Sharpen your storytelling skills with five 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.

We hope you enjoyed Season One. On-Demand Videos available.

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 offered online workshops in August designed to sharpen storytelling skills.

The workshops are free and available on-demand to anyone interested in growing their storytelling skills. Episode topics were brainstormed in partnership with Manitoba's arts community and designed so that anyone who wants to improve their online storytelling skills will be able to take something away from each presentation.

"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."

We hope you enjoyed Season One

It's been a real pleasure to go on this journey to learn how to tell interesting and engaging stories online. Thank you for lending your ideas and time to helping create this series for Manitoba's arts community.

It's not you, it's me. What does connecting with audiences mean?
Presented by Nairi Apkarian and Yoav Lai, CBC Music

Building a relationship is a two-way street. Audiences don't simply want to be talked at — they want a chance to participate and they want to know you're listening.

Whether it's a casual fan of your brand or an organization that has reached out to work with you, everyone should always know what they're getting out of the relationship.

CBC Music will introduce you to some of the ways they conceptualize and create digital content that puts audiences and partnerships at the centre. 

Presenter bios:

Nairi Apkarian is a senior producer in social and digital video at CBC Music. Her work involves creating content to keep audiences engaged with the CBC Music brand, and ensuring that radio, audio, event and TV content is creatively repackaged for digital consumption. Her background is a mix of digital content creation, marketing, classical piano, and a little college radio. 

Yoav Lai is the social media producer at CBC Music. Prior to CBC, Yoav has helped grow and entertain audiences on social media for a wide range of organizations, from community radio stations to consumer electronics manufacturers (and not one, but two burrito chains).

    How to design and implement an editorial calendar?
    Presented by Andrea Chiu, Glenn Macaulay and SK Robert, CBC Social Team.

    But do I really have that much to say on social? What if I run out of topics and audiences get bored?

    The CBC Social Team will walk you through how to map out a content calendar that fits your time and resources as well as walk you through how to brainstorm posts that your audiences will want to engage with.

    Presenter bios:

    Andrea Chiu has been working as a social media marketer and producer for more than 10 years. At the CBC, she's worked with CBC Radio Digital, CBC Toronto and currently leads metrics on the @CBC social media team. Outside of the CBC, she's led social content strategies for brands like JP Morgan Chase, AB InBev and BMO Financial Group. 

    Glenn Macaulay is a producer with the @CBC social media team in Toronto where he plans and creates content that touches on all areas of the corporation. He was formerly a web producer at Bell Media, managing the website and writing copy for the Comedy Network and other specialty entertainment properties like Space, Much, Bravo, and MTV. He also produces and performs live comedy shows in Toronto when there isn't a pandemic.

    SK Robert is a senior designer on the @CBC Social Team and runs the CBC Snapchat Discover channel. They have expertise in converting horizontal video to vertical formats and in adapting content for younger audiences. In a previous role, they helped manage the CBC Comedy Facebook, Instagram and YouTube accounts.


      How to build content for social platforms
      Presented by Mercedes Grundy, CBC Arts

      Everyone has a story worth telling, but not everyone gets how to present it in an engaging way. This workshop will walk you through how to take a story idea, brainstorm it and tailor it to meet the expectations of audiences on everything from Twitter to YouTube. Not all social experiences are the same and so we need to design content specific to the platform.

      Presenter bios:

      Mercedes Grundy is a producer with CBC Arts creating content for TV and online. Since starting at CBC Arts in 2015, she's been a producer on award-winning series including CBC Arts: Exhibitionists,The Filmmakers and Super Queeroes. She is the series co-producer of Canada's a Drag, which won the CSA for best digital series in 2020. Prior to CBC Arts, Mercedes worked on TV productions including Dragons' Den, The Scotiabank Giller Prize, The Canadian Screen Awards and Air Farce. Mercedes produces short films and theatre in her spare time.

      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 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 and in 2020, he 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. He has made a career of writing, shooting, editing, voicing and producing compelling video and audio content to draw Canadians toward their national public broadcaster. 

      'Show me the money!' Explore how to monetize content on digital.
      Presented by Dan Fricker, senior operations lead at Shopify.

      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 bios:

      Dan Fricker is the operations lead at Shopify. His career has focused on the continual evolution of media and its power to shape opinions and ideas. He has experience across broadcast, tech, and telco with some of Canada's most influential companies. Dan has acted as Head of Social Media for both Shopify and CBC, and developed early digital marketing strategies with TELUS and CTV News. 

      In 2017, Dan was a founding member of the leadership team for Shopify Studios, an in-house brand entertainment arm that creates feature-length films, episodic television shows, social video content, and other formats.

      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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