News

Some simple tips: how to photograph your artwork and space

The idea of photographing your artwork or your arts, culture or heritage space may seem overwhelming, especially if you’re not a professional photographer. The good news is that there are steps you can take to make the process easier and produce better results!

Photographer Jeremy Addington, who has taught photography at Selkirk College, among other places, has put together some simple tips that you can use right away to take better photographs.

We asked him to compile these tips to aid the venues in the upcoming 2024 Columbia Basin Culture Tour, so they could express through photos how fabulous their artwork and spaces are. However, every artist and arts, culture and heritage group in the Basin could benefit—which is why we’re offering them to you, too!

We hope these help you express how amazing your arts, culture or heritage practice is!

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE PHOTO TIPS

From our Executive Director: Field Notes from Northern Exposure 2024

The Sunset Theatre.

The 2024 Northern Exposure conference brought together arts managers, festival directors, artists, emergency responders and community recovery specialists in sunny Wells, BC. Elyssia Sasaki of Island Mountain Arts—in partnership with Elliott Hearte of Arts BC and Carla Stephenson of the Rural Arts Inclusion Lab—welcomed us into conversations about how to prepare for extreme climate events as we go about managing our organizations, particularly when planning for large-scale events.

A session titled “What Happened Last Summer?” brought the urgency of this conversation to the forefront. 2 Rivers Remix, an organization that hosts an annual outdoor “feast of contemporary Indigenous music and culture,” began in Lytton, BC. Technical Director James Still spoke of the challenges of pivoting an entire year of programming following the fire that burned 80 per cent of the village of Lytton in 2021. Focusing now on pop-up events in highly rural and remote communities and reserves, the organization is working to balance increasing festival attendance with the complexity of hosting live events in areas with few services and amenities.

When Nimble Fingers Folk Festival delayed the start of its 2023 festival due to forest fires blocking the highway to the event, it managed to offer a scaled-back presentation of music at a borrowed venue (a racetrack campsite!) to a smaller crowd of folks who were willing to reroute. Staring down what is likely to be another intense fire season, it has already made the call to cancel its 2024 festival, giving staff a chance to recover and regroup. Festival Director Peter Mynett left us with two equally pressing questions:

  • When is it safe to host events now?
  • What are the short- and long-term consequences for our communities if we don’t host these events?

While these stories felt overwhelming, the good news is that there are many skilled planners and first responders who are ready to act in the event of an emergency. As arts organizers, we don’t need to reinvent their planning, but we do need to build relationships with these regional officials and communicate proactively with them about our plans.

Irene Israel, the Manager of Emergency Program Services for the Cariboo Regional District, encourages any organization hosting a large event to let its municipality and district know about its plans well in advance. In a town like Wells, with a population of approximately 220, the swell of people attending its annual arts festival (an additional 2,000) creates considerable shifts in emergency management strategies and responses.

Isreal also emphasised that emergency preparedness begins with making preparations for ourselves, our households and our loved ones. Keeping emergency kits at home is critical; she also recommended signing up for emergency alerts when travelling. Text-based notifications from the municipality or district you’re visiting will ensure you’re up to speed on any critical news while there.

Deb Borsos, a community recovery operations specialist based in Argenta, reminded us about the importance of supporting entities like our local radio stations; in emergency scenarios and throughout recovery, these highly local outlets often provide the most timely and relevant information.

A visual artist herself, Borsos shaped many of the week’s exercises, from a hazard-identification walk through the streets of Wells, to a tabletop emergency planning exercise in which teams strategized getting crowds to safety during a hypothetical festival with an encroaching wildfire.

One of the most empowering messages of the Northern Exposure gathering was that the arts are not only impacted by events outside of our control; we also have a critical role to play in helping communities recover after disaster strikes.

Scotia Monkivitch, Executive Officer of Australia’s Creative Recovery Network, joined us virtually from Brisbane to share the network’s experiences bringing the arts into conversations with other systems actors and sharing the value the arts can bring to emergency planning and recovery work.

Monkivitch believes that imagination is the biggest gift the arts can bring this work. The arts can add value to existing community preparedness activities, “deepening a relational, people-centred approach.” Even before disaster strikes, the social infrastructure that the arts provide can have a significant impact on community resilience. Monkivitch highlighted research demonstrating that “more durable social connections means that recovery happens faster.”

