Week 4- CTV Calgary

I can’t believe it’s over already, and I’m not just talking about the practicum itself. It’s weird to think that this blog I’m writing right now is the last thing I will be doing at SAIT. The last two years have been the most rewarding of my life and I’m so excited to say that I am now an official college graduate! I may or may not have put off writing this final blog past since it is the last thing I have to do for the program and I’m both happy and sad about it.

As for the practicum, this past week was pretty standard. I did the usual writing web copy, transcribing clips, wrote a VO/CVO, did some chase producing, and joined in on the morning meetings. Let’s break it down day-by-day, SHALL WE!!!

Day 1- Monday

Over the weekend, Kevin asked if I could try and get a hold of a couple local artists who started an event called the Quarantine International Film Festival (QIFF). They ended up receiving over 600 submissions from 54 countries worldwide, which was far more than they were ever expecting.

Kevin was hoping I could arrange interviews and see if they would shoot some B-roll over the weekend due to social distancing. When I got a hold of them, they were all gung-ho to do the interview and were even okay with Kevin doing it at their place, so he was able to shoot some B-roll himself. He shot the story that morning and I spent the day writing his web copy and transcribing the interviews. That was done around one and I spent the rest of the day setting up the next days story.


Day 2- Tuesday

On Tuesday, Kevin covered a story on YYC Grocery Delivery, a volunteer group organized U of C students helping deliver groceries to those in need during COVID-19. They do it free of charge and focus on helping those who are high risk. I spent the back half of Monday contacting the group and organizing interviews and shoot times for Kevin. I also did a pre-interview over the phone with the project leader so I could get a head start on the web copy. In the end, I was able to set Kevin up with 3 interviews; a volunteer, a client and one of the organizers. I arranged Kevin to meet the volunteer in Shawnessy to shoot a little B-roll of her shopping for the groceries and conduct the interview. He then went with her to the clients house and got more B-roll there and interviewed the recipient of the groceries. After that, he made his way down to interview the Volunteer coordinator for YYC Grocery Delivery. He was able to get all parts done and shot by 11:30 and then sent me the interviews to transcribe. I did that, sent the transcriptions back to him and wrote the web copy. All-in-all, Tuesday worked out very well and we were both done before three.


Day 3- Wednesday

Kevin ended up working on something else for the rest of the week and didn’t need my help so I assisted Kevin Fleming for the Wednesday and Thursday.

On Wednesday, KF was working on a story in Black Diamond about a family run film and photography company that is using their spare time to make an amateur cooking show called “Quarantine Cooking”. The show had started going viral and it made for a great feel good story! I did the usual transcriptions and web copy writing for him. I also started working on a VO/CVO but my computer started having some issues so he said not to worry about it. The story went on the five and six news.


Day 4- Thursday

On Thursday, KF went up to Drumheller to cover a story that was given to him by a company called Dinosaur Valley Studios. DVS normally makes dinosaur and animal props for movies but was given a new task back a central Alberta village called Rochon Sands. They were making a 25-foot Northern Pike for the Summer getaway to put in their main marina. Once again, I did the usual transcriptions and web copy and was able to write the VO/CVO for him which was used in the 6 o’clock news. It was fun working with Kevin Fleming, and I think he really appreciated all the help since he was doing a lot of driving for his two stories.


Day 5- Friday

This was my last and final day of practicum and since Kevin wasn’t working I arranged to do my final Skype chat with him, which is posted below. I has spoken to Jeff Little, the News Director, the day before and asked him if it was alright if I only worked till noon since Kevin wasn’t working and I was hoping to jump in to the final group chat for school. He didn’t have a problem with it, so that was awesome.

During the morning meeting, I thanked everyone for all they’ve done and let them known how appreciative I was of being given the opportunity to help with such a great station. I then offered my help and ended up getting two jobs to do before noon.

Firstly, I was asked to contact multiple pharmacies and ask them about their Ventolin (asthma medication) supply as there was a release that went out highlighting the shortage on Ventolin around the city. I also asked about PPE masks and gloves for the pharmacists as last week there was a shortage on those as well and pharmacists were unable to get any for themselves. I ended up contacting eight pharmacies and they all gave me mixed answers which was great. I sent my findings to the news team and started on task two.

For my second task I was asked to contact SAIT, MRU and U of C and ask what their plans are for kids summer camps since all events have been cancelled until the end of August. It was for a story Glenn Campbell was doing on sports around Calgary and the impact the announcement would have. I ended up hearing back from MRU and SAIT but not U of C. They pretty much just said that they were figuring it out and would have a proper answer the coming week. Then I was all done and jumped in the morning meeting.

