An Interview With AnnMarie MacKinnon for Geist Magazine

Publishing is a challenging field to work in, and the landscape keeps changing. To continue to succeed, we need help with staff retention. -AnnMarie MacKinnon

Annmarie Mckinnon has been a long time reader of Geist magazine, a BC-based literary magazine publishing since the ‘90’s. She even studied it during her degree in publishing and communications, so, when a job opened up at the well respected magazine, she jumped at the chance.

“When I was growing up, literature in Canada definitely had a certain feel to it. It was all about big trees and isolation and survival, but we have other stories to tell,” says AnnMarie. She is excited to see the face of Canadian literature changing, especially since she’s been at Geist. Under her leadership, there’s now an emphasis on opening doors to new voices and exploring different modes of storytelling.

It’s an exciting time for Geist, with AnnMarie taking the helm and becoming the third publisher of the magazine since its inception 28 years ago. Yet, it’s also a time of change and transition, especially in terms of recruitment. “There’s no shortage of people interested, but it’s tough to train them and get them the experience they need when there aren’t enough resources.” “A lot of people have this idea that working in magazine publishing is glamourous,” jokes AnnMarie. “It’s definitely not The Devil Wears Prada around here – it’s hard work, long hours. Your eyes burn from reading all the submissions…and I wouldn’t trade it for anything!”

More than 200,000 people read Geist each year, and the publication contributes greatly to the zeitgeist of what’s happening culturally, both in Vancouver and across Canada. “Like all creative industries, we’re in the business of telling stories, one way or another. We’re talking about what’s happening in the world around us. There’s a lot of courage and bravery happening in literature right now.” For AnnMarie, the highlight of her job is finding emerging writers. “I love working with young people who are just getting started, and helping them to make their piece even greater. It’s so satisfying when they get to see their work finally in print, and I know that, in some small way, I helped launch them into something bigger.”

The media landscape is changing, with people able to set up websites to showcase their work in just a few short hours. It can be hard to attract investment in the publishing industry. “Creative BC has been awesome, giving us access to grant money and recognizing literature and publishing as creative endeavors. We need to continue to educate people that writing is an art, while also reminding them about all of the invisible work that goes into publishing a magazine like Geist.”

An Interview With Carly McKillip for One More Girl

Being able to make the record is one thing – but being able to get out on the road and promote it, that’s where Creative BC comes in. -Carly McKillip

Growing up with parents in the music industry, Carly McKillip has been exposed to the business her whole life. She recorded her first album as an independent artist when she was only 18. Since then, she’s been on a decade-long journey, working with some of the biggest record labels out there, only to find her way back to where she started — independent and producing the music she and her sister, Britt, want to make.

Together, the sisters are One More Girl, a country music duo based in Vancouver, BC. With the release of their new album The Hard Way, they are excited for people to get to know them in a fresh way. “My hope for this album is that it’s heard by as many people as possible and that they get to know us in a way they never have before. We have a lot of stories we want to tell and our music has evolved. Our new album has a more mature sound, a bit grittier and more organic.” Vancouver hasn’t traditionally been known as a country music town, but over the last few years the industry has expanded and grown exponentially. The amount of country artists coming out of BC is increasing every year, and the genre is becoming more and more popular.

“The genre is growing because there are so many new platforms and channels that people are finding music through. It’s no longer about being limited to a pop, rock or country station. Most audiences don’t want a label on their music– good music is good music, and that’s empowering for us.”

As newly independent artists, Carly and her sister rely on the support of their community like never before. There are distinct advantages to recording an album independently, including creative freedom, yet it also makes promoting an album that much harder. Securing and arranging cross-country radio tours and international gigs are challenging for example. Funding and making the right connections are critical for those who venture out on their own.

“As a Canadian artist, it can be tough to reach people internationally as we’re limited by where we can go and how we can get there. The best way to get your music heard is to get out there and pound the pavement.” Carly and her sister were two of the first people to apply to the BC Music Fund, administered by Creative BC, and that funding allowed them to make the album they set out to make. “We’ve been so fortunate to have Creative BC’s support in making this album. I honestly don’t know where we would be without them.”

