Upstream Benefits Symposium – KISSING TRAIL PROJECT LAUNCH

Friday, November 24
7pm  – KISSING TRAIL PROJECT LAUNCH with artist Sylvia Grace Borda
at Oxygen Art Centre
Join us for a presentation about creating a “Kissing Trail” in Nelson. A reception follows.  Presented with financial assistance from Hamber Foundation.

The Kissing Trail by artist, Sylvia Grace Borda, is a series of signs designed to mark an unusual proposal or pathway system proposed for the City. The artist has started to create a series of signs inviting the public to kiss. These works will form the basis of a sculptural trail as well as invitation to embrace and pucker up for the camera. It is also the artist’s attempt to make Nelson, Canada’s “Kissing Capital”.

In addition to these artworks the artist has created additional info signage to help mark popular Nelson landmarks and places chosen by Nelson residents as places to kiss.

Come and learn more about the aspirations of the Kissing Trail and how some landmarks are already featured in Google Street View.   In her special guest lecture at Oxygen Art Centre co-presented by the Touchstome Museum on November 24 , Sylvia will speak about what inspires her to get the public to look more closely at the local built environment, and the stories captured already behind several iconic kisses that are helping to grow Nelson’s new found status as Canada ‘s unofficial Kissing Capital.

Are you also interested in sponsoring part of the trail or proposing kissing spots? Come and let us know your thoughts, too!


Sylvia Grace Borda is a practising media artist with over a decade of lecturing experience in photography and Western art histories.  She has previously held teaching positions at the University of British Columbia (2001-2005) and at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design (2005-07) in which she led undergraduate digital media programs. In 2007, Sylvia was awarded a funded position with the Queen’s University Belfast to launch its new MA Photography programme and to act as convener.  During her time at Queen’s, she delivered the project ‘re-COLLECT-ing’ which was part of a wider initiative that won the UK Times Higher Award for the Arts. The award is the UK equivalent of a Canadian Governor’s General Award, but for Contemporary Visual Arts Education. Next year Sylvia will return to academia to launch the inaugural artist in residence program at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, focusing on rural art and ecologies.

Sylvia’s pioneering arts practice has involved drone technology to the staging of tableaux scenes in Google Street View. In particular, her ‘tableaux’ artwork is a two-fold process. Firstly, Sylvia focuses on depicting subjects not often associated with contemporary art production, such as farms, and secondly to act as a conduit for dialogue on the conservation and sustainability of rural regions. She presented her art tableaux series in 2016 at the International Union of Conservation for Nature describing to audiences how art can influence well-being and increase awareness of environmental concerns and policy. Additionally, Sylvia has recently participated in discussions at the Helsinki Photo Week (2016) at the photographies London, UK (2017) conference on the themes of new media technologies and their role in shaping contemporary photographic expression. Her most recent endeavour, the Kissing Project, developed for the Oxygen Art Centre in Summer 2017 went on to receive acclaim through the CBC Arts – see Collins, Leah. “On Google Street View, this small town in B.C. is a work of art: Peace, Love and Google Maps: these 360-degree portraits of a community aim to be an example for the world” CBC National Arts Review, June 23, 2017     F

or more information about the artist see


‘Upstream Benefits – Rural Art Symposium’ is a 4-day-long symposium that explores and celebrates the role and impact that the arts have in rural communities and will bring into focus artist-run culture in the Kootenays.  Symposium programming includes multiple panel discussions, artist talks, literary readings, a night of performance art and music and an art exhibition.  All symposium programming is free to attend and everyone is welcome!  (Donations are appreciated.)

For more information and to see the symposium schedule link here

Oxygen Art Centre gratefully acknowledges support for this programming from Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance, Columbia Basin Trust, British Columbia Arts Council and Province of British Columbia, Touchstones Nelson Museum of Art and History, The Writers’ Union of Canada, Elephant Mountain Literary Festival, Pacific Association of Artist-Run Centres, City of Nelson, Region District of Central Kootenay, Hall Printing, Nelson Star and the Hume Hotel.


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