An actor, DJ and all-around fun-loving guy believed a great way to lighten up the mood of Toronto and the world following the 2016 U.S. election would be to take baths in a variety of homes.
That’s how the founder of #BathtubsofBunz, Ken Ferguson, came to launch his January 2017 project.
“We’re different culturally in a lot of ways from the [United] States but we’re so close…we’re so inundated with American news and their closest trading partner, so everything that happens there affects us, too. So, I was pissed,” Ferguson said during an interview at Centennial College’s East York campus in April. “So I’m gonna do this stupid thing and see if it can get a couple laughs and it ended up blowing up.”
Ferguson met many people through Bunz, an app that allows users to trade items they no longer want for just about anything. The rule of it: no money, only items.
For Ferguson, this meant trading his old items for a home-cooked meal, which lead to his finding of a friend whose house comes equipped with a bathtub. It was a stark reminder of something he did not have in his own place, and ignited his desire to take a bath.
“So, she started leading me through the place and I was like, ‘Aww shit! You’ve got a bathtub? That’s awesome! I haven’t had a bath for so long.’ Because the apartment I was living in only had a stand-up shower,” he said. “And so, I asked, ‘Can I trade you for a bath?’”
This was the start of his #BathtubsofBunz project, that included him in a different person’s bath every day that month; some with themes like rubber ducks, dismembered Barbie dolls and lessons in burlesque.
To his surprise, it also served as a way for him to connect with his hosts on a much deeper, emotional level. He spoke of his friend Hannah who had weighed in on the matter.
“You know, that makes total sense. You’ve given these people a space to talk about their mother committing suicide or their cancer diagnosis or…their drug addictions.
“It was funny and touching, too, because you start to realize everyone’s got their own pain in their lives and not all of them are able to talk about it. I was just really happy to talk about it.”
He advocates an adventurous spirit, to be a risk-taker and to try new things.
“Just try shit. Don’t be afraid.”
Now Ferguson is crowdsourcing money to travel around the world as his bathtub project goes global.