arts

Interview with Penticton’s Shane Koyczan

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What were your hopes for this performance?

“In the arts community, lines are being drawn between people who are part of [the Olympics] and people who aren’t. People are upset about cuts to arts funding. My hope was to galvanize us again because the arts community has always had a strong united front.”

CTV

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Festivals help Vancouver forge a shared cultural identity

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Keep an eye out for this series of articles in the Vancouver Sun. On the verge of a massive Cultural Olympiad and the celebrated contemporary PuSh festival, this series offers a little perspective on the cultural importance of festivals to Vancouverites. Some of us build our holidays around local festivals …

Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival
… we continue a series of essays that aim to deepen our understanding of the world in which we live, and offer provocative and informed views on cultural issues.

Veda Hille performing at the PuSh Festival

VANCOUVER — As the city anticipates the opening of the PuSh Festival on Wednesday, with the massive, eight-week Cultural Olympiad hot on its heels, it makes sense to reflect upon how we chronicle the most social expression of artistic culture: the festival.

Vancouver’s lively arts scene and rich festival tradition are hallmarks of the city’s cultural identity.

summer days at the Vancouver Folk Festival

A raft of arts festivals sprouted up within a few years of each other in the 1980s and early 1990s, a very rich time for Vancouver culture: among them, the Vancouver International Fringe Festival in 1985, the Vancouver Queer Film Festival in 1989, and the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival in 1990. The Vancouver International Jazz Festival was first mounted in 1986, and the International Folk Music Festival goes back even further, having been founded in 1978. With their long histories, these festivals have become traditions that many Vancouverites have grown up with.

To read the entire article, click here.

BC flickr photographers help speak out against arts cuts

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Recently I had the privilege of producing a PSA with Jenn Strom for the Alliance for Arts and Culture in response to the BC government’s funding cuts to the arts. About a month ago the Vancouver arts community put together a huge rally at the Vancouver Art Gallery. This PSA starts with that event.

Thanks to a big community of flickr photographers and several BC artists (listed below) who contributed their time, images and music to this video. Very special thanks to Jenn for contributing her talent and insight.

Please share it widely and spread the word.

Featured photography: Russ Beinder, Jeremy Crowle, Jurek Durczak, Derek von Essen, Dan Fairchild, Electric Company Theatre, Jonathon Evans, Gale Franey, John Goldsmith, Ivan Grabovac, hundrednorth, Ahmad & Graça Kavousian, Peter Kim, Mark Klotz, Kris Krug, Joao Marcelino, Jenn Perutka, Philip, Tony Puerzer, Philippe Sokazo, Susannah Steers, Peter Suk Sin Chan, Vancouver Opera.

Time Lapse sequence (moving): David Suggitt; Time Lapse sequence (still): Tim Matheson; Video clips of rally: Paul Bennett; Audio clips: Keith Higgins.

Producer: Kevin Teichroeb
Editor: Jenn Strom
Composer: Christian Prohom

If you would like to speak out, follow this link to a webform where you can write in support of BC arts.

Kootenay Rockies Film Festival announced

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rossland mountain film festival

In Rossland, winter promises a flurry of skiers and snowboarders not just on the slopes, but on the big screen as well. Cued to roll November 19 – 22, the 10th annual Rossland Mountain Film Festival will usher locals and visitors alike into screening rooms throughout town for four days of film, visual arts, music and multi-media productions.

Screening work from up-and-coming Kootenay filmmakers, photographers and visual artists (think: reel upon reel set to immortalize a region where powder is king), this marquee event kicks off Thursday with cool beats and plenty of libations during a gala gathering in the town’s Old Fire Hall. Friday follows with screenings for all ages, and late night festivities for the older set, complete with feature films and a live band.

Read the rest of this entry »

Culture Matters – Don’t Torch The Arts!

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Let’s see a huge turnout tomorrow at the Vancouver Art Gallery in Vancouver and the BC Arts Council offices in Victoria.

btw, the big grey square below isn’t a missing graphic. It’s a metaphor for a world without culture.

grey square graphic

Media Release: Sept 8, 2009
From the Direct Action Committee of the Alliance for Arts and Culture.

CULTURE MATTERS – DON’T TORCH THE ARTS!

We call on all those who believe in the value of arts and culture in our communities to join a rally at noon on Wednesday, September 9th in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery to bring public attention to the recently announced, brutal cuts to our sector by the BC government.

Funding to the arts and culture sector has NOT been restored; the provincial government is planning to cut over 80% of what has consisted of only 1/20th of 1% of the provincial budget. No other provinces in Canada have reduced support for a sector that, according to government statistics, produces significant returns on investment. This is a sector that creates both social and economic capital. ART WORKS!

We ask you to consider the ways that arts and culture touch your daily lives at home, in the streets, your children in schools, community centres, on TV, your music, on the internet, in videogames and in theatres, museums and galleries. We ask you to think about culture as part of our individual and community identities, a way to connect with our diverse origins…with who we are today and with what we care about. Arts and culture are woven into the fabric of our daily lives. The arts are NOT A FRILL!

Our symbol is a grey and empty rectangle, a metaphor for a world without art and culture.

Please join us.

-30-

Media Contacts:
Brenda Leadlay: brendajoy@shaw.ca or 778-990-2690
Judith Marcuse: Judith@jmprojects.ca or 604-319-8436

Flex Your Muscles, BC Arts Community

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By Charles Campbell, 4 September 2009, TheTyee.ca

bicepsWhy has the provincial government singled out the arts for the most brutal budget cuts it has inflicted on any sector of the economy?

The numbers are remarkable — a decline in core funding over two years of more than 88 per cent, from $19.5 million down to $2.25 million, according to the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture service plan released after the budget update on Tuesday. ArtsClub-02On Wednesday morning, NDP culture critic Spencer Herbert figured that when cuts to gaming funding are included there is a 92 per cent overall cut over the same period, from $47.8 million in 2008-09 down to $3.7 million in 2010-11.

For complete article, please follow this link

Arts community hobbled by last-minute, $20-million cut in funding

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Artistic Director displays government form letter terminating funding
Artistic Director displays government form letter terminating funding

BY DENISE RYAN, VANCOUVER SUN
AUGUST 30, 2009 6:40 PM

VANCOUVER — Dozens of arts organizations received word late Friday that the provincial government is slashing their gaming grants, including groups that had been guaranteed three-year funding.

“It’s a disaster,” said Bryan Pike, executive director of Word on the Street, which may have to cut literacy programs.

The $20-million in cuts will hobble the arts community, said Spencer Herbert, NDP critic for tourism, arts and culture.

photos © Kevin Teichroeb
photos © Kevin Teichroeb

Arts community members were in shock and tears at Herbert’s Denman street constituency office yesterday as they scrambled to come up with a plan.

Some even suggested a class-action lawsuit against the B.C. Liberal government, said Herbert.

Read the entire article here.