This Thursday March 14th, John Fluevog Shoes in collaboration with Centre A: the Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, will be hosting a fund raising Shoe Party. The colourful event will see 50% all shoe sales from the evening go towards funding Centre A’s free public programming and exhibitions.
This will be a party not to be missed, as buying beautiful Fluevog shoes are but the cherry on top of one big fun filled cake loaded with fashion, music, good food and drinks. The evening will be inspired by the popular Asian celebration of White Valentine’s Day with a lively DJ, themed drinks and delicious bites from local purveyors.
Highlights include an open S’mores bar by Archimallows, craft brews from Faculty Brewing, tasty cocktails by 9% Wine Planning, exquisite catering by New York Chef Sihui Zhang, groovy music by DJ KJOS, and take-home party favours from Lisa Lou’s Chocolate Bar.
We met up with Ruby Wang – Development Assistant for Centre A to find out more about this fantastic event.
Where did the inspiration come from to celebrate White Valentine’s Day and tie it in with your event on March 14th?
If you come from or have spent significant time in Korea, Japan, Taiwan or elsewhere in Asia, the first March holiday that comes to mind is White Valentine’s Day! So when Fluevog’s proposed a potential March date for a fundraiser for Centre A, March 14th seemed perfect. Not only would we be able to hold a fantastic party, but also challenge Eurocentric cultural tendencies and introduce a fun consumer holiday from the other side of the water and make it uniquely Vancouver.
What’s different about White Valentines Day compared to the regular Valentines Day?
In Asia, the protocols of White Valentine’s Day can be pretty demanding – a gift of white chocolates means friendship and cookies mean love. White Valentine’s Day started as a marketing campaign in Fukuoka, Japan by a marshmallow company in 1977, it was established as a date where those who received chocolates on Valentine’s Day would then gift something sweet in return for the chocolates they had received.
An ironic White Valentine’s Day twist: in many contemporary Asian cultures a gift of shoes implies intent to break up. So when the idea of holding a White Day event at Fluevog’s came up, it made us chuckle.
The Fluevog Store in Gastown is a fantastic venue. How did you connect with the brand and choose to hold your event there?
Vancouver’s very own, John Fluevog is one of Canada’s most influential designers. His Gastown store is a thoughtful use of space – from minimal use of material, transparency, large overhead space and the embrace of natural lighting. It speaks to Vancouver values in a number of ways. Exploring our values and coming up with ways to articulate who we are is also a central part of who Centre A. It’s a perfect match. A true visionary, Fluevog has long been a great supporter of nonprofits, and we recently became aware of the venue as a place for fundraising, through an event they held for Carousel Theatre.
What is the connection between Gastown and Centre A?
Gastown is older than Vancouver itself. Since its earliest days it has been a site where people of different cultures collaborate, conflict, collide and coexist. It isn’t all pretty history, but it is fruitful beyond imagination. Part of our purpose at Centre A is to work with art and artists as we celebrate and contend with who we have become and are becoming, through experiences of Pacific crossing migration and cultural exchange. For a significant chunk of our 18-year existence, Centre A was situated in the Downtown Eastside at #2 West Hastings, in the old trolley car garage of the BC Electric Railway. Now in Chinatown, we find that we are constantly engaged with the rich urban dynamics and history of this diverse city. With this event we look forward to our collaboration with John Fluevog’s, a defining force in the crafting of Vancouver’s cultural identity.
Centre A is a non-profit, public art gallery whose mandate it is to challenge Eurocentricity. They provide platforms for the exploration of issues of Asian and Asian-Canadian diaspora concern through engaging wide audiences and community participation through our contemporary art exhibitions, performances, talks, publications, and international exchange programs, while also providing emergent artist opportunities and mentorship for young artists and culture makers.