VIFF 2019 is Here at Last!

VIFF is back again exposing B.C. to the filmmakers of the world and proving that the motion picture industry here is thriving. With over 320 films spanning across the globe, exclusive masterclasses and creator talks, the integration of music, comedy and theatre this festival is one of the largest industry events in Vancouver.

Kicking this year off with the Opening Gala film “Guest of Honor” a Canadian psychological drama starring David Thewlis, Laysla De Oliveira, Luke Wilson, Rossif Sutherland, Alexandre Bourgeois and Arsinee Khanjian. Start planning your festival schedule now and take a look at the Creative BC sponsored events as well as the five Creative BC supported films we are proud to announce will be screening at this years festival. We look forward to seeing you there!

We’re celebrating B.C. at VIFF! Check out the some of the incredible work our B.C. filmmakers have to offer with over 25 films in this years B.C. Spotlight.

A special shout out to these Creative BC supported films:

The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open

Discovering Rosie (Violet Nelson), a pregnant teenager, sobbing and barefoot on a rainy East Vancouver street, Áila (Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers) swiftly intercedes, initially offering shelter in her own apartment before working feverishly to get the girl access to proper support networks so that she needn’t return to her abusive home. As these two Indigenous women embark on a revelatory odyssey to a safe house, they must confront society’s assumptions about them, overcome their preconceptions about one another, and reflect on their own respective self-images.

My Dads, My Moms and Me

In the 2007 documentary Fatherhood Dreams, Julia Ivanova chronicled the touching and challenging journeys of four gay men who each made the decision to become parents after Canada legalized same-sex marriage. Married couple Randy and Drew adopted baby Jack. Scott connected with a surrogate to have twins Ella and Mac. Stephen decided to co-parent his daughters Jazz and Zea with lesbian couple Coreen and Wendy. In My Dads, My Moms and Me, the filmmaker revisits the lives of these men and their children, now teenagers, with a decade’s worth of insight.

Red Snow

When captured by the Taliban, a Gwich’in soldier (Asivak Koostachin) must confront tormenting memories he believed he’d left behind in the Canadian north. In turn, when he strikes up an alliance with a Pashtun family, he discovers an affinity with these ethnic Afghans beyond their shared bid for survival. Shifting between striking arctic and arid landscapes, and tapping into a universal need for belonging, Marie Clements delivers an enthralling thriller that’s as poignant as it is pulse-quickening.

This Ink Runs Deep

All across Canada, Indigenous artists are reawakening traditional tattoo practices – and sometimes lending them a contemporary twist – as a way to reclaim their cultures and identities.

The Whale and the Raven

Journeying into BC’s Great Bear Rainforest, German documentarian and cultural anthropologist Mirjam Leuze investigates the potential impact of a liquefied natural gas exporting plant and increased tanker traffic on this stunning ecosystem. Not only are we introduced to the remarkable people who call this place home and oppose the plant’s construction, including whale researchers Hermann Meuter and Janie Wray and elders of the Gitga’at First Nation, but also the humpbacks, orcas, and porpoises who use the Kitimat fjord system as a feeding- and playground.

Creative BC sponsored events:

VIFF Immersed

A two-day conference (September 28–29), Immersed features case-studies, roundtable discussions and hands-on workshops with some of the world’s leading immersive content creators.

September 28-29

Pyatt Hall and The Annex

VIFF Immersed Exhibition

VIFF Immersed Exhibition is a public marketplace exhibition featuring the finalists of this year’s International VIFF Immersed Competition and special features from the creative nexus that is British Columbia.

Sunday, September 29

Pyatt Hall

VIFF Immersed – BC 

A day of valuable workshops for producers, directors, technologists and content commissioners wishing to understand multiple aspects of immersive production.

September 28-29

VIFF AMP

Over a three day summit, October 3-5, world-class experts will weigh in on subjects such as diversity in the music marketplace, the art of music supervision and how music rights management victories around the world are benefiting songwriters and composers.

October 3-5

Visit the VIFF website to get your tickets now!

