Reintroducing the Shumka Centre!

July 27, 2023

The Shumka Centre is proud to announce that we will be transitioning to operating independently of Living Labs. In this new phase, Kate Armstrong, founder of the Shumka Centre, will return to focusing on her role as Director of Living Labs. Cemre Demiralp will take the helm at Shumka Centre as Project Manager, Partnerships + Creative Entrepreneurship, and will continue to foster collaborative programming and partnership opportunities across diverse sectors.

We are thrilled to welcome Ashley Cheah as Coordinator, where she will be supporting both Living Labs and Shumka Centre-led initiatives, projects, and programs. Ashley joins the team from the Advancement Office, where she has assisted with the planning and coordination of various major institutional projects and events, including the Grad Show and Student Art Sale.

New directions for Living Labs

Living Labs  has shifted focus to the development of new projects, including a new research initiative focused on exploring the impacts of AI on art and design: AI Futures for Art + Design is a collaboration with the Centre for Transdisciplinary Studies.

Looking back at the history of Shumka Centre

Since its inception in 2018, the Shumka Centre has been dedicated to fostering the movement of creative people into systems and situations where their work and ideas can have the most impact.

We are deeply grateful to the many people who have been instrumental in the development and delivery of Shumka Centre initiatives, including Laura Kozak, Charisma Christal, Ash Logan, Kelsey Wolff, Emily Smith, Nicole Yamamoto, and Patrick Christie.

Some highlights include:

Design for Startups – An anchor program of Shumka Centre, Design for Startups connects ECU designers with early-to-mid stage technology companies. Originated in 2013 as a collaboration between Kate Armstrong and Haig Armen, the program has since partnered with over 100 startups.

Art Apprenticeship Network – Based on an innovative part-time apprenticeship model, Art Apprenticeship Network pairs ECU students with established artists, curators and cultural workers. Since 2020, this program has partnered with 57 artists, curators and stakeholders from cultural organizations.

Capture x Emily Carr –Led by Associate Professor Birthe Piontek in collaboration with the Capture Photography Festival and the Audain Faculty of Art, we piloted this program to support the production and presentation of new works in photography by emerging artists at Emily Carr.

Fibreshed Field School – The field school was an experiential mentorship program led by Emily Smith that investigated ecologically sensitive and economically viable methods of local textile production in collaboration with 16 internal and external partners including ECU’s Material Matters lab. A book, a podcast, and a series of How to Guides documenting the work and findings of this project are available on our website .

Satellite – Satellite was a residency program developed to support emerging artists and designers as they worked to actualize self-directed projects. Led by Laura Kozak, Satellite operated between 2020 – 2022, hosting 34 students and producing a wide range of excellent projects including the establishment of an artist collective, the development of exhibitions, and the launch of technology platforms.

Circular Food Innovation Lab (CFIL): Led by Laura Kozak, CFIL operated in partnership with the City of Vancouver, the Vancouver Economic Commission and a series of Vancouver-based businesses and organizations working in the food space. Outcomes of this program can be found on the City of Vancouver website.

Stay connected

We welcome you to follow our channels to learn about the various activities and programming scheduled in the upcoming year.

We have some exciting new partnership developments and we look forward to sharing more news in the upcoming months.

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Threads: @shumkacentre

Living Labs will be delivering programming focusing on AI in the Fall term. If you would like to receive updated information regarding Living Labs programming, please sign up below.

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