Art

Through Kaleidoscope Eyes

Comox Valley artist Brian Scott paints the world as he sees it – colorful, quirky and fun…

The Courtenay Youth Music Camp (the organization’s original name) was established in 1967 as a two-week summer retreat for the Vancouver Junior Symphony. The fledgling organization quickly gained support within the community however, and in just five years its student enrolment had ballooned from 55 to 383, with many more being turned away. Enrolment reached its apex in the mid ’70s with more than 500 students attending a program that was now six weeks long.

But turmoil wasn’t far off. In 1977, a popular grant program that was bringing scores of students in from Quebec came to an end, and by 1981 CYMC was operating with a $125,000 deficit that threatened the existence of the organization. Only a well-orchestrated “Save CYMC” campaign and some careful internal restructuring thwarted an early demise in the ’80s, and CYMC was soon once again following an upward trajectory.

Recently, however, with the arrival on the Comox Valley arts scene of an upstart new theatre company, CYMC’s coffers once again began to dwindle. With more hands reaching out for fewer dollars, CYMC was forced to make cuts, and first on the chopping block was the classical program.

“There was definitely much larger competition for dollars, and at the same time a reduction in dollars from arts organizations and government,” recalls Wells. “There was also a reduction in actual student registrations. From the time that I got involved with CYMC at the board level as treasurer and then president, the classical program was significantly more expensive than the other programs, so when things started to get tight we had to sit down and ask how we could make it work.”

Many onlookers thought that the cancellation of the classical program was the first sign of CYMC’s demise. Proving its resilience, however, the CYMC board has once again restructured, fine tuned its budget and re-emerged stronger than ever.

“Basically, it’s all about budgeting,” says Wells. “Last year, running classical the way that it had been run, the board said ‘this isn’t going to work. We have to cut it and get ourselves working more efficiently.’”

One component of that efficiency in the 2009 classical program is the addition of master classes. These optional, more intimate classes will be put on by CYMC faculty in between regular sessions, taking advantage of the downtime that these world class musicians have while in town for the camp anyway. Another innovation was the establishment of CYMC’s “Live at the Met” program, an entire season of Metropolitan Opera performances shown live on the big screen at Courtenay’s Rialto Theatre. The program began last October and has been incredibly popular, which Wells says proves the relevance and importance of CYMC’s classical program.

“The classical program is important to the extent that there are not a lot of classical music programs out there at the same calibre that CYMC is at,” he says. “It’s a unique scenario that you don’t really get in most classical music schools; our students will be living and breathing classical music for a long period of time, and having the opportunity to perform at various venues as well.

“Classical music has a huge cultural impact and a huge cultural and historical value,” he continues. “There is a need to keep it going, and a need to make sure that the people who are vested in the classical community are able to pass on their craft to the next generation. It’s not necessarily as sexy as, I don’t know, playing saxophone in a jazz band, but there’s still a need for it.”

Another innovation that veers from CYMC’s traditional methodology is the establishment of an In-House Concert Series, a series of intimate performances held in private residences, generally featuring local musicians. While some within the organization have praised the series as an essential step toward a closer involvement with local musicians, an overhaul of CYMC’s current model of bringing faculty in from elsewhere, suggests Wells, is not in the near future.
“To a certain extent there’s a sexier marketing appeal in having the bigger names coming to town,” he explains. “It’s a double-edged sword because we do have a lot of local professionals who are very talented, but from the perspective of students it’s sometimes easier to say ‘well, this person is really big in Vancouver or Victoria or another area and we’re bringing them in as experts in their field.’ For the local students that would probably have a bigger draw then saying, ‘OK we’re going to do a summer camp and we’re going to have the same people who have basically been teaching you all year at the schools or other organizations that are already in the Comox Valley.’”

Whatever form CYMC eventually takes as it continues to evolve as one of the Comox Valley’s leading arts organizations, one certainty is that local music and musical theatre aficionados are in for a treat this summer.

CYMC’s Festival of Summer Sounds begins on Thursday, July 5 with its All-Star Jazz Faculty Concert and continues throughout July.

For complete details and a schedule of performances, visit cymc.ca or call the CYMC office at 250-338-7463.
As far as organizations go, medical
Comox Valley Youth Music Centre (CYMC) is a survivor. British Columbia’s longest-running music camp has persevered despite the cancellation of government grant programs, prostate
dramatic fluctuations in student enrolment and, just last year, the suspension of its classical program, for years the heart and soul of the organization.

