Northern Exposure Conference 2018


OCTOBER 18 - 21, 2018 

There are unique opportunities and challenges faced by those who create, produce or present the arts in rural settings. The 4th Annual Northern Exposure Conference aims to explore this reality and strengthen the rural arts and culture sector.

Northern Exposure’s dynamic model of information sharing creates a solid foundation for the development of a strong network amongst the arts organizers and artists in attendance. Round table discussions, collaborative panels, workshops and open floor discussions allow for attendees to be heard and for solutions to be discovered with input from many sources.

In addition to workshops, round tables and networking, Northern Exposure also includes artist showcases to provide exposure to local, regional, provincial and national acts.

Kelly Poirier of White Raven Consulting will again be facilitating the weekend, along with her co-facilitator, Nene Kraneveldt.
They both specialize in:

  • Working with groups to design and host community conversations, meetings, retreats and longer-term change and transformation projects.

  • Teaching and coaching The Circle Way as a transformative and collaborative meeting and management and leadership process.

  • Creating innovative conference experiences to bring more connection and authentic engagement.

  • Co-leading Art of Hosting Participatory Leadership learning experiences.

  • Hosting workshops and retreats on methods and practices related to personal and participatory leadership.

The core of our work is held through the Art of Hosting, and, circle process: The Art of Hosting is a highly effective way of harnessing the collective wisdom and self-organizing capacity of groups of any size. Based on the assumption that people give their energy and lend their resources to what matters most to them – in work as in life – the Art of Hosting blends a suite of powerful conversational processes to invite people to step in and take charge of the challenges and opportunities facing them.

2018 Schedule:

Thursday, October 18

6:00pm - Welcome Reception at IMA Gallery (2323 Pooley Street, Wells) – Enjoy tasty treats from Morsels Movable Feast and Bench 1775 Winery and get to know your fellow delegates. Reception Sponsored by the BC Touring Council

8:00pm - Showcases begin at Sunset Theatre - Good Egg Records Presents, featuring… 

 Britt A.M.: A one-woman band to be reckoned with, Prince George, B.C.’s Britt A.M. uses loop and effect pedals to create riff-based songs with barbed hooks and experiential messages.

Amy Blanding: Amy Blanding is a singer/songwriter living on the traditional, unceded territory of the Lheidli T’enneh in Prince George, BC. Raised on an eclectic mix of Celtic music, choir, and Crosby, Stills, and Nash, Amy plays many genres and is known for exceptional collaboration and vocal harmonies. After breaking-out with her BC-Canadiana band Black Spruce Bog, she has continued to forge her own musical path. Performing with an unbridled, often unnerving authenticity and passion, Amy’s joy on stage is palpable. “Amy Blanding sings with conviction and soul. She delivers songs that tell stories that remind us of what is good.” –Kym Gouchie

 Naomi Kavka: Naomi is a confident and fearless musician, penning songs that are deeply intimate, political, and cathartic. Performances balance unhinged viscera and discipline; songs weave spirits of 70s noir-country, with neo-traditional-folk flourishes.

GOOD EGG RECORDS is a label based in Prince George, BC – Enjoy music featuring artists from this new and exciting record label.

Friday, October 19 - Barkerville Historic Town (7km from Wells)

Breakfast starts 8:30am (included with registration)

9am – 9:30am - Intro the Process, White Raven Consulting, Kelly Poirier & Nene Kraneveldt

Big Theme Objectives:

  • Engaging more voices, connecting with your community,

  • continuation of strengthening networks and communities,

  • how do we tell our stories better

Principles: Take care of yourself, ask for what you need and offer what you can

10 – 11am - Check in Circle - What are you coming for, what do you hope to realize out of the time? Why are you/we really here?

11am - 12pm - Session One –Engaging More Voices – World Café
The World Café is a whole group interaction method focused on conversations. A Café Conversation is a creative process for leading collaborative dialogue, sharing knowledge and creating possibilities for action in groups of all sizes.

12:00pm - 1:00pm - Lunch – Barkerville (included with registration)

1pm - 1:20pm - World Cafe - Synthesis Discussion - Bring it together “what happened?”

