Poetry Gabriola Society's Summer Inventions: Art Labs in the Yurt

Welcome to Poetry Gabriola Society's Summer Inventions:  Art Lab in the Yurt Series!

The Poetry Gabriola Society is proud to announce a new summer program that will turn the PGS Poetry Yurt into the Island Art Lab - a working laboratory for artists.
The Poetry Yurt, located at the Commons, was created to provide an easily accessible space dedicated to artistic creation and development. We’ve decided to celebrate the opening of Yurt Season by presenting a series of creation labs designed and formatted by island artists. The purpose of the Island Art Labs is to encourage new work, and to strengthen and deepen artistic discourse about process, technique, and collaboration.
The Island Art Labs cover a great selection of topics including photography, spoken word, singing, composing, movement, and puppet-making! If you are interested in artistic risk and want to extend the limits of your creative practice, these labs are for you!
This series was made possible through support from the BC Arts Council Innovations program. Most of the Art Labs will be offered free or by a suggested donation of $10 - $20.

Registration : See the bottom of each session description for how to register.

# 1  Spoken Word Performance Lab with Lisa Webster-Gibson 

Sunday, June 19th

This lab is a look into the dynamics of an “open mic”.  Over a four hour period participants will explore the live performance of one’s work… what might work, what doesn’t, and how to approach the open mic.

The goal of the workshop is to help participants find their natural stage voice and onstage style.  Hence, this lab will be of particular interest to beginners or those wishing to have feedback on their current techniques.  Note, content of spoken / read works will not be discussed; the focus of this workshop is the expression of those works on stage.

Activities will include:  an introduction to various styles of performance and to open mic etiquette; practice working with a microphone; exercises to bring out the natural performer in everyone and develop joint performance work; and a feedback session.  Participants should be prepared to actively participate and perform / read one work of their own during the session for feedback.

All participants will have an opportunity to perform / read one work at the inaugural Poetry Gabriola Society (PGS) open mic.

To register please send your name and contact information to the following email address - registration@poetrygabriola.com

#2  Wayfinding to the Heart of a Song: A Model for Creativity with Mae Moore

Sunday, July 3rd  10am to 2pm
Lab is for 10-15 participants. 
Cost: suggested donation of $20

Writing a song is in part an intuitive process and also a touchstone to helping understand and give voice to your life experiences. We will explore various methods of using your own experience, a ‘scan/focus/create’ model and craft a process that is uniquely yours alone. We will look at the conditions that can help to create the ‘right’ atmosphere for unleashing your creativity. “Getting started” can be difficult and to this end we will stimulate the Muse using certain proven methods and exercises. Emphasis will be on discovering new ways of collectively inspiring each other in a safe and supportive environment. Songs have a power to move generations, define a decade and give us a certain connected feeling. We will cultivate a song from beginning to end and you will come away with the necessary tools for crafting songs that are truly your own yet resonate with others.
Bring a sense of curiosity and adventure…and a cd or mp3 of a song that moves you deeply. Musicality is not a pre-requisite, but is helpful. Bring an instrument if you play.  Participants are also asked to bring a lunch.
To register please send your name and contact information to the following email address - registration@poetrygabriola.com

#3  Victor Anthony’s All Day Interactive Photo Shoot

Sunday, July 10th  ALL DAY
Cost: free

You’ve probably heard of a photograph being referred to as “a still”, but Victor Anthony thinks photography should be more interactive than that. Gabriolans are invited to help him bring his All Day Interactive Photo Shoot to life. Choose a favourite piece of art, preferably but not necessarily of local origin, and take it to the yurt at The Commons where it’s all happening. Once there, Victor will collaborate with participants on the setting up and taking of a black and white analogue photo. Maybe the collaboration will yield a picture of the person with their art. Or possibly just the artwork itself. Have something else in mind? It’s all up for discussion. In this photo jam session, anything is possible. With an emphasis on spontaneity and the creative process, something really special will undoubtedly take place.
Making the picture (as they used to say in the old days instead of “taking”) is only half the fun. Everyone is invited back the following weekend for an in-the-round show of all the images created. And possibly the best part of the whole thing is, afterward, participants get to take home a signed, archival print of themselves and their art.
A piece of art + the art of photography = A brand new work of art.

