Not your average school, GIFTS practices learning by doing and boasts a faculty of award-winning media professionals: Jennifer Abbott, Nettie Wild, Leanne Allison, Diana Wilson, Aerlyn Weissman, Heather Frise, Velcrow Ripper, Richard Reeves, Marcus Youssef, George Johnson, Jill Sharpe and Carmen Aguirre among others.
Our primary function is to provide students with an opportunity to create works of art that speak about their world. We know that given access to increasingly accessible technology, and respectful guidance to the formal world of short film and video genres, teenagers and adults alike are fully capable of producing thought-provoking works of art, encompassing a wide spectrum of genres and mind-bogglingly diverse content.
Since 1995, The Gulf Islands Film & Television School has trained nearly 3500 students, young and old. The aspiration and result of this has been the empowerment of media consumers to become savvy media producers. Over the years, GIFTS has awarded well over $200,000 in bursaries and scholarships to enable our vision to flourish. Much of this funding has gone towards the many projects listed below, many of which were designed specifically to help give marginalized members of society the opportunity to tell their stories.
GIFTS First Nation Media Intensive Programs – ongoing
-Video production program for youth and adults of First Nation descent. Eight years of running this highly successful program. Funded in part by GIFTS bursary fund.
UBC Studies – 2010-11
GIFTS was featured in two UBC studies by Dr. Kit Grauer. Dr. Grauer and her colleagues studied GIFTSâ€™ model of learning by doing, concluding that â€œthe value of [GIFTS and other such institutions] is in the lessons they offer for creating a democratic place where the curriculum and pedagogy foster communication, collaboration, and collective problem solving.â€ The studies feature in-depth research on the educational model of the school as innovatively different from the traditional classroom setting.
Read the first report by Dr. Grauer. (pdf format)
Read the second report by Dr. Grauerâ€™s team. (pdf format)
Peace It Together – 2006
-Video production program with the Creative Peace Network
-project intended to bring Palestinian and Israeli youth together to collaborate on videos pertaining to racial issues.
Vermillion Theatre Group – 2005
-Video production program with theatre students, focusing on their dramatic productions
White Crow Village – 2004
-Video production program for FASD (fetal alcohol) youth and adults; Facilitated the making of a documentary/promo video about their camps. Funded in part by GIFTS bursary fund and White Crow Village.
Climate Change II – 2004
-Video production program for youth (16 to 24) to create PSA’s about climate change and the “One Tonne Challenge”
-Aired 2005. This was a co-project with Sierra Club and Gumboot Productions. Funded by Environment Canada.
Co-projects with the National Film Board of Canada – 2004
“Arts in Action – Diversity in Expression”
- Video production program: PSA’s by youth for the purpose of youth empowerment, and the development of youth citizenship. Funded by the NFB.
“Aboriginal Media Production Program”
-Video production program dedicated to First Nations youth. Funded by the NFB.
Moscow International Film School – 2004
-Video production program for youth from Moscow International Film School, and First Nation Youth from Canada.
-Facilitated the making of videos as a cultural exchange program.
-Funded by the Moscow International Film School and GIFTS bursary fund.
Kainai High School/Blood Tribe Counseling Services – 2002
“Life is Sacred”
-Provided tech support and equipment for the making of a Documentary about suicide prevention (to be used as a teaching tool).
-Worked with youth, ages 14 to 18. Project was created at Kainai High School on the Blood reserve in Southern Alberta. Funded by Blood Tribe Counseling Services.
Environment Week – 2002
-Video production program intended to raise awareness of environmental issues
-Funded in part by Galiano Conservancy and GIFTS bursary fund.
Road Sense Video Project I & II – 2000, 2001
-Video production program in conjunction with ICBC for youth to create PSA’s about Road Safety.
-Videos aired on KVOS and distributed to all high schools in British Columbia. Funded by ICBC and the Auto Brokers of B.C.
“Hoops for Heart”
-Video production program in conjunction with Heart and Stroke Foundation for youth to create PSA’s about heart health. Funded by Heart and Stroke Foundation
-Created short documentary with the First Nation youth for Focus 2000 Conference two years in a row. Funded by Focus 2000
The “Fire” Project – 1999
-Worked with youth (18-24) to create short films about violence, for Judith Marcuse’s multi-media dance performance, “Fire”.
-The films, alone, have toured festivals throughout North America. Funded by Judith Marcuse.
“Step Lightly – Global Campaign for Sustainable Consumption” – 1999
-video production project with the Environmental Youth Alliance, which brought international students together with Canadian Aboriginal youth to produce theme- based videos. Funded by EYA
-Video production program for youth from GIFTS who were sent to Cuba to work with Cuban youth. The goal of the project was making videos as a cultural exchange program. This was a co-project with IDERA (International Development Education Resource Assoc.) and GIFTS.
Contract and Co-Projects with the Access to Media Education Society:
“Smoke Screen 2 – Through The Eye of New Canadians” – 2005
-Video production program for new immigrant youth (16 to 24) to create PSAs about the dangers of smoking
- To be aired on National Television. This was a co-production between AMES and The Immigrant Services of British Columbia. Funded by Heath Canada.
“Smoke Screen ” – 2004
-Video production program for & by female youth (16 to 24) to create PSA’s aimed at young women about dangers of smoking
-Aired on National Television. Funded by Heath Canada.
“Peer Perspectives” – 2001
-Video production program for marginalized youth (16 to 24 years) to create shorts to be distributed to high schools. Funded in part by GIFTS Bursary Fund.
“Climate Change” – 1999
-Video production program for youth (16 to 24) to create PSA’s about climate change – aired on CBC television. Funded by Environment Canada.
WTN Television Camp for Girls – 1999
-A 2 week video production program for young women (14 to 16). Funded by the Women’s Television Network.
For more information on these projects, or to inquire about developing a Special Program with our help, contact the GIFTS office by emailing email@example.com, or by phoning 1.800.813.9993
For more information about our exceptional Mentors, click here.