New Cariboo Studios fosters art, highlights ‘best of humanity’

A love for sharing positive stories and fostering art led Joel Duntin to launch Cariboo Studios.

A love of sharing positive stories and fostering art led Joel Duntin to launch Cariboo Studios.

A relative newcomer to the Cariboo, Duntin founded the 108 Mile studio in 2017 after a stint as a local pastor and helping his wife Sallee at her job at RE/MAX designing websites and managing and producing videos for clients. That work, combined with his past experience as former mental health specialist who moonlighted as a musician, gave him the inspiration he needed to expand his interest in art.

“The biggest thing to me, with the company, is really finding the moments that are important to people’s stories, there’s a lot of really cool businesses here in the Cariboo but how do we show the world they’re here?” Duntin said, adding that many of the most interesting places in the Cariboo have little to no online presence.

Duntin had intended to officially launch the company in early 2020 but then COVID-19 hit. Still, he’s fine with taking things slow, noting the move is not about getting rich but is instead about the artistry of storytelling through music, podcasts and short videos, all of which he does through his production company..

One of the first videos he produced in 2020 with his wife was directly inspired by quarantine and focused on ways people can deal with loneliness.

The first episode of the podcast he produces, Hello Dream Living, meanwhile featured an interview with the owner of Sweet Lavations that, rather than just providing an information dump about the business, went into the story of the people behind it. Duntin said he intends to share more stories like that through the prospect in keeping with his worldview.

“There are so many negative things in the world today but I’d rather spend my time teasing out the best of humanity by sharing stories,” he said.

READ MORE: Clinton artist shares music From the Heart

Duntin is no stranger to living in wide-open rural spaces having born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago before moving to West London to attend university. It was there, at a music festival, where he met Sallee, and the two hit it off and eventually married. When it came time to decide on a place to live, Duntin said they chose the Cariboo in 2015 because his wife’s parents both live in the Lone Butte area.

“We both decided to go on an adventure, really, and try living in the Cariboo,” Duntin said. “Her mum was here and we’d come to visit a few times and we really liked the rural aspect of the Cariboo and whenever I visited we went to lakes and I really liked the life here.”

He likened living in London to “living in a square box on really ridiculous prices,” and said what he loves the most about living in the 108 is the sense of space and the ability to go for walks in nature, especially in the summer.

Duntin juggles his work at the studio with his main job – that of a full-time father of his two-year-old daughter, which he said is the “best thing ever.”

In the future, he’d like to begin organizing live events, do more videography to improve his craft and get his own production house to create and record music. Duntin also intends to help foster the art community in 100 Mile House, especially the music scene which he’d like to see grow to a level similar to that in Williams Lake.

Finding like-minded people with a passion for art and music has always been something Duntin has done and he’s keen to see who he’ll find in the 100 Mile House area. His goal, he said, is to build an artists’ collective that connects them all together.

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