To register please send your name and contact information to the following email address - registration@poetrygabriola.com

Special event: July 16th in the Yurt:

The Dancing Man Festival 2011 presents a Dance & Music Workshop Series in the Poetry Gabriola Yurt on Saturday July 16th! For more information please visit our website at www.dancingman.ca or contact Kelly Price at dancingmanfestival@gmail.com.


#4  Spontaneous Poetry in the Yurt: the Pacificana Renga Workshop with Sonja Arntzen, Vicki McCulloch and Michael Dylan Welch

Sunday July 17th  1pm – 4pm
Cost is $10

As part of the 10th annual pacifi-kana celebration of Japanese poetry forms, a workshop on renga, the art of linked verse is being facilitated by well-known renga writers – Michael Dylan Welch, Sonja Arntzen and Vicki McCullough.  Spend an afternoon exploring this poetry game that has been around in Japan for hundreds of years.  Tap the spontaneous poet within under the guidance of trained practitioners. To register, please contact Naomi Wakan at: naomi@naomiwakan.com


#5  Soulful Ceramics: Commemorating the Sinner and/or Saint in You (aka: Out Demons, Out !)  with Mariko McCrae

Sunday July 24th

There is a Patron Saint for everything...a Saint for Throat Ailments, a Saint for Ice Skaters, a Saint for Dentists and even a Patron Saint of Difficult Marriage. Likewise, there’s a little bit of sinner in all of us...perhaps something your saintly side battles deeply? Together we’ll discover, debate and dig up that which calms you and/ or drives you crazy. The ceramic medium will be our artistic vehicle choice to explore, dredge up the depths and heights of our own humanity. No experience necessary but a sense of humour is mandatory.

To register please send your name and contact information to the following email address - registration@poetrygabriola.com

#6  Composing for Home-Made Instruments with Christopher Butterfield

Sunday July 31st

Music is by nature elusive and mysterious. It doesn’t mean anything, but it moves us nevertheless. Western culture is unique in that it’s developed a way of writing music down. We’re used to recognizing a certain set of symbols as ‘musical’, but there are lots of different ways to notate sound besides the familiar one. In this lab, we’ll think about sound, about musical thought, about compositional process, and about how to capture it all on paper. Please bring a large notebook and a pencil, and a home-made instrument!

To register please send your name and contact information to the following email address - registration@poetrygabriola.com


#7  How Does Your Voice Sound? With DB Boyco

Sunday, August 7, 10 am – 4 pm
Performance Sunday August 7, 5 pm

Cost $45

Plant your feet, loosen your lips and let it out! Explore relaxation, breathing, alignment, resonance, toning, sound making, listening, laughing and singing.

This one-day workshop will also introduce participants to choral improvisation, learning how to generate music on-the-fly in order to solo and create a dynamic group sound.
The workshop will conclude with a performance.

Reading music is not necessary!  Just be prepared to take the plunge and have fun singing. Wear comfortable clothing and bring a lunch.

DB Boyko’s experiences as an improviser, composer and dancer have contributed to her unique approach to the voice.

Please pre-register by Friday, August 5 to db.boyko@gmail.com


#8  Fresh Physical Territories; Bringing Art Into the Body with Imogen Whyte

Sunday August 14th   
Suggested donation: $20

A Lab for artists whose primary media is not movement-based, the afternoon will be ours to take chances with and to investigate the mysterious and sometimes overlooked ally; the body.

Using specific warms-ups we will enter the poetic and sweaty endeavor of building bridges into meaningful physical language.  While here, we will use improvisational constructs to encourage your primary art form to cross over and take up residence in the somatic.

The process is geared to being a useful tool for you to test, motivate or expand your existing methods of working.  For dance and movement artists this is a chance to incorporate a diversity of ideas into your usual vocabulary.

Participants are asked to bring 1 or 2 basic sample(s) of their work, a blanket and/or yoga mat, water and comfortable, layered clothes to move around in.  Ideally the work could be easily shared/viewed/interpreted by others.  Abstraction is often easier to assimilate in improvisation than very specific ideas. This is primarily a movement and improvisation-based investigation (group and individual), so there are some casually ‘performative’ elements and it will be physically engaging.

To register please send your name and contact information to the following email address - registration@poetrygabriola.com

Special Event on Friday August 19th:

Fabulous Bee Puppet-making workshop !

