Linda Sams, director of sustainable development with Cermaq Canada (left), delivers a pair of new MacBook Pros to Campbell River Art Gallery executive director Sara Lopez Assu (right) to help the organization in their digital and online programming. Also pictured are board chair Darren Larose and former board member Amber Assu. Photo by Mike Davies – Campbell River Mirror

Cermaq hooks Campbell River Art Gallery up with new computers

‘You really can’t be operating in today’s digital space with dated technology,’ says grateful director

For a facility and organization whose main role in the community is to bring people together, these are tough times.

But one local business has made it a bit easier for one non-profit to continue that role – at least at a virtual level – as Cermaq Canada delivered a pair of new MacBook Pros to the Campbell River Art Gallery last week.

“In light of having to move a lot of our programming online and find creative ways to reach our audience and our community and share the wonderful exhibits we’ve got going on here,” says Sara Lopez Assu, the new executive director of the Campbell River Art Gallery, “we definitely needed an upgrade in technology.”

While some granting agencies, Lopez Assu says, have made money available for technology upgrades for organizations like theirs, there are often strings attached that limit what can be done with those funds.

But Cermaq’s sponsorship program, according to Linda Sams, director of sustainable development with the company, doesn’t put limits or restrictions on those they fund.

“We take in all sorts of requests,” Sams says. “Everything from sports teams to environmental work and wildlife enhancement work, not-for-profits, and sometimes individuals like the young barrel racer we sponsor. If people come to us with a good cause, we rarely turn anyone down. This year’s budget is a bit thinner because of Covid, but we’re still really committed to giving back to the community.”

Sams says the company is especially interested in helping promote the arts these days.

“We recognize the importance of the arts in any community, and this was a way for us to facilitate accessibility to their programs and support the programs themselves,” she says. “I don’t think that arts have ever been more important than they are right now.”

“These two new MacBook Pros will really help us capitalize on the digital spaces we need to be in and everything we need to do to communicate with the community in those digital spaces,” Lopez Assu says. “You really can’t be operating in today’s digital space with dated technology, and I think that’s a challenge that a lot of organizations are facing right now.

RELATED: Art Gallery taps Sara Lopez Assu for top job

RELATED: Museum adapting to its new COVID reality

“How do we reach our people, our membership, our audience and make things accessible if we’re working on super old technology that crashes as soon as we open more than two programs, just as an example?” she continues. “When you’re dealing with limited resources – time resources, human resources, financial resources – those kinds of strains become amplified, so we’re incredibly grateful for this generous gift from Cermaq.”

Cermaq Canada communications and engagement manager Amy Jonsson says the company’s website is currently under reconstruction, but when the new one launches, there will again be a clear place for people to apply for sponsorship. For now, however, anyone interested can contact Jonsson direcly by email at for more information, guidelines and how to apply.

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