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From scraps to art: SUPPLY Victoria boosts affordable creativity by tapping into the landfill’s artistic potential

Now the non-profit is asking the public to help support its move to a brand new home in Victoria

Eva Rasciauskas
January 16, 2024
Sponsored
Created For
Produced for an organization or individual that has paid for and approved the content for publication.

From scraps to art: SUPPLY Victoria boosts affordable creativity by tapping into the landfill’s artistic potential

Now the non-profit is asking the public to help support its move to a brand new home in Victoria

Eva Rasciauskas
Jan 16, 2024
Photo: SUPPLY Victoria
Photo: SUPPLY Victoria
Sponsored
Created For
Produced for an organization or individual that has paid for and approved the content for publication.

From scraps to art: SUPPLY Victoria boosts affordable creativity by tapping into the landfill’s artistic potential

Now the non-profit is asking the public to help support its move to a brand new home in Victoria

Eva Rasciauskas
January 16, 2024
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From scraps to art: SUPPLY Victoria boosts affordable creativity by tapping into the landfill’s artistic potential

This article was created for Victoria Foundation, and produced independently by Capital Daily. It was approved by Victoria Foundation before it was published.

SUPPLY Victoria is changing the expensive world of creative supplies one scrap at a time.

With a mission to divert materials from landfills and put them into the hands of artists, students and teachers alike, SUPPLY Victoria is working hard to build a more sustainable, creative and affordable Victoria, while also fostering an inclusive arts community. 

“It's a physical space with materials that have so much creative potential,” explains Ashley Howe, the organization’s founder and executive director. 

But Howe says that in order to keep these opportunities going for creative people of all kinds, the non-profit is looking for support in its upcoming move to a brand new, more spacious location.

Battling the barriers to artistry

Most artists, both novice and experienced, know that creativity can be costly. Activities such as painting, drawing or textile art are often met with high material costs, which can create barriers to those wanting to pursue these hobbies. Not to mention the waste—with every work of art there are leftover paints and materials that didn’t quite make the cut, piling up in landfills when much of it could still be used. 

Howe is passionate about diverting materials from the landfill, having worked at several reuse-focused nonprofits in the past. As a graduate of the Emily Carr University of Art in Vancouver, she’s also well aware of the struggle for many creatives to find affordable art supplies. 

Howe said, “there’s this beautiful kind of ‘feeding two birds with one seed’ feeling where instead of these materials going mostly into the landfill or recycled improperly, we can put them into the hands of people who really need them.” 

In 2018, Howe launched SUPPLY Victoria by hosting local workshops on how to upcycle waste into art—a fun and accessible hands-on activity that encourages creative expression. Operating out of a tiny shed with no electricity or running water, the organization has since moved into an art building on 750 Fairfield Rd. in downtown Victoria. 

Moving to a larger, more accessible space

With the business growing rapidly each year, SUPPLY Victoria is moving into an even bigger space this coming February and is hoping to raise enough funds to make that happen. 

“It’s become necessary for us to move and we’ve already signed a lease. Everything happened so quickly,” said Howe. 

SUPPLY Victoria currently has a GoFundMe campaign where anyone can donate—and no donation is too small—to help with moving and renovation costs. Howe is aiming to raise $14,000 to create an even more spacious, accessible and beautiful space that will continue to draw curious artists and creative minds towards unique and affordable art supplies.

“We want to make a creative reuse centre that everybody deserves. It will be a really vibrant and inclusive, welcoming space that encourages and inspires creativity,” said Howe, adding that the space will also be far more accessible.

“We’ll have an accessible entrance and loading zone for our material donors, both of which we didn’t have before,” she said.  

Howe reflected on consumer culture, and said Islanders have already purchased more items than they really need.

“If we can only move towards a circular economy where [these] materials are kept in use for longer—where we don’t need to dispose of things and spend unnecessary energy recycling things—that’s the philosophy we’re trying to encourage.”  

SUPPLY Victoria is accepting donations on its GoFundMe page until Feb. 1, 2024. The centre is temporarily closed until late February. Anyone looking to donate supplies is asked to hold on to them until the new space is open.

Visit SUPPLY Victoria’s website to stay up-to-date on the latest workshops and events.

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