BC Literary Festival Calendar: 2019/20

 

A Literary Adventure

As summer in B.C. begins to cool and fade into fall there is yet another festival season approaching. Literary festivals! That’s right. Grab your pumpkin spice lattes’, throw on your chunky knit sweaters and head out to one of these incredible festivals hilighting all things, book, poetry, writing and more.

LiterAsian: September 27-28 | Vancouver

Victoria Festival of Authors: October 2-6| Victoria

Cascadia Poetry Festival:  October 4-5 | Cumberland

VCON 43: October 11-13 | Vancouver

Whistler Writers Festival: October 17-20 | Whistler

The Vancouver Writers Fest: October 21-27 | Vancouver

Surrey International Writers’ Conference: October  25-27 | Surrey

Growing Room: March 11-15| Vancouver

The Creative Ink Festival for Writers and Readers: May 15-17  | Burnaby

 

 

 

B.C.’s Motion Picture Industry Remains Steady with $3.2B Contribution to Economy

Creative BC is pleased to report that 384 productions which qualified for labour-based tax credit certifications during the 2018/19 fiscal year have contributed $3.2 billion to B.C.’s economy.

 

British Columbia is world-renowned as a versatile and dependable hub for motion picture production. As a global competitor in visual effects (VFX) and animation, the motion picture industry is estimated to support full time equivalent positions totalling over 71,000 in B.C. [1]

These figures show that production activity levels are holding steady as indicated by the annual total budgeted production spend, which is slightly lower by 6% year-over-year. While the total number of productions certified by Creative BC this year is down by 68 productions year-over-year, the number of productions certified is dependent on certification submissions and timing.

With these production expenditures, direct industry jobs and labour income accounted for approximately $1.67 billion spent in British Columbia. B.C.-based creators accounted for 154 productions, with non-B.C. and foreign companies bringing 230 productions to the province.

A breakdown by program of the 384 tax credit certifications approved by Creative BC during fiscal year 2018/19 includes:

  • 154 tax credit certifications were issued under the Film Incentive BC Tax Credit Program (FIBC) for Canadian owned and controlled productions, with estimated budgeted expenditures in B.C. of $391M;
  • 230 tax credit certifications were issued under the Production Services Tax Credit (PSTC) program for international productions, with estimated budgeted expenditures in B.C. of $2.8B;
  • The Digital Animation, Visual Effects and Post-Production Tax Credit (DAVE), was leveraged by 152 of the total 154 FIBC claims and 218 of 230 of the PSTC claims respectively;
  • 139 productions of the 384 total tax credit certifications, or 36%, leveraged regional tax credits (outside the designated Vancouver area);
  • 61 of the 384 total tax credit certifications, or 16%, leveraged distant location regional tax credits (beyond the regional tax credit zone);
  • 7 FIBC projects accessed the newly established Scriptwriting Tax Credit.

A breakdown by format of the 384 tax credit certifications is below:

  • Feature Films: 95
  • Mini-series: 4
  • Movies of the Week: 84
  • TV Programs: 20
  • TV Series: 148
  • Web-based/other: 13
  • TV pilots: 20

For more information and detailed expenditures by production type, please visit: https://www.creativebc.com/motion-picture-industry-statistics


Highlights from B.C.’s motion picture industry during fiscal year 2018/19 include:

