SURREY — OK, so in this month of November, we have a Friday the 13th. How any number has gotten to be so maligned as unlucky takes a good long search on the internet, as the history is ancient and global. Superstitions. Time to get real, shed your triskaidekaphobia and embrace the 21st century. This is the information age, and the more information we collect, the easier it is to dispel these life-limiting superstitions.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is bringing back the long-form census. This more detailed lot of information will be used to get a more accurate view of our population and what we are doing. Statistics are not just for mathematicians but for advocacy organizations. And here I am thinking of Alliance for Arts and Culture. This is B.C.’s leading arts information aggregator and a resource to the arts, culture and heritage community. Since 1986, the alliance has advocated for the arts sector by monitoring public policy, synthesizing issues for members, providing support, services and professional development, and representing the interests of artists and cultural workers. Learn more at Allianceforarts.com; it won’t hurt you at all, even on Friday the 13th.
The alliance is making a new comprehensive list, the B.C. Artist Registry, and is now inviting all British Columbian adults who are artists, in any discipline, to be counted in this registry. Whether your arts practice is your full-time or part-time career, or your avocational pursuit, you may join the registry through the simple online form. It really is simple. A few clicks, fill in your personals and hey, you are on the list.
The launch of a B.C. Artist Registry is part of a three-year strategic plan approved by the alliance when its membership adopted a province-wide mandate in 2014. Based on examples set in Saskatchewan and other regions, the B.C. Artist Registry will help to advance the province’s cultural sector through quality research and advocacy.
Across the province, arts champions in municipalities and local agencies express the need to learn more about artists in their communities, but lack the channels to connect with those individuals. The B.C. Artist Registry becomes an important tool for reaching artists directly, inviting their participation in surveys and other types of consultation. Get counted – so you can count in local arts funding decisions. Believe me, those passing out parcels of money want to know how much bang they are getting for their bucks, and also how many potential voters that might reach. Politics, the game of numbers.
Through collaboration with cultural associations, funders, arts service providers and municipalities to promote participation through their networks, the alliance and its partners can ensure that artists from all artistic disciplines, and all regions across the province, have the opportunity to be counted. Then, when a partner organization wishes to conduct a survey or consult with artists, the alliance will have the mechanism to invite a ready group of participants through the B.C. Artist Registry.
“The longterm goal is to build on basic informational tools, such as the census, to better understand the situation of artists in British Columbia,” said Rob Gloor, executive director of Alliance for Arts and Culture.
“Through the B.C. Artist Registry, we will have a platform to learn more about all artists in our province, regardless of how much their art contributes to their income.”
From time to time, artists on the registry will be invited to participate in more detailed surveys or other consultations. The registry will be open for ongoing registration with no deadline, to ensure a growing resource for meaningful statistics and research in our province’s cultural sector.
So now it’s time to get the word out. Invite those in your network to participate and be counted by sharing the link (Allianceforarts.com/bc-artist-registry) and spread the word on social media using the hashtag #BCartistregistry. Some day I promise I will learn the art of the hashtag. Not today.
The ladies of the WestCoast Harmony Chorus should definitely get on this registry of artists. Music is one of the listed disciplines and remember, this registry wants to include “non-professionals” as well.
Westcoast Harmony Chorus is celebrating 50 years of entertainment. What a milestone – and what an amazing evening of entertainment they have in store for you next week. There will be barbershop songs, rockin’ contemporary numbers, heart-stopping ballads and laughs during the show, called “50, Fun, and Fabulous.” It’s on Saturday, Nov. 21 at Bell Performing Arts Centre (7 p.m., 6250 144th St., Surrey). Tickets are $30 for adults, $25 for seniors and alumni, $15 for children. A ticket to the show includes “Afterglow,” the group’s after-show celebration. Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance via Westcoastsings.com.