A new podcast has emerged to celebrate Airdrie’s vibrant arts community.
Bert Church LIVE Theatre (BCLT) is producing the podcast, which is called 948-ARTS. According to BCLT's artistic producer Chris Stockton, the idea to start an arts-focused podcast emerged as a way to continue celebrating Airdrie’s artists following the shutdown of the “experience economy” due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We really wanted to think about where we stood, in terms of our importance to the community,” said Stockton, who grew up in Airdrie before pursuing a career in theatre.
“This is a chance for us to really get to know these people in a different way, and really dig in deep to find out why they love the arts and all those things.”
The first three episodes of 948-ARTS are already published, according to Stockton, and can be downloaded at buzzsprout.com/1223396.
Episode 1 includes an interview with members of local country band As High As We Go.
“It allowed us to really get to know this local band and how they’re navigating being a group from the ground up – how they met each other, formed the group and what goals they have in mind moving forward,” Stockton said.
Episode 2, according to Stockton, included a three-way conversation between himself and the two band directors of George McDougall High School and Bert Church High School – Jordan Harris and Corbie Dorner.
Considering the rivalry between the two schools’ music programs, Stockton said it was an entertaining discussion.
“We thought [it would be good to] bring together two people who are both incredibly well-versed musicians themselves, who also have an amazing passion for learning and passing on that information to the next generation of musicians,” he said.
“They were an incredible pair of gentlemen to talk to, because they understand there’s a dynamic between schools where there is competition, yet they are so open to collaboration and helping each other’s programs. It really shows this doesn’t have to be about winning and losing, but a passion for playing.”
Shifting in focus, the third episode featured married couple Jessie and Kelly Simon – two Airdrie residents who have forged careers in the arts.
Considering Airdrie is a family-focused city, Stockton said he wanted the podcast to delve into what the dynamics are like in a family that is heavily engaged in the arts, both professionally and recreationally.
“We really looked at how they can juggle a passion for the arts and turn it into a profession, but also have a family and manage to raise two beautiful young girls, and encourage them to pursue the arts,” he said.
Stockton said two more episodes of 948-ARTS are already produced and will be released in the coming weeks. One will be about a community theatre group, while the other will feature visual and literary artists who are pairing up on an artistic project.
He added BCLT aims to produce a new episode every few weeks.
“We’re really covering a broad spectrum of art, and we would encourage people to email us with people who they think are influential artists in the city,” he said. “We’d love for people to listen to it and hear about some of their fellow citizens and the impact they’re having on the arts community.”
Residents can email suggestions for future episodes to BCLT at email@example.com