Musicians Spotlight

Musicians Spotlight


Music is everything Musician professor in BC shines the spotlight on

Musicians Spotlight

Music has the unique power to bring people together. Whether it's singing songs around a campfire, or dancing along to romantic tunes, music unites us.

Music can also help reduce stress and anxiety levels. Listening to music improves mental health, boosts self-esteem, and makes us feel more optimistic.

Musicians’ Spotlight

Musicians' Spotlight has been broadcasting a weekly, prerecorded show featuring interviews with musicians and groups since 2011. Host John Floridis has been interviewing today's most captivating artists for over 15 years.

Indigenous musicians from Nunavut to British Columbia are revolutionizing what it means to be an "Indigenous artist." These creatives are asserting their identities through genre-spanning sounds and cultivating cross-cultural understanding with audiences across Canada.

Kofi Gbolonyo, professor in the department of African studies and ethnomusicology at the University of British Columbia, has long been a champion of traditional African music and dance from Ghana, Togo and Benin. On March 3, he'll bring his sounds to Vancouver's North Shore with Azae Loo, featuring collaborations between students and performers who explore West African music, dance and jazz.

Kelsey Regan, founder and CEO of Vancouver-based blockchain marketplace Busker, helps musicians connect with their fans through a novel digital payment and loyalty platform. Utilizing MetaDisc -a non-fungible token created specifically for this purpose - the company facilitates an intimate connection between fans and artists by offering secure platforms where musicians can sell their music securely. Furthermore, Busker allows musicians to monitor their fans' listening habits which could potentially help them gain new fans or expand their fan base.

Azae Loo

Kofi Gbolonyo, professor of African studies and ethnomusicology at Capilano University, is a champion of West African music and dance. A show at BlueShore Financial Centre for Performing Arts on March 3 will showcase his efforts. Adanu Habobo - funded by BC Music Prize - will take centre stage with their innovative augmented reality app and website that allows students to learn dance moves by playing drums with their fingertips - an idea worthy of being named B.C.'s most innovative musical initiative.

Being Black in Canada

Black people make up a substantial part of Canada's population, and their influence has had an immense effect. Although their origins may differ from those of other Canadians, they share many similar struggles and concerns.

They may have been born in Canada or immigrated here from Africa. Despite its relatively recent history, black people have been deeply impacted by racism during colonial rule and its legacy of slavery and discrimination still influences society today.

Most Black Canadians trace their ancestry to either the Caribbean or Africa, with a small population of immigrants and descendants from the United States. Slavery was abolished in America in 1865, and thousands of escaped slaves used the Underground Railroad to make their way north. Here they found sanctuary and a new life in Canada.

Despite these successes, racism continues to be a significant barrier for Canadian Black people's advancement. According to a recent survey, nearly half of those surveyed reported experiencing discrimination or other forms of unfair treatment in the past year - an amount significantly higher than non-Indigenous/non-visible minority populations who experienced discrimination during that same time period.

Furthermore, those who had experienced discrimination were less likely to feel proud of the way Canada treats all members of society than those without. Furthermore, these individuals lacked confidence in the Federal Parliament, government institutions, and the justice system as a whole.

Canada is a multicultural society, boasting a high population of individuals from various ethnic backgrounds. However, there remain significant disparities in social and economic outcomes between Black and White people. Gaining an insight into these disparities will enable us to craft more equitable policies and practices.

Canadian Black culture and identity is vast and intricate, made up of people with various cultural, ethnic, and racial backgrounds. Unfortunately, these distinctions can often go undetected by those around us, making it difficult for others to comprehend or accept what makes up this community.

However, Blacks are an invaluable resource for Canada and should not be undervalued or overlooked. Their unique experiences and contributions can inform policy development, social services provision, and community-based initiatives alike.

The Yes Men

For two decades, Jacques Servin and Igor Vamos have used culture jamming - taking advantage of media reportage to critique hegemonic practices - as a means of challenging neoliberal governance. Their uncivil interruptions into the constant stream of corporate and political doublespeak are daring acts done in defense of civil society.

Their activisms often involve impersonating corporate representatives who confess grave crimes and offer radical reparations. One of the most renowned examples is Andy Bichlbaum's 2004 appearance on BBC World, in which he pretended to be representing Dow Chemical Company and announced that the corporation had finally admitted responsibility for a devastating gas leak at Union Carbide's pesticide plant in Bhopal, India and would pay $12 billion in clean-up expenses and compensation to victims.

These interventions have been guided by five essential principles: 1. They must be unique; 2. They should challenge public perception of corporate power; 3. They must be humorous; and 4. They must be absurd.

The Yes Men have spent decades culture jamming, pranking, protesting and infiltrating the highest echelons of global neoliberal governance. Their aim is to expose how neoliberal economic policies prioritize capital over people and planet.

To prove their point, the Yes Men have staged numerous fake press conferences at institutions from the World Trade Organization to the Republican National Convention. Their actions are carefully calculated with one goal in mind: to energize anti-liberal and environmental activists.

They have also created Actipedia, a digital platform that brings together creative activists from around the world to connect with collaborators and NGOs in order to foster an atmosphere of grassroots action. Furthermore, The Yes Lab Action Switchboard is an online tool that enables people to propose projects and find collaborators.

Their activisms are a unique combination of idealism and urgency that is neither sentimental nor self-righteous; rather, they are inspired by an endless fascination with the revolutionary power of a great punch line. Naomi Klein has described them as "the Jonathan Swift of Jackass generation." At Jihlava IDFF they will present two films from their series The Yes Men Fix the World and The Yes Men Are Revolting; plus they'll give a creative masterclass on using film for political activism.

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