The network recently launched a handbook providing practical advice and best practices for those looking to learn more about creative approaches to emergency preparedness, response and recovery.

What I’m taking away from my time in Wells is that it’s never too late to think about preparing an arts organization for an emergency. I encourage my colleagues to reach out to their municipalities and regional districts to share information and open a line of dialogue; when the time comes for a thoughtful, coordinated emergency response, you’ll be grateful to have those connections in place.

Do you have an event coming up this summer? There are some fantastic resources out there to help keep staff and event-goers safe. Take a look at Actsafe’s resources on managing heat risk or its recent webinar Hot and Smoky: A New Normal about managing the challenges of heat and wildfire smoke.

A little bit of planning will go a long way to helping everyone stay safe and have more fun while enjoying art this year.


Kallee Lins is the Executive Director of the West Kootenay Regional Arts Council.

Behind the Scenes: Q&A WITH DENISE BAUGHAN, CKCA STEERING COMMITTEE CHAIR

The West Kootenay Regional Arts Council (WKRAC) exists to help arts, culture and heritage in the Columbia Basin thrive. To do so, we rely on a dedicated team of board members, plus steering committee members who oversee the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance (CKCA) arts and culture grants.

Denise Baughan, CKCA Steering Committee Chair

Who are these people? In this series, we’re introducing you to the folks behind the scenes.

Denise Baughan, CKCA Steering Committee Chair

Denise Baughan works as a teacher in Fernie, teaching drama to grades two to 12 and humanities to grade seven.

WKRAC: How did you come to call the Columbia Basin home?

DB: I followed the love of my life out west for a snowboarding vacation. We fell in love with the warmth and friendliness of the community of Fernie, and decided to make it our forever home.

Are you involved in arts, culture and heritage outside of your work with WKRAC/CKCA? If so, what is your discipline or practice?

I am heavily involved with the arts outside of the work that I do with CKCA. I am a theatre artist and full-time educator, and am currently a member of the Fernie District Arts Council. Over the years I have directed, performed and hosted theatre workshops in my community. Volunteer work has always been important to me. I help out in my community in a variety of ways—sometimes it’s organizing and helping with logistics of events, other times it’s been tearing down stages in the rain, or MCing concerts.

Why did you wish to join this board/committee?

I wanted to join CKCA because I felt like the work that they do is important, especially for rural artists. I am a huge supporter and advocate for the arts in my community, and with joining this board my hope has always been to have a positive impact, and to learn. It’s been an honour getting to witness so many of the projects that come across our table become a reality, and to see the impact these projects have not only on the artists, but also their communities.

What do you think people in the region should be proud of in terms of arts, culture and heritage?

I think people across the Basin should be proud of the diversity that each community has to offer when it comes to the arts, culture and heritage sectors. Travelling around the Basin, I am always impressed by the calibre of artists that exists, and how the communities create and support opportunities for artists to showcase their work. The Columbia Basin has a lot to be proud of.

What advice do you have for people in the region pursuing a career in arts, culture and heritage?

Don’t be afraid to use your voice and create your own opportunities. Develop a network of supportive people, be persistent, believe in yourself and be authentic to who you are. 

What vision do you see for the future of arts, culture and heritage in the Columbia Basin?

I believe that the arts, culture and heritage sectors are the heart of a community, and therefore I hope to see them continue to thrive. I hope to witness continued funding to the arts, artists collaborating and communities continuing to come together to celebrate their uniqueness.

Behind the Scenes: Q&A WITH Holly Bhattacharya, CKCA STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBER

Holly Bhattacharya, CKCA Steering Committee Member

The West Kootenay Regional Arts Council (WKRAC) exists to help arts, culture and heritage in the Columbia Basin thrive. To do so, we rely on a dedicated team of board members, plus steering committee members who oversee the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance (CKCA) arts and culture grants.

Who are these people? In this series, we’re introducing you to the folks behind the scenes.

Holly Bhattacharya, CKCA Steering Committee Member

Performing violinist and violin teacher Holly Bhattacharya lives in Revelstoke.

WKRAC: How did you come to call the Columbia Basin home?

