Thursday, Oct 12, 2017 




Winery auction for BC forest fire victims Oct 14 - Nov 12
By Decoa Harder, Ex Nihilo Vineyards/Website image


Fong's "Horses".


n Saturday, October 14th, 2017 Ex Nihilo Vineyards Okanagan will unveil an Alex Fong original piece commissioned to raise money for the BC Fires Fund of the Canadian Red Cross.


The night of July 15, 2017 became horrific for many residents of Lake Country’s Okanagan Centre. As the events team at Ex Nihilo were doing the final touches for a much anticipated Barney Bentall summer concert, sirens began to fill the air. Soon they started to see smoke coming from the south, and more sirens.


After checking news reports and live social media feed, proprietor’s Jeff and Decoa Harder debated whether or not they should continue with the planned and pre-sold event. The tables were set, the chef was prepped, Barney Bentall had completed sound check, and the events team was ready to greet the guests arriving in the next few minutes. Jeff and Decoa drove down Camp Road to where the police were stationed, to check the status and confirm safety. Ex Nihilo was not on evacuation order and the winds were going in a favorable direction. By the time the Harders returned to the winery, the first guests arrived and the decision that ‘the show will go on’ was made.

It was an evening to remember; feelings of apprehension mixed with celebration, sadness mixed with joy, loss intertwined with hope, destruction surrounded by beauty. There was a beautiful vineyard setting with fantastic music, wine, food, friends… and none stop water bombers, retardant planes, smoke, and black plumes which indicated the tragic loss of a home. Ex Nihilo felt compelled to help BC fire victims and to help build the BC Fires Fund to be ready for future events.

We send our prayers to our family, friends and colleagues who are currently battling forest fires of their own in Napa Valley and Sonoma. Jeff's brother James Harder, along with friends and neighbours, fought late Sunday night and all day Monday. Pure resilience led to success and their home and James Cole Winery have been saved. However, many of their neighbours have had substantial losses and a wine region we cherish is still under fire.

Art has always been prominent at Ex Nihilo, the winery was named after a sculpture and is now home to a gallery featuring local artists. The Harders have long been admirers of Alex Fong’s work, and felt that his style of art would best portray the yin and yang beauty and surreal feeling of the evening. The painting will be unveiled at Ex Nihilo’s Harvest Dinner on Saturday, October 14, 2017.

Sealed bids can be received in person at the winery from October 15 – November 12, 2017. Alternatively, to place a bid please contact Decoa Harder at 250 766 5522 or via e-mail here


Following the sealed bid auction, a limited number of prints will be available with proceeds going to the BC Fires Fund of the Canadian Red Cross.



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