Miranda Chiasson, Tammy Hudgeon and Melinda Wilde (from left) are among the those presenting workshops during the upcoming online edition of Isle of the Arts. (Photos courtesy Miranda Chiasson/Ode Howard/submitted)

Miranda Chiasson, Tammy Hudgeon and Melinda Wilde (from left) are among the those presenting workshops during the upcoming online edition of Isle of the Arts. (Photos courtesy Miranda Chiasson/Ode Howard/submitted)

Gabriola’s Isle of the Arts Festival returns in online form due to COVID-19

Variety of workshops offered that participants can take part in from home

Once again the Gabriola Arts Council is presenting a modified version of its annual Isle of the Arts Festival to accommodate COVID-19 restrictions.

Registration begins this week for the 11th annual IOTA Festival, which kicks off on March 31 and runs until April 11.

Festival coordinator Victoria Bamford said there were hopes to be able to offer smaller in-person workshops like last year, but instead the decision was made to hold the entire festival online. Registrants will be participating in the workshops virtually from home and in some cases will be provided art supply kits to help them follow along with the artists.

Miranda Chiasson will be providing soil, fertilizer and seeds to participants in her gardening workshop. Chiasson was a farmer in the Fraser Valley for six years and has been living on Gabriola for the past two months.

She’ll be teaching the basics of a kitchen garden and offering some tips and tricks, and although doing it online will be a new experience for her, the teacher-student interaction should be familiar.

“I can see what they’re doing and they can see what I’m doing and they can still ask lots of questions,” Chiasson said. “The most intimidating part to me actually is teaching it online and I don’t really know what it’s going to look like yet but I hope that it’ll just be the same except through a computer in the middle.”

Bringing technology into the workshops can also be beneficial. IOTA regular Melinda Wilde is leading a watercolour workshop and will be teaching techniques for creating a spring floral bouquet.

She said moving to online will give her participants a better view of the action.

“In-person people tend to gather around the table, and if you’re short or if there’s a lot of people, you’re kind of behind and you’re looking over someone’s shoulder to see what’s going on,” Wilde said. “Whereas this people will see it right there, big. They’ll see just my hands, just what I’m doing on the screen. So in some ways, it’s better.”

The online format also suits Gabriola artist Tammy Hudgeon, who describes herself as “very introverted” and hasn’t wanted to hold workshops with adults in her studio.

Her workshop, Creative Empowerment through Visual Journaling, is based on an online course she’s created. She calls it “a deep dive into creativity and visual journaling and the ways that we stop ourselves and the ways that we can help ourselves move forward to make our mark” and she said presenting it online has been a good fit.

“I’m hearing from people of how relieved they are to find this space where they are allowed to play and express in whatever way feels true for them,” she said. “And that’s all been done online.”

WHAT’S ON … The Gabriola Arts Council presents the 11th annual Isle of the Arts Festival taking place virtually from March 31 to April 11. Registration is open from March 10 to 26 at artsfest.artsgabriola.ca.

RELATED: Gabriola’s Isle of the Arts Festival goes ‘mini’ on 10th anniversary

RELATED: Isle of the Arts Festival returns to Gabriola Island


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Millstone River in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)
Regional district looks at value of Nanaimo’s natural assets

Report focused on the Millstone River could inform future decisions on corporate asset management

Protesters gather along the Pearson Bridge on Terminal Avenue in downtown Nanaimo last month as part of an event called Worth More Standing. (News Bulletin file photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: B.C. hasn’t managed forests properly

Protesters opposing logging in Fairy Creek speak for many British Columbians, say letter writers

Nanaimo singer Victoria Vaughn recently released an EP with local producer Austin Penner. (Photo courtesy Taylor Murray)
Nanaimo singer and recent VIU grad releases EP about becoming an adult

Victoria Vaughn’s ‘Growing Pains’ recorded with local producer Austin Penner

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has listed Harbour Air and Air Canada flights to and from Nanaimo, from April 3, 4 and 12, on its list of flights with COVID-19. (News Bulletin file)
COVID-19 cases reported for Air Canada, Harbour Air flights, says disease control centre

Nanaimo flights for April 3, 4 and 12 listed on BCCDC’s list of flights with COVID-19

Rebates through Clean B.C.’s Better Homes New Construction program are available, says the City of Nanaimo. (Vancouver Island University photo)
Energy-efficient home builds in Nanaimo eligible for up to $15K in rebates

All building permits issued on, or after, April 1, 2020 eligible, says City of Nanaimo

Pat Kauwell, a semi-retired construction manager, lives in his fifth-wheel trailer on Maxey Road because that’s what he can afford on his pension, but a Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw prohibits using RVs as permanent dwellings, leaving Kauwell and others like him with few affordable housing options. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Housing crunch or not, it’s illegal to live in an RV in Nanaimo

Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw forcing pensioner to move RV he calls home off private farm land

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

Noel Brown, Snuneymuxw First Nation carver, observes the house post he carved, which now is situated in front of the Kw’umut Lelum centre on Centre Street in Nanaimo. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
House post representative of work of Kw’umut Lelum in Nanaimo

Snuneymuxw First Nation artist Noel Brown’s carved red cedar house post unveiled Friday, April 16

(Black Press file photo).
UPDATED: Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

Russ Ball (left) and some of the team show off the specimen after they were able to remove it Friday. Photo supplied
Courtenay fossil hunter finds ancient turtle on local river

The specimen will now make its home at the Royal BC Museum

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Most Read