22 Feb Cowichan Valley Artist & Disability Advocate to Launch Unique Exhibit – Produced by Polaris Creative
The exhibit plans to raise awareness of food accessibility for disabled communities and promote local food producers
DUNCAN, BC – Photographer and owner of Polaris Creative, and outspoken disability advocate Jules Sherred has kicked off a crowdfunding initiative and a call for participants launching March 1st to help the initial stages of the Cowichan Valley Disability, Culture and Food Through Art Exhibit, a unique photography and video exhibit that will help raise awareness to the barriers disabled people face in accessing food and promote advocacy from local producers.
Many people are unaware of the fact that one in every five Canadians are disabled and the biggest barriers they face surrounds food. Not just in the ability to prepare it, but gaining access to healthy ingredients. These barriers often intersect with other areas of marginalization such as ethnicity, sexuality, and gender identity.
As the Kickstarter page underlines: Awareness needs to be increased. Jules Sherred, a disabled food photographer, advocate, and owner of Disabled Kitchen and Garden based in Duncan, BC, has made it his life’s work to raise such awareness.
“This project is a natural expansion of all the work I’ve been doing to bring awareness of the barriers that disabled people face when accessing such a vital part of life, while also presenting solutions.” he says. “I’m choosing this artform because there is a saying that is true that says, “We eat with our eyes, first.” Photography sells food. Photojournalism pulls people into stories they’d otherwise not notice. Making use of new media increases accessibility for the people who will most benefit from this project.”
The exhibit, slated to run from July 1st to September 30th, 2022, will be available both online and in-studio and showcase the food-related stories of at least eight disabled Canadians, eight Canadians from culturally diverse backgrounds, and eight Cowichan Valley food and beverage producers. The exhibit itself will aim to be accessible to all, with images including descriptive text for the visually impaired and video being captioned for Deaf and hearing impaired people while also including described video for visually impaired people. The PDF version of the print program will additionally include text narration and image descriptions.
It’s predicted that at least 1 million Canadians and an unknown number of people throughout the world will visit the online version of this exhibit. The in-person portion is planned to take place during peak tourist season and right around the corner from one of the largest farmers’ markets in BC. “These estimates,” Sherred says, “are conservative.”
The crowdfunding effort is one of several avenues that Sherred is seeking funding for the exhibit, which is asking for only $20,600 of the project’s entire $331,000 goal. He is currently awaiting grant approval for the Canada Council for the Arts, approaching businesses for sponsoring and advertising opportunities, engaging with community sources, and investing his own money to make the exhibit the best it can be. The income earned through Kickstarter will go towards the first two phases of the project, which includes hiring staff that are members of disabled and marginalized communities, identifying subjects, and conducting interviews to be shown in the exhibit.
“While funding for this exhibit will be coming from more than one place, community support through Kickstarter will go a long way in ensuring that the crucial beginning stages can be completed to the highest possible standards.” Sherred says.
Contributions will launch a unique art exhibit and will shine a light on one of the biggest and most life-threatening barriers disabled Canadians face today: accessing food.
For more information or if you’d like to get involved
Press inquiries please contact Jules Sherred at Polaris Creative