Community Engagement Artists
In keeping with the Coquitlam 125 vision Stories told, stories to be created, a group of engagement artists has been tasked with exploring the stories of the community and its people using mediums such as writing, film, photography, theatre and visual art.
Members of the Artist Rendering Tales Collective Inc., the seven community engagement artists, will spend the year gathering stories at Coquitlam 125 events and around the city, mentoring volunteer interviewers and writers, creating characters who represent Coquitlam’s past and future, engaging the community through visual art projects, introducing a First Nations element to the celebrations, and documenting the events with photos and film.
Their legacy will include stories posted on the Coquitlam 125 website and added to the city archives, improv theatre performances of the Coquitlam characters, a video of the Coquitlam 125 celebrations, and a work of art that will become part of the annual Lafarge Lake light display.
We Need Your Talent!
From January to July, the Community Engagement Artists will hold a number of theatre and literary workshops for volunteers to create historical characters and hone story gathering skills.
For details, contact:
Artists Rendering Tales Collective Inc.
Artists Rendering Tales Collective Inc. is a collaborative group of artists specializing in several different artistic disciplines. Working in both corporate and public settings, the group provides inclusive opportunities for creative exploration and life skills development.
Brunella is an award-winning multimedia artist. A videographer with videos broadcast on CBC, Bravo! and Channel M, Brunella has received international awards for both video and poetry. She is a published writer and photographer in Canada, the United States and Italy, and her artwork – including videopoetry and 3D photography – has been shown at galleries and group shows throughout the Lower Mainland and B.C. A proud member of the Canadian Actor’s Union, Brunella’s résumé also includes lead roles in a Gemini Award winning children’s show and feature film screened at Cannes. She is also a mentor and multimedia youth instructor at Douglas College, the Chilliwack Cultural Centre and the Creative Writing for Children Society. Some of Brunella’s work is available online at youtube.com/dbdigitaltv and brunellab.blogspot.ca.
Karen June Myskiw
Karen is an enthusiastic creative who practises as an artist, designer and educator. She has worked as a landscape designer with non-profit organizations, as well as creating gardens in schools, and teaching about healthy eating. She leads art programs with young people in grades K to 12 exploring a wide range of media and formats, including large-scale murals and Manga.
In her personal artistic practice she explores water-colour, acrylics, mixed media and photography. Karen’s local and international travel photography documents genus loci of landscape and memory. Her art finds greatest expression in working collaboratively on community-based public arts projects.
She is currently pursuing international projects as an artist-in-residence in order to expand her arts-based teaching practice, and will be sharing the findings with the academic community. She also offers personalized workshops and retreats on gardening, foods for sustenance, and art-making.
Lori is from a family of Seanchai or Irish storytellers. She is the former president of the Children’s Writers & Illustrators of British Columbia Society (CWILL BC), a playwright, and an author of fiction and non-fiction for children and adults. Her most recent publication is Hungry for Math: Poems to Munch On (Fitzhenry & Whiteside), to be followed by Hungry for Science, a book of science poetry. She has been a story collector, writer and editor for several community and city-wide heritage celebrations, including Portrait V2K, Kitsilano 100 Memories and Community Portraits: A Look at West Point Grey.
Lori is the founder and producer of Vancouver’s Tickle Trunk Players theatre for literacy troupe and performs regularly with them. Independently and as a member of ArtStarts, she participates in several school-based writer-in-residency projects each year and has acted as a mentor artist with Learning Through the Arts, the Vancouver Biennale and DAREarts, a charity that uses the arts to empowers children at risk. She is a lover of all things dramatic and literary and thrives on fostering the creative spirit in everyone she encounters.
Mary Jane Joe
Mary Jane is a member of the Ntle’kepmx (Interior Salish) nation and the Lower Nicola Indian Band near Merritt. Her Ntle’kepmx name is Nk’xetko. Now an elder living with the Musqueam in Vancouver, she teaches, quilts, makes crafts, and shares her culture with students of all ages to help bridge gaps between all nations.
Growing up, Mary Jane attended the Kamloops Indian Residential School for 12 years, a tramautic and devastating experience. She has spent the years since then reconnecting with her family, culture and traditions, with much of her healing coming through a connection with the Creator as taught by her grandmother.
Having learned quilting, arts and crafts from elders while living in the Yukon, Mary Jane has taught the arts in classrooms throughout Vancouver. She completed a BEd and MA at the University of British Columbia, where she worked with the Indigenous Teacher Education Program (NITEP) for seven years. She currently teaches courses in Langara College’s Aboriginal Studies Program, serves as a mentor, tutor and elder-in-residence for Langara’s aboriginal students, and works with the Music Champions program to show teachers how to include the drum beat, music and storytelling in their curriculum. She has three grandchildren.
Roy has been taking photos for most of his life and has kept up with technology along the way. He attained his diploma as an Audio Visual Technician from Fanshaw College’s communications program, and spent the early part of his career as a custom lab technician working with colour and black-and-white film. His passion for the ocean and diving set him on a path that saw him fulfill a dream of doing an underwater shoot for National Geographic. He has photographed and filmed a wide range of subjects, from children to wildlife and everything between. He prides himself in his ability to take candid captures at events and to create high quality images. As an acoustic consultant, he learned about the nuances of sound and how to change the acoustic characteristics of a wide variety of rooms, from boardrooms to courthouses. He has served as a spokesman for a number of different marine conservation organizations, gaining on-camera experience that has enhanced his skills as an interviewer behind the camera.
Shelley is an award-winning performing artist, educator and filmmaker from the Mi’kmaq Nation who has a passion for working with youth. She has over 15 years experience as an artist/educator and has partnered with different school districts, universities, artists, Elders, television networks and community organizations across Canada.
Shelley co-founded an Aboriginal Mentorship program for young women in partnership with Simon Fraser University in December 2003. The Girlz group has completed three films: Trailblazers, Girlz n the hood, and Mental: The power within our stories. These films have screened at different conferences, including the World Peace forum for the United Nations, and on the television network APTN. Her acting credits have included appearances on the television series Cold Squad and Masters of Science Fiction. She was named Best Actor in B.C.’s Reel Fast 48 Hour Film Festival and received the Keith Prevost award from the Cold Reading Series for her community arts projects.
Tracie was born in Terrace and has been practising as an artist for the environment for 30 years. She works by sharing elements of light, energy and emotion with heart-felt joy, using graphite, acrylic and mixed media.
A graduate of the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design and its Florence program, she is vice president of the Chilliwack Visual Art Association, a juror for the Fraser Valley Regional Biennale, and the recipient of a scholarship for the Toni Onley Artist Project. Tracie was part of the steering committee for The Sea Change Colloquium 2015, part of Trinity Western University’s Verge Conference. Her work was displayed in the Surrey Art Gallery’s Views of the South Bank III exhibit in fall 2015, and 2016 will unveil her public work collecting stories and making connections with pollinators, trees, and wild salmon.
Tracie now lives in Abbotsford B.C., making art intended to question, inspire hope, and be a voice. She sees herself as a caretaker of this earth and uses her art to connect people to instill a healthy respect for our planet. She can be contacted through facebook.com/TracieStewartsperspective.