Ground: Media Art Conference

AMAAS Conference June 2015 group photo_1AMAAS Conf coverMany thanks to everyone for a successful GROUND Media Art Conference in Drumheller June 2015.

Next conference is already being planned for Canmore in June 2017.



Edit-a-thonWhen you search “Alberta arts” in Wikipedia what comes up “The Alberta Arts District” in Portland, Oregon. There is plenty of incredible media art, artists and organizations in our province but little is represented on the largest free source of information in the world.

This weekend YOU can contribute to public knowledge by editing a page or contributing a new page.

We’ll show you how! Look for the AMAAS Media Arts Edit-a-thon booth. Bring ideas, content, images to build more knowledge about media art and media arts organizations in Alberta.

Why run an edit-a-thon? click here for more details.

Grounded vs Grounding with Terry Scerbak, Brenda Lieberman, Cameron McGowan and Tim Rutherford

A conversation with Terry Scerbak and Brenda Lieberman and Cameron McGowan and Tim Rutherford facilitated by AMAAS Board member Yvonne Abusow.

In any electrical circuit, there are two wires needed to complete any circuit. One is called the “hot wire” and the other is called “neutral” or “grounded”. In the spirit of a well grounded conference, Film Festival Producers and Filmmakers will discuss the nature of their artistic relationship. How can a filmmaker improve their chances to have their film accepted? What are film festivals looking for? What are the common mistakes that filmmakers make when submitting to festivals? What about Submission Fees? Screening Fees? Two festival producers will share their opinions.Two Filmmakers respond.


Tim Rutherford has been a lover of B-movies since he was child. Inspired by the creative passion instilled in them he’s pursued dreams to become a maker of genre films. Doing everything from writing, SFX, sound design, producing and directing Tim hopes to inspire the next generation of digital film makers.

Terry Scerbak is the Founder and Director of the Reel Shorts Film Festival in Grande Prairie. Over the festival’s 9 years, she and Scott Belyea developed training initiatives that have led to a thriving filmmaking community. She believes in starting young: over 1,700 Grade 1-12 students attended screenings in 2015.

Cameron Macgowan is a Calgary-based filmmaker. His work has won awards and garnered critical acclaim at international film festivals across the world including SXSW, Fantasia and the Toronto International Film Festival. McGowan is a member of the Canadian film collective North Country Cinema.

Brenda Lieberman has been programming since 1999, and is currently the Festival Director for the Calgary Underground Film Festival, and the Programming Manager and Senior Features Programmer with the Calgary International Film Festival. She has contract programmed for many organizations and specialty screenings, as well participated in several jury’s and panels Internationally.



Filmmaking as Poetic Imagery – Theme: Drumheller

With Sandi Somers218bf22
Would you like to write a poem and create visual poetry in the badlands of Drumheller?  Then this is the workshop for you!  Challenged by tight timelines you will complete a visual poem on ‘Drumheller’. There’s no need to prepare anything, just come and be ready for a fun-filled challenge!
Bring your own camera, smartphone, or use the Photo Booth from your laptop and bring your own editing system on your phone or in your computer.  The films will be screened after the AGM!
Explore, express and expand!
Friday June 12
10 – noon in Drumheller. Meet at the Heartwood Inn 320 North Railway Avenue East

Pre-registration required email or call 587-832-2627 with any questions. Maximum # participants – 6 Free with registration to GROUND – Media Arts Conference. 

Requirements – imagination, a camera of any sort, and your editing system (either in your phone, your computer or in your camera).  We provide the structure, but not the tech!
Pre-requisites – just the wish to play and create and to be able to use your own camera and edit your work within the 2 hour time line!
Sandi Somers is a multi-award-winning film and video artist whose work has been featured across North America and in festivals around the world.  With over 70 films behind her and over 20 nominations for her films, Sandi continues to create thought-provoking works in various genres.  She creates dance films, music videos, video poems, dramas, comedies,  and video installations.  Sandi was the recipient of AMAAS’  Spirit of Helen Award for her contributions to Alberta’s media arts, was a co-creator, facilitator and instructor for herland’s IN:Camera Film and Video Production Workshop, she regularly facilitates workshops for media arts centres in Alberta such as CSIF where she has held creative workshops as well as instructed for their How To Make A Film School.   Sandi is a current member and past board member of CSIF, EMMEDIA and Fairy Tales Presentation Society where she sits on the Programming Committee and facilities the Creative Workshop (writing and directing) Queer Youth Media Project.

Sponsored by Calgary Economic Development; Film Commission







Common Ground with Eva Colmers, Gary James Joynes & aAron munson


Media Art Production Collaborations from start to finish. How to make it work. What are advantages? What are the challenges? Some success stories; how to start, what’s a realistic timeline/production schedule? What to look for in a collaborator? How is ownership determined? How do you establish roles and responsibilities? Are funders favourable to collaborators? What are potential models? What kind of ideas or skill sets could form the basis of a successful collaborative media art production. aAron, Eva and Gary share their groundbreaking film and collaboration experience. We are excited to showcase their collaborative film 2.57K.

Sponsored by Alberta Media Production Industries Association & Film and Video Arts Society

Here’s what the Common Ground artists have to say about the AMAAS conference:

“The stimulating artist presentations and the socializing opportunities with other filmmakers are always my two main reasons for attending the annual AMAAS conferences.
Last AMAAS conference in Waterton was particularly “fruitful” and crucial for me. Invited media-sound artist Gary James Joynes gave an amazing live performance which led us to inspired talks and walks, more follow-up meetings in Edmonton and the subsequent rewarding collaboration on the truly unique shortfilm 2.57k.  A big thank you to AMAAS for making such nourishing artist exchanges possible”!     Eva Colmers

“I feel very fortunate to have been invited to perform at the last AMASS conference in Waterton. I was introduced to a new community of Alberta creatives and enjoyed many great conversations which have prospered into a number of new professional relationships. Eva Colmers and I first discussed the possibilities of collaborating in Waterton which has lead to a wonderful new art film project recently completed entitled 2.57k. This film collaboration with Eva and cinematographer/editor aAron Munson has turned out to be one of the most personally rewarding projects of my career so far. Thank you AMAAS”!     GJJ

AMAAS presents Ground: Media Art Conference 2015

Thursday June 11 – June 14, 2015

AMAAS views the Conference and Symposium as one of the most important roles of our umbrella organization. We offer media artists and media arts organizations the platform to learn, network, collaborate and build a strong media arts community in our province.
Register Online


  • screening of Prairie Tales 17
  • professional development opportunities
  • AMAAS membership renewal and AGM
  • networking with media artists from across the province
  • workshops at the new Badlands Community Facility
  • tours of the badlands, dinner at the Last Chance Saloon
  • Spirit of Helen Award presentation, dinner and music
  • live music, live media art, outdoor screenings

Conference Registration

$150 per person Early Bird until May 1
$200 per person May 1 – June 1

OR:  $85/per day ($50/per day if you find your own accommodation)

  • Thursday June 11 evening Prairie Tales Screening & Reception
  • Friday June 12 Badlands tour and Wayne Hotel dinner/music/screening
  • Saturday June 13 Conference content/workshops
  • Sunday June 14 Conference content/AGM/Wrapup

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