Gabriola Arts Council setting up video and photography studio

·2 min read

Arts activities on Gabriola Island are getting a boost, thanks to grants received by the Gabriola Arts Council recently.

Among them, GAC will receive $20,731 from the B.C. government’s arts infrastructure program to set up and purchase equipment for a part-time video and photography studio at the Gabriola Arts and Heritage Centre (GAHC). Investments will include blackout blinds, a green screen backdrop, a MacBook Pro laptop, editing software and video equipment for a rental program, Carol Fergusson, GAC’s executive director, said so that GAHC can be rented out as a full-studio package.

“Video is such a huge part of our lives and it was really apparent when the pandemic hit that we needed to communicate with each other in another way,” she told the Sounder. “It really is to be able to pivot and respond to situations where we’re not able to meet in person, so artists can communicate through video around the world,” she said.

The arts council will also purchase $4,500 worth of livestreaming equipment for the Isle of the Arts Festival, including a switcher, two iPhones, lights and tripods, which will also be available to rent.

“We really want to create more content for GAC so we’re more accessible for people who might not necessarily attend an event in person, but also for our neighbours over in Nanaimo and people beyond that,” Fergusson added.

GAC is one of 47 arts and culture organizations that will receive dollars from the province to improve existing spaces. A total of $2 million will be distributed. Part of the BC Economic Recovery Plan, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport says this is in addition to $35 million in targeted recovery funding for the arts and culture sector announced since September 2020.

The Gabriola Arts Council also received an $18,990 Pivot grant from the BC Arts Council, which will go toward hiring a part-time person to manage the December-launched Arts on Gabriola website, a showcase for Gabriola artists across disciplines with the aim to connect them with patrons. The grant will cover that individual’s salary for 42 weeks and should pave the way for further project grant applications, Fergusson said. The arts council will also be able to provide free 360-degree studio photospheres to artists.

GAC also recently learned it will receive $31,000 from the B.C. government to cover 2020 operating losses – like ticket and workshop revenue – experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It gives us some breathing room right now because we don’t have a lot of money dedicated to operating costs,” Fergusson said.

Rachelle Stein-Wotten, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Gabriola Sounder