BWR: Building Waterloo Region

BWR is a festival of exhibitions and related events exploring and celebrating the past, present and future of progressive architecture and design excellence in Waterloo Region. BWR is a partner with Open Ears and CAFKA in the 2014 Festival of Art, Architecture and Sound in Waterloo Region. Most major cultural institutions and arts advocacy organizations in Waterloo Region are participating in BWR including: Cambridge Galleries, Waterloo Region Museum, the Fashion History Museum, Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery, Joseph Schneider Haus, McDougall Cottage, rare Charitable Research Reserve, Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery, the University of Waterloo, Waterloo Architecture, Conestoga College.

BWR connects cultural institutions across Waterloo Region in one of the largest and most ambitious public architecture events ever undertaken in Canada. The festival celebrates the tradition of progressive design and architectural excellence in Waterloo Region through a program of exhibitions at multiple sites, plus live events such as walking tours, public forums and lectures which provide opportunities for reflection and discussion on the future of the built environment in the cities of Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo.

BWR also marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the School of Architecture and Design at Riverside Gallery in the former Riverside Silk Mills in Cambridge Ontario and poignantly takes place at a critical moment, the launch of construction of a new public transit infrastructure in the Region.

The exhibitions, eight in total, share the theme of building, and trace the sources, phases of development and achievements of the buildings of Waterloo Region from the earliest human settlements to the present day. The exhibitions challenge visitors to explore and better understand the cities of Waterloo Region, to be aware of the patterns of growth, phases in history and forces of change, thereby developing their own sense of place that includes an appreciation of buildings and spaces that might otherwise be forgotten. The experience will help visitors take an informed position as Waterloo Region braces for rapid growth and change.

While each exhibition has a separate thematic focus, the program has a chronological organization and an overarching concern with industry and innovation. The shows are distributed across Waterloo Region and curated/coordinated in collaboration with the staff in each separate venue. The hub of the entire program and information centre for Building Waterloo Region will be located at the Kitchener Studio, 44 Gaukel Street, across from the Regional Transportation Centre in downtown Kitchener.

Executive Curators are: Rick Haldenby, Associate Professor, University of Waterloo School of Architecture and Esther E. Shipman, Curator of Architecture and Design, Design at Riverside Gallery. Mary Misner of Idea Exchange is the Coordinator.

BWR launches on Friday, July 4 and Saturday, July 5, 2014.

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