Winners of the Salt Spring National Art Prize Announced for 2021

Organizers of the Salt Spring National Art Prize (SSNAP) are proud to announce the 2021 winners. As one of Canada’s largest visual arts competitions, SSNAP offers both emerging and established artists the opportunity to submit works directly into a national juried art show where only their art and a short artist statement are judged. This unique and inclusive process has helped promote artists worthy of artistic merit across Canada. The 2021 recipient of the Salt Spring Prize – The Joan McConnell Award is Kriss Munsya of Vancouver, British Columbia. The work titled “Dream Tonite. Highway Reflection, The Eraser, Edition 3 of 3” captivated the jury due to its beauty, complexity, depth, colour and composition. It addresses issues of how supremacy, white supremacy and patriarchy, have to be undone in all of us no matter what background we are from. Kriss Munsya is a graphic designer, photographer and award-winning film maker. Originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, …
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Salt Spring artist Connie Kuhns is named as a SSNAP Finalist for 2021/22 Finalist Exhibition

The Salt Spring National Art Prize (SSNAP) has named the finalists for the 2021/22 biennial competition. Included among the fifty-two artists is Salt Spring’s Connie Kuhns. Her photograph called “Canadian Farmhouse” will be part of the Finalists Exhibition opening on September 24 at historic Mahon Hall. Kuhns learned the good news via an email notification, and was overjoyed, “Honestly, I’m a bit shocked, but I’m very, very happy. Thrilled, actually. And so very grateful to be a part of this island community.” Her photograph was taken on a country road in the Lower Mainland. “The morning I took the photograph, I was out driving around on some back roads down by the Fraser River. Fog, Farmland. I went the wrong way, and there it was. It reminded me of an Andrew Wyeth painting, and at the same time, so very Canadian. So very humble.” Kuhns, who has resided on Salt Spring for nine years says, “As a photographer you always hope that what you are feeling in that moment is con…
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Watch the COVID Musical Chronicles: 08 - "Comeback" by Luke Wallace

The Salt Spring Arts Council invited eight Salt Spring Island musical acts to historic Mahon Hall and asked them to perform one song to share with our community. Throughout March we’re releasing COVID Musical Chronicles, eight videos that remind us that music is a balm for hard times. These video Chronicles are also a call to get behind our local musicians – let’s make sure they know how much we love our incredible home-grown talent. Watch all the chronicles as they are released here on the Exchange at: saltspringexchange.com/covid-musical-chronicles Watch the COVID Musical Chronicles: 08 - "Comeback" by Luke Wallace https://youtu.be/sEq1GhqAfkc Follow Luke Wallace at lukewallacemusic.com Thanks to Harley Dunn at Chasm Audio for doing sound and Sydney Woodward for the camera work.
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Watch the COVID Musical Chronicles: 07 - "Water" by Trisha Spire

The Salt Spring Arts Council invited eight Salt Spring Island musical acts to historic Mahon Hall and asked them to perform one song to share with our community. Throughout March we’re releasing COVID Musical Chronicles, eight videos that remind us that music is a balm for hard times. These video Chronicles are also a call to get behind our local musicians – let’s make sure they know how much we love our incredible home-grown talent. Watch all the chronicles as they are released here on the Exchange at: saltspringexchange.com/covid-musical-chronicles Watch the COVID Musical Chronicles: 07 - "Water" by Trisha Spire https://youtu.be/23sLK1BVuLw Follow Trisha Spire at trishaspiremusic.com Thanks to Harley Dunn at Chasm Audio for doing sound and Sydney Woodward for the camera work.
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Watch the COVID Musical Chronicles: 06 - "Speed of Light” by the The Buck Dodgers Stringband

The Salt Spring Arts Council invited eight Salt Spring Island musical acts to historic Mahon Hall and asked them to perform one song to share with our community. Throughout March we’re releasing COVID Musical Chronicles, eight videos that remind us that music is a balm for hard times. These video Chronicles are also a call to get behind our local musicians – let’s make sure they know how much we love our incredible home-grown talent. Watch all the chronicles as they are released here on the Exchange at: saltspringexchange.com/covid-musical-chronicles Watch COVID Musical Chronicles 06: "Speed of Light” by Matt coupled with the old time traditional called “Sleepy Eyed Joe.” Members are Greg Duckett – fiddle, Catherine Black – banjo, Matthew Lacarte – guitar, Alan Kerr – bass. https://youtu.be/rLn4h5I3hRA Follow the The Buck Dodgers Stringband at buckdodgers.ca Thanks to Harley Dunn at Chasm Audio for doing sound and Sydney Woodward for the camera work.
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Watch the COVID Musical Chronicles: 05 - “Journey” by Suzanne Gay

