Local artist Lady Dia has been selected as the City of Kelowna’s 2021 artist in residence.
Sometime within the next few weeks, Dia is planning on releasing a community-centred project, The Jam, which is designed to discuss and shape the future of a more inclusive Kelowna.
Through Dia’s project, the city said that it opens the doors for programming for children by giving them the opportunity to listen to the voices of others, while simultaneously helping youth understand their role in the community.
“Residents will be invited to gather with administrators, leaders and stakeholders in the creative sector,” said the city. “Here they will listen to and discuss ways to create a culture of collaboration that better captures the voices of Indigenous, Black and People of Colour in the future of Kelowna’s creative sector.”
In April, Dia was named as one of 16 recipients of a $10,000 Telus Storyhive grant, allowing her to launch a podcast titled MoM:ents, which focuses on Okanagan-based mothers and creators and how they balance caring for their children while pursuing their dreams.
Christine McWillis, the city’s cultural services manager, said that she is thrilled to have Dia find new ways to connect with the community in the program’s second year.
“Last year, our artist in residence program was a bright light in an otherwise challenging year, and the artist was able to creatively connect community members together when the world was asked to disconnect,” said McWillis.
According to the city, the goal of the program is to “broaden the community’s experience with arts and culture and stimulate thoughtful conversation on local topics.” The selected artist does not actually stay at a live-in residency. Rather, they are required to work in Kelowna for the duration of the project.
— With files from Twila Amato