Hesquiaht artist Naas being interviewed for Creative Coast’s new podcast. (PHOTO COURTESY CREATIVECOAST.CA)

Hesquiaht artist Naas being interviewed for Creative Coast’s new podcast. (PHOTO COURTESY CREATIVECOAST.CA)

Workshop gives central Vancouver Island artists a hand up with digital technology

Two-day workshop coming to Port Alberni May 12–13

PORT ALBERNI – A group working to connect Vancouver Island artists with digital technology is coming to Port Alberni for a two-day workshop.

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

Creative Coast is a growing group of Vancouver Island/Gulf Island arts organizations and artists that received a Canada Council for the Arts grant to reach out to rural, remote and under-served artists. They have paired with the Community Arts Council in the Alberni Valley to bring the workshop to the central Island.

The workshop May 12–13 will enable up to 10 artists to experience what it’s like to engage with a wide range of multimedia tools. At the end of the day, each artist will leave with an 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.”

Creative Coast conducted an arts impact study last year which shows Vancouver Island has a high density of artists: 1 in 5 people. 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.”

Creative Coast has a number of other initiatives underway, including a new podcast featuring Islands artists, bi-monthly tech webinars and a resource hub. These projects are “little collaboration labs” designed to foster greater connectivity and public exposure for creative people.

“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 Melissa Martin, executive director of the Rollin Arts Centre and Community Arts Council. “We’re excited to partner with Creative Coast and take advantage of these opportunities.”

To find out more about these offerings visit the ‘art coach’ and ‘podcast’ pages at creativecoast.ca. To express interest in the Port Alberni workshops email Melissa at admincac@shawcable.com, or fill out the form at the bottom of the ‘art coach’ page.

Alberni ValleyArts and EntertainmentPort Alberni