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Last night I had supper with an inspiring young woman embarking upon the first day of a similar odyssey. Erinne Sevigny began The Great Canadian Publishing Tour in Victoria BC yesterday, and I felt that our conversation marked the symbolic beginning of Get on the Doc Bus.

photo of Erinne Sevigny, as she lauches The Great Canadian Publishing Tour in Victoria, BCAs we shared stories over mohitos and spicy noodle soup at The Mint, we were both struck with the parallel issues facing the publishing and documentary industries in Canada. Both creative industries, facing an awkward transition from a top-down, corporate, centralized and analogue world to one that is headed towards localized, digital self-publishing, with a lot of questions about online monetization.

You can follow her journey across the country over the next month at www.TheGreatCanadianPublishingTour.com

Then this afternoon, the conversation continued with Wayne Bradley and Janet Fairbanks, founders of the amazing World Community Film Festival in the Comox Valley. This dynamic mom and pop duo have been building community through documentary screenings since 1990 – without funding. 

Their diversified activities include an astonishing array of community building initiatives: an annual film festival, a screening series, a travelling film festival, a film library, a fairtrade import business,  philanthropic health care programs in Nicaragua and El Salvadore, a community bike exchange program and a social justice community website. Their travelling film festival spans the continent, with affiliate groups in a dozen towns and cities into from Vancouver Island to Antigonish, NS. I’ll be visiting as many of them as I can.

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Our conversation touched on some key questions and topics that will likely weave an ongoing thread as I head out on the Doc Bus: negotiating film rights, access to films, community partnerships, high school screenings, audience development, funding, collaboration, competition, virtual engagement and hybrid events,  propriety issues, and the practical value of a cross Canada community cinema network.

Meanwhile, here at the Doc Bus HQ, we’re busy building a new website, editing a crowdfunding video and animation, while starting to develop our route, and contacting those we will visit along the way. Our Indiegogo campaign launches mid April, so stay tuned for your opportunity to Get on the Doc Bus!

What topics would YOU like to discuss with Get on the Doc Bus?

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