EMMEDIA annually supports a minimum of eight artists through its assistance programs. These programs include Scholarship, Bars ’n’ Tone, Local Artist in Residence, Visiting Artist in Residence, Finishing Funds and Open Access Programs. The numbers of recipients in each category are not fixed, allowing EMMEDIA to fill the positions based on the types of submissions we receive. We support the innovative and challenging work of a variety of artists working in various genres. Our support to media artists extends beyond those working in video art to encompass those exploring diverse forms of time-based art including: installation, documentary, animation, performance, new media, audio, and web-based projects. Applications that propose simple event documentation, or are commercial or discriminatory in nature, are not considered.

A jury composed of members of the Production and Programming Committees and Producer Members select the Scholarship, Bars ‘n’ Tones and Artist in Residence (A.i.R.) participants. Projects are assessed on their individual merits and needs, the artistic merit of the project, innovation, risk-taking, the artist’s commitment, their ability to execute the project, and the feasibility of completing the project within the time and resources allocated by EMMEDIA. Support is provided for artist’s projects, where they are able to retain creative control and focus on artistic and personal investigation. Typically three Bars ‘n’ Tones and three Scholarship recipients are selected annually. However, if there are many excellent submissions and there is funding available, more may be selected.

Choosing from a record number of applications, 2009 marked the biggest Production Access program to date – we supported Ten artists. As a result of 2008’s record attendance for the screening, we opted to leave the comfort of our EMMEDIA screening room for that of the Plaza Theatre. 2009 marked the start of a new era for EMMEDIA’s Production Access Program.


The EMMEDIA Production Access Scholarship Program has been offered since 1984 and is open to emerging artists/producers undertaking their first productions in audio, video or new media. Potential program participants must submit a detailed project description, a CV, artist statement, and support material. EMMEDIA’s Production Coordinator provides training and assistance, while other participants are able to collaborate with each other and provide additional support. The Scholarship Recipients receive extensive training in all of EMMEDIA’s production and post-production equipment, as well as creative and artistic development, enabling them to create engaging and sophisticated first productions. The duration of this program is four months. EMMEDIA supports up to six artists in this program a year.


Donna Brunsdale
Playground Dangers

This short narrative video focuses on the perils of the playground for the unsuspecting parent. It also explores the idea of the child as a dangerous creature, who innocently causes pain with his carefree physical play, and the ambiguous power relations in the parent/child relationship.

Donna Brunsdale has an MFA (York), teaches film courses at the University of Calgary and is a founding member and president of Calgary Cinematheque.

Tania Cruz and Danielle Gotell
Touching Strangers

A short video collage about the curiosities of human interaction in the big city. With so many people living in Calgary, the opportunities to encounter somebody new are endless. Unfortunately our lives are so busy and leave little room for friendly conversations. “Touching Strangers” is an exploration of the boundaries and limits we put on the term “stranger”, why we do so and how we can overcome our fears of “the stranger”.

Danielle Gotell was born and raised in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan where there wasn’t much of a community for visual artists. It wasn’t until she moved to Calgary six years ago that she found support in the arts community. Danielle has always had a fascination with mixed media, film, and animation. The Youth Animation Project allowed her to create her first animation, exciting the possibilities of a new medium.

Tania Cruz was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta where she later graduated from high school and worked various odd jobs. She has been intrigued with film and video arts for some time but never explored her curiosity – until she completed the Youth Animation Project and produced her first animation. After this she realized that her passion lies in telling stories and exploring new ideas through the medium of film and animation. Tania hopes to create more experimental videos incorporating music and the message of love with her dear friend Danielle Gotell.

Lydia Karpenko

An interactive video/sound installation located at EMMEDIA from September 23rd to 30th. The audience was encouraged to interact with the work by walking around the space and getting inside the fabric structures. Karpenko drew parallels between her various places of residence and the intrinsic relationships between them. Through the use of the airy, nomadic cube structures and subjective imagery, the artist explored ideas of displacement and cultural assimilation.

Lydia Karpenko is a Ukrainian-born, Calgary-based interdisciplinary artist. Her work includes various forms of interactive installation, video, fibre art, and performance exploring the juxtaposition between digital media and handcrafted approach to fine art. Working with a combination of traditional textile techniques and new media, she examines how personal narrative structures shape cultural self-identity.