HB: My family and I moved to Canada from Brighton, United Kingdom, in 2021. When we arrived we lived in Okotoks, 20 minutes south of Calgary, but when the position of Executive and Artistic Director for Arts Revelstoke came up, my husband applied and we decided to make the move to BC.

Are you involved in arts, culture and heritage outside of your work with WKRAC/CKCA? If so, what is your discipline or practice?

I have been a performing violinist and teacher since graduating from the Royal Northern College of Music in 2005. I have played regularly with many of the UK’s top orchestras, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (where I met my husband), the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the BBC Orchestras. I also played on the show The Phantom of the Opera in London’s West End for several years. Since moving to Canada, I have set up a successful teaching practice in Revelstoke and have joined an ensemble called the Jessica McMann Trio. We recorded an album in summer 2023 called Prairie Dusk and did a promotional tour starting in Alberta (St. Albert, Cochrane), travelling around interior BC (Revelstoke, Nelson, Trail) and finishing at Vancouver’s IndieFest in November.

Why did you wish to join this board/committee?

As a newcomer to Canada, I feel like I have a responsibility to fully understand the arts scene from all perspectives and the processes involved that create an environment which gives everyone access to live music, theatre, art and arts education. I also feel like I am able to offer a different perspective from someone who has grown up in the area, as I have been immersed in the arts scene in the UK for many years.

What do you think people in the region should be proud of in terms of arts, culture and heritage?

Within almost every community in the region, it seems there is not only a vibrant arts scene, but also a sense of community connection with that art—in that it belongs to them and reflects them, so wherever that art or artist goes, a little bit of them goes with it. This is a special relationship to the art and artists which I have not seen elsewhere.

What advice do you have for people in the region pursuing a career in arts, culture and heritage?

For anyone pursuing a career in arts, culture and heritage, I would say to fully understand it and appreciate it. Don’t just explore one avenue but explore many—you may end up in a completely different area from where you initially imagined! Each discipline of arts, music, theatre, culture and heritage has many different aspects which overlap and complement each other, so they should all work together to bring communities together.

What vision do you see for the future of arts, culture and heritage in the Columbia Basin?

I see a bright future for the arts, culture and heritage scenes in the Columbia Basin. I hope that within the spirit of reconciliation, Indigenous artists are honoured and enabled, to give an equitable performance platform for everyone. I also hope that communities as a whole see the broader need for art within their society and choose to support their local artists by buying art, booking tickets and funding individuals and groups who show enormous talent.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I feel very privileged to be a part of WKRAC/CKCA. The work they are doing and the connections they are fostering are so valuable for all artists. They provide financial and practical support and truly enable artists in the region to reach their full potential. Thank you for everything you are doing!

JOIN US FOR AN EXCITING DANCE-ON-FILM EVENT!

Susanne Chui in Woodlight Green Moss Meadow /Photo by: Béatrice Schuler-Mojon of Hear Here Productions.

Join the West Kootenay Regional Arts Council, Castlegar Arts Council and Capitol Theatre for two special evenings of dance on film originally curated by the dance: made in/fait au canada festival 2023 (d:mic).  

This unique series of films highlights the powerful combination of creative filmmaking, vibrant landscapes and thoughtful choreography. Exploring physical and emotional landscapes, this series presents choreographic experiments grounded in nature, taking audiences on a tour of cross-country outdoor spaces experienced through deep artistry.

This special film event has been created specifically for Kootenay audiences in the first-ever presentation of d:mic film selections outside of the Toronto-based festival!

BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW!


Castlegar
7 p.m., March 27, 2024
Following the screening, join WKRAC Executive Director Kallee Lins, Castlegar Arts Council President Miguel Godau, and dance artist Tessa Tamura for a discussion about the intersections of dance and film.
Castle Theatre
185 Columbia Ave.
$10 in advance or at the door

Nelson
In addition to the feature programming, the Nelson event invites you to join WKRAC Executive Director Kallee Lins, and dance artists Slava Doval and Acacia Schachte for a pre-chat about the process of creating dance on film, plus view two additional screenings: Go into your heart and ECHO featuring Kootenay-based performers.
7 p.m., March 28, 2024
Capitol Theatre
421 Victoria St.
$15 via the Capitol box office


d:mic Film Program

Inner Existence (9 min)
Directed and performed by Liv Arcangeli

ASHES, The myth of the heron and the 62 Lakes (10 min)
Directed by Charles-Antoine Thériault Performed by Miranda Chan

