PEI artists receive $50,000 in grants from the province

It’s been more than 20 years since Tiffany Liu first picked up the pipa, but it’s only recently that she took the plunge to become a full-time musician.

“The sound of this instrument is so beautiful,” she said. “Even now I enjoy playing it at home every day.”

The pipa is a traditional Chinese instrument made of wood and shaped like a pear.

On the streets of Charlottetown, she said, people often respond to her music with a simple “wow.” But in one instance she recalls making a woman cry.

“After they cried, I cried,” she said. “I thought there was something I could do for people … transform my stories to be with their stories.”

recording an album

Liu is one of 16 island artists who recently received a provincial grant to help turn an idea into a reality.

Now she is on a mission to create her very first album – a combination of traditional Chinese music mixed with her experiences of life on PEI

Liu says she plans to combine her experience on PEI with traditional Chinese songs. (Sheehan Desjardins/CBC News)

“I received $4,000. I will mainly spend it on studio recording and the rest I will spend on production,” Liu said.

“The stories I sense behind these traditional Chinese songs are very different than years ago…The island has given me so much love.”

direct a movie

A total of $50,000 was awarded through the provincial arts grant program.

Artists received amounts ranging from $1,500 to $7,000 to create projects focused on music, dance, poetry, theater, film and more.

“I received a $5,000 grant to do a film called rebirth about changing the black narrative in film and in society in general,” said filmmaker Dotun Adedoyin.

“I really think it’s a very important story to tell, especially from a black point of view.”

Dotun Adedoyin says he wants his new film to redefine black narratives in society. (Sheehan Desjardins/CBC News)

Adedoyin said he started out as a photographer to capture moments, but “you know how they say a picture is worth a thousand words? Videos tell us more.”

It was a film about the Central Park Five that motivated Adedoyin to make this film.

“I kind of wondered why so many negative parts of black history were only released as movies,” he said.

“How about we do the other side of the spectrum and show the beauty, the love, the very important parts.”

“give me the chance”

Adedoyin has already completed a first look which was filmed in Brackley Beach last December.

Now in the casting phase for the final film, he’s hoping to complete post-production by fall and set a release date for either December or sometime during Black History Month.

“I try to tell more stories that impact society and leave a very important message,” he said.

Adedoyin says the money will help with “things like equipment and looking after actors, extras and the crew in general.” (Sheehan Desjardins/CBC News)

As for Liu, she hopes to have her album ready by winter 2022 and encourages other artists to apply for grants as well, even if they feel it’s unattainable.

“The scholarship gave me the opportunity,” she said. “I’m so happy, so excited.”

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