2018 Salt Spring Film Festival: Amplify Her

The following article was written by Jennifer Cikaluk as part of a series of articles about filmmakers coming to the Salt Spring Film Festival on March 2-4, 2018. Filmmaker Ian MacKenzie will be attending the festival and leading a discussion about the film following the screening. The Filmmaker series is sponsored by Stonehouse B&B, Harbour House Hotel and Hastings House. “We are frequency hunters, vibe shifters…I get to score the soundtrack for those moments of your life” (from Amplify Her) A multilayered, sensorial story telling collaboration, Amplify Her started as a documentary film and grew into something so much more. Emotionally and visually charged, this dynamic film weaves beautiful cinematography with animated motion comics to tell the story of seven female emerging electronic music artists. The music, imagery and energy give access to the colourful world of the electronic music scene. Yet, what lies at the heart of this film are the intimate stories of the…
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Animated Short Film 'Fox And The Whale' Inspired by Salt Spring

Watch this. It's beautiful and it was inspired by a visit to Salt Spring Island by its creator Robin Joseph who now lives in Toronto. The short film was just nominated for an Oscar and is one step closer to being a short-listed as a finalist. Those of us that live here know how inspiring living on the island is and look what just one visit inspired in an incredibly talented artist. Watch the full short film here and share with your children! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nDWWY4_rNw
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Salt Spring National Art Prize (SSNAP) Announces Winners Calgary’s Judy Anderson Wins the Salt Spring Prize: The “Joan McConnell Award”

Judy Anderson’s “This one brings me the most pride” takes home the top prize, while Salt Spring artists Garry Kaye and Peter McFarlane also take home awards…  The winners of the second Salt Spring National Art Prize (SSNAP) have been announced with Calgary artist Judy Anderson winning the Salt Spring Prize for her work, “This one brings me the most pride”.  Local winners of note include Garry Kaye for the Alliance of Salt Spring Artists Award, along with a People’s Choice Award and Peter McFarlane who was also selected for a People’s Choice Award. The Salt Spring Prize went to Anderson for her mixed media work, hailed as a piece worthy of the National Gallery of Canada. The 3D installation, combined beads, moose hide, otter skin and a goalie mask and draws on Indigenous teachings, knowledge and ways of making to honour the people in her life, in particular her youngest son, Riel. The Salt Spring Prize (The Joan McConnell Award) includes a $12,000 cash prize and $5,000 …
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The Creativity Panel - Where Science & Art Converge

Atom Egoyan, Art McDonald, Meaghan Ogilvie on Salt Spring Island, BC, October 14, 2017 ~ Three renowned Canadians present their views on the topic of the ‘creative mind’ during a panel discussion focussed on creativity in the arts and sciences. Hosted as part of the Salt Spring National Art Prize (SSNAP) on October 14th, the panellists from the worlds of arts and sciences will explore the nature of creativity, its essential elements, and where the creative spark comes from. Speakers include director Atom Egoyan, astrophysicist Art McDonald and photographer Meaghan Ogilvie. Panel organizer Janet Halliwell, an executive member of the Salt Spring National Art Prize, says the worlds of arts and sciences coming together will offer a powerful if not extraordinary evening, “By inviting these distinguished guests to explore the creative mind, our intention is to explore the connections between the creative process and the human experience. We anticipate an enlightened dialogue featu…
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Salt Spring National Art Prize (SSNAP) 2017 Finalists’ Exhibition Opens

Featuring some of the Best New Work in Canada~ Known internationally as Canada’s premier arts colony, Salt Spring Island will host the Gala Opening of the 2017 SSNAP Finalists’ Exhibition on Friday, September 22 from 6:00 to 9:00pm. The Salt Spring National Art Prize (SSNAP) has built a national platform for Canadian visual artists and is fast becoming the largest, most prestigious art prize in the country. The work of 49 finalists will be exhibited during a month-long showcase. Eight awards with a total of $30,000 in prizes will be announced on October 21. The Finalists’ Exhibition runs from September 23 through to October 22 from 10:00am to 5:00pm daily. SSNAP, a biennial competition now in its second year, has become a beacon for dialogue for the contemporary arts. Founding director Ronald T. Crawford says the art prize has opened up conversations from coast to coast, “We are excited to present one of the most diverse showcases in Western Canada, if not country- wide, fea…
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Experience Awe and Wonder at the Osman Phillips Photo Show

