Downtown Eastside residents share experiences in art event this weekend

May 9 2022, 5:38 pm

A unique art and entrepreneurial event bridging connections for Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside Community returns this weekend for its first in-person event in two years.

Employ to Empower’s fourth annual Cardboard Project, taking place on May 14 at the Creekside Community Recreation Centre. The event features live performances, talks from three key female entrepreneurs, and an artistic showcase of over 100 written experiences by DTES residents.

Attendees of Cardboard Project 4.0 are encouraged to step aside from internal biases and let the individual in front of them choose the topic of conversation.

The messages on the cardboard pieces highlight members’ answers to this year’s question: “What is something you wish more people understood about you? ”

Cardboard Project

Priya Brar, Employ To Empower/Submitted

“We recognize the importance of storytelling and to shift the stigma by having active voices from individuals with lived experiences,” said Christina Wong, Executive Director of Employ To Empower in a release. “What feeds into these stigmas is that the questions we ask are based on stigmas as well, so how can we meet people where they are at and where they can be validated? That human experience is meeting them at where and how they see themselves.”

Cardboard Project

Priya Brar, Employ To Empower/Submitted

The Cardboard Project 4.0 features presentations by three Employ to Empower entrepreneurs, including Barbara Gastelum, Expressive Arts Therapist, Yvonne Mark, owner of Salmon Soup for the Soul, and Julie Melanie Ruiz-Tagle, owner of Enviro-bag Evolutions.

The event will be recorded and made available on YouTube at a later date. There is also a virtual archive that shares stories about each cardboard piece collected over the first three years.

Cardboard Project

Priya Brar, Employ To Empower/Submitted

Employ to Empower is making Cardboard Project 4.0 accessible to all by offering tickets by donation, with a suggested minimum of $10. All proceeds will go towards the registered charity’s programs that provide local low-income entrepreneurs with the mentorship and support they need to succeed.

Cardboard Project 4.0

When: May 14, 2021
10 am to 2 pm
Where: Creekside Community Recreation Centre – 1 Athletes Way Vancouver
Cost: Suggested minimum donation of $10, purchase online

Employ to Empower expresses their sincere gratitude to sponsors who have made this event possible: BC Housing, SFU External Relations, City of Vancouver Homelessness Action Week Grant, Vancity, Union Gospel Mission, Daily Hive, Mission Possible, and Carnegie Community Centre.

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This content was created by Daily Hive's Community Partnerships team.
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