Mini-food scavenger hunt coming to Hintonburg

In August, Kitchissippi Times featured two young art enthusiasts who were hunting for miniature food sculptures created and placed around the neighbourhood by an anonymous artist. Now, the artist, known only as Street Art Miniature (or SAM for short) is launching an organized scavenger hunt in Hintonburg to bring others into the fray. KT’s Jacob Hoytema caught up with SAM via email.

KT: So what have you been up to since our last story? How has the tiny food project continued?

SAM: It’s hard to believe it was only two months ago since we last wrote. A lot has happened. I was fortunate enough to be contacted by the CBC for an interview. I also am very pleased to say that I won the September Awesome Ottawa award [a $1000 grant given out monthly to “awesome” initiatives in the city]. I am very thankful for all of the interest in my project and I intend to keep it going and growing.

KT: Tell us a little about the upcoming scavenger hunt on October 28. What gave you the idea? And what made Hintonburg an attractive location?

SAM: The idea came from a couple of my close friends who are in the know about this project. I didn’t have the extra money to buy the supplies I would need to make it happen. So, when I won the September Awesome Ottawa award, I thought, now is the perfect time to give it a try!

I chose Hintonburg because I have received a lot of support from that community. From Instagram comments and likes from local businesses there, to mentions from the people who are out and looking for the minis. I also find that Hintonburg has the highest number of well-preserved miniatures. The people there seem to really enjoy the project and don’t want to take or ruin the art. That means a lot to me.

Mini-food fans, take note! Street Art Miniature is hosting a special scavenger hunt on October 28.
Mini-food fans, take note! Street Art Miniature is hosting a special scavenger hunt on October 28.

KT: How will the scavenger hunt work? How can people get involved?

SAM: This hunt will work a little differently from your typical scavenger hunt. The best way to get involved is to start following my Instagram account or my Facebook page. On the day of the hunt, I will be posting pictures of five miniatures that are ‘menu items’ inspired by local restaurants and cafes. The pictures will be released on a timed schedule in order to give everyone a bit of time to get looking. The miniatures are to be photographed and not taken. The first person to email me photos of themselves and all five miniatures will receive an email with the location of the prize and the passphrase they will need to say in order to obtain the prize. The full instructions and details will be posted on my social media accounts over the next couple of weeks.

KT: Can you divulge any info about the prize for the winner?

SAM: I am working on finalizing the prize details. I can tell you this… the prize will include one of my miniatures and a $100 gift certificate to a local business. The exact details along with the instructions for the hunt will be released in the next week or so.

KT: How did it feel to be recognized by Awesome Ottawa with their September prize?

SAM: I didn’t start this to make money.  I started this to bring something unusual and fun to someone’s day. To catch someone off guard and maybe bring a little smile or wonder to their day is all the payment I was looking for. By being awarded this prize, I feel like what I am doing is working and I feel so encouraged to continue. I am very grateful for this generous award, and I want to make sure I give back something special with the scavenger hunt.

KT: While you’ve kept your identity a secret, you did reveal to CBC that you are female. Any thoughts about identifying yourself in the future?

SAM: At this point, letting my gender be known is all that I am comfortable with. The main reason that I don’t want to identify myself is that I want to continue this project knowing that no one will recognize me and watch for me.  Also, isn’t it more fun not knowing?

KT: What projects can we expect from you next?

SAM: I have a few ideas but I want to continue the main project. I love the simplicity of it. The fun of finding a random mini is still the heart of the project. If this scavenger hunt goes well, I will be doing another! I also want to start working on making replicas of some of the signature dishes that can be found at local bakeries and restaurants. I think that would be a lot of fun.

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