ALC Program Gets a Face Lift: An Update on The College’s Plans

ALC Program Gets a Face Lift: An Update on The College’s Plans

Photo: a classroom in TAV College’s new C building.

By Justin Hand-Gregory


The College recently announced its ambitious plans to revamp the Arts, Literature, and Communication program. A large part of the announcement was two professional-grade production studios. Through revamping the existing program, TAV hopes to attract more of a target audience of students to the program who are passionate about the program’s specific learning outcomes (as opposed to students who are more interested in general studies like the General Social Science program).

Taking a Fresh Look at the ALC Program

Valerie Svitanko, Coordinator of the ALC and Social Science programs, said during a phone interview that “ever since TAV introduced the Social Science programs in Winter 2019, the ALC program saw a gradual decline in enrollment.” The ALC program used to be the only pre-university alternative to the Sciences. So, as a tactic to bring more students into the program, the administration tried integrating more media and practical skills into its curriculum as well as added a “mentorship” aspect to the program’s synthesis project. However, the tactics were unsuccessful.

Svitanko said,

“the program is unique in the sense that it is pre-university, but also provides real-life skills: The courses offered have slowly transitioned to be more practical and less theoretical. With that said, the College is motivated and willing to try and breathe new life into the program in order to ensure its continuity.”


New Media Production and Learning Facilities

The expansion of TAV’s campus size served as a catalyst for the College to re-imagine many of its rooms and spaces. With the immense amount of new space that the “C building” will bring in Fall 2021, the TAV administration has had the opportunity to start planning for the transformation of rooms that were, at once, conventional classrooms.

Although there is no final decision on which rooms the studios will call home, there is speculation that the new building is a promising candidate. The new building would be ideal because of its modern concrete structure. This would allow for better-soundproofed spaces where students can get very high-quality sound recordings for course projects that require sound engineering. Also, the rooms in the new building are much larger than those of the A and B buildings, which is ideal for a studio because studios generally have a lot of wires, equipment, and large objects lying around, and having a large space reduces the risk of accidents. Plus, a larger space will allow students to be more interactive with the creative projects they will make.

There are also plans (in negotiation) to create an official ALC department in the new building. Although there have been no final decisions made yet, the idea is to give the ALC program a few rooms, all on the same floor of the building. This way, ALC students and teachers will have their own floor to call home, where they can display student work on the walls and the rooms and studios will all be close by and will be exclusive to them. The idea is that everyone in the department will feel part of this creative environment and will inspire one another to create some truly amazing things in years to come. The current plan is to have the Mac lab, film/photography studio, sound studio, and equipment storage room all on the fourth floor.

Equipment Management

One of the key factors in determining the success of the new studios is going to be the system for managing the equipment. The College plans on investing over ten thousand dollars into making this revamp project a reality. So, the question becomes, who and how will this expensive inventory be kept safe? 

The current system in place is inadequate. Svitanko stated that the current problem is that the equipment the College already owns is being lost.

The proposed solutions for the management of media equipment come with a few different options. One option is that the teachers of the ALC program be responsible for keeping track of who borrowed the equipment using a sign-in/sign-out form.

Option two is to implement a work-study program where students work for various departments at the college and instead of a paycheque, they pay off their tuition. Students could work as an equipment management facilitator for the rental, tracking, and inventory management of the new equipment.

The third option is to hire a designated technician who would be responsible for managing the equipment and studio maintenance. Regardless of whichever option is selected, there will be a structured system in place to avoid anything being lost, stolen, or damaged. The equipment will be free to use, for ALC students only, but will more than likely have a ‘you break it, you buy it’ policy attached in order to stress how serious the damage or loss of this equipment is.

Endless Possibilities

These new ALC facilities will allow the College to expand the courses offered in the program, in addition to enhancing existing courses. The long-term goal will be to allow students from various other programs and student clubs to use the studios once the department has discovered a management system that works and no issues have been discovered.

Letter from the Past Editor-In-Chief

Letter from the Past Editor-In-Chief

From its humble beginnings as a small adult education training center, TAV now finds itself in the final stages of building its third campus structure as well as continuing to solidify its place within Montreal’s society.

Each student that walks through the doors of this College lends themselves not only to the story of TAV but also, to its future.

