Building In-Community Capacity with Our New Virtual Training Program

 In Product Info

When creating school and community-based resources, we like to ensure that they are a true reflection of our partners’ local language and culture. Typically, we come on-site with a professional videographer and a slew of equipment for 3-5 days to collect local audio and video footage.  We shoot interviews, attend activities and events, and gather local footage to showcase people and places in the community. 

Over the past few years of working with communities, we found that the cost of travel can sometimes make it challenging to create all the different types of resources a community wants. It was hard to collect footage across different seasons, or to film a series of events that took place across multiple weeks or months in a community, as it involved multiple trips, which quickly got too expensive. 

Now, with the new travel restrictions imposed by efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, it is even more difficult to arrange in-community filming as it can require a 14-day quarantine period upon arrival. 

In thinking of how to best support our community partners and how to keep them safe during this crisis, we came up with a new program that will help to develop additional capacity in-community for the collection of audio and video footage. This will allow for more regular collection of materials and for us to gather footage as needed, either in lieu of our own travel or between our visits. 

We’ve developed a new virtual training program for youth that will help support the collection of basic audio and video footage. This program is a multi-week training session that walks participants through the basics of photography, videography, and audio file collection. It is delivered via video conference by our team in Montreal. In addition to the theory and knowledge, we will also give participants a number of assignments that are collected and evaluated. The program is geared toward older youth, between 18 and 30, with an interest in and an aptitude for technology and visual arts.

Participants will learn about the equipment used for photography, videography, and audio recordings, and will learn when and how to use each piece of hardware. They will also learn about the basics of digital photography, including controls, ISO, composition, exposure, lens choice, image formats, and depth of field and focus. 

The training will cover all elements of working with a shot list, setting up the environment for the best shot, coordinating with community members to arrange interviews, and more. We will focus on both the technical knowledge and the protocols of inviting and filming an Elder or Knowledge Keeper. 

Each participating community will be provided with one or more audio/video hardware kits that participants can use to complete assignments. This kit will include a laptop, a prosumer camera, an audio recorder, microphones, and all the necessary accessories. These kits will remain in the community for ongoing footage collection after the training.

Once students have completed the training and are ready to begin filming, we will work with them to provide shot lists and filming guides, and will hire them at an appropriate daily rate to gather footage for resource creation.

This program helps students build and hone new skills, and provides them with opportunities to explore career paths in visual arts and multimedia. They will have the opportunity to learn about audio and video, which may lead to entrepreneurship opportunities or post-secondary training in the field. 

While this program will not eliminate the need to bring in outside videography, it can help to augment what can be collected in-community and can help extend the filming time, allowing us to collect more footage and film more activities. It can also help support footage collection when travel restrictions are in place, so creating digital educational resources that support remote learning and preserve local knowledge and teachings can continue. 

If you are interested in learning more about this program or in exploring how it can be a fit to increase capacity in your community, please contact Andrea by email ( or phone (1-888-844-9022 ext 808). 

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