Renowned Canadian science writer and broadcaster Jay Ingram is on a mission to find and foster creative and scientific innovation in Alberta.
Two years ago Ingram helped create the Calgary based festival Beakerhead, which showcases works of art, science, and engineering from around the world, but he’d like to see it become more home grown.
Ingram says this philosophy of collaboration between arts and sciences is something that the natural resources industry is becoming more and more interested in.
“They’ve got to be creative and resourceful right now if they’re going to survive. People that have a diverse background are likely going to be more helpful in a situation like that. So encouraging collaboration between arts and sciences is one thing, but it’s about doing it, and seeing engineering as a creative enterprise.”
Delegates at the Growing the North Conference had the opportunity to hear from Ingram yesterday, who says Grande Prairie already has a reputation for innovation, which is key, but there is also a lot of potential for open-minded collaboration between the arts and sciences.
“Usually there are pretty strong barriers between artists and engineers, but once you’re open to the idea that collaborating with somebody who approaches a problem in a different way- in a way that you can still understand- I think that’s how you start to generate that open-mindedness.”
The festival is a young one, featuring mainly creations from the international community so far, but Ingram says as the festival continues to grow, he hopes and expects to see more content being curated right here in Alberta.
“We can’t predict how it’s going to go but based on the first two years, we know that people love this stuff and we know that of all those people that love it, a percentage want to do it. So I would think, in five years, I bet you’ll see a significant number of Alberta made creations in the festival.”
The third annual Beakerhead festival will be in Calgary this year from September 16-20.