The Juggling Act

Wild month ahead! As of today I have 22 days left before the BIG installation, and you know what that means… EUPHORIC STRESS.

I was at Inglenook yesterday to assess the space and determine media placement. So much potential. So much room to play.

Irene's Math & Science Class

It looks like I’ll have the following media material and extra space to work with:

  • 3 computer stations (for video and audio interviews)
  • 27″ TV
  • 3 projectors for video content against the blackboard
  • an overhead projector (possibly)
  • 4 mp3 stations
  • 2 iPad stations
  • 3 projections outside the classroom
  • 1 static video camera to record both days of the installation
  • 1 web cam (for vox-pop moments)
  • an old principals office for “on the fly” interviews/feedback from the audience

…should be dazzling.

The lucky teacher who gets to have me morph her class into a media outlet is Irene. A lovely woman who has been teaching math, science, knitting and a whole lot more over the last 20+ years. She’s a true, die-hard fan of the school who will be retiring soon. She told me that from the moment she began teaching at Inglenook she couldn’t imagine teaching anywhere else–and Irene wasn’t the first one to tell me this. I’m beginning to see that Inglenook is a home that offers education.

In a flash, once I showed her a sample of the media, she had opinions to share. The media was of a student who wished her courses offered more global perspectives, and real world experiences; the student also remarked on how her photographic memory was key to “acing” most of her classes. Irene wanted to weigh in on how “complicit” students tend to be when they initially show up at Inglenook. A little training magic, however, pulls many of the students out of their shell and has led to valuable opportunities. Keep in mind, Inglenook is an alternative school with six teachers that enrolls an average of 100 students in grade 11 and 12. Have a listen:


The festival that brings all of the graduation media together is DOC NOW.  Aside from putting the finishing touches (and then some) on our work, we’re in the throws of planning and promoting the execution of this exciting festival! The themes that fellow classmates are covering are fascinating. Some of the most intriguing projects are the ones that share personal stories. I have some very brave and insightful classmates that will be exposing light on some sensitive, beautiful and emotionally charged subjects.

I think I’m attached to documentary media-making for it’s unique depth of political, personal and existential human expression that seems limitless in it’s projected form. On that note, HERE is the Doc Now trailer that will knock your socks off, and a trailer of my own for a closer splash of what’s to come:



May 28-29 | Inglenook High | Toronto, ON

Learning is part of life’s trajectory, but how does our education system satisfy this innate need? Wired To Learn incorporates the voices of high school learners and educators who weigh in on this question, and provides a space for audience members to do the same, on-site.

How have you been marked by high school education?

The installation will be presented during the Doc Now 2011 media festival: docnow[dot]ca


Clown on the Side of the Ritz Theatre, is by: Chris Moncus


About cayoup

Colleen Ayoup was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec. She has been engaged in media creation for nearly twenty years. After attending the Dawson Institute of Photography (Montreal), she worked as a commercial photographer for several years until the craving for different creative pursuits gave way. This desire led to two subsequent degrees in Psychology/Film Studies and Film Production (B.A., B.F.A) at Concordia University in Montreal. Her short fiction films and documentary, Kings (2001), about drag-king culture in Montreal toured festivals internationally. In 2004, she joined the National Film Board of Canada where she coordinated Doc Shop, a program designed to give emerging filmmakers an opportunity to learn trade skills from industry professionals and produce a short documentary for broadcast on CBC. She also contributed to the development and creation of CitizenShift (, the NFB’s first social-media website that she subsequently coordinated for five years. She is a recent graduate of the Master of Fine Arts program in Documentary Media at Ryerson University (Toronto, ON)