Art at Work in New Westminster

Until July 2018, artist Molly Marineau will be creating art aimed at raising awareness about recycling and re-use. To get inspired, she’s hanging out among the utility and waste trucks and crews of New Westminster’s Works Yard.

“My inspiration for doing this kind of art is found materials,” she explains while examining a macaroni box she has pulled from the paper bin at the City’s Recycling Depot.  “It tells a story about people’s day, where it came from, where it is going.”

New Westminster Arts Coordinator Biliana Velkova is excited about the new waste-themed artist-in-residency program, developed together with Engineering Operations. Later in 2018 a second artist will focus on textiles, which comprise about 5% of  total waste.

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Councillor Mary Trentadue points out, “By interweaving public art and creativity into something that isn’t always considered that exciting, maybe we can get people thinking about it more.  If you can attach something kind of unusual or unique to something that is a bit mundane, perhaps people will be able to pay more attention to the fact that recycling is a real important issue.”

In February Molly hadn’t yet developed her art piece but expects it to be interactive.  “So the public can go in and manipulate and interact with the art” she explains.

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Considering common waste materials as resources comes easily for Molly. For example she sees plastic bags as source material for knitting, balloons, or building blocks.

Recycling supervisor Kristian Davis is eager to see what will emerge and pleased to  support it through his department. “We need to look at all opportunities to reach out to the public and engage people whether it is structured like a recycling calendar or the softer approach that we are taking with this project”.

Visit the Metro Vancouver Video Gallery for more videos on regional topics.


Surrey Nature Centre Gives Teachers an Outdoor Perspective

At the Surrey Nature Centre the City of Surrey is giving K-12 outdoor education a boost with workshop training programs geared towards equipping new teachers. These professional development workshops aim to equip teachers with the confidence and knowledge skills to lead lessons beyond the classroom walls. “In many ways the classroom is the community, the classroom is right outside the door – it might be a 100 meter field trip,” says Patrick Robertson, City of Surrey Workshop Facilitator.

Surrey Teachers Map

“In many ways the classroom is the community, the classroom is right outside the door – it might be a 100 meter field trip,” says Patrick Robertson, City of Surrey Workshop Facilitator.

The goal of the workshops is to encourage teachers to take advantage of the creative lesson planning space created by British Columbia’s New Curriculum. “We’re really training the trainers… that’s really building up the teachers’ confidence and knowledge skill to go back and take their kids out into the school yard or out into a park nearby,” says Leah Zia, Parks Operations Coordinator, Surrey Nature Centre.

Surrey Teachers Classroom

The New Curriculum promotes place-based learning in the students’ own backyard. There, engagement in unique history, environment, culture, economy, literature and art seeks to create connection and assign value to the place. Surrey Nature Centre’s workshops look to specifically engage students in environmental learning. The hope is that students will form a connection to their natural environment at a young age, find value and care in preserving the natural resource.

Surrey Teachers Listening to Nature

A longtime pioneer and leader in outdoor education, the City of Surrey’s Surrey Nature Centre has worked in collaboration with Metro Vancouver’s School Programs team, WildBC and the Environmental Educator’s of BC (EEPSA) in delivering workshops to teachers from throughout the region.

Surrey Teachers Sensory

For more information visit Metro Vancouver School Programs page.