2018 BC Book Festival Calendar

A Literary Adventure

We have complied a list of all of the incredible book festivals in BC! Take some time out of your summer and stretch your literary lens with a festival journey of a different kind.

 

Elephant Mountain Library Festival: July 12-15 | Nelson

Denman Island Readers and Writers Festival: July 19-22 | Denman Island

Spoke Literary Festival:  August 10-12 | Vernon

36th Annual Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts: August 16-19 | Sechelt

LiterAsian: Sept 21-23 | Vancouver

Word Vancouver: Sept 24-30 | Vancouver

Victoria Festival of Authors: Sept 25-30 | Victoria

Whistlers Writers Festival: Oct 11-14 | Whistler

2018 Vancouver Writers Festival: Oct 15-22  | Vancouver

Surrey International Writers Conference: Oct 19-21 | Surrey

BC Music Festival Calendar: Summer 2018

Music Festival Season has Arrived!

It’s that time of the year again where the weather is beautiful and the music is plenty. With genres ranging from Alternative, Pop, to Hip-Hop, Country and everything in between, we have compiled a list of some of the best music festivals BC has to offer. With festivals spanning across the province there is something for everyone.

Indian Summer Festival: Jul 5 – 15 | Vancouver 

Khatsahlano Street Party:  July 7 | Vancouver

Carnaval Del Sol: July 7 – 8 | Vancouver

Bella Coola Music Festival: July 21 – 22 | The Bella Coola Valley

Golden Sound Festival: July 27 – 28 | Golden

Rockin’ River Musicfest: Aug 2- 5 | Merritt

Hornby Festival: Aug 2 – 11 | Hornby Island

Kaslo Jazz Etc. Summer Music Festival: Aug 3 – 5 | Kaslo

Shipped Waterfront Festival: Aug 11 Vancouver

CULTIVATE Theatre + Music + Art Festival: Aug 16 – 19 | Gabriola Commons

Hazelton Hootenanny: Aug 17 – 19 | New Hazelton

SKOOKUM: Sept 7 – 9 | Vancouver

TD International Jazz Festival: Local Highlights

Summer Solstice is here and so is the annual TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival!

T

he event runs from June 22 to July 1 and highlights some wonderful British Columbia artists. Acts varying from jazz, blues, world, creative and everything in between. We would like to highlight some of Creative BC’s funding recipients who will be performing across the city at this years event.

 

 

 

Company Profile: Linetest Collective

Linetest Collective is a fusion of design, craftsmanship and storytelling.

A small team with a big impact, Linetest Collective works to bring together artists and industry professionals to create something truely unique.

Having grown from the early methods of animation Linetest Collective still prides itself on their values and quality of work. They are true storytellers that take time to present to their clients beautifully, handcrafted work.

We had the opportunity to speak with Linetest and learn more about their innovative organization. Read our interview below and be sure to check out the Linetest Collective website to learn even more.

How did your company get started?

Linetest Collective started 8 years ago when a group of animators wanted to collaborate outside of work to create outstanding projects. The motivation behind the collective was to use their creative skills collaboratively and really have ownership of the work produced. We later decided to turn it into a company and keep it going under the same name.

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

We’ve proven our quality of work through the acknowledgments of our numerous clients and motion design enthusiasts, plus the prestigious and motivating awards we have received.

What milestones have you achieved or are you focusing on now?

We are always on the lookout for our next exciting project, where we can have the opportunity to showcase our talents. We are also focused on growing a more diversified team to accommodate our business and creative needs, locally and internationally.

Which brands have you worked with?

Since starting in Vancouver in 2010, we’ve collaborated with many global and local brands, such as SAP, Lululemon, and Telus. Please see the following links to some of the work we are really proud of:

HYPER ANTHEM

SAP LUMIRA

CANUCKS AUTISM NETWORK

Follow along with Linetest Collective on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Congratulations to the 41st Annual Magazine Award Nominees!

 

The 41st Annual Magazine awards are taking place this June at the Arcadia Court in Toronto. We complied a list of all the BC nominees – check them out!

