March 15 – April 13, 2024

Scott Smith + Nettie Wild


Video triptych, 14 minutes | 3 channel output

Reception: Friday March 15th at 5PM

Artist Talk: Friday April 12th at 5PM

  • Artist talk with Scott Smith and Nettie Wild, creators of GO FISH, hosted by Vimalasara. Considering the role of artists and stories in the face of our changing climate.
  • Location: Raven’s Cry Theatre – 5555 Sunshine Coast Hwy, Sechelt

Each year, hundreds of millions of herring return to the Salish Sea, their spawn painting a milky turquoise collar along its shores. For a few chaotic days, the sea is transformed. The spawn attracts a formidable web of fish, sea lions, birds, and the fishing fleet that follows. GO FISH asks the question, if the herring set the table, who comes for dinner? It launches the 2024 Sechelt Arts Festival, and its new vision to connect art, ecologies and climate change. 

We set out to capture the abstract patterns found in the chaos and wonder of the herring spawn.  Our decision to create a triptych grew out of an impulse to make art that was as compelling and immersive as the spawn itself. No narration. No interviews. Our job was to observe, not to comment. So, we leaned into the abstract – in pursuit of framing the familiar in an unfamiliar way. We figured if we could surprise ourselves as filmmakers, we stood a chance of surprising you, our audience.

GO FISH captures the patterns of this mayhem as the herring “set the table,” and we discover the extraordinary cast of wildlife and humans who come to dinner. The video triptych, directed and produced by Scott Smith and Nettie Wild, is a documentary art installation with immersive sound, enveloping you in the natural wonder of this annual spectacle. Filmed underwater, topside, and from the air, GO FISH creates a kaleidoscope of image and sound, framing the familiar with an unfamiliar frame.

For Scott it was the three-dimensional wall of milt in the water marking the start of the spawn, at once massive and illusive, hanging off the shores of Hornby Island which he calls home. For Nettie, it was the dazzling patterns of a seiner pursing its net full of herring…and 100 barking, roiling, hungry sea lions.

GO FISH was made with the participation of both environmentalists and members of the fishing fleet. Our hope is to get everyone in the same room together with our fish…. wondering at the beauty and power of the spawn, and pondering our relationship to it. GO FISH seeks to bring a curious lens to capture the poetry and complexity of one of the greatest shows on earth

The artists respectfully acknowledge that GO FISH was filmed on the Unceded Territory of the K’ómoks First Nation, the traditional keepers of this land and sea.

Editor and Sound Designer: MICHAEL BROCKINGTON


The world premiere of GO FISH took place at the Comox Valley Art Gallery (CVAG) in the spring of 2023. Contributions from many individual donors made it possible for CVAG to acquire the equipment necessary to present GO FISH. We are grateful to CVAG and all the individual donors who made this presentation possible.

About the Artists

Nettie Wild is recognized as one of Canada’s leading documentary filmmakers, receiving the Governor General’s Award in Media Arts in 2023. Her highly charged and critically acclaimed films have brought her audiences behind the frontlines and headlines of revolutions and social change around the world. Her production credits include KONELĪNE: Our Land Beautiful (2016), FIX: The Story of an Addicted City (2002), and A Place Called Chiapas (1998). In 2017, Wild directed the acclaimed digital art installation UNINTERRUPTED, images of wild salmon projected onto Vancouver’s Cambie bridge.

Scott Smith is a graduate of the Canadian Film Centre in Toronto, launching his career with two award-winning feature films, Rollercoaster (2000) and Falling Angels (2003), and since developed a abroad-based directing career in film and television.

His documentary As Slow As Possible (2006) re-introduced him to the camera-based work that he began his career with, and the opportunity to return to his early love of photography compelled him to join Nettie Wild as co-director and primary cinematographer of GO FISH. As a part-time resident of Hornby Island, B.C., Scott embraced the opportunity to turn his lens on the natural phenomenon happening every year right outside his front door.