The VANCOUVER SUN
City Visualized As Media Capital
This is the dream of a group of local artists, educators, writers, engineers and architects.
The dream came a little nearer reality Friday with the announcement of a $40,000 grant from the Canada Council to Intermedia of Vancouver.
This organization, formed in January, plans to establish a multimedia workshop in Vancouver which can be used by anyone seriously interested in exploring the uses of electronic communications.
It could become the national headquarters for electronic experiments such as those pioneered by Marshall McLuhan, Canada's communications philosopher, at the University of Toronto.
"This is a very important development to be taking place in Vancouver," said Intermedia director Joeseph Kyle, an independent management consultant, in an interview Friday.
"It could well be a model for similar projects in other parts of the world, and we will have people coming from cities like London, Paris and New York to study Vancouver's workshop.
"Electronic experimentation with sound and sight has become one of the main forces in the creative world today.
HEADED BY ARTISTS
Intermedia chairman Jack Shadbolt, a well known West Coast artist, said the organization will involve such fields as industry, education, architecture, town planing, creative art and writing, and all communications media.
"People such as film-makers, sculptors, dancers, poets and painters will all be actively involved," he said.
Besides Kyle the directors are: Henry Elder, head of the University of BC's School of Architecture; Sol Kort of UBC's extension department; Victor Doray, head of University of BC's Medical Illustration Department; Dr. A.R. MacKinnon, dean of education, Simon Fraser University; Dr. J.F. Ellis, head of SFU's professional foundations department, and Dr. T.J. Mallinson, chairman of SFU's communications centre.
Shadbolt stressed that the faculty members have offered their services as individual's and the universities have no official connection with Intermedia.
He said the organization is looking for a building in central Vancouver in which to establish the workshop.
It will be furnished with equipment worth about $30,000 such as tape-recorders, cine and photographic equipment, television, projectors and a videotape recorder.
"So the workshop will provide space and equipment for team efforts among artists and poets, etc.," said Doray.
"It will enable engineers to seek out artistic expression in media they have known mainly for it's engineering function.
"It will allow architects to familiarize themselves with the creative implications of wires as well as bricks and mortar.
"And it could eventually be the central distribution and relay point for educational television.
Doray said that in Texas 31 high schools will soon be linked electronically to enable children to choose from 320 educational television programs.
"This is the sort of things we will be investigating," he said.
"In industry, education and in our general lives there has been a great speed-up of data and multi-media communications.
Doray said the Canada Council has been impressed by the many artists becoming involved in different media.
"It would be very expensive for the council to support individual artists wanting to experiment in all kinds of forms and materials," he stated.
"But we hope our workshop will enable artists to work together and share equipment."
Shadbolt said Intermedia will be underway as soon as it has a fully-equipped workshop.
And he hoped it will receive further financial support from the city of Vancouver and local industry.
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