For children ages 5 and up, this workshop is offered in conjunction with Lab #9 on Sunday August 21st  with Baby Dee and the Honeys.  Enjoy the wonderful, sticky excitement of bee-puppet making.  Your bee puppet will stay overnight at the Yurt, resting and gathering energy to perform with the children on Sunday.   Together they will perform the lovely “dance of 8’s”.  Come, and get your stripey buzz-on !  The duration of the workshop is approximately and hour and a half.

To register please send your name and contact information to the following email address - registration@poetrygabriola.com


#9  It’s A Bee, Honey! With Baby Dee and the Honeys

Sunday August 21st

Music composed by Baby Dee
Puppets designed by Erin Orr
Performed by Sarah Alden, Baby Dee, Rima Fand, Matthew Robinson, Sxip Shirey, and Silvi Wool

 Synopsis:  It’s A Bee, Honey, is a musical puppet circus based on the real-life drama of honeybees.  The audience will be amazed by big bee puppets, a real bee hive puppet theater, a giant tricycle, a live harp, an accordion, a string quartet and a chorus of children playing worker bees, as they learn how bees work, communicate, mate, raise their young and die. Workshops offered in tandem with the performance will offer children and their parents the experience of creating and performing with puppets.

Cast: There are six actor/musician/puppeteers in the cast.  

Duration: The play runs 20-25 minutes. There will be a short break, then a concert of music for a further 30-35 minutes. Total running time is approximately one hour. Timing is somewhat flexible.

Audience: This family show appeals to audiences of all ages. There is no intermission. 

Tickets for this performance are being sold by the Gabriola Theatre Festival. Go to their website for particulars - www.gabriolatheatrefestival.ca


#10  Source-Based Image Lab with Hilary Peach

Sunday August 28th
Suggested donation: $20

Designed for artists who are compelled to perform their own work, this 4-hour lab session introduces concepts and vocabulary that articulate and focus principles of artistic practice. Participants research and develop new text material and performance technique through physical improvisation. We will follow this new text or poem from the internal world of imagination to the outside world of expression, inhabiting images, transporting content on breath and gesture, and working towards performance. Explore risk, rhythm, and first impulse. Allow the body you are in to stand in the fire.

To register please send your name and contact information to the following email address - registration@poetrygabriola.com

Summer Art Lab Presenter Biographies

 Lisa Webster-Gibson

Although she has spent many (too many) years as a civil servant, Lisa Webster-Gibson is first and foremost an entertainer.  As a fire horse and a Leo, performance comes naturally to Lisa.  At ease on a stage and in front of an audience, she has read her poetry, and performed both spoken word and standup comedy for 10 years.  She is also currently drummer, backup vocalist and occasional lyricist for Shed.  Shed’s music is a combination of hill-punk, beach-billy and folktronica originals.  http://radio3.cbc.ca/#/bands/Shed-Island or www.shed.bandcamp.com

Wayfinding to the Heart of a Song with Mae Moore

Mae Moore writes songs that evoke connection to place and to the personal. She has been writing for over thirty-five years, and her songs have been heard in major movie soundtracks, hit television shows and all over the radio. With two Juno nominations, two Socan awards and many chart successes, Mae has forged a career that has found her sharing stages with Sarah McLachlan John Hiatt, Marianne Faithfull, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Richard Thompson and other folk/rock luminaries.
“...puts the emphasis on songwriting and turns out potential singles.”The Globe and Mail
“...truth and understanding with elegant acoustic guitar tracks.”Guitar Player magazine
In 2002, Mae along with husband Lester Quitzau garnered a West Coast Music Award nomination for the recording “Oh My!”  ( “...downright exquisite.” ~Acoustic Guitar magazine)
Since then, Mae has helped to nurture other songwriters and ran Red Cedar Songwriter Camp from 2005-2009. She is also active as a visual artist, painting and selling her Canadian landscape works, and has recently released, “Folklore… a book of art and music”.and Folklore, the cd was released in February 2011, and is distributed by Outside Music in Canada http://www.maemoore.com