Tamara Meparishvili
Double U for Werewolf

An animation/video project with a composed electronic soundtrack. Combining animated dream sequences with live video footage, the work depicts a parasitizing effect of the mind on the body. The main character in the video is split into two different parts, one part is a running man and one is a light bulb.

Tamara Meparishvili is a multi-media artist working with video, animation and sound. She has exhibited her video and sound work in Germany, Georgia, and Canada.


The Bars ‘n’ Tone Program is intended to support artists who have previously produced work and wish to continue their creative and technical development. The focus of the Bars ‘n’ Tone Program is on refining and enhancing existing skills. Potential program participants are asked to submit a project proposal that includes current CV, script, storyboard or treatment, project description and support material. The producers are encouraged to solicit the assistance of the scholarship participants as support crew whenever possible. The duration of this program is four months. EMMEDIA supports up to six artists in this program a year.


Anne Koizumi
Dream Theatre or The Myth of Cinema

A dream sequence is recreated on digital video, transferred onto super8 colour film and transferred back to digital video. The narrative revolves around Koizumi’s dream journal, collected over the course of one month of the artist’s life. This is a conscious fictionalizing of events in the artist’s dreams, which, with no other recourse, must be adapted to language.

Anne Koizumi completed her undergraduate studies in Film Production at the University of British Columbia in 2004. In 2006, she participated in Hothouse 3, through the National Film Board of Canada, where she completed her first professional film A Prairie Story, which screened nationally and internationally. In 2008, she was awarded the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Award. Anne will be attending York University in the fall of 2009 to pursue her Master’s Degree in Film Production.

Greg Debicki
Interacting with Nature Through Generative Audio

The artist uses sensory input from nature to control variables in generative systems built in Pure Data. The inputs (light, color, movement), gathered from four different environments (city, field, forest, river), controls different parts of the musical environment, as if elements of nature were musicians playing instruments.

Greg Debicki is a new media artist from Calgary, Alberta. Currently studying at the Alberta College of Art and Design. He is currently on a year-long exchange at Dartington College of Arts in England. He also makes electronic music which has been released on the net labels Weird and Wired, and ILLphabetik, under the pseudonyms woulg, No Trebles, and eN.Ti.

Micheal Welchman

WITCH is based on the powerful simplicity of dialogue found within childrens’ fables, mixed with abstract video illustrations. Hand-drawn type-based animations, along with static video of lungs, tree men, witches, ghosts, and knives, are cut together in succession to form a video storybook. The video uses a mix of simple and deliberate compositions fleshed out with complex costume and prop design.

Micheal Welchman is a Calgary-based artist working predominately in drawing and video. Micheal was born and raised on the Canadian prairies, an influence that can often be seen in his images of stark landscapes and strong horizontal compositions. Besides working on his own projects, Micheal has also worked in different capacities on a large number of independent films within the Calgary filmmaking community. This is his second video with EMMEDIA’s Production Access Program.

Aran Wilkinson-Blanc
Plan B

This work is an anachronistic take on the 1950s “B” movie. Just as the 1950s saw a rapid shift in the way movies were made, marketed and consumed by the public, today, technology reshapes our media and its consumption. “Plan B” literally take characters from a ’50s “B” movie and throws them into our modern world, creating a narrative of their reaction to (and exploration of) our world.

Aran Wilkinson-Blanc is a local animator, photographer, and writer/director. He received a BFA in photography from the University of Calgary in 2002 and has since focused his artistic pursuits in the fields of animation and still photography. “Plan B” marks his return to live action production. He has taken this opportunity to better explore the high definition, cutting-edge equipment, facilities and assistance that EMMEDIA offers local artists.


The Production Committee, which is composed of practicing artists, technicians, and curators, select Local and Visiting Artists-in-Residence based on artistic merit and experience, and on specific focuses or strategies of the centre working with the Programming Committee.

EMMEDIA’s Artist-in-Residence Program (A.i.R.) supports local artists in creating work by providing access to facilities, materials and the support of producer members where required. Potential program participants are asked to submit a project proposal which includes current CV, script, story board or treatment, project description, format to be used, detailed budget, and a description of a two-day workshop that the artist will facilitate. Preference is given to established artists in their field, who have completed video/audio projects and whose proposed projects can be realized within the time and services allotted. Applications that propose to document an event are not considered, nor are proposals that are considered commercial or discriminatory. The duration of local A.i.R. residencies is one year on average. EMMEDIA supports up to three Artists in Residence a year.


