March 29, 2023


As the Cambridge clock tower struck eight, the library had a line up out the door on March 4. However, the people entering were not coming to study for midterms or check out a movie. Instead they were enjoying the music played by DJs on all three floors and dances breaking out everywhere you turned. This was no normal night for the Idea Exchange.

The first Excess Party featured aerialists, interpretive dancers, fortune tellers and fashion shows. It brought the arts and culture of Cambridge to life, bringing in local businesses to showcase their products and services. Beer representatives showcased their art on beer cans, a bartender amazed crowds with his bottle flipping and a new Google Tilt Brush was available to create something new in a virtual reality. The event incorporated new technology and old music that brought art enthusiasts out from all across Cambridge, Waterloo and Kitchener.

A special performance was given by Charlena Russell who used her vocal talents and the help of technical artist Bernie Rohde to create a costume that responded to her singing. She filled the room with flashes of colour and sound.

The Idea Exchange has a yearly fundraiser in March to raise money for their programs held each week for children, teens and adults.

“It was what we called a community-raiser,” said Sandra Sydor, the co-ordinator for outreach and marketing for the Idea Exchange.

Tickets cost $50, or $40 for artists and students, and food and drinks were sold throughout the night.

For the past 15 years a different fundraiser has been held. The formal sit-down meal, called Artigras, featured a silent auction, a raffle and door prizes.

This year, however, Sydor and the other co-ordinators of the event wanted to hold something  new, something that would bring everyone in. “We want to get the students involved in the community again, give them something they can do with their friends.”

The library’s only goal was to have a night filled with wonder and spur-of-the- moment interactions. With promises to never look back, the Idea Exchange is looking forward to what they can do in the years to come.

“Art is always changing,” Sydor said.

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