Just as members of the Comox Valley arts community were beginning to whisper epitaphs to the storied non-profit organization, however, CYMC has once again rebounded for 2009 with new leadership, a revitalized classical program and an extensive line-up of performances that is poised to become one of the highlights of this summer’s local entertainment.

Entering its 43rd season, CYMC is essentially a triumvirate of summer music camps, offering instruction in jazz, classical and musical theatre. Students, generally between the ages of 14 and 25, come to the Comox Valley from throughout the province, across the country and, until recently, around the globe to study alongside CYMC’s faculty of professional musicians. Students are also given the opportunity to perform at CYMC’s annual Festival of Summer Sounds, a series of public performances held at various venues throughout the Comox Valley.

With the 2009 season quickly approaching, most of the buzz so far has centred on the revival of CYMC’s classical program. The recently resuscitated program will be directed by CYMC alumnus Dr. John van Deursen, associate conductor of the UBC Symphony Orchestra and director of Orchestra Armonia, a Vancouver-based string ensemble. Van Deursen, whose impressive resume also includes a 10-year stint as principal guest conductor for the Taipei Philharmonic Orchestra, adds an element of celebrity to the CYMC faculty, or at least as close to celebrity as you can get within Canadian classical music circles.

Expanding on the “star power” theme, CYMC staff announced last month that legendary Dutch maestro Arthur Arnold will also join the classical program this year as guest conductor. Arnold debuted with the Moscow Symphony Orchestra in 2001 and co-founded the Symphony Orchestra Academy of the Pacific, in Powell River, in 2003. Between stints on the West Coast, he conducts orchestras throughout Europe, Asia and North America.

“The faculty is pretty outstanding,” acknowledges Bob Wells, who was named CYMC president in April. “The calibre of people that we’ve been able to bring in as educators is incredible. And it’s not just educating, it’s also working in almost a pure relationship, because the faculty are also performing during the summer camp. The faculty are performing, the students are performing and the faculty and students are performing together. The mentorship is built right in to the education, and for our students it’s an amazing experience.”

If CYMC has a reputation for attracting world class faculty, which it does, it is equally renowned for the talented and well-known musicians that count themselves among the organization’s extensive alumni. Musicians who have used a CYMC summer camp as a stepping stone toward a professional music career include legendary drummer/composer Dave Robbins and contemporary jazz icon Diana Krall. According to CYMC’s website, former CYMC students can also be found in every symphony orchestra across Canada, as well as in major international orchestras such as the Boston, London and Berlin Philharmonics.

“We’re very proud of the work we do and the programs we run,” says Wells. “One of the roles that CYMC plays is providing a summer camp where students can come and really hone their craft in terms of jazz, classical music and musical theatre, but in a venue where they’re immersed in the music and working with a lot of very talented people who are in the industry themselves.

“CYMC offers a great showcase for students to come together and learn from each other and from the faculty,” he continues. “It’s a unique way to get students passionate about music and to help them get to that next level.”
Rounding out CYMC’s 2009 season will be its musical theatre program and Pacific Jazz Workshop. The Pacific Jazz Workshop, led by returning director and award-winning music educator Dave Proznick, will feature at least six performances throughout July, including the ever-popular Jazz on the Promenade, an outdoor concert at the Comox Marina. On the musical theatre front, this year’s batch of young actors will give six performances of the edgy, Tony Award-winning Broadway musical RENT at Courtenay’s Sid Williams Theatre July 15 through 19.

In addition to a full slate of music camps and performances, CYMC organizers have several other reasons to be excited about the upcoming season. The Comox Valley School District has offered them the use of Mark Isfeld School, giving CYMC’s jazz and classical programs a venue for instruction, performances and even student housing (musical theatre students will be housed at Cumberland’s Riding Fool Hostel). WestJet has also thrown its weight behind the organization, donating two tickets anywhere they fly for CYMC’s annual fundraising raffle, and, perhaps buoyed by the general sense of optimism, interest has been renewed in CYMC’s long-time goal of establishing a permanent conservatory of music in the Comox Valley.

“It’s certainly an exciting time for CYMC,” says Wells, who also served as the organization’s president during the 2005/06 season and as treasurer a year earlier. “CYMC has a long tradition of being a leader in musical education, and we’ve got a reputation that goes well beyond the Comox Valley. The changes we’ve made this year, I think they’ll go a long way to maintaining that reputation.”

