Let’s dance together into a green economy across New Brunswick

Written by Brian Beaton on January 21, 2019

Celebrating New Brunswick’s innovative spirit is one purpose of a new cellphone music video competition seeking creative music, lyrics and video material from local musicians, songwriters and video producers. Everyone in New Brunswick is invited to submit contest entries before the March 15 deadline.

The music video competition theme is moving New Brunswick to a green economy. The guidelines indicate transitioning to a green economy involves any number of innovative efforts by individuals and collectives. Some of those listed include: renewable and clean energy production, local energy generation, public and shared transport, electric cars, small-scale farming practices, urban farms and community gardens, net-zero communities and facilities, lowest energy homes, biodiversity, meaningful work for everyone, sharing, multi-use sustainable forests, and Indigenous reconciliation.

The winning cellphone music videos will be hosted online on the NB Media Co-op website and featured as part of this year’s Earth Day celebrations on April 22. The five winning entries will each be awarded a $1,000 prize for their work. The cellphone music video competition is an outcome of a workshop hosted by the New Brunswick Environmental Network (NBEN) in Moncton this past fall. The NBEN Environmental Sustainability Alliance’s “Art of Sustainability” workshop participants were challenged to implement creative strategies encouraging and supporting local talent and skills sharing an interest in protecting the land, water, air and New Brunswick resources in a sustainable manner.

The cellphone music video competition was developed through a team effort involving representatives from the RAVEN project along with the New Brunswick Filmmakers’ Co-operative (NB Film Co-op), the Joint Economic Development Initiative (JEDI) and the NB Media Co-op.

The RAVEN (Rural Action and Voices for the ENvironment) multi-year research initiative was launched in the fall of 2018, funded by the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation (NBIF) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). The project’s principal investigator Susan O’Donnell is joined by a team of researchers and research assistants from UNB different faculties and departments.

O’Donnell hopes the competition will “attract entries from musicians and film producers from across New Brunswick who want to share and express their creative words and images with everyone.”

An online webinar will be hosted on February 5 by RAVEN researcher Casey Burkholder to provide interested contest participants with an overview of creating videos using your cellphone. Burkholder’s work at UNB with other groups is also producing cellphilms on many different topics.

The RAVEN project aims to promote healthy, sustainable economies and relationships guided by the Indigenous principle of protecting lives and land for seven generations.

New Brunswick has many champions for rural social, environmental and economic justice. The RAVEN team wants to help raise the voices of these champions through their work.

This cellphone music video competition is another way to celebrate and support these voices in a special fashion. Other RAVEN productions with project partner the NB Media Co-op include videos of rural activists sharing their work, NB Media Co-op news stories, participation with other social justice efforts across New Brunswick and ongoing research work being conducted with students and other researchers and institutions.

Interested music video contestants are invited to enter the contest by sending an email to ravenvideocontest@gmail.com with the subject line “Contest Application” to receive your application form. The competition poster and guidelines are available on the Facebook site (or search for “RAVEN music video contest” on Facebook).

Brian Beaton coordinates the NB Media Co-op calendar and is an occasional reporter.

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