Category Archives: team

Melissa Roeske

Melissa-Roeske-bioMelissa is a lover of all things arts and Comox Valley! This will be her third summer in Cumberland and she is often surrounded by exciting eccentric artists! She is the party host at the Waverley Hotel and greets people with her warm smile! Melissa co-produces shows at Cumberland Village Works with her partner avigdor Schulman. This year Melissa began belly dancing classes with Cathy Stoyko at the Abbey Studio. These classes have been a fantastic outlet for quieting the mind and opening up to the universe. Melissa acts as an informal tour guide to many visitors to Comox Valley and appreciates our little centre of the universe. She is excited to be a part of Elevate the Arts and really show off all the amazing venues, talents and support available in downtown Courtenay.What the Arts mean in my life/To my company?

The arts are a form of expression that Melissa feels are extra important in these challenging times! They offer a way to share experiences and stories with each other and help bring community together.

You can find her at admin@cumberlandvillageworks.com

Jamie Bowman

Coordinator of VidzFest, Jamie Bowman is a photographer and videomaker who most often documents musical events in the Comox Valley, between dancing with his friends. He is currently president of the Arts Council of the Comox Valley, the body sponsoring Elevate The Arts festival.

Dallas Stevenson

Dallas Stevenson - ETA bureaucratic wrangler and participatory project purveyor

Dallas Stevenson, a graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, is a practicing artist, independent curator and cultural worker. She has exhibited throughout BC and in addition to her practice she has a dedication to community and public arts. Dallas is currently the Executive Director of the Comox Valley Community Arts Council and the curator of the Muir Gallery in Courtenay, BC.

Avigdor Schulman

Vig Schulman – bringer of bright bands & promoter par excellence, too!

vig was born in smalltown Ontario and fled south to the U.S. in his early teens to immerse himself in the streetlife of New York City and San Francisco. Influenced by his experiences of Woodstock, The Fillmore East, student and feminist politics he returned to Canada to live an alternative lifestyle in rural B.C. eventually journeying back to the west coast.

He has played and presented music for 30 years. He also built furniture as his primary career during that time. A seasoned participant in the arts and culture community with a youthful passion for dance, new music, circus arts and a safer, sustainable and more egalitarian world community, Vig is currently the entertainment coordinator for the Waverley Hotel in Cumberland and the creative director for Cumberland Village Works (an entertainment production company also based in Cumberland).

He is also the Artistic Director for Atmosphere and lives in Cumberland with his partner Melissa Roeske.

Find him online: http://cumberlandvillageworks.com

Your thoughts on the Arts
What the Arts mean in my life/To my company?
vig has tour managed artists (including Ani DiFranco’s first Australian tour) and presented over 1000 shows on Vancouver Island and in New South Wales. A dozen of these were outdoor events which include the last 6 Big Time Outs in Cumberland and the The Big Day Up on Mt. Washington produced by him and his company Cumberland Village Works.

 

ian backs

ian backs

ian backs - ETA host with the most and all-round get it done guy

ian is relatively new to the island and hasn’t really found his niche here yet but when he does it will probably involve theatre, poetry, visual arts and/or food.

Josh Klassen

Josh Klassen

From an early age I can remember being content with a few simple art supplies in my little hands. Not much has changed over the years. My free time still consists of either painting, drawing or making music. Having grown up in rural Black Creek BC, I currently call Courtenay BC home.

Find him online: http://www.joshuadavidklassen.weebly.com

Your thoughts on the Arts
What the Arts mean in my life/To my company?
To me the arts is a way of bringing people together, a way to share ideas, a time to spend creating something beautiful for no other reason then just to create.

How are we involved in the arts in the Valley?
Having just moved back from Edmonton I hope to be involved in putting on visual art shows, painting murals, and producing, recording and preforming hip hop.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHdsxFwBJsk&list=UUomgI887bzD3oEK59Tk80vA&index=24&feature=plcp

Anna Rambow

Anna Rambow

Community-based arts is my passion! For the past 8 years I have been actively engaged in Edmonton’s arts community as an administrator, consumer, supporter, and occasional creator. Now back in Courtenay to lay down roots and raise my little one, I am awed by yet another strong, passionate arts community.

