How Growing Creative Communities started with a Digital Greenhouse

There's a new marketplace taking shape. It's designed by youth and artists with @1860, a Winnipeg-based arts and culture collective that has been exploring digital arts and cultural entrepreneurship since 2021.

There’s a new marketplace taking shape. It’s designed by youth and artists with @1860, a Winnipeg-based arts and culture collective that has been exploring digital arts and cultural entrepreneurship since 2021. Their many projects and activities have led to a wealth of opportunities and collaboration across the circumpolar world.

As a volunteer-driven, grassroots arts entrepreneurship collective, @1860, has been proud to collaborate with the Kivalliq Chamber of Commerce and member organizations and businesses in conceptualizing and piloting a new online marketplace. The project also supported capacity building, early career exploration to non-profit organizational development and rejuvenated communications and outreach capability. 

Until late March 2024, the Kivalliq Chamber of Commerce web sites, social media and  communications had mostly been limited to a one-page web site and stagnant for years. It was a really depressing experience to visit their web site, and they did not even have a news page! There were no programs or services for members either, just an acknowledgement that “at present, KCC’s ability to deliver additional value to its members, and its impact upon the Kivalliq Region and Nunavut are limited by its available resources.”

The arts incubator project team knew they could help the Chamber to upgrade and modernize, especially with major events like the 2024 Northern Perspectives Conference and the Kivalliq Energy Forum just around the corner. @1860 projects involve a lot of volunteer-driven work, and it was a great opportunity to continue building on what had been learned from the pilot programming. As a cross sectoral program, @1860 takes on a different subject each season, ranging from Inclusion in Northern Research, to exploring the intersection of artificial intelligence and digital storytelling on Enhancing Our People Our Climate.

The Chamber’s needs were also perfectly aligned with collaborating project Niriqatiginnga needed to pilot its planned Online Marketplace. It also provided emerging Inuit artists and culture sector workers a terrific opportunity to combine marketplace development with additional training and skills applied through previous researchcultural and digital arts entrepreneurship projects. Upcoming activities in 2024 will build directly on the digital arts training and professional development funded by the Canada Council for the Arts Digital Greenhouse in late 2021 and 2022 and by the Manitoba Arts Council Indigenous 360 Programin 2022 and 2023. Relationships development and engagement activities for this cross-sectoral initiative were also supported by the Arctic Buying Company Kivalliq, Manitoba Agriculture and the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

The web site is also an outcome of participatory digital skills development and cultural entrepreneurship training made possible with the Canada Council for the Arts Digital Greenhouse. (2021-2022) and the Manitoba Arts Council Indigenous 360 (2022-2023) programs. Without their support, much of these new activities and outcomes would not have been possible.

Follow along with this terrific project as it continues to grow and evolve at:

Picture of @1860 Winnipeg Arts

@1860 Winnipeg Arts

@1860 Winnipeg Arts is a small, community-driven arts entrepreneurship and cultural entrepreneurship program in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Our program began with a pilot program aimed at building organizational capacity for digital arts administration, skills development and training. It is supported by the non-profit organization Niriqatiginnga.

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