A.i.R – Artist in Residence Program 2008/09
Anne Marie Nakagawa
Completion Date: November 2009
Presentation Date: November 23, 2009

In an unnamed place, in an unnamed time, a man and a woman go through the motions of life, fused to each other for a reason neither of them can remember. Meandering through a withering landscape of loneliness and thread-bare self consciousness, Sand Castle is an experimental film that explores the futility of relationship and our inability to escape it. In this stark black and white world, all desires and memories are sublimated into shades of grey.

Anne Marie Nakagawa is a Calgary-based writer and director. She has written and directed several long-form documentary films, as well as numerous experimental shorts that have played at festivals and galleries worldwide. Between: Living in the Hyphen, a National Film Board of Canada production, premiered at the Calgary International Film Festival in 2005 and went on to win numerous awards.

A.i.R – Artist in Residence Program 2008/09
Adam R. Tindale
Towards Mastery of Contemporary Interfaces
Completion Date: October 2009
Presentation Date: October 2, 2009

Adam Tindale developed a number of different pieces of music on his own and in collaborations with others. He explored spatial diffusion techniques using EMMEDIA’s 7.1 audio environment, various genres of music, techniques of creating music (ex. Solitary composer, group composition, structured improvisation, free improvisation, etc.) and visual music concepts of integrating visuals with audio performance.
The project yielded software that was made freely available to the community, workshops educating others how to master or develop their own interfaces, and musical works that will be presented in a final concert. Because he intended to collaborate with other musicians and artists, Adam hope to broaden and strengthen the EMMEDIA community by carefully choosing his collaborators. Beyond these deliverables, he was able to assist fellow artists with audio production and become a deeper member at EMMEDIA.

Adam Tindale is an electronic drummer and instrument designer. He is a permanent instructor of Interaction Design in the Media Arts and Digital Technologies area at the Alberta College of Art and Design. Adam performs on the EDrumset: a new electronic instrument that utilizes physical modeling with an intuitive physical interface. He completed a Bachelor of Music at Queen’s University, a Masters of Music Technology at McGill University and is currently pursuing an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. at the University of Victoria.


A.i.R – Artist in Residence Program 2009/10
Sharon Stevens
OX: A Crash Course On Loving Calgary
Completion Date: Feb 2010
Presentation Date: Feb 13, 2010

OX: A Crash Course on Loving Calgary is a positive, participatory action to claim what we love about Calgary! A place, a feeling, a song, a building, a street corner, a memory, a recovery –stories about loving Calgary.

OX is a project to motivate and mobilize people to go out and capture the love of our City using participatory media art. It is an interactive, community mapping, up-loadable audio tour that will showcase Calgary OX spots as seen through the eyes and ears of artists, activists and Calgarians. Marking the spot with a flag designed with the OX logo, citizens are recording in some way – audio/video/stills/Polaroid – their ideal spot of Calgary.

For the past year, Stevens has been preparing the OX Calgary project in conjunction with EMMEDIA Gallery and Production Society to accentuate the positives of Calgary. She has recorded and filmed Calgarians from all facets of the City’s demographic talking about what they love about Calgary. This includes an alderman, youth, shop owners, construction workers, writers, artists, homemakers and retirees, among others.

The OX Calgary website ( launched at noon on Feb 13th, 2010. Participants can download an OX tour of their choice and walk, ride, or drive to EMMEDIA to share their love at a listening and recording party. The evening featured a 10-minute screening of OX: A Crash Course on Loving Calgary.

Join Stevens and guests to hear about the love other Calgarians express for their city while recording your own story by taking a photo, linking it to Google maps and uploading your love offering to:

This event was also a fundraiser for the Spirit of Helen Award through the Alberta Media Arts Alliance (AMAAS).

