Out of 700 applications, three Victoria residents have been chosen to turn local issues into podcasts with $10,000 production grants.
Telus Storyhive is a community-powered funding program that has been financially supporting emerging filmmakers across B.C. and Alberta since 2013. This year is the first time Storyhive has decided to fund podcasts too.
Only 16 podcasts were selected to receive the grant money, mentorship and training, and three of those are in Victoria. Christa Martel will focus on the challenges people face in accessing mental health services, Katie Hamilton will dive into the world of women in sports, and Chantal Solomon will immerse listeners into Victoria’s art scene.
Christa Martel, Let’s Talk Access
In Let’s Talk Access, listeners will hear from a series of Victoria residents from different demographics as they work to access mental health services.
It’s not an easy task, podcast creator Christa Martel noted.
|(Courtesy of Christa Martel)|
“I’ve noticed there’s a huge disconnect between what’s publicly advertised as available and how people actually access those services,” she said. And, if services aren’t easily available while someone is in need, they are likely to feel discouraged and give up trying.
Martel will take listeners through a series of episodes, getting to know the featured people, following them in real time as they attempt to access services and having them talk through their experiences with each other and experts. She hopes to make the process and challenges as transparent as possible.
Martel has never worked in audio storytelling before, but because her education in mental health subject matter has been entirely oral, she said making a podcast seemed like a natural fit. She has 10 years of experience in psychoeducation, providing information and resources to people with mental health concerns, and the First Peoples Principles of Learning, focusing on the importance of community, Indigenous and generational knowledge, and a holistic approach to health.
Let’s Talk Access will deep dive into what it takes to access help and how it can be made easier.
“It requires an incredible amount of vulnerability and courage and it requires community,” Martel said.
Katie Hamilton, Her Love of Sport
Katie Hamilton loves sports. They were a huge part of her life growing up, so much so that today she works as a professional soccer coach and sports reporter.
“It’s given me confidence, leadership skills, mental and physical health and an outlet to express myself.”
|(Courtesy of Katie Hamilton)|
But, as Hamilton stuck with her passion, she watched more and more girls and women around her drop out. According to Canadian Women and Sport, one in three girls leave sport by their late teens, compared to only one in 10 in boys. There are multiple reasons for this, including fewer opportunities existing, social stigma, lower pay and a lack of positive role models.
Hamilton hopes by launching a podcast full of the stories of successful women in the sports industry she will inspire more girls to join sports and stick with them. So far, her roster of guests includes women from Canada’s national soccer, rugby and softball teams, Olympic speed skaters, an MMA fighter and an NFL coach.
It’s high time female athletes had their stories and achievements highlighted, Hamilton said.
Chantal Solomon, Resilient Creatives
Chantal Solomon wants to help people find inspiration and healing through art.
For her, and many other creative minds she knows, art has been the outlet they needed to overcome great difficulty.
|(Courtesy of Chantal Solomon)|
“It’s helped me focus my mind a lot of times and find calm and peace in myself when things are really chaotic around me and inside me,” Solomon said.
In Resilient Creatives, she seeks to share some of these stories.
“I want to provide a space where if someone is having a bad day they can hear a story about someone overcoming something. It might help them believe in their own story.”
Solomon believes all people are innately creative, but not everyone takes the time to sit down and tap into it. She encourages people to try something simple, take a class and examine other people’s artwork. Be curious about how the art was made and what the meaning behind it may be, she said.
“I think it can help people tap into their inner self and their inner strengths.”
All of the funded podcasts can be found at storyhive.com. They are expected to be available later this year.
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