An exhibit that features a collection of written experiences by Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside residents is set to be unveiled on the first weekend of December.
Known as the Cardboard Project, The exhibit is the brainchild of Employ to Empower and is asks those from the DTES to share something in their past that’s changed who they are today.
“We often see people in the Downtown Eastside sitting on the sidewalk holding a cardboard with a plea on it,” said exhibit co-founder Christina Wong. “Although this showed me what the person’s needs were, I realized it wasn’t reflective of what the person’s story was.”
To find out, Wong decided to ask questions that “helped me learn about who a person was, rather than their needs only.”
The cardboard responses boiled down to three main themes: Human Connection, Addiction and Recovery. To make the event even more special, The Cardboard Project also includes a speaker segment featuring speakers who go into depth about fighting those themes.
Wong said she and her team cut out over 100 pieces of cardboard and began asking people to share something in their past that’s changed who they are today.
“Some responses are uplifting and/or heartbreaking,” she said. “Most importantly, these responses challenge us to see the Downtown Eastside community through a different lens.”
Wong said that as a lover of tile art and the cardboard responses, she decided to use the cardboard pieces to form the shape of three eyes.
“We’re excited to collaborate with Marcel Mousseau, an artist from the Downtown Eastside who will be designing this piece,” she said. “This will be featured on 10ft tall bamboo sticks.”
The speakers include:
Rosan Auyeung-Chen: Mental Health Therapist at The Vancouver General Hospital
Tim Ames: Executive Director of Plan Institute & PLAN
Marcel Mousseau: Artist and Entrepreneur of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside
To top it all off, a fun photobooth is included for you to share your cardboard story hashtagging #MyCardboard to start a powerful movement beyond the exhibition.
The event is made possible through the support of a number of sponsors: Telus; Co-llective Marketing, Vancouver’s first go-to marketing agency with over 65+ partners; Daily Hive; Hastings Crossing Business Improvement Association, an organization that takes a leadership role in managing a more sustainable local economy; Plan Institute, a non-profit that supports families with disability in Canada; 312 Main Street, a social innovation based co-working space for thought leaders; 604 Now; Frontrvnners, a streetwear brand that believes in staying loyal to your craft; and two talented local videographers, Mark Stan W and Cilemma.
Wong said the ultimate goal of this event is to challenge people to see the Downtown Eastside community through a different lens.
Those interested can apply for early bird tickets online. While the event is free, a donation of $5 is suggested and all of the proceeds go towards connecting low-income individuals to meaningful work. The event is subject to capacity, and as such, a ticket is the only way to guarantee entrance. Those who can’t make it but still want to donate, can do so online.
In addition, keep your eyes peeled for The Street Store Vancouver 5.0 in December 2018.
To make it bigger and better, this year Telus will bring health services to the store an additional service to DTES residents.
When: December 1, 2018
Time: 1 pm to 6 pm
Where: 312 Main Street
Admission: Free, but a $5 donation is suggested; tickets available online
Daily Hive is a proud media sponsor of The Cardboard Project.