New program trying to share more diverse voices in P.E.I. arts community

Two P.E.I. organizations are trying to amplify diverse voices within the arts community.

Music P.E.I. and Film P.E.I. want to help diverse communities make music videos

Film P.E.I. and Music P.E.I. is asking members of the BIPOC and LGBTQ, under the age of 25, interested in making music or films to submit an application to the Diverse Voices program. (guruXOX/Shutterstock)

Two P.E.I. organizations are trying to amplify diverse voices within the arts community.

Film P.E.I. and Music P.E.I. are asking members of the BIPOC and LGBTQ communities, under the age of 25, interested in making music or films, to submit an application to the Diverse Voices program.

The program is offering three filmmakers and three musicians the opportunity to create a music video — a service valued at $2,500.

"Film P.E.I. is very focused on diverse voices within our film community, so is Music P.E.I., so we decided we wanted to do a stronger outreach to the youth of those communities," said Renee Laprise, executive director of Film P.E.I.

She said for emerging filmmakers music videos are a "great first project" because they don't have to focus on sound.

"For the emerging musicians they actually get to have their own song professionally recorded," Laprise said, adding the three musicians can be solo artists or bands.

Renee Laprise, executive director of Film P.E.I. says the Island needs more BIPOC and LGBTQ representation behind and in front of the camera. (Submitted by Renee Laprise)

She said musicians applying for the program have to submit a demo — a recording of the song, but it doesn't have to be professional quality.

"What's going to happen is three musicians and three filmmakers will be chosen and then they will be partnered. The music will be recorded professionally, then a music video will be created," she said.

Film P.E.I. will provide the equipment, space and a full crew, Laprise said.

She said it is important to help people from diverse communities be heard and get their art out to the public and she hopes the program helps.

"Within the film industry we need to see more people behind and in front of the camera from both communities," she said.

The Island is good at promoting things like Anne of Green Gables, but John Kimmel, chair of Pride PEI says for the arts sector to move forward more diverse stories need to be promoted. (AnnetheSeries/Facebook)

John Kimmel, chair of Pride P.E.I., thinks the program is "exactly what the creative sector on P.E.I. needs."

He said now is a time in history where more voices from the BIPOC, LGBTQ and other underrepresented communities needs to be heard.

"I think the Diverse Voices program has the opportunity to really bring a lot of people who may not have had traditionally either access to support, or who might be thinking about putting out some of their art and performance into a broader space."

Sharing creative performances

He said it is a great opportunity to share creative performances from underrepresented communities with the general public.

"I'm really hoping people … from the BIPOC community from the 2SLGBTQIA+ community do apply for the program," he said, adding he would like to see the program expanded.

Kimmel said P.E.I. is great at putting up big billboards of Anne of Green Gables — and that is a great story — but stories about diverse Islanders need to be promoted to keep the arts sector moving forward.

Musicians looking to apply for the program can do so at the Music P.E.I. website. Filmmakers looking to apply can head to the Film P.E.I. website. The deadline is Aug 28.

Funding comes from the Canada Council for the Arts, ACOA and the province's department of economic growth, tourism and culture.

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