CreativePEI is leading a process to establish a new Creative Hub for PEI. Imagine a vibrant and collaborative space in Charlottetown, PEI, where individuals and organizations from a range of arts and creative disciplines can build their skills, create, collaborate and innovate.
Potential sites for the Creative Hub are currently being evaluated and CreativePEI is now launching a Request for Expressions of Interest for artists and creative professionals; arts, cultural and community organizations; creative businesses; and potential project and program partners. If you are interested in renting space, participating in programming or partnering in the Hub development, we want to hear from you!
A full description of the project and information on how to prepare and submit an Expression of Interest is available in the REOI Document. Prior to submitting an Expression of Interest, interested parties are strongly encouraged to review this document in its entirety.
To submit a Statement of Interest, please complete this online form.
- Virtual Information sessions were held on June 9 and 16. You can view the presentation deck here. Please keep in mind that the presentation represents our best guess as to what the hub could be. Please feel free to propose other types of spaces even if you don’t see them here.
- REOI Limitations
Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Unsplash
This may not be the case with the Creative Hub. However, in my experience over the decades I’ve found that these types of initiatives are fairly elitist. Meaning that they are geared to people with a certain income and not accessible for people who don’t have money or the money to create. They are not supportive or CREATIVE in terms of creating spaces that allow for single parents with children to participate. When I was a young woman in my early 20s, in 30s, in my 40s and now in my 50s, I tried to participate in these kinds of initiatives in Victoria, BC; Vancouver, PEI (in the mid-90s to 2001 and again since I returned in 2013), Central Alberta, Halifax and the Sunshine Coast, BC and never did get involved because they weren’t accessible to my single-parent-little money status, or they didn’t feel welcoming because they were all White organizations/members/income brackets or they aren’t accessible physically. It’s pretty much that way with a lot of the art initiatives of all types in the 40 years. There are some brilliant creative people from youths to seniors who don’t have the opportunities to participate because they don’t have the income, or they don’t feel welcomed.
I’m sure you’ve also seen some positive examples.
I grew up as a first generation Canadian with no extra benefits.
My parents were explorers and adventurers and exposed me to so much
culture. They didn’t have money as they were starting out in a new country.
It didn’t cost money to go to a gallery, hike a trail, go to a free concert for kids, an
event at the library, festivals. I’m so grateful for what I was exposed to and how it
inspired me to do the same as a parent. I don’t believe in generalizing about groups of people.
Hi Stephanie. Thanks for your important comment. We at CreativePEI are determined that the hub will not be elitist. Our firm intent is to make it affordable and welcoming to anyone pursuing an arts practice or a career as a creative professional.
I would love for there to be rental equipment available at little to no cost, especially photography equipment since it is an artistic medium that often requires spending lots of money to get started. Lighting, lenses, studio space… It could be a fantastic opportunity to get people who wouldn’t normally have disposable income involved in the art of photography.
Great idea, Kari. You may also want to check out FilmPEI. They are a member-based organization that rents out all kinds of equipment, including some photography equipment, at very reasonable rates. https://www.filmpei.com/
Mark from CreativePEI here. We have simplified the Expression of Interest form. If you have already started completing the old form, you can still send it to us. But if you want to start over using the new form, that’s fine too. The old forms can be sent to email@example.com
Stephanie makes an excellent point. I think it’s important to consider the ways creative hubs are made inaccessible to the actual realities of working artists who are continually undervalued and underpaid. It should be asked – how much are artists in the region who want to access the hub actually able to pay for studio spaces and services? What can the creative hub offer that recognizes excellence in the field and doesn’t just prioritize those who can pay? I’d also note that the name “creative hub” is very much directly from business language and it’s not a very clear or approachable term for artists who work outside of a commercial approach to art. I think the terms Cultural Centre or Arts Centre, etc. are better understood and more welcoming to most independent creatives. For example, the Aberdeen Cultural Centre is an amazing centre in Moncton, NB that is the heart of their arts community. IMO that centre strikes a perfect balance as a home to a commercial gallery, an artist-run centre, an event space, a print shop, a dance studio, studio spaces, etc. They are certainly a model worth looking into.
I’m an artist who grew up on the island and I currently live in Montreal and I’ve seen other useful examples here of what’s possible. Montreal has a series of city organised studio spaces called Ateliers Créatifs Montréals – they are buildings located around the city with studios for rent that are well maintained, have communal kitchens, and large elevators that are very useful. The reality is these spaces are too expensive for most full-time practising artists who are excelling in their fields but are unfortunately underpaid – these studios are instead usually occupied by creative businesses (often mostly architect offices, store warehouses, fashion lines, printer/publishers, etc.), amateur artists who have retired from well-paying careers, and professional artists who have well-paying secondary jobs and so are barely able to use the spaces. These groups can all have their place, but it doesn’t help the underprivileged artists and groups that need affordable spaces the most (who the spaces were originally imagined for anyways). Their studio spaces range from $500 – $2000 a month and there are long waitlists. Most artists I know here look for studio spaces in the $200 – $500 range. The actual spaces that many active artists rent are in repurposed factories or warehouses that are waiting to be redeveloped and are poorly maintained, but have many individual studio or shared studio spaces in the $200 – $500 range. I have a studio space in a building such as this for $290, and I’m very lucky to have a grant to help support me in renting it, otherwise I would need something even less expensive.
Things to seriously consider for accessibility: Can a number of spaces be reserved for marginalised groups and offered at a lower/subsidised rate? For groups like early-career artists (under 5 years of practice), artists living in rural communities, BIPOC artists, senior artists, artists who are parents, etc. There can be a call for submissions and a jury process to select a predetermined number of artists to ensure that marginalised groups will have the opportunity to have an affordable studio space. It also makes it an exciting accomplishment if you’re selected for a subsidised space – you’ve demonstrated excellence in your field that can be included on your CV. Fonderie Darling is a gallery that offers spaces such as this in Montreal and is an excellent example: https://fonderiedarling.org/en/studios/ “Of the thirteen studios, nine are reserved for Montreal emerging artists in the visual arts for professional purposes.” Also, having some shared studio spaces that are administered by the centre can be more feasible for early-career artists. They can just sign on for an individual space in the shared studio and pay their monthly rent to the Hub directly. A low price is essential to them and they are fine with not as much space, but they are sometimes not ready or in a financial position to organise a whole shared studio space by themselves. The prices I’ve mentioned are Montreal based, but I imagine they would not be so far off from what I’d expect on PEI, in my experience at least.
The thought of having a centre like the Aberdeen Cultural Centre on PEI is really exciting to me and I hope this is a successful project!
Thanks, Lisa, for your detailed and insightful comments. This is great input. We too love the Aberdeen Cultural Centre in Moncton and we will definitely check out Fonderie Darling. Keeping rents low is a very high priority for us as is empowering marginalized groups.