Optima Living, which owns and operates independent living, assisted living, and supportive living communities in Western Canada, is showcasing a local B.C. artist, Roger Brenninkmeyer, at one of its premier residences, Wisteria Place, in Richmond, B.C. Brenninkmeyer specializes in transforming recycled plastic into unique pieces of art, and residents of Wisteria Place enjoy his largest and most significant work to-date.
Wisteria Place is named after the wisteria tree, which symbolizes long life and immortality in Japanese culture. The foyer features Brenninkmeyer’s stylized wisteria wall art composed of 127 segments, representing the 107 suites at Wisteria place and 20 original Wisteria Place team members. The wall art incorporates 18,000 plastic bags gathered from the community and Wisteria Place residents, promoting Wisteria Place’s commitment to environmentally friendly and sustainable operations in tune with its special location neighbouring the Steveston Buddhist Temple.
“Promoting sustainability is how we invest in ensuring a greater future for our community, country, and world. We are thrilled to have partnered with Roger Brenninkmeyer to use what would have otherwise been polluting our oceans or cluttering up landfills to create something beautiful that can now be enjoyed by residents of Wisteria Place,” said Ali Shivji, Principal at Optima Living. “The idea of working with the community to gather such a huge amount of plastic and create a symbol of renewal and sustainability is deeply meaningful to Optima and our Wisteria Place residents.”
“[The residents] get to go down to breakfast every morning and look up and see a beautiful wisteria tree, knowing that their trash is actually part of that beautiful mosaic,” said Roger Brenninkmeyer.
The courtyard of Wisteria Place pays homage to Japanese culture with a traditional garden and wooden verandas. Under the grand staircase, there are one thousand paper cranes, symbolizing happiness and eternal good luck. Japanese, Chinese, and other cuisines are served at Wisteria Place.
Wisteria Place opened its beautifully-designed residence in August 2021, situated a short walk from the Steveston waterfront. Residents of Wisteria Place participate in the various activities at the temple with which it shares grounds, including joining meditation times. Residents also use Steveston’s Community Centre to keep active and healthy.
Optima Living is very proud of this partnership between the Steveston Buddhist Temple and Wisteria Place and hopes to continue working together for the betterment of Wisteria Place residents and the community for years to come.