Vancouver’s Raw Canvas cleans up

The restaurant and art studio is streetwashing canvases onto sidewalks and turning urbanites into artists.

Vancouver eatery and art studio Raw Canvas is inspiring sidewalk artistry by streetwashing the shape of a canvas and easel onto the ground and leaving a box of chalk next to it.

Passersby are encouraged to draw pictures in the clean section of concrete then take photos of their creations and email them to the address at the top of the canvas. Each artist who sends in their work is then entitled to a free drink on their next visit to the Yaletown tapas bar and wine lounge, which also happens to have a ‘painting pit,’ smocks and art materials.

Vancouver-based Vision Media executed the streetwashing in 10 locations around the city, starting earlier this week. The campaign is going to last up to three months, with more stencils added around Vancouver as others fade, Randy Ross, spokesperson for Raw Canvas, tells MiC, adding that the idea synched perfectly with the mandate of the restaurant.

‘We wanted something extremely interactive. We do a lot of stuff involving the arts community in the restaurant and making it a great place for artists,’ he says, explaining that the goal was to use a medium that would allow people to ‘do what they’re supposed to do at the restaurant as part of the advertisement.’

The restaurant owners were also looking for an eco-friendly OOH advertising method. The low-impact method coupled with biodegradable chalk made streetwashing a perfect match.

Vision Media has executed 50 or 60 streetwash campaigns, but this is the first that is interactive, according to Carl Whiteside, director, business development.