Festival goers roast marshmallows with the Destination Campbell River team during the Fall Festival at Haig-Brown House in Campbell River, B.C. on Sept. 22, 2019. The Art+Earth Festival is going mostly virtual for its second year as organizers find a way to hold it during the coronavirus pandemic. File photo by Marissa Tiel– Campbell River Mirror

Campbell River Art+Earth Festival to experiment with technology for sophomore year

Mix of in-person and virtual events planned for Sept. 24-27

A Campbell River festival that fuses the arts with environmentalism is adapting to the coronavirus for its sophomore year.

The Art+Earth Festival is set to take place Sept. 24 to 27, but unlike its first year, most of the events will be online.

Campbell River Arts Council Executive Director Ken Blackburn was hoping this would be a year of growth for the young festival.

“Obviously the world has changed and like what we had to do with the banner project and the members’ show, we had to rethink how to do things this year,” he says.

The bulk of this year’s festival will feature online offerings with just a few opportunities for in-person events and a handful of hybrid options.

RELATED: First Art & Earth Festival in Campbell River was an experiment gone terribly, terribly right

The Art+Earth Festival, which saw the Haig-Brown Festival repurposed into a three-day event is anchored by World Rivers Day, which falls on Sept. 27 this year.

This year’s event will be a smaller affair than the inaugural festival.

“We had hundreds of people cycling through events last year and it’s just not possible this year,” says Blackburn. “We were hoping this would be a year to grow it, but we’ll keep the conversation going.”

The festival will open Thursday, Sept. 24 with the opening of an exhibit by Olivia Whetung entitled Sugarbush Shrapnel, which is on tour from Vancouver’s Contemporary Art Gallery.

“It’s an Indigenous show on traditional knowledge as it relates to the environment,” says Blackburn. “So it’s a perfect subject matter for the Art+Earth Festival.”

Whetung is a member of the Curve Lake First Nation and a citizen of the Nishnaabeg Nation. According to a description of the exhibit, a thread of her work explores “ways that knowledge is carried by language, land and bodies of water.” In Sugarbush Shrapnel, she “expands these material and conceptual investigations to consider her own connections to the complex ecosystem of her home on Chemong Lake, Ontario, particularly the importance of food sovereignty and the fragility of symbiotic relationships in an era of accelerating climate change and the environmental destruction.”

Festival action starts earlier Friday with the online release of Eiko Jones’ new film “Salmon Capital,” which focuses on the history of salmon in Campbell River.

Greenways’ Land Trust follows with an online event of their own, “Zooming in: Campbell River Estuary & Baikie Island. The Zoom event will start at 11 a.m. on Sept 25 and last about 30 minutes. It’ll offer information about the transformation of the Campbell River estuary from an industrial site into a lush greenspace.

Festival action continues Saturday with one of the rare in-person events. From noon to 4 p.m., First Nation carver Orland Hansen (Simituk) will be showing work he completed during his Walter Morgan Studio Artists Residency. Later in the day, there will be a virtual interview with the studio’s other artist in residence, Libby King. King is spending the year working on a literary novel that explores “the rules surrounding the disintegration of platonic female friendships within a landscape influenced by new forms of memoir.”

On Sunday, the 11th Annual Haig Brown Lecture will be delivered by award-winning photographer and filmmaker Eiko Jones. He’ll be talking about his time in Campbell River photographing and filming salmon. “While watching and filming salmon, he has developed a keen understanding of the relationship between healthy salmon runs and the vibrance of the entire watershed,” reads a blurb on the arts council website.

The Haig Brown Lecture will also mark the first time Jones’ new feature film “Heartbeat of the River” will be shown in Canada. The event is a hybrid event that is hosted by the Tidemark Theatre. There will be tickets for limited in-person seating as well as livestream tickets.

“We’re going to be experimenting with a lot of the new technology that we have and a new way to present content,” says Blackburn. “We hope the community will support the arts in this. It’s a new reality. This is something that’s going to be with us now for awhile until full audiences come back but that could be awhile. In the meantime, we’re trying to encourage people to at least support us through buying a ticket and experiencing these things virtually.”

Earlier in the day, the City of Campbell River will be hosting its annual Stewardship Awards at the Tidemark Theatre. Starting at 4 p.m., the awards, which celebrate community members making a difference for the environment, will be livestreamed.

RELATED: Art + Earth unite in Campbell River festival

During the festival, Beach Fire Brewing & Nosh House will be shining a spotlight on a locally inspired dish every evening.

Throughout the weekend, the Museum at Campbell River will be publishing pre-recorded virtual tours of the Haig-Brown House on its website. Haig-Brown Readings will also be published throughout the week as read by community members in the study at Haig-Brown House.

