Get ready for some pandamonium.
A total of 888 hand-crafted papier-mâché giant pandas will be displayed at Metropolis at Metrotown shopping mall this summer as part of a campaign to raise awareness of wildlife conservation, pandas, and sustainability.
Donated proceeds from the free exhibition will go towards World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Canada to help fund its wildlife conservation research and education programs.
The exhibit has been dubbed the 1600+ Pandas+ World Tour by its organizers, consulting curator AllRightsReserved Ltd. and WWF.
The public art display was created by French artist Paulo Grangeon, and although it has been showcased around the world in over 100 exhibits, the upcoming exhibition in Metro Vancouver will be its first appearance in North America.
This exhibition was first launched in 2008 by the WWF, with Grangeon handcrafting 1,600 pandas to represent the number of living pandas left in the wild in China at the time. Since then, there has been a 17% increase in the population of pandas to over 1,800 in the past decade, thanks to breeding programs in worldwide zoos and new wildlife conservation measures in China.
All elements of the art display are made from recycled materials.
The exhibition at Metropolis at Metrotown’s Grand Court kicks off at 10 am on July 10 and runs until August 8. In addition to the massive art display, there will be a variety of activities like a selfie station and a ‘panda adoption’.
Those who would like to adopt a papier-mâché panda can pre-register at the exhibit by donating to WWF Canada. After the conclusion of the exhibit, they will be able to pick up their panda art piece for their own keeping.
And to build up anticipation towards the exhibition, over the week starting on July 2, there will be ‘Panda Flash Mobs’ taking place across Vancouver. Organizers have already indicated there will be a flash mob in front of the Olympic Cauldron at Jack Poole Plaza on July 5, but they have not indicated the time.
But if you want to see real giant pandas, this can be achieved with just a short one hour flight to Calgary. The same pandas that were at the Toronto Zoo over the last five years are now residing at a new $30-million enclosure at the Calgary Zoo. The two adult pandas, Er Shun and Da Mao, successfully bred two cubs, Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue, and all four pandas are part of the zoo exhibit until 2023.
Those who attend the 1600+ Pandas World Tour exhibition at Metrotown can also enter into a contest to win a trip for four to see the Calgary Zoo’s pandas.
Where: Grand Court of Metropolis at Metrotown – 4700 Kingsway, Burnaby
When: Tuesday, July 10 to Wednesday, August 8, 2018
Cost: Free! (donations welcome)