Well Nobody Told Me!

This article originally appeared in Issue Zero of our print magazine, April 2016.

That is a common refrain whenever something is done in our city. Well, make that pretty much any city, really. Whether it’s the rezoning of a lot or the installation of a dog park, there are always people caught by surprise.

In creating our cities and, by extension, building our communities, the need for a public consultation process that both engages and produces results is of the utmost importance. But is it really worth the fuss? And is it the sole responsibility of the city to engage its residents or do we as residents also play a role in the engagement process? Continue reading “Well Nobody Told Me!”

Putting Down Roots

This piece first appeared in Issue Zero of our print magazine, April 2016.

I like moving around. Maybe it’s my introverted personality that craves sneaking in and out of cities and towns before I get too attached to the people and places within them.  It could be the thrill of starting fresh and wiping the slate clean for new opportunities and experiences. Maybe I just never found the right place to call home. Continue reading “Putting Down Roots”

The Mindfulness of Jim Johnston

Editor’s Note: this piece originally appeared in Issue Zero of Tenth to the Fraser’s print magazine, April 2016 in a condensed format. This is the complete interview. 


Sarah Joyce, co-Curator/Director of the New Westminster New Media Gallery at the Anvil Centre shares a tour of the gallery with a regular visitor.   

I am moved every time I come in here. I’m always a better person for coming here. ~Jim Johnston

The first time we met Jim Johnston was shortly after the gallery opened. He was already a regular; a quiet fellow in a well-worn cap, sweatshirt, baggy pants. He began visiting the gallery at least three times a week; visits ranged from 15 to 60 minutes. His questions revealed an insight that surprised us. We saw a skilled observer with an ability to make connections, and a strong emotional intelligence.

Early on he mentioned that he had never been to a gallery before. He told us that one of the works in the Musicircus exhibition nearly brought him to tears. Our interest was piqued. Indeed, Christian Marclay’s Video Quartet is a breathtaking, four-screen video work that makes even the most hardened critics a bit wobbly.

Here’s the thing; Jim’s exploration of art is courageous, gutsy. His approach is what you long for as a curator. Open-minded, enthusiastic and curious ; this is the Jim Johnston we’ve come to know. You always hope the exhibitions you pull together will touch people in some way. Perhaps the works of art will change the way people see the world. Each exhibition is so brief; eight weeks and after that just a memory. Jim says he is a better person after coming to the gallery. And we are better for knowing Jim Johnston. He gives us hope for the future. Continue reading “The Mindfulness of Jim Johnston”