Case Study SSNAP
SSNAP embodies diversity of Canadian art and delivers fresh perspectives
The Salt Spring National Art Prize (SSNAP) is a biennial competition and exhibition of Canadian visual art providing an opportunity for underserved artists to be recognized, grow and reach their full potential. In order to engage its audience and enact its mission, SSNAP organizers reached out to C Me Communications to help generate a national platform for the art prize by creating a strategic media campaign to build awareness, credibility and garner results. The scope of the campaign would include local, regional and national media coverage.
Bringing attention to a national art prize that is hosted on Salt Spring, a Gulf Island with a population of 10,000 where Victoria is the closest city and Toronto is over 4,000 kilometres away. To glean interest and momentum for the inaugural competition, C Me researched how to best target sectors that would build credibility and introduce the art prize into mainstream consciousness. C Me identified the need to take the public relations’ campaign on the road and create a buzz by first launching a media event in Victoria, British Columbia.
C Me expanded coverage by identifying a cross section of artists in regional locations and generated human interest stories for each to garner publicity and exposure. By building national, regional and local media coverage for SSNAP artists, C Me used the power of storytelling to create interest by not only highlighting artists, but their personal stories and how their work creates meaningful impacts in their communities.
In 2015, C Me hit all targeted sectors and established SSNAP as an art prize on the rise. SSNAP has since become a showcase for new work, and a place for artists across the country to have a space to come together, connect with one another and create an exchange. By its fourth installment, SSNAP doubled the number of artist submissions and has become a competition lauded for its ability to stimulate artistic growth and recognition for artists from coast to coast and to elevate the narratives of emerging artists. This has led to the opportunity for artists, art lovers, and cultural advocates to expand their understanding of the depth and range or artistic talent across Canada.
Because of its impact, SSNAP has created a new place for artists to find recognition and created a level playing field for contemporary visual artists nation-wide. In the words of founding director Ronald T, Crawford, “Every artist across the country has an equal opportunity.”
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