Newsletter, September 2020

Dear Vtape artists,

We have been thinking of you, and hope that this note finds you very well. We wanted to take a moment at the end of our fiscal year to let everyone know what we’ve been up to since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since our office was closed to visitors on March 13, Vtape’s staff has continued to work, mainly remotely, and with occasional on-site visits as required. Our goal has been to keep the organization operating smoothly and reliably, so that we can offer the full range of distribution services to artists and clients in as straightforward a manner as possible. Staff can be contacted by e-mail, or by voice mail at 416.351.1317.

Festivals, galleries, and educational institutions have been coming to us for content, and for guidance around fees for on-line events and exhibitions. We are doing everything we can to facilitate inclusion of your work in distanced exhibition initiatives, new public programming experiments, and on-line learning and curriculum development, while also ensuring that you are always fairly paid when your work is used.

Daily, we are in communication with our colleagues in the media arts sector across the country and around the world, working closely with festival organizers and programmers, curators, educators, and other arts administrators and advocates who are helping us to navigate this unique historical moment.

Our programming has gone on-line, with screenings on our website weekly since early April. Yaniya Lee’s program fractured horizon – a view from the body is available until September 10th. After that look for the Curatorial Incubator v.16: Living In Hope, which will roll out starting September 11th. Our most recent talk – a conversation between John Paul Ricco and Adam Barbu – was on Instagram Live and is still available on our Instagram page (vtapevideoart). Tune in when you have a minute.

The pandemic shutdown came partway through a major multi-year initiative for Vtape to complete the digitization of every analogue video in our catalogue. Although this work was interrupted for a period, it has now resumed, and we should be able to complete the digitization of every Vtape artist’s analogue materials within the next two to three years. This project will ensure that all of the analogue-era works we represent will be accessible for online preview, and available for presentation and acquisition, in perpetuity. Curious about how we do this? Kim Tomczak is happy to answer your questions:

Vtape stands in solidarity in the fight against racism. We stand with our artists and the challenging, authentic voices their works represent. Our Board of Directors and staff are currently dedicating significant time and resources to understanding and addressing our accountability in the systemic barriers and white supremacy that have shaped the entire cultural sector within which we operate, including Vtape, and will be releasing an action plan in the coming weeks.

Despite the complications of working in the midst of the pandemic, Vtape is working at full steam! Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions, concerns or worries that you might have. We are here for you.


Vtape Staff & Board of Directors

Staff: Kiera Boult, Alice Evensen, Chris Gehman, Dustin Lawrence, Deirdre Logue, Madeleine Scott, Deidre Simmons, Lisa Steele, Kim Tomczak, Wanda VanderStoop

Board of Directors: Hélène Brousseau, Erika DeFreitas, Andrea Fatona, Richard Fung, Jean Gagnon, John Greyson, Oliver Husain, Michelle Jacques, Serena Lee (on leave), Niki Little, Shelley Niro