1:20 pm – 2:50pm - Tools & Tips (concurrent presentations)

Concurrent Session One

ARTS BC DigistARTS: Digital Literacy Workshop with Patricia Hunstsman

Designed in partnership with Nordicity, Arts BC's DigistARTS workshops are designed to help BC arts organizations and artists:

  • Get comfortable with digital (if you're not already) and determine your learning needs.

  • Think strategically about the role of digital tools in your organizations (and/or practice) and the evolving opportunities offered by digital developments.

  • Raise awareness about the ways to optimize digital tools and approaches which respond to current trends, such as: audience engagement and development, marketing and communications, content development, organizational effectiveness, partnership brokerage, fundraising, etc.

During this workshop, participants will:

  • Learn about the DigistARTS project;

  • Discuss the future of digital;

  • Identify local opportunities, challenges and gaps;

  • Discuss the top priority digital literacy needs and most relevant learning approaches

Generously funded by the Canada Council for the Arts


Patricia Huntsman is an experienced cultural policy writer and planner, and arts management professional. Her British Columbia-based consultancy, Patricia Huntsman Culture + Communication, offers a full roster of arts management, planning and communication services tailored to Building Communities Through Culture. As a member of a growing field of cultural policy and planning professionals, Patricia is a sought-after and respected voice at the forefront of culture-led economic and community development in Canada. Patricia is leading Arts BC's program development and outreach, including Arts BC’s Knowledge Sharing services. Prior to establishing her British-Columbia based consultancy in 2009, she worked nationally and internationally in senior roles in the creative and cultural industries for seventeen years.

Arts BC is a provincial arts service organization that give individuals and organizations the tools and support to excel at arts and cultural leadership.

Concurrent Session Two

Social Media with Evie Lavers

Part 1: Social Media for the Touring Musician
1:20pm - 2:00pm

In this 40 minute session Evie Lavers will give an overview sharing her communication strategies for touring musicians. You’ll learn tips & tricks to get more organic reach while you are on the road & how to make your social media routine more effective & efficient!

Part 2: #TrendingDisasterAlert Creating an Online Communication Strategy
2:15pm - 2:50pm

With the escalating hunger in our newsfeeds for content, clickbait and the media’s insatiable appetite for a fake news story it can be tricky to know how to communicate with your audience when disaster strikes in your community. Whether they are ticket holders, funding bodies, media, artists, or local officials, having an effective & strong communications plan in place can help to keep your community safe and your business thriving.

Evie Lavers is an innovative arts administrator from Australia, with over 7 years of experience, delivering online communications & strong social media campaigns and end-to-end event management.

After completing her Advanced Diploma in Music Business from CMIT Perth, Western Australia she developed the skills & relationships to produce large outdoor music festivals. Evie is currently the Marketing Coordinator for Island Mountain Arts (ArtsWells Festival), is the Assistant ED for Tiny Lights Festival, a Trainer for BC Touring Council and launching Rhythm Club, a music marketing workshops series this Fall.

Concurrent Session three

Talking-Touring-Travails-and-Triumphs with Julia Mackey and Dirk Van Stralen

With over 12 years of touring Jake’s Gift coast to coast to coast (as well as internationally) under their well-travelled belts, Julia and Dirk can give you the low-down and the down-low on all the pitfalls, perils, challenges and rewards of taking your performance on the road. This loosely structured seminar will give you the tools to help keep you happy, while keeping your presenters plenty pleased along the way.

Julia Mackey has worked as an actor, playwright and producer for 25 years. When not on tour with her award winning play, Jake’s Gift, Julia lives here in Wells.

Dirk Van Stralen is an actor, director, stage manager, and an award-winning cartoonist and illustrator. When not on tour with Jake’s Gift, he works in Wells as a freelance graphic designer.

3:00pm – 4:20pm One-on-one sessions - Participants can sign up for up to four 15 minute individual chats with experts in the field.

