As a Program Lead for DGTL Creator North, I have had the chance to attend many digital arts events/conferences and have noticed a new trend in regional arts and culture. The distance between the North and the world is shrinking. We are not so far away anymore…

Not so far away from other rural communities. With the creation of digital hubs, such as DGTL Creator, users can now share artistic ideas instantly with other rural creators. Telecast capabilities have made it easier to collaborate with other cultural organisations across Northern Ontario. I have also noticed a growing spirit of collaboration between native and non-native communities; and as an artist of mixed heritage, I find it very inspiring and encouraging.

Not so far away from the big cities. There’s no need to commute when you are just a click away. It is no longer necessary for youth to leave their homes in order to be exposed to the arts and to new cultural opportunities. Digital hubs can also help with isolation, a very serious issue in the North. Teens facing certain issues can now openly share their experiences with their peers over the internet and have access to online counselling.

Not so far away from the future: I believe that Creative Hubs are truly the New Studio. These hubs are making it easier to participate in seminars, symposia (such as SPARC) and vernissages all over the country, and the world!  At DGTL Creator North, my aim is to encourage all of our teens to reach out, to be fearlessly creative. The world is getting smaller, dream big!

Dominic Lafontaine

Program Lead DGTL Creator Temiskaming Shores