Mary Fox, Ladysmith Artist is open for Digital Business (Submitted photo)

Push on to establish Vancouver Island as an arts powerhouse

Island-wide conversation underway on how the arts and culture can amplify economic development

A plan is underway to establish Vancouver Island and coastal area as an arts powerhouse.

Spearheaded by the Ladysmith Arts Council, the goal is to situate the Island region as a significant cultural force and destination.

Organizers are kicking off the project with the help of Terry O’Reilly, host of Under The Influence on CBC.

“More artists live and create here per capita than anywhere else in the country,” explains Ladysmith Arts Council President Kathy Holmes. “We are sparking an Island-wide conversation about the role the artists and culture sector can play in amplifying existing regional economic development and tourism activities.”

Sponsored by the Canada Council for the Arts Digital Strategy Fund, the initiative recognizes that digital technologies are facilitating unprecedented collaboration and value creation, and explores how they can be used to enhance individual and collective marketing, communications and audience development efforts.

Much-loved marketing guru O’Reilly will be the keynote speaker during an interactive live webcast on Aug. 8 at 6 p.m., including a Q&A session.

Artists are invited to join this free event from the comfort of their couch or campsite. All that’s needed is a decent internet connection. Organizers are hoping the accessible online format will draw creatives from all corners of this coastal region.

Stz’uminus First Nation artist John Marston, whose studio is located in the Ladysmith Arts Council building, has already signed up for the live webcast.

“Storytelling is a fundamental component of my work, and I’m excited to hear Terry O’Reilly talk about how to integrate it more effectively into my online presence,” he said.

The second half of the workshop will feature Inga Petri, a Whitehorse-based consultant with deep expertise in applying digital technologies to uplift the Canadian arts and culture sector. Inga will offer practical tips and tools about existing and emerging technologies, and attendees will also be introduced to a new geolocation art app being piloted on Vancouver Island.

“We’re already hearing from many artists who are really ramped up working together to grow our sector,” continues Holmes. “There’s an energy brewing about what’s possible here on Vancouver Island thanks to our creative density and digital technology.”

A separate strategy meeting is being held July 25 at 10 a.m. for tourism associations, local governments, arts councils and economic development agencies who want to join the conversation.

These events are a collaborative effort between the Ladysmith Arts Council, the Cowichan Valley Arts Council, and the Cowichan Valley Regional District, as well as two local social enterprises: artfinds.me and streamofconsciousness.ca

For more information on how to particiapte, contact Kathy Holmes or Ora Steyn at the Ladysmith Arts Council

admin@ladysmithwaterfrontgallery.com or 250-245-1252 or event coordinator Jenny Farkas at jfarkas@telus.net or 250-896-6446.

Just Posted

Oak Bay father says he attempted suicide a month before murders

Andrew Berry takes stand in his defense for December 2017 deaths of young daughters

Thermal imaging cameras eye Salish Sea in hopes of better detecting whales

Cameras installed at BC Ferries’ terminal on Galiano Island, and off southern Gulf Islands

UPDATED: Kelly Ellard gets day parole extended for six more months, overnight leave

Ellard was convicted of killing 14-year-old Reena Virk in 1997

Proctor killer attended her memorial, still demonstrates little remorse

Parole Board of Canada documents details reasons for rejecting Kruse Wellwood parole request

Trudeau vows to stand firm against ‘increasingly assertive’ China

China has accused Canada of meddling in its affairs

‘Plenty of time for a deal’: Teachers’ union expects kids back in school on Sept. 3

BCTF says class size, composition at the heart of the issue

Province funds new shuttle buses for 13 B.C. senior centres

Activity, socializing helps maintain health, Adrian Dix says

BREAKING: Province approves Surrey police force

Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth green-lights city’s municipal police force

Police watchdog investigating two officers after Langley teen’s suspected overdose

According to IIO, two officers were deployed to help Carson Crimeni but did not locate him before he died

New study suggests autism overdiagnosed: Canadian expert

Laurent Mottron: ‘Autistic people we test now are less and less different than typical people’

B.C. hockey player excited to join Humboldt Broncos

Defenceman Sebastien Archambault played last two seasons with Junior B Sicamous Eagles.

Hockey-puck-size injured Vancouver Island owl begins recovery

Rare western screech owl being treated at MARS near Courtenay after showing signs of a head trauma

High-traffic Victoria ATM compromised by card skimmer

VicPD suggest ‘wiggle test’ of any bank machine

Most Read