So that’s it. Like I said before, it was an amazing practicum and I learned a lot! Way more than I thought I would going into it because of doing it from home. I feel like my writing has grown and I’m more comfortable reaching out to people for interviews. I couldn’t have asked for a better end to my adventure at SAIT and am so excited for what the future holds! Thanks for following along during this journey. Till next time!

-Sean Marks

Week 3- CTV Calgary

It is I, Sean Marks, back at it again to give you the up and up on how my third week of practicum has been. I can’t believe how quickly it’s flown by, geez. It feels like just yesterday I was calling in to the first morning meeting all nervous and now it’s just part of my normal, everyday routine. This week was a pretty busy one for the most part though. I got the chance to do a few more CVO’s, write more copy and even go out and help shoot a story that I pitched (obviously keeping with the social distancing measures of course). It was a pretty good week…. so lets get into it.

Day 1- Monday

Monday was pretty uneventful to be honest. Kevin told me on Sunday about the story he would be doing and just needed me to write the web copy the next day. However, he ended up writing it the night before so it was ready to be published Monday morning as it turned out to be time sensitive and he wanted to be the first to break the story. He then asked me to set up some interviews for him for Tuesday for another story about a dog sled company in Canmore. I wasn’t able to get the interviews set up (probably because it was Easter Monday) but it didn’t end up making a difference as he came down with something and ended up not working the next day anyways.

Day 2- Tuesday

With Kevin being sick on Tuesday, I offered my help to anyone who needed it at the station. The assignment editor, Kevin Nimmock, ended up giving me two jobs to do that day. I ended up interviewing the CEO of the Calgary Counselling Centre, Dr. Robbie Babins-Wagner, and putting together a CVO on how they’ve been doing since resorting to online sessions with their clients. I also interviewed a volunteer for the Distress Centre Calgary who was organizing their 50 year anniversary and did a CVO for that as well. I wrote copies for both stories but they didn’t end up going to web. It was a super productive and fulfilling day and probably one of the busiest ones I’d had to date.

You can watch both CVO’s at the following link. Distress is at 12:48 and Counselling at 30:57.


Day 3- Wednesday

Kevin and I were back at it again on Wednesday and were assigned a story on Post-secondary schools in Calgary. It came from a tip off that the U of C was preparing to go online for the fall semester but nothing was confirmed. We were both unsure of whether the story would work or not since we couldn’t get a straight answer but ended up focusing on contingency plans that were in place for not only U of C but also MRU and SAIT. I transcribed Kevin’s interviews and wrote the web copy for the story. I was also in charge of setting up a possible interview with an administrator at SAIT. I contacted Chris Gerritsen but was unable to get an interview that day. He did give us a statement that we used in the story and the web copy.

Here’s a link to both the pack and the web copy.


Day 4- Thursday

On Thursday, Kevin asked if I would like to join him in shooting the story that I had pitched to him the previous week. It was on a Calgary company called YYC Princesses that normally attends children’s birthday parties as princesses from Disney movies. However, with COVID-19 and social distancing they were forced to make some changes. They are now doing what they call Princess Trains where they visit kids at home and on their birthdays and sing and chat with them from the street. They also have an online presence now with something called Princess TV which you can watch on their Facebook page.

Kevin had me conduct the interviews and gave me a copy of the footage to cut my own pack to use for my demo. The story will air on CTV next Tuesday.

Day 5- Friday

Friday was another somewhat slow day as Kevin usually has Fridays off. I did the usual call in to the morning meeting and offered my help but didn’t hear anything for a few hours.

I ended up helping Timm Bruch with a story he was doing on Jason Kenney and the pipeline. He wanted me to find a clip of Kenney from a press conference he did talking about how Alberta needs north of $20 billion to get back on track. I had some difficulty finding the exact clip he was talking about and when I finally did, one of the web editors had tracked it down for him. I did end up finding another clip from a phone interview Kenney did with BNN Bloomberg where he said something similar which I sent to Timm as well.

And there you have it. Three weeks in the bag, one to go! I didn’t get a chance to do a sit-down with Kevin this week so we’re going to go over the back half of the practicum for my fourth and final blog post! As always, thanks again for reading along and seeing how things are going with this lad. Catch you next time!

-Sean Marks

Will the music industry survive the coronavirus?

Nevik working in the New West Entertainment studio

The music industry is being dramatically affected by the coronavirus pandemic, from live events being cancelled to recording studios having to close their doors. Local music producers and artists in Calgary have had to find loopholes around self isolation in order to keep their businesses running.

