SmallTownRadio Open House
by Festival Nomad Correspondent, Kevin Stuart
There’s always an element of excitement and anticipation leading up to something new. Those who have helped to build a new facility, whether it is for recreation, retail or nearly anything else, are eager to share their effort and achievement with the community. This is why grand opening celebrations are held to mark such occasions. I know because, as a member of the board of directors for Northumberland’s newest radio station, I have seen from the inside just how much time and toil it has taken to get SmallTownRadio to this point. It began as an idea in 2009 to have a radio station whose programming mainly consisted of contributions from volunteers within the local area. These are people who may or may not have media experience but possess a passion they wish to share with listeners. SmallTownRadio began broadcasting live on the internet on January 7, 2013 from a temporary studio in the Idea Hub in Port Hope. With much help from inside volunteers as well as donations of labour and materials from local businesses, SmallTownRadio now has studios situated in a section of the former Blockbuster building on Elgin Street in Cobourg. Being on a major thoroughfare will most likely aid in building further awareness of SmallTownRadio’s presence and how it has already begun to reach out. Already, a dedicated group of newscasters and program providers has worked towards developing credibility within the community. One of those accomplishments is being the official broadcast voice of the Cobourg Cougars hockey team for the coming season.
On July 14, SmallTownRadio opened its doors along with a free barbecue to welcome visitors and potential new volunteers. It was, in many ways, a typical dog day of summer with bright sun and sizzling temperatures. