October 28, 2020
The Civic Theatre is pleased to announce our inaugural season of artist residencies, supporting and nurturing the work of four Kootenay artists, including Shayna Jones, Zaynab Mohammed, Sarah Kapoor and Pat Henman.
The Civic has tested the artistic residency concept in the last few years, offering short developmental opportunities to several local artists to observe how the opportunity might work. Building on those formative experiences, the 2020-21 residency program offers up to a year of time and space to artists to develop their respective projects, complete with the support of our staff team and online resources for blog updates and other communication about the development of their projects.
Civic Theatre Executive Director Eleanor Stacey explains her residency concept: “Our goal in offering this program to artists to support them in the development of their work. Completing a creative work is not required; instead we hope to facilitate the examination of a concept, or time to fully answer a creative or logistical question.”
Each project this year is very different in content, process, length and goals but we still see great value in creating a residency cohort, allowing artists to be introduced to one another, and to share updates about their work and ideas as they progress. It will be a Virtual Artists Retreat Centre, if you will, with the opportunity for each artist to use our physical space as needed and available over the course of the year.”
The Civic Theatre hopes to share updates from our resident artists over the course of the coming year.
The 2020-21 Resident Artists at The Civic Theatre
Pat Henman is a veteran of the Canadian theatre and the recording arts industry. Originally from Nova Scotia, Pat and her family have made Nelson, BC their home since 2000. She has a degree in Theatre from Dalhousie University, plus further studies in Creative Writing through University of BC. Pat has performed, directed and produced, theatre/concerts across Canada. She is the recipient of awards in music and television. Pat is the 2018 recipient of a Special Citation in recognition for her “considerable Contribution to Arts, Culture and Heritage in the City of Nelson, BC.” She was nominated for the Courage to Come Back Award in 2015. Pat has spent many years on local non-profit boards, most recently the Chair of the Capitol Theatre, Nelson. She is an appointed director of the Pacific Regional Victims Advisory Committee, an active volunteer for MADD Canada, and a provincial council member for the British Columbia Arts Council.
Pat’s memoir, Beyond the Legal Limit, her first non-fiction book based on her experience surviving a collision with a drunk driver in 2013, will be published in February 2021 by Caitlin Press. The manuscript is currently being adapted for the stage as a dramatic presentation with music through a Canada Council Research and Creation Grant and is pleased to be part of the Civic Theatre Residency program as part of the development stage.
“As I age and new experiences open themselves to me, tragic as some may be, I have had to dig deep to figure out how I want to express myself. One way for me to share my experience is through my art. My story needs to be presented in the only way that makes sense to me: as a dramatic piece with music. I see it as more than a book story—it is a dramatic theatrical piece with all the components I know so well. I communicate through drama, music, staging, pauses, moments, beats, engagement, social statements, and collaboration—those are my elements.”
Shayna Jones is an award-winning professional performance artist specializing in the Traditional Oral Storytelling of African and Afro-Diasporic Folklore. With funding from the BC Arts Council and now as a Resident Artist of Nelson’s Civic Theatre, Shayna is embarking on a year of investigation, exploration, and contemplation of the question: What is it to be Black and Rural?
As a Black woman living in Kaslo, BC, a rural town of 800 people with less than a handful of souls who share her heritage, Shayna’s aim, fueled by her own sense of isolation, is to seek out other Blacks in rural settings to record their stories of Belonging (or lack thereof). Further still, she aims to weave these stories together with traditional West African Folklore to create a performance piece through which, for a moment, she (and others) may feel at Home.
Shayna is tremendously grateful to the Civic Theatre for their pledge to facilitate, support and amplify her work by installing her as a Resident Artist.
Sarah Kapoor’s storied path began by selling her independent docs to the CBC. They brought Sarah in-house where she worked for the next ten years, rising through the ranks from Toronto evening news reporter to Senior Producer in Factual Entertainment.
After the Mothercorp decade turned into motherhood, she spent her next decade as the co-founder of Pollinator Films, writing and producing hundreds of campaign videos for major public and private organizations, as well as her first heartfelt feature film while serving as Creative Director.
The passing of a parent brought her back to her hometown of Creston, BC where she’s been working remotely well before Covid forced that on so many. Her recent essay in Today’s Parent shared her view of the challenges and opportunities of rural living and is the basis of her next big pitch.
She is embracing her residency with The Civic Theatre to examine series production potential in the Kootenays.
Zaynab Mohammed is a world-travelling poet, performer and musician. [She is] A voice of the heart. Love. In a world that pretends to be cold. Her fire is art. Love. Burns out the old. For we long to learn the beauty of bold truth. We long to be shaken. Rearrange reality with life force. Love. Living water longs for a new vessel. Stale containers could only hold us back for so long. Spill out, fill the space. Pour your heart and you will be full. Love.
Zaynab says, “[It is] an honor for the opportunity to be an artist in residence at The Civic Theatre for the coming year with a project to formulate a grounded theory on the art of listening.”
The Civic Theatre is a cultural media arts centre dedicated to the presentation of film and a wide variety of cultural and educational experiences to the community we serve. As a registered Canadian charity, our mandate is to provide a public amenity by operating and maintaining a theatre as a multi-use facility for film screenings and for other artistic, educational and community-building programs and events for the benefit of the general public; be a home and presenter of lectures, workshops, courses and seminars on topics related to film or utilizing digital media for a diverse range of audiences; and protect, preserve and improve Nelson’s historic Civic Theatre.