Arts, Culture and Ecology Centre for Ocean Studies, Beecher Bay, Vancouver Island, Summer 2020. Ocean discovery through participatory marine: art, culture and ecology projects.
We plan this program as a way to be connected and constructive during COVID-19 and beyond. We intend to work towards a hopeful future through knowledge and respect for the ocean that surrounds us and the world-wide water system that connects all living things.
Ocean Studies, Beecher Bay, has secured the use of a location on Sc’ianew First Nation lands. Situated by a playing field, adjacent to the Nation’s big house, the Spirit Bay Sc’ianew Community Garden, and a short walk to the ocean a few minutes away. A rented sea-can will be used as the workroom backdrop along with the surrounding meadow for this outdoor program. The start-up intends to create art, culture and ecology works that engage and involve Sc’ianew First Nation members, their Spirit Bay neighbours and local communities while fostering relations between each other, the ocean environment and connecting digitally locally and nationwide, improving the lives of anyone isolated in lock-down. This place-making project, while strictly abiding by social isolating protocols, will offer opportunities to participate, see, learn, make and walk here. The digital site will explore both documentary evidence and provide interactive opportunities. We also intend to explore new ways to use technology, including ways to gamify information activities.
Ocean Studies begins as an initiative of artist Dyan Marie in partnership with Sheeba Sawyer who is a member of the Sc’ianew First Nation and employed as their nation’s community-builder. We are grateful to the Sc’ianew First Nation, Spirit Bay residents, volunteers resource friends and members of the cultural community for their offers to help and to participate during this difficult time.
COVID-19 is especially threatening to the Sc’ianew First Nations. Their health, educational and economic plans and community are at-risk with many of their elders immune-compromised, including some who are the few remaining language speakers.
“We are all connected, the same water circulates forever, through the veins of our bodies, clouds, rain, rivers, lakes and the oceans that cover 70% of the world’s surface.”
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Beecher Bay Center for Ocean Studies