 

Best Magazine: Lifestyle

Explore-Vancouver

Published by: My Passion Media Brad Liski, publisher David Webb, editor Edwin Pabellon

Art Direction Grand Prix

Issue 23: Cheese

SAD Mag-vancouver

art director Pamela Rounis

Art Direction of a Single Magazine Article

The Fifth Coast

Mountain Life Annual – BC/ON

contributor Amelie Legare, art director Leslie Anthony, editor Kristen Wint

Best Editorial Package

Only in Canada

Cottage life mag-BC/Toronto

art director Michelle Kelly, Jackie Davis, Blair Eveleigh, Liann Bobechko, Braden Alexander, editors Kim Zagar

Long-Form Feature Writing 

Hakai Magazine-Victoria

handling editor J.B. MacKinnon, writer Jude Isabella

Feature Writing

The Hunger Games: Two Killer Whales, Same Sea, Different Diets

Hakai Magazine-Victoria

handling editor Larry Pynn, writer Adrienne Mason

Dammed and Determined

Kootenay Mountain Culture Magazine- Kootneys

Bob Keating, writer Mitchell Scott, handling editor Tara Cunningham, Mitchell Scott,

Peter Moynes, Chris Rowat, Darren Davidson, Vince Hempsall, Mike Berard

Columns

City Informer

Vancouver Magazine-Vancouver

Stacey McLachlan, writer

Investigative Reporting

The Ecolabel Fable

Hakai-Victoria

handling editor Raina Delisle, writer Jude Isabella

Fiction

Food for Nought

Malahat Review -Victoria

handling editor Shashi Bhat, writer John Barton

Before he Left

Malahat Review -Victoria

handling editor Jason Jobin, writer John Barton

Visions

Taddle creek- BC

handling editor Lisa Moore, writer Conan Tobias

Poetry

No Buffalos

Malahat Review-Victoria

Handling editor Délani Valin, poet John Barton,

Migrations: Salt Stories

Room Magazine- Vancouver/BC

handling editor Juliane Okot Bitek, poet Navneet Nagra

When Louis Riel Went Crazy

Taddle creek- BC

handling editor Katherena Vermette, poet Conan Tobias

Illustration

Paul Goes West

Taddle creek- BC

Art Director Michel Rabagliati, illustrator Conan Tobias

Portraits Photography

Towing the Line

Vancouver Magazine-Vancouver

Editor Carlo Ricci, photographer Paul Roelofs, art director Stacey McLachlan

 

 

 

 

 

For More Information on the 41st Annual Magazine CLICK

 

 

An Interview with Steve Smith from Aircover Inflatables

If Creative BC can help get the word out about what we’re doing next with the Air Panel, that would be a huge door opening for us. -Steve Smith

Safety was a big motivator for Steve Smith and his partners when they started Aircover Inflatables, an alternative to the traditional green screens used in the film industry. Their previous experience as key grips had them putting up substantial screens for visual effects, with no way of controlling the elements. “It was actually quite dangerous; there were incidents of large screens blowing over in crazy wind storms.”

Their goal was to build something that was not only safer, but also more efficient and environmentally friendly. The end result won them an Oscar. Steve credits their success to their persistence; “It took several years and many prototypes, but we created an inflatable wall, the Air Wall, that could be used as an outdoor VFX screen.” Since then, productions like Godzilla, Tomorrowland, and Planet of the Apes have implemented use of the Air Wall successfully.

According to Steve, there have been some incredible inventions designed by grips. “Grips are inventive; we’re problem solvers. We’re in charge of making shadows and supporting cameras. We install large outdoor screens and backdrops, mount cameras to cars; we do all kinds of things. We’re often asked to do things that shouldn’t be possible, yet we have to figure out how to do it on the spot! That’s the mind you need to have to be a grip.”

Steve’s been amazed at how other grips have used their products in ways they didn’t initially intend on.“They were using one of our Air Walls on Pirates of the Caribbean in Australia when they started to deflate it to let more sun in. Someone suddenly yelled to stop as they realized they could control the airflow to have it maintain a specific angle. They slowed down the airflow and it got them the shot they needed!

”Steve and his team are now working on a smaller Air Panel that tilts, pans and rotates. It’s particularly helpful for smaller productions that don’t require large outdoor screens. “The Air Panel will be a huge time saver; it’s compact and easy to get into locations with limited space. It’s completely unique – there’s nothing like it anywhere.”

