Towards the end of the summer I spent a Sunday afternoon at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto. I came across an eye-catching exhibit of women’s bras on a clothesline. These certainly weren’t your everyday undergarment, but striking works of art. Some were made from acorns, dental floss and even hair extensions! It turned out this display was not just a presentation of wild homemade bras, but a great project supporting and encouraging people affected by breast cancer.
In February 2010, Lynne Atkinson, the executive director of the West Parry Sound Health Centre Foundation, was informed that the hospital needed to raise $650,000 to buy a new digital mammography machine.
For a small Ontario town of 6,500 residents, this was a hefty amount to be raised. Lynne knew she needed to come up with a creative and motivational campaign if she was ever going to be able to raise that kind of money. The Bra Project was born. In the beginning, friends and local businesses created their own “art-bras” to add to the clothesline located in Parry Sound.
Why creative lingerie? According to Lynne Atkinson “They’re the ultimate visual link between the physical anatomy and the science of diagnostics. The bras were the eye-candy of our campaign. Our project is more than creative art-bras though. It is the art/craft work of the bra-artista, the wit of the corresponding title and the story that accompanies the work.”
The project has accomplished a lot more than raise the money for a mammography machine. “Everyone who reads the stories, engages in the visuals and learns about the genetics of breast cancer wins. We also learned at the CNE that the wit and the charm were totally uplifting to viewers. Over and over, I heard 'thanks for the smiles” Atkinson says.
Today, the project has expanded to allow women from all over the world to design and create their own artistic bra and upload it to the website, which translates into 52 languages and has visitors from Russia, India, the United States and Germany.
There are many ways you can get involved. Check out www.thebraproject.com where you can read others stories, create your own wacky brassiere and pass on the information and important to message to your family and friends.
“We invite you to share our journey as we traverse the emotional minefield of breast cancer. Laugh. Cry. Remember. One cause, many voices joined by a simple line around the world” The Bra Project.
Until next time,
Peace, love and vitamin C!
Jennifer Pretty began her career as the director of artist development for a well-known Canadian music label. Branching out on her own, she then started her own PR business “Pretty Media Management” planning and hosting various charity, entertainment and fashion events. As a dance and fitness class enthusiast Jennifer is a firm believer in the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle. She also loves to cook, travel, spend time with family and friends and most importantly living life to the fullest!