“…I was gonna DJ for it again this time, then it got cancelled.”

Luke Lucasvodopija, otherwise know as Nevik, is a producer, DJ, and Rapper working out of the New West Entertainment studio in Calgary. Although he is keeping a positive mindset, Nevik has faced a lot of hardships because of the pandemic. He was booked to DJ many concerts and live events this year saying “Recess was a show that was run by YYC Records and a bunch of local artists were showcasing their talent on it and I DJ’d for it last time, I was gonna DJ for it again this time, then it got cancelled.” Nevik had to leave the New West Entertainment studio and find a way to create music from home. Producers and DJ’s don’t just get their income from concerts and working with clients, they also gain a profit from selling their own merchandise. Nevik has found an easy way to continue selling his merchandise in Calgary despite the difficulties around social distancing “If somebody wants to reserve some merch for me to drop off whenever they’re able to or if somebody wants me to just deliver to their door step and just like walk to the end of their street and be like e-transfer.”

“There’s more at stake than just money at this point.”

Although for others, money isn’t the most important thing to be focused on right now. Rapper, Producer, and Owner of the New West Entertainment studios Adam Massiah says “keeping the business running, honestly we’re able to do what we were doing before but at the same point and time money isn’t everything. There’s more at stake than just money at this point.” Massiah’s mother is in the high risk category for contracting the virus as she recently had an operation on her lungs and the majority of Massiah’s time is spent taking care of her. Although he has a lot on his plate, Massiah has taken advantage of self isolation saying he’s been able to “…make some solid music because I actually have time to sit down and settle with my thoughts.”

The coronavirus pandemic has tested the limits of every industry, but the Calgary music community seem to be a very optimistic group as they continue to create new music at home and work around the difficulties of self isolation.

By Aela Herbert

Real Life Impacts

From staying home as much as possible to standing in lines to get into grocery stores, Calgarians are feeling the many effects brought on by COVID-19.

Since the start of the pandemic numerous industries have shut down which is forcing many people to work from home.

“It’s more difficult…”

A lot of Calgarians had to change up the way they conduct their lives, for some this means working from home. During an interview with Regulatory Specialist Tracy Angel, she highlighted some of the struggles working from home and said “It has made it more difficult in many ways because when I used to attend meetings in conferences rooms I now have to skype in.” She shared that numerous technical issues were always happening along with other issues.

“Fall behind…”

COVID-19 isn’t just effecting those with jobs, its impacting many students as well. For some students their schooling was put on hold. And their worried about what next year’s school year will entail. In an interview with Emily Ramsay she said “It kind of worries me for high school because I want to be able to keep up with what we’re learning in grade 10 so I don’t fall behind.”

Many people are experincing the effects of COVID-19 and are hoping this will be over soon, but officals are saying that there are well over 2000 cases of COVID-19 in Alberta, and we won’t see a peak in cases until mid-May. They recommend picking up activities that people can do at home. Many individuals have already picked up projects such as cooking or painting in order to pass the time.

– Amy Ramsay

Calgary cancels all public events until June 30

The City of Calgary has canceled all public events and festivals until June 30th. Emergency Management Agency Chief Tom Sampson made the announcement Friday afternoon. Even if the NHL season were to resume, and the CFL season was to go ahead as scheduled, no games would happen in Calgary Until July 1st.

“….it was very hard for us to prepare ourselves mentally and emotionally for that.”

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi noted that officials working with the Calgary stampede are exploring all options. Nenshi said “I know that no matter that we probably knew it was coming, it was very hard for us to prepare ourselves mentally and emotionally for that.” The long list of events that are going to be cancelled or postponed are the Mothers Day Run, Sled Island Music Festival and the Calgary International Beer Festival. Nenshi hopes by June 30th, everything will be fine, and the city is able to celebrate Canada Day on July 1st.

Zach Degerness

Giannis Antetokounmpo hosted a Q & A last night.

Giannis Antetokounmpo after dunking over Raptors power forward Pascal Siakam.

Milwaukee Bucks 7 foot behemoth, Giannis Antetokounmpo or ‘The Greek Freak’ was chatting with viewers on Instagram live. The star was hosting the Q&A at his home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

A baited question was asked from no other than the superstar of his own Canadian artist Drake.

“Definitely not you drake”…

The Greek Freak was asked by the platinum artist “who is the most annoying fan to play in front of?” To which Giannis quickly replied with a chuckle “definitely not you Drake”.

