Vibrant Communities Calgary (VCC) has launched a parody luxury storefront that treats the items required for everyday living, such as bread, eggs and toilet paper, as luxury items — because, for many Calgarians, they are. The storefront, ironically named Unaford and complete with all the elements of a high-end boutique, including a security guard, drives home the message that basic living shouldn’t be a luxury.
The activation was created to raise awareness of this crucial issue facing Calgary right now — poverty. Since 2021, the rising cost of living (+6.9%), increased housing costs (+6.2%), food prices (9.7%) and stagnant wages (>1%) have brought many Calgarians to their financial breaking point.
While the cost of living has increased, wages have not kept pace. Calgarians are feeling stretched, and families have to make increasingly complex decisions about allocating their dwindling resources. The basics have become out of reach for many, and the gap will only widen without broad intervention.
VCC’s mandate is to align and leverage all the organizations in Calgary that support poverty issues, while raising awareness and creating benchmarks. This activation is intended to highlight the severity of this crucial and growing issue in our city. It also coincides with the release of VCC's updated Poverty Profiles and the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
From October 17-31 Calgarians are invited to Unaford, located at 918 Centre Street North to view the display. More information about this activation can also be found on Instagram @unafordyyc.