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Gibson Centre hopes to launch online platform for artists soon

October 16, 2020   ·   0 Comments

COVID-19 has provided unique challenges for everybody, including artists.

The Gibson Centre in Alliston, which hosts many local artists, reopened to the public on September 1, but since the pandemic started, it’s been showing artists work through its Facebook page.

Since converting to showing artists’ work online, the Facebook pages had 120 unique users viewing the work and 800 engagements, which are likes, reactions and comments.

The Gibson Centre is now looking at building an online platform for videoconferencing, meetings, virtual exhibits, workshops and art classes or other programming.

“We have to look to the future and hopefully realign what we do online and what we offer virtually and what we offer remotely,” noted Jennifer Fortin, Executive Director of the Gibson Centre.

“We’re certainly trying to evolve and pivot, really to reimagine how we’re going to do things because we don’t know how long this [pandemic] is going to last,” she continued.

“We are the arts and cultural piece to this community of New Tecumseth, so it’s crucial that we remain engaged.”

The only caveat for putting the online platform into motion is funding.

The Gibson Centre has been unable to fundraise this year due to COVID-19, so they’ll be looking at grant opportunities and the public to secure the capital needed for the project.

Meanwhile, one of the positive things that came out of the pandemic and lockdowns was an increase in everyday people doing all forms of art, Fortin noted.

“Art has become an outlet and art comes in many, many different forms, whether it’s the people that were singing off of their balconies, the people that were in the culinary arts, all of the cooking and the baking that’s exploded,” she said.

“Art has been everybody’s sort of solace in this time. People who didn’t know they had an artistic flair discovered it, people that did perfected it and were able to feed the passion that they might not otherwise have had time for,” Fortin continued.

“That has been a consistent thing globally, whether you’re in Italy, the south of France, if you’re in Japan or if you’re in rural Ontario; arts have been the solace and the bond to soothe people.”

By Sam Odrowski
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter


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