Sharpen your storytelling skills with CBC Manitoba's free online workshops

The pandemic has been hard on all of us, including the artists, arts organizations, singers and musicians who brighten our spirits and enlighten our thinking. So CBC Manitoba is offering this series to get all of us connected back to experiencing local arts and festivals that we love.

Workshops are open to artists or anyone interested in developing storytelling skills

This summer, sharpen your storytelling skills by taking an online workshop presented by CBC Manitoba. Use the link below to register to participate. (CBC)

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged all of us to look at doing things differently. Whether it's socially distanced visits with elderly loved ones or getting a haircut with a mask on.

But for arts organizations, musicians and singers, this pandemic means a seismic shift to how they share their talents with our community.

"It's a learning curve to be able to use online resources to make music in an isolated way," says Andrew Balfour, a choral composer and the artistic director of Winnipeg-based choir Camerata Nova.

Without ticket revenues and sponsorships — cash streams that support the arts — operating budgets will start to dry up.

Andrew Balfour, artistic director at Camerata Nova, says arts organizations and artists face a learning curve to be able to use online resources to make music in isolation. (CBC)

In April, 63 per cent of arts organizations in Manitoba indicated through a Canada Council for the Arts survey that government relief programs would help them, but 59 per cent also indicated that they would not apply to receive the Canada emergency wage subsidy benefit, or couldn't apply because they didn't qualify.

"These are troubling times for arts organizations," said Spencer Duncanson, artistic director of the Manitoba Little Opera Company.

"Many of us are trying to figure out how we are going to survive and continue to serve our community during this pandemic." 

Susan Watkins and Spencer Duncanson perform in a Little Opera Company show. Duncanson, who is also the artistic director of the company, says these are challenging times for many arts organizations. (Norm Grywinski)

To help local artists during the pandemic, CBC Manitoba is connecting with the arts community this summer to offer online workshops.

Designed to sharpen storytelling skills, these 45-minute sessions will feature tips for building a tech toolkit, monetizing content, brainstorming story ideas for editorial calendars and fashioning stories for different social media platforms.

Workshops are free and open to anyone interested in growing their storytelling skills, and especially for those who are artists or work in the arts community.

"Arts organizations have an opportunity during the pandemic to embrace technology to connect with their communities online to augment in-person arts activities, and/or until they can safely resume in-person artistic programming," says Rose-Anne Harder, executive director of the Manitoba Arts Network.

"Reaching out to your community through storytelling, while your arts offerings are limited, can engage and develop your community, help you remain connected and build authentic relationships within your community."

Give storytelling a try

More workshops will be announced each week. Stay tuned.

Thursday, Aug. 6 | 11:00 a.m. CDT

'Show me the money!' Explore how to monetize content on digital.

Presented by Dan Fricker, senior operations lead at Shopify.

Dan Fricker will present a workshop on monetizing content on digital platforms on Thursday, Aug. 6. (Submitted by Dan Fricker)

Key types of content that creators can monetize include working with influencers, sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, original storytelling and using your own established audience to sell merchandise.

These are all means to diversify your voice with audiences.

The goal? To increase your earning potential and inspire, inform, educate, and empower your unique audiences.

Presenter bio: Dan Fricker's work focuses on the continual evolution of media and its power to shape opinions and ideas. Dan has acted as head of social media for both Shopify and CBC, and developed early digital marketing strategies with TELUS and CTV News. He has been profiled in Canadian Business, Marketing Mag, and others for his innovative approach to storytelling.


Thursday, Aug. 13 | 11:00 a.m. CDT

What is in your 'content creating' toolbox?

Presented by Justin Deeley, CBC Manitoba promo producer and Colton Hutchinson, CBC Manitoba associate producer/technician.

Tools and technology vary widely as does the experience and skill set of those using it.

CBC will breakdown the tools, software and add-ons that can be used to produce video and audio elements to enhance an engaging piece of content for digital.

Whether you're an expert or novice, you will find the tools and tech are scalable to meet your needs and comfort level.

Presenter bios: 

Colton Hutchinson - From fancy to janky, Colton Hutchinson has used media equipment of all kinds in his career. Before arriving at CBC in 2017, he spent his time as a freelance audio/visual technician. In his experience a simple rule has stood out, "The best gear is gear that works...and bring extra batteries."

Justin Deeley - is proud to be the Promo Producer/Director for CBC Manitoba, CBC Saskatchewan and CBC North. He has been in that role for over a decade.  He has made a career of writing, shooting, editing, voicing and producing compelling video and audio content to draw Canadians towards their national public broadcaster.

In 2020, Justin was part of the creative team that won the Radio Television Digital News Association's Excellence in Sound - Dick Smyth Award for CBC Manitoba's Life in Hiding story. 

About Community Engagement at CBC Manitoba

Putting audiences first is the most important thing that we can do as your local public broadcaster. That's why community engagement projects start by listening to you and what you tell us about the stories you want.

Do you have a story idea for us? Pitch here.


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