Upstream Benefits Symposium – RURAL ART AND THE INSTITUTION

Saturday, November 25
11am – RURAL ART AND THE INSTITUTION panel at Oxygen Art Centre
Guest speakers: Julie Fowler, Vice Chair Arts BC, Sue Donaldson, Program Officer BC Arts Council, Mariane Bourcheix-Laporte, President Pacific Association of Artist-Run Centres and Krista Patterson, Executive Director Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance.

Please join us in welcoming these experienced representatives of vital arts organizations, who hold a wealth of knowledge about the current climate for art in British Columbia.


Mariane Bourcheix-Laporte is a visual and media artist, independent curator, author, and independent researcher and consultant based in Vancouver, BC. She is actively involved with the Canadian artist-run and independent media arts communities and is currently the President of the Pacific Association of Artist-Run Centres. In recent years, Mariane has had the opportunity to work as lead researcher/consultant on various sectoral research and community consultation projects commissioned by the Artist-Run Centres and Collectives Conference (ARCA), the Pacific Independent Media Arts Alliance (Pacific IMAA), the Canadian Artists’ Representation/Front des artistes canadiens (CARFAC), and the Independent Media Arts Alliance (IMAA). 


The Pacific Association of Artist-Run Centres (PAARC) was founded in 1988 to promote networking and collaboration be­tween artist-run organizations in BC, and to provide service in the interest of working artists within the context of self-determination and self-management. We advocate for livable incomes for artists and a commitment to the principle that artists deserve to be paid for their endeavours. We stand against censorship and for the rights of artists to organize, work, and advocate on their own behalf. We promote the meaningful inclusion of diverse voices, origins, and abilities in the arts. We support these rights as advocates of non-profit, critical, marginal, difficult, and radical artistic expression. For more information, please visit


Sue Donaldson is the visual arts, museums and literary arts organizations program officer at the BC Arts Council in Victoria where she has worked since 2004. Prior to joining the BC Arts Council, she worked in artist-run centres in Vancouver & Victoria and as an independent curator. She lived in rural and coastal communities in BC for a decade before moving to the city & still harbours a desire to return.
The British Columbia Arts Council supports arts and cultural activity in communities across British Columbia. From professional dance companies, to art galleries, local museums and music festivals – the Council works to enrich the lives of British Columbians in virtually every community in the province.


Julie Fowler is the Executive & Artistic Director of the Island Mountain Arts Society in Wells, BC. Passionate about finding ways to celebrate and promote artists, she has helped to create two award-winning festivals, both featuring a range of artistic mediums from performance to visual arts: the Art Matters Festival at Concordia University in Montreal and the ArtsWells Festival Of All Things Art, which began in 2004 and is now the largest arts event in the Cariboo with over 2500 people converging in Wells on the August Long Weekend each year. Julie graduated with an Interdisciplinary MFA from the University of British Columbia, Okanagan in 2013 and her thesis project, a creative non-fiction novel called the Grande Dames of the Cariboo, was published by Caitlin Press that same year. Julie is proud to sit on the board of directors for ArtsBC and Folk Music Canada.


ARTS BC is a provincial arts service organization, “OUR JOB IS TO GIVE 


Krista Patterson is the Executive Director of the West Kootenay Regional Arts Council and Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance.  Krista Patterson has over 14 years of experience in a management role in the arts, culture and heritage sector. Having developed and executed many projects (including conferences, publications and workshop series) while managing a regional arts culture and heritage funding program, she has also been a funding adjudicator at provincial and local levels. A graduate of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Krista has travelled to communities from Canada’s north to Shanghai, China, teaching jewellery, art history, professional practices and grant writing, and is also currently an instructor at Kootenay Studio Arts, Selkirk College. Her studio experience includes the creation of one-of-a-kind jewelry and sculptural objects as well as production craft and design. She has received a SCOPE (Standing Committee on Professional Excellence)award from the Selkirk College Faculty Association, as well as funding, scholarship and professional development awards in continued support of her art making, teaching and administrative endeavors.


The Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance (CKCA) administers and manages the arts, culture and heritage granting programs on behalf of the Columbia Basin Trust.  Working with community arts councils, individual artists, performers, heritage workers and cultural organizations, the goal of the CKCA is to build long-term sustainability for artists and to strengthen and support arts, cultural and heritage organizations.



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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