Mason named Sunbury Shores new artistic director

SAINT ANDREWS – The Sunbury Shores Arts and Nature Centre has hired a new artistic director.

For more than 20 years, Joel Mason has been an interdisciplinary artist. He holds a PhD in interdisciplinary fine arts from Concordia University in Montreal.

Mason has left his mark on many arts organizations around the globe and is now bringing his innovative talents to Saint Andrews.

“I’ve started many artistic organizations in different cities; Vancouver, Montreal, Minneapolis, and worked a lot in the arts in Europe. I’m basically just continuing to do what I’m doing but in a new local and a wonderful place,” said Mason.

Mason has two grand developmental plans he hopes to accomplish in his new role.

“I want to help both our arts organization and other arts organizations become healthier in the way they appreciate their own workers, by making the workplace itself a creative place. It always makes sense to me, places that are about the arts should be artful places to work, and this place is a great place to work but I think there’s always room for improvement,” said Mason.

“The other thing I want to do is, I really am passionate about contemporary circus, like Circus du Soleil style circus. I’d like to bring contemporary circus to Saint Andrews here in New Brunswick and make it a place that people can come to see circus, come to learn circus, come to be a part of that culture. I think that would be a really great synergy between all the other arts that happen here at Sunbury and that particular performing arts since we’re a historic place where people come on holiday and everything.”

As artistic director, Mason’s job will consist of oversight for the curating of exhibitions, programming, and all the many classes and activities the centre offers to the public, as well as running the two artist residency programs.

“I’m kind of also the public face of the centre, to the community, and internationally abroad as well,” he said.

Mason’s passion for the arts and vision for the future showcases exciting advancements to come to the centre.

“Drama driven, theatre driven, spectacle of human movement, acrobatics, no animals, it’s about telling a story, something that does stick with you right, it has stuck with me,” said Mason.

By Christina Bailey