The Salt Spring Arts Council invited eight Salt Spring Island musical acts to historic Mahon Hall and asked them to perform one song to share with our community. Throughout March we’re releasing COVID Musical Chronicles, eight videos that remind us that music is a balm for hard times. These video Chronicles are also a call to get behind our local musicians – let’s make sure they know how much we love our incredible home-grown talent. Watch all the chronicles as they are released here on the Exchange at: saltspringexchange.com/covid-musical-chronicles Watch the COVID Musical Chronicles: 05 - “Journey” by Suzanne Gay https://youtu.be/I8g6dpOEOl4 Follow Suzanne Gay at facebook.com/suzmuzik Thanks to Harley Dunn at Chasm Audio for doing sound and Sydney Woodward for the camera work.
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Watch the COVID Musical Chronicles: 04 - “Slow Motion” Written by Justin Kelley and Phöenix Lazare

The Salt Spring Arts Council invited eight Salt Spring Island musical acts to historic Mahon Hall and asked them to perform one song to share with our community. Throughout March we’re releasing COVID Musical Chronicles, eight videos that remind us that music is a balm for hard times. These video Chronicles are also a call to get behind our local musicians – let’s make sure they know how much we love our incredible home-grown talent. Watch all the chronicles as they are released here on the Exchange at: saltspringexchange.com/covid-musical-chronicles Watch the COVID Musical Chronicles: 04 - “Slow Motion” Written by Justin Kelley and Phöenix Lazare https://youtu.be/y1fq4eG46lk Follow Fawkes & Hownd at fawkesandhownd.com Thanks to Harley Dunn at Chasm Audio for doing sound and Sydney Woodward for the camera work.
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Watch the COVID Musical Chronicles: 03 - “Where Do We Go?” by Renée Layla

The Salt Spring Arts Council invited eight Salt Spring Island musical acts to historic Mahon Hall and asked them to perform one song to share with our community. Throughout March we’re releasing COVID Musical Chronicles, eight videos that remind us that music is a balm for hard times. These video Chronicles are also a call to get behind our local musicians – let’s make sure they know how much we love our incredible home-grown talent. Watch all the chronicles as they are released here on the Exchange at: saltspringexchange.com/covid-musical-chronicles Watch the COVID Musical Chronicles: 03 - “Where Do We Go?” by Renée Layla https://youtu.be/EPkfzF-_JTk Connect with Renée Layla at reneelaylamusic.com/music Thanks to Harley Dunn at Chasm Audio for doing sound and Sydney Woodward for the camera work.
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Watch the COVID Musical Chronicles: 02 - “Lo Que Yo Prefiero” by El Jose

The Salt Spring Arts Council invited eight Salt Spring Island musical acts to historic Mahon Hall and asked them to perform one song to share with our community. Throughout March we’re releasing COVID Musical Chronicles, eight videos that remind us that music is a balm for hard times. These video Chronicles are also a call to get behind our local musicians – let’s make sure they know how much we love our incredible home-grown talent. Watch all the chronicles as they are released here on the Exchange at: saltspringexchange.com/covid-musical-chronicles Watch COVID Musical Chronicles 02: “Lo Que Yo Prefiero” by El Jose https://youtu.be/NMqFPrD8t-8 Follow El Jose on Facebook and/or Instagram. Thanks to Harley Dunn at Chasm Audio for doing sound and Sydney Woodward for the camera work.
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Watch the COVID Musical Chronicles: 01 - “Aqua Spinner” by IRTH

The Salt Spring Arts Council invited eight Salt Spring Island musical acts to historic Mahon Hall and asked them to perform one song to share with our community. Throughout March we’re releasing COVID Musical Chronicles, eight videos that remind us that music is a balm for hard times. These video Chronicles are also a call to get behind our local musicians – let’s make sure they know how much we love our incredible home-grown talent. Watch all the chronicles as they are released here on the Exchange at: saltspringexchange.com/covid-musical-chronicles Watch COVID Musical Chronicles 01: “Aqua Spinner” by IRTH, Marley IRedale and Jesse Thom https://youtu.be/wtb1-upxe9I Follow their work at irth.ca Thanks to Harley Dunn at Chasm Audio for doing sound and Sydney Woodward for the camera work.
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Accessible Art: Meet Rhiannon, Dawn, and Debbie