Pars (4 min)
Directed by Clarissa Rebouças
Performed by Angélique Amyot, Jade-Emmanuelle, Valérie Pitre

Offering (6 min)
Directed by Marlene Millar

Woodlight Green Moss Meadow (4 min)
Directed by Erin Elizabeth Donovan
Performed by Alice Burdick, Susanne Chui

Shifting creatures, restless structure (18 min)
Directed and performed by Meghan Mainville


d:mic Acknowledgements

Artistic & Festival Director, Yvonne Ng with Co-Festival Directors, Janelle Rainville & Jeff Morris
Programmer for dance on film and videos, Kathleen Smith
Arts Encounters Manager, Taylor Young 

The d:mic festival is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Council and Canadian Heritage.

Behind the Scenes: Q&A WITH ANDRA LOUIE, CKCA STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBER

Andra Louie, CKCA Steering Committee Member

The West Kootenay Regional Arts Council (WKRAC) exists to help arts, culture and heritage in the Columbia Basin thrive. To do so, we rely on a dedicated team of board members, plus steering committee members who oversee the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance (CKCA) arts and culture grants.

Who are these people? In this series, we’re introducing you to the folks behind the scenes.

Andra Louie, CKCA Steering Committee Member

Andra Louie lives in Kimberley, where she works as the Regional Program Manager for East Kootenay for the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy.

WKRAC: How did you come to call the Columbia Basin home?

AL: I grew up in Invermere and moved away for post-secondary school and the start of my career in the big cities of Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. I was thrilled to relocate back to the region in 2014 with my family.

Are you involved in arts, culture and heritage outside of your work with WKRAC/CKCA? If so, what is your discipline or practice?

I help organize and produce community cultural events and love to attend as many live music and theatrical productions as I can.

Why did you wish to join this board/committee?

It’s really important to me to be an advocate and champion of artists. I see this as an opportunity to get to know and work with others around the Basin who have a similar interest in supporting the arts, while growing my skill set in grant adjudication.

What do you think people in the region should be proud of in terms of arts, culture and heritage?

Our region is gifted with a plethora of accessible art and culture year-round. I think people should be proud of the high calibre and variety of art, culture and heritage that is in our area and First Nations communities. We are fortunate to be able to take part in a multitude of events and performances that range in every direction.

What advice do you have for people in the region pursuing a career in arts, culture and heritage?

Seek out others who share your passion. Be authentic and don’t give up!

What vision do you see for the future of arts, culture and heritage in the Columbia Basin?

I envision greater financial support from various funding streams to ensure that artists can afford to remain in the region while continuing their artistic pursuits, raising their families and contributing to the quality of life we all love so much here in the Basin.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I’m hopeful that summer theatre will return to Kimberley! (Haha!)

Become an essential Culture Tour stop!

Each year, the public is invited to explore and enjoy studios, galleries, museums, events and more through the free, self-directed Columbia Basin Culture Tour. We invite you to become one of the essential stops!

This year, the tour takes place:

  • August 10 and 11, 2024
  • 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

Register now if you’re an artist, or an organization or venue focused on arts, culture and heritage, anywhere in the Columbia Basin. Your venue will receive a listing in the 2024 Culture Tour brochure, a profile on our website and a social media spotlight; our tour promotions help you extend the reach of your cultural practice!

Ensure your spot now:

  • Early bird rate ($50): register by March 31, 2024.
  • Regular rate ($60): register by April 15, 2024.

NEW THIS YEAR!

  • Hold your spot through a simplified registration form. We won’t ask for details about your venue until later in the process, which will give you plenty of time to think through the details of your venue and activities on the weekend.
  • Benefit from our new venue supports. You’ll gain skills to help you make your tour weekend a success, which will also support your practice into the future.

For more information, contact [email protected] or 250-352-2421.

View venue terms and conditions here.

Apply Now for an Arts and Culture Grant!

