Digital Creator North hosting virtual reality film-making workshops
Jesse Bonello - Staff Writer
Teens will have the chance to use cutting-edge technology while letting their creative juices flow when Digital Creator North, which is located in the Sioux Lookout Public Library, hosts virtual reality film-making workshops from July 21 to 25.
Near North Mobile Media Lab, who developed Digital Creator North, is working in partnership with Thinking Rock Community Arts and Mastercard Foundation to bring a series of free week-long passive virtual reality film workshops to communities across the Arctic and Northern Ontario.
Sioux Lookout is the first stop on a Northwestern Ontario tour that will also be heading to Thunder Bay and Biigtigong Nishnaabeg (Ojibways of the Pic River First Nation).
“This is the only Digital Creator space out of the six Digital Creator Media Labs that’s hosting this workshop, so it’s exciting that we got to host this,” said Sarah Fraser, Digital Creator North Program Lead.
“It’s amazing that they’re learning all these creative outlets of various digital art that they can be a part of. Learning how to use the 360 degree camera is amazing. It’s cutting edge technology, and for it to come here is a great opportunity for our town,” she added.
Experienced virtual reality artists Casey Koyczan and Mason Mantla will be leading the workshops.
According to Near North Mobile Media Lab, “The VR Project aims to facilitate learning together (facilitating intergenerational knowledge-sharing, connections between communities and artists), creating and sharing art (either within a community or more broadly), creating Indigenous youth-led media, and sharing communities (place-based experiences). This project intends to work reciprocally with community and will not publish any films without community consent.”
Fraser shared that they’re hoping to connect with local traditional knowledge keepers and storytellers to contribute to a short film.
“We are trying to make connections with the Friendship Centre to hopefully have some help because we’re actually going to make a film. We’re going to learn how to use the 360 degree camera and try to make a short film at the same time. On the Sunday it’s a brainstorming session, and we’re hoping to have a traditional knowledge keeper, educator, and storyteller come,” she said.
From July 21 to 24, the workshops will be taking place from 1:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. at the Sioux Lookout Public Library and, on July 25, the workshop will be taking place from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
No registration is required, and free snacks will be provided during workshops. Youth aged 10 to 19 are encouraged to be part of the learning experience.
Digital Creator North runs programs daily throughout the week in Sioux Lookout, which is one of six locations across Northern Ontario. Other sites are located in New Liskeard, Timmins, Elliot Lake, Sault Ste. Marie, and Kenora.
Digital Creator North describes their programming, “These spaces inspire creative experimentation hands-on learning using various media arts disciplines and technology, collaboration with friends, sharing ideas, one-on-one mentorship with program leads, civic engagement. Participants can practice video production, audio recording, graphic design, and coding/programming, 3D printing, animation, photography, play virtual reality video games, among other periphery disciplines.”
Digital Creator North in Sioux Lookout is now including adults in their Wednesday workshops that are held weekly from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
“It is such an exciting and positive atmosphere in here, often filled with enthusiasm! It is a very comfortable space where everyone feels welcome, including new people who walk in. You don’t have to consider yourself a creative person in order to visit, just open to new things, or simply come to hang out and relax,” shared Fraser.
For more information about Digital Creator North in Sioux Lookout, visit their Facebook page @DigitalCreatorSLKT or call 807-737-3660.