Media Release: Calgary soon to get its own spaceship

Beama Visual Environments named recipient of the Big Bang Residency Program

[Calgary/Banff, Canada | December 7, 2015] — A Calgary team will be the first group to go through the Big Bang Residency Program, an initiative designed to support mixed groups of artists and engineers for a year to create a large-scale engineered artwork and immersive experience – a space ship in this case – to premiere during Beakerhead 2016.

The winning team will be provided with budget of $50,000 for materials and artist fees through funding from the Remarkable Experience Accelerator, a joint initiative of Calgary Arts Development and the Calgary Hotel Association.

Nineteen teams applied from across the globe, including across Canada, the United States, France, Poland and The Netherlands. The winning proposal, by Beama Visual Environments, will see the creation of a multi-interactive work called the Bass Ship. The team has created work for music festivals all across North America such as Coachella and Shambala and can be found on industry top ten lists. The work will open on September 14, 2016.

The Bass Ship is an immersive, fully interactive audio-visual installation exploring the idea of non-verbal communication.

There are no passengers on a spaceship.  We’re all crew!


“When you step inside the ship, you become a part of an experiment. You have to coordinate with three other crew members to create a coherent communication. There are a lot of interesting dimensions, which will be developed through the residency at The Banff Centre, culminating in a spectacle!” says Mary Anne Moser, president and co-founder of Beakerhead.

From the ship’s switchboards and control panels, participants (a.k.a. crew) will be guided by visual cues. Each action by one of the participants will trigger a sequence of audio, lighting and video events, which will play out on the Bass Ship and shared with the audience … or extra-terrestrials!

“It has been an honour and a thrill to see the wealth of creativity from applicants around the world,” said Jen Mizuik, director of Visual + Digital Arts at The Banff Centre. “We look forward to welcoming Beama Visual Environments to The Banff Centre, where they can develop and polish their project in one of the world’s most inspiring places.”

This is the first year for this three-year program, spearheaded by Beakerhead, an annual smash up of art, science and engineering that erupted in Calgary for the first time in 2013 and reached an audience of 112,000 last year.

The next call for proposals to the Big Bang Residency Program will be issued in the summer of 2016.

Full release in pdfclick here
Downloadable images

Media Contacts

  • Michelle Htun-Kay, Director of Communications and Marketing, Beakerhead: 1-403-971-5180 or
  • Jenny Spurr, Media and Communications Officer, The Banff Centre: 1-403-763-6719 or

DEADLINE SOON for Big Bang Residency Applications

CALL FOR PROPOSALS – Deadline October 9, 2015

Big Bang Residency invites artists and engineers to create new works of art and spectacle

Artists, designers, engineers and technicians are invited to submit proposals to create a new multidisciplinary work of art that will be supported through a program called the Big Bang Residency.

The work will be built over the course of a year by a team of four or five, with backgrounds ranging from art and design to science and engineering, and will premiere on September 14, 2016, at Beakerhead  in Calgary, Canada.

The year of building will be bracketed by two one-week periods in residence, provided by The Banff Centre in support of this program. A globally respected arts, cultural, and educational institution, The Banff Centre is providing expertise and oversight to the selection and creative development process.

The successful team will also be provided with a materials budget of CAD 24,000, additional support for space and equipment rental, and an artist fee for each team member (up to five) of CAD 5,000, through funding from the Remarkable Experience Accelerator, a joint initiative of Calgary Arts Development and the Calgary Hotel Association.

The selection jury is made up of art and engineering professionals from around the world. The deadline for proposals is October 9, 2015, and the successful team will be notified by November 6, 2015.

This is the first year for this three-year program, spearheaded by Beakerhead, an annual smash up of art, science and engineering that erupted in Calgary in 2013.

Click here for details

Photo: The Fabulist by Bee Kingdom – the first friendly, artificially intelligent inflatable artwork. Photo by Neil Zeller Photography. 

Big Bang Residency Jury

All Big Bang Residency proposals that meet the program criteria will be sent to a jury of up to eight people for review. Each jury member will the rank the proposals based on artistic merit and the ability of the artwork to engage the public.

The jury will consist of:

  1. The Banff Centre delegates (3)
  2. Professional engineer (1)
  3. Calgary Arts Development delegate (1)
  4. Calgary Hotel Association delegate (1)
  5. Beakerhead delegates (2)

Meet the jury members …

BBDrandy Dahrouge

Brandy Dahrouge is the Program Manager for Visual + Digital Arts Creative Residencies at The Banff Centre. Brandy has a decade of experience as a post-secondary arts educator, artist, and musician. She holds a BFA from the University of Calgary, an MFA (Media Arts) from the University of New South Wales (Sydney), and a post graduate certificate in Music Pedagogy from the Kodály Institute of the Liszt Academy (Hungary). Brandy is the recipient of numerous awards for arts and community leadership. Brandy is the recipient of numerous awards for arts and community leadership including an International Postgraduate Research Award from the Government of Australia and a Rotary International Ambassadorial Fellowship.   




