Miranda Chiasson, Tammy Hudgeon and Melinda Wilde (from left) are among the those presenting workshops during the upcoming online edition of Isle of the Arts. (Photos courtesy Miranda Chiasson/Ode Howard/submitted)

Miranda Chiasson, Tammy Hudgeon and Melinda Wilde (from left) are among the those presenting workshops during the upcoming online edition of Isle of the Arts. (Photos courtesy Miranda Chiasson/Ode Howard/submitted)

Gabriola’s Isle of the Arts Festival returns in online form due to COVID-19

Variety of workshops offered that participants can take part in from home

Once again the Gabriola Arts Council is presenting a modified version of its annual Isle of the Arts Festival to accommodate COVID-19 restrictions.

Registration begins this week for the 11th annual IOTA Festival, which kicks off on March 31 and runs until April 11.

Festival coordinator Victoria Bamford said there were hopes to be able to offer smaller in-person workshops like last year, but instead the decision was made to hold the entire festival online. Registrants will be participating in the workshops virtually from home and in some cases will be provided art supply kits to help them follow along with the artists.

Miranda Chiasson will be providing soil, fertilizer and seeds to participants in her gardening workshop. Chiasson was a farmer in the Fraser Valley for six years and has been living on Gabriola for the past two months.

She’ll be teaching the basics of a kitchen garden and offering some tips and tricks, and although doing it online will be a new experience for her, the teacher-student interaction should be familiar.

“I can see what they’re doing and they can see what I’m doing and they can still ask lots of questions,” Chiasson said. “The most intimidating part to me actually is teaching it online and I don’t really know what it’s going to look like yet but I hope that it’ll just be the same except through a computer in the middle.”

Bringing technology into the workshops can also be beneficial. IOTA regular Melinda Wilde is leading a watercolour workshop and will be teaching techniques for creating a spring floral bouquet.

She said moving to online will give her participants a better view of the action.

“In-person people tend to gather around the table, and if you’re short or if there’s a lot of people, you’re kind of behind and you’re looking over someone’s shoulder to see what’s going on,” Wilde said. “Whereas this people will see it right there, big. They’ll see just my hands, just what I’m doing on the screen. So in some ways, it’s better.”

The online format also suits Gabriola artist Tammy Hudgeon, who describes herself as “very introverted” and hasn’t wanted to hold workshops with adults in her studio.

Her workshop, Creative Empowerment through Visual Journaling, is based on an online course she’s created. She calls it “a deep dive into creativity and visual journaling and the ways that we stop ourselves and the ways that we can help ourselves move forward to make our mark” and she said presenting it online has been a good fit.

“I’m hearing from people of how relieved they are to find this space where they are allowed to play and express in whatever way feels true for them,” she said. “And that’s all been done online.”

WHAT’S ON … The Gabriola Arts Council presents the 11th annual Isle of the Arts Festival taking place virtually from March 31 to April 11. Registration is open from March 10 to 26 at artsfest.artsgabriola.ca.

RELATED: Gabriola’s Isle of the Arts Festival goes ‘mini’ on 10th anniversary

RELATED: Isle of the Arts Festival returns to Gabriola Island



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Art

Just Posted

First responders on scene at Qwam Qwum Stuwixwulh School south of Nanaimo on Thursday afternoon. (Karl Yu/The News Bulletin)
One child airlifted after quad accident at Nanaimo district school

First responders called to Qwam Qwum Stuwixwulh School at around 3:30 p.m.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control maps showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 4-10. (BCCDC image)
Parksville-Qualicum passes Nanaimo in new COVID-19 cases

B.C. Centre for Disease Control reports 65 new cases in Oceanside health area April 4-10

A nearly four-hour standoff at an apartment complex on Cowichan Lake Road in Duncan ended peacefully on Wednesday, April 14. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Police standoff at Duncan apartment ends peacefully

Officers surround building as homeowner held in apartment for nearly four hours by adult son

Pacific Institution in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media file photo)
Inmate with ties to Victoria dies in Abbotsford institution

Brodie Bingley, who was sentenced for aggravated assault in Maple Ridge died April 13

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

The Baynes Sound Connector leaves Denman Island en route to Buckley Bay. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Baynes Sound Connector undergoing upgrades

The MV Quinitsa is providing service between Buckley Bay and Denman Island

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Quatse, the abandoned sea otter pup who was rescued in Port Hardy. (Marine Mammal Rescue Centre photo)
Quatse the sea otter pup continues to recover in treatment

Quatse’s last “pupdate” was on March 31, where it was noted she is “doing well and gaining weight.”

Hwy. 4 was shut down in both directions for 10 hours on March 23 as a rock bluff was blasted as part of Kennedy Hill’s ongoing construction. Commuters can expect five more 10 hour closures on five consecutive Wednesdays beginning April 28. (Photo courtesy of Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
Five 10-hour Pacific Rim highway closures planned in the next 6 weeks

Closures needed for rock blasting as part of the Kennedy Hill Safety Improvement project.

Most Read