TAV is unique in that it is unlike any other College in the world. It adapts itself to the diverse, culturally-rich, and constantly expansive urban city of Montreal, while also never forgetting its roots as a community center for job training and foundational academics for the Jewish-Montreal cohort.

The TAV Times serves a crucial role not only as the gatekeeper of TAV’s history but also that of the city of Montreal by extension. The TAV Times began as a simple sheet of paper to announce the monthly events at the College, but it rapidly grew into a multimedia, member-based, journalism cooperative and its future is only limited by how far imagination can be stretched.

If journalism, by nature, is to seek the truth, criticize power, and present fact, then as founder of the TAV Times, my ultimate hope is that it will do just that and beyond.

To conclude, I leave you with a story and a thought about thoughts. During a class trip to Ottawa with my high school newspaper team, a writer for the Canadian Parliamentary Press invited us to go “off-tour” and visit the Press Gallery offices inside the Parliament building. We went inside the break room where the writer told us stories about the many moments that happened in this room throughout history, mostly stories about prime ministers sharing drinks with journalists. However, engraved in the concrete slab of the fireplace were words of wisdom about journalism that I’ve never forgotten and maybe these words can inspire someone else as well: 

“But words are things, add a small drop of ink, falling, like dew upon a thought, produces that which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.”

george Gordon byron, don juan

To the newest TAV Times team and their editor-in-chief, I wish you only the best with this project. Remember that you will only get from this experience what you put in.

  • Justin Hand-Gregory
What’s With Martha’s Meatball Tree?

What’s With Martha’s Meatball Tree?


Subway Canada recently released a new ad campaign to promote their partnership with the mega plant-based “meat” producer Beyond Meat. The ad features home and garden business personality Martha Stewart, in which Martha promotes Subway’s newest product: Beyond Meat meatballs.

The creators of the video advertisement decided to play on the words “plant-based” by humorously stating that these meatballs are in fact grown from the ground. It is obvious that these food products are indeed not grown on a plant, however, the creators cleverly use hyperbole as a device to convince their audience that these products contain only plant-based ingredients, and therefore, they are essentially grown in the ground. In other words, the message is: if you have ever considered trying a plant-based product, try the Beyond Meat meatball sub at your local (and already familiar) Subway restaurant. 

Despite the positive impact that the increasing amount of plant-based products available in the fast-food industry has (Heller, M. C., Keoleian, G. A., 2018), cultural studies analysis models, such as the Nesbitt-Larking Model (2009) (Figure 1), reminds us that there is always a relationship between advertisements, corporate profit making and audience manipulation. Beyond Meat and Subway are major corporations that seek profit and therefore, it is important to critically analyze the “stuff you’re not seeing” in ads like this seemingly obvious corporate pairing.

Figure 1. Paul Nesbitt-Larking. Politics, Society and the Media: a Model. Broadview Press. 2009.


Subway Canada is far from being the first Canadian fast-food corporation to hop on the Beyond Meat wagon and drive sales through the roof. This is a perfect example of what Kotler and Turner (1981) coined “the marketing concept.” One of the key aspects of the marketing concept, in short, is simply “discovering consumer needs, designing products to meet them and using advertisements to communicate the availability and desirability of the products” (Leiss, et al., 2018). In the case of this Subway advertisement, Subway has identified that there is an increasing demand, in the Canadian market, for plant-based food products and has thus implemented the very basic marketing concept by supplying this demand. Subway is then the fourth “P” in the “four Ps” of the marketing concept, which is place (placing products in appropriate retail outlets). 

Some Canadian corporations have wrongfully positioned themselves in the plant-based retailer market, such as Tim Hortons, which has recently pulled all Beyond Meat products from its menu (excluding the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia). This is precisely what Kutler and Turner mean by “placing products in appropriate retail outlets.”  The consumer reaction to Tim Hortons offering Beyond Meat products is a point of assessment that challenges the marketing concept due to the fact that, although Tim Hortons employed the concept correctly, the profit results were not as expected because Tim Hortons is not the appropriate place.


