Because the results of the workshop will be screened online at the Festival, all participants will be asked to sign a Media Release form in order to participate. The Media Release form gives permission to Kitsilano Neighbourhood House and Vancouver Foundation to use your film and name on their website, in education programs and more. If you are a minor, a parent or guardian will need to sign this release.

Who is leading the workshop?

Hi! My name is Ellen, and I’m a playwright, lyricist, composer and DIY filmmaker/digital storyteller from Vancouver. I’m a proud member of the 2020 Highland Arts Theatre Playwrights Unit, and a recent MFA graduate from the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. I have an especially large love for music-based storytelling, and have written musicals that have been performed in NYC (New Studio Broadway, NAAP: Discover New Musicals, Bowery Electric), Vancouver (Touchstone Theatre/In Tune Musical Theatre Festival (turned into a digital short), Fringe), and Edmonton (Fringe). I have also worked in documentary film (’99 Snapshots - Story & Photography Assistant), and have made many narrative solo and collaborative DIY digital shorts. I’ve also worked behind-the-scenes at the Vancouver Writers Festival and for the Secret Lantern Society. I have always loved the arts in Vancouver, though I’ve also spent considerable time away, being based primarily in NYC since 2015. I’ve always been a wandering soul, looking for stories, and for myself, in other parts of the world.

Like many people in creative industries (which have been completely disrupted by COVID-19), I returned home to shelter with my family this spring. Wandering the streets of Dunbar, where I grew up, I started to think more about the place I come from. What are the stories of this place, however small it may seem? Don’t these stories deserve to be heard, too?

It’s a hard time to be an artist, but it’s also an amazing time to be an artist, because we are finding ourselves having to be truly creative to get through this crisis. We have so many stories to tell, and so many people to reach, despite everything that is awful in this world. And digital storytelling, in all its different aspects, is an amazing way to do that.