Parksville’s McMillan Art Centre. (MAC photo)

Program at Parksville’s McMillan Arts Centre offers chance to connect art, environmentalism

MAC program works to create community arts installation in city

A new program is starting up at Parksville’s McMillan Arts Centre and it’s all about making art while raising awareness.

The program, called ‘Air Your Dirty Laundry’, will run every Friday in July. Participants will learn about ocean health with Ocean Bridge Ambassador Ben McTaggart and will then use that knowledge to create a public art installation at the MAC.

“The whole crux of it is really looking at youth education and ocean advocacy and literacy,” he said. “The whole title behind ‘Air Your Dirty Laundry’ is really looking at the things that we may miss in regards to our waste management in our own homes, at the community level, and seeing just how much plastics and waste really enter our world’s oceans.”

Ocean Bridge, an Ocean Wise program, chooses 40 youth per year to form a team that creates projects for their home communities.

McTaggart, who went to Vancouver Island University, was inspired to get involved in the ocean advocacy world by Micah Messent, an environmentalist and Ocean Bridge member who died in the March 2019 Boeing 737 Max 8 jetliner crash near Bishoftu.

”Even though Micah and I were never exactly close, through Ocean Bridge he inspired me and many other people that he came into contact with and I really feel that that is exactly what everyone in the group now wants to try and do – engage youth in these conversations because it’s really important to get that word out in the same way that Micah did,” he said.

READ MORE: Qualicum Beach students create environmental art exhibit in Parksville

For McTaggart, it’s all about finding unique ways to facilitate conversations around oceans and how youth can get involved.

The program is for anyone from age 12 and up, but is specifically targeted at middle school and high school-aged students. However, McTaggart said they encourage anyone above the age limit who is interested to reach out.

Although the program will be in person, they’re working on ways to make it available virtually as well. McTaggart said to stay tuned for how that might pan out.

You can email him at for more information and to sign up for the free program.

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