Sunday, April 21, 2024

Victoria non-profit who divert art supplies from the landfill opening new storefront next week


SUPPLY Victoria is a non-profit organization that works to divert materials from the landfill and put them into the hands of people who need them, such as artists, students, teachers and other worthy non-profits. 

Specifically, they redistribute used art supplies and provide reuse education to both youth and adults.

SUPPLY Victoria has been operating out of their artist hub at Rockslide Gallery on Fairfield Road, but now they have a brand new home to better serve the artists of Victoria. 

Next week, they will be celebrating their grand re-opening in their new storefront space, located at 707 Douglas Street, on Saturday, February 24th from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. 

At this event they will be giving away free, eco-friendly crafts and local art. 

There will also be by-donation workshops in surface design using natural dyes DIY screen printing, where attendees will get to screen print a design on a free, upcycled tote bag. 

The organization says that the City of Victoria helped them find this new space and is allowing them a month-to-month lease agreement. 

Coupled with that, they were able to raise over $12,000 to help them provide better service to those who need them. 

“Thanks to everyone who donated to our GoFundMe, we are able to keep our doors open as an affordable creative resource and community hub,” says Ashley Howe, Executive Director of SUPPLY. 

“We really needed our own space, a loading zone for our material donors, an accessible entrance, and better parking options and our new space at 707 Douglas Street checks all the boxes,” she exclaimed. 

In 2023 alone, SUPPLY Victoria helped to divert almost 4,000 pounds of materials from landfills and distributed them to 2,500 artists, students and teachers. 

“I can’t believe just how much we’ve grown. We started in a tiny shed with no electricity,” said Howe. “It’s really exciting to see how the community has responded to this idea and that we get to continue to support low-income makers, families, and under-resourced teachers.”

The organization leans on over 40 volunteers who have collectively contributed over 320 hours of labour to make the reopening happen. 

The new space also features two murals by local artists, Caitlin McDonagh and Sarah Jim.

Now, Howe says that they are excited to get materials into the hands of artists like Jim and McDonagh. 

“We have more than enough stuff here in Victoria,” she said. “We just need a physical place for all those things to go so they can get a chance at getting reused.”

“The value that SUPPLY provides is accepting those donations, organizing them, and making them available to our community’s artists, students, and teachers at a low-cost.” 

Curtis Blandy

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