Welcome to Sharon Stevens and fond farewell and best wishes to Kevin Allen

For Immediate release; Media Arts Movers and Shakers

Calgary, AB July 2, 2014

Media Artist Sharon Stevens, wears her art on her back! pictured here with artwork at artBOX on 17 E.

Alberta Media Art Alliance (AMAAS) is pleased to welcome Sharon Stevens as our new Executive Director effective July 1, 2014. Ms. Stevens has been selected to take on the role of advocating and championing for Alberta’s media arts community. She replaces Kevin Allen who has led the organization for the previous five years. “Kevin is leaving AMAAS to devote his time to the Gay History Project he launched during Calgary’s 2012 Cultural Capital of Canada,” notes Board President Kelaine Devine. “Kevin has broadened the scope and effectiveness of AMAAS and we are grateful for his extensive contribution to the media arts in Alberta. We are extremely excited for his history project and are certain of his every success.”

The incoming Executive Director is no stranger to the arts community in Calgary and around the Province. Ms. Stevens is an award-winning video Artist, long-time community organizer and activist. She has served on the boards of numerous arts associations and has won multiple awards for her art practice that focuses on public engagement. “There was much interest in the E.D. position and the Board of AMAAS was pleased with the high calibre of applicants from across the Province,” adds Ms. Devine. “We look forward to what Ms. Stevens will bring to the society with her excellent advocacy skills, focused vision for the media arts and ability to foster strong community.”

The AMAAS office is located in CommunityWise Resource Centre in a shared space with Cinematheque Calgary, Calgary Underground Film Festival, Calgary Allied Arts Foundation and M:ST Performative Art Festival. Please drop by the AMAAS office in the Old Y building at 223 12 Ave SW on Wednesdays or Thursdays to welcome Sharon.

Contact info:

Sharon Stevens admin@amaas.ca

Kevin Allen kevinallencharles@gmail.com

Kelaine Devine kelaine.devine@gmail.com

Website: amaas.ca

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AlbertaMediaArts

Twitter: @ABMediaArts

AMAAS exists to promote, support, educate and advocate for Alberta media
 arts. Since 1991, AMAAS has been serving the media arts community in Alberta. This non-profit society is governed by a volunteer
 Board of Directors composed of representatives from AMAAS 
member organizations, as well as independent media artists.




Ramin Eshraghi-Yazdi’s Sing Talk Play: a result of hustle, work, and play.

Ramin Eshraghi-Yazdi, like many, came to the media arts through personal interest, social connections, and geography. He started making experimental films with friends who were at ACAD, then became a team leader for Quickdraw Animation for a project for youth at risk. Quickdraw being across the hall from EMMEDIA, it was only a matter of time before he was a regular there, too.

“I got involved with EMMEDIA just to get more familiar with the media arts scene in Calgary. I wanted to meet people and get more involved, and I eventually joined the board.”

Eventually, he started Nur Films, a production company, with a friend. He has been a full-time filmmaker since 2008, creating music videos, documentaries, experimental, animation, commercial and web content. In the meantime, he was also deeply involved with Calgary’s music scene, attending gigs and programming and hosting a show on CJSW.

He’d always imagined combining the two worlds.

“I thought of the idea that I had wanted to do but never had the resources. The program is a live session with local Albertan artists. It documents and promotes our local musicians.”

It was only a matter of time until he saw his opportunity: he pitched Telus’ Optik TV channel Sing Talk Play, a series now available online at www.singtalkplay.com or on demand on the Telus Optik TV network.

“It’s a really simple live session show, focussed on Alberta musicians. We release one every weeks on Telus on Demand and online. It’s gotten great response from the music community and now I have bands approaching me. There’s so much talent.”

In the meantime (there are a lot of “in the meantime”s for this guy), he has just finished 12 experimental short films of chefs in a style modeled after Andy Warhol’s screen tests for City Palate magazine’s 20th anniversary. The commission is a collaboration with Calgary musician Chris Vail. Creative synapses always snapping, that project may have life as an installation piece. On top of that, there are also plans for a number of music videos and a feature in the works. It’s business as usual for an artist, says Ramin.

“The trick to surviving is to always have 15 to 20 projects on the go. There are no space for breaks. Hustling, basically.”

WolfCop ticket giveaway

The makers of WolfCop are giving away tickets to the Edmonton premiere. If you’d like a chance to snag a pair, here are the instructions:

We are offering our members the opportunity to win tickets to the Edmonton Bloody Red Carpet for WolfCop the movie on June 6. To enter you must submit your answer to the following trivia question to coolthings@wolfcop.com. Please include “Prairie Tales” and city in the subject line.

Q:  If you are to become a werewolf, what is the disorder/disease you are afflicted with?

A winner will be selected by the WolfCop team and be contacted with an e-ticket to the premiere.

WolfCop follows Lou Garou (Leo Fafard), an alcoholic cop who tends to black out and wake up in unfamiliar surroundings. However, lately things have taken a strange turn. Crime scenes seem oddly familiar, Lou’s senses are heightened, and when the full moon is out, he’s a rage-fueled werewolf. WolfCop is one cop’s quest to become a better man…one transformation at a time.

WolfCop was written and directed by Lowell Dean and produced by Bernie Hernando and Hugh Patterson.

Check out WolfCop’s howling theatrical trailer: http://bit.ly/1iDoxjP

Buy tickets to WolfCop’s bloody red carpet, opening night + MOAR through its badass Indiegogo campaign here:http://bit.ly/WolfCop

AMAAS 2014 Symposium on Storify

Picture courtesy of Spencer Estabrooks

We all know documentation is hard. You’ve worked so hard on the project, film, art and/or event and then you have to try to pull it all together and somehow make sense of what just happened.

We’ve used Storify to gather info from @ABMediaArts and #amaas2014 to make a cohesive archive of our symposium. Hope you enjoy it! Feel free to keep sending us pictures and comments about your symposium experience.

First Panel – Henry and Martha Love the Arts

Second Panel – Audience Development Conversation with Jason Ryle

Third Panel – Audience Development Funding with the AFA, EAC, Canada Council and Alberta Media Fund

Fourth Panel – Art and Audiences Online

Prairie Tales 16 Premiere and Spirit of Helen Award

Symposium Tweet Round-up!

CSIF Member screening May 15, 7 pm

We love our media arts centres. We love the resources. We love the smart people who make us smarter.

But once the gear is booked, we’re on our own. Filmmaking is an odd situation where we work together in our own little worlds, creating a temporary community. The outside world may as well not exist. All these isolated worlds, moving parallel to each other.

What would Neil Degrasse Tyson do? Bend time and space and bring them together, of course. Nicola Waugh is the Neil Degrasse Tyson of CSIF: twice a year, she runs screenings to allow members to see each others’ work. This is a way for members to see what else is happening in the universe as well as a chance to test out these new works in front of an audience.

“It’s like workshopping the film. The audience is usually all filmmakers and they give each other constructive feedback and talk about the process,” says Nicola.

You can see films of all genres made by first-time filmmakers to veteran artists, swap ideas and tips, and make the connections for future collaborations. So put on your spacesuits, wander to other galaxies and prepare make contact.

See a list of this spring’s screening here.