June 7, 2023


AN6 The Waterloo Region Museum hosted interior decorating students, up-cycled chairs and those ready to donate to Habitat for Humanity on March 22.

Conestoga second-year interior decorating students spent the last few weeks of their first semester “up-cycling” old chairs to auction off at the annual “Chairity” gala.

“Some of these chairs were destined for the dump,” said Leslee Squirrell, interior decorating program co-ordinator. “Instead they will be auctioned off with all proceeds going to Habitat for Humanity so they can supply the niceties that make a house a home.”

Habitat for Humanity is an organization that builds safe, affordable housing through the help of volunteers. Their vision is for the world to have a save and decent place for everyone to live. According to their website, Habitat for Humanity Canada has helped over 2,700 families since 1985.

The auction featured chairs created by students, teachers and local designers. Both the students’ and teachers’ chairs were auctioned off through a silent auction while the designers’ chairs were sold by a live bid. The designer chairs alone raised over $1,500. Raffle tickets for paintings, gift baskets and other prizes raised more money.

Overall, the event raised $5,000. The student chairs sold for between $80 and $180 each.

The gala brought in a wide variety of attendees ranging from Conestoga College President John Tibbits to local designers and even some graduates of the interior decorating program.

“It was great to come back as an alumni,” said Nicole Ruthardt, a graduate of the interior decorating program and current in-house designer at Elmira Kitchen and Bath Inc. “It’s amazing to see the work this year’s graduates have done. They’re a very talented group … They have done such a great job, especially since they were given such a difficult design task.”

This year the students were asked to recreate famous paintings on their chairs. Throughout the hall attendees continuously commented on how intricate the replications were while students showed off their finished products to their families.

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