ACT submits CRTC intervention on the need to include older adults in establishing broadcasting policy

In October 2017, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) issued a “Call for comments on the Governor in Council’s request for a report on future programming distribution models” (CRTC-2017-359) and invited the general public, industry stakeholders and interveners from other sectors to provide input on the future of media distribution models in Canada. With an understanding that the concerns and experiences of older adults tend to be underrepresented in media policies in Canada, some Canadian ACT researchers set out to provide the CRTC with a report that is attuned to the needs of older adults and to their experiences adjusting to the changing landscape of television and radio distribution in Canada. We also sought to issue a series of recommendations to the CRTC, and called attention to the fact that the needs and desires of older Canadian must be taken into account in the defining new policy.

On December 1, 2017, we submitted a first preliminary report to the CRTC as part of Phase I of its consultative process, and expect to submit a second more in-depth report in early 2018 as part of Phase II of the process. You can read ACT’s first report to the CRTC here. 

New ACT Bursaries for Graduate Students

The ACT Student Bursaries are awarded to students enrolled in master’s or doctoral programs in ACT partner universities, and who are conducting research on the intersections of ageing, communication and technologies as part of their thesis project. ACT will award up to four competitive bursaries per year; two for doctoral students ($2,000 CAD each) and two for master’s students ($1,000 CAD each).

All applications must be submitted to by the required due date of February 1, 2018.

Important note: DEADLINE EXTENDED TO FEBRUARY 15, 2018



  • The student must be registered in a doctoral or master’s program in an ACT partner university.
  • The student’s candidacy must be supported by an ACT co-applicant or collaborator, who is affiliated with the student’s home university/ACT partner university and able to administer ACT funds to the student. However, the student does not necessarily need to be directly supervised by the supporting ACT co-applicant or collaborator.
  • The student must be registered in a program with a required thesis component.
  • The student’s thesis must fit directly within the mandate of ACT.
  • If in a PhD program, the student’s thesis proposal must have been approved or defended prior to applying to this bursary. If in a MA program, the student’s thesis proposal does not necessarily need to have been approved or defended before applying to this bursary.
  • Each student is only admissible for one ACT bursary per degree, and must not have received bursaries, scholarships, fellowships or stipends from ACT in the past (e.g., scholarship or project funding).
  • The student must not plan to have completed their thesis within six months following the bursary application deadline.



First, candidates must submit a single email with two attachments: the completed “ACT Student Bursaries Application Form,” and a Curriculum Vitae that provides an overview of the student’s accomplishments and research record. Second, the supporting ACT co-applicant or collaborator must send an email with two attachments: the completed “ACT Student Bursaries Support Form” and a letter of recommendation. Third, if the student’s thesis supervisor is not the sponsoring ACT co-applicant and collaborator, the student’s thesis advisor must send a letter of recommendation.

All documents must be emailed to for the appropriate due date. No late applications will be considered.



Students: Successful applicants must commit to fulfilling a number of requirements. The student will be asked to work with the ACT team to share information on the project for reporting and communication purposes. This includes providing the necessary information to set up a project page on the ACT website, a biography and photo, and other information, as requested. Furthermore, the student will be required to acknowledge the support of ACT and its funders, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), in research outputs, including conference papers, workshops and poster presentations, publications, the final production of their thesis and any creative or media products of their research.

Supporting co-applicants and collaborators: By supporting an application, the co-applicant or collaborator must be able to recommend to ACT  that the student should be funded. The sponsoring co-applicant or collaborator must also be willing and able to facilitate the payment of the bursary by their institution using ACT funds; as such, they must be able to receive the funds from ACT via an institutional transfer.


Related Documents

ACT Student Bursaries February 2018 Call
ACT Student Bursaries Application Form 
ACT Student Bursaries Support Form

End of Season Storytelling Café on December 8: La Tertulia

On Friday, December 8, the University of the Streets will host its last storytelling event of 2017 and they’re calling it la tertulia. A tertulia is a social gathering with literary or artistic overtones: an informal meeting of people to discuss current affairs, arts, etc.

Anne Caines, the coordinator and one of the founding members of RECAA, will tell a story on Friday and we invite the ACT community to attend.

Find the Facebook event here.

Check out the University of the Street’s website here.

