A New Partnership
By Nicole Halseth, News Editor
UNBC has formed a new partnership with Emily Carr University to provide a new northern teen arts program. This two week program, set to happen during the summer, is intended to offer youth in the north an opportunity to gain pre-university arts experience. Comparable experience was previously only available to interested youth in the Lower Mainland.
According to The Citizen, the focus of this local seminar will be “creative arts and their practical applications to topics like mapping, architecture, urban planning, community research and design.” Lisa Haslett, the continuing studies co-ordinator at UNBC, commented that “There is definitely going to be artistic skill development, but also some local cultural elements and learning techniques to understand your sense of community and your sense of place within our region.”
Emily Carr has previously partnered with institutions in the north for a variety of programs, but this new partnership will be the first in a long time and represents the only current program the art university intends to pursue in the north. Emily Carr’s dean of continuing studies, Sadira Rodrigues comments on the university’s participation by saying “[We have] an important role to play as a champion of high quality, innovative and integrated education within our province…What we offer to regional partners is efficient leverage of Emily Carr’s institutional reputation and expertise in art, design and media education, all toward community engagement and strategic growth [of our BC] creative economy.”
According to Haslett, partnering with Emily Carr provides more opportunities to students and interested youth than a UNBC-only program of a similar nature would.
Haslett added that “They [Emily Carr] have considerable drawing power of their own, based on a reputation they have built over many years. Emily Carr does something unique within Canada and certainly within BC, and UNBC also does something unique within Canada and certainly BC. This partnership, because of who we each are as institutions, can offer our region’s students an educational experience that is world class.”
A similar program is being offered by Emily Carr in Whistler, but officials from both organizations wanted to make sure that the UNBC program was northern-specific. Content for the summer program is set to be focused on Prince George’s unique context.
Emily Carr official Rodrigues elaborated on this by saying “Both programs are strategic, multi-stakeholder collaborations, and will coordinate participation and input from various relevant councils, community groups, cultural organizations and educational institutions,” in order to provide youth education that is “responsive to community needs and objectives.”
The total projected cost of the art program is $1,500, and includes supplies and food. Registration opened with the UNBC Continuing Education department on 17 February. Both organizations hope to promote art-interest among northern youth, and hope to work together more in the future. UNBC students and faculty may well have an artistic summer to anticipate.