Mau in Black & White

On Oct. 23, the Design Exchange (DX) will host its 7th annual Black & White Fundraising Gala. This year’s event will honour visionary and world-leading innovator Bruce Mau, chairman and founder of Bruce Mau Design. Special guest Kathleen Bartels, director of the Vancouver Art Gallery, will present the 2010 honouree. The Black & White Gala has become a widely anticipated party for designers, business professionals, philanthropists and design appreciators.

Says Samantha Sannella, president and CEO of the Design Exchange, “Bruce was chosen for exemplifying continual innovation in his design practice. He is devoted to furthering education of our students through his work with schools and universities. As well, his numerous publications are provocative, insightful and inspiring. He has achieved international acclaim and it is time that we honour him at home in Canada.”

Known for his philanthropic work with non-profit organizations, Mau is teaming up with the Design Exchange to raise funds for its youth-education programs. Such programs include camps, designers in the classroom, tours and workshops, and national high-school and post-secondary competitions.

The DX offers design-based camps for young designers aged 6-15 during March break and throughout the summer. Professionals –  such as David Dixon, Lucian Matis and Jeremy Laing –  have participated in sharing success stories and inspiring the kids. This year, camp-goers had the opportunity to go behind the scenes of such design labels as Preloved, Peach Berserk and FRANKE, the  label created by Kendra Francis, Project Runway Canada. Fun-filled themes included Rock Star, Design for (Outer) Space, Vintage Couture and Toy Design.

Due to a sponsorship program and funds raised from the gala, children who may not otherwise have this opportunity are able to participate in camps.

Designers in the Classroom brings professional designers into elementary and secondary school classrooms in priority neighborhoods to develop design projects with the students. DX provides 50 tours and workshops each year to students across Canada and the U.S. Design Competitions offer scholarship prizes, detailed critiques from experts, exhibition privileges, and recognition and enhanced resume experience. The latest competition with Random House of Canada Limited was to redesign the new Face of Fiction Logo for 2011. Wesley Tsang, University of Toronto / Sheridan Institute student, won a $3,000 scholarship and will see his logo creation on all New Face of Fiction titles around Canada in 2011.

For years, the Design Exchange has provided thousands of students from all circumstances the opportunity to develop their skills, interests and careers in all genres of design. By teaching the effects of design, the DX strives to achieve positive change in the world.

Says Mau, “The Annual Fundraising Gala ensures that the DX is able to create and host programs that teach young people about the value of design. They are helping to build the future of Canada and this event deserves our support.”