An Interview with Musician Nadine Tremblay

“I didn’t always trust myself, or my voice. That trust came with a lot of practice.”-Nadine Tremblay

“I really wanted to be Shirley Temple when I was four years old,” recalls Nadine Tremblay. “I started as a dancer and then moved to vocal lessons.” After getting a degree in opera and a certificate in musical theatre, she cofounded Iron Mountain Theatre in the Kootenays. Nadine wrote six musicals in 10 years, and toured Canada many times over. “It was hard though, people on the team would leave to get real jobs, but there I was, trying to keep the dream alive!”

Nadine chose the name Sexton Blake for her musical persona as a nod to the fictional British detective. “As a musician, I felt a bit like a private investigator. I would take themes and ideas and then analyze them and turn them into art. I think there was also a sense of feeling like a fake. I had this idea that I had to fake it until I made it, when really I just needed to get out there more.”

One of the challenges to making art in a small town is finding people to learn from and look up to. “The pool of talent is smaller here; there aren’t that many people pursuing music as a career. I learned by making mistakes, but I wish I had asked more questions, found more mentors.”

It can be quite isolating being an artist in rural British Columbia, especially when trying to get the word out. One of the things Nadine hopes for in the future is more face-to-face time with other musicians. “It’s really special to have the in-person get togethers. We don’t get a lot of opportunities to meet up, which is why the Kootenay Music Awards are so special.” And of course, she also hopes for more funding as it’s hard to make a proper album or music video if you can’t pay people a competitive rate.

“Creative BC helped me make an amazing video and it was really successful because of the quality of people on board. It was nice to be able to pay people what they are worth and not just offer a small honorarium.” The video “Go Outside” had 20,000 views in a matter of days and was nominated for best music video at the Kootenay Music Awards. “I wrote the song to encourage people to put themselves out there, to step outside their comfort zone and try something new.”

And that’s just what Nadine did with her music career. “Having a small community means having a small family. I really know my community, and they know me. I didn’t realize I had so much support until I was nominated. The love was overwhelming!”

According to Nadine, the key to producing a great album is trust. “You need to trust your team and you need to trust your instincts. It’s a small miracle when everything works out on a creative project, and for that reason your heart is consistently on the line.”

An Interview with Michael Cline Owner of Vinyl Envy

“We are building a music community where people trust each other.”-Michael Cline

When Michael Cline pictured his career, running an all-ages music venue was not exactly what he had in mind. Yet, it could not have turned out any better. “I’ve been a record junkie since I was 13, and I was booking bands in high school.” Running Vinyl Envy, a record store and all-ages music venue in Victoria, is what Michael was meant to do.

After working in the restaurant industry for 20 years and running a team of more than 20 people, Michael realized he was no longer enjoying himself. He wanted to have more fun in life, and so he opened Vinyl Envy to be surrounded by music. What started out as a record store has also become one of the city’s most popular music venues. “I’m having a crazy amount of fun! We do 75-100 shows a year and the store is open seven days a week.”

In the past, most all-ages venues haven’t been able to survive in Victoria. Yet, there was a gap that needed to be filled. “It’s like I’ve come full circle – I have 15-year-olds coming up to me now and thanking me for the opportunity to see a show. That was me at their age! I couldn’t get into the bars to see bands play – so for them to havethis place, that’s as good as it gets.”

Vinyl Envy attracts a wide array of people, but the one thing everyone has in common is a shared love of music. “Our shows are special – local musicians fill the room to support each other. There’s no ego, just a chill environment where people trust each other and can play music together.”

“Our shows are special – local musicians fill the room to support each other. There’s no ego, just a chill environment where people trust each other and can play music together.”

Vinyl Envy has become so much more than a record store or a music venue – it’s a place where people can be themselves. “This whole concept is best described as a soulful experience. Guys who gave up their record collections 30 years ago, are getting back into collecting records, and young kids with turn tables are just getting into it.” This is a place for everyone.

Michael’s vision is to be as supportive of musicians and music fans as possible, and to deepen the roots of Vinyl Envy along the way. He wants to continue to build up the community, and the best way to do that is by creating a trusting environment. “We give musicians a comfortable place to play. It’s a safe house for them, and I think the no- alcohol aspect is a big part. It changes the vibe – it’s like a house party.”

