Metropolis at Metrotown has done it again, they have yet another great feature in their Grand Court worth visiting. From August 8 – September 8, 2019 mall goers can marvel at the “Waste to Wonder” exhibit. The “largest flip flop and animal art exhibit in the world”, a one of a kind installation handcrafted by “Ocean Sole Africa”.

“Ocean Sole” is a not of profit focusing on environmental protection. “Not only are they creating employment for a country that has an unemployment rate of 40%, but they are also sending a message about how we can help our planet, our oceans and people; through creating beautiful art.”

They are making a difference by bringing awareness to both the amount of waste in our oceans and the need to protect endangered animals. Volunteers out of Kenya walk rivers, lakes, and oceans in search of loss and discarded flip flops that they can turn into works of art. So stunning are these installations that they are available for purchasing through an auction. The proceeds of which will go to the “Variety Children’s Charity”, helping kids in BC with special needs.

 The narwhal.

 The orca.

 The bison.

 The grizzly.

 And the caribou.

All five animals together are made from over 6,500 flip flops, requiring 2,500+ hours of work, by more than two dozen artists. Their gathering here is “Ocean Sole’s” largest exhibit to date.

There is also a beaver, an additional animal that has been commissioned. He has already been spotted “wandering around” downtown, but is now settling in Metrotown’s grand court for the month. This one you are able to get close to and take a photo with.

And as usual, Metrotown has created a fun way for visitors to win a $1,000 shopping spree. At either of the available kiosks, you can guess how many flip flops went into making the orca for a chance to win. Additionally you can win a prize package or a $500 Metropolis giftcard by visiting the “Waste to Wonder” exhibit, snapping a photo and sharing on line with the tags “METWastetoWonder and @metropolisatmet.

There are also a variety of different events to take part in during the duration of the showcase. The link with all the details will be provided below. For now, here are the dates and their brief descriptions.

August 8th: 1-3pm.
You can meet one of the “Ocean Sole” artists who will show you how he does! There are only 100 spots available for this and resignation is required. Each participant gets a souvenir and a keep sake photo.

August 14th and 18th: 2pm, 3pm, 4pm.
The upcycle bracelet workshop teaches kids of all ages how to make their own beaded braclet, crafted from the same materials as the animals today: discarded flip flops.

August 15th, 22nd, 29th: 12-4pm
Metropolis is having a plastic drive. Drop off any clean, one time use plastic container, straws, and/or plastic bag to help get them out of landfills. The first 800 customers who donates a full grocery bag of plastics each day will receive an reusable gift.

August 21st: 3 and 4pm.
Kiehl’s upcycle workshop. Bring your old Kiehl make up containers, and learn how to make them into green planters. This too has limited availability and requires registering.

I attended the media launch which included live music, various beverages, small bites, and a live demonstration from “Ocean Sole”. Our visit also included a closer than normal look and the rubber animals. When the exhibit opens tomorrow, they will be sectioned off to ensure they are kept safe and in good condition, for those who purchase them for a good cause.

The following are the small bites courtesy of “Forage” we was catering.

Beets with blue cheese.

Blue lemonade and Fruit punch. Non alcoholic.

Mac and cheese croquettes with house made ketchup.

Birch with maple syrup jelly over an heirloom tomato salad.

Chicken satay over rocks.

“MET Waste to Wonder” is open during mall hours daily August 8th to September 8th, 2019 and is a free experience for everyone to enjoy. Even more reason to visit the mall, outside of its air conditioning. Come by for a photo op, to learn something about each endangered animal, to take part in a unique workshop, and for the ability to win a shopping spree!

Metropolis at Metrotown, Grand Court
4700 Kingsway, Burnaby
(Lower Level, near T&T Supermarket and Toys R Us)