Katie Sage

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A wonderful time getting to know the multi-talented Katie Sage! Not only is she a the Minster of The Ministry of Casual Living, Katie also specializes in archiving and photography.

Katies’ Photography

Ministry of Casual Living 

List the top three priorities you have in life right now?

  1. [ ART ] (making & curating)
  2. community building
  3. learning new things ….being open to possibilities

What do you consider your best attribute?

Patience – I think this is linked with my art practice. When you work with film and making pictures you need to constantly be observing your surrounding and have patience with whatever you are trying to capture. My mom is probably the most patient person I have ever met, she has taught me a lot.

What is a common misperception of you?

That my full name must be Caitlyn or Kathleen or Kathryn – nope, just Katie (my family calls me Kate)

When you were young what do you wish to become?

I have always wanted to be an artist, but for a period in my life I thought it was a practice exclusively for a certain type of person – who could render something realistically in painting and drawing. Perhaps that’s why I have connected so deeply to making photographs. I also wanted to be a veterinarian until I found out about the amount of math I would have to do.

What is your perfect Friday night?

Going to an art opening or music show – if combined, even better!

katie for true grit


What is happiness to you? Are you there now?

Happiness is a warm cup of coffee in the sunshine – either reading a book or talking with a friend. OH YES, and the ocean!!!
Am I there now??…I live on an island surrounded by ocean and barista’s. (living the dream)

what would you change in your life, if you could?

I would love to make my student debt disappear, and it would be great if my family lived on the west coast.

Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?

In 5 years, I would like to be developing more knowledge and skills on the path I have been on for the last ten plus years – which is making photographs and curating art. The long-term goal is to exhibit my work & develop my practice attending residencies around the world.

what was your scariest moment? What did you learn?

Riding my bicycle down Anarchist summit – hair pin turns, barely any shoulder on the road and traffic.
I learned that [where there is a will – there is a way].

What emotion would you most like to eliminate?

Emotions are what give me a connection to my humanity, so I wouldn’t eliminate any of them. But I would like to get better at observing them and how they affect my body.

Photograph by Katie

Photograph by Katie

Can you remember a time when you felt like giving up/quitting? What happened? How did it change?

This is not just a single event that I can isolate – this is a constant battle with myself, and my practice as an artist. I don’t know what I’m doing most of the time, constantly trying to get past my insecurities and keep going. The practice of an artist is just showing up and trying – but if you’re not your own cheerleader then that sinking feeling of quitting will creep up and take over. I would also say that if you have a group of peers that you trust and are working at their practice to give you critical feedback that can really help push you beyond those moments. But ultimately its up to the individual to keep pushing and persevering.

How do you deal with rejection?

Well, in the case of writing grants and getting rejected, I just called the grant organization ie. CRD, and asked them what I need to do to make the grant successful the next time. (If at first you don’t succeed, just try again.)

What makes you angry?

Racism, sexism, classism, patriarchy, nationalism – All the ways we put ourselves into boxes.

What is your greatest accomplishment?

Opening the new Ministry of Casual Living space at 819 Fort Street with Cameron Kidd, Jonathan Dowdall, Matt Begg, Justine Sawyer, with the handy work of Lee McClure.

If you could have coffee with one person, anyone on the planet, or anyone who once walked the planet, who would it be and why?

I would love to have coffee with my photography teacher from college – Michael McLuhan(son of Marshall McLuhan), he was a great photography mentor to me and he has some pretty wild stories. It’s been about 5-6 years since we have seen each other.

What about your life feels magical?

Recently I developed a roll of Kodak 100 colour film that was about 10plus years old and the colours and imperfections gave me chills – it was magic, and unpredictable.

Can you share a secret with me??

My first job was at the Wal-mart*(most evil place in the world) Photolab and I worked there for almost 4 years on and off and I still go there to get my film developed because it’s the cheapest place in town.

What is one piece of advice you could give someone entering the art world?

Artist-run centres are the best place to start for showing your work – also, volunteer!

How do you spend your alone time? How often do you spend time alone?

I read books, go for walks, make photographs, dumpster dive, listen to music. I like to spend most of my time alone – at least 5 hours a day.

When was the last time you cried? Why?
I cried just yesterday because one of my best friends since I was 13 – Meredith passed away in February and her family just buried her last weekend. She has shaped my life in so many ways – I don’t think I would have had the guts to go to art school or pursue art without her support and guidance.

A mantra/song lyric/motto that you live by?


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