All Day Photo Shoot with Victor Anthony

Born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1952, Victor Anthony started snapping pictures as soon as he got hold of his first camera, a Brownie. In 1978, his hobby evolved into a more serious study of the craft, thanks to the classic slice-of-life images coming out of the Magnum collective of photojournalists. Founded by Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson, these images spoke to Victor in a way no other photographs had before. Street photography became both his obsession, and his passion. If you see Victor standing on a corner, camera in hand, apparently waiting for something, you can be sure it’s either for the perfect subject matter or the right light – something he learned from his mentors.
In 2007, he and his wife, Joëlle, emigrated to Canada, settling on Gabriola Island. In 2008, Victor began the Gabriola Daily Photo Blog, posting a picture of Gabriola every day. The blog has run uninterrupted for nearly 3 years, and each June, Victor presents a slideshow, which proves fun for the audience as they pick out familiar places, friends, and family in his photos.  Victor has photographed Poetry Gabriola’s Festival for two years now, and last year, Artworks hosted his first Canadian one-man photography show.

Pacificana Renga Workshop with Sonja Arntzen, Vicki McCullogh and Michael Dylan Welch

Sonja Arntzen taught classical Japanese poetry and literature at the University of Alberta and the University of Toronto for a total of twenty-five years.  She developed a number of techniques for leading students in composing Japanese poetic forms in English, including renga “linked verse.” She has led renga sessions with students for whom writing poetry was a new experience and with creative writing professors and students. All of them enjoyed renga.

Vicki McCullough is the BC regional coordinator for Haiku Canada. She has taken part in numerous late-night kasen (36-verse) renga parties led by Marshall Hryciuk at annual Haiku Canada conferences. She has also had the privilege of attending a "new shisan" (12-verse) workshop with haiku and renga expert, the late William Higginson.

Michael Dylan Welch is vice president of the Haiku Society of America, director of the Haiku North America conference, and cofounder of the American Haiku Archives. His poetry has appeared in hundreds of journals and anthologies in at least fifteen languages. He has been writing renku and other linked verse for twenty years, and helped to popularize the new linked verse form of rengay after writing the very first one with its inventor, Garry Gay, in 1992. Michael lives in Sammamish, Washington, and his website is www.graceguts.com.

Soulful Ceramics: Commemorating the Sinner and/or Saint in You
(aka: Out Demons, Out !) with Mariko McCrae

Mariko McCrae is a Vancouver born artist whose career has taken her to the likes of the Banff Centre in Alberta, the International Ceramics Research Center in Denmark, Greenwich House Pottery in New York and both Kent State and Ohio University in Ohio. Her return to Calgary was consumed with a teaching position at the Alberta College of Art & Design until recently when she and her husband threw caution to the wind and moved to Gabriola Island to start up Feedlot Studios.
Mariko’s handbuilt works often pays homage to the world of historical ceramics. She both covets and hoards Christie’s and Sotheby auction catalogs that constitute her prime source of inspiration. With carefully selected historical pieces to serve as visual anchors she then merges them with contemporary subject matters in order to achieve a body of work that demonstrates a strange hybridization of culture, a warped sense of time travel and, as always, challenges notions of taste.
Composing for Home-Made Instruments with Christopher Butterfield

Christopher Butterfield has been a musician all his life. Born in Vancouver, as a boy he sang  English Tudor church music in the early 60’s; discovered Muddy Waters, John Cage and Karlheinz Stockhausen in the late 60’s; started composing in the early 70’s at the University of Victoria; discovered sound poetry and performance art in the mid-70’s; did an M.A. in composition at S.U.N.Y Stony Brook at about the same time; played in a band called Klo in Toronto in the early 80’s; travelled around Syria in 1984; returned to structured music composition in the late 80’s; and wound up teaching composition at the University of Victoria in the early 90’s, where he’s been ever since. (He just started playing with his old blues band Harry the Gnat after a 36-year hiatus.) Among other things, he’s written Zurich 1916, an opera about Lenin and Dada; Convoy PQ17, an oratorio to accompany a ballet about an arctic naval supply convoy in WW2; and Contes pour enfants pas sages, animal stories by the French poet Jacques Prévert. This past November he was a featured artist at the 2010 Poetry Gabriola Festival reading from his 27-hour installation Pavilion of Heavenly Trousers.


