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Interview with Kyle Turning Robe

On a beautiful sunny day Kyle and I decided to go for coffee. We spoke about many things, including Kyle`s motivations and passions in life. Kyle is an extraordinary youth who has been involved with Canada Bridges in many ways; including most recently as our summer student. Most importantly, he has created a life-long relationship with Bridges that will last for many years to come. Here is part of our discussion from the conversation that we had:

1.Can you introduce yourself? 
Kyle: My name is Kyle Turning Robe and I am from Siksika Nation. I am 23 years old and currently a post-secondary student at SAIT. I am in the New Media Production and Design Program and I want to get better in the design area.

2.How did you hear of Canada Bridges?
Kyle: I was introduced to Bridges at the Siksika Film Camp in the summer of 2014. My second introduction to Bridges was at the Meaningful Futures Youth Pre-Employment program, that was held in conjunction with Sikiska Employment and Training (SETS), in January 2015. Jenn and Kristin were my facilitators, and afterwards I gradually met most of the people who were coming from the Bridges family. I also met Alyssa who help facilitated.

Another big introduction with Bridges was the Mentorship Program that supports and helps youth in transition. I thought, “Wow this is really good!”. That`s when I got more interested in mentorship.

I also participated at the Aboriginal Youth Explosion (AYE). My first AYE in 2015 was really good! I met many people from different reserves, not just from Siksika, but lots of youth from Morley as well. But to go back to how I actually met the first Bridges person, it was during the floods in 2013 when I met Jenn who came to Siksika to help and support the youth.

3.How are you involved with Canada Bridges, what project are you working on?
Kyle: Through Bridges’ partnership with SETS and their Post-Secondary Summer Student program, I found out that Bridges had an opening for a summer student. I was very interested and maybe the most flexible youth, as I already lived in Calgary. I was also very interested to work on their Film Camps. When I started to work with Bridges, for the first couple of months I spent my time editing videos, planning and preparing things for the Film Camp.

I remember my first time working with Bridges, I realized “Oh, I have a workshop to do at the Film Camp… I need to prepare, make sure everything is ready!” There is a lot of work with Bridges, there`s always something happening and that actually prepared me to work in the industry that I would like to get into (New Media and Design). This is an experience I would never have learned from other organizations. I was amazed how much Bridges staff work and were engaged in. I was blown away!

While working on the Film Camps, which took place in Siksika and Calgary, I helped with supporting youth, preparing and handling the equipment; pretty much I was there for the full support and whatever needed to be done.  Before I facilitated my workshop, which was about teaching youth how to create computer animations, I was very nervous. I prepared everything that needed to share with the youth – for the 5 second animation I specifically crafted a simple animation sample so that the youth could work on and learn from it. I was nervous for the first time, but then youth helped me as they learned fast and everything was all good at the end. Both Film Camps were a great success!

I would say I gained a lot of experience being involved with the Film Camps and Trevor, (Bridges’ Videographer). For example, for the Run As One Film Festival I have created a poster, promoted the festival and was fully engaged. Trevor and I watched many films for the Festival Film selection and he guided me how to select movies. I learned a lot from Trevor! At the festival, there was a big turn out and it was really great. Everybody really enjoyed it.

What I appreciate the most is that Trevor brought this  opportunity to me, and I think that changed my life.

4.Where has Bridges helped and supported you the most?
Kyle: Bridges supported me to help grow as a professional. The first job I ever had, where I gained lots of experience, is when Bridges offered me this summer student role. This engagement with Bridges kept me be creative, and I didn`t know you can have a job where you can be so creative. I could be located in the city and still grow as professional, and I like that.

What I also experienced is that Bridges prepared me to go back to school and also helped me with my leadership role to understand where I stand, and what am I looking for in my life.

5.What are the biggest challenges you are taking on currently?
Kyle: My biggest challenge is to stay focused. My mind wonders around and when I try to get work done my thoughts would fly away. I would like to be able to focus more easily.

6.What are your passions?
Kyle: I have lots of passions. My biggest passion is animation. Growing up with animated cartoons, I wanted to find out how they were created, what people did to create them and I wondered if I could make them. When I was a high school student, I found out more about animation and how people made animated cartoons, back then. At that point I decided I want to do the same thing, and that became my passion. Unfortunately, I never found support in Calgary to do that, those creative courses were always offered in Vancouver.

And then, I heard about the New Media Production and Design program at SAIT. This program started around 7 years ago, and it was a very new program, but something that I was very interested in. Once I started, I found the animation component the most interesting; especially 2D and 3D motion graphics.

Another passion of mine are video games! I am passionate for character design, image design, how characters would look, think and what they would do. I was very interested in creating new personalities…that took me to drawing and creating new characters.

7.Where do you see your future, what your goals?
Kyle: My goal is to finish the New Media program at SAIT and then to continue my education. The continuation will be to study film production at SAIT. Once I complete that, my goal is to move to Vancouver, for a video game design program. The video game design program is a 2 year program and it takes a lot to get there. But we will see how that`s going to go.

My other goal for the future, and also one of my biggest passion, is to bring artistic workshops and art programs to Siksika. I would like to support creative young children and youth who do not have any support at all, at this point. I would like to bring opportunities to Siksika youth – to support all those brilliant kids who are so creative but that creativity has not been recognized yet.


We wish Kyle all the best!


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