In 2020, with support from the Disability Alliance British Columbia's Accessibility Project, the Salt Spring Arts Council is delivering a year-long Accessible Art Therapy project to provide access to art therapy for members of our community with disabilities. Lead by Artist Stefanie Denz and supported by Talia Peckel, we are proud to work with local organizations G.I.F.T.S., Friends and Choices, and Meadowbrook. Beyond providing individual and group tailored creative explorations, the project also aims to bring visibility to local islanders with disabilities. Project participants' work is on display as part of 'creative expressions' until August 3, in the Mahon Hall Annex Gallery. Meet Rhiannon: Rhiannon is 26 years old and moved from New Brunswick to Salt Spring, where she finished high school. Her birthday is on January 7th. Her hobbies include designing clothes and sewing dresses for bears. Her favorite colours are purple, black and blue. Rhiannon lends time to hel…
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Accessible Art: Meet Mahjor and Dominic

In 2020, with support from the Disability Alliance British Columbia's Accessibility Project, the Salt Spring Arts Council is delivering a year-long Accessible Art Therapy project to provide access to art therapy for members of our community with disabilities. Lead by Artist Stefanie Denz and supported by Talia Peckel, we are proud to work with local organizations G.I.F.T.S., Friends and Choices, and Meadowbrook. Beyond providing individual and group tailored creative explorations, the project also aims to bring visibility to local islanders with disabilities. Project participants' work is on display as part of 'creative expressions' until August 3, in the Mahon Hall Annex Gallery. Meet Mahjor: Mahjor is 54 years old and moved to Salt Spring in 1994. His family is from India, and that is where he was born, as well as where his name comes from. He goes to Victoria to visit his mom every two weeks, and they go to the Hindu Temple together. They often go to weddings at …
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Accessible Art: Meet Joanne and Jason

In 2020, with support from the Disability Alliance British Columbia's Accessibility Project, the Salt Spring Arts Council is delivering a year-long Accessible Art Therapy project to provide access to art therapy for members of our community with disabilities. Lead by Artist Stefanie Denz and supported by Talia Peckel, we are proud to work with local organizations G.I.F.T.S., Friends and Choices, and Meadowbrook. Beyond providing individual and group tailored creative explorations, the project also aims to bring visibility to local islanders with disabilities. Project participants' work is on display as part of 'creative expressions'  until August 3, in the Mahon Hall Annex Gallery. Meet Joanne. Joanne is 66 years young and has lived on Salt Spring for approximately 40 years. Joanne is an intelligent non-verbal communicator with plenty to express. She enjoys journaling, colouring, organizing her personal space, and taking care of her home. Jo especially loves babies an…
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Accessible Art: Meet Amy and Lucky

In 2020, with support from the Disability Alliance British Columbia's Accessibility Project, the Salt Spring Arts Council is delivering a year-long Accessible Art Therapy project to provide access to art therapy to members of our community with disabilities. Lead by Artist Stefanie Denz and supported by Talia Peckel, we are proud to work with local organizations G.I.F.T.S., Friends and Choices, as well as with Meadowbrook. Beyond individually and group tailored explorations utilizing the arts, the project also aims to bring visibility to Salt Spring people with disabilities. Project participants' work is on display as part of 'creative expressions'  until August 3, in the Mahon Hall Annex Gallery. Meet Lucky:

Lucky started painting after recovering from his 4th open heart surgery in November 2016. He chose to embrace his recovery by expressing his emotions through Abstract painting. He was encouraged by his support staff at…

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Accessible Art: Meet Pam and Steve

In 2020, with support from the Disability Alliance British Columbia's Accessibility Project, the Salt Spring Arts Council is delivering a year-long Accessible Art Therapy project to provide access to art therapy for members of our community with disabilities. Lead by Artist Stefanie Denz and supported by Talia Peckel, we are proud to work with local organizations G.I.F.T.S., Friends and Choices, and Meadowbrook. Beyond providing individual and group tailored creative explorations, the project also aims to bring visibility to local islanders with disabilities. Project participants' work is on display as part of 'creative expressions' until August 3, in the Mahon Hall Annex Gallery. Meet Pam: Pam is 39 years old and came to Salt Spring from North Vancouver. She loves going to the pool and participates in the Special Olympics swimming. She loves playing the shaker at music circle on Mondays, and Thursday karaoke at G.I.F.T.S., where she is known for her rendition of “Mah…
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Creative Project: Stay Home, Stay Safe