  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse – Over 80% of the Academy Award-winning animated film was created by animation artists and visual effects teams in the Sony Pictures Imageworks’ Vancouver studios.
  • Ironwood & Fraserwood Studios – In April 2018, Whites Studios announced renovations and expansion for two distinct studios: Ironwood and Fraserwood Studios. Ironwood has 177,000 total square footage, including seven sound stages and office facilities and Fraserwood contains 119,000 total square footage, with four sound stages and a mill shop and paint shop.
  • A Million Little Things – ABC Studios’ A Million Little Things spent over $27M in B.C. in its first season and engaged more than 779 local businesses from 32 communities across the province. The show also used the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) to stand in for the Boston Garden.[2]
  • Last Kids On Earth – This year, Vancouver-based animation studio Atomic Cartoons signed a worldwide licensing deal for their upcoming Netflix series ‘The Last Kids on Earth”, currently in production.  The studio has also worked on Hilda, the British-Canadian co-production with Netflix, based on Luke Pearson’s graphic novel.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe – Much of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe has a Vancouver stamp on it with visual effects and post-production companies Industrial Light and Magic, Double Negative (DNEG), Method Studios and Cinesite working on Captain Marvel and Avengers: Infinity War.
  • Game of Thrones – Many British Columbians may have caught the Province’s screen credits at the end of episodes of the final season of Game of Thrones. That is due to the creation of the dragons that were visualized by B.C. studio Image Engine. This high-end creative work is supported by the Canadian Film and Video Production Services Tax Credit and the Province of British Columbia Production Services Tax Credit.
  • Unspeakable – The CBC drama examines the tragic circumstances in which contaminated blood and blood products infected thousands of Canadian patients with HIV. Unspeakable was created and written by BC-producer Robert Cooper and filmed on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland.
  • Riverdale – Over three seasons, the Warner Bros. Television show Riverdale spent over $103M in BC, creating 1,785 jobs in the province. In season three alone, the show has spent $43M in B.C.[3]

 

[1] CMPA Profile 2018 estimates of direct and spin-off FTES, Exhibit 2-3

[3] MPA Canada: Economic Impacts of Riverdale, 2019

BC Music Festival Calendar: Summer 2019

Summer is here and that means the days are long, the sun is hot and the music scene is thriving!

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 4 – 14 | Vancouver 

Carnaval Del Sol: July 6 – 7 | Vancouver

Khatsahlano Street Party:  July 6 | Vancouver

Okanagan Indigenous Music and Arts Festival: July 6 – 7 | Okanagan

Q’ƏMCÍN 2 Rivers Remix : Jult 6 – 7| Lytton

Atlin Arts and Music Festival: July 12 – 14 | Atlin

Bass Coast: July 12 – 15 | Merritt

African Descent Festival: July 20 -21 | Vancouver

Fort Langley Jazz Festival: July 26 – 28 | Langley

Squamish Consellation Festival: July 26 – 28 | Squamish

Luna Arts Festival: July 27 – 29 | Revelstoke

Rockin’ River Musicfest: August 1 – 4 | Merritt

Vancouver Mural Festival: August 1 – 10 | Vancouver

Hornby Festival: Aug 1 – 10 | Hornby Island

Mosaic Arts & Culture Festival: August 2 – 3 | Pender Island

Five Acre Shaker Musicfest: Aug 9 – 11 | Port Alberni

Shambhala Music Festival: Aug 9 – 12| Nelson

The Robson Valley Music Festival: Aug 16 – 18 | Dunster

Nelson Mural Festival: Aug 16 – 18 | Nelson

CULTIVATE Theatre + Music + Art Festival: Aug 30 – Sept 1 | Gabriola Commons

Denim on the Diamond: Aug 31 | Kelowna

Koksilah Music Festival: September 6 – 8 | Cowichan Valley

New Forms Festival: September 26 – 29 | Vancouver

An Interview With Brenda Bailey Executive Director of DigiBC, The Interactive and Digital Media Industry Association of B.C.

“I want people to trust that I will work on their behalf.”-Brenda Bailey

With training in business and law, a background in social work, and a degree in Arabic, Brenda Bailey has followed a unique career path. “Everyone expected me to do typically female jobs, when really, I should have been a technologist right from the start. But we didn’t know about those opportunities.”

Brenda grew up in a small town on Vancouver Island. “In the early 80s, arcades were all the rage. I think the arcade was a really integral part of growing up in a small town at that time. It’s something we did with our friends; it was our community.”

Back then, it never felt odd to Brenda to be a girl playing video games – it wasn’t seen as a male space, but that changed with the onset of first-person shooter games. “I don’t believe video gaming is an innately male space – I think it’s been a reflection of who’s making the video games rather than an innate desire to play them.” With that in mind, she set out to change the types of games being made by going into the video game business. “I wanted to build high quality games for girls, but it was tough as there weren’t a lot of concepts being developed.”