In helping to organize the [intlink id=”855″ type=”post”]Underground Craft Fair[/intlink], I felt inspired to get creative. I will be selling handmade kids books, flipbooks, and earrings fashioned out of re-purposed bike tube. As a [intlink id=”297″ type=”post”]VIDzFEST[/intlink] participant, I have submitted a video re-edited from grainy footage shot in Courtenay, circa 2001. 

Find her online: http://www.annarambow.com

Your thoughts on the Arts
What the Arts mean in my life/To my company?
Working with inner-city based arts organizations and artists with developmental disabilities I have witnessed the enrichment of lives through the transformative power of art. In my personal experience, creating and experiencing art has played a pivotal role in shaping who I am and the way I perceive the world around me. Community arts and a grassroots approach to arts engagement is where it’s at… diminishing barriers, transforming ideas, and ultimately starting a revolution!

How are we involved in the arts in the Valley?
Elevating the Arts on May 5. After that – who knows!!!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYFewgNc1MQ

Gordon Ross

Gordon Ross - ETA photo curatorial wizard

Gordon Ross - ETA photo curatorial wizard

For over 25 years Gordon has been photographing life in an attempt to catch the ephemeral truths of daily life. One of his principal genres is portraiture shot in the field and in the studio. His approach is to create a space where people feel free, safe and secure.

Gordon loves to explore the paradox that we are all different and the same with each breath we take. The clothing of culture, environment and history informs our differences, but we all share similar needs of security, sustenance and love. Whether it is a portrait from the Sahara or an urban portrait in Buenos Aires, there is a human look that is distinctly similar and familiar to all of us.

Camille Douglas

camille douglas

Camille Douglas - ETA administratrix, compiler of details and keeper of the spreadsheets!

Always a farm girl from Saskatchewan, Camille has called most Canadian provinces home and has lived on all three coasts. Camille is an enthusiastic community event organizer who brings administrative talents to a variety of volunteer teams. Collaborating with the incredible folks involved in hosting Elevate the Arts confirms that the Comox Valley is the last stop!

 

Your thoughts on the Arts
What the Arts mean in my life/To my company?
What does The Arts mean in my life? That’s a tricky question. For me, Arts begins in the natural beauty of the land and the abundance it provides. It’s our human ability for movement and the expression of emotion through voice. It’s the unifying power of music and the joy of collaboration. It’s the vibrant colors and textures that surround us. It is creation, discovery and elation! Dare I say it: it’s elevation!

How are we involved in the arts in the Valley?
I’m strictly a consumer of the arts in the valley, but I do try to light the world with my smile!

Kera McHugh

kera mchugh - ETA hospitality co-manager, and keeper of things online

kera mchugh - ETA hospitality co-manager, and keeper of things online

Born to musical, artistic, theatrical parents, Kera has never been far from the Arts in some form or another. She is currently a wordpress artist – of sorts – and has plans to do a little reuptake of music before the year is out. 

Find her online: www.time4somethingelse.com

Your thoughts on the Arts
What the Arts mean in my life/To my company?

The arts have always been part of my life… sometimes a big part, sometimes a small part, but always there. It’s like blood… water… essential to my existence. Whether creating/performing or watching/supporting I derive great joy from all aspects of art. An arts administrator at heart, however, I enjoy the “work” of make the arts viable & economically sustainable.

How am I involved in the arts in the Valley?
We are relatively recent arrivals – 2 years here now – and are starting to get our own legs. Initial contact with the arts here included discovering the wealth of local musical talent, which of course led to helping out at various events. Becoming involved with ETA has allowed for a much broader knowledge of just how deep the pool is here – and now serving as a director with the Comox Valley Arts Council, I’m delighted to be more hands-on with the development, promotion & purveyance of art in all its forms.