My wife and I were enjoying our fifth year on Salt Spring Island when the pandemic hit. As we hunkered down, like many others in this wonderful community, I looked for a way to use my unexpected free time to give back to the island. Our company, Terrier Marketing, works with manufacturers that supply the entertainment industry, among others. When one of them came up with images that could be projected on the sides of buildings, I knew I had what I was looking for. I needed to find a building that would provide a surface that could be projected on, and a corresponding secure location where I could locate the projector. A careful study of buildings along Fulford Ganges Road found only one pair of buildings that would meet my needs. Dan Spiess at Salt Spring Physiotherapy gave his permission to use his temporarily shuttered clinic and enthusiastic support for what he called “this noble project”. Jeremy Milsom at Salt Spring Inn allowed us to use his exterior wall as a screen. …
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The Pandemic Postcard Project - Salt Spring Edition - New Contributions Photo Gallery

The Pandemic Postcard Project, Salt Spring Edition, is a literacy and/or art-promoting project, started by Literacy Alberni, that fosters community connection and legacy-keeping through storytelling and sharing. There have been some remarkable contributions that have been submitted so far. See some of the contributions below. The project is ongoing and more contributions are welcomed. We’re inviting everyone in our community (as individuals or as families, partners, roommates, work teams, etc.) to share their stories, thoughts, struggles, successes, lessons learned, blessings given or received, and resolutions made during this moment in history… on postcards. Why? We’re connected primarily through technology these days through our own profiles and pages. The goal of this project is to celebrate that, while also creating a lasting, physical record of our resilience. Throughout the project, as submissions come in, we will share some of the Pandemic Postcards on the Sa…
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COVID-19: Salt Spring Literacy Cancels 2020 Book & Jewellery Sale

The Salt Spring Literacy Board has made a difficult decision: we have cancelled the annual Book and Jewellery Sale, which is held in November. The preparation and planning process for this sale begins in April. The volunteers need seven months to collect, sort, clean, repair and price donated items. We are unable to collect the books due to the need for social distancing and limiting the exchange and handling of goods. The volunteers who contribute the countless hours to make the sale possible would be put at risk should we begin collecting before it is entirely safe to do so. Please hang on to your books as we depend on your donations. We will communicate as soon as we can coordinate a book collection in a safe manner. Jewellery donations are easier to manage in a safe way. Island Savings has agreed to have a collection bin for jewellery in its branch, effective May 1. This bin is a safe receptacle for your treasured donations – simply drop your jewels into a hole at the…
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Watch: Fernwood Combined Choir Sing "Scars to your Beautiful" for CBC Music Challenge

These students are a combined choir from the Grade 3/4/5 classes at both Fernwood and Salt Spring Island Elementary Schools, in Salt Spring Island B.C. Each school, lead by music teacher Whitney Walker, was excited to enter the CBC Challenge, but decided to work together to combine their voices, rather than submit two tapes. They have met weekly at noon for the last month or so in their respective schools, to learn their song. “Scars to Your Beautiful,” by Alessia Cara, was the Canadian selection they chose, because of the beauty of the message; “Just Be Yourself.” Then they came together on taping day, meeting for the very first time, to create their tape together to submit to the Music Challenge as one large choir. What a great experience it was singing together! https://youtu.be/tcP8gzNg3u0
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2019 Salt Spring National Art Prize Exhibition Exceeds Expectations

Salt Spring National Art Prize organizers are thrilled by the enthusiasm shown by the national and local artists who attended, as well as art lovers who revelled in all three art showcases.  Winners were announced at a gala awards night before a packed house at Mahon Hall on October 19. Hailing from Winnipeg, the winner of the Salt Spring Prize (The Joan McConnell Award) is 28-year old artist Luther Konadu. His photograph, Figure as Index, captured the jury and held their attention in a way one juror described as “clever and confrontational; humorous and challenging and expansive in its interrogation of photography as meaning and form,” and another referred to his work as “a slow burn.” Konadu receives $15,000 and a Salt Spring Island artist residency of $5,000. Konadu was not expecting to win the Salt Spring Prize, “It never crossed my mind that it could be me out of the 50 plus finalists. I knew I couldn't attend and I thought there was a lot of great work being shown. …
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Artists from the Fringe: Luke's Story

In this series, we share stories from Art Jam participants. Art Jam - a volunteer-run program of the Salt Spring Arts Council - provides a safe, welcoming space for members of our marginalized community, where they can be defined as creators and artists, rather than by the challenges they regularly face. By celebrating their unique creative accomplishments and reinforcing the value of their work through public exhibitions we promote positive self-identities and help build self-esteem. I’m Luke Thorpe and I’m 26 years old. I have lived on Salt Spring Island for almost 3 years now. I came here to visit a friend who unfortunately passed away. I came for a week and then just stayed. Right now I am homeless, mainly camping. There is a shelter to go to in the winter, but this year I hope to find a place to sleep outside where I can just stay. There is a bunch of us where I am camping right now. We usually pool our money together and buy food. We have a really nice cooking set-up; …
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