The Gabriola Arts Council is pleased to announce IoTA Mini! – a smaller workshop-only version of our annual Isle of The Arts Festival. Scheduled to run August 11 to September 3, IoTA Mini! Is the result of careful work over the past few months to craft a festival that minimizes COVID transmission risk while providing an opportunity for our Gabriola community to have a little summer fun and support local artists.
COVID has disproportionately affected the arts sector and artists financially and GAC continues to look for opportunities to support artists, so far through our GASP! micro-grant program, the “community: studio tour artists present” online and gallery show, and now IoTA Mini!
We recognize that as long as COVID is in our communities there is risk. In March, when we cancelled our 10th Anniversary IoTA Festival, we knew little about COVID and anticipated the lock-down to essential services only. Today we know more and as Dr. Bonnie Henry has moved us into Phase 3 of the BC Restart program, GAC is moving forward too with an abundance of caution and in accord with the guidance and orders of the Provincial Health Officer.
We are holding our workshops outside under tents, limiting them to 6 participants per workshop. All of the workshops are under 4 hours in length and we are scheduling only 1 per day to allow for thorough sanitization of all surfaces between. We will have the physical space set up with chairs and worktables spaced at least 6 feet apart. Unfortunately we will not be offering any singing or drama workshops understanding that spirited vocalization and physical contact increase transmission risk.
We are thrilled to have received a generous donation from CapShield – they make reusable plastic face shields with clips that attach to any hat – and we will be providing these to our instructors and registrants free of charge. We will encourage folks to wear masks and will have plenty of hand sanitizer and surface wipes available. Of course anyone who has COVID symptoms, is required to be in quarantine or has been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID is asked not to register or attend. We move forward understanding that if things change, if there is a spike in COVID transmission and we are advised to do so, we will cancel all activity immediately.
We have 13 great workshops on offer including glass fusing, jewellery making, textile arts, songwriting, hand drumming, ukulele strumming and more!
Registration for GAC members starts at 10am on July 27. General Public registration will open at 10am on July 30. Online registration is preferred but you may register by phone or in-person with an appointment during regular GAC hours. For more information and registration visit: artsfest.artsgabriola.ca or call the Gabriola Arts Council 250-247-7409.