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Business notes: Cinder and Sea to hold art classes in the new year – Cowichan Valley Citizen

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The COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on Cinder and Sea, a tattoo and fine art studio on Willow Street in Chemainus, as it has for many businesses.

But in the new year, owner Nick McMaster plans to host a pair of art classes at his studio, with one teaching landscape painting and the other teaching imaginative wildlife drawing, to bring more people and interest to his studio.

McMaster is multi-talented and showcases his paintings, sculptures, and carvings at the front of his shop, while running a private tattoo studio in the rear of the building.

Although McMaster’s tattoo practice is frequently booked with clients now that new health protocols allow him to safely tattoo clients again, he has noticed a steep decline in foot traffic to his gallery that is related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m still making an income, but it’s not what it should be,” he said.

Despite the challenges of COVID-19, Chemainus has proven to be a good fit for McMaster since he opened the studio in the fall of 2019, and he’s hoping to remain in the community well into the future.

“I want to be part of the community,” he said.

“I’ve got the ability and the skill now to help people out. If I’m doing well and the shop’s doing well, then I can be free to do more around town.”

While waiting to begin his upcoming art classes, McMaster welcomes anyone who wants to talk about art or tattooing to visit his shop.

Cinder and Sea is open 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays at 9748 Willow St.

••••

Fresh Kenny’s Fish and Chips is changing locations and expanding its menu.

The restaurant, which opened on Kenneth Street in Duncan in May, 2019, will be reopening in early January at nearby 111 Jubilee St. as Fresh Kenny’s Casual Eats.

Owner Curtis Flynn said Fresh Kenny’s was doing well at its location on Kenneth Street and was building clientele during its first year of operations and splitting the business between takeout, eat-ins and catering services, but then the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

He said, like many restaurants, Fresh Kenny’s had to close for a short period last spring, and then had to limit itself to take-out foods when allowed to operate again, so it lost all of its catering clients as there were no longer in-person meetings, weddings or celebrations being held.

“It became clear we needed to rethink our business model, so we started planning for the future and looking into all the possibilities,” Flynn said.

“The space at 111 Jubilee became available and we jumped at the chance. It offers a larger dining area, a great corner location with excellent exposure and it was more financially viable.”

Flynn said a broken leg kept him from reopening in December at the new location as originally planned, but he was lucky to have a huge support group including his staff, friends, family and the soccer community who helped him with the move and renovations, delaying the reopening by just a few weeks.

“I cannot thank our community enough,” he said.

“Now we are on track to open in early January as Fresh Kenny’s Casual Eats. The menu will still have our popular fish and chips as well as pizzas, burgers and tacos. We will be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner and continue to have our online ordering and takeout options.”

••••

The Youth 2020 Can initiative at Volunteer Cowichan has partnered with Technology Solutions, Save-On-Foods, and The Cowichan Valley Earth Guardians to host a post-holiday Used Device Drive.

The youth-led project aims to help bridge the “digital divide” that the COVID-19 pandemic has recently brought into sharp focus, both on an international stage and a local one.

“When everything started to go digital back in March, the world assumed digital connectivity is a right and not a privilege,” said Holly Ellison, a youth-engagement worker with Volunteer Cowichan.

“This has left many people disconnected from the world and their communities due to a lack of devices or means to connect.”

While many people might have the option to upgrade their devices and may find themselves with a surplus at home, the Youth 2020 Can initiative is asking that those who have devices that they are no longer in need of donate them so they can get into the hands of people who really do.

Seth Godbey, owner and founder of Duncan-based Technology Solutions will be offering his time and expertise to train the youth volunteers in how to reset and refurbish all the donated devices, so they will be in perfect working order before finding new homes.

The drive will accept used laptops, phones, and pads that are Internet capable, are in gently used condition, or are in need of minor repairs.

The drive will host two drop-off days on Jan. 16 and Jan. 23, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Community partner Save-On-Foods, located in the Duncan Village, will serve as the drop-off site, with a donation table at the front entrance.

If you have something you want to donate but have questions or can’t make the drop-off dates, contact Jessica, Holly, or Ali at youth2020cowichan@gmail.com for more information.

••••

The Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce, Synergy Foundation, and Economic Development Cowichan will be hosting a “virtual Lunch n’ Learn” on Jan. 28 that will explore a vision of a thriving circular economy in the Cowichan Valley and across Vancouver Island.

As an island community, most of the goods on Vancouver Island are imported and waste exported.

The circular economy offers opportunities to strengthen the local, Island-based, economy.

