Baycrest brings The Brain Project into the LCBO

A partnership with Barefoot Wine & Bubly aims to make the art associated with the initiative more accessible.

The Yogen Früz Pinkberry Brain Project has partnered with Barefoot Wine & Bubbly to bring a version of its public art into LCBO stores for the first time.

Currently in its third edition, The Brain Project (which had Yogen Früz Pinkberry sign on as title sponsor for the first time in 2018) engages artists to sculpt a version of the human brain, a key focal point of the Baycrest Foundation’s work in research into cognition, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, stroke and aging brain health. The resulting pieces of art are often elaborate and colourful, part of the project’s message that “no brain deserves to go blank.”

The initiative is a fundraiser for Baycrest, with all proceeds from the sale of the art going to the foundation, but also serves as a public awareness effort, with the sculptures being put on display in high-traffic areas, such as Toronto’s Union Station and Nathan Philips Square, as well as shopping centres and malls in the area.

But the organization is also looking for ways to extend the reach of The Brain Project. To that end, it has partnered with Barefoot Wine & Bubbly to include four different stickers designed by artists Lipstick Lex, Dave Bagley, Heather Black and Kestin Cornwall, all of whom also contributed full-size sculptures to the project this year. The idea is to give those who might not be able to afford the full-sized sculptures – which can run between $2,000 and $10,000 – a more accessible way to bring some of the art home with them, as well as support Baycrest and have another venue through which to drive awareness for its work.

The stickers are wrapped around Barefoot Wine & Bubbly bottles at the LCBO for the month of January, which is also Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.

Bringing The Brain Project into more of a consumer retail environment is also part of an effort by Baycrest to show brands other ways they can get involved. Previous efforts have largely revolved around sponsorship of certain sculptures or shaping their development to fit with upcoming product launches or collections, which has been done by brands like Bulgari.

In the fall, The Brain Project’s new title sponsor launched a number of in-store activations at Yogen Früz and Pinkberry locations meant to drive awareness. It also launched a social media contest, allowing users to create their own brain design. Any purchase made at the frozen yogurt retailer until the end of January will also include a donation to Baycrest.