I can relate. Before I came to work at Loyalist (and was living in Toronto) I didn’t really know where Belleville was. I remembered (sort-of) seeing a sign for it on Highway 401, when I was making a trip to Ottawa or Montreal. It was only when I began working here that I really discovered the area.
The first surprise was that the College is located about 90 minutes from the GTA, and 2 hours from Ottawa. In 40 minutes, you’re in Kingston. You can get here by bus, train or car quickly and easily. Belleville is a “feeder” city, and so contains businesses and services for over 200,000 people. Best of all, there’s no big-city traffic to tangle with – my drive to the college from downtown takes 10 minutes, door-to-door. The city also has a thorough transit system that goes right to the school.
Second, the College is on the doorstep to Prince Edward County, an emerging tourism destination, wine region and cultural hub for the area. Artists, photographers, filmmakers and other creative professionals are flocking to this area to take advantage of a good work-life balance, but also retain the same kinds of cultural connections they had in the big smoke.
Loyalist is located just outside the main area of the city, which means…. Nature! Not city-style nature, like a couple of dog parks. Actual nature – conservation areas, trails, waterfront, farms, beaches, and a whole lotta fresh air … no concrete jungle, no smog alerts. We have access to a full range of outdoor activities for all seasons, from skiing to wakeboarding.
Don’t be deceived – we might be located in a small town, but we’re still connected to the big time! The professors in our program have worked for the largest broadcasters and production companies in Canada, and stay current with their skills and industry connections by continuing to do professional development and production work. Our students have taken internships in L.A., Las Vegas, Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and even overseas.
If you’re thinking about coming to Loyalist, remember: we’re not that far away, we’re located in a healthy, creative community, and we’re well set-up to help you connect to the opportunities to fulfill your dreams of working in film and TV.
–Michelle Grimes, professor, Television and New Media Production