Jun 24, 2015 3:40 EDT

Cardboard Party! : At Cardboard Party, folks get unlimited sheets of giant creamy-smooth cardboard to craft whatever they want!

iCrowdNewswire - Jun 24, 2015

Cardboard Party!

At CARDBOARD PARTY people get unlimited cardboard to make whatever they want! Duct tape, X-Acto knives and black magic markers will all be provided! With your help, it will take place in Montreal & Toronto in the next six months!

So you need money to put on a Cardboard Party. What in the world is a Cardboard Party?

Cardboard Party is what it sounds like! People come and make things out of cardboard. We provide large sheets of brand new and creamy smooth cardboard – the kind you could only dream about as a kid. We also provide unlimited duct tape, x-acto knives, and black magic markers! Come and make something!

So you want people to build forts?

Forts are just one of the things that folks can make. You can make costumes, sculptures, furniture – anything you can imagine!

This sounds like fun. But what’s the point of all this?

People don’t really make things with their hands anymore. Everything is bought, or we pay other people to make things. Cardboard Party is an opportunity for folks to come and experience the sheer joy of putting something together, to craft a thing you can sit on, or wear, or crawl inside.

That’s it? It sounds pretty simple.

It is pretty simple. It’s a simple event. But what you experience isn’t simple at all.

I remember as a kid, finding an empty cardboard fridge box in the laundry room of our apartment building was like winning the lottery. I had to beg my parents to let me take it into my room. But I could turn that box into anything. Even now, as an adult, when I find a box like that on the streets, I pause and I dream about what I could do with it. This event is about making that a reality for everyone who ever felt that way, and wants to feel that way again. But on a grand, crazy, wondrous scale.

Why do you need to Kickstarter this? Why not just go out and get boxes on recycling day?

The problem with recycled boxes is that they just want to become one thing – boxes. They were cut and grooved that way. If I just provided folks with recycled boxes, we would just end up with a roomful of boxes. What I’m aiming to provide are large sheets of the stuff, so people can make things the way they want, and approach this more flexibly and creatively. I wanted to offer people the cardboard equivalent of a blank sheet of paper.

So who are you? Why are you the best person to make this happen?

I’ve been organizing events for several years now, like Slowdance and Strip Spelling Bee in both Montreal and Toronto. All my events are kinda quirky and participatory. I got tired of going to things where all they wanted me to do was pay admission, buy a drink, watch something and go home. I needed an event where I could do something that would expand my opportunities for expression, and make new friends. And because I believe in that saying where you have to be the change you want to see in the world, I started creating all the charming events I wish I could go to. So at my events, I like it when the folks who “attend” are also the people who “perform”. I’m not interested in the cool ironic, but rather, the cat-belly warm. Most of my events are social experiments, where I don’t know what will happen, and I do them to find out. That’s how I got on this Cardboard Party thing. I wanted to see if other people were like me.

I see a bunch of photos from a Cardboard Party on this page – what are those from?

I was fortunate to be able to do this event once, a long time ago in the summer of 2011. These lovely folks called the Toronto Awesome Foundation – which is an awesome idea in itself – gave me a small grant that allowed me to do the first one! It was an amazing event.

It’s a wondrous thing, firstly, to watch things being erected around you. Second, to see the looks on the faces of the people – mad joy – it was almost as if they couldn’t believe that this was happening. Third, to walk around this impromptu shantytown of forts and towers and other amazing structures, to feel dwarfed by something that was constructed in the time you’re there. Everyone who was there that day told me it was so magical that they couldn’t forget it.

I am the kind of person who – when I discover something wonderful, tries to enact and incorporate it into my every day life forever. Which is why I’m doing this Kickstarter. I didn’t want Cardboard Party to be a one-time amazing thing. It’s so particularly transformative that I feel it needs to be put on. Annually, if possible.

So, say you reach your target goal – when does this thing happen?

If we get the money we need, then we’re going to put on two of these parties  – one in Montreal, and the other in Toronto. I would do my utmost to have this event happen either in the fall of this year, or in the spring of next year. Definitely before summer 2016. I’m also trying to pick a time of year where there isn’t much snow on the ground – so folks won’t track it in and dampen their cardboard.

What does the money actually go towards?

A bunch of things, which I’ll list here:

1. The venue rental. This event is gonna take place inside. I thought about doing it outside, but there’s too much risk of rain, or wind. And I’m not sure how complicated dealing with city permits is.

2. The cardboard itself. To get the kind of cardboard we want, we’re gonna have to buy it. A lot of it.

3. Delivery of the cardboard. Sometimes the cardboard is delivered for free, but if the event takes place on a weekend, we’ll need to hire a van to pick up the cardboard and hold it overnight.

4. A dumpster. Unfortunately, not all the cardboard creations can be recycled. We’ll do what we can, but after you’ve applied paint or glue or duct tape to cardboard, it becomes unsuitable for recycling.

5. Cutting tables. Most venues won’t let us cut on the floor. Any place big enough to hold this event will probably have a nice floor they won’t want us scraping up, so we’ll need a few cheap plastic tables people can go wild with their cutting on.

6. Duct tape, x-acto knives and magic markers. We provide everything, so you can arrive with just your enthusiasm and ideas. But this doesn’t prevent you from bringing elaborate decorations like Xmas lights or paints to spruce up whatever you make. We’re also going to try to have a glue-gun corner.

7. Staff. I’m going to need help to make this happen, like doorpeople and folks to help me move the cardboard into the venue. Depending on the venue, I may need security. I also pay a DJ to play lovely energetic music while the cardboard building occurs!

8. Random things like gloves. One thing you don’t realize about sheets of cardboard is that fresh cardboard from the factory is quite sharp, and if you grab a whole bunch and let it slide, you can slice your palms up in a nasty way. So there’s always random things that pop up. The first time I did this I had to send someone out to get more duct tape!

9. Fees and taxes. Unfortunately, Kickstarter takes a percentage of all monies raised, and I also have to pay taxes on everything because it’s considered income. Thanks, Revenue Canada.

10. Backer rewards. The money will also help pay for the creation and shipping of all the prizes promised!

Do you have anything to add?

Just one thing. If you do decide to back this project, keep in mind that your financial contribution will be your admission ticket! But I’m hoping that your imaginative contribution will be much MORE. I want you to ask yourself “What will YOU make?” at a Cardboard Party?

 Maybe a cat?


Wheeee!!!! This was one of the funnest events I’ve even been to. Many good memories and excellent friends out of it. Totally excited to support this -Nyree McPherson

That was a terrific event!! -Rachel Alcorn

ZOMGZOMGZOMGYEESSSSSSSSSSS one of the best nights of my life! #cardboardcouture -Jacki K

Truly one of the most wonderful events I’ve ever attended. -Laura Mei

This is my first Kickstarter, but not my first event. That said, enacting an event isn’t always completely up to me. Sometimes finding the right space is very difficult.

Cardboard Party! requires a lot of space, so that people can spread out and build their creations. But large venues are very expensive to rent. I’ve budgeted for a minimum space, but depending on demand I may need a bigger place, and then it is a negotiation between myself and a booking manager to see when they have the space available for something as quirky and weird as this. Believe it or not, not all places are eager for an event that creates a huge mess, and where the point of the night isn’t to get people to buy as much alcohol as possible.

Additionally, this fall I’m going on tour to promote my new book, the third in a trilogy of Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style books from the POV of a cat, so that might delay the enactment of this event. But I am determined to make this event happen as soon as possible, in order to increase – however minutely – the quantity of magic in the world.

Contact Information:

Sherwin Sullivan Tjia

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