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Cultivating Canadian Creative Content and the Indie Music Scene: Public Records and Playground


Have you ever wanted to go behind the scenes and make your own music video, or be in front of the camera making music with a local band to film one? That’s exactly what TELUS Optik Local (TELUS Community TV) helped local music fans in BC and Alberta do all summer long. As we get ready to ramp up into the fall, we look back at two amazing music-centred content creation programs supported by TELUS, now available on Optik TV On Demand: Public Records and Playground. Both programs are shining examples of how TELUS is reaching out to the local community with innovative opportunities to create Canadian content and cultivate the love of music, community and television/digital media.

Public Records (Summer Music Video Fund, 2013):  

PublicRecords_Episode01Non-profit organization Public Records in partnership with TELUS gave local musicians and emerging filmmakers the chance to receive up to $5,000 grants to make music videos. Investing close to $150,000 into new Canadian content, the program reached out to major markets like Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary, as well as smaller cities like Victoria, Prince George, Grand Prairie and Lethbridge. The fund also helped to satisfy a major demand for Western Canadian grant funding – fostering creativity in smaller markets and connectivity between artists in the film and music scene. If you want to see what kind of talent is coming out of our own communities, you need to check out this year’s 28 awardees. Optik TV customers can find these videos on demand under Optik Local. Here are few of my favourites:

  1.  “C” Artist: Leisure Suit, Filmmaker: William Wilkinson (Victoria) – Public Records Ep.1
  2. “Lover/You Don’t Love Me” Artist:Lad Mags, Filmmaker: Fish Griwkowsky (Edmonton) – Public Records Ep. 3
  3. “Bright Ideas” Artist: Zaac Pick, Filmmaker: Josh Pick (Medicine Hat) – Public Records Ep.3

To learn more about Public Records, check out www.publicrecords.org.

Playground (PGEDM#7, PGCGY#8, PGVIC#9 & PGKEL#10):

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From two talented Vancouver-based photographers but self-professed “non-filmmakers”, Adam Schelle and Kevin Holloway, comes a series of music docs featuring the Playground initiative. The concept behind Playground is simple. They take one band, one excited group of curious music fans and film a collaborative music video with a local band in one night. It’s a pop-up music video event like no other. This year, Optik Local took Playground to new heights, supporting a multi-city documentary series across Alberta and BC: Edmonton, Calgary, Victoria and Kelowna. Featuring bands Shout Out Out Out Out, Dojo Workhorse, The Chantrelles and We Are The City respectively.

Check out the Playground series on Optik TV on demand: Optik Local>Featured>Playground. To find out more about Playground, check them out at www.playground.is

Fostering the creation of more music video content in Canada

As the number of TELUS subscribers continues to grow and supports the expansion of Optik Local programming, the hope is that with initiatives like Public Records and Playground, we can help foster Canadian creative development, strengthen the artistic community and create a sense of pride in Canadian creative culture.

To learn more about TELUS community programming go to: TELUS.com/OptikLocal.

Prem Gill, Director, Content for TELUS, is a passionate ambassador for local content creation and loves to urban farm. She was recently named in a Globe and Mail article referencing the Globe’s power list of 10 women who matter in English Canada as film and content creators and decision makers. A member of the TELUS team since 2008, she drives the development of content for Optik Local community programming, which is available on demand to Optik TV subscribers and publically through the Optik Local website.