Artist in Residence Kathryn Calder Leaves a Legacy of Calm and Joy

Kathryn Calder’s musical collaborations will continue to bring joy and calm, even as her Artist In Residence term ends.

The musician, songwriter and recording studio owner has had a busy two years of doing everything from hosting online concerts to collaborating with community members from youth to seniors, to building resources for teachers, to co-creating a calm hotline for residents to call when in need of a bit of a lift on a hard day.

Calder was the unanimous choice as Artist in Residence by the Selection Panel in 2019, based on her strong reputation as an artist and collaborator in a variety of disciplines, and her proven track record working on community-based projects.

During her residency, Kathryn worked collaboratively with City staff and the community to identify and develop creative artworks and capital projects. Some of the highlights include:

Youth Engagement
Kathryn met with students at three schools to discuss their ideas for the music community in Victoria. This led to the creation of the Opening Act online youth songwriting program and the non-profit community group Space Blanket Society, a youth-led / artist-run collective.

Opening Act
Opening Act is an online songwriting and performance program for youth aged 14-24. Through an open call, 29 participants were selected to attend online workshops with special guests and one-on-one sessions with Kathryn.

Be Calm
Kathryn, in a collaboration with Emily Hamel, created 1-877-2BE-CALM -- a toll-free telephone line to bring calmness and joy to your day. The project featured calming stories and soundscapes from artists, poets, Elders, youth, and animals from Victoria and across Canada. These recordings can also be enjoyed here.   

Intergenerational Learning
Kathryn worked with a group of seniors and elementary students from James Bay Community School, to share knowledge, sing songs, and answer questions about their lives. A learning guide, created with teachers Leigh Pharis and Lynda Fraser, is available here for other educators to use.

Patched In, Lee Mong Kow Way
This art, light, and sound installation, located along the walkway between Centennial Square and Fisgard Street, was inspired by the early days of the global pandemic when the urban environment fell silent and the voices of songbirds became more audible. The project is a collaboration between students and teachers at the Victoria Chinese Public School and artists Jesse Campbell and Meghan Hildebrand, computer programmers Andrew Schloss and Duncan MacConnell, and musicians Marek Tyler and Eddie Mau.

City of Victoria Music Strategy, part of Create Victoria
Kathryn chaired the City’s Music Advisory Committee, that included local musicians and music industry professionals, to create the City’s first-ever strategy dedicated to fostering and supporting a growing music industry. 

The City of Victoria’s Artist in Residence program aims to ‘keep art in mind’, providing the opportunity for a professional artist to work collaboratively with City staff and the community to identify and develop a creative artworks and projects over a two-year term.  The goal is to provide a unique creative and collaborative approach to enhance the value and aesthetic appeal of upcoming capital projects in Victoria, while broadening the community’s involvement in the arts. The next Artist in Residence call will be issued this spring. 

See and hear all Kathryn’s Artist in Resident projects here.