Virtual Graveyards & Cybermemorials

Virtual Graveyards & Cybermemorial Project

Yasmin Jiwani is an ACT collaborator whose recent research focuses on the online memorialization of loss. Her other research interests encompass issues of media, race, gender and intersectionalities of violence.

There is nary an area of social life that has not been touched by digital technologies. Death is not exempt from this either. Today, we are witnessing a plethora of virtual graveyards and cybermemorials. Many of us who are users of Facebook will have seen the RIP (rest in peace) pages of those who have departed. But virtual graveyards are less familiar.

Yes, these are graveyards in cyberspace and our research has been focused on mapping them, identifying their traits, assessing their accessibility and finding ways in which they can be better used by those of us from communities that have little recourse to other forms of memorializing our dearly departed and remembering them in ways that keep them alive in our imaginations and in our families.

In our quest to chart this terrain, we found 95 virtual graveyards – and the list is growing. Each of these graveyards is different. Some require fees, others are free and managed by individuals who have suffered a loss and wish to extend their compassion to others. Some are sophisticated, featuring all manner of gifs (graphic interfaces) that include placing baskets of fruit, teddy bears, flowers, and poems at the cyber grave site. Others are organized in such as fashion as to have a separate tab for children who have died, and for mourners to mourn their spouses. Still others are organized around particular kinds of death, as for example, the loss of a loved one from a particular disease, or as a result of suicide. Clearly, the range of virtual graveyards runs the gamut, encompassing sites dedicated to commemorating pets, lovers and miscarriages.

In our effort to understand why individuals decide to commemorate their loved ones virtually, we encountered studies that demonstrated their strong therapeutic value. Too often, society demands that our grieving end within a circumscribed time. Work places usually allow two weeks for bereavement. But grief is an ongoing process, and as a process, it takes time. Virtual grave sites offer a chance for the continued working through of grief, and in that sense, the ease the burden on the individual who can do this in private, in the comfort of their homes (if they have a computer and are digitally literate).

Our interest in virtual graveyards is also based on the kinds of stories that memorials tell of lives lived and the struggles and experiences of the deceased. These are the little histories that are only remain in the anecdotes we share with one another. Collectively, though, these little histories tell a larger history of how people migrated, the struggles they experienced, and the actions they took to create a life for themselves and their families.

Through workshops that we will be holding, we hope to provide interested individuals from minoritized communities with a way in which they can share these stories and memorialize their loved ones.

For more information on the virtual graveyards project, visit: and contact me at

Shannon Hebblethwaite and Concordia research on aging featured in the Montreal Gazette

ACT researcher Shannon Hebblethwaite was recently featured in a piece in the Montreal Gazette titled “New research from Concordia examines how we can age well while living healthier, longer“. Hebbelthwaite, who is a professor of applied human sciences at Concordia University and the director of the recently-formed engAGE centre for research on aging, discusses her recent research on intergenerationality, and her ACT-funded work on online communication between grandmothers and grandchildren.

Trent University Postdoctoral Fellowship Opportunity: 2018

Applications are invited for the following postdoctoral research opportunity:

Position title: Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Culture and Quantified Aging

Supervisor: Dr. Barbara L. Marshall, Department of Sociology, Trent University

Location: Trent University, Peterborough, ON

We are seeking an emerging researcher to work with us on a SSHRC-funded project on “Digital Culture and Quantified Aging”. This project is funded by a 5-year Insight Grant (2017-2022), and the research team includes Dr. Barbara L. Marshall (Trent University, Principal Investigator), Dr. Stephen Katz (Trent University, Co-investigator), Dr. Isabel Pedersen (UOIT, Co-Investigator) and Dr. Wendy Martin (Brunel University London, Collaborator). We anticipate a start date in the spring of 2018 for this one-year position (with the possibility of extension).

Full invitation here: Trent University Post Doctoral Fellowship 2018

Call for papers: Cultures of Participation – Arts, Digital Media, and Politics


International and interdisciplinary conference: April 18-20, 2018
Aarhus University, Denmark

Please submit your abstract proposal (max 300 words) and a short bio (max 100 words) to no later than 5 January 2018. We welcome individual papers as well as panels with three or four contributors.  Authors will be notified of paper acceptance no later than 21 January.
More information here: