When I signed up to be a BC Culture Days Ambassador, I thought of course I want to help celebrate and grow British Columbia's art scene! I jumped at the chance to be involved, not only because it was going to be fun, but because I thought it would be easy! I am heavily involved in Victoria's independent film community -- I figured that all I need to do is reach out to a few other arts organizations to get them involved. I mean, after all, all artists are tight-knit...
It was during our Culture Days Community Planning Session on June the 18th, that I truly realized how much Culture Days means to our communities.
As an independent filmmaker, it is so easy to get trapped in my bubble of other like-minded collaborative artists, that I didn't realize how separated other artists and artistic organizations really are. With independent film, you gradually find your team of people -- your little film family -- and then you help each other out as needed, in a variety of roles. You could be producing on one set, and helping with craft services on another. Sometimes both at the same time! Yes, it's a struggle to find funding and actually support ourselves with our art work, but there is something really special about Victoria's independent film scene.
To those participating in more solo art forms though, it can be difficult to build that sense of community, that support network, with others. When you're head down working on a collage project, working on a novel, or pursuing other independent artistic endeavours, it's can be tough to not only be social, but to feel like your work is being appreciated. Culture Days is truly one of the few opportunities that some independent artists have to not only show off what they have been working on over the past year, but to see what their peers have been up to!
If you haven't already, I would like to encourage you to sign up to host your own Culture Days event (perhaps you are a sculpture that would like to host a workshop, or maybe you and your actor friends want to showcase a scene)?). It is free to sign up and participate in, and will help you to build Victoria's arts community for everyone. More information is available at bc.culturedays.ca.
I will be hosting my own event BC Culture Days event at CineVic: Society of Independent Filmmakers on September the 29th. It is going to be a free screening of short films by local filmmakers, and will include a Q&A period with the attending filmmakers. If you would like to attend, please RSVP on Eventbrite.