Individuals, organizations, using social media to help people at home enjoy art, music and have fun
Tim Brody - Editor
People are being urged to stay home during the COVID-19 pandemic to protect themselves, their families, and their communities. But spending so much time at home could get boring. In an effort to help relieve that potential boredom and help their fellow community members, several individuals and organizations are coming up with fun ways for community members to spend their time at home.
Jason Bailey (a professional DJ) is running the Social Distance Karaoke Group, which people can find on Facebook.
“My life, like many others switched directions on a dime in recent weeks. As a professional DJ and small business operator my customers, my companies and myself personally, are feeling the impact both positive and negative of the current life changes. For the past 10 years my life has been about fulfilling contracts throughout middle Canada, with the last year leading up to the pandemic increasing my travel exponentially with the Winnipeg Ice WHL contract.
“As a small business owner I am feeling the impact of the crisis. Two of the three businesses under my management have been deemed non-essential or are related to social gatherings so their doors have closed for the unforeseen future. The third operating company, Bailey Media Canada (web development, hosting and support/Social Service Contracting) has become overwhelmed with calls to service. From developing and facilitating online student supports and administrating academic courses, to providing trauma supports for individuals dealing with grief and stress, we are staying busy. I have been lucky to work from home to retain and maintain income,” he shared.
“With my previous life pace in the entertainment industry I was experiencing difficulty slowing life’s pace with the social distance phenomena. Like many other people social media has become the main form of communication, and caution has become the norm when leaving the home to do basic activities.
“Karaoke was one of my outlets in my social life. Going out with friends almost every Friday night in Winnipeg while traveling to DJ was a way for me to burn stress and have fun.
“Recently, I found myself singing karaoke in my shop and trying to DJ but it just did not feel the same. There were no people to share in the fun, and no crowd to DJ for. I uploaded a couple of videos of me singing to my Facebook page to share with friends and fans. This is when I thought of doing this Karaoke contest online.
“We had Baileymedia.ca staff develop a dedicated web page for registration to track singers and Bailey Media and Voltentertainment have donated $420.00 of cash through e-transfers for prizes,” Bailey (AKA DJ SLIPPER-E) explained.
Asked how people can take part, Bailey shared, “Please go to baileymedia.ca and click on the KARAOKE LINK for the full instructions, rules, prize information, and to register for the event. We have a very active Facebook group called the Social-Distance Karaoke Group. In one week we have attracted over 1300 members from all over. We have a variety of singers taking part with a wide genre of music to listen to as viewers.
“Everyone is welcome to take part in the contest portion, and Friday nights have become an open mic for anyone to sing karaoke. The group has been a platform for me and many others to re-establish social connections, have some laughs, and be a part of something that is positive and stress relieving,” he said, adding, “I would like to pass on to everyone out there to please take social distancing seriously, and to be safe. Together we can take care of each other, our seniors, our elders, and our children; for this is what defines our culture as human beings.”
Dorothy Broderick is running the Recreate a Famous Painting Contest – Sioux, Hudson, and Alcona.
“The idea for my contest actually came from an existing Instagram hashtag that a friend had posted about on her Facebook account. I loved how creative it was and that it meant people were exploring art in new ways. Tussen Kunst en Quarantane is German and translates roughly to Between Art and Quarantine. The original Instagram challenge is to find a piece of art, take three items from your home and try to recreate the piece. Some of what people from around the world have come up with is wild and really well done. I loved the idea so much I decided to host our own community contest to see what people in Sioux Lookout, Hudson, and Alcona come up with. I skipped the three items part to make it more open and easier to get really creative with it,” she explained.
“The contest is open for entries from March 30th to April 30th. Rules are: two photos per post. The original artwork and your re-enactment of the piece. Tell us the original artist's name and the name of the piece as part of your entry. All entries must be all ages friendly and posted to the Recreate a Famous Painting Contest Facebook group. Entries can be based on paintings or any type of still art both modern and historical. Entrants must be current residents of Sioux Lookout, Hudson, or Alcona. Once the entry portion closes on April 30th, voting remains open until May 15th. The winner of the $50.00 grand prize sponsored by Drayton Cash and Carry will be announced and EMT'd the money on May 16th. Anyone from anywhere can vote between Mar 30th to May 15th to help you win. Get all your family, your friends, and anyone you know to join the group and vote for your entry by liking, loving, laughing, or reacting to the post. Comments will not count toward your vote tally, but who doesn't love a little encouragement and praise for a job well done so comment away. Explore some amazing artwork, have fun, and be creative,” Broderick said.
The Nishnawbe-Gamik Friendship Centre has been running weekly fun challenges for families and individuals on their Facebook page to promote staying at home and social distancing.
The Friendship Centre is also running a Kids Art Contest themed Spring Fever! which has an entry deadline of April 18 at noon, and an upcoming Virtual Paint Party with local artist Chelsey Greig on the afternoon of April 11 on Facebook Live.
Executive Director Jennifer Thomas added, “We have also delivered and will be enhancing the distribution of art supplies, activities and crafting supplies to continue supporting social distancing and self-isolation.”
She explained the Friendship Centre is also providing COVID - 19 resources and information for families and individuals on their Facebook page which include: Federal and Provincial benefits packages available to individuals, business and organizations, mental health supports, links, and resources etc.
“As quickly as this situation changes, so does our support to our community. There is no blueprint as to how to navigate the situation that we currently find ourselves in, what we do know is that we are all in this together. As supplies, materials and support comes available to our Centre we can continue enhancing our support to our community,” she concluded.