What is CiCAC?

The Centre for Innovation in Culture and the Arts in Canada is located at Thompson Rivers University (Kamloops, BC, Canada) and is directed through the Canada Research Chair in Cultural and Artistic Inquiry.

The Centre’s goals are threefold: (1) to develop a collaborative network of artist-researchers who will explore the social, economic, and political implications of the concept of the global-in-the-local through their cultural production (focussing on new media, literary, visual, and performance arts); (2) to disseminate this cultural production widely and to the general public through a variety of means including publication, new media events, curatorial projects, exhibitions, and public symposia, and 3) to create an environment of support for artist-researchers through a residency component that allows for sustained practice, experimentation, and innovation.

This third component will be critical in supporting the overall mandate of CiCAC in that it will allow artist-researchers time, opportunity, and resources to develop new work in a supportive climate. Traditional artist residencies in Canada tend to support project-based proposals in either individual/isolated or thematic/group environments. Such residencies provide a very necessary space for development and completion of projects, providing artists with time, space, and resources to produce work. While The Centre for Innovation in Culture and the Arts in Canada intends to provide a similar type of residency, at the heart of its mandate is a focus on reflection, innovation, and socio-political engagement. CiCAC will provide space for artists and public intellectuals from Canada and other nations to contemplate new possibilities, experiment with different technologies and parameters, and engage with a vibrant institution that involves graduate/undergraduate students, faculty, and community members. Most importantly, CiCAC will endeavour to provide a cost-neutral environment and will seek to provide additional stipends for visiting artists so that residents are unencumbered with the type of debt or fundraising-requirements often incurred in other similar programs.

CiCAC is physically set as a media lab with a series of editing suites, video and audio gear, and large-format printers, making this ideal for new media artists. However, the physical space of CiCAC is also fluid and malleable such that individual (or group) artist needs can be met. The space can be a small seminar space, a viewing area, a design studio, or any number of other spaces demanded and required by the resident(s). A virtual environment which allows for archiving materials, video/audio-streaming, and international networking is also an intrinsic element of CiCAC.

Financial support from external funders will go primarily to fund visiting artists, artist-researchers, and their projects. General operating and staffing costs are covered through the auspices of the Canada Research Chair in Cultural and Artistic Inquiry.