Screen capture from Tammy James' music video
Tucked away in downtown Winnipeg, in the basement of the Broadway Neighbourhood Centre, is a group of youth who are immersed in a creative environment. This environment is an alternative to what they are used to in their daily lives: gangs, drugs and an at-risk lifestyle.
The youth who participate in the Just TV program at the Broadway Neighbourhood Centre have something to say. And the work they complete coming out of the program proves that.
Laura Johnson, project coordinator for Just TV, answered a few questions for SCENE about the program.
What is the Just TV program about?
The Just TV Program is offered to youth between the ages of 16 and 24. Just TV was designed to provide youth the opportunity to express themselves through multimedia in a safe, fun and creative environment as an alternative to negative influences such as gangs and drugs. Participants of Just TV engage in all faucets of the audio/video industry. Videos are uploaded to Youtube, shown at film festivals held in July and December at the West End Cultural Center and compiled onto a DVD annually.
How do the participants chose the topic they are going to make a short film about?
Participants come into the program with an idea of what type of video they would like to make; we encourage participants to make videos about topics that are important to them.
Participants make their own video based on their interests, experiences, activities and lives, including a body of work aimed at dissuading younger children for drugs, crime and gang activity.
Is there one specific story about a youth who went through this program and it changed their life?
This program has impacted the lives of many youth in a variety of ways. Many Just TV participants have significant accomplishments, some examples of this are: three participants have received summer internships at the National Screen Institute, while two participants have received year long internships at the City of Winnipeg as Videographers for their Oshki Annishinabe Nigaaniwak "Young aboriginal people leading" Program. All of our youth have the opportunity to have their powerful voices heard through this program.
Can you tell us a bit about the video we're about to see?
This video is called This is My Goodbye. It was created by Tammy James as a tribute to her sister Cheyanne. This is not really meant as a goodbye but to honour her sister's memory and share some of what Tammy would have liked to say had she had the opportunity.