We can infer that one reason for the failed profit margins of the Beyond Meat-Tim Hortons pairing is due to the fact that “large segments of consumers in western societies do not seem willing to eat a plant-based diet or reduce meat consumption” (Graça, J. et al., 2015). However, Beyond Meat may have “struck gold” with its recent partnership with Subway. Cristina Wells solidifies this statement by saying “[During the test,] a lot of guests came in expecting a great experience of us because we’re known for veggies and those kinds of options.” In other words, Subway has solidified themselves as a fast-food chain that emphasizes “fresh” ingredients and therefore, does not necessarily focus on their meat offerings. With that being said, these corporations are cleverly utilizing what Packard (1959) called “the subconscious level”, to the receiving audience of Canadian consumers by offering these consumers the change in their life that they desire, which is a slow transition to a plant-based diet, however, it is offered by a familiarity: Subway (the appropriate place).


The choice that Subway made to advertise their new Beyond Meat meatballs as a “meatball tree” promoted by Martha Stewart is a hyperbolic method that (Leiss, et al., 2018) refer to in Table 1.1 as a “product symbols” advertising strategy. The “meatball tree” and Martha Stewart, being internationally recognized as an icon of home and garden affairs, are symbolic attributes of the notions of plants and freshness and by-extension good health. Good health, I argue, is the conscious level message that audiences take away from this advertisement; it is not about food, nor plant-based meatballs, but about how these fresh products will improve your health.


Subway Canada has cleverly paired with established plant-based food producer Beyond Meat as a means of shared-profit-advantage for both corporations. Both of these brands compliment each other and thus supply a demand for a product, which is the foundational aspect of Kotler and Turner’s marketing concept. Although Graça, J. et al. (2015) found, through their data, that “large segments of consumers in western societies do not seem willing to eat a plant-based diet or reduce meat consumption,” we must keep in mind that this study was published in 2015 and does not necessarily reflect the current discourse on plant-based diets. If the tests that Subway performed are any indication, then we can conclude that there is an increasing amount of consumers who are in fact looking to reduce their meat consumption and Subway has finally found the perfect corporate partner to help North Americans take on this new “healthier,” plant-based lifestyle.


Heller, M. C., Keoleian, G. A. (2018). Beyond Meat’s Beyond Burger Life Cycle Assessment:A detailed comparison between a plant- based and an animal-based protein source. Regents of the University of Michigan.

Nesbitt-Larking, P. (2009). Politics, Society and the Media (2nd Edition). Broadview Press.

Leiss, W., Kline, S., Jhally, S., Botterill, J., Asquith, K.  (2018). Social Communication in Advertising (4th Edition). Routledge.

Kotler, P., Turner, R. E. (1981) in Social Communication in Advertising (4th Edition). Routledge. (2018)

Packard, V. (1959) in Social Communication in Advertising (4th Edition). Routledge. (2018)

Graça, J., Oliveira, A., Calheiros, M. M. (2015). Meat, beyond the plate. Data-driven hypotheses for understanding consumer willingness to adopt a more plant-based diet. Appetite Journal, Elsevier.

Kolm, J. (2020). Subway and Martha Stewart give a lesson in plant-based food. Strategy Online.

Harris, S. (2019). Beyond Meat says its burgers are healthier than beef. Health experts aren’t so sure. CBC Online.

Saltzman, A. (2019). Tim Hortons pulls Beyond Meat products from Canadian locations outside B.C., Ontario. CBC Online.

Buckner, D. (2019). Business gets on board the plant-based protein train. CBC Online.


Coronavirus (COVID-19): Montreal Experts Weigh-In

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Montreal Experts Weigh-In

In December of 2019, there was a novel virus outbreak in the city of Wuhan, China following a unique case of pneumonia. The novel (new) virus is part of a larger family of viruses known as “coronaviruses.” As of February 11th 2020, The WHO (World Health Organization) has ‘named’ the novel coronavirus COVID-19, short for “coronavirus disease 2019,” according to a situation report published by the WHO. 

Although experts are assuring Canadian citizens that all confirmed cases of the virus on Canadian soil have been successfully contained, as this is a viral infection that is not yet treatable, I had some questions for experts in the industry. Here’s what they had to say:

Q: The WHO states novel coronaviruses, such as the Wuhan coronavirus, “is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.” Could you break down the science of a “novel coronavirus” and explain why it has not been previously identified, as well as its potential for a pandemic.

A: It is novel because it was not previously transmitted between humans before. However, COVID-19 (how it was christened by WHO) was circulating in some animal reservoirs before it “jumped” from its animal host to humans in Wuhan (China) sometime in November/December of last year. The Public Health Agency of Canada currently assesses that the risk posed by COVID-19 is low. However, epidemiologists worldwide are concerned that China might not be able to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Q: What are the most effective preventative measures that Montrealers can take to ensure the safety of such a virus?

