The Arts Council of Ladysmith and District is working with several Vancouver Island art councils on the Digitial Innovation Group to improve digital skills for Island artists. (Submitted photo)

The Arts Council of Ladysmith and District is working with several Vancouver Island art councils on the Digitial Innovation Group to improve digital skills for Island artists. (Submitted photo)

Arts group promotes digital literacy for Island artists

The goal is to leverage digital skills to promote Vancouver Island as an ‘arts powerhouse’

The Art Council of Ladysmith and District is leading the charge of Vancouver Island art councils to improve their digital skills.

ACLD formed the Digital Innovation Group (DIG) with a $212,200 grant from the Canada Council for the Arts. DIG members include the Comox Valley Arts Council, Cowichan Valley Arts Council, Saltspring Island Arts, Old School House Art Centre and Hornby Island Art Council.

RELATED: Vancouver Island Arts Councils get big grant for investment in digital skills

DIG has conducted research into how Vancouver Island artists and art councils manage their data, and developed short-term and long-term strategic goals to help artists leverage digital platforms.

ACLD member and DIG lead Ora Steyn said that the COVID-19 pandemic has proven that digital skills are critical to supporting arts on Vancouver Island.

“It’s all about digital literacy,” Steyn said. “Once we started looking at digital literacy of artists and the councils we found that yes, there were issues. Part of those issues, especially for the councils, can be alleviated by sharing resources and knowledge.

Other digital literacy pieces like using software and storing data were also identified as areas for improvement.

“It’s no use teaching people how to store their data if they have no data — that’s the big thing,” Steyn said. “We don’t know where the artists are or how many there are. We don’t know what impact we have on communities, on the economy, on tourism, or any of those other details. It’s all word of mouth.”

“From my knowledge of the Ladysmith arts council, we have a book in the gallery and we make tick marks for every visitor that comes in. We know in 2019, we had 13,000 people through the gallery. That’s pretty powerful data but it’s not collected in a systematic way so that it can be compared year over year and it wasn’t collected digitally.”

RELATED: Ladysmith Arts Council leads effort to establish Vancouver Island as an arts powerhouse

DIG is working to compile an IT assessment for the member art councils. They will also be establishing an arts-focused technology help desk called Creative Coast. Creative Coast will help artists and art councils administer their digital systems and help promote shared knowledge of technology.

On May 31, DIG will be hosting a session for Vancouver Island art councils to discuss what digital skills and programs work best for individual councils.

In the long-term, this work is focused on building collaboration between Vancouver Island art councils and artists to establish the Island as a Canadian arts powerhouse.

Steyn said that art councils across Canada have taken notice of what’s happening with DIG and she hopes that community partners will too.

“What I hope comes from this is that tourism, economic development, local governments — all our partners in our communities — realize the value of art,” she said.

Just Posted

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

Black Press Media file
Port Hardy RCMP on the hunt for porta-pottie arsonist

The porta-potties were lit on fire early in the morning on June 13

Eke Me-Xi students enjoy a field trip to Malcolm Island. (Submitted photos)
Eke Me-Xi Learning Centre takes field trip to Malcolm Island

Once at Bere Point, students made themselves at home in the day-use area

Mount Waddington Regional Fall Fair logo
Mount Waddington Regional Fall Fair cancelled again due to COVID-19 restrictions

The 2022 fall fair is still scheduled to take place in Port Hardy

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in South Island parkland

These birds don’t often touch down on their way between northern B.C. and Mexico

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding parnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Most Read