January 31, 2013 - 3:45am


NANAIMO, BC - Local film expert Shirley Goldberg will be recognized for over 35 years of outstanding contributions to the Vancouver Island film community when she is presented with the first ever Film Paragon Award at the 8th annual Vancouver Island Short Film Festival on February 2.

“Shirley Goldberg’s long-term devotion to our film community is inspiring,” said VISFF Director and Vancouver Island University media technician Johnny Blakeborough.

“It’s fair to say the Festival wouldn’t exist without her support and encouragement. Eighteen years ago Shirley inspired me to make my first film, and I have seen her help so many people over the years. I’m proud to have the opportunity to recognize her outstanding contributions.”

Goldberg, who developed and taught VIU’s first film studies course, also has a long history of volunteer involvement in the community. She has worked with the Nanaimo Film Commission, inFest Film Festival, Moving Pictures, Shakespeare Plus, VISFF, and many other local organizations. She has programmed and organized the annual Global Film Festival (Nanaimo’s version of the World Community Film Festival), as well as a weekly international film series and various “special focus” film series for VIU’s Continuing Education department.

For the past ten years, she has co-hosted the ‘Changes’ show on Radio CHLY.

Ron Bonham, a former English professor at VIU who still presents the weekly Film Series on campus with Goldberg, notes that Goldberg is well-deserving of this award.

“She has quietly and cheerfully given of her time and breadth of knowledge. Shirley began the film series in 1973 so this will be 40 years since it started. She has been an inspiration to me and together we have traveled to festivals and ourselves shown hundreds of films locally.”

As a journalist and an arts and culture critic, Goldberg has published hundreds of articles and reviews in both local and international publications. Her film reviews for Canadian Dimension magazine provided readers with a political context for contemporary films, and she earned a Western Magazine Award for her contributions to the internationally distributed Humanist Perspectives magazine.

For Goldberg, film literacy and appreciation go hand-in-hand with global humanist causes. “Film is the most deeply humanistic art form today,” says Goldberg. “I love the way that it effortlessly crosses cultural boundaries. It offers fresh new ways to interpret, understand, and deal with the issues of our time. Film enriches our lives by offering revelatory glimpses into the beauty of our world and of human potential itself.”

The 8th annual Vancouver Island Short Film Festival showcases the best short films from Vancouver Island and abroad on February 1 and 2 at the Malaspina Theatre at the Nanaimo VIU Campus. The show starts at 7 pm and Goldberg will be honoured after the films on the Saturday, February 2 show.

Tickets are $15 and available at The House of Indigo Boutique, Nanaimo Arts Council at Nanaimo North Town Centre, Nanaimo Art Gallery on campus, online at, and at the door.

The Vancouver Island Short Film Festival creates opportunities for local filmmakers. The Festival is not only a venue for their films, but also an opportunity to network with other film professionals and inspire growth in our film community.

The Festival is made possible with the assistance of the Nanaimo Arts Council and the City of Nanaimo. For more information go to or contact Blakeborough at


Tags: In the Community

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