For Artists

A-School: Professional Development for Artists

A-School is a space where creatives in the Central Island Region can learn skills and meet other artists to level-up their practice.  The program series includes facilitated sessions led by professionals in the arts including working artists, curators, art educators, arts programmers, exhibition designers, arts administrators, grant writers, and more. A-School aims to provide professional development training workshops to help artists grow and nourish their practice.

A-School allows artists to connect with other artists, showcase, share and see new work by other creatives and receive feedback and direction. A School fills a critical gap in traditional models for artist training, providing a variety of access points and means of support for artists working at all levels. 

A-School 2024 Schedule

A-School will meet six times during the first half of 2024, typically meeting on a Thursday evening. To see the schedule and sign up, click on the button below. All A-School sessions are $10. The fee covers the facilitation costs and covers refreshments for in-person meetings.


Session 1: A-School Launch, Thursday January 25th, 2024 | 7-8:30 PM | ZOOM

Intro and overview of this new program series that responds to identified needs in our community. What will upcoming skill + knowledge sharing, community building and critique sessions look like? During the session we will survey participants and ask you to tell us what you need for your own professional development as an artist or creative. Facilitated by Scott Bertram and CV/Arts Staff.


Session 2: Show and Tell Critique, Thursday, February 22, 2024 | 6:00-8:00 PM | Location: Comox Valley Art Gallery Board Room (2nd floor), 580 Duncan Ave. Courtenay, BC V9N 2M7

Our community building and critique sessions offer an opportunity for creatives in our region to connect with other artists and if desired, use a segment during the session to present a new body of work, ask for direction, run ideas by colleagues, share opportunities, ask questions, provide or receive feedback and ultimately, build community by getting out of the studio.


Session 3: Show and Tell Critique, Fri, March 15, 2024 | 6:00-8:00 PM | Location: Cloud 9 (319b 4th St, in Courtenay, BC (above the Butcher’s block)

Our community building and critique sessions offer an opportunity for creatives in our region to connect with other artists and if desired, use a segment during the session to present a new body of work, ask for direction, run ideas by colleagues, share opportunities, ask questions, provide or receive feedback and ultimately, build community by getting out of the studio.

A-School Lead Facilitator: Scott Bertram

Scott Bertram is a professional practicing artist and educator based in the Comox Valley. His artistic practice explores improvisation, finding meaning within unintended stimuli, and playing with the dynamics of perception. He has a BFA from the University of British Columbia Okanagan and an MFA from NSCAD University. He was a semi-finalist in the 12th RBC Canadian Painting Competition and has received many other awards including funding from the BC Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts. His paintings have been shown in solo and group exhibitions across Canada as well as in the USA, Australia, Germany, Mexico, and the UK. Scott currently teaches painting at North Island College. 

Through his own lived experience, Scott has witnessed the gaps in traditional art school training, the lack of supports for emerging artists fresh out of art school and the need for a community of peer artists to relate to and bounce ideas off. Scott is A-School’s lead facilitator. 


Incubator Microgrant Program

During the summer of 2023, Comox Valley Arts piloted new microgrant program to support small projects, emerging artists and arts-based experiments that engage the broader public. This pilot program was created to provide a solution to the dire lack of resources and funding streams available to artists, and the even fewer funding opportunities for experimental art. We believe experimental artistic practice that bridges disciplines or explores challenging subjects are important for the development of a healthy arts and culture sector. Through the Incubator program, we support projects that root practice in community engagement, and work that examines themes relevant to the Central Island community and engages issues of decolonization and reconciliation. We believe by supporting grassroots and local emerging ideas, we can incubate a more equitable arts sector from the ground up. Additionally, by supporting emerging artists, we offer artists credibility needed to apply for other grants, leveraging small grant dollars towards outsized impact.

Community Benefit

  • Provides emerging artists the resources to produce experimental work and gain more experience and credibility in the process. 
  • Funding goes to community facing projects, offering more opportunities for the public to engage in the arts. 
  • Potential to leverage small grant and bring more public investment from other sources to Comox Valley artists.

2024 Microgrants

Announcements and updates about the Incubator Microgrant program will be available here as well as posted in our newsletter. Microgrant funding is limited depending on organizational support from funders and the community.

2023 Incubator Microgrant Recipient: “More Than Words”, Book Talk and Artmaking Activity, Rosalind Joyce Maclean

2023 Funded Projects

Artist Name Project Title Type of Project Award 
Corwin Fox Brothers at War Podcast $500 
James Kulczycki York Place Musical Salon Live Musical Concerts $600 
Susan Kymme Patrick March of the Innocents Theatrical Production $1000 
Greg Treadwell Presence Digital Interactive Art Installation $1000 
David Sandor Miklos Cinema Revival Multi-Media Art Installation $500 
Charlie Karumi Vybes and Visas YouTube Interview Series $1000 
Kim Bannerman Short Story Anthology Short Story Anthology $1000 
Wendy Nixon Stothert Pop-Up Choir Events Pop up Choir Summer Series $800 
Rosalind Joyce Maclean More than Words Book Talk and Artmaking Activity $540 
Scott David Bertram Air Above Mountains Experimental Musical Performance $1000 
Rachelle Marie Antoine Indigenize Fabrics Indigenous Designed Fashion Line $500 

2023 Incubator Microgrant Recipients: Left: York Place Musical Salon, Right: “Presence,” an interactive digital art interface by artist, Greg Treadwell.