Creatures of the Gyre! Night\Shift Festival Updates

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We are working on a water- and environment-themed art installation for the second annual Night\Shift, downtown Kitchener’s one-night-only festival of art, culture, community building, and nocturnal adventure. It is being organized by the Alternatives Journal and will be taking place on Saturday, November 1st throughout the downtown core of the city. You can read more about the festival here.

Our exhibit is titled ‘Creatures of the Gyre’ and will be constructed from approximately 10 000 one-time-use plastic water bottles that have been collected from recycling bins across the UW campus over the last three months. We will be building large-scale aquatic animal structures, including a jelly fish, a sea turtle, an octopus, and a sting ray! They will be illuminated from within to add to the spectacle!

It is our plan that this exhibit will encourage environmentally friendly habits. Awareness to a problem is the first step in sparking change. We hope that the enormity of our exhibit will shine a light on the problems caused by the bottled water industry. You can visit our webpage for more details and future updates.

Bottle collection took place over the summer months and was primarily focused on the University of Waterloo campus. Eric Rumble, Night\Shift festival organizer, was very kind to collect bottles at a variety of Kitchener festivals this summer. Thank you, Eric! At UW,  huge thank you mush go out to UW Plant Operations for providing the bins and helping me transport them to their destinations. Our water bottle collection team was brilliant, helping haul bags of recycling across campus is not the most glamorous job in the world, and these guys gladly lent a hand, week after week. Thank you so, so much Brad, Kevin, Tim, and Nathan! I must also extend a thank you to Paul and Bob in the Rudolph Lab for giving me the space to store bottles. Lastly on the bottle collection front, I must thank UW Engineering Orientation for allowing me to seem like a crazy recycling collector, with hugely helpful coordination efforts from Cassandra and Jill – you guys are awesome!

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Here is where we need more help. But this is the best part! Mark your calendars:
  • Water bottle washing extravaganza! Saturday, September 27th at 157 King St. W. from 10 am to 5 pm – come by, drop off any bottles you have collected, and have some fun!
  • Construction begins in October! Stay tuned for details and help our water bottles creatures come to life!

We are even getting some attention from a local campus newspaper, Laurier’s Community Cord. Check it out here. Please consider getting involved, bring your friends along, and share us on social media (#niteshift14). Your participation will make this installation happen! This will be a unique opportunity to reach a public audience and have a ton of fun in the process! Email me at cailin.hillier@gmail.com if you would like to get updates about the project and want to get involved!

For more information on much larger projects with similar messaging, check out the following links:

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