September 30, 2020

By BRADLEY ZORGDRAGER

So, you managed to finish all your homework, and studying for that test can wait, but you don’t have any extra money for the bar. So what do you do?
Conestoga Connected – a television program made by second-year broadcast-television students – aims to help out students in this dilemma.
“Do you like going out? Do you like having fun in your community? Do you like being active?” asked supervising producer Connor Cheeseman. “Our show can help you find a way to do that on a young adult or student budget.”
There are eight episodes of Conestoga Connected, each consisting of six main segments, which offer insights into different happenings around Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Guelph. No matter what your interests, the show will likely have a segment pertaining to them.
“This is the only college in Ontario that has a TV show that’s broadcast on cable, on actual television. This is an opportunity that doesn’t come around all that often.”

Rogers TV also broadcasts the show throughout the week in the aforementioned cities, as well as Stratford.
The opportunity doesn’t only entail having their work broadcast, but also the real world experience that comes with producing it.
Faculty member and executive producer Rachelle Cooper stressed the practicality of the experiential learning model the students are getting.
“There’s no better way to learn than to actually do what they’re going to be doing ultimately in the television industry.”
All eight episodes are completely produced by students, while Cooper and fellow executive producer and faculty member, Matt Pancer, oversee it. Ultimately, the aim is to showcase the students’ talents.
“It’s showing everyone that we are able to produce quality television at the second-year level,” said Cooper.
The student perspective also gives Conestoga Connected a unique perspective.
“I think Conestoga Connected is different than most shows because it is produced by the age group that we’re catering towards,” said Zakrzewski, emphasizing the 18- to 25-year-old target demographic. “Those are the people that we want to cater to and I think the show reflects it.”
Students can see for themselves on the show’s website www.somad.ca/conestogaconnected/, as well as on Rogers TV at various times throughout the week. Exact times can be found on the website.