Art and photography fans are about to experience a rare treat. Despite the difficulty in finding film and the distance one must go to develop film, film photography is alive and well on Cedar Lane. Osman Phillips’s photography show begins August 5 and ends August 7 at his Cedar Lane Studio. Thirty-six photos capture close-ups of nature that evoke curiosity and wonder. These glimpses into the awe-inspiring natural world were taken as far away as Alaska, Mt. Robson Park, and Keremeos and as near as the Gulf Islands and Salt Spring itself. The collection is a mix of new and old favourites of the last 26 years. With names like Juniper Snake, Bear Paw, and Centre of the Universe, they are not what you might think. In fact, even after some time with each image, you will likely remain touched by curiosity. Osman’s photographs are also unique in that each frame is designed and made by Osman himself. Made from poplar and eastern maple, each frame is assembled using joinery rath…
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Gillian Gandossi: A Gem of an Artist

Art and nature. One of the blessings of living in BC. Salt Spring has decent artistic talent. And there is something about local artist Gillian Gandossi’s work that is inspiring. Like the work of Emily Carr and Lawren Harris, Gillian Gandossi is working toward a vibrancy that is palpable. As a fan of Lawren Harris, I feel a connection to Gillian’s work. I remember visiting the Salt Spring Saturday Market and being drawn to one her acrylic paintings of a shoreline and an Arbutus tree. She had a little booth with greeting cards, small prints, and a few larger works. I watched as others approached. One person, slightly tearing, spoke about the impact of her work on him. Her work touched something deep inside him. I also felt the same experience. You get the sense that she paints from a deep place within. Even on her website, she says, “I seek experiences of connectedness.” You feel that the strokes in the painting all have their rightful place in the overall experience of he…
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SSNAP The Creativity Panel – Where Science & Art Converge Atom Egoyan, Art McDonald, Meaghan Ogilvie on Salt Spring Island

The worlds of contemporary filmmaking, physics and underwater photography come together to explore the creative spark. Is creativity born or can it be nurtured? - Three renowned Canadians will present their views on the topic of the ‘creative mind’ during a panel discussion focussed on creativity in the arts and sciences. Hosted during the Salt Spring National Art Prize (SSNAP) on October 14th, the panellists from the worlds of arts and sciences will explore the nature of creativity, its essential elements, and where the creative spark comes from. Speakers include director Atom Egoyan, astrophysicist Art McDonald and photographer Meaghan Ogilvie. Panel organizer Janet Halliwell, an executive member of the Salt Spring National Art Prize, says the worlds of arts and sciences coming together will offer a powerful if not extraordinary evening, “By inviting these distinguished guests to explore the creative mind, our intention is to explore the connections between the creative pr…
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2017 Salt Spring Film Festival: A Feast for Hearts and Minds

On Sunday, March 5th, I walked away from the Gulf Island Secondary School with a sense that I was returning from somewhere far away, somewhere incredible. In fact, I was walking away from the 18th annual Salt Spring Film Festival. And it was a fantastic voyage ― right here in our community. This year, the Film Festival Society screened over 100 films from around the world and distilled their choices down to about 40 films. If you’re an eager filmgoer, you could watch nine films over the entire weekend. But you wouldn’t be merely watching films. The Salt Spring Film Festival is so much more than passively planting yourself in front of another screen for education and entertainment. Here are a few examples of what I mean. James Cowan, festival manager, talked about a film called Show Me What you Care About. It addressed the isolation and loneliness that can urban dwellers can experience. The film raised a lot of questions about the filmmakers’ approach. Because the two f…
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2017 Salt Spring Film Festival - Last Men Standing

The following article was written by Connie Kuhns as part of a series of articles about filmmakers coming to the Salt Spring Film Festival on March 3-5, 2017. Film subject Jesus Guillen will be attending the festival and leading a discussion about the film following the screening. The Filmmaker series is sponsored by Stonehouse Bed and Breakfast. Filmmaker interview: participant and film representative Jesus Guillen - Last Men Standing By Connie Kuhns It came on the heels of liberation. For gay men, particularly in the creative and political centers of New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, such radical freedom was hard fought and transforming. It was joyous and sexually charged. Thousands came out from behind closed doors and literary danced in the streets. At first, there was just a cluster of cases. In 1981, a rare lung infection was found in five young, previously healthy gay men in Los Angeles. At the same time, an unusually aggressive cancer was reported in a g…
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2017 Salt Spring Film Festival - Spirit Unforgettable

The following article written by Patricia Lockie is part of a series profiling filmmakers coming to the Salt Spring Film Festival, March 3-5, 2017. Director, Pete McCormack, will be leading a discussion following the screening of "Spirit Unforgettable" on Gala Night (March 3). Sponsorship for attending filmmakers is provided by Stonehouse Bed & Breakfast. Filmmaker, novelist, and musician, Pete McCormack didn't have a choice when it came to making "Spirit Unforgettable". The story cried out to be told. So dedicated was McCormack's commitment to telling what he calls "such a worthy story" that he bankrolled the project, spending almost $100,000 until funding could be secured. The film tells what happens when the iconic Canadian band, Spirit of the West, learns their charismatic front man, John Mann, has early onset Alzheimers disease, diagnosed at the age of 51. "I had to go and dive in right away, funding or no funding, because of the disease. Time was of the essence"…
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2017 Salt Spring Film Festival - Koneline: Our Land Beautiful