The Courtenay Youth Music Camp (the organization’s original name) was established in 1967 as a two-week summer retreat for the Vancouver Junior Symphony. The fledgling organization quickly gained support within the community however, and in just five years its student enrolment had ballooned from 55 to 383, with many more being turned away. Enrolment reached its apex in the mid ’70s with more than 500 students attending a program that was now six weeks long.

But turmoil wasn’t far off. In 1977, a popular grant program that was bringing scores of students in from Quebec came to an end, and by 1981 CYMC was operating with a $125,000 deficit that threatened the existence of the organization. Only a well-orchestrated “Save CYMC” campaign and some careful internal restructuring thwarted an early demise in the ’80s, and CYMC was soon once again following an upward trajectory.

Recently, however, with the arrival on the Comox Valley arts scene of an upstart new theatre company, CYMC’s coffers once again began to dwindle. With more hands reaching out for fewer dollars, CYMC was forced to make cuts, and first on the chopping block was the classical program.

“There was definitely much larger competition for dollars, and at the same time a reduction in dollars from arts organizations and government,” recalls Wells. “There was also a reduction in actual student registrations. From the time that I got involved with CYMC at the board level as treasurer and then president, the classical program was significantly more expensive than the other programs, so when things started to get tight we had to sit down and ask how we could make it work.”

Many onlookers thought that the cancellation of the classical program was the first sign of CYMC’s demise. Proving its resilience, however, the CYMC board has once again restructured, fine tuned its budget and re-emerged stronger than ever.

“Basically, it’s all about budgeting,” says Wells. “Last year, running classical the way that it had been run, the board said ‘this isn’t going to work. We have to cut it and get ourselves working more efficiently.’”

One component of that efficiency in the 2009 classical program is the addition of master classes. These optional, more intimate classes will be put on by CYMC faculty in between regular sessions, taking advantage of the downtime that these world class musicians have while in town for the camp anyway. Another innovation was the establishment of CYMC’s “Live at the Met” program, an entire season of Metropolitan Opera performances shown live on the big screen at Courtenay’s Rialto Theatre. The program began last October and has been incredibly popular, which Wells says proves the relevance and importance of CYMC’s classical program.

“The classical program is important to the extent that there are not a lot of classical music programs out there at the same calibre that CYMC is at,” he says. “It’s a unique scenario that you don’t really get in most classical music schools; our students will be living and breathing classical music for a long period of time, and having the opportunity to perform at various venues as well.

“Classical music has a huge cultural impact and a huge cultural and historical value,” he continues. “There is a need to keep it going, and a need to make sure that the people who are vested in the classical community are able to pass on their craft to the next generation. It’s not necessarily as sexy as, I don’t know, playing saxophone in a jazz band, but there’s still a need for it.”

Another innovation that veers from CYMC’s traditional methodology is the establishment of an In-House Concert Series, a series of intimate performances held in private residences, generally featuring local musicians. While some within the organization have praised the series as an essential step toward a closer involvement with local musicians, an overhaul of CYMC’s current model of bringing faculty in from elsewhere, suggests Wells, is not in the near future.
“To a certain extent there’s a sexier marketing appeal in having the bigger names coming to town,” he explains. “It’s a double-edged sword because we do have a lot of local professionals who are very talented, but from the perspective of students it’s sometimes easier to say ‘well, this person is really big in Vancouver or Victoria or another area and we’re bringing them in as experts in their field.’ For the local students that would probably have a bigger draw then saying, ‘OK we’re going to do a summer camp and we’re going to have the same people who have basically been teaching you all year at the schools or other organizations that are already in the Comox Valley.’”

Whatever form CYMC eventually takes as it continues to evolve as one of the Comox Valley’s leading arts organizations, one certainty is that local music and musical theatre aficionados are in for a treat this summer.

CYMC’s Festival of Summer Sounds begins on Thursday, July 5 with its All-Star Jazz Faculty Concert and continues throughout July.

For complete details and a schedule of performances, visit
www.cymc.ca or call the CYMC office at 250-338-7463.
As far as organizations go, patient
Comox Valley Youth Music Centre (CYMC) is a survivor. British Columbia’s longest-running music camp has persevered despite the cancellation of government grant programs, dosage
dramatic fluctuations in student enrolment and, just last year, the suspension of its classical program, for years the heart and soul of the organization.

