YouthSites: The Informal Learning Sector in Creative Lives

Despite the robust nature of the non-formal learning sector, research on the role of youth creative arts and media organizations as providers of non-formal education is sparse and often charged with documenting best practices among organizations, rather than the impact of the sector as a whole. The YouthSites project examines the creative arts sector for youth from socially excluded backgrounds in Vancouver, Toronto and London over the last 25 years. We map youth participation in out-of-school arts learning and investigate the structural relationship between the development of this sector and the changing role and meaning of creative education, as training for employment in the creative and cultural industries has become a priority across the sector. 

Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Insights Grant, 2015 – 2020

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Define the Line: Sexual Violence in Universities

"Define the Line: Sexual Violence in Universities" is a seven-year project to address sexual violence on university campuses across Canada and internationally. The overarching goal of this project is to unearth, dismantle and prevent rape culture within universities, and ultimately in society, through evidence-based research that will inform sustainable curriculum and policy change. Dr. Stuart R. Poyntz is Co-Investigator and Section Leader of News and Social Media Analysis for this project.

This project is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) in the amount of $2.6 million. It is further supported by an additional $3.7 million of in kind and cash contributions from five McGill Faculties, the VP Research; 10 universities and 14 community partners.

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Youth Digital Media Ecologies in Canada Research Project

The profile and practice of media literacy is changing in the contemporary period. In this study, we examine Canadian youth media production in order to develop a taxonomy of the situated media practices characteristic of creative youth work in schools and community based-settings across the country. While mapping these situated practices, we also identify and examine the affordances of media production, including the formal and aesthetic characteristics of specific production resources and the networks of social capital programs and initiatives foster for participating young people.

Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Standard Research Grant, 2010 – 2014

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Media Democracy Project

The Media Democracy Project works hard to create a significant presence for noncommercial media in Canada. Since 2001, the project's annual conference, Media Democracy Days (MDD), has become the signature event for alternative, independent, and democratic media in Canada. MDD has since expanded into a multi-day event presented by the School of Communication at SFU,, and the Vancouver Public Library.

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