ARISAIG: After months of preparation, a province-wide, interactive, multi-medium treasure-hunt app of artistic expression from established and emerging artists features one passionate group of youth from the Antigonish area.
The application 50 Things: A Province-wide Art Adventure went live in the app store earlier this month and is a collaboration between Ecology Action Centre (EAC) and Zuppa Theatre Co., inspired by the past 50 years of environmental activism across Mi’kma’ki (Nova Scotia).
The artworks have been embedded in locations throughout the province, waiting to be discovered though the app, which is available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Stores, including one location at the Arisaig Lighthouse.
When people using the free app get close to trigger locations, the app will “unlock” the art; each piece has been intended to be experienced in a certain place, mindful of the surrounding environment and the history.
Dan Bray, a multidisciplinary, white settler artist and recent Antigonish import who is currently the festival coordinator for the Antigonight: Art After Dark Festival, showcases a video of The Earth Savers Club.
“The Earth Savers Club is a group of children, it was started by my niece Juniper, who is eight-years-old now,” Bray told The Reporter. “She and her brother live on this large, organic farm in Meadow Green just outside Antigonish, called Big Barn Little Farm; and have grown up in this utopia.”
He suggested his niece Juniper Frankland and his nephew Beecher Frankland started the club with their friends because the environment is very important to them.
“They go around and pick up garbage, they’ll do beach cleanups, like the one I filmed,” Bray said. “Juniper also sells bouquets at the market every week and then gives the money to different environmental charities as well.”
He suggested his niece is really concerned about the Earth and is really trying to do whatever part she can in order to save it, which is why she started the club with her friends, Caleb Landry, Sebby Landry, Sonny O’Brien, Aibhlinn Curry and Ella Maybee.
“I think it is amazing,” Bray said. “That’s why I made this short film, these kids are young enough they’re not jaded yet, but I think their pro-activeness will prevent them from becoming jaded in the future, which is really important.”
After watching the kids go for a bit, he thought this would make for a neat project, but when he heard about the project in collaboration with the Zuppa Theatre and after looking through the different options, he thought it was a perfect fit.
“How many people have a niece and a nephew that run their own environmentalism agency, I thought it was a great opportunity, they’re just doing it to have some fun and save the Earth,” Bray said. “I thought it was a great opportunity to let people know this is happening in Antigonish and something people can get behind, I think it’s inspiring.”
He suggested he doesn’t know if the group fully understands the concept of the app itself, but he can say, the group was beyond excited to see themselves in a video and are hoping that it might help generate some interest and help get them some new memberships and attention.
“We hope this project will be an opportunity for people living in Mi’kma’ki to reflect on the legacy of environmental activism in our province, and that it will spark our imaginations for where we need to go from here as a movement, in these remarkable times we’re living through,” Joanna Bull, community engagement manager with EAC said. “We’re really excited to see the stories of the past 50 years come alive in the hands of these amazing artists.”
The project will carry on through Nocturne, ending on Sunday, October 17.