After working with several startups in the interactive digital media space, Brenda was asked to lead DigiBC, an umbrella association that supports people working in video games, animation, visual effects, augmented and virtual reality. It’s an amazing time in the interactive digital media world right now, and there’s been incredible growth in the digital media space because there’s so much technology and so many technologists coming outof the video game industry.

“We have the largest cluster of animation studios in the world. From Parksville to Kelowna to Victoria, there’s an incredible technology sector thriving in our province.”

Video games are no longer something that you need to access at your local arcade – the technology is in your pocket.There’s more ability to make and deliver games than ever before, and that gives rise to new voices. “It’s now about discoverability. The market is saturated with so much product that we need to help those diverse stories come forward.”

Getting young people involved in technology, and helping stories be told, is what’s fueling Brenda now. She’s trying to incentivize the creation of intellectual property here in B.C., and she’s focusing on empowering and equipping the next generation. She’s exposing students to the plethora of opportunities that exist within B.C.’s interactive digital media space. “If it’s art you’re interested in, become an animator. If you’re a natural leader, become a producer.”

There are opportunities for musicians, mathematicians, even those kids who maybe don’t fit into any place yet.” What’s really exciting for Brenda though is the number of women leading this space to move forward. “If you look at the leaders in Vancouver’s technology and creative industries, it’s amazing – I’ve never seen so many women! So is it really a surprise then that the different tech industries are working together more and more, and collaborating? I don’t think so,” she says with a smile.

An Interview with Kim Thé, Booking Representative & Artist Manager at Pebble Star Artists

Kim Thé gives us some incite into Pebble Star Artists, a full-service art management and booking agency for family friendly entertainment and young audiences. With a little help from Creative BC Kim talks about what the future looks like for this family built company and what exciting things we can expect to see from them in the future! Check it out.

How did you or your company get started?

My husband is children’s performer Will Stroet from Will’s Jams on CBC Kids, and I’ve been working as his manager and booking agent since he started performing in 2005. We formally incorporated our company, Pebble Star Productions, in 2012 when we landed a deal with CBC television and got into TV production. Over the years while managing Will, I was also working in marketing and communications in the private and public sectors. In 2013, juggling motherhood, our company work and a communications job became too much, so I started working full-time for our company to handle all the grant writing, event production, bookings, branding, merchandise coordination and marketing. After booking Will for more than 1,500 shows over the years and receiving more requests than I could fulfill, I decided to launch my own booking agency Pebble Star Artists in March 2017.

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

Thanks to the support of Creative BC, I was able to launch a new website and attend a few performing arts showcases for the first time across the country last year to promote my roster. It was great to meet people face-to-face since I’ve only ever communicated by email and phone. I’ve had a successful first year booking shows for my artists.

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

One of my artists,  beatboxer and livelooper RupLoops had a great showcase at Arts NorthWest in Oregon and I’m working on booking his first US tours for 2019/2020. Another one of my artists, Bollywood dancer Karima Essa, had a great showcase at ArtStarts, which resulted in a 50-plus show tour in schools this year.  I also worked with Will to build his new Will’s Jams Live multimedia show which has toured in China three times since July 2017. We’ll be working on building Will’s brand in China and Hong Kong to move beyond Canada. Will and I also raised $9,000 through Kickstarter to support  the recording of his new album, which will be launched at the Children’s Festivals in Vancouver, Surrey and Kootenays in May 2019

Are there any projects we should know about that we can promote for you?

Thanks to the support of Creative BC, we’ve been able to produce lots of new video content for Will. We recently  launched a new web series called Will’s World to build Will’s profile online. It’s a fun show for kids and their parents that can be described as “Wayne’s World” meets “Mr. Rogers” with a dad’s sensibility! ” We’ve also just started releasing French lyric videos for French teachers and students as well. I’m also really really excited to be working with local soul singer Krystle Dos Santos. We’ve developed a young audience show called  “A History of Motown,” which she’ll perform at the ArtStarts showcase in March, and will hopefully result in a significant amount of school bookings in the 2019/2020 school year.

