Leap: ALC 2021 Festival
By Julie Jacques
Dawson’s 2021 ALC festival allowed its graduating cohort, spread out in six profiles, to display their works in diverse, unique ways, per pandemic restrictions. Beginning in early May and spanning three weeks, students of the ALC program are participating in what the coordinators have entitled Leap. This acronym stands for Learning, Energized, Across Profiles. These profiles, of course, range from Languages to Interactive Media Art, and many others.
As countless things, the ALC festival has been adapted to live in an online setting. The Literature Academic Profile Conference, which, I am told, usually takes place at Dawson, in an overcrowded room, with those who can’t get seats standing in the back of the room, took place on Zoom.
“While I was ecstatic to have been chosen for the conference,” a Literature student explains, “I couldn’t help but feel a little bit cheated.” Ever since what would be their first and only fully in-person semester at Dawson, students of all profiles had been looking forward to this festival, an opportunity to showcase their work.
“I’m saddened that we had to do it over Zoom,” the student explains, “but I’m glad we got to do it at all. It was a great experience– one that last years’ cohort, unfortunately, had to pass up.” The Winter 2020 festival was not the same online experience we have now– there was no time for planning.
This sentiment is shared by Anne Parker, a Cinema and Communications student involved in the preparation of Media Night, set to take place on May 28.
“Trying to plan such a familiar and celebrated event,” she explains, “and living up to the past versions while also being incredibly limited is quite difficult.”
However, Parker notes that both teachers and students have “tried all year to try and find the best way to display students’ work, so [she] knows there has been much thought in the final method.”
In the end, Parker announces, “I think everyone has accepted the situation.”
In fact, many profiles have been working on their own websites for Leap. Maija Baroni, an Arts and Culture student, announces she has actually “found a new passion for creating websites” due to her final project. She thinks that the “website idea was accessible to everyone” and is excited to peruse her cohort’s work.
However, Baroni expresses some regret in not being able to display her project in a gallery. “Having people directly coming up to you to give feedback or discuss your work must be so rewarding,” she says. The lack of a “reward” or in-person validation, “makes it hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel and do your best,” which was “definitely a personal struggle” of hers.
Many students in the 2021 graduating cohort have only had one in-person semester. They were thrown into this pandemic, with everyone else, thinking that things would be over soon. The culmination of their CEGEP experience, which many of them had been looking forward to since enrollment, had an anti-climactic end. However, they managed to stay motivated despite the lack of a big party at the end of the line, and their works are ready to be admired by their classmates, teachers, family, and friends.
Show your support and discover everything ALC has to offer on the ALC festival page. You can still catch the Arts and Culture “Connection” exhibition on May 21, Cinema and Communications’ Media Night on May 28, and many other profiles’ works displayed now, like the Languages Profile personal projects in the form of blogs!