Just as members of the Comox Valley arts community were beginning to whisper epitaphs to the storied non-profit organization, however, CYMC has once again rebounded for 2009 with new leadership, a revitalized classical program and an extensive line-up of performances that is poised to become one of the highlights of this summer’s local entertainment.

Entering its 43rd season, CYMC is essentially a triumvirate of summer music camps, offering instruction in jazz, classical and musical theatre. Students, generally between the ages of 14 and 25, come to the Comox Valley from throughout the province, across the country and, until recently, around the globe to study alongside CYMC’s faculty of professional musicians. Students are also given the opportunity to perform at CYMC’s annual Festival of Summer Sounds, a series of public performances held at various venues throughout the Comox Valley.

With the 2009 season quickly approaching, most of the buzz so far has centred on the revival of CYMC’s classical program. The recently resuscitated program will be directed by CYMC alumnus Dr. John van Deursen, associate conductor of the UBC Symphony Orchestra and director of Orchestra Armonia, a Vancouver-based string ensemble. Van Deursen, whose impressive resume also includes a 10-year stint as principal guest conductor for the Taipei Philharmonic Orchestra, adds an element of celebrity to the CYMC faculty, or at least as close to celebrity as you can get within Canadian classical music circles.

Expanding on the “star power” theme, CYMC staff announced last month that legendary Dutch maestro Arthur Arnold will also join the classical program this year as guest conductor. Arnold debuted with the Moscow Symphony Orchestra in 2001 and co-founded the Symphony Orchestra Academy of the Pacific, in Powell River, in 2003. Between stints on the West Coast, he conducts orchestras throughout Europe, Asia and North America.

“The faculty is pretty outstanding,” acknowledges Bob Wells, who was named CYMC president in April. “The calibre of people that we’ve been able to bring in as educators is incredible. And it’s not just educating, it’s also working in almost a pure relationship, because the faculty are also performing during the summer camp. The faculty are performing, the students are performing and the faculty and students are performing together. The mentorship is built right in to the education, and for our students it’s an amazing experience.”

If CYMC has a reputation for attracting world class faculty, which it does, it is equally renowned for the talented and well-known musicians that count themselves among the organization’s extensive alumni. Musicians who have used a CYMC summer camp as a stepping stone toward a professional music career include legendary drummer/composer Dave Robbins and contemporary jazz icon Diana Krall. According to CYMC’s website, former CYMC students can also be found in every symphony orchestra across Canada, as well as in major international orchestras such as the Boston, London and Berlin Philharmonics.

“We’re very proud of the work we do and the programs we run,” says Wells. “One of the roles that CYMC plays is providing a summer camp where students can come and really hone their craft in terms of jazz, classical music and musical theatre, but in a venue where they’re immersed in the music and working with a lot of very talented people who are in the industry themselves.

“CYMC offers a great showcase for students to come together and learn from each other and from the faculty,” he continues. “It’s a unique way to get students passionate about music and to help them get to that next level.”
Rounding out CYMC’s 2009 season will be its musical theatre program and Pacific Jazz Workshop. The Pacific Jazz Workshop, led by returning director and award-winning music educator Dave Proznick, will feature at least six performances throughout July, including the ever-popular Jazz on the Promenade, an outdoor concert at the Comox Marina. On the musical theatre front, this year’s batch of young actors will give six performances of the edgy, Tony Award-winning Broadway musical RENT at Courtenay’s Sid Williams Theatre July 15 through 19.

In addition to a full slate of music camps and performances, CYMC organizers have several other reasons to be excited about the upcoming season. The Comox Valley School District has offered them the use of Mark Isfeld School, giving CYMC’s jazz and classical programs a venue for instruction, performances and even student housing (musical theatre students will be housed at Cumberland’s Riding Fool Hostel). WestJet has also thrown its weight behind the organization, donating two tickets anywhere they fly for CYMC’s annual fundraising raffle, and, perhaps buoyed by the general sense of optimism, interest has been renewed in CYMC’s long-time goal of establishing a permanent conservatory of music in the Comox Valley.

“It’s certainly an exciting time for CYMC,” says Wells, who also served as the organization’s president during the 2005/06 season and as treasurer a year earlier. “CYMC has a long tradition of being a leader in musical education, and we’ve got a reputation that goes well beyond the Comox Valley. The changes we’ve made this year, I think they’ll go a long way to maintaining that reputation.”