 

Andrew Gower

Andrew Gower - Production Manager, ETA

Andrew Gower - Production Manager, ETA

Dad all the time, civil engineer by day, community activist by night, adventure sports enthusiast on the weekends, musician every Tuesday and an aspiring freelance writer! Sometimes I am not sure how I have time for it all, but serving in the Canadian Army for 11 years taught me a thing or two about time management. Currently, I am professionally employed as a partner and the local branch manager of Wedler Engineering LLP. What do I actually do there? Well, every time you interact with water in your life, whether to drink it, flush it, or watch it flow into a storm drain, you should thank a civil engineer. My community activism is channelled through Imagine Comox Valley, where we have focused on true activism with events like Car Free Sunday and TEDxComoxValley. My writing outlet is mainly through my blog at citizenclass.ca. Be warned, content is occasionally alarming and the photos are often mediocre…

Website  URL
http://www.citizenclass.ca

Your thoughts on the Arts
What the Arts mean in my life/To my company?
Inspiration. Without arts, how do you express your dreams? How can you convey your fears, your hopes? Arts can bring people from vastly different backgrounds together. Arts can act as an outlet for your deepest, darkest emotions or your brightest, most inspirational passion. My personal outlet is music. I sing, I play, I write. Without arts, I feel incomplete.

How are you involved in the arts in the Valley?
Aside from playing live music, I mainly contribute through volunteering and the occasional purchase from local artists. I have volunteered at the Vancouver Island Music Festival as both stage crew and as a stage manager. I also volunteered at the inaugural FolkWest music festival in Victoria last year as a stage manager, and I somehow let the team talk me into being the production manager for Elevate the Arts.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbP0XTZZb5E

Bobby Herron

bobby herron

Bobby Herron - ETA conceiver & overall king

Bobby Herron has lived on Saltspring Island, Hamilton, Vancouver and Prague. He’s performed and recorded with Vancouver bands – The B-sides, Mango Dub, Bob’s Yer Uncle and Millions of Brazilians among others. Bobby’s been involved in several fundraising album projects and has recently produced and recorded several tracks on The Home Album – for Dawn to Dawn Action on Homelessness. Among his various jobs he has photographed cars for Auto Trader magazine, catered, picked tobacco and co-managed a bar in the Czech Republic. Bobby lives with his partner and daughter in Cumberland and works with the Arts Council and talented people to help promote arts and culture in the Valley.

Meaghan Cursons

cursons-cadence

Meg Cursons (and Cadence) - ETA marketing mistress & coordinator extraordinaire

Meaghan wants to build connected, healthy and progressive community and create a happier, more just and more hopeful world.

That’s all. Easy. However, she is not entirely sure how to achieve this.

She’s tried a few things so far: campaigning to end plastic bag and water bottle use, running for MLA, fundraising for local shelters, creating/marketing/coordinating music festivals, promoting local green and cultural tourism, serving as an elected school trustee, organizing conferences, creating youth employment projects, singing in a band, managing a Museum, facilitating participatory art projects, teaching board development, fire breathing, serving on local boards, falling in love, and having a baby. She’s not sure if any of these things are working yet so she’s going to keep trying.

Your thoughts on the Arts
What the Arts mean in my life/To my company?
Art and Culture are a huge part of my life. I see organizing and promoting as creative acts – they are my creative work. Art and culture help to make life beautiful and help us to transform our understanding of the craziness all around us. Even the ugliest, weirdest, hardest stuff has art in it. Art makes life bearable. Art makes life incredible. It provides such a amazing tool for making sense of our humanity – and our lack of humanity.

Creating and organizing art and culture events and projects are my passion. I love to do this with other people and see it as an incredible way to build community and strengthen our neighbourhoods, our relationships and our families.

To make music/art/create with another person and with your community creates vibrations that help to heal the world and make our souls soar. I really believe that.

How are we involved in the arts in the Valley?
This is a very VERY long list. Just ask me sometime.