Current Students Info

Public Ethnography Award recipients announced

Each year for four years (2011-14), three meritorious Royal Roads University students who employed the research strategy of public ethnography will be awarded $1,000 at convocation. These awards are made possible through funding from the Canada Research Chair in Innovative Learning and Public Ethnography. Public ethnography means scholarship for a new communication paradigm. It entails getting people involved in learning together about new challenges, and it means new ways of disseminating knowledge across distances.

We are pleased to announce that the recipients of this year’s awards are Annette WierstraCraig Sorochan andLindsay Stewart.

Craig Sorochan used his skills as a producer and documentary filmmaker to explore the thriving organic farming culture and food culture of British Columbia’s southwest coast by creating “Harvesting Community,” an ethnographic film, for his MAPC thesis. While organic food production and consumption are increasingly mainstream, communication of the value of organic farming has been identified as a key challenge by many organic farmers, and Craig’s film bridges the communications gap between organic farmers and consumers.  

Annette Wierstra explored how first-generation Canadians with parents born in the Netherlands find a connection, through food, to their heritage. The research sessions were sensory ethnographic interviews that included cooking and hearing stories about items in the home that the participants associated with their Dutch heritage. Her project “Created Heritage” uses the internet to share the recipes and stories she collected from Dutch-Canadian families.

Lindsay Stewart, along with videographer Matt Miles, documented and shared through video the story of a group of teenagers crafting their own stand up paddleboards at the Bella Bella Community School within the Heiltsuk First Nation reserve on B.C.'s coastal Inside Passage. “A Hand To Stand” is a short film and trans-media journeyfollowing the woodworking class as they design and build their own boards. Made out of locally-sourced red and yellow cedar, the boards allow students to propel themselves through their traditional territory in a contemporary experience.

You can find all three winning projects on the ethnography.media.arts.culture Public Ethnography as Innovative Learning website.

Follow ethnography.media.arts.culture on Twitter to see new student projects as they’re posted: @EMACnetwork