Eco Boutique & Education Lab
Friday, September 20-30, 2019
The Bay Centre, Victoria, BC
Letter from Craig E. Norris
CEO Victoria International Marina +
Co-Founder VIM’s Future Oceans
The world is abuzz in conversation about plastics and the problem that our careless use of them is causing our oceans. As leaders in an industry relying directly on the oceans, we understand that we need to take real and meaningful action now.
We invite you to join us on an exciting journey of awareness, discovery, innovation, expression, and action as we host an event that will attract global attention and provide a world class platform for visionaries, while leading others to funnel much needed resources toward real solutions.
Future Oceans, as conceived by it’s founding partners the Victoria International Marina, Natural Talent Alliance and The Ocean Legacy Foundation, is a showcase that connects a real problem, Ocean Plastics, with a primary source industry hungry for change, Fashion and Clothing, to an entrepreneurial problem solver, Ocean Legacy Foundation, with the immeasurable means of a major user of the oceans, Yachters.
We challenged international fashion designers to visit the piles of ocean plastics salvaged by the Ocean Legacy Foundation and immerse themselves in a creative process of taking this discarded resource and creating works of wearable art that represent both an awareness of the problem, and humanities incredible ability to innovate to resolve. Natural Talent Alliance processed entries from numerous international designers, selecting finalists who demonstrated artistic innovation, exceptional talent, and a passion for our future oceans, ultimately embodying the entire ethos of this project.
On July 1 at the Victoria International Marina, there was a convergence of designers, models, dancers, musicians, hair and makeup artists, photographers, film makers and leaders in the marine industry, who told the story of plastic pollution, and humanity’s ability to innovate solutions. The show was Future Oceans, and it was the result of an innovation challenge presented to established fashion designers by the Victoria International Marina and Natural Talent Alliance, in support of The Ocean Legacy Foundation.
“The mission of Future Oceans is to create communities of passionate artists and influencers who will act as ambassadors, changing the way their followers use and approach plastic.” - Catherine Larose, Creative Director
It was a fundraising event that quickly became an inspired movement, fuelled by artists united in support of the Ocean Legacy Foundation. Weeks after the event, photographs from the surreal three day experience continue to spill out through the social media feeds of the fashion designers, models, hair and makeup artists and supporters.
The venue for the show was the docks of the Victoria International Marina, Canada’s only green superyacht marina. A state of the art moorage for luxury superyachts, and a hub for marine enthusiasts and conservationists. On July 1 for Canada Day and Future Oceans, it was lit up like a spaceship, radiating music and reflecting shades of soft blue and purple light off of the sparkling water.
“Our journey is one of passion, purpose and action. Our Designers and Ambassadors will help spread the truth about the health of our oceans while stimulating positive discussion on solving the issues that plague them. Communication is more powerful and effective when it comes from leaders, especially when told through the lens and in the vernacular of their professions.” – Craig Norris, Victoria International Marina
For most of the artists involved in the production, it was a unique experience to say the least. The one constant being the vibrant talent and production team, for which Natural Talent Alliance has a core leadership crew. Fashion Designers were escorted to the Ascente Superyacht, a sponsor of the show, where they were treated to a backstage environment complete with plush white carpets, Italian furniture and the most pristine ocean view imaginable.
Creative Director, Catherine Larose shared, “One of the most moving and inspiring outcomes of the event is seeing how the designers, and the entire talent team of more than 70 artists, have become significantly more environmentally aware. Since becoming involved in the project last February, they have all become so passionate about researching the environmental impacts of the fashion industry, as well as our daily lives. They are going as far as changing the course of their fashion careers and the statements in their artwork. This is exactly the kind of drive and dedication that is needed if we are to make any kind of impact, and help to save our planet. We need hundreds of creative leaders who can inspire thousands to think and act differently.”
The finale music for the fashion show titled “Into The Clear” was an original piece, and a collaboration between seven international musicians who gave their time and expertise to supporting the cause. The entire fashion show featured original music composed for Future Oceans, and several of the featured songs are soon to be released on Spotify. More information about the musicians involved can be found on the vimfutureoceans.com website.
Future Oceans was originally created to be a global campaign in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14 - “Life Under Water”, and the heroic efforts of the Ocean Legacy Foundation. The organizing team attended a United Nations conference in New York this past June, and delivered a presentation aboard the UN Peace Boat in support of the project, and to garner support.
How to support Future Oceans, or get involved:
Anyone interested in supporting Future Oceans and their on-going projects may do so by simply texting the word “plastics” to 1-437-800-0333 and making a pledge, or by visiting the vimfutureoceans.com website to get involved.
BC’s pristine coastline is what makes the Victoria International Marina so special and it’s our duty to protect it. On land and water, from design to operations, we’re committed to preserving our harbour and local environment. Our clients can enjoy the very best life has to offer, with the knowledge that we’re prepared and invested in keeping it safe. As Ambassadors of the Pacific marine lifestyle we have a vision of creating remarkable experiences for our guests. We hold a deep respect for the marine ecosystem and natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Recognizing the importance of sustainability and environmental responsibility in our industry, we operate based on the principle that we must protect what we love and lead the way to a new kind of luxury eco-tourism in our region.
Natural Talent Alliance is a group of producers and business owners with shared values, a commitment to education and community building, and demonstrated leadership in several areas. We collaborate together under the NTA corporate banner to produce inspiring, educational and immersive events around the world. NTA was formed in 2016 by Co-Founders Catherine Larose and Matt Laprairie.
Natural Talent Alliance specializes in producing fashion shows with a focus on education and innovation. We also provide workshops, Ambassador programs, youth programs, and model searches. We promote cross-sector collaborations in the arts, and guide our creative communities towards best business practices.
The Ocean Legacy Foundation is an international, non-profit organization which utilizes spatial mapping, education and research, clean-up expeditions and plastics to fuel technologies to develop the world leading MARINE DEBRIS SOLUTIONSTM program. This dynamic and integrative approach combines sustainable technologies with education and skills to give all plastic wastes & debris economic value and communities the long term tools they need to steward the environment.