The World’s Largest Donor Recognition Wall made from Reclaimed Materials
by Toby Barazzuol on Monday Apr 18, 2011
Today, after months of design and collaboration, Union Gospel Mission (UGM) unveils the donor recognition wall that we built for them at 601 East Hastings. The donor wall, which we’re referring to as "the world’s largest donor recognition wall made entirely from reclaimed materials", marks the opening of UGM’s new building and recognizes the significant donors that helped make the new community facility possible. Even Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson was there for the opening ceremony.
UGM has a long history in our community of the Downtown Eastside, and they do some important work in terms of providing help to those that need it most (check out some of their stories here). In fact, their goal is to end homelessness and cyclical poverty. Working with them was a pleasure, and we tip our hat to their creativity and willingness to explore the use of reclaimed materials.
We also discovered that both Eclipse Awards and UGM share a belief that there is beauty and value in everything, when we choose to see it. It doesn't matter if it's people or materials or organizations. We can recognize and celebreate the good elements in them all.
For Eclipse Awards, this project was a real milestone in many ways because it beautifully combined so many of the things that are important to us: recognition, sustainability, collaboration and community.
Recognition: this is at the core of everything we do. It’s so important to recognize the things that we value and appreciate, so building a large scale donor wall to celebrate the people that made UGM’s new building possible was a great fit. The donor wall is a thoughtful public testament to how much UGM values its contributors and the people who make its mission possible.
Sustainability: we are passionate about creating beauty from reclaimed materials, so the opportunity to create an installation of this scale with a client that shares the same values, was truly unique. We used recycled glass to make the fish “plaques” and then sandblasted them with donor names. We fashioned salvaged pine beetle wood, traditionally a waste product, into unique and beautiful bread accents. And we created the remaining fish out of aluminum, one of the most highly recycled metals that exists. Incorporating all of these elements into a project of this size really confirmed our belief that there is value and beauty in all things. Installing the donor wall only 2 blocks away from our office in Strathcona didn’t hurt either.
Collaboration: our work becomes really exciting when we get the opportunity to collaborate on new projects. It’s always a challenge to figure out how we can work together in a way that creates value for everyone involved. UGM's new facility was the result of collaboration between all 3 levels of government. The donor wall was a collaboration of UGM's vision and ideas with our experience and creativity. Even our team got got to work together in new ways as we managed the installation over several days. Check out the time lapse video below:
Community: being an active member of our community is also an important part of who we are. Strathcona and the Downtown Eastside are simply a part of our company. So when the relationships that we’ve built in the community blossom into to new business relationships, it helps reinforce the idea of businesses as engines of revitalization.
At over 12’ high and 20’ wide, we believe that UGM’s installation truly is the world's largest donor recognition wall made from reclaimed materials. It shows that we can accomplish amazing things when we collaborate and think outside the box. Most importantly though, it shows that there really is beauty and value in all things, when we choose to see it.
If your organization would like to explore the idea of recognition in your community, we would welcome the opportunity!