During COVID-19, the Flin Flon Arts Council has shifted away from live, in-person programs toward livestreaming events. The council now wants to spread the word and help others who want to broadcast their goings-on to others.
Having learned some lessons from community members with technical know-how, arts council cultural coordinator Crystal Kolt said the group hopes to hold streaming workshops and provide equipment to stream events whenever they're able to.
“We are interested in promoting quality, multi-stream live streaming. There’s people part of this whole to-do group, like Trevor Sytnick and myself, the Blueberry Jam team and the Arts Council team. We’ve dedicated money toward purchasing equipment for livestreaming,” she said.
Kolt said some members of Flin Flon’s arts scene, particularly Sytnick, have reached out to event streaming experts and the FFAC is planning to hold a mentorship for people interested in streaming shows and events.
Before COVID-19, the arts council occasionally streamed events for people who could not attend for various reasons. Since the pandemic began, the council has leaned heavily on livestreams, when several events were cancelled and others were only able to be held with limited audiences. Now, with audiences not allowed at most arts events, the only people who will be watching shows these days are at home on the couch.
Livestreaming allows people to watch and listen to concerts, shows, announcements and events from home, taking part while keeping distant from others. Kolt hopes to spread that message to others, allowing people staying at home to take in new events and allowing new businesses and groups to find a captive audience.
“The reason why we’re investing in this equipment is that we're hoping we can make it available, provided we can have enough people trained enough to do it, to be able to have that for businesses or whomever wants to be able to do livestreaming of some quality,” she said.
“That’s how we’re going to be doing it for the next who knows how long until COVID-19 itself is under control.”
Kolt said the group likely would not lean so much on livestreaming if not for the pandemic, but that the lessons learned will still apply once life returns to normal.
“In some ways, it’s forcing our hand, but all the skills we’ve learned, we’re not going to go back, once we have this knowledge and we have the tools. It’s like once we had professional sound and lights or a professional director for musical theatre productions - this is the standard and this is what you want to be able to do,” Kolt said.
“I can imagine when we’re happily back into full, live productions, it will still be nice to be able to have a livestreamed production or professional production for people that don’t live in Flin Flon and want to see it.”