Welcome back to Northern Roots Canada!
Today, we’re jumping right in! Here’s my chat with Alicia Barban, the artistic & executive producer for The ArtFolk Collective. She shares about her favourite holiday tradition, plans for 2021, her advice for artists right now and more…
Hi Alicia! Thanks for making some time today. Please introduce yourself!
My name is Alicia Barban, I’m the artistic producer of The ArtFolk Collective, a community driven theatre lab that aims to celebrate and foster creativity in the Canadian Theatre Industry through collaboration.
What are you currently working on (if anything due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic)?
ArtFolk has been committed to facilitating collaborative opportunities, despite COVID limitations, and we’ve been producing digital shorts, hosting virtual explorations and are currently releasing an audio workshop in 5 episodes with Dandelion Theatre called The Hands of Hypatia written and directed by Max Ackerman. It features sound by Malcolm Wegg, original music by Juliette Jones and a diverse and talented cast of actors!
How are you taking care of yourself artistically during this time?
I am so passionate about the development of new works, and that was the original inspiration behind ArtFolk. I wanted to be ‘in the room where it happens,’ workshopping new Canadian theatre. By starting this initiative I have met so many passionate artists who ALL have exciting stories to tell. I’ve been fortunate to produce choreography collaborations, highlight original singer-songwriters, perform myself in plays and a new musical, and have been able to connect with artists and audiences despite our distance by adapting and innovating. While it has been stressful, and by no means easy, working with other artists is what feeds me, and I’m so fortunate that I have been able to continue my work in this time.
I saw that you and The ArtFolk Collective produced a choreographed sequence to James King and The Midnight Hours’ “Nightmare” which has become a fast favourite video of mine!
Switching gears, do you have a favourite holiday tradition?
I watch ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ every year, but favourite part of the holidays is the food. I plan on doing a lot of cooking.
What are your company’s plans for 2021 and beyond?
ArtFolk is looking to reach larger audiences and connect and work with more artists. We are starting a fundraising initiative called ‘Campfire Sessions’ in the new year. We hope, that through donations, grants and other funding, we can produce three full scale workshops, in person! Fingers crossed!
My fingers (and toes) are crossed for you!
To wrap up here, do you have any advice for aspiring Canadian artists as we’re all navigating this new normal?
Connect with those around you, and lean on your community. We are all hungry to create, and when we come together to collaborate, our ideas, our vision, our stories take on new, exciting forms!
Thank you to Alicia Barban for answering my questions! I’m excited to see what 2021 will bring to The ArtFolk Collective!
Stay up-to-date with her and the collective on social media: Instagram
Catch the latest episodes for The Hands of Hypatia here!
Until next time, remember:
rooted to your dreams.
I’m Chi-Chi Onuah, signing off.