A: COVID-19 is not present in Quebec at this time. So far, the few cases of COVID-19 that were introduced in Canada were successfully isolated and their contacts traced. As a result, Montrealers should be more concerned about the flu than COVID-19. Further, WHO recommends the same precautionary measures for flu and COVID-19: wash your hands often, practice respiratory hygiene (cough/sneeze in your elbow/tissue), avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, etc.

Q: In your opinion, should the Canadian government be worried about the potential effects of coronavirus? From a purely scientific standpoint.

A: Yes, the situation calls for proactive measures. The government is monitoring the rapidly evolving situation carefully even if the risk to Canadians is currently evaluated to be low.

– Dr. Mathieu Maheu-Giroux (Professor of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University, Montreal)

Q: The symptoms of COVID-19 are very similar to those of the common cold/flu. With that being said, why is there so much concern surrounding this virus?

A: Because this virus is a respiratory infection, it can progress to a more serious infection such as pneumonia, which in some serious cases can be fatal. This is why public health officials and medical institutions are being vigilant, as to limit the spread of the virus.

Q: Why is finding a vaccination for a virus so difficult?

A: It may indeed be possible to develop an effective vaccine; however, the amount of time it will take to do so is difficult to determine at this time. Some of the challenges involved in developing vaccines include the fact that viruses can change over time, and several viruses have evolved to specifically inhibit the immune response of the host.    

Q: Are there any procedures currently in place (in Quebec and/or Canada) to handle a pandemic situation?

A: I’m not an expert on public health policy, however, to the best of my knowledge, due to the recent influenza pandemics, countries worldwide (including Canada) have indeed put certain measures in place to deal with future pandemic situations, should they present themselves.

– Dr. Angela Pearson (Professor of Molecular virology and viral pathogens, Centre Armand-Frappier Santé Biotechnologie)

Note: This interview (with Dr. Pearson) was not translated verbatim, however, was reviewed by Dr.Pearson prior to publishing.  

*Special thanks to Dr. Peter Pawelek, (Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Concordia University) who greatly assisted with discovering Montreal virology experts.

TAV Will Soon Have a Rooftop Garden Lounge!

TAV Will Soon Have a Rooftop Garden Lounge!

TAV is proud to present the official plans for the new campus building that is currently under construction at 5995 Boulevard Decarie.

Photos and renderings prepared by Les Architects Joly Baygin

*Please note that these photos are part of the architects proposal plan and are subject to change. Contact our communications department for more information:

Some of the main features of the new building are:

  • Multimedia/library centre (see figure 10)
  • Study rooms (see figure 9)
  • Rooftop garden lounge (see figure 4)
  • Step seats in the grand foyer (see figures 5 & 6)
  • Exterior garden-lounge spaces (see figure 5)

The plans for this building were also designed to place an emphasis on accessibility, transterior design and mental wellbeing. These features are demonstrated through:

  • Indoor garage bike storage (see figure 10)
  • Emphasis on exterior lounge spaces with greenery (see figures 3, 4 & 5)
  • Accessibility ramps (see figure 5)
Rendering of the front of the new building
Fig 2. Architects rendering of the front (right profile) of the building
Rendering of the back of the new building
Fig 3. Architects rendering of the back of the building
Rendering of the rooftop garden lounge proposal.
Fig 4. Rendering of the “rooftop garden lounge”
Rendering of the 2nd basement library centre.
Fig 5. Rendering of the ground floor with large stair steps and outdoor garden spaces
Step seats community centre concept.
Fig 6. Architects proposal for step seats concept in the grand foyer
Architectural drawing of the front elevation.
Fig 7. Architectural rendering of the front elevation
Architectural drawing of the back elevation.
Fig 8. Architectural rendering of the back elevation
Floor plan for the sixth floor.
Fig 9. Floor plan of the sixth floor with private study rooms
Floor plan for the 2nd basement floor.
Fig 10. Floor plan of the 2nd basement with a multimedia/library centre
Floor plan for the 1st basement indoor garage floor.
Fig 11. Floor plan of the 1st basement indoor garage

Follow #tavnextgen on Instagram for all of the latest updates on the new projects that TAV has in store for its future! Or, use this hashtag to show your excitement!

Skip to content