An Upcycling Design Challenge entry from last year saw old newspapers transformed into a gown.

An Upcycling Design Challenge entry from last year saw old newspapers transformed into a gown.

From the garbage to the gallery

Township of Langley and LAC's upcycling challenge asks residents to turn waste into works of art

One person’s trash is another’s treasure.

This spring, that philosophy will be taken to a whole new level when the Township of Langley and the Langley Arts Council hold the third annual Upcycling Design Challenge.

The popular competition encourages residents to take old, unwanted items and transform them into something unique, functional, artistic, and attractive.

“There is so much enthusiasm surrounding this event,” said Krista Daniszewski, solid waste co-ordinator for the Township of Langley.

“Participants are always eager to rise to the challenge, and the public is excited to see how waste items and things that were going to be thrown out can be repurposed into such unexpected creations.

“Langley is full of creative people and this is an opportunity for them to showcase their skill while doing something great for the environment.”

To enter the challenge, aspiring eco-artists must make a piece using at least 75 per cent found or recovered material.

The contest is open to Langley Township and City residents who are aged 14 and up, and everyone has a chance to win a prize.

The Langley Arts Council will judge entries on their creative use of material, originality, percentage of reused material, practicality, and artistic merit. First place will receive $500, second place takes $200, and third place wins $100.

The creative and usual artwork will get even greater exposure this year, as it will be put on display at Willowbrook Shopping Centre for a week.

The public can view the entries from May 25 to 31, and vote early for their favourite. The winning artist will receive the People’s Choice Award and a $500 Willowbrook gift card. Prizes will be awarded during a reception being held at Willowbrook on Thursday, May 28, from 6  p.m. to  9 p.m.

“While the Upcycling Design Challenge is a contest, the real winner is our environment,” said Daniszewski. “All upcycling pieces, large and small, keep items out of the landfill and help inspire people to rethink waste. As well, everything entered will make a great contribution to the display.

“All it takes is a little creativity and we really encourage people to give it a try.”

To take part, fill out a contest entry form, which can be found online at tol.ca/upcycling. Contest entries and completed entry forms must be dropped off Friday, May 15 or Saturday, May 16, between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., at Willowbrook Shopping Centre, 19705 Fraser Hwy., next to the Science and Nature Co, near Hudson’s Bay.

Past Upcycling Challenge creations have included coffee tables made out of hockey sticks and a salvaged door, dresses made from street banners and newspapers, a mat woven from discarded grocery bags, and an artistic steam roller fashioned out of a vintage sewing machine.

For more information, call 604-532-7300.