  • Funders

  • Joanna Maratta, BC Touring Council, Pacific Contact

  • Evie Lavers on Social Media/Marketing

  • Patricia Huntsman- Arts BC: Here to help: Trouble-shooting and information on Community Cultural Forums

  • Rae Spoon Artist and founder of Indie Record Label, COAX Records

  • Dirk Vanstralen and Julia Mackay Touring Artists

  • Jenn Lewis works with Sound for linear and interactive media. Across her 35 years of engagement with it, sound's strength as an emotional story-telling ally, continues to impress and motivate her.

  • Peter Mynett is based out of Victoria and freelances as a musician, sound technician and production manager for festivals and other events across BC. He is a great resource for artists and organizers alike on all things sound.

  • Deb Beaton-Smith is the Founder of Beat Music Management, which began in 2004 in Victoria, BC. Deb’s expertise and versatility has allowed her to hold a varied array of contract positions in the music industry as well as board positions including 4 years with Music BC. Deb's projects include everything from Artist Management to Project Management. She was the Sr. Project Manager for Victoria's 11 day Canada 150 celebrations, the Host Chair and Co-Producer for BreakOut West 2015, the Director of Rifflandia Festival Artist Relations for 9 years and this year the creator and Director of the new 3 day Rifflandia Gathering conference. She has mentored and provided artist management to a number of up and coming artists.

  • Emma Jarrett, Performance Coach - How are you taking your music to the next level? Emma Jarrett’s passion lies in helping the person behind the performance. Using principles from The Alexander Technique, she encourages focus on the mind/body dynamic as a foundation for all performance. This enables the necessary presence of mind and freedom of movement for unleashing creative expression and bringing authentic connection with your art, your collaborators and your audience.

  • Shawn Stephenson is the owner/engineer at Becoming Sound, a unique rural recording and retreat facility located in Ymir BC. He is also a seasoned performer, composer, music educator and the co-founder, co-artistic director and technical director of the annual Tiny Lights Festival in Ymir, BC, now in its 8th year.

  • Carla Stephenson is co-founder and executive director of the Tiny Lights Festival in Ymir B.C, she serves on the board of Island Mountain Arts, and holds a diploma in CED from SFU. Her passion is providing opportunities for artists and encouraging rural development through the Arts. She lives with her husband Shawn in Ymir where they also run Becoming Sound Studio.

  • Paul Crawford is a co-founder/producer of the ArtsWells Festival and producer of the International One Minute Play Festival. Besides festivals, the other hat he wears is the Director/Curator of the Penticton Art Gallery. He has a lifelong passion for history, Canadian art and art history. In addition he serves on the boards of Island Mountain Arts and is on the City of Penticton’s Public Arts Advisory Committee.

  • Julie Fowler, Executive and Artistic Director for Island Mountain Arts and the ArtsWells Festival. With over 15 years of experience in non-profit management and festival direction, Julie is a resource in all aspects of organizational development. Julie also sits on the boards of Arts BC and Folk Music Canada.

4:20pm - Formal closing off of the day, overview of offerings

Head back to Wells for dinner and showcases

5:00pm - 7:30pm Barkerville Brewing Tasting - Wells Hotel Pub. Buffet at the Wells Hotel Pooley Street Cafe (pre-registration required). Dinner also available at the Jack O’ Clubs and the Northwoods Cafe in Wells

7:30pm – 10:00pm - Evening Musical Showcases - Sunset Theatre, Wells (exact times and order TBA)

Banjoman: Imagine a hoedown in which Jimi Hendrix comes back from the dead and uses his impressive skill to have some fun by picking up a banjo and start jamming bluegrass, soul and rock.

Noah Derksen: Influenced by the contrasting cultures of Canadian prairies and the west, Noah Derksen writes with the groundedness of harsh Manitoba winters mixed with the optimism of British Columbia’s coastline.

Ms. Panik: Loop Poet & Wholesome* MC From the Unceeded Territory of the Xaayda (HAIDA) Nation. Acoustic guitar and spectacular R&B Soul vocals are fused together for intimate acoustic performances. Loop pedal driven; hip hop, folk rock & neo-soul influenced productions on stage - combine looped rhythms w/ sampled & live percussion + layered guitar + melodic harmonies. Her poetic verses burst forth in powerful emotionally engaging performances - very often improvised freestyle tailored unique for the energy of each audience.