Nima Dorjee

Nima Dorjee is Vice President of the Association for Professional Engineers and Geophysicists of Alberta (APEGA). Nima was born in a Tibetan refugee settlement in India and has called Calgary home since 1981. He graduated withNima Dorjee photo Jan 2015 a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Calgary in 1992. While attending the University of Calgary in 1989, he was elected president of the 18,000-member Students’ Union. Upon graduation, Nima founded EngIT Engineering Services, which specialized in providing Engineers-in-Training to employers for a short-term basis. In 1995, he joined the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Calgary. Under his leadership, the engineering internship program became the largest program of its kind in Canada. In 2008, he was recognized with the Schulich School of Engineering’s Champion Award. The YMCA recognized Nima’s involvement in the area of human rights by awarding him the Canada Peace Medal in 1997 and, in 2007, he received the Calgary Freedom of Expression Award. Since 2008, Nima has devoted his time to projects related to the Dalai Lama’s work on human values. This included working at the private office of the Dalai Lama in India. Since 2011, Nima has served as the president of Project Tibet Society, which is responsible for the resettlement of 1,000 Tibetan refugees from northern India to Canada.


Jen Mizuik

Jen MiziukJen Mizuik is the Director of Visual and Digital Arts. She holds over a decade of experience in contemporary art and digital media including creating opportunities for artists to develop new work and build their careers, supporting technological and experimental innovations in artistic practice, and exploring new ways to engage audiences in visual art.  Prior to joining the Banff Centre, Jen was the Director of Experimenta in Melbourne (2009-2014), and previously the General Manager.  She has held posts at institutions such as the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) in Melbourne and the Art Gallery of Calgary.  Jen has Directed and Curated exhibitions of artists such as AES+F (Russia), Cao Fei (China), Hans-Peter Feldman (Germany), Shilpa Gupta (India), Christian Jankowski (Germany), William Kentridge (South Africa, David OReilly (Ireland), Kuang-Yu Tsui (Taiwan), Kit Wise (Australia), Ryoko Aoki & Zon Ito (Japan), Sylvie Blocher (France), Natalie Bookchin (USA), ,Johan Grimonprez (Belgium), Shih Chieh Huang (Taiwan), Hiroshi Ishiguro (Japan) and YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES (South Korea).


Mary Anne Moser

mary1Mary Anne Moser is co-founder and CEO of Beakerhead, a major collaborative art, science and engineering spectacle that erupted for the first time in Calgary in September 2013. She has built a career where art, culture and science intersect. She has worked as a scientist, journalist, an award-winning designer and was the founding editor of the Banff Centre Press. She started the Banff Science Communications Program in 2005, Canada’s Iron Science Teacher competition in 2007 and was member of the start-up steering committee for the Science Media Centre of Canada, launched in 2010. She is the editor of two books on science in society: Immersed in Technology (MIT Press 1995) and Science, She Loves Me (Banff Centre Press 2011). She holds a BSc in zoology, a Master’s degree in communications, and an interdisciplinary PhD.


JJasmine-Phtotasmine Palardy

Jasmine Palardy is a Director of Programs and Partnerships at Beakerhead. She is a technology trend-hunter, geek scout and people connector. She was the first staff member at Beakerhead and has been with the team since the idea was a seedling, nurturing it with her enthusiasm, positivity and supreme hustling skills. She brings more than 10 years of experience in communications, marketing, and business development. Before Beakerhead, she was a management consultant at Dealmaker Media in San Francisco (USA). At Dealmaker, she worked with a massive network of technology startup founders, investors, influencers, and media – with the ultimate goal of staying on the edge of technology and business trends so that she could advise and connect startups internationally. As a proud Calgarian, Jasmine has served as co-Chair of TEDxYYC in past years, volunteered for MakerFaire and ArtsVote, and is an avid live music concertgoer.


Pamela Tchida Kupidy

As the Executive Director of the Calgary Hotel Association (CHA), Pamela Tchida Kupidy works closely with its members, board of directors and many strategic funding partners that are leaders and innovators in Calgary’s tourism sector. Through CHA’s Destination Marketing Fund (DMF), Pamela also manages a variety of other local funding partnerships to collectively market and promote tourism and the many sports, arts and culture, economic development and leisure-related programs and events that are produced annually in the city of Calgary. Prior to joining CHA, Pamela consulted to private, publicly traded and non profit organizations across Western Canada and the Eastern U.S., including consulting to two of Calgary’s business revitalization zones and an active board member of C-Biz (Calgary’s Business Revitalization Zones). Beginning her career in the financial industry, Pamela has allocated a significant portion of her career in the investment and finance community both in Canada and the U.S. A self-published author, Pamela is also an advocate of the arts community and an admirer of the various artistic mediums that this encompasses.

Kevin Cork Kevin Cork-018 cropped

Kevin Cork, CFP is President of with 25 years financial planning experience. He has written for The Globe and Mail, Advisor’s Edge,, CBC, Calgary Herald, AOL, FundLibrary, Registered Representative, KRAVE and Zi Magazine. His national best-seller, ‘The Money Book’, was followed by ‘The Investment Book’. Kevin has presented for MDRT, IFIC, Banff School, EduVacation, Manulife, Mount Royal College and the Universities of Calgary & Alberta and has appeared on Vicki Gabereau, CBC/Newsworld, A-Channel, ROB TV, Global, CTV, QR77, TVOntario, CityTV, MOJO Radio, CJAD Montreal, Country 105, JACK FM and Canada Learning Television.