If there is a particular individual currently working at your company or with whom your company has worked with in the past who has had notable impact, please tell us more about them…

With Creative BC’s help, we’ve been able to hire Mital Gorman as our marketing coordinator. She is the main producer and videographer for Will’s World who is full of great ideas and has helped me produce two successful Family Day concerts in February 2018 to showcase some of my artists. She also helps us with our social media planning and newsletters. It’s been great to have another person working with us on a regular basis to grow both of our companies.

An Interview With Ian Harper Producer of Inanimate Alice.

“We are trusting people to contribute to the story as is progresses”-Ian Harper

As an International Project Manager, Ian Harper spent most of his life travelling. He lived and worked in the Middle East, South East Asia, and Africa before settling down in Nanaimo, B.C. where he now produces the digital novel, Inanimate Alice.

Ian loves the fact that he can work from anywhere thanks to technology, yet he says technology doesn’t always benefit us. “Thirteen years ago, I was at Waterloo Station in London waiting for a train when a young woman bowled me over while she was looking at her phone.” That may have been Ian’s first experience of someone being so distracted by technology they lost grasp of where they were, but it was not his last.

Those experiences inspired him to explore the hold that technology has on us. It also challenged him to find a way to use technology to help people better understand their place in the world, rather than feel so disconnected. “The underlying dilemma for me was, who is controlling the conversation, who is driving the relationship?”

Once Ian started asking these kinds of questions, he was compelled to change his entire career. “By the time I was 50, I got to this moment in life where I realized I could do something else. I went back to school to learn to write for the screen. It was an eye-opening experience, and it sparked this need in me to tell an in-depth story involving technology and connectivity.

”Inanimate Alice is an ongoing digital novel that progressively incorporates interactive media. It’s a collaboration between Ian, writer Kate Pullinger and developers Chris Joseph and Andy Campbell. Alice starts out as a young girl learning to use technology. As she gets older, the viewer experiences greater technological complexity through the unfolding story. “Each episode becomes more and more complicated, and you uncover things as you go. It leaves much to the imagination and encourages readers to find their inspiration within ideas. It’s a voyage of exploration, which is why I think kids are attracted to it.”

Ian is currently working with libraries to develop a unique model where people can access each episode on library servers and use their virtual reality headsets to interact with the series.

“This is a key moment for reading,” states Ian, “as libraries define their role in teaching digital and technological literacy in support of the new economy.”

With the support of Creative BC, Ian has been able to build partnerships such as with the Fraser Valley Regional Library, where Inanimate Alice is now available. “Creative BC has done a fantastic job promoting this series and helping us build relationships with libraries. Now we need support to complete the story.”

Inanimate Alice has been downloaded by at least 1.5 million people, with more and more teachers using it as a tool in their classroom. “We are talking about a story that inspires and opens up the imagination. Kids and teachers alike feel like they are coming along with us on the journey – they are part of the team.”

An Interview With Anoushka Ratnarajah Co-artistic Director at Out On Screen – Vancouver Queer Film Festival.

“I think that trust and respect are so important when it comes to artistic integrity.”-Anoushka Ratnarajah

Anoushka Ratnarajah has always been a creative person, even as a little girl. “My parents encouraged me and my brother to be creative – they really uplifted our creative expression.”

As a kid growing up in Ladner, B.C., Anoushka was exposed to books like Anne of Green Gables and authors such as Jane Austen. “I think the thing that drove me into becoming a storyteller was that as a young, mixed-race, queer person I didn’t see a lot of stories about people like me, or families like mine. I didn’t have a lot of stories I could relate to, so I would write stories about characters I could identify with.”

After a degree in Creative Writing at UBC, Anoushka found herself in New York pursuing a Masters in Arts Politics. This degree allowed her to explore what it meant to be an artist with a social justice lens, and it encouraged her to work in various forms of art making. She met a friend in a performing arts training program and found her way into filmmaking. “I’ve always had a cinematic imagination – I see things in pictures, and there’s always a musical score in my mind throughout the day!”

When Anoushka was asked to be the coartistic director at Out on Screen, which produces the Vancouver Queer Film Festival, she was very excited. “I feel so fortunate to work for an organization that has queer people of colour on staff. There have been a lot of folks who have broken down doors for us in so many ways, yet there’s still more work to be done.”

