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Arviat research students thank Sony Canada for digital camera donation

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Shirley Tagalik (Arviat Wellness Committee), Corrina Tugak, Jamie Bell (Nunavut Arctic College), join students Avis Mukjunik, Shelton Nipisar and Charlotte Karetak take a moment to show the new cameras the community received courtesy of a donation from Sony Canada. Shirley Tagalik (Arviat Wellness Committee), Corrina Tugak, Jamie Bell (Nunavut Arctic College), join students Avis Mukjunik, Shelton Nipisar and Charlotte Karetak take a moment to show the new cameras the community received courtesy of a donation from Sony Canada. Photo courtesy of Neils Jensen

On August 7, 2013, summer students working with the Arviat Youth Wellness Media Team received some special gifts from Sony Canada while taking part in a photography workshop with professional photographers and authors Louise Abbott and Niels Jensen.

The workshop, held at the Arctic College Community Learning Centre, introduced the youth media team to the fundamentals of digital photography. Louise and Neils were in Arviat working with Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated's Cultural Resources Inventory and Interpretive Materials Project. They graciously agreed to dedicate some of their time to help the youth.

“We talked about interpreting photographs, and telling Louise what captions would be good while she was showing her photos of her travelling around the world,” said Corrina Tugak, one of the media team members and a graduating grade 12 student at John Arnalukjuak High School. “She gave us a great presentation of her photography as well as showing us examples of photographs taken by other artists and photographers.

Abbott and Jensen also donated a book they just published called 'Eeyou Istchee: Land of The Cree' to use as a source of inspiration and ideas for students to pursue their own photographic ambitions.

Niels delivered a presentation about how the technology for digital cameras operate and how the many different features can be used to help photographers take great photos.

Near the end of the workshop, Louise and Niels surprised the young researchers with a donation of four 20.1 megapixel Sony a58 cameras and lenses to the community, graciously donated by Sony Canada.

“Thank you to Sony Canada for this incredible gesture of support for our youth, we are excited to use this for the future,” said media team member Shelton Nipisar, a grade 12 student at John Arnalukjuak High School. “This is really useful for our project because until now we only had video cameras to record the process of building our portable grow boxes. We don't have much equipment, so this is really going to help.”

The new cameras donated by Sony are already being used to support the many youth and community-based arts, digital media literacy and research projects taking place in the community.

This summer, More than 12 Arviat students were engaged on projects like the Atii! Let's Do it! Game Show and mobile app project funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada. They've also been contributing photos and photo essays to Kivalliq News, the Kivalliq Region's newspaper.

Students have also been working this summer on a Health Canada-funded portable greenhouse, composting and food security project, along with a series of six healthy storybooks for children through funding from the Canadian Institute for Child Health and Coca-Cola Canada.

Also this summer, students have also been using the cameras with Adobe Photoshop and Premiere editing software donated by the Adobe Foundation's Adobe Youth Voices Program in partnership with Taking IT Global.

This fall Arviat youth will also be launching an educational television station with support from Isuma TV, Arctic Co-Operatives, the Nunavut Independent Television Network, Carleton University, Mount Allison University and the Canada Media Fund Experimental Stream.

“With this new equipment, students and projects from all the schools and programs here will be able to take part in more varied projects,” said Arctic College Public Affairs Officer Jamie Bell. “Arviat has a lot of youth-driven digital media, community-based research and literacy initiatives engaging students and youth. These cameras will make huge contributions to the community's ability to support student engagement and giving youth a voice to tell the world what matters to them.”

Funding for youth involvement in research this summer came from a variety of sources including Public Health Agency of Canada, the Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre and the Hamlet of Arviat's Wellness Committee, Coca-Cola Canada and the Canadian Institute for Child Health, with support from the Hamlet of Arviat, Nunavut Arctic College, the Nunavut Research Institute, Arviat Film Society and Arviat Cultural Eco-Tourism (ACE) initiative.

From all of us in Arviat, we'd like to say thank you to Sony Canada, Louise and Neils for helping our students explore opportunities to learn about media, communications and photography!

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