Tariq Hussain is a Juno-nominated singer-songwriter who will be presenting his workshop Try Songwriting for a Change online for Tiny Lights this spring. Photo: Mary Matheson

Tariq Hussain is a Juno-nominated singer-songwriter who will be presenting his workshop Try Songwriting for a Change online for Tiny Lights this spring. Photo: Mary Matheson

Tiny Lights Festival plots new direction

The Ymir festival is focusing on paid professional development for artists

The Tiny Lights Festival is taking some unique new directions in response to the pandemic.

With all public gatherings on hold until it is safe to gather again, Carla Stephenson of Tiny Lights says they do not know whether there will be a festival this summer.

But there’s a lot happening anyway: a paid professional development program for artists, a series of high-production videos, and workshops for children, all of which reflect Tiny Lights’ signature blend of emerging artists from across the country that has defined their live festival for years.

Stephenson says the point is to keep serving artists and audience in a meaningful way.

“We need to keep them. We need to keep our communities super-engaged in what we’re doing.”

The Tiny Lights Festival has operated in Ymir for the past 10 years, using eight small venues for performances over three days, in effect turning the whole town into a festival site for line-ups of emerging national and international artists.

Tiny Lights Ignites

Tiny Lights Ignites is an online mentorship series in which the participants pay nothing and in fact receive a $100 honorarium for being there.

“Our community is musicians and artists,” Stephenson says. “And because of COVID they’re really having a hard time. And so we thought that paid professional development for musicians and artists would be a really great way for us to to help serve them.”

The mentors chosen by the festival were asked to define not only what they want to teach, but also to whom they want to teach it. The festival accepts workshop registrations depending on what community the mentor wants to reach.

For example, the Indigenous artist Ronnie Dean Harris prioritized Indigenous participants in his workshop about historic tracing of Indigenous individuals’ lineage. Harris presented his Research to Resilience online workshop for Tiny Lights last year and another is scheduled for March 23, March 30 and April 27.

Khari Wendell McClelland is a Canadian singer-songwriter who will be presenting Nature and We: Models for Creativity, Justice and Collective Resilience for Tiny Lights this spring. Photo: Mary Matheson

Khari Wendell McClelland is a Canadian singer-songwriter who will be presenting Nature and We: Models for Creativity, Justice and Collective Resilience for Tiny Lights this spring. Photo: Mary Matheson

The singer-songwriter Tariq Hussain wants to work with young, emerging rural songwriters. His workshop, Try Songwriting for a Change, in which Stephenson says he will “explore the craft of lyric writing through close listening, discussion, experimentation, collaboration and practice,” takes place April 9, 10 and 11.

The other two workshops this spring will be Nature and We: Models for Creativity, Justice and Collective Resilience, by Khari Wendall McClelland on March 18, March 25, and April 1, and Writing and Performing Comedy Songs by Shirley Gnome on March 29 and April 12.

Registrations are now open on the Tiny Lights website.

Stephenson says this model is unique and it springs from an awareness of how much artists are affected by the pandemic.

“We wanted to be really serving artists, because artists are really suffering right now, as we all know. We wanted to build community around artists, do anything we can do to value the work they are doing.”

Tiny Lights Insights

The festival’s second big project is the production of 36 videos of performances by emerging artists, not live-streamed and not performed before an audience, released slowly over time on the Tiny Lights website. The videographers were paid and the videos are given to the artists at no cost. For an example, see the video above.

“We were able to give musicians a product at the end that was really professional and they didn’t have to pay for it,” Stephenson says.

The program features a line-up of emerging artists reminiscent of the live festival.

Three of the videos are on the website now, with the rest to be released throughout the year.

Tiny Lights Kindle

The festival is also planning a children’s program for the summer and fall.

“The third community that we serve is the Ymir youth,” says Stephenson, “and that we will be doing through Tiny Lights Kindle. It builds on the programming that we have always done for the kids of Ymir.”

She says planning is in progress and that two of the instructors will be Lucas Myers and Coco Love Alcorn.



bill.metcalfe@nelsonstar.com

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

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
65 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Overall, B.C. is seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases

The Kimberley Edible Garden Society meeting in 2020. KEGG file
Community garden proposed for McDougal Park

The Kimberley Edible Gardens and Greenhouse Society, which formerly operated a greenhouse… Continue reading

Candice Marie Neale was last seen by her family on May 5, 2021 around 11p.m. Cranbrook RCMP are asking anyone who sees Neale to contact police. (Submitted file)
UPDATE: Previously missing Cranbrook woman located, found safe and sound, says RCMP

Candice Marie Neale was reporting missing on Monday, she has since been found

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a ‘person of interest’ in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
RCMP identify ‘person of interest’ in Kootenay National Park suspicious death

Police are looking for Philip Toner, who was known to a woman found dead near Radium last week

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Two-year-old Kashius Weme rides at the Steve Smith Memorial Bike Park in Nanaimo on Tuesday, May 11. The youngster’s precocious bike-riding ability is already attracting cycle sponsors. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
2-year-old B.C. bike rider already attracting cycle sponsors

Nanaimo’s Kashius Weme has a knack for extreme cycle sports

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

The site of Sunfest, Laketown Ranch, will be open for camping this summer. (Citizen file)
Sunfest country music bash won’t be shining on B.C. in 2021

Annual Vancouver Island Festival cancelled due to COVID-19, along with Laketown Shakedown

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation elected chief councillor Moses Martin, who was also Chantel Moore’s grandfather, speaks to media in Port Alberni on Aug. 16, 2020, during a visit from NDP leader Jagmeet Singh following the police shooting of Chantel Moore. (Elena Rardon photo)
Mother of 2 shot by police in critical condition, says B.C. First Nation chief

Community ‘devastated’ by third member of 1,150-person Vancouver Island nation shot in less than a year

Most Read