Rae Spoon: Rae Spoon is an award-winning non-binary musician and author. They have released nine solo albums spanning folk, indie rock and electronic genres and have toured across Canada and internationally.

Shirley Gnome : Gnome is subversive, empowering, and not for the faint of heart. The Edmonton Journal calls her “the Queen troubadour of intelligent black comic sex balladry”.

Saturday, October 20

Breakfast starts 8:30am (included with registration)

9am – 12pm – Open Space Discussion – Burning Issues! What people really wanting to connect and talk about!? Opportunity to host a space/discussion responding to Friday emerging issues. The goal of an Open Space Technology meeting is to create time and space for people to engage deeply and creatively around issues of concern to them. The agenda is set by people with the power and desire to see it through, and typically, Open Space meetings result in transformative experiences for the individuals and groups involved.

12:00pm - 1:00pm - Lunch – (included with registration)

Head back to Wells to the Sunset Theatre

1:30pm – 3:00pm - Sunset Theatre
Collective Story Harvest Safe Spaces/Self Care

Objectives: creation of safe space, within the topic of safe space, share safe space learnings, practices, listening and deep listening


Rae Spoon is an award-winning Canadian musician, songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist and author. They have released nine solo albums spanning folk, indie rock and electronic genres over the past fifteen years and have toured across Canada and internationally. Rae was the subject and composer of the score for the National Film Board–produced musical-documentary My Prairie Home, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2014. They have been nominated for two Polaris Prizes, a Lambda Literary Award and a Western Canadian Music Award.

In 2015 Rae started Coax Records and subsequently released twenty albums by artists all over Canada, the USA and Europe. They work with artists in many genres from electronic and indie rock to klezmer and folk music. They work with Outside Distribution and the Orchard to distribute artist’s albums in stores in Canada and digitally word-wide. Rae has work on career development with Toronto’s Lal, Juno Award winning artists Quantum Tangle, Canadian Folk Music Award winning artist Abigail Lapell and Edmonton Music Award winners Concealer. Albums from Coax Records have received wide air-play topping chards on CBC Radio 2, Radio 3 and the Earshot campus radio.

Karen Jeffrey – A theatre professional of over 30 years Karen juggles her passion of theatre between acting, singing, producing, designing, writing and being an arts administrator. In 1999 Karen purchased the Sunset Theatre in Wells BC and with her husband Dave restored it beyond its former glory. The Sunset Theatre Society was formed in 2000 for the purposes of bringing professional theatre to the Cariboo region dedicated to the creation of new plays. Karen went to theatre school in New York at HB Studios after spending a short time at Studio 58 in Vancouver and has worked professionally in Toronto, Stratford, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver and even spent some time in Nashville, living in a tent pursuing a career as a country and western singer. Not afraid of new frontiers, Karen accepted a contract with the 2010 Vancouver Olympics responsible for creating the cultural programming for the Athletes Villages and an 18 day Arts and Cultural Festival for the 2015 Canada Winter Games. Karen now splits her time between the Sunset Theatre in Wells, and Lions Bay BC, where she calls home with her two younger children, a dog named Stella and her husband Dave.

Ms. PANIK (aka Vira Danyk) is a Loop Poet & Wholesome* MC From the Unceeded Territory of the Xaayda (HAIDA) Nation. Acoustic guitar and spectacular R&B Soul vocals are fused together for intimate acoustic performances. Loop pedal driven; hip hop, folk rock & neo-soul influenced productions on stage - combine looped rhythms w/ sampled & live percussion + layered guitar + melodic harmonies. Her poetic verses burst forth in powerful emotionally engaging performances - very often improvised freestyle tailored unique for the energy of each audience.

