Interviews: Interactive Multi-Sensory Art Exhibit ‘Arcadia Earth’ to Open Permanent Location at ‘The Well’ in Toronto

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This Fall, people in Toronto will be able to walk through an interactive multi-sensory art exhibit, Arcadia Earth, which inspires and informs people about climate change. The exhibit will also include a retail aspect where it supports Canadian brands who are environmentally friendly.

The permanent exhibit will hopefully be open to the public in October 2023 and will be located inside The Well.

Valentino Vettori

“We are hoping to be able to open in October. People normally are not inspired by negativity, and so we wanted to offer something beautiful. And by doing so, we hope more people will come to join the conversation about climate change,” says Valentino Vettori, the founder of Arcadia Earth.

The exhibit has already seen success in New York, Las Vegas, and Saudi Arabia – Toronto was the next go-to location as they wanted to show the “first experience of its kind” to Canadians. The 17,000 square foot space will showcase ten rooms addressing different environmental concerns such as overfishing, biodiversity loss, and plastic waste. One out of the ten rooms will be reserved for a Canadian artist, which will be decided on in the next couple of weeks.

The Well in Toronto (Image: Dustin Fuhs)
Image: Arcadia Earth

After two years of searching for the perfect location, The Well caught their eye as the location provided easy access to guests as it is close to airports, trains, buses, and highways. Another reason The Well was landed on was because of its new sustainable services that will serve Toronto, including its new partnership with Enwave.

Craig Perlmutter

“We found this new development had some great forward thinking plans when it came to urban development. One really neat piece of The Well, I think will likely come out over time when they are opening, is in partnership with Enwave.They have this incredible deep lake water system that has cool and hot water distribution that is not just feeding The Well, but it is actually feeding outside and part of the downtown West core. So it is a really neat forward thinking system and was a great part of the story. Hopefully, at the right time, we will be able to tell that story within our space,” says Craig Perlmutter, the President of Arcadia Earth Toronto.

What People Can Expect

For the first concept, Perlmutter and Vettori say they are focusing on the concept of restoration and regeneration in Canada. Themes can go from underwater to land, plastic pollutants, overfishing, and more. Most of the rooms will be designed by Perlmutter and Vettori and all of the instalments are created with “upcycled materials and reusable elements.”

“We do this simply because it is a good way to allow flexibility for adoptions, updates, and changes particularly when it comes to climate change. For example, right now we are in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund Canada and it gets a bit challenging when you also have to have a third party artist – so we create some of the rooms ourselves,” says Vettori.

As environmental topics will change, so will the exhibit as Perlmutter and Vettori says they made it where they can change the content, change topics, and change the overall mission. Some rooms might change every six months, twelve months, or some might stay for eighteen months – depending on the topic and how difficult it is to change. By refreshing rooms every so often, the exhibit will be able to draw more people back to the exhibit and will “continually inspire and motivate people,” says Puerlmutter.

As for any future plans with the new exhibit concept, Perlmutter and Vettori say as they are focused on the flagship location in Toronto right now, they are not looking to expand at this moment. However, they have a few ideas for different locations, such as a smaller versions of the exhibit.

Supporting Canadian Brands

Image: Arcadia Earth

The exhibit will also have a marketplace area which will be filled with brands created by Canadian entrepreneurs that have developed innovative, sustainable, and environmentally friendly products.

The exhibit will also include a marketplace where consumers will be able to find innovative, sustainable, and environmentally friendly Canadian brands. This does not just provide brand awareness to Canadian entrepreneurs, but also provides a learning opportunity for guests.

“That is the part of the impact which is super important to us, is that we are going to give options to visitors that they can buy, options for people to change some of their behaviours. Brands can also show consumers how to read labels a little bit better and look for cleaner, more eco friendly sustainable products. People learned a lot about brands in New York and Las Vegas, and we are getting some great feedback from Canadian businesses right now that would like to be part of our marketplace to showcase their innovations,” says Perlmutter.

“People Are Curious About What They Can Do”

Image: Arcadia Earth

Vettori says he wanted to create something that was “educational, but also fun for the whole family as every time education is fun – people stick around.” The exhibit is a chance for people to realize even small changes can have a big impact and will hopefully inspire people.

“If people are curious about what they can do, then this is a great opportunity. The exhibit shows people they can easily change their behaviour and will inform people that these behavioural changes are really simple to make and also make a lot of sense. So generally, I think people want to do the right thing, but they need to be inspired. We want to talk about all these topics in a more positive light and not bring a doomsday approach that you hear a lot in conversations about climate change,” says Perlmutter.

Shelby Hautala
Shelby Hautala
Shelby Hautala, based in Toronto, is a new Journalist to Retail Insider. She has experience writing for local newspapers and also internationally for Helsinki Times while she lived in Finland. Shelby holds a Bachelor of Journalism Honours degree from the University of King’s College and a Social Work degree from Dalhousie University in Halifax.

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