Alice Gibson nurtured her passion for creating beauty from clay in the bustling ceramics studio on Selkirk College’s Victoria Street Campus where she developed confidence at the pottery wheel that has propelled her onto the national stage.
Chosen as one of 10 amateur potters in a nationwide search, Gibson is a contestant on The Great Canadian Pottery Throw Down that premieres on CBC Gem and CBC television on February 8. Graduating from the 10-month Ceramics Program with the college’s Class of 2023, the Penticton native is a cast member on the eight-episode show that’s hosted by Canadian actress Jennifer Robertson and features Seth Rogen as a guest judge.
“It’s a feel-good show, I think everyone can find a little reason to watch,” says the 22-year-old. “It could be for the ceramics or for the people, but it’s a special show. The care, the passion and the creativity that went into all this… it was magic.”
Based on the popular British television show The Great Pottery Throw Down created by Love Productions—who is also behind The Great British Baking Show—the CBC original series is produced by Frantic Films with participation of Point Grey Pictures. For the debut season of the Canadian show, Gibson and her fellow contestants spent two months in late-summer filming in a state-of-the-art studio on Vancouver’s Granville Island.
Each week, the group of talented potters will step up to the pottery wheel and take on creative challenges that will test their skill and technique. The show’s judges—Brendan Tang and Natalie Waddell—will then make the call on what contestant will be eliminated each episode.
“A huge part of this experience, that I am eternally grateful for, is getting to meet all these different potters from across the country,” says Gibson, who is the youngest contestant on the show. “Being able to share this experience with this wonderful group of people is truly amazing. That I am able to call them friends and pick their brains when it comes to ceramics, they are all so talented and so open to sharing.”
Though careful to not give away any of the plotline or outcomes, Gibson says it was an unforgettable experience. As she prepares for her national television debut and the hype builds, Gibson has been working in her newly built small studio at her parent’s home in Penticton where she continues to develop her craft. On February 8 at 8 pm, she will be taking in the first episode with her parents, younger brother and grandparents.
“It’s exciting and nerve-wracking,” she says. “It’s so weird to even watch the trailer, I have never seen myself on television before… it’s such a foreign concept to me. I am very excited that I get to share this with the most lovely group of people.”
Faculty at the Victoria Street Campus will be holding a premiere viewing party. All current Selkirk College students, program alumni and general community members are invited to come together to watch The Great Canadian Pottery Throw Down on February 8 starting at 7 pm.