Edmonton Earth Day Celebrations

   Apr 20

Article in St. Albert Gazette

Thanks Kevin Ma for posting the following article in The St. Albert Gazette…

“Local to bring ‘trashy’ dresses to Earth Day
Garbaganza collection featured at annual eco-event

By: Kevin Ma

| Posted: Saturday, Apr 19, 2014 06:00 am

If you ever wanted to see a ball-gown made of squeaky toys, you’ll get your chance later this month at Edmonton’s Earth Day celebration.

April 22 is International Earth Day – a celebration meant to raise awareness of environmental issues.

Edmonton’s Earth Day event will be this April 27 at the Earth’s General Store, said Michael Kalmanovitch, store-owner and spokesperson for the Edmonton Earth Day committee. The committee had originally planned to hold a larger event along the length of 118th Ave., but weren’t able to arrange it with the city in time.

Earth Day is the one day out of the year where we are supposed to pay attention to the planet that supports us all, Kalmanovitch said.

“We do not exist without the Earth and it being in good health,” he said. “We need to start paying attention to this host we’re living on and start taking better care of our environment.”

This year’s free event – Edmonton’s 24th – will feature musical performances, tai-chi demonstrations, educational booths from local eco-groups, and seminars on composting, green eating and urban beekeeping, Kalmanovitch said.

Also featured will be a fashion parade by the up-cycling group Garbaganza.

Garbaganza is a loose affiliation of about 12 artists in the Edmonton region that turns trash into fashion, said Christy B., the group’s founder and St. Albert resident. “It creates a way for us to find humour in our waste.”

Christy said she started making these dresses from discarded or recyclable materials as a hobby about 20 years ago. She gets her materials from her own trash, donations, and the Edmonton Re-Use Centre. She and her fellow artists now have about 30 finished outfits, a selection of which will be at Earth Day.

The dresses include such absurdities as a stately gown made from blue garbage bags, a dress made from crocheted VHS tapes (which were still in use when the dress was made, Christy notes), and a “doggone ball-gown” – a rainbow-hued curiosity made from scores of squeaky dog-toy balls.

“It’s my response to the frustration I get when I see so much waste,” she said, especially packaging waste. It’s been decades since anyone’s used a VCR tape, for example but those tapes – and the dress made from them – are still around, un-decayed, years later.

Christy hopes the dresses will get people to rethink their purchasing habits to produce less trash. “I want them to laugh at their waste.”

Edmonton’s Earth Day runs from 12 to 4 p.m. at Earth’s General Store, 9605-82 Ave. Visitors are advised to walk, bike or bus to the event, as on-site parking is extremely limited.

Visit edmontonearthday.ca for details.” – Kevin Ma, St.Albert Gazette.

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