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GIFT gala gets girls in film

Girls In Film and Television has a party planned for its big launch event on Tuesday, even though it’s already been fighting gender disparity in film from the group up since last year.
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Director/DP Tamarra Canu instructs GIFT participants in camera basics. The NAIT grad is the main instructor for Girls in Film and Television, a local organization that recently started up to give young women aged 13 to 18 a crash course in all aspects of filmmaking. This photo was taken during a five-day short filmmaking workshop in Edmonton last August. GIFT is hosting a gala fundraiser on Tuesday.

Girls In Film and Television has a party planned for its big launch event on Tuesday, even though it’s already been fighting gender disparity in film from the group up since last year.

“We try to give the girls like a really broad view of the entire world of production. We go through every single job on a film set and this is trying to open up their world as much as possible because we want girls at a younger age to start considering film-making and media as a viable career,” said Elise Graham, director of operations at GIFT.

The idea is that the earlier they start, the more time they can invest in their knowledge and their careers, the more entrenched they can become in the system, not to mention the more inspired they can be to do more and do better work.

The organization already has funding to provide seven five-day short film-making workshops all across Alberta. Girls aged 13 to 18 get to tackle all aspects of the process from writing, tech, shooting and editing, to leadership and production, all under the instruction of female professionals.

“All of our instructors are female because we really believe if she can see it, she can be it,” Graham said.

The next Edmonton workshops are in May.

Project GIFT takes place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 19. The gala has entertainment galore with a theatre performance from Joleen Ballendine and Amy Shostak of Rå Power and live music from Dana Wylie Band. Certainly, host for the evening Bridget Ryan will be entertaining in her own exuberant way as well.

It takes place at Lexus South Pointe, 830 100 St. SW in Edmonton. Tickets are $50 through Eventbrite. Visit for more.

Wynn hockey match correction

The Sunday hockey match in support of the 2nd annual Wynn Against Hunger campaign will start at 12:30 p.m. not 1:30 p.m. as originally reported.

The campaign technically ended on Friday, but this exhibition match between the St. Albert Atom Bisons and Jets was meant to take place last weekend. Organizer Nicole Tersigni bumped it in the hopes the cold snap would go away. It looks like it worked.

Organizers are asking attendees to bring donations to the event. Game time is actually 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 17, not starting at 1:30 p.m. as originally reported. It will take place at the Willoughby Outdoor Rink, 6 Willoughby Dr.

Firefighters’ auction online, not on the roof

In advance of its annual Rooftop Campout in support of Muscular Dystrophy Canada, St. Albert Firefighters Local 2130 has launched an online auction to help its cause. This year’s goal is $45,000.

People can now bid on a variety of items by visiting The auction will close on Friday, March 15, at 4 p.m.

The Campout takes place from March 11 to 14.

Cold walkers wanted

The Mustard Seed is signing up participants for its upcoming Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser. The walkathon, scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 23, sees people walking two, five or 10 kilometres throughout the cold evening as a way of “walking in other people’s shoes” and to draw attention to the cause of helping those experiencing homelessness and poverty.

The goal for this year’s event is to raise $35,000 to help support The Neighbour Centre, which serves people in south Edmonton. It is the only adult drop-in south of the river.

Pre-registration can be done online at and the event runs from 4 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 23, starting from Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 10014 81 Ave. A warm, light meal will be served to all walkers and volunteers as well.

Help wanted for Victim Services

The board of St. Albert Victim Services has open seats available after the retirement of two of its longest-serving members. A treasurer is urgently needed.

The independent non-profit works closely with first responders to offer support, assistance, information and referrals to victims of crime, violent acts, and those affected by accidental or natural disasters. A commitment of four to six hours per month is required, which includes a monthly board meeting.

For more information, contact Margaret Geall at or by calling 780-905-7996.

Scott Hayes

About the Author: Scott Hayes

Scott Hayes joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2008. Scott writes about the arts, entertainment, movies, culture, community groups, and charities. He also writes general news, features, columns and profiles on people.
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