Workshop gives central Vancouver Island artists a hand with digital technology – Port Alberni Valley News


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 the gaps in access to technology tools and media,” says Creative Coast Co-Chair Jenny Farkas. “We know that there are several hundred artists in the middle/central part of our region who want to be more engaged in the arts sector and in the digital world.”

Creative Coast is a growing group of arts organizations and artists from Vancouver Island and the Gulf Island who have received a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts to reach out to rural, remote and underserved artists. They partnered with the Alberni Valley Community Arts Council to bring the workshop to the center of the island.

The May 12-13 workshop will allow 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 walk away with an array of digital assets, including high-quality portraits, photographs of their creations, and a short video about their artistic practice.

“The digital world is a tough place to show up as a visual artist,” says Farkas. “We must learn to tell our stories and amplify our works of art in new ways.”

Creative Coast conducted an Arts Impact Study last year which shows that Vancouver Island has a high density of artists: 1 in 5 people. The study found that this region is home to at least 35,000 professional and occasional artists and 20,000 arts workers.

“We always suspected that we were an artistic and cultural powerhouse, but now we are certain,” adds Farkas. “The economic and social well-being of our super-region is enhanced when our artists thrive, so ensuring everyone has the support and services they want is extremely important.

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

“Many artists in our region are eager to access more digital resources to amplify their own art and facilitate their engagement with each other,” says Melissa Martin, Executive Director of the Rollin Arts Center and Community Arts Council. “We are thrilled to partner with Creative Coast and take advantage of these opportunities.”

To learn more about these offers, visit the “art coach” and “podcast” pages on To express your interest in the Port Alberni workshops, email Melissa at [email protected], or complete the form at the bottom of the ‘art coach’ page.

Alberni ValleyArts & EntertainmentPort Alberni


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