The following article was written by Connie Kuhns as part of a series of articles about filmmakers coming to the Salt Spring Film Festival on March 3-5, 2017. Filmmaker Nettie Wild will be attending the festival and leading a discussion about the film following the screening. The Filmmaker series is sponsored by Stonehouse Bed and Breakfast. Filmmaker interview: Director Nettie Wild. Koneline: our land beautiful By Connie Kuhns One night at a screening in Powell River, B.C. a man left the theatre “steaming mad” at what he had just seen in Nettie Wild’s latest film Koneline: our land beautiful. “Assumptions just keep piling up depending on who is watching and what they bring into the theatre”, Wild tells me in an email. For a woman who has taken her camera behind the scenes of the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas, and filmed the radicalization of drug users on Vancouver streets as they fight to open a safe injection site, her exquisite tribute to the magnificent landscape …
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2017 Salt Spring Film Festival - Show Me What You Care About

The following article was written by Connie Kuhns as part of a series of articles about filmmakers coming to the Salt Spring Film Festival on March 3-5, 2017. Filmmakers Brianne Nettlefield and Naomi Mark will be attending the festival and leading a discussion about the film following the screening. The Filmmaker series is sponsored by Stonehouse Bed and Breakfast. SHOW ME WHAT YOU CARE ABOUT: an interview with Producer/Directors Brianne Nettelfield and Naomi Mark By Connie Kuhns Colin Matty’s poem, Show Me What You Care About, was the catalyst. Performed at the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Championships, his mournful cry for human connection was heard by filmmaker Brianne Nettelfield. She was new in Vancouver, lonely and dissatisfied, and feeling her own absence of purpose and meaning. She sent the poem to her friend and film school alum Naomi Mark and they began thinking about how to answer the poem’s central question. “I think when I saw Colin perform his poem…
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2017 Salt Spring Film Festival - Filmmaker Interview: The Memory of Fish

The following article was written by Patricia Lockie as part of a series of articles about filmmakers coming to the Salt Spring Film Festival on March 3-5, 2017. Filmmaker Jennifer Galvin will be attending the festival and leading a discussion about the film following the screening. The Filmmaker series is sponsored by Stonehouse Bed and Breakfast.   The Memory of Fish Dr. Jennifer Galvin, scientist and filmmaker, has won international recognition for work that comfortably straddles environmental health, media and storytelling. Galvin holds a doctorate of science from the Harvard School of Public Health. Her documentary, "The Memory of Fish", tells the story of Dick Goin, a man whose life since boyhood was inextricably bound to the life cycles of wild salmon in the Elwha River in Washington's Olympic Peninsula . Over the decades, Goin, a pulp mill worker, master fisherman and salmon advocate watched as salmon numbers steadily dropped, assiduously recording his find…
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2017 Salt Spring Film Festival Preview and Trailer: River Blue

The following article was written by Connie Kuhns as part of a series of articles about filmmakers coming to the Salt Spring Film Festival on March 3-5, 2017. Filmmaker Roger Williams will be attending the festival and leading a discussion about the film following the screening. The Filmmaker series is sponsored by Stonehouse Bed and Breakfast.   RiverBlue They say a person can predict the subtle hues of next year’s fashion season by the colours of the water in China’s rivers. This is particularly true in Xintang, where the indigo dyes and chemical waste from the manufacturing of blue jeans pour into the Pearl River. China is the clothing factory of the world, followed closely by Bangladesh, India and Indonesia. As a result, the majority of the magnificent rivers flowing through these countries are sick and dying, as are the people who live and work along the river banks. The fashion industry has become the second biggest polluter on the planet. The documentary Riv…
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Need to Write a Novel Next Month? Shut Up and Write

Even the best intentioned writers can find working at home one distraction after another. Whether it’s tidying their desk, creating just the right the level of comfort, snacking, or checking social media, writers can find many things to do before writing one sentence. As they settle down and achieve some focus, the phone rings, someone knocks on the door, or the cat knocks over a plant. What is a writer to do? Well, Shut Up and Write! Shut Up and Write―or SUAW―is not merely a piece of sage advice. It’s a movement that was started in San Francisco by a collective of writers in 2007 and has spread primarily through social media. Author Jane Eaton Hamilton brought SUAW to Salt Spring from Vancouver this past summer, but she originally discovered it in Toronto. She has since returned to Vancouver, so Salt Spring writers, such as Friday hosts Derek Capitaine and Mary Rose MacLachlan, are continuing to host the meetups at the Salt Spring Island Public Library Any typ…
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Salt Spring Reads: Fritz, the Cinema Cat

