When a crew of regular High School Students left to grab some dinner & then came back with it, I knew they had settled into the Lounge! They often organize their own social every Wednesday, inviting different people over & showing first timers around with a sense of pride in “their Space”. They throw on their own tunes, duke it out in Smash bros, play the uke, enjoy some VR, GarageBand & Digital Art, and recently the 3D Printer! They are a very social and friendly crew, who always include others in the room in their tournaments, even the 11-13 year olds, leaving me with a warm fuzzy heart. I love hearing the laughter fill up the place. These guys fill the Space with enthusiasm, which often lures curious bystanders into the Digital “web”! And that is only one example of how Digital Creator is making an impact in Sioux Lookout!
Now that Sioux Lookout’s “Digital Lounge” is thriving, I felt intrigued by the “Teen Spirit” to find a way to capture their charisma …so I created an outlet so that the teens are able to document their creative culture …in a series of short documentaries. Since the birth of the idea, there is more footage than we have time to edit! I can tell that the concept makes the teens feel special and valued. Most are shy, but willing to share something: whether it be their creative side, their visions for a better future, and some advice to whomever is listening, or even hiding behind the camera with an interest in film-making! Some are excitingly bold, speaking on subjects which seem currently important to many in their age group. There are also those who are musically talented who would like to contribute to the soundtrack.
The more I observe teens, I find myself naturally being inspired by their heightened hopes & big hearts which makes me realize that Teens deserve more opportunities to speak up so that they can be heard! Most of them have no idea how inspiring they can be, thinking that they are too young to make an impact on the society around them. To me, the documentary idea has now become more than a creative idea, but something important where the art becomes the carrier of the heart & ideas of our next generation. Stay tuned for “Breaking Silence”!
Another beneficial experience for Digital Creator has been our weekly visits to WINKS (an active wellness program for youth). WINKS is such a benefit to teens here! This giant Teen Center almost has it all (basketball, bikes, guitars, keyboard, art room, computer room, exercise room, gaming room, outdoors programming)…and Digital Creator brings what they don’t: Virtual Reality, photography, Digital art supplies to name a few! There has been a hand-full of teens who have come by the Digital Creator Space after I first met them at WINKS. I have met some very talented people there as there happens to be many First Nations artists in our Northern Communities! That is another good reason to have these 6 Maker Spaces in our Region!
We are proud to express that one of our own Digital Creators, Jordan Fiddler, who has been experimenting with photography & film, has received some Provincial attention lately. He recently attended a Media Arts Symposium & Festival in North Bay (hosted by N2M2L) where a screening was held for his music video “Beach Side” that he created while at Digital Creator. New opportunities are now unfolding for him…Go Jordan! Here is the link for his video: https://digitalcreator.ca/blog/sioux-lookout-music-video/
During the summer months, we are looking forward to more new faces, a 5-day long Virtual Reality Film-making Event & Workshop, as well as participating in our local Blueberry Festival …supporting the digital age of creativity in the North to bud & bloom.