Tejas Collison being remotely interviewed by Illana Hester for new Islands-wide artist podcast. (Photo credit: Creative Coast or @creativecoastbc)

Tejas Collison being remotely interviewed by Illana Hester for new Islands-wide artist podcast. (Photo credit: Creative Coast or @creativecoastbc)

North Island artists are invited to participate in tech pilot

Creative Coast is a growing group of Vancouver Island and Gulf Island arts organizations

A group working to connect artists throughout the Vancouver Island super-region is issuing a call for northern artists. Creative Coast is offering a free, two-day workshop at the Community Hall, as well as the opportunity to be part of a new podcast.

“Our goal is to fill gaps in access to tech tools and supports,” explains Creative Coast co-chair Jenny Farkas. “We know there are hundreds of artists on the North Island who want to be more engaged with the arts sector and with the digital world.”

Creative Coast is a growing group of Vancouver Island and Gulf Island arts organizations and artists that received a Canada Council for the Arts grant to reach out to rural, remote and underserved artists.

“Many artists in our area are eager to access more digital resources to amplify their own art, and to facilitate their engagement with each other,” says Susan Mohler, chair of the North Vancouver Island Arts Society. “We’re excited to partner with Creative Coast and take advantage of these opportunities.”

The two-day workshop in late May will enable up to 10 artists to experience what it’s like to engaged with a wide range of multi-media tools. At the end of the day, each artist will leave with an incredible array of digital assets, including high quality head shots, photographs of their creations and a short video about their artistic practice.

“The digital world is a challenging place to show up as a visual artist,” says Farkas. “We have to learn how to tell our stories and amplify our artworks in new ways.”

A new podcast about the Vancouver Island arts ecosystem, called “Meet me in the middle” launched this week, and North Island artists keen to talk about their material practice or their creative philosophy are invited to express interest in being interviewed.

“The first episode of our podcast is fascinating,” explains Illana Hester, Executive Director of The Old School House Arts Centre in Qualicum Beach, and the other co-chair of Creative Coast. “We interviewed Haida carver Tejas Collison, and loved what we learned about his perspective on re-imagining the art marketplace.”

Creative Coast conducted an arts impact study last year which shows the Vancouver Island region has an incredibly high density of creatives: 1 in 5 people are creatives. The study found this region is home to at least 35,000 professional and casual artists, and 20,000 arts sector workers.

“We’ve always suspected we’re an arts and culture powerhouse, but now we know for certain,” adds Farkas. “Our super-region’s economic and social well-being is enhanced when our artists are thriving, so there’s huge value in ensuring everyone has the support and services they desire. The main message Creative Coast wants to convey is: ‘we’re in this together’.”

A related Creative Coast initiative available to anyone in the super-region is free ‘as me anthying’ tech webinars twice monthly.

To find out more about these offerings visit creativecoast.ca/art-coach. To listen to the Tejas’ podcast interview, go to creativecoast.ca/podcast. To express interest in the Port McNeill workshops email Susan at nviasarts@gmail.com, or fill out the form on the /art-coach page.


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