According to the chamber’s website, a circular economy is one where Islanders share more than they own, freeing income and sparing resources; new ideas come to life and inspire other regions; products are made and repaired locally; economic equality is the new norm; and one’s waste is another’s resource.

During the Lunch n’ Learn, participants will be provided with a circular economy overview, examples of local and global businesses operating within the circular economy, and identify local opportunities to increase economic opportunity and resilience while having a positive impact on the environment.

The Lunch n’ Learn will run from noon to 1 p.m. on Jan. 28.

People can register on the chamber’s website by following the links.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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'This is too much': Art shows children's struggles during pandemic, says researcher – CTV News

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A collection of children’s drawings made during the pandemic illustrates the mental toll the pandemic is taking on Canadian youth, says the researcher behind a project analyzing their artwork.

Many of the submissions by kids and teenagers on childart.ca depict people alone, haunted by shadowy spectres, or worse, their own thoughts.

Collectively, the images paint a stark picture of how the trials of young life under lockdown could shape the next generation, says Nikki Martyn, program head of early childhood studies at University of Guelph-Humber.

While the study is still underway, Martyn said initial observations suggest that coming of age during the COVID-19 crisis can create an emotional maelstrom during a critical period of adolescent development.

Being a teenager is tough enough at the best of times, she said, but finding your place in the world while stuck at home has left many young people feeling like they have no future to look forward to.

“The saddest part for me … is that kind of loss of not being able to see through to the other side,” she said.

“There’s so much pain and so much struggle right now that I think needs to be shared and seen, so that we can support our youth and make sure they become healthy adults.”

Since September, Martyn’s team has received more than 120 pieces from Canadians aged two to 18, submitted anonymously with parental permission, along with some background information and written responses.

Martyn marvelled at the breadth of creative talent the project has attracted, with submissions ranging from doodles, sketches, digital drawings, paintings, pastels, photos and even one musical composition.

Researchers circulated the call for young artists at schools and on social media. While the collection includes a few tot-scribbled masterpieces, Martyn said the majority of contributors are between the ages of 14 and 17.

As the submissions trickled in, she was struck by the potent and sometimes graphic depictions of adolescent anxiety, despair and isolation.

Recurring themes include confined figures, screaming faces, phantasmic presences, gory imagery and infringing darkness.

Some images contain allusions to self-harm, which Martyn sees as a physical representation of the pain afflicting so many of the study’s participants.

Just as unsettling are the words that accompany the images. Some artists transcribed the relentless patter of pandemic-related concerns that pervade daily life, while others expressed sentiments like “I’m broken,” “this is too much” and “what’s the point?”

Martyn said many participants wrote of struggling to keep up in school, while some were dealing with family problems such as job loss, illness and even death.

Many of these feelings and challenges are common across age groups, Martyn noted. However, while adults are more accustomed to the ups and downs that life can bring, young people are less likely to have fostered the coping skills to help them weather a global crisis.

A coalition of Canadian children’s hospitals has warned that the pandemic is fomenting a youth mental-health crisis with potentially “catastrophic” short- and long-term consequences for children’s wellbeing and growth.

This would be consistent with research from previous outbreaks suggesting that young people are more vulnerable to the negative psychological impacts of quarantine, including increased risk of post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety and behavioural problems, according to an August report by Children’s Mental Health Ontario.

An online survey of 1,300 Ontario children and young adults last spring found that nearly two-thirds of respondents felt that their mental health had deteriorated since COVID-19 hit, with many citing the abrupt end of school, disconnection from friends and uncertainty about the future as significant stressors.

Lydia Muyingo, a PhD student in clinical psychology at Dalhousie University, said when she looks through the images in the childart.ca gallery, she can see how these concerns are confounding the typical turmoil of being a teenager.

Adolescence is a time for young people to figure out who they are through new experiences, interests and social interactions, said Muyingo.

This transition tends to bring about intense emotions, she said, and the pandemic has exacerbated this upheaval by replacing familiar anxieties about fitting in with fears about mortality.

Muyingo said she’s encouraged to see that the childart.ca project is giving young people an outlet for these difficult feelings they may not even be able to put words to.

She encouraged adults to keep an eye out for children’s silent struggles, perhaps setting an example by sharing their own vulnerabilities.

“I think parents are sometimes scared of talking about dark themes, but the reality is that kids know a lot more than we think,” she said. “I think art like this can be used as a tool to communicate that it’s OK to feel this way.”

Martyn said the study has given her hope for what a future led by the quarantined generation could look like, because while pain pervades many of the illustrations, there are also symbols of resilience, connection and compassion.

