CATV: Student Perspectives on CA Life

March 3, 2023 4 min read

Calgary Academy has plenty of photo and video opportunities, whether it’s sports, an assembly, or another school-wide event. Coming to you live from the scene is CATV, the club of students responsible for filming bi-weekly segments available for everyone in the school.

Like the CTVs and CBCs of the world, CATV keeps the school up to date on the latest happenings. Entirely student-run, the news program captures the CA experience from the most important perspective—the students.

The Rebirth of CATV

The current form of CATV isn’t the original—the news show first launched years ago. But after disbanding, CA teachers Hayley Jonason and Jane Conrad saw the potential of a new take on the student-run show to cover important school news. CATV has now returned and hopes to be an everlasting part of the school community.

Ms. Jonason is the current supervisor of CATV, supporting students whenever they need help. However, she notes that much of the content from CATV is entirely student-created. With her hands-off approach, she enjoys watching the skills her students develop, both on and off-camera.

“My favourite part of teaching has been watching the student leadership come out of CATV and seeing a lot of students who may not have wanted to express themselves in front of others. They have become brave enough to take those risks, share their passions, and do what they love to do in front of the whole school community.” – Ms. Jonason

Now in their second year of filming, Ms. Jonason feels CATV is “in rhythm,” working with other student groups like the Calgary Academy Student Executive (CASE) to find out what’s happening in the school. It can be difficult balancing classes and other extracurriculars, but the CATV students try to meet weekly to plan segments, film, and eventually release their content.

While CATV provides timely information with its news, the focus of its content is fun—showcasing the unique clubs, events, and activities the students of CA participate in.

“We want to capture everything we can that happens during the school year and create memories for all students involved in these cool activities.”

Showing Off CA Student Talent

Another essential member of CATV is Jonny M., the Senior School student responsible for filming and editing the show’s segments. However, Jonny doesn’t run the show alone—he and Ms. Jonason note they have a consistent group working on CATV segments, with other students joining in to help when they’re interested.

For Jonny, CATV was a natural fit for his talents and interests, with previous experience editing YouTube videos for himself and others. He’s grateful he can “express himself more in the school community.”

CATV has helped Jonny learn more about producing content, whether he’s filming, editing, or finding unique stories.

While CATV segments are pre-planned between the students and Ms. Jonason, he’s learned that not everything happens as intended, whether it’s CATV or life.

“You can’t have everything your way. Sometimes you have to improvise… Nothing is always going to go according to plan, but you can keep going if you have confidence in yourself.” – Jonny

As CATV production picks up after a short hiatus during school exams, Ms. Jonason and Jonny are looking for compelling CA content. No matter the story, Ms. Jonason loves seeing the work put into CATV’s production, especially the growth she’s noticed in everyone.

Over halfway through the school year, she has noticed a difference in Jonny as he helps run CATV productions, editing, filming, and directing other students.

“Jonny’s leadership skills have grown so much. He’s really taken the lead on CATV, and I couldn’t do it without him.”

Ask Jonny, and he will tell you his favourite part about CATV is the blooper reels he can create from his footage.

As CATV looks to the future, they hope to add more students to the production process, no matter their grade level. Anyone interested in joining CATV can reach out to Ms. Jonason, Jonny, or visit a CASE meeting on Tuesdays at lunch.