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Community media arts centre hopes for support amid financial struggles


Ed Video, a non-profit media arts production centre in Guelph, is dealing with financial struggles and hoping to get community support.

After being in a unique hub for artists for 48 years, the executive director points to the pandemic, as one of the primary reasons for their recent challenges.

“None of the hands-on documentary shooting or camera operation or lighting or anything like that could happen,” said executive director Liz Dent.

Ed Video rents out production equipment to members, provides workshops and programs, and helps artists get their work out there by promoting it. They also pay artists when their work is featured.

“The average income of an artist in Canada is approximately $12,000 a year – so they need help,” Dent admitted.

Liz Dent, executive director of Ed Video, sits in front of a lighting kit from Ed Video. (CTV News/Heather Senoran)

Staff have considered things like cutting programming or selling their equipment to stay afloat, but after a meeting, many members said they didn’t want that.

The goal is to raise $20,000 by the end of March, which will help them get through this year. They’ve already received more than $15,000 through community donations. But they’ll still need more after that, for future years.

“In the long-term we would need to raise another 20, perhaps 28 [thousand],” Dent said.

Waterloo artist

Racquel Rowe now lives in Waterloo but came to Canada as an international student before becomming a member at Ed Video.

One of the videos playing in Ed Video’s gallery is made by Rowe and shows her going back to her Barbadian roots, learning how to making traditional sweet bread with her grandmother.

“This is filmed in Barbados with the Ed Video equipment but edited here at the centre,” Rowe told CTV News.

Racquel Rowe makes sweet bread with her grandmother in one of her videos. (Submitted/Racquel Rowe)

Rowe said she owes a lot of her success to Ed Video.

“If Ed Video wasn’t here, I don't think my trajectory would be the same or my work or my career as an artist,” she said. “It's not just technical support it's like workshops, exhibitions, help with grant writing. They really offer artists a lot.”

Rowe calls it more than just a place to learn. It’s also a close-knit community where she feels at home and well-supported every step of the way.

Staff at Ed Video said they are hopeful they will be able to keep all of their programming alive and keep offering their high-quality equipment to members to create with.

“The arts are a critical part of our society,” Dent said.

Ed Video said to date, they’ve helped develop over 8,000 independent productions, produced over 3,000 exhibitions and provided more than 60,000 hours of hands-on instruction. Top Stories

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