A three-year study of The Gulf Islands Film and Television School (GIFTS), published by the International Journal of Education and the Arts, concludes the Galiano Island facility is a transformative place. The study, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and authored by Professors Kit Grauer and Ching-Chiu Lin from UBC and Juan Carlos Castro from Concordia University, describes GIFTS as a new kind of learning community that brings together elements of cooperation, collaboration, empowerment, social engagement, identity, and media arts.
“GIFTS unique structure and program can offer a model for creating an authentic, engaging learning environment for arts education practice”, says Dr. Grauer. “It is a transformative place, not only for the students but for the mentors themselves. It is neither a traditional schooling environment nor a professional film set, but something in-between”.
Founded in 1995, GIFTS offers week-long media programs for youth taught by award-winning professionals. Initially a summer focus, the five acres of coastal rainforest now teems with young creative energy much of the year. Springtime is dedicated to school groups. Entire classes, grades 6 and up, travel to the school from within BC and beyond to participate in this new learning model.
Films created by students at GIFTS have won 137 awards at national and international festivals. The school is getting ready for its GALA World Premiere, being held at the film school on Galiano Island this September 1st at 2pm. If you can’t make it to the school, you can watch via livestream. Check out the event details on the school’s Facebook page.