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All aboard: Métis artist transforms school bus into mobile music and art venue –



You can now visit one of Manitoba’s newest music and art venues — or wait for it to come to you.

Métis artist Robyn Adams says she has transformed a decommissioned school bus into a mobile music and art venue in order to help bring underrepresented women, Indigenous artists and artists of colour to centre stage. 

“One thing I’m really intentional about is creating a safe space, safe environment and community for … the public to access art,” said Adams. 

“The community is really taking to it because it brings accessibility everywhere.”

The short school bus is decorated with Métis art and holds a modest sound system concert goers can enjoy — if you are fortunate enough to find where it’s parked next.

The seats have all been taken out from the bus’s interior, which serves as an art venue and a recording studio.

For concerts, the bus acts as a background for bands who play to crowds outside the mobile venue.

See Winnipeg band JayWood record in the bus:

Robyn Adams has transformed her decommissioned bus into a mobile music and art venue in order to help bring underrepresented women, Indigenous and artists of colour to centre stage. 1:09

The project, formally called Field Trip Sessions, has picked up traction and will be featured at this year’s Festival du Voyageur, where Adams is now the Indigenous initiatives co-ordinator.

The bus will be open to attendees at the winter festival during the day and will feature art focused on reclaiming Indigenous languages, including art based on Adams’s own traditional language of Michif. 

“I think reconciliation can happen through art, and that’s what I’m trying to do,” she said. 

Adams says that it’s important to create opportunities to reclaim Indigenous voices, especially given the historic attempts of residential schools to eradicate Indigenous languages.

After completing her bachelor of fine arts degree, Adams wanted to move beyond art that is confined within the white walls of galleries.

Drawing inspiration from local galleries like Urban Shaman, and NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts — which see musicians perform intimate concerts in the office of one of the public radio service’s hosts — she decided to claim her own space. 

The bus will house an art show on Indigenous languages at the Festival du Voyageur. (Submitted by Robyn Adams)

The school bus made its debut as a venue last fall in Winnipeg’s North End as part of Nuit Blanche, an evening focused on contemporary public art, in order to bring a venue and voice to inner-city artists.

To Adams’s surprise, her mobile venue attracted around 400 people throughout the all-night event. Nuit Blanche attendees were treated to a display of Indigenous art, music, drumming and traditional hoop dancing.

In the coming months, Adams plans to use the bus to give more emerging artists an opportunity to be seen and heard in their own neighbourhoods.

After Festival du Voyageur, it will head back to the North End in March, when the mobile venue will bring performances to the Meet Me at the Bell Tower event — a grassroots community gathering held every Friday at the Selkirk bell tower to address violence and inner-city community issues.

“It’s really exciting that I got to start this project,” said Adams, and “even more exciting seeing the community attached to it … join in on this initiative.”

A local Métis artist has transformed her decommissioned school bus into a mobile music and art venue in order to help bring underrepresented women, Indigenous and artists of colour to centre stage. 3:10

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Dan Fumano: Questions, shock as art studio's death blamed on COVID-19 – Vancouver Sun



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The landlords had offered to waive some of the rent to support William Clark Studios’ application for federal assistance, Chiang said, although it seems the studio may not qualify for that program. The landlord also offered to defer half the rent until “an undetermined time,” Chiang said, but did not get a response from William Clark.

“We understand small businesses are having a tough time during the pandemic and we are trying to help out as much as we can,” Chiang said. “Now I’m finding out they’ve told their tenants over the weekend that they’re getting kicked out. It’s weird, I don’t know.”

The city is also stepping in to see if there’s anything they can do to help save William Clark.

Alix Sales, Vancouver’s head of cultural spaces and infrastructure, said Wednesday her team has been working to track down both the landlords and William Clark management since learning Monday about the “brutal” closure.

“It’s such a big blow, it’s such a critical space,” Sales said.

Sales and her colleague, cultural planner Kristen Lambertson, agreed some of the details and questions surrounding the William Clark closure make it an unusual one.

But, Lambertson pointed out: “We’re also in a very unusual time.”

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Smithers Art Gallery and Bulkley Valley Museum now open to the public – My Bulkley Lakes Now



The Smithers Art Gallery and The Bulkley Valley Museum have reopened to the public.

As of Monday(June 1), the gallery and the museum have opened and will be operating Monday to Friday from 12 p.m. until 4 p.m.

