The Arts Council of Ladysmith and District is working with several Vancouver Island art councils on the Digitial Innovation Group to improve digital skills for Island artists. (Submitted photo)

The Arts Council of Ladysmith and District is working with several Vancouver Island art councils on the Digitial Innovation Group to improve digital skills for Island artists. (Submitted photo)

Arts group promotes digital literacy for Island artists

The goal is to leverage digital skills to promote Vancouver Island as an ‘arts powerhouse’

The Art Council of Ladysmith and District is leading the charge of Vancouver Island art councils to improve their digital skills.

ACLD formed the Digital Innovation Group (DIG) with a $212,200 grant from the Canada Council for the Arts. DIG members include the Comox Valley Arts Council, Cowichan Valley Arts Council, Saltspring Island Arts, Old School House Art Centre and Hornby Island Art Council.

RELATED: Vancouver Island Arts Councils get big grant for investment in digital skills

DIG has conducted research into how Vancouver Island artists and art councils manage their data, and developed short-term and long-term strategic goals to help artists leverage digital platforms.

ACLD member and DIG lead Ora Steyn said that the COVID-19 pandemic has proven that digital skills are critical to supporting arts on Vancouver Island.

“It’s all about digital literacy,” Steyn said. “Once we started looking at digital literacy of artists and the councils we found that yes, there were issues. Part of those issues, especially for the councils, can be alleviated by sharing resources and knowledge.

Other digital literacy pieces like using software and storing data were also identified as areas for improvement.

“It’s no use teaching people how to store their data if they have no data — that’s the big thing,” Steyn said. “We don’t know where the artists are or how many there are. We don’t know what impact we have on communities, on the economy, on tourism, or any of those other details. It’s all word of mouth.”

“From my knowledge of the Ladysmith arts council, we have a book in the gallery and we make tick marks for every visitor that comes in. We know in 2019, we had 13,000 people through the gallery. That’s pretty powerful data but it’s not collected in a systematic way so that it can be compared year over year and it wasn’t collected digitally.”

RELATED: Ladysmith Arts Council leads effort to establish Vancouver Island as an arts powerhouse

DIG is working to compile an IT assessment for the member art councils. They will also be establishing an arts-focused technology help desk called Creative Coast. Creative Coast will help artists and art councils administer their digital systems and help promote shared knowledge of technology.

On May 31, DIG will be hosting a session for Vancouver Island art councils to discuss what digital skills and programs work best for individual councils.

In the long-term, this work is focused on building collaboration between Vancouver Island art councils and artists to establish the Island as a Canadian arts powerhouse.

Steyn said that art councils across Canada have taken notice of what’s happening with DIG and she hopes that community partners will too.

“What I hope comes from this is that tourism, economic development, local governments — all our partners in our communities — realize the value of art,” she said.

Just Posted

The grads of 2021 at Chemainus Secondary School will be resilient based on their experiences through COVID. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Making the most of grad events

Class of 2021 will carry resilience with them throughout their years based on COVID experience

COVID-19 has made the 2020-21 school year at Chemainus Secondary School interesting and challenging for graduates. (File photo by Don Bodger)
Chemainus Secondary School 2021 graduates

Here’s the young men and women who are embarking on life’s next journey

Girls just wanna have fun. From left: Danielle Dela Cruz, Melanie Cheng, Hanna Starkie, Camille Storteboom, Rebecca Rhode, Sian Diewert and Brianne Pamminger at the Crofton seawalk. (Photo by Alana Starkie)
Prom night brings some semblance of normalcy for 2021 Chemainus grads

Being together at least provides class members with some comfort

Tom Millard served his community well for so many years with the Chemainus Fire Department. (Photo submitted)
Millard dedicated himself to community service

Long-time Chemainus Fire Department member and chief remembered for his commitment

Chemainus Indigenous Peoples Weekend organizer Connie Crocker. (Photo submitted)
Chemainus Indigenous Peoples Weekend online June 19-21

Event’s been in the planning stages since February without knowing COVID implications

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth and Attorney General David Eby attend opening of the first government-run B.C. Cannabis Store, Kamloops, Oct. 19, 2018. (B.C. government)
B.C. government to allow home cannabis delivery starting July 15

Added convenience expected to persuade buyers to ‘go legal’

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

Most Read