North Connects Blog
The Near North Mobile Media Lab is hitting the open northern road! In 2013/14 will be engaging in consultations and pilot workshops with media arts communities around the northern Ontario region to work towards implementing a peer networking strategy and outreach program. We will be sitting down with media artists and audiences to see where the gaps in programming and access exist and how N2M2L can help move towards a more media accessible region.
New Links in Temiskaming Shores and Timmins
March 31, 2014
An easy drive up highway 11 brought the Media Lab to the city of Temiskaming Shores, a tri-town area in the Near North of Ontario comprised of Haileybury, Cobalt and New Liskeard. Stopping in to visit our friends at the Temiksaming Art Gallery, we sat down with Maureen Steward to discuss some exciting collaboration potentials for youth and adult workshops in media arts for the Temiskaming Shores area. Later in the visit, N2M2L hosted a community consultation in New Liskeard in partnership with the Temiskaming Screening Room.
N2M2L then moved North along highway 11 to Timmins, where the lab linked up with the Timmins Museum and National Exhibition Centre. Hosted by the Museum, N2M2L learned about the cultural plan the city is undergoing and the need to incorporate Media Arts activity and eduction in the community. Representatives from the Timmins Public Library were on hand to discuss potential community partnerships, including youth incentives to help engage younger audiences and participants.
Catching Up in Kenora
December 14, 2013
Holly flew from Sioux Lookout to Kenora from December 7th-9th 2013 the most westerly stop on the tour just a few hours east of Winnipeg. N2M2L presented it’s North Connects round table as part of the Sweetgrass Film Festival. With our welcoming host Patrick Lessard of the Northwestern Film & Video group and from the board of directors of the Lake of the Woods Centre for the Arts. The lively discussion happened at Women’s Place Kenora, involving many members of the arts & culture and media community and beyond. It was immediately apparent there is an active community centred around establishing a performing arts centre that would include a theatre for film screening and media activity – a much needed piece of infrastructure for the health of the arts & culture of Kenora. A scarf campaign run by the Lake of the Woods Centre for the Arts was seen all over the city, another reminder of the push to have a functional centre built in the city.
Making New Friends in Elliot Lake
November 7th, 2013
We’ve embarked on traveling across the vast region of northern Ontario to gain input from public discussions on media arts programming in northern communities. This fall/winter our regional tour will visit seven communities with populations under 50,000 in the northern region of Ontario to better understand the artists, audiences and resources in these more isolated areas. Each community is unique, that’s why we need this vital input to help create the best possible outreach programming we can going forward!
To kick off the tour, N2M2L met with local artists, community leaders, students and educators in Elliot Lake as a welcoming first stop November 6th-8th. Coming along was local media and visual artist Kim Kitchen, who lived in Elliot Lake and proved to be a wonderful connection to members of the arts community. We met with local artists like Linda Finn who are excited about the potential media art as a new means of artistic production.
We also met with Kate Matuszewski from the Lester B. Peason Centre and Gwen Goulet from the Arts and Culture Round Table Elliot Lake, to discuss some exciting partnership ideas between N2M2L and the local arts community. We also met with various educators around town who were excited to bring media arts workshops to the youth in the community. Keep your ear to the ground for future pilot projects between N2M2L and the Eilliot Lake community coming soon!
Enjoying the View in Sioux Lookout
December 12, 2013
Holly Cunningham, managing director of N2M2L embarked on a first time outreach to the north western region of Ontario to meet with the local media and arts community in Sioux Lookout. With true northern hospitality N2M2L was hosted by the Sioux Lookout Public Library, Sioux Lookout Creative Arts Circle, and the A-frame Gallery. Our public discussion was held at the library with interested local community members including local filmmaker Tyler Angeconeb of the comedy sketch troupe Tyler & Melvin and Donna Giles from A-Frame Gallery and the Creative Arts Circle. Holly also met with local filmmaker and educator Doug Leconte of the Washa Distance Education Centre. I also met video artist Nadine Arpin (who showed in N2M2L’s group exhibition Reel Northern II).
Topics of discussion included the local activity occurring in the media arts community and potential strategies for mobilizing the community through future partnership projects. Need for equipment resources, education opportunities and youth employment in the creative sector were also common themes. N2M2L looks forward to creating more opportunities for mentorship and partnership between our media community and the activity occurring in Sioux Lookout.