As Steve and his team head into prototyping, they need support with funding and making connections. Coming from Los Angeles, Steve is proud to call Vancouver home. “I’ve been here for 17 years and it’s amazing how well the crews and departments get along and work together. We’ve had an incredible response from people here, but it’s always hard in the beginning with a new product. We can always use more support when it comes to getting the word out.”

Learn more about Aircover Inflatables on their website: aircover.ca

An Interview with Ché Aimee Dorval

 

One of the biggest areas for which I could use additional support, is gaining knowledge about international touring, because it’s hard to know who to approach or what to do. -Ché Aimee Dorval

Ché Aimee Dorval’s relationship with music has always been a bit tumultuous. For years, she struggled with how she could approach music in an authentic way, while still making a living doing what she loved. She left Vancouver because she didn’t feel like there were enough opportunities for her here as a musician, yet it was in leaving that she actually got to see Vancouver in a new light.

After living in Toronto, she returned to Vancouver and started making music again. “Now that I’m here, I realize how beautiful it is to be in a smaller scene like this. There’s more of a chance to rise up. There’s also a spirit of collaboration here amongst the different creative industries.”

While she returned to Vancouver for family, and not for music, she found herself recording an album, Casualties of Cool, with a friend. “It was nice to just write and not feel like I had to do anything with it. Making this record sparked my interest in music again. I also learned so much about putting myself out there.”

 

 

While she was out promoting the album, Ché started writing her own songs. “It was then that I learned about Creative BC and the grants being offered, and I have to say I’m so glad you exist! I applied for the funding and that allowed me to not only fund my latest project, but also helped me get my music in the hands of different people.”

Ché is now using her voice to share stories that are important to her and her audience. Writing her latest album forced her to look outside of herself and see the world for what it is. “When I was growing up, I was naïve and idealistic and I thought we, as women, were further along than we were. Yet, the past 10 years have shown me otherwise. There’s still so much that we come up against everyday. Writing music is how I try and make sense of the world; how I deal with things.”

This spring, Ché will take her new album, which was created through the support of the BC Music Fund, on the road–touring Canada and giving people a chance to hear what she has to say. “I’m excited because I did everything I wanted to do with this album. I want people to be able to get to know me as I really am, and all that comes with that.”

 

 

 

An Interview with Mike Wozniewski from Hololabs

 

We want the online universe we are creating to become a resource for kids, parents and teachers interested in computational literacy – and we need support to make that happen. -Mike Wozniewski

Mike Wozniewski came from the world of academia, where he was studying virtual environments and game engines in Montreal. Yet, he gravitated toward artists and how they push the boundaries of technology and creativity. “The most satisfying work for me is building technology that helps artists create new art.”

Mike launched Hololabs in 2010, and then moved to Victoria with his wife and three kids. He set out to ensure that every project he worked on – from video games to virtual and augmented reality, to web portals – would help empower people to be more creative. When asked what Hololabs niche focus is, he was quick to respond: “We make wacky, experimental, weird things! Most importantly, we want to empower people to learn and be creative through technology.” Yet, there’s something even bigger motivating him these days. “Two of my kids are young girls, and as they started to engage with technology – mostly through the app store – I was frustrated with what was available to them. Everything was so gendered and stereotypical. And then I met Jordan.”

 

 

Jordan Stratford, who lives on Salt Spring Island, wrote The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency, a book series featuring positive female role models in science, technology, engineering and math. Based on young Ava Lovelace, the first computer scientist, and young Mary Shelley, the first science fiction author, the series follows two young girls in the 1820s as they set out to solve mysteries often connected to other female trailblazers.

 

 

Mike is now turning that literary world into an online universe. “Our hope is to create a video game that can play across platforms, as well as a web portal that gives kids the opportunity to engage with the characters on an ongoing basis. They can learn how to become a better detective, they can read about female pioneers, and they can even interact with a mechanical computer. We want this website to become a resource for every school that is teaching computational literacy.”

With the support of Creative BC, Mike is building the online portal, yet he knows that’s only the beginning. Hololabs is self-funded, so they not only have to find development money, but they also need to figure out how to maintain everything once it launches. Mike believes that finding people who will champion his vision is key.