Britt Meierhofer is a professional musician, composer, writer and events instigator with a knack for promotion and generating excitement within her community. Britt studied Contemporary Music and Technology at Selkirk College in Nelson, BC, and has toured across North America with various musical projects. As founder of Good Egg Records ( and co-founder of Girls Rock Camp North (, Britt is passionate about growing and sustaining a thriving music scene in Prince George as well as creating culture around DIY and grassroots initiatives. Her works can be found at

4:00pm – 5pm - Sunset Theatre
Sunset Theatre Exploration Series: Breastless by Emma Jarrett, Dramaturgy and Director Danette Bouche
Developed at the Sunset Theatre in Wells as part of their Exploration Series, this one-woman show was written once the shock had dissipated from my diagnosis of and treatment for breast cancer. Sometimes humorous, often thoughtful and quizzical, this roller coaster ride of emotion is an honest portrayal of being at the mercy of modern medicine, saved by the care of other practitioners and buoyed up by loved ones.

The Exploration Series is the incubator for new works. The Sunset Theatre nurtures each play and artist involved at the varying stages of their own development from emerging to senior artist. It is the umbrella for new play development ranging from scrapbooking to premiere production. This signature series has cultivated a successful reputation giving rise to new voices, including our BC Indigenous communities.

As a creative hub fostering excellence through art the Sunset supports theatre and artist at any phase of their development. We respect, encourage and nurture creative autonomy for the playwright regardless of their previous experience. Each project can enter the process at any point in its development with the eventual intended result of premiere production at the Sunset Theatre.

3:30pm – 5pm, Island Mountain Arts Gallery (2323 Pooley Street, Wells) Creative BC Info Session - Free entry, registration not required - Concurrent

Attend the Amplify BC info session at Northern Exposure to learn more about funding programs and how to apply. Get an overview of all programs, with specific details on the Live Music and Music Industry Initiatives programs, which are now accepting applications.

5:00pm - 7:00pm - Dinner Break - Dinner available at the Pooley Street Cafe, Jack O’ Clubs and the Northwoods Cafe in Wells.

7:30pm – 10:00pm - Evening Musical Showcases - Sunset Theatre, Wells (exact times and order TBA)

Jenny Banai: ‘A remarkably talented singer. Her voice is agile and expressive, with uncommon power and control’ (Radio Host and Hip Hop Artist, Shad). Jenny Banai is armed with classical training on both voice and violin. Performing live on electric guitar, she ‘stuns audiences with her intriguing songs and her charming unpretentious presentation,’ bringing a unique vision to the creation of powerful progressive pop.

Steve Brockley: You’ll find Steve Brockley singing from behind the drums joined by 3 like-minded musicians. A soulful approach to folk, engaging energy, and a laid-back affair

Danny Bell And His Disappointments: Danny Bell writes accordion-based folk music. His songs are pure & simple, sweeping superfluity off of the table so we can stay near the filthy ground.

Sunday, October 21

Breakfast starts 8:30am (included with registration) - Deluxe Bacon and Eggs

9am – 10:30am – Funding Round up
Creative BC (Brenda Grunau), Canadian Heritage (Jessica Isman) and BCAC (Monique Lacerte), BC Touring Council (Joanna Maratta), Arts BC (Patricia Huntsman)

11:00am - 12:00pm - Conference Wrap up and Goal Setting

12:00pm - 1:00pm - Lunch – Barkerville (included with registration)

1:00pm – 2:00pm –Acoustic Showcases in Barkerville at the Methodist Church - Free to the public

William Kuklis: Prolific singer-songwriter William Kuklis grips audiences with his powerhouse vocals, emotion and charisma. Kuklis has been compared to greats such as Matt Andersen, Van Morrison, Steven Page, and John Popper.

Richard Garvey: Richard Garvey is guitar-strumming, banjo-plucking, and sing-along-starting performer and community organizer from Kitchener. His award winning songs explore the highs and lows of love, injustice, and the marbled mess of the human condition. Whether he’s playing to a living room or an amphitheatre, Richard brings clever songs and a sly sense of humour to inspire solidarity, hope, and change. If you’re looking for the latest incarnation of world-changing, foot-stomping, and heart-filling folk music, see Richard Garvey.

2:00pm Final Closing Circle with Kelly Poirier

Participants head off

Participants can attend the Quesnel Live Arts, "BC World Music Collective", Chuck Mobley Theatre, Sun, October 21, 7:30pm – 10:00pm $5 off with Conference registration.