Later after discussion with his girlfriend who was also there alongside him during the stream, they pondered for a moment when they agreed Toronto Raptors ‘Super Fan’ Nav Bhatia was the culprit. Bhatia was recently inducted in the the NBA hall of fame for never missing a single Raptors game since the franchises birth.

This of course was all in good fun as Drake and Giannis have been friends for a while. Their ‘good-natured trolling’ has a long-standing history. Going all the way back to the Raptors Championship run last playoffs where Drake’s court side antics helped lead Giannis to fouling out.

~Daniel Siemens
SAIT Newsfile

10 new cases of COVID-19 in Alberta with two in intensive care

There now have been confirmed 10 new cases of COVID-19 in Alberta, which now brings the province total to 39 now.

“We can expect cases of COVID-19 to continue in Alberta and around Canada for months.”

two of the cases are in intensive care, said the province. The two cases that are in intensive care are in their 60s and live in the Calgary and Edmonton area. The rest of the cases are being self-isolated at home and are expected to make a full recovery.

six of the new cases are in Calgary while the other four are in Edmonton.

“The reality is we can expect cases of COVID-19 to continue in Alberta and around Canada for months.” says Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr.Deena Hinshaw. Eight of these new cases have been related to travel with the them coming from Vancouver, Las Vegas, Switzerland, Germany, Spain and Pakistan. The province is investigating the other two cases to see if travel was involved.

The province does continue to recommend against international travel, and does ask for returning Albertan’s to self isolate at home for a 14 day period.

Flames General Manager Brad Treliving speaks about NHL pause

Only days after the National Hockey League disallowed non essential personnel from dressing rooms, the league has put an outright pause to its 2019/20 season. The NBA put a halt to their season on Wednesday evening and the following day saw many other sports leagues follow suit.

“This is bigger than our game”

On Thursday evening, the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Company held a press conference at the Scotiabank Saddledome discussing the situations involving the team and league. CSEC President and CEO John Bean and Flames General Manager Brad Treliving spoke to the media on behalf of the company. Bean spoke about the status of sports in Calgary as the COVID-19 virus runs rampant through the nation.

Treliving spoke more to the situation around the Flames team themselves stating, “This is different. This goes beyond hockey. You go through your own trials and tribulations as a team, or as individuals throughout a season, but this is different, this is bigger than our game, and it’s one of those things where there are so many people affected by it. Let’s make sure everybody’s OK, let’s take the proper steps and in the right amount of time, we’ll get back going.”

So far, no NHL players have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus and there is no estimated time of the league resuming is reported as of now. It is intended that as the virus starts dying down, players will be allowed to train in small groups back at their home rinks and arenas.

-Calvin Hector

Alberta up to 14 confirmed cases of coronavirus

The Chief Medical Officer of Alberta Dr.Deena Hinshaw has confirmed seven new cases of the COVID-19 virus have appeared in Alberta, adding to the already existing seven cases. Four of the new cases are said to be in the Calgary zone while the other three are in the Edmonton zone. It has also been revealed that all cases within the province are travel related.

“The number of confirmed cases will likely continue to increase in the weeks ahead.”

In the Calgary zone, the infected range between the ages of 30 and 50 years old. Three infected are female and one is male. Many of the infected are said to have traveled to more than just one country. It is not yet confirmed where exactly the newly infected contracted the COVID-19 virus.

Dr. Hinshaw stated at an afternoon news conference in Edmonton, “Our public health measures are doing precisely what they were intended to do: detect new cases and take immediate action. This means that the number of confirmed cases will likely continue to increase in the weeks ahead. But it’s important to remember that every new travel-related case that is confirmed represents another case where we can take an action to isolate the virus and prevent its spread.”

The Alberta government is continuing to monitor situation but still says the risk level in the province is low. As of today, the World Health Organization has labelled the coronavirus as a pandemic. If you believe you are showing symptoms please contact Health Link at 8-1-1 or go online to the Health Link https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/assets/healthinfo/link/index.html

  • Calvin Hector

New Study brings Soccer concussions to the forefront

A study in Canada might prove useful for our Trojans soccer teams as well as our EMS students.

The study was done on elite soccer players and has found that women are far more likely to get medical assessments for head collisions than men.

Only one third of men who suffered head collision events got medical assessments, while women have a higher rate of 50%.

“…we think that there’s a cultural aspect that might be there.”

Dr. Michael Cusimano

The lead researcher Dr. Michael Cusimano says the difference in the statistics may be due to women typically refereeing women’s soccer, and might have a heightened awareness of reporting concussions. Dr. Cusimano goes on to say that neither of these statistics are passing grades, and improvements still need to be made.