$1-million grant to SFU Contemporary Arts fuels economic development
Martin Gotfrit, SFU Contemporary Arts, o: 778.782.3766; c: 604.614.7518; email@example.com
Julie Ovenell-Carter, PAMR, o: 778.782.3210; c: 604.649.8494; firstname.lastname@example.org
Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts will use a $1-million federal grant to purchase advanced digital equipment for its new home in the Woodward’s redevelopment project at 149 W. Hastings in downtown Vancouver.
The Western Economic Diversification Canada funding will benefit a broad population and promote economic health in the region, says Mario Pinto, SFU’s VP Research.
Students, non-profit groups and businesses will all have access to the sophisticated multi-use equipment which includes high-definition video cameras, TV sound-stage equipment, LED lighting, speakers, fibre optic switches, digital cameras and computers for interactive design.
“This new technology will enable many forms of artistic expression to be combined in transformative new ways,” says Pinto. “There is a strong link between investment in arts and culture and economic development. The vibrant cultural community that will form around the new downtown school site will help attract creative talent, produce outstanding graduates for jobs in new media companies, create new modes of delivery for art and performance, and engage residents and tourists in the arts.”
Adds school director Martin Gotfrit: “This investment will provide people with really tangible tools to either develop their own enterprise or collaborate with others. And it’s knowledge-based stuff—new media, videography, podcasting—all things that fit very well in the 21st century, where a little bit of technology can help someone go a long way.”
As an example of the community outreach already made possible by the grant, Gotfrit points to the recent KickStart project which paired participants with varying levels of disability with professional editors to produce short video clips giving intimate glimpses into the unique person behind each disability.
“With all that excellent equipment, all participants—even those with multiple layers of disability—were able to express themselves creatively,” says Rina Fraticelli, KickStart’s executive director.
In addition, the new equipment will enhance the school’s seven new performance spaces, including the Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre opening in February 2010 with a production of Robert Lepage’s The Blue Dragon.
This is a good investment for the government of Canada, but I wonder if an annuity would have made more sense. I mean, what happens in 2 years when the equipment is obsolete? Also, was there not room for some sort of public/private partnership?
There were better ways to do this...