The Courtenay Youth Music Camp (the organization’s original name) was established in 1967 as a two-week summer retreat for the Vancouver Junior Symphony. The fledgling organization quickly gained support within the community however, and in just five years its student enrolment had ballooned from 55 to 383, with many more being turned away. Enrolment reached its apex in the mid ’70s with more than 500 students attending a program that was now six weeks long.

But turmoil wasn’t far off. In 1977, a popular grant program that was bringing scores of students in from Quebec came to an end, and by 1981 CYMC was operating with a $125,000 deficit that threatened the existence of the organization. Only a well-orchestrated “Save CYMC” campaign and some careful internal restructuring thwarted an early demise in the ’80s, and CYMC was soon once again following an upward trajectory.

Recently, however, with the arrival on the Comox Valley arts scene of an upstart new theatre company, CYMC’s coffers once again began to dwindle. With more hands reaching out for fewer dollars, CYMC was forced to make cuts, and first on the chopping block was the classical program.

“There was definitely much larger competition for dollars, and at the same time a reduction in dollars from arts organizations and government,” recalls Wells. “There was also a reduction in actual student registrations. From the time that I got involved with CYMC at the board level as treasurer and then president, the classical program was significantly more expensive than the other programs, so when things started to get tight we had to sit down and ask how we could make it work.”

Many onlookers thought that the cancellation of the classical program was the first sign of CYMC’s demise. Proving its resilience, however, the CYMC board has once again restructured, fine tuned its budget and re-emerged stronger than ever.

“Basically, it’s all about budgeting,” says Wells. “Last year, running classical the way that it had been run, the board said ‘this isn’t going to work. We have to cut it and get ourselves working more efficiently.’”

One component of that efficiency in the 2009 classical program is the addition of master classes. These optional, more intimate classes will be put on by CYMC faculty in between regular sessions, taking advantage of the downtime that these world class musicians have while in town for the camp anyway. Another innovation was the establishment of CYMC’s “Live at the Met” program, an entire season of Metropolitan Opera performances shown live on the big screen at Courtenay’s Rialto Theatre. The program began last October and has been incredibly popular, which Wells says proves the relevance and importance of CYMC’s classical program.

“The classical program is important to the extent that there are not a lot of classical music programs out there at the same calibre that CYMC is at,” he says. “It’s a unique scenario that you don’t really get in most classical music schools; our students will be living and breathing classical music for a long period of time, and having the opportunity to perform at various venues as well.

“Classical music has a huge cultural impact and a huge cultural and historical value,” he continues. “There is a need to keep it going, and a need to make sure that the people who are vested in the classical community are able to pass on their craft to the next generation. It’s not necessarily as sexy as, I don’t know, playing saxophone in a jazz band, but there’s still a need for it.”

Another innovation that veers from CYMC’s traditional methodology is the establishment of an In-House Concert Series, a series of intimate performances held in private residences, generally featuring local musicians. While some within the organization have praised the series as an essential step toward a closer involvement with local musicians, an overhaul of CYMC’s current model of bringing faculty in from elsewhere, suggests Wells, is not in the near future.
“To a certain extent there’s a sexier marketing appeal in having the bigger names coming to town,” he explains. “It’s a double-edged sword because we do have a lot of local professionals who are very talented, but from the perspective of students it’s sometimes easier to say ‘well, this person is really big in Vancouver or Victoria or another area and we’re bringing them in as experts in their field.’ For the local students that would probably have a bigger draw then saying, ‘OK we’re going to do a summer camp and we’re going to have the same people who have basically been teaching you all year at the schools or other organizations that are already in the Comox Valley.’”

Whatever form CYMC eventually takes as it continues to evolve as one of the Comox Valley’s leading arts organizations, one certainty is that local music and musical theatre aficionados are in for a treat this summer.

CYMC’s Festival of Summer Sounds begins on Thursday, July 5 with its All-Star Jazz Faculty Concert and continues throughout July.

For complete details and a schedule of performances, visit
www.cymc.ca or call the CYMC office at 250-338-7463.

Comox Valley artist Brian Scott in studio

Comox Valley artist Brian Scott in studio

Photo by http://www.strathconaphotography.com/

Although his paintings depict a remarkable level of creativity that is vibrant, ed
whimsically flamboyant, malady
full of mischief and zest for life, discount
Brian Scott is surprisingly normal. The artist doesn’t have wild Einstein-style hair and he dresses in regular clothes. The only indication of the creative genius within is the paint splatters on the toes of his sensible shoes.