This year’s festival will showcase many films by young trans or gender non-conforming filmmakers, perhaps a sign of what’s happening more globally when it comesto authentic representation of queer stories. There are also lots of local filmmakers telling their stories as part of The Coast is Queer series. “We are so grateful for the support from Creative BC because it encourages us to spotlight local artists and local content.”The Out on Screen society was founded 30 years ago when the Gay Games came to Vancouver. “Queer folks were hungry for visual representation of their stories,” Anoushka says.

The festival started off with films being projected in people’s basements and it has grown to become the second largest film festival in Vancouver and the largest queer film event in Western Canada.

Anoushka believes they’ve been able to do all of that because there’s been a continuing effort to build a reciprocal sense of trust with artists. “Film has a long history of untrustworthy narrators who tell stories that don’t necessarily reflect their own lives or experiences. Often times, especially with documentary films, there can be a feeling of exploitation. Trust building is essential to the work we do here, especially because we are working with communities who have had trust broken so many times. We need to realize that trust doesn’t just get built and then exist permanently – it’s a relationship, and we need to keep working at it.”

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 Vici Johnstone Owner of Caitlin Press

“Trust for me is when people take the time to understand the value of our industry.”-Vici Johnstone

Vici Johnstone has worked in the arts her whole life, but it hasn’t always been a straight line. She went from high school drama classes, to working in theatre production, to being a rock’ n’ roll roadie for a sound equipment company. From there, she worked at the Banff Centre and then at CBC Radio.

Along the way, she met Howard White and started working at Harbour Publishing. “I worked my way up and learned the nuts and bolts of publishing.” Vici was given a crash course in the business of publishing, which proved serendipitous a few years later. While she was working at Harbour, Howard’s sister, the owner of Caitlin Press, sadly passed away. There was an opportunity for Vici to buy the publishing house, and she jumped at the chance to build upon its longstanding history.

Caitlin Press was originally named for Caitlin Thomas, the wife of Dylan Thomas, yet its feminist roots don’t end there. While Vici doesn’t solely publish books written by women, there is definitely a focus on women. “We have a stronger focus on women’s stories then the politics of feminism. The problem has always been that women’s stories haven’t been well documented. So much has been written about men, but I’m more interested in what lies in the trunks of our grandmothers’ attics.”

Over the years, Vici’s brought her own personality to Caitlin Press. She’s especially proud of her latest initiative, Dagger Editions, which focuses on queer women’s stories. “We’re trying to create a national voice for queer women. We want it to be a voice for the community.”She also hasn’t lost sight of one of Caitlin Press’s original mandates – to give voice to people in rural parts of B.C. “I’m especially interested in stories taking place in rural areas with connections back to larger cities.” Located in the coastal community of Halfmoon Bay, Vici understands the challenges of being both connected and disconnected from the big city. She also understands the importance of bringing the stories being told in rural settings to light. “The community is really supportive here on the Sunshine Coast, but export remains our biggest issue.”

Creative BC has been instrumental in helping Vici promote her books overseas. “Export is on everyone’s mandate because we’ll be the guest host at the Frankfurt 2020 Book Fair. Livres Canada Books and Creative BC sponsored my trip to Germany because they see the value in getting our stories out into the international market.”

Publishing is an art form, and there are so many nuances to consider. “I think publishing as an industry is really reaching outside itself – there are so many books now that are breaking the boundaries, pushing the edges. It’s not just love stories – our narrative here in Canada is different. There’s something like 10,000 books being published in Canada each year. What people read, what people write, it’s all changing. What doesn’t change is our desire to know people.” That’s what Caitlin Press continues to explore.

Publishing is an art form, and there are so many nuances to consider. “I think publishing as an industry is really reaching outside itself – there are so many books now that are breaking the boundaries, pushing the edges. It’s not just love stories – our narrative here in Canada is different. There’s something like 10,000 books being published in Canada each year.

What people read, what people write, it’s all changing. What doesn’t change is our desire to know people.”

That’s what Caitlin Press continues to explore.