Vinyl Envy was able to get off the ground thanks to the support from organizations like Creative BC. “They supported me right from the minute I asked. They helped give us status as a venue, not to mention functional washrooms!”

Victoria is a city that draws an astounding calibre of musicianship, and Vinyl Envy is more than happy to host music that truly brings people together.

An Interview With Tarun Nayar for Delhi 2 Dublin

Making sure diverse populations are represented, empowered and well-funded – that’s where we could use more support as an industry.-Tarun Nayar

For Tarun Nayar, one of the most surprising aspects of his journey with Delhi 2 Dublin (D2D) was that it was never intended to be a band.“It was supposed to be a one-night collaboration at a club – we had no expectations going in, we just wanted to go out and have fun.”

Tarun grew up playing music but he never really thought of it as a profession. “I’m a scientist by trade; I used to work in genetics and moonlight as a DJ. And then D2D took off, so I quit my job and I’ve been on this great adventure ever since!”

In many ways, it’s the city of Vancouver that allowed D2D to really take off. “I don’t think D2D could have been born or nurtured anywhere else. There’s something unique about this city, the unique bed of different cultures, the interesting and weird music scene, the artistic expression, it’s all here.”

Since his success with D2D, Tarun started speaking out against the prejudices he witnessed in the music industry. He’s been working on a documentary centered on the plight of local Punjabi artists who have huge recognition and star power internationally, but have almost no access to local funding. “I noticed that most grant recipients were white males. Prem at Creative BC got in touch with me to discuss ways we could change that. Since then, she’s really helped draw attention to how we can be more inclusive as an industry.”

Everything started to change when Creative BC announced the BC Music Fund. “That fund has been the single most impactful thing I’ve felt in BC’s music industry in the last 15 years. It’s so amazing to see so much money reach different types of acts. Every musician I know has been impacted by this initiative.”

Tarun hopes the music industry in Canada can make way for even more innovation, and start to see its own failings. “We get frustrated with how slow moving things can be in Canada. Our TV stations and radio waves tend to be generic, and they don’t represent the breadth of Canada.” D2D has had to reach outside of Canada to find the majority of their audience, looking to markets that don’t qualify their music as ‘World Music’.

“Having access to workshops and grants is huge, but I also believe it’s seeing people like you being successful that can have the most impact.” With that in mind, Tarun continues to shed light on the pitfalls of the music industry, while offering up ways that the industry, as a whole, can become stronger and more representative of Canada today.

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.”

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

Ponderosa: Aug 17 – 19 | Rock Creek

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.

 

 

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.”

 

 

Baffled Octopi Records

Baffled Octopi Records, is a record label which creates and promotes local music artists in the electronic, dark folk, drone, and spoken word genres. Mark Anthony Brennan, owner of Baffled Octopi Records, is proud to promote this genre in BC and has signed 6 artists to the label thus far.

Baffled Octopi Records, released 4 albums under the band name The Purveyors of Free Will. The Purveyors of Free Will started in 2014 with the single “The Folded World.” Their album releases include: The Folded World, Frozen in an Ice Age of Regret, bringer to Here, and most recently, BLOOD like INK. Unbidden…

Be sure to check out some recent videos released by Baffled Octopi Records:

You can also follow them on Facebook.

Nice Marmot PR

Nice Marmot PR, founded by Mavis Harris, is a Canadian based music publicity company located in Nelson, British Columbia. Harris has worked on over 500 albums for artists including tour promotion, press release distribution and album launches. She has lead promotional campaigns for artists including Alabama Shakes, Charles Bradley, Drake, PJ Harvey, Dragonette, Joel Plaskett, M.I.A., The Hives and many more. Currently, Nice Marmot PR is working with local artist such as Jessika, Marianas Trench and Little Destroyer.

Mavis Harris was the recipient of the 2016 Canadian Music Publicist of the Year at the Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Awards and has been nominated for 2017 as well.

To discover local and Canadian artists as well as latest projects, be sure to follow Nice Marmot PR on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

https://www.facebook.com/NiceMarmotPR/

https://twitter.com/NiceMarmotPR

https://www.instagram.com/nicemarmotpr/