According to Smithers Art Gallery Manager Nicole Chernish, the planned exhibitions have been postponed until 2021 but artists who were invited to have exhibitions this year to provide work in a pop-up gallery.

Artists that will be featured in the gallery are Sarah Zimmerman, Mark Tworow, and Emily Klassen.

Chernish said getting the gallery ready for reopening was nerve-racking but now that they are open it feels amazing.

“It feels absolutely fantastic. We’ve got all this fantastic art on the walls and it just feels really refreshing and satisfying to have that visual art surrounding me so I can’t wait until we have more people come in and experience that for themselves,” she said.

Chernish added on the first day of the reopening the gallery had six people walkthrough.

She called it fantastic due to having a max capacity of five people for the building.

According to Chernish, during the gallery’s closure, they moved a lot of their content online, so they could still interact with the community.

Chernish said having the virtual exhibitions was difficult because they haven’t done a lot of them on their own.

“I think people are able to access it but it doesn’t feel quite the same as coming into a gallery and seeing a piece of art right in front of you so, I think it’s been an adjustment not only for the gallery but for visitors as well,” she said.

The Lakes District Museum is also open and the Witset Museum is set to open on Friday (June 5).

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Local artists participating in upcoming national arts drive – OrilliaMatters



On June 20, many creatives in our area are participating in a country-wide National Arts Drive, organized by RAW Artists and Orillia native Michelle Bylow. This event was originally scheduled for June 5, but has been moved to later in the month.

Creatives in all areas —art, music, performing arts, film, fashion, photography, craft, beauty — as well as cultural institutions and local restaurants nation-wide are invited to showcase their work to a driving, socially distanced audience for attention, tips, and hopefully sales.

Local musician Olivia Duck will be participating, along with various other drop-in members of the band, Hobo Jam.

“We will be located at 77 Lewis Drive in Orillia. It will be a Hobo Jam collective performance featuring myself, Jakob Pierce, Jamie Drake, and Dennis Rizzo. Perhaps other drop-in musicians as well. We will do a variety of music which will be jammed out as we aren’t officially rehearsing at this time for obvious reasons,” said Duck.

Several artists and galleries along Peter Street between Mississaga and Colborne streets will be out, including Patti Agapi, MJ Pollak and Molly Farquharson from Hibernation Arts.

“We will have tables out showcasing our art, and of course participants are welcome to stop, park, and safely come into the gallery to view and purchase,” Farquharson said.

RAW artists executive director Bylow is excited about this first-time event.

“We have expanded the event to include local eateries and food trucks,” Bylow said. “We have partnered with the Orillia District Arts Council to spread the word to local artists.”

Anitta Hamming’s Creative Nomad Studios will also be participating, through the gallery’s 2020 Unlimited show, on display now in the windows of the gallery.

She said “2020 Unlimited is all set up for an event like this. We have over 30 works of art in the windows of the gallery and drivers can safely purchase through our website. We hope to see lots of drivers out and are excited to be part of this event,” said Hamming.

The event will be live in our area on June 20 from 4 to 7 p.m., and the map will go live the night before. There is also an app you can download. For this and other information about the National Arts Drive, go to their website.

Would you like to support art and an important cultural institution in our town? Orillia Museum of Arts and History’s (OMAH) online art auction, QuarARTine is now live!

This auction will run from now until the end of September. Twenty new pieces of 6-inch by 6-inch art will be posted every 20 days. You can purchase art outright for $30 or bid on it and see how high it goes!

All proceeds will go towards OMAH which of course is suffering in these pandemic times. Many items of the first 20 are already sold, only three days in, so check in often to get your first choice. For more information and to bid, go here.

This week’s Essential Concert series will feature Sean and Bayze Murray, of the local band, Reay. Reay’s debut single, Lemondrop Girl, is available for download and you can purchase the band’s debut album, Butterfly Tongue Revisited, here

Tune in to listen to Sean and Bayze live on the Essential Concert series this Thursday at 8 p.m. here.

Local dance therapist Miriam Goldberger is involved in an amazing event this week to celebrate Seniors’ Month. Young at Art presents Golden Hour this Thursday June 4 from 2 to 3 p.m. This is a virtual interactive event for older adults, presented through Zoom.

There will be an interactive sing-a-long with music therapist Thyra Andrews, an improv dance with Miriam, and a co-created art experience with Tonya Hart. You can get your Zoom invite by emailing Enjoy!

Have a sunny first weekend in June and send me your arts news by Tuesday at noon, to

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