“One of my visions from the very beginning of this was to have this as an art exhibit in a gallery, and to be able to go and be enveloped by it, have it around us and fully experience that lived idea of what children in Canada experienced.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 14, 2021.

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Art is having a virtual birthday party, a 'buffet' on Saturday – Regina Leader-Post

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Dunlop director Alyssa Fearon encourages experiencing these events, which are free admission, “just to see the format.”

“Everything that we’re doing right now in this COVID era is very experimental, and this is very much part of that. So I like that the heart of it is still there, even though it can’t take place in person,” said Fearon.

Robert Filliou lights the cake at Art’s 1,000,010th Birthday Celebration in Aachen, Germany in 1973. Photo: Undated handout courtesy Vancouver Sun

Art’s Birthday Buffet has four main menu items — or maybe three, plus dessert.

— From 2 to 3 p.m., Clive Robertson (Kingston, Ont. artist, critic and curator) and Craig Leonard (Halifax artist and teacher) will discuss Filliou’s impact on shaping artists collectives, spaces and alternative practices.

That’s streaming live on the Dunlop Art Gallery’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

— From 7 to 9 p.m., “Every Possible Place” features various artist performances. It includes Jeff Morton, Sbot N Wo (experimental musicians/married couple WL Altman and Helen Pridmore), Jon Vaughn, Laura Kavanaugh, Ian Birse, Hilarey Cowan and Ian Campbell.

That’s streaming live on Neutral Ground’s Facebook and YouTube, and at 91.3 FM CJTR. Ernie Dulanowsky (also known as Pulsewidth) is hosting the broadcast.

— From 9:30 to 11 p.m., there’s karaoke on Zoom. Sing along to cover songs and see videos by artists including YGretz, Kablusiak, Lucien Durey, respectfulchild, Peter Morin, Josie Whitebear, Erroll Kinistino, Piper Burns and People Tanning. Sean Dunham is hosting karaoke and there will be prizes. Register in advance through neutralground.sk.ca.

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Gallery offers ArtBoxes and Art PenPals for Greater Trail seniors – Trail Times

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With COVID keeping seniors away from the finer things in life like art studios, the VISAC Gallery in downtown Trail has come up with a thoughtful way to keep patrons painting and/or crafting.

The nonprofit is offering art supplies and instruction for any senior in the Greater Trail area through VISAC’s Creating Connections; ArtBoxes and Art PenPals for Seniors!

This free service, available over the next two months, is so important right now given many locals have been isolated for months on end due to the ongoing pandemic. Studies show that art can play a valuable role in mental wellness, being that creating art can alleviate stress and anxiety, and help boost confidence and the feeling of resilience.

VISAC staff Ellie Knox prepping supplies for January art boxes. Photo: Submitted

“During the winter and Covid-19, many seniors are not able to attend in-person classes and workshops due to risks and restrictions. We have heard … that many seniors do not have the means to take online art classes or can feel overwhelmed by online offerings,” explains VISAC director Kristin Chester.

“Our input also indicates that seniors either have a hard time allocating limited funds to art supplies or are not able to source art supplies due to stores being back ordered.”

After asking local seniors what kind of art-themed activities are most interesting to them, the gallery has come up with two art box themes.

The January box is weaving-themed and the February/March art box will be water-coloured themed.

Each art box will contain: quality art supplies; instruction on how to use materials and art project instructions; art-focused enrichment materials; and a little piece of art created by a local elementary student, in hopes the senior writes back a letter to their new art penpal.

The art boxes are designed for seniors without motor ability restrictions, however there is the option of having it adapted for those with ailments such as arthritis.

Sign up for January delivery is available online at visacgallery.com under ‘upcoming art programs.’

”We understand not all seniors have access to the internet,” says Chester. “So we are up for feedback on how we can reach seniors who are interested in a delivery but are not able to fill out the online sign up form,” she added. “We have a limited amount of art boxes per month and hope to distribute them out fairly as best we can around Greater Trail. If you think your network, senior housing, etc. would like to be allocated a certain amount each month, let me know so we may reserve some and get back to you when … the delivery sign up is ready.”

Sign up form here: Creating Connections

Read more: VISAC Gallery

Read more: Downtown Trail art gallery

Anyone with questions is encouraged to email Kristin Chester at director@visacgallery.com.

This project was made possible thanks to a grant from the Le Roi Community Foundation. Through an extensive network of donors and cooperations, the Le Roi foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to the betterment of people living in Trail, Warfield, Rossland, Montrose, Fruitvale, and Areas A and B of the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary.



newsroom@trailtimes.ca

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