abroad. There’s also a silent auction, with the images chosen from SNAP!’s annual photography competition. Our judges select an exciting collection of images submitted by amateurs and professionals alike; it’s a great opportunity to land a great deal on a piece from a rising star while supporting an important charity. The evening is also a great big party – you’d be hard pressed to find another art auction that is this much fun!
Who were some of the emerging photographers in this year’s SNAP!?
Thanks to the hard work of our curatorial team, we had a great selection of both established and emerging photographers participating in SNAP! 2014. A few pieces I was drawn to included:
1. A beautiful “manipulated” landscape by Ontario-based artist Becky Comber (Lot 25). Becky is an emerging artist who has recently been showing her work internationally. This series is photo-based, using a process where she takes several photographs, cuts them out and alters them, then re-photographs the piece.
2. Caleb Cole’s work “YMCA” (Lot 33); I really like the treatment on this piece, taking a vintage photograph and editing it to highlight just one person in a crowd. The photo reminds me of the kind you would see looking through your grandparents’ photo album, which brings back nice memories. Caleb is based in Boston and was featured in Boston Magazine (HOME) as an emerging photographer who is “shaking up New England’s visual arts scene.”
3. “The Looking-glass Self” by Toronto artist Renée Munn (Lot 34). Renée graduated from Ryerson in 2011 and was quickly noticed on the photography scene. Her piece “Ophelia” was part of the SNAP! 2013 silent auction and was the winner of the Jim P. Shea Memorial Award for best overall submission in our 2013 photo competition. This year, her work was in the SNAP! 2014 Live Auction, and is part of her series featuring large-scale collages of gelatin-silver prints finished in beeswax.
Toronto is a very special city when it comes to getting people out for a good cause. What is that you love most about Toronto?
Although we may have a reputation as a business-focused city (that fun forgot), when Torontonians let their hair down everyone has a great time. SNAP! is one of those fun events where supporters of all ages come to appreciate art, support a great cause, and to party on a Thursday night. We are lucky at ACT to have a history of successful large-scale events, and I hope our dose of fabulous keeps the crowds interested!
What are three things you can’t live without?
1. The beautiful photographs I’ve purchased at SNAP! over the past three years – each one is very different and inspiring.
2. My ever-growing collection of books, mostly non-fiction – sometimes it’s hard to find the time to read quietly, so I consider it a luxury when I can eke out some time.
3. My friends, because they are like my family here in Toronto (and they put up with my terrible jokes).