Greenways Land Trust will be holding a Nature Mandala Contest. The challenge is to use found natural materials – think leaves, sticks, rocks, pine cones, flowers – to create a circular mandala. The contest is open to artists ages 10 and under. They will need to submit a photo of their design to info@greenwaystrust.ca and a young judging panel will pick a winner for the Coho Books gift certificate prize. Photos must be submitted between Sept. 20 and 27.

Like the festivals’ first year, there will also be window poetry this year. Check out shop windows downtown for the newly-produced work.

READ ALSO: Campbell River’ first Art and Earth Festival preparations well under way

Blackburn is hopeful the community will continue to support the Art+Earth Festival, even during a pandemic.

“We’re still here,” he says. “We’re still trying to produce programming that has relevance, but it’s going to require some shifts.”


@marissatiel
marissa.tiel@campbellrivermirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

ArtCampbell RiverCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Black bear cubs Athena and Jordan look on from their enclosure at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Association in Errington, B.C., on July 8, 2015. Conservation Officer Bryce Casavant won the hearts of animal lovers when he opted not to shoot the baby bears in July after their mother was destroyed for repeatedly raiding homes near Port Hardy, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Supreme Court quashes review of North Island conservation officer who refused to euthanize bears

Bryce Casavant was dismissed from his job for choosing not to shoot the cubs in 2015

Homalco First Nation said that it will intervene in the judicial review sought by aquaculture companies with regards to federal decision to phase out 19 Discovery Island fish farms by 2022. In this picture from Sept. 24, a demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver.(Quinn Bender photo)
Aquaculture companies’ judicial review challenges reconciliation and Aboriginal Rights: First Nations

Homalco First Nation chief reacts to Mowi and Cermaq intervention in Discovery Island decision

Oyster River Fire Rescue members were called out to a suspicious fire in Black Creek. Two vehicles parked at a private residence were destroyed by fire. Photo courtesy Oyster River Fire Rescue
Suspicious fire destroys two vehicles at Black Creek residence

Oyster River Fire Rescue personnel were dispatched to a fire at a… Continue reading

CSWM will be closing the landfill in Campbell River and opening the organics composting facility in 2022. In the meantime, the City of Campbell River was hoping for a break on yard waste drop-off for residents. Black Press file photo
Comox Strathcona waste board upholds yard waste drop-off fee

Campbell River had hoped for waiver until new organics facility opens

An Atlantic salmon is seen during a Department of Fisheries and Oceans fish health audit at a fish farm near Campbell River, B.C. in 2018. Mowi Canada has applied to the Federal Court of Canada for a judicial review of the decision by Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan to phase out salmon farming in the Discovery Islands by June, 2022. (Canadian Press/Jonathan Hayward photo)
UPDATE: B.C.’s major salmon farms seek court intervention in Discovery Islands ban

All three producers now confirm they’ve filed separately with the Federal Court

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns after searing report into workplace culture: reports

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

Grounded WestJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft are shown at the airline’s facilities in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, May 7, 2019. WestJet will operate the first commercial Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada today since the aircraft was grounded in 2019 following two deadly crashes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Passengers unfazed as WestJet returns Boeing 737 Max to service on Vancouver flight

After a lengthy review process, Transport Canada cleared the plane to return to Canadian airspace

The top part of the fossil burrow, seen from the side, with feathery lines from the disturbance of the soil – thought to be caused by the worm pulling prey into the burrow. (Paleoenvironntal Sediment Laboratory/National Taiwan University)
PHOTOS: SFU researchers find evidence of ‘giant’ predatory worms on ocean floor

Fossils found the prove the existence of an ancient Taiwanese worm as long as two metres

RCMP officers provide policing for 63 B.C. municipalities under a provincial formula based on population. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. communities warned of upcoming RCMP unionization costs

Starting salaries for city police officers are 30% higher

(Pxhere)
B.C. nurse suspended after using Tensor bandage to trap long-term care patient in room

Susan Malloch voluntarily agreed to a three-day suspension of her certificate of registration

Abbotsford’s Skully White (left), who donated his kidney in December, has started a campaign to find other recipients and donors. The first candidate is retired police officer Gavin Quon. White owns and operates a hotdog stand, Lullys Food Experience, out of the Abbotsford Canadian Tire parking lot. (Facebook photo)
After donating his kidney, Abbotsford hotdog king starts donor campaign

Skully White donated his kidney to customer Tim Hiscock in December

Toronto-based director Michelle Latimer was recently scrutinized after years of claiming she was of Algonquin and Metis descent. (CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)
Haida activist calls for hefty fines, jail time against those who claim to be Indigenous

Filmmaker Tamara Bell proposing the Indigenous Identity Act – to dissuade ‘Indigenous identity theft’

Most Read