I meet him at his home in Black Creek, which also does double duty as his studio and personal art gallery. I take a few minutes before our meeting to check out the Brian Scott originals that hang on the fence and outbuildings, making them as colorful as a clothesline. At the base of his property, a giant and (of course) gaily painted carving of a Spirit Bear stands upright, one paw held high, as if beckoning passersby to come on in. At the bear’s feet a riot of bright yellow dandelions and tall green grass dances in the wind. It is the perfect showcase for this unusual work of art.

Upon closer inspection, I find there is a myriad of other items in the yard that sport Brian Scott’s trademark kaleidoscope of color—a trashcan, a birdhouse, a mailbox and many other everyday items have been graced by his brushes. Is there anything, I wonder, that Scott doesn’t consider a potential canvas?

I am invited to join him on the back deck for coffee and a chat. He has no sugar for the coffee so, instead, roots around in the fridge and offers me some Bailey’s. It’s mid-afternoon, so I take him up on his offer.

The writer/researcher in me wants to methodically ask him a series of “W5” questions. I want to hear his story—with a beginning, middle and end. The artist in him immediately starts talking about color, geometrics and the fluidity of nature.

I listen, and am intrigued. Brian Scott is, after all, one of British Columbia’s (and indeed all of Canada’s) most renowned artists. His expressionist original oil and acrylic paintings are prized on Vancouver Island and have sold across Canada and internationally, in the UK, Hong Kong, Germany, Holland, Norway, Switzerland, Australia and the United States.

In addition to his original paintings and papier mâché sculptures, Brian Scott’s work has been replicated in limited edition prints, books and greeting cards, even chocolate bar wrappers. (You can buy the chocolate bars at Hot Chocolates, on 5th Street.) Without a doubt, he is a success. But I still wanted to know—how did he make it happen?
“I was born in Winnipeg,” explains Scott. “But I never actually lived there! My father was in the Canadian Air Force, so we lived in various places in Canada and Europe throughout my youth. My mother just went home to her family in Winnipeg to have her babies.”

One of four children born to Ralph and Dorothy Scott, who now live in Courtenay, Brian and his siblings spent their formative years day-tripping through Europe with mom and dad. They visited art galleries, castles and cathedrals. This experience helped him develop what would become a life-long interest in architecture, history and art.
While Scott has fond memories about his years in Europe, being part of an “Air Force family” surrounded him, he says, in a world that was a sea of “olive drab.” Perhaps this is why his first memory of color goes back to when he was a toddler in his playpen. Scott can still vividly recall how the bright and flashy primary colors on this vinyl safety net mesmerized him.

In 1961, Ralph Scott was posted to CFB Comox and moved his family here. By now, Brian was in his early teens, and he fell in love with Vancouver Island. A couple of years later, his dad was re-assigned to North Bay, Ontario, so Brian attended and graduated from a high school there.

Scott says that even as a child he was seldom without a sketchbook and art was his favorite subject at school. One of his earliest inspirations was his art teacher at Rob Road Junior High—Leo Auterson. “There wasn’t a lot of art education in the school system back in those days, so I was really excited when Mr. Auterson introduced us to using color in our work,” recalls Scott.

Scott’s list of famous artists he most admires includes: Emily Carr, van Gogh, Oskar Kokoschka and Picasso. Picasso, he explains, was one of the first artists to take objects others might consider junk and turn them into masterpieces.
When he graduated from high school, Brian told his dad he wanted to be an artist. “Follow you dream,” urged his father, “but be sure to get a good education and a ‘career’ first.” So Scott decided he would become an art and history teacher.

The next step in Scott’s journey took him to the University of British Columbia, where he earned his Bachelor of Education. From there, he earned his Masters Degree in Art Education from Western Washington University and a Diploma of Fine Art with Honors from the Vancouver School of Fine Arts (now called the Emily Carr College of Art and Design). At UBC he was inspired by teacher and fellow artist, Gordon Smith.

Scott says it was an amazing feeling when he actually sold his first painting. Although he won’t tell me how much it sold for—“It’s funny in our culture how we always want to talk about price,” he says with just a hint of defiance.
Scott’s big break came in 1979, fresh out of art school, when he was commissioned to produce 53 oil paintings for Tungsten Mining Corporation, on location in the Northwest Territories. “I had just been offered a teaching job at North Island College and this commission enabled me to purchase my first home and studio in Cumberland, where I lived and painted for the next 20 years,” says Scott.