If you’re an individual or organization in the Columbia Basin that would like to pursue an arts and culture project, you’re invited to apply for a grant from the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance (CKCA). The application period is now open, with deadlines on March 1 or 8, 2024, depending on the program.

CKCA grants—funded by Columbia Basin Trust and managed by the West Kootenay Regional Arts Council—are available for all art disciplines, for both individuals and arts and culture organizations in the Basin.

Before applying:

To learn more about the programs and how to apply, visit wkartscouncil.com/ckca-funding.

Denise Baughan, Chair, CKCA

“The arts and culture sectors are incredibly important to our communities. The CKCA board is grateful for the Trust’s continued support, and is always impressed by the breadth and creativity of the grant applications that are submitted. The Trust’s funding allows artists to grow, and it creates opportunities for the many arts and cultural organizations that apply to celebrate the diversity and individuality of the communities that make up the Basin. We are excited to see what this year’s round of applications will be and look forward to continuing to witness the ongoing positive impacts that this funding creates for the communities.”

Justine Cohen, Manager, Delivery of Benefits, Columbia Basin Trust

“The Trust is pleased to partner with the West Kootenay Regional Arts Council to provide people living in the Columbia Basin region with opportunities to access and enjoy arts and culture. Together we are fostering creativity, cultivating a cultural legacy and adding to the vibrancy and well-being of the region.”

SHAPE THE FUTURE OF LOCAL ARTS ORGANIZATIONS

Castlegar Sculpturewalk

Provide your input to help local arts organizations carry on strongly into the future. Here are three opportunities.

1.

Trail’s VISAC Gallery is busy making plans for the next three to five years. Include your voice in its vision for arts programming by filling out a brief survey. Respondents can enter to win one of three gift baskets featuring pottery by Centre Star Studio, a one-night stay for two at the Prestige Mountain Resort in Rossland and a pair of tickets to see Made in Italy at the Bailey Theatre on Saturday, March 30.

2.

Help steer Castlegar Sculpturewalk toward greater success and relevance by sharing your firsthand experiences, insights into strategic priorities and vision for the organization’s future through a survey. Respondents can enter to win a $100 gift certificate to the downtown Castlegar restaurant of their choice.

While you’re at it, read about how Castlegar Sculpturewalk and other Canadian charities have contended with rising insurance costs in this article:

3.

Support the development of arts and culture in the Columbia Valley. Columbia Valley Arts is seeking an operations manager to support the overall operations of the organization. View the job description and application process:

Send us your story ideas and events!

With a chill in the air, it’s time to start thinking about warmer things: the spring issue of ARTiculate magazine!

To create an amazing publication like always, we need two things from you:

1: Your content ideas

Send us your pitches:

  • by Wednesday, February 7, 2024 (new deadline!)
  • to Margaret Tessman, Editor, at [email protected].

We’ll assign the articles to writers, so don’t send completed stories, please. Just send a quick email with the who, what, when, where and why of your idea or news item, and who the contact person is. Also briefly explain why you think this story would be of interest to a broad range of readers.

We’re on the lookout for information about interesting people, timely happenings or community news, with a focus on the arts, culture and heritage of the East and West Kootenays and Columbia Basin. 

We’re also interested in tips on new releases of books, films and music to include in our “New and Noteworthy” review section.

The next issue will be distributed in April 2024 and covers events through September 2024, so take that into consideration when submitting your ideas.

2: Your events listings

ARTiculate includes listings of local arts, culture and heritage events; this issue will cover items from April to September 2024. To have your event considered for publication, submit it for free by Friday, February 16, 2024, using this link (*NEW*): wkartscouncil.com/articulate-event-submission-form.


Advertising
Ask about our competitive rates to feature your business in this widely read publication, all while helping to support news focusing on our arts, culture and heritage community. ARTiculate is distributed to cultural venues like theatres, bookstores and galleries, as well as to hotels, cafés and many other high-traffic locations. Email to learn more: [email protected]

Writers
We are always on the lookout for writers to take on story assignments. Interested? Send us an expression of interest and a brief writing sample and we will reply with a copy of our editorial guidelines. Pssst: We pay our contributors!


NOTE: To continue receiving notifications about calls for ARTiculate content in the future, please make sure to sign up for our newsletter or follow us on Facebook or Instagram.