Salt Spring Reads is an online book club/review. For this column I try to find books that you might love to discover, books with a Salt Spring connection. Reviewed books are available at the Salt Spring Library and in local bookstores. Feel free to share your comments to discuss this book with others. Fritz, the Cinema Cat, Gets His Wings written by Louise Adele Nye, illustrated by Jo Lundstrom Smith It is always fun to recognize a place described in a book. Fritz, the Cinema Cat is very much a local story with real settings. In fact, it is the (almost) true story of a real Salt Spring cat and our cozy movie theatre. The story is told in the voice of the cat himself - gentle and humorous. Born in Walker’s Hook this kitten sets out in search of Paris, the city of lights. His family watched TV and he has learned much about movies and the world. He follows Robinson Road, visits the cemetery, the golf course and other real Salt Spring spots. The story describes the kitten…
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Salt Spring Reads: Life Sketches, by Robert Bateman

Salt Spring Reads is an online book club/review. For this column I try to find books that you might love to discover, books with a Salt Spring connection. Reviewed books are available at the Salt Spring Library and in local bookstores. Feel free to share your comments. Life Sketches, by Robert Bateman This gorgeous, inch thick book is packed with intimate details of one of Canada’s most famous artists. The fascinating read gives us a close look at how a boy in Toronto fell under the spell of nature by playing in the wild ravine behind his house. Through loving parental guidance and through books read aloud at bedtime, Robert Bateman’s appreciation for nature was sparked and kindled. As a 12 year old he joined a group of young naturalists at the Royal Ontario Museum and learn to carve birds. Over the years, his interest in nature and art only increased. Bateman became a world traveler, sketching animals as he explored foreign countries with friends. The book outlines hi…
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Salt Spring Reads: The Story of My Face

Salt Spring Reads is an online book club/review. For this column I try to find books that you might love to discover, books with a Salt Spring connection. Reviewed books are available at the Salt Spring Library and in local bookstores. Feel free to share your comments to discuss this book with others. The Story of My Face by Kathy Page Born in London, England author Kathy Page has called Salt Spring Island ‘home’ for more than 15 years. Her novel Alphabet was short-listed for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction. In The Story of My Face, a young girl named Natalie grows up as an outsider, and through her own choosing is drawn into the life of a local family with strong religious beliefs. The woman treat her as a daughter, perhaps due to the fact that she had lost a baby girl at birth, and the family takes Natalie with them to a religious holiday camp. It is here that she is introduced to a cultish sect: the Finnish Envallist branch of Protestantism, a…
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2016 Film Festival: Debris

The following article was written by Robert McTavish as part of a series of articles about filmmakers coming to the Salt Spring Film Festival on March 4-6, 2016. Filmmaker John Bolton will be attending the festival and leading a discussion about the film following the screening. The Filmmaker series is sponsored by Stonehouse Bed and Breakfast. Debris It's not every coastal dweller who keeps an organized library of flotsam and jetsam. But over the years Tofino parks worker Pete Clarkson has seen alot come in and tucked it away for use in his often fun and irreverent artwork. Then, near the end of 2011, something new began washing up on shore. It was debris, and it had crossed the Pacific ocean from the Tōhoku area of Japan, where in March of that year, a 9.0 earthquake and the resulting tsunami killed thousands of people and displaced hundreds of thousands. When Clarkson mentioned the estimated 1.5 million tonnes of incoming marine debris in a talk at the Vancouver Aquari…
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2016 Film Festival: Ninth Floor

The following article was written by Robert McTavish as part of a series of articles about filmmakers coming to the Salt Spring Film Festival on March 4-6, 2016. Filmmaker Selwyn Jacob will be attending the festival and leading a discussion about the film following the screening. The Filmmaker series is sponsored by Stonehouse Bed and Breakfast. Ninth Floor At the time of the 1969 riot at Sir George Williams University (now Concordia) in Montreal, Selwyn Jacob was fresh from his Caribbean home attending university in Alberta. He, like the rest of Canada, watched it unfold on the news. Protesting students had occupied a ninth floor computer lab, angry with a full year of university inaction to racism charges against one of its professors. The images echoed those familiar south of the border: riot police, vandalism, fire and racial violence. "Remember, this was the Montreal of Expo '67," says Jacob of Canada's squeaky clean image and how the riot changed that both at home a…
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