How Does Your Voice Sound ? with DB Boyco

A specialist in experimental voice DB Boyko has performed with a variety of artists from the local and international creative music scene such as Paul Plimley, François Houle, Paul Dutton and Evan Parker.  She has had several guest engagements with the legendary NOW Orchestra/Orchestra Futura, Talking Pictures and the Vancouver Intercultural Orchestra.  She is the co-founder of several improvising ensembles including Hextremities (1980's), the all women VIEW Ensemble (1990's) and the Crossing Borders Ensemble (2000). She is part of Idiolalla, a vocal tour-de-force with fellow vocalist Christine Duncan and drummer/spin doctor Jean Martin. She recently completed a Canadian tour with Duncan performing “Stall”, a commissioned work by Victoria composer Christopher Butterfield, examining the lore of public washrooms.

Her influences and studies in Javanese gamelan court music, dance, puppet theatre, and butoh have led her to participate in a wide spectrum of multi-disciplined works.  A specialist in traditional vocal repertoire for gamelan orchestra DB has sung and composed new works for Vancouver Gamelan Madu Sari.

Developing links with new communities has featured prominently in her musical pursuits. Working along side fellow collaborator Christine Duncan since 2003, she has contributed to the development of compositional and improvisational strategies for spontaneous choral music.   She is a guest member of the Toronto’s The Elements Choir and in May 2010 formed a community choir featuring Vancouver vocalists and seniors from the Roundhouse Community Centre Arts and Health Project.

In addition to her eclectic discography as a feature soloist and a diverse body of compositional works to her credit DB has also devoted much of her energy to producing the work of other artists as Director / Curator for the Music Program of the Vancouver artist-run-centre the Western Front. 

Bringing Art Into the Body with Imogen Whyte

After several decades of dancing and practicing dancing, Imogen Whyte began her pursuit of an overriding interest in improvised performance, beginning in 1993. With experience gained from working with Vancouver’s EDAM and Jennifer Mascall’s Nijinsky Gibber Jazz Club, she founded and facilitated ‘The Improv. Emporium’ a collective of Vancouver’s eminent dance artists.

As a prescriptive to counteract early memories of tutu-laden training institutions, her physical explorations on the fringes of dance include performance work for Mortal Coil Society and the creation of work based on the experiential principles of Body-Mind Centering.   She has been a writer for Toronto’s Dancecurrent magazine, developing a unique style of dance reviews in ‘trialogue’ which publishes subsequent commentary from the artist in response to the review of their work.

Since successfully purging the classics from her physical expression, 2 lasting images remain from her childhood dance mosaic:  a wobbly curtsey and a pungent bouquet of chrysanthemums offered shyly towards the beatific Dame Margot Fonteyn, and the nonchalant swapping of autographs at the Nutcracker Suite with the Trudeau boys in 1975.

Imogen has been a Gabriola resident since 2007.


It’s a Bee Honey !  Perfomance with Baby Dee and the Honeys

Baby Dee is an American performance artist, harpist and accordionist, and singer-songwriter from Cleveland, Ohio.  She has worked with Antony and the Johnsons, the Sex Pistols, Andrew WK, and many other artists on the New York City scene. She has toured extensively with Current 93, and since 2007, has also performed with Marc Almond on his tours, and appears on his DVD Bluegate Fields. Furthermore, Baby Dee briefly toured with The Dresden Dolls in London and made an appearance on their DVD Live at the Roundhouse.


Source-Based Image Lab with Hilary Peach

Hilary Peach is a writer, audio poet, recording artist, activist, and producer. She has performed at events that include the Vancouver International Folk Music Festival, Festival Voix d’Ameriques in Montreal, the Poetry International Festival in Rotterdam, and the Vancouver International Writers Festival. Her debut CD, Poems Only Dogs Can Hear (2003), suspends surreal vignettes inside a matrix of music. Peach’s 2009 CD release, Suitcase Local, is an adaptation of her touring folk opera of the same name. This spoken-word and music fusion is a spooky retelling of her experiences working as a Canadian welder in the construction and maintenance of power plants in the USA. Publications include 10 Flowered Cactus (1996), Love is a Small Town (2001), and inclusions in many anthologies and magazines. She is currently creating a new show, which is a suite of performance poems about snakes.  Hilary Peach is the founder and Artistic Director of the Poetry Gabriola Festival on Gabriola Island, BC.