‘Queer in Alberta’ creator tapped to produce series for Telus Storyhive

·3 min read

Lethbridge local Kelsey Delamarter has been chosen to receive $10,000 in production funding along with training to produce a series for the Telus Storyhive Voices 2.0 channel.

Delamarter and 100 other recipients were selected for the work they do as emerging content creators with the campaign looking to help kickstart their creation journey. Delamarter’s project Queer in Alberta was selected for its outreach to queer LGBTQSI+ communities in Alberta, helping others not feel the isolation she has felt and spread knowledge on topics in the community.

Delamarter started her journey on TikTok under the username _kelsifer, where she would connect with other queer people in the community and interview them on various topics. Feeling isolated as a queer person in Alberta, Delamarter shares their stories to help others not feel the same troubles she experienced.

“I started posting little videos on TikTok, with no formal experience, and it’ll be nice to be able to gain some skills to make this the best that it can be,” said Delamarter. “The Queer in Alberta interview series began where I posted a video calling out for queer Albertans, speaking about the isolation and feeling of queer scarcity. I had so many people responding with their own stories, wanting to share from all kinds of backgrounds, genders, and sexualities. So I started interviewing them over Zoom and putting that on TikTok. But so many people were interested in seeing the full interviews, so what I ended up doing was editing them down to 30 to 40 minutes and now there is six episodes currently out on YouTube and Spotify.”

Seeing her work expand, Delamarter talks on different topics of race, gender, and backgrounds, and how people in the community have faced coming out in small towns, and their challenges.

“I view this as such an honour and privilege to be able to share other queer Albertan’s experiences and stories. We are all different and have our own opinions and views,” said Delamarter. “My experiences as a mixed person of colour are very different from some other members of the community as well. So I want to recognize my position in this, and share others as well.”

Going forward Delamarter will work with Telus Optik to gain more skills to bring her work to new levels.

“Creators like Kelsey, starting in October, are going to start attending our Creator Sessions, where they get to learn a bit more about Storyhive, get into the details of how to execute and produce their video content. Then we are aiming for a summer 2023 launch on OPTIC TV for all their content,” said Munira Mohamud, senior program manager of Storyhive Voices. “The Voices program was designed for people who have little or no experience in creating content. It’s geared towards people who are passionate about (creating content).”

Working with creators to produce content that is authentic and relevant to community they are from, Storyhive looks to not dictate the work, but give them the support for their passion.

“It’s their dream that’s driving this,” said Mohamud. “Our goal is to support people in the community that are looking to access the Canadian Broadcasting System. These people are looking to get into content creation and we provide them with funding in select communities across Alberta and BC. Since 2013, Storyhive has been able to support a community of over 18,000 local content creators across Western Canada. Providing $15-million in funding in order to get these creators started in their careers.”

Working to that goal, Delamarter will work with producing this project while also continuing towards her Master’s Degree in Anthropology at the University of Lethbridge. “I hope and dream for a project like this that can continue to grow. To be seen by people,” said Delamarter. “It’s so important for Albertans all across the board from all demographics to see themselves, to be part of that community. This has been one of the most rewarding journeys that I’ve taken in my life.”

Ryan Clarke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Lethbridge Herald