During the summer of 2023, we offered some special programming for seniors/elders and youth, aimed at bringing more awareness to the issue of global waste. Thanks to funding from the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors program, we spearheaded an initiative called “Changing Trash to Treasure”.

The project included two activities: first, our artists worked with senior members of the public to create two large (8’ x 4’ each) mosaic panels using colourful recycled plastics such as bottle caps and produce net bags. The completed panels were installed on the exterior of the Raven ReCentre building in Whitehorse and on the outside of the YAAW gallery.
The second activity involved the creation of approximately 20 fashion pieces made from materials destined for landfill facilities. The outfits were modelled by seniors/elders and young people at an outdoor fashion show at Shipyards Park in Whitehorse. You can see a video of the show below.

Some of the outfits were on public display throughout August at FREE SPACE in the Northern Front Studio in Whitehorse.

These activities gave seniors and youth a chance to be involved in fun, inclusive events that highlighted issues of waste, recycling, and a circular economy. We wanted to show new possibilities for using waste, and ultimately change how we view recycling and so-called ‘garbage’.

The New Horizons for Seniors Program is a federal grants and contributions program whose goal is to support projects that help improve the well-being of seniors and foster social inclusion and engagement in their communities.

Here are a few images from the mosaics workshops and the completed panel that we installed at Raven ReCentre.

And here is a video of our trashion show.