A new artistic partnership is at work in Prince George.

“Emily Carr approached Downtown Prince George to see if we were interested in bringing artists into our community and we most definitely were,” says Colleen Van Mook, Executive Director of Downtown Prince George. “We thought it was a great opportunity to liven up our downtown with arts and culture.”

Justin Langlois is an assistant professor at Emily Carr and the designer and curator of the Neighbourhood Time Exchange.

“Artists get access to studio space and time to work on their own projects. In exchange, they’re doing these small creative projects with local non-profits like working with the group organizing Rivers Day to create a temporary installation.”

Langlois says community partners will provide ideas, their expertise on the needs of the city and a context for their artist partners. The artists will provide their vision, their unique perspectives, and their specialized skills.

The program first came into being in Philadelphia in 2015. Langlois says Prince George was a natural choice for the project’s progression.

“There’s so much good work already being done but there’s also really limited capacity sometimes. So when you can introduce this other party into the mix – artists are really good at stirring the pot in a fun way. That’s kind of the hope.”

The program will run until April 2017 and feature a new artist every month. The first artists – sisters Rachel and Sarah Seburn – have already arrived.

As part of the community engagement aspect of the project, the artist’s studio, at 1119 3rd Ave, will host an open house each Tuesday from 4-6pm.