Sharon Stevens is an activist, an award winning video artist, and a community collaborator. She has been an independent video producer since 1989 and is committed to production values that include collective process and a feminist analysis. Having made a dozen collaborative and solo videos in as many years, Sharon has received two Alberta Motion Picture Industry (AMPIA) nominations, winning one in 1996 for her documentary, Doodlebugs: the Video. Sharon’s work has been broadcast and screened at various festivals across Canada. Currently, she is on the board for the Calgary Folk Music Festival and Alberta Media Arts Alliance Society (AMAAS). Sharon has integrated art, activism, feminism, and social justice into her life, and still has fun.

A.i.R – Artist in Residence Program 2009/10
Rick Silva
Antlers WiFi
Completion Date: April 2010
Presentation Date: March 24, 2010

In Antlers WiFi, Rick Silva uses digital technologies to process perceptions of lanscape and natural phenomena. The work is an ongoing internet based mix of looping images, video, audio and code generated by the artist. The project is currently seven iterations deep, archives and RSS feed at

Rick Silva was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1977. He received a BFA in Film from University of Colorado in 2001, did post-baccalaureate work at the European Graduate School in Switzerland, and received his MFA in Digital Art in 2007 also from the University of Colorado in Boulder. In 2007-8 he was visiting professor of digital media at the University of Georgia (Athens), and is currently a full-time instructor at the Alberta College of Art and Design (Calgary, Canada). Silva’s artwork has been exhibited in festivals and museums in five continents including Transmediale (Germany), Sonar (Spain), Futuresonic (England), VideoBrasil, and DOTMOV (Japan). Silva has performed his work live in London, Tokyo, and throughout North America. His artwork has been written about in the New York Times, The Guardian UK, Liberation, El Pais, and featured on the CBS Evening News. He has received grants and commissions from Turbulence and the National Endowment for the Arts,, and The Whitney Museum of American art.


EMMEDIA’s Visiting Artist-in-Residence programs vary in duration (with a minimum two-week commitment), depending on available funding, project, and particulars. We generally support one Visiting Artist-in-Residence annually. The artists are provided with accommodation, travel, and per diem as well as technical assistance and unlimited equipment access for the duration of their visit. In addition, we encourage artists visiting for the purpose of a presentation, to access our facilities, as available.


EMMEDIA supports up to four artists’ projects annually with provision of in-house editing and production equipment up to a value of $2000, including a producer membership valued at $65. The deadline is ongoing and the number of projects supported is subject to funding, equipment availability and acceptance by the Production Committee. To apply, an applicant must send a proposal for the project they wish to work on and include a (post-production) budget, timeline, and relevant support material.


Michal Lavi
Arithmetic: Annie’s Life In Numbers

Arithmetic is Annie’s story: At a young age, Annie receives a pet fish that meets an untimely death. She burns her journal when she discovers The Diary of Anne Frank. She has issues with yoga, standoffs with dictators and university grads brandishing degrees she doesn’t care for. She makes New Years resolutions she’s sure she can keep, deals with her overbearing mom and a methodical dental hygienist, and lies with an orderliness and rigour that is virtually moral.

Michal Lavi has dabbled in writing and photography, but specialized in self-deprecation. Although she achieved great success in this field she got terribly bored, wishing she made films; so she finally decided to make them herself. Lavi treats making films and trying to produce them as a form of therapy since she is learning how to ask favors and dealing with rejection at the same time. Lavi is also writing a blog which she thinks is funny, working on a board game which is bizarre, since she doesn’t like board games or people that like board games, and writing a feature

Ramin Eshraghi-Yazdi

Broken is an animated dance on video production choreographed by Calgary dancer Chris Clair and directed and animated by Calgary filmmaker Ramin Eshraghi-Yazdi. Broken tackles issue of self, control, and loss of control as an office worker is faced with the variables of his life in a dream that leaves him shaken. Filmed on digital video, Broken will be animated through a process called Roto scoping.

The film begins with the main character, the businessman, working at a desk in an office late at night. He places his head on the desk and falls to sleep. When he awakens (transition from video to animation) he finds his desk is slowly increasing in size. He steps away gently as the desk begins to tower over him. The desk begins to crumble and implodes into a small ball of light that then separates into four smaller balls of light. Each ball of light then travels to a corner and manifests into a dancer (representing different variables of his life).

As the music begins the businessman, now the conductor of the piece investigates each dancer. Pointing to one he calls for the dancer to answer. The dancer answers in a series of movement. Traveling form one dancer to another the conductor gives life and movement to each dancer. As the pace increases the conductor’s instructions are longer and more dramatic and the dancer’s responses are more flamboyant and energetic. The pace increases until the conductor loses control and all the dancers are dancing without instruction. Unable to regain control, the conductor moves frantically between the dancers searching for a way to stop the chaos. The business man wakes from his dream startled. He calms down, stands up from his desk, grabs his coat and leaves his office.

Ramin Eshraghi-Yazdi has worked as a professional director/filmmaker in Calgary Alberta since 2005. Ramin Eshraghi-Yazdi has to date directed a number of award winning projects from experimental art instillation and documentary work to broadcast commercial and music videos as well as a slew of short films. Inspired by all that is visually stunning and stories not often told, Ramin’s interests vary but his mindset is always tainted with an indie sensibility.

Micheal Welchman
Animation Tests

This project combines the use of video footage with footage acquired frame by frame with a digital SLR to produce short animation test pieces. The footage combines both hand-drawn frames with photo collage mixed simultaneously within the same frame.
The objective is to complete several animation-video combination experiments/test over a one-month period. The intention of these tests are to lead towards a greater project exploring movement captured in a high quality digital video format. The goal is to further his knowledge of high definition frame by frame image capture so that it can be shared with the EMMEDIA membership and used in future video productions.

Micheal Welchman is an artist focused on deploying the fundamentals of drawing into all elements of his practice. He has a broad range of training including animation, illustration, graphic design and new media accumulated at various institutions across Canada.


The focus of Open Access is to aid in the production of long-form video projects, giving participants up to one year to complete their projects. This program is directed toward intermediate and senior artists. Potential program participants are asked to submit a project proposal that includes current CV, script, storyboard or treatment, project description and support material. The producers are encouraged to solicit the assistance of the scholarship & Bars ’n Tones participants as support crew whenever possible. EMMEDIA supports up to five artists in this program a year depending on funding and quality of submissions received.

2009 Open Access Recipient
Punam Kumar Gill

VOCARE (vo-carr-ay) is a medium-length documentary capturing the journey of Canada’s top ‘skill competitors’ as they compete for the gold medal at the 2009 WorldSkills Competition. The WorldSkills Competition is to skilled trades apprentices what the Olympic Games are for athletes. Along with the drama of competition on the world stage, there are also Opening and Closing Ceremonies, a Competitors Village, the fellowship of nations, and the medal ceremony.
Calgary hosted the 2009 WorldSkills Competition from September 1-7, marking its second time hosted in Canada (1999, Montreal) and third time in North America (1981, Atlanta) in its 55 year history. The six competitors in VOCARE are the Albertan members of Team Canada, each about 20 years of age. They have qualified for the National Team by competing at regional, provincial, and national skill competitions. All these factors make this film an important Albertan story.
VOCARE is a story inspired in part by an Academy-award winning documentary, Spellbound (2003, Jeffrey Blitz) which follows eight American spelling bee Competitors as they vie for the Champion title at the National Spelling Bee. However, the filmmaker is not interested in solely documenting the competitors and their worlds, but in sharing a deeper message. ‘Vocare’ is the Latin word derivative of ‘vocation’, but it really means ‘to call’ or ‘voice’. The message of this film is about following one’s passion, and matching our vocation with the voice within us.

Punam Kumar Gill makes films because she wants to help change the world. Idealistic as it sounds, this goal influences the topics she chooses for her documentaries and the people with whom she works. And the beautiful irony is that it is her who also changes through her encounters with the film’s characters and story.
Her first independent film, The Lesson (12 minutes, Punjabi with English sub titles, 2007) won Grand Prize at the Ming Short Film Festival, was a finalist in the Migrations competition through Radio-Canada International, was nominated for Best Short Film by the Alberta Motion Pictures Industries Association, with official selection to international film festivals in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton and Kerala India. She has been the recipient of scholarships from Canada Council for the Arts, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers and EMMEDIA. She has recently completed a Super8 film, LETTERBOX, which has been selected to screen at the $100 Film Festival through the Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers.
She places strong importance on community involvement. She is a volunteer member of the Calgary Foundation’s Arts & Culture grants committee, of AMPIA’s Communication Committee, and of the Arab Film Festival of Calgary. She is a regular guest presenter at schools, speaking to young people about the creative process and about finding their “life verb”.