Current Work: President, Ear to the Ground Planning Inc
For me, SCARP was akin to backpacking across Europe, it was an opportunity to find myself, not that I was deeply lost, but perhaps slightly misdirected. In 2001 I left the financial industry to join the unfamiliar domain of community planning. Five years later I had grown and shedded dreadlocks, completed my masters degree, and was the co-owner of consulting company called Ear to the Ground Planning. Our core business was multi-media, a skill we had collectively discovered and explored at SCARP. And now, to the surprise of some (myself included), I am a professional planner who makes movies. My skills and approach has evolved, but the rationalle remains unchanged—video enriches planning discourse and process by providing a creative and emotional means of communicating that is widely accessible.
By some kind of contrivance I am now living in the small Inuit village of Igloolik, Nunavut working with Zacharias Kunuk, one of Canada’s foremost Indigenous filmmakers. We are using film and video to support a 4000-year old culture that, due to a host of factors, including climate change and resource exploitation, is being wiped off the face of the planet. Had I not gone to SCARP I’m not sure what I would be doing, but likely I wouldn’t be filming traditional Inuit walrus hunters on the Arctic Ocean under the midnight sun.
Jonathan Frantz is a the President of Ear to the Ground Planning Inc., a Producer and Director of Photography with Isuma, a Board Member of the Nunavut Independent Television Network, and an Adjunct Professor at SCARP. He lives with his family in Igloolik, Nunavut and Squamish BC.