“I was incredibly tentative when I arrived at Loyalist College,” said Adrienne Fox-Keesic, a member of a tiny Oji-Cree community in Northern Ontario, who graduated from the Photojournalism program in 2000. “My time at Loyalist had a two-fold effect. It gave me a strong technical foundation, but more importantly, it gave me the confidence to pursue my dreams.”
Adrienne began working for the Wawatay News immediately following her graduation from Loyalist and soon became editor. Her investigative reporting and photojournalist skills soon gained the notice of her industry peers. She was selected twice as a finalist by the Canadian Association of Journalists – first for an investigative award and then in the photojournalism category. In 2003 The Ontario Community Newspapers Association recognized her with four awards for her work at the Wawatay News, First Place – Rural Journalism, Third Place for Photographer of the Year, Reporter of the Year and the Heritage Award — and then an Honourable Mention for the Health and Wellness Award. Her reputation as a serious journalist was established and she was ready to accept new challenges.
“Multimedia is definitely the next step for me,” she explained. “I’ve done a bit already and what I’ve produced is exciting for me. Blending images with sound entails taking two previously separate mediums and giving them both another level of dynamism. Websites like Media Storm and Magnum show just how powerful the blending of the two mediums can be. That’s what I aspire to do with stories here in my home territory. The community where my grandparents lived in Northern Ontario holds a special place in my heart. I want to honour who they were and what they taught me by using my skills through storytelling. A website dedicated to the people who call the Far North home seems only fitting.”
In preparation for this goal, Adrienne has been developing her skills on a broader scope. “Presently I’m working as a reporter for CBC Radio in Thunder Bay, and my daughter and I are operating our own photography business. It’s a huge juggling act but completely satisfying. I know working for CBC will teach me new skills around audio storytelling which is intrinsic to my goal of developing my multimedia website. One of the great things about CBC is that they are giving me the opportunity to develop my own multimedia story. I’m looking forward to devoting time to that project as it will be a great learning experience for me.
“I developed a love of documentary photography while I was at Loyalist. You need to be present without invading your subject’s space. My goal is to try and capture natural elements, whether it is a smile or a gesture. We’re observers, recorders — but we’re also a part of the community we are photographing. I love people and I like to believe that shows through the images that I take.”
Click for information about the Photojournalism program.