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Non-profit organization seeking more Aboriginal artists

Wednesday September 3, 2014

Aspiring artists, musicians, and writers, grab your work because Weird Canada is looking for you.

Weird Canada is a non-profit arts initiative with over 300 volunteers that all have one thing in common: a love for art. What originally started as a music blog that focused purely on Canadian music has turned into a nation-wide organization with volunteers located in every province and even some from the North.

Now they have become broader and write not only about music, but art, books, and even venues for galleries or concerts.

But even with all these volunteers they’re still looking for more diversity.

Charlotte White, volunteer for Weird Canada, says diversity has always been their main objective, and continues to look for more Aboriginal artists.

“I’m sure there’s many (Aboriginals) out there but not many have identified if there is,” said White. “As far as I know I’m the only Aboriginal person volunteering. This is another outreach so that Aboriginal people can have more of a voice.”

“I’m sure there’s lots of Aboriginal people that like this kind of music, books, and art as well. So just because you’re Aboriginal doesn’t mean you have to write about Aboriginal stuff. You can write about whatever you want if you want to be a writer,” said White.

Even though people write from larger cities across Canada, White encourages people from small towns to write for them.

“If you want to say ‘this is what’s happening in my community’, let us know what’s happening in the community, because we don’t always know. We’re a Canada wide initiative. We have volunteers from coast to coast, literally every province and hopefully every territory. We’re just trying to bring in more diversity,” said White.

“It helps tremendously to have people from small communities. I live in Toronto, how am I going to know what’s happening in a small community unless we have someone there?” said White.

While it seems that this organization is based purely on writing, that isn’t the case.

“Volunteers range in so many capacities. Some volunteer’s write and that can be about anything they like. If you just want to be the person that says ‘I found something really cool and someone should write about it’ there’s that option. You can go into those suggestions and write about it,” said White.

“Volunteers also do things like administrative stuff. So outreach, someone could help take care of organizing volunteers, how do you organize 300 volunteers? We’re kind of working in unison.
There’s a ton of things. Editing, people who put together images for like ideas pieces, which are like essays that can be on pretty much every topic,” said White.

“So you’re not always writing, but there’s always something to do. If there isn’t a job for you, then people ultimately talk to us and we make that happen. Whatever it is you want to do.“

Weird Canada also does small music festivals that showcase what they’re about, and just recently teamed up with Sappyfest in New Brunswick to showcase musicians that capture their organization.

For all those artists out there trying to get their work out in the world have no fear, they’re not only looking for volunteers.

“Besides being a volunteer, we also welcome submissions of any kind. So music, art, books, maybe you made a music video that’s really interesting, you can do that as well through our website,” said White.

If interested in this, visit their website at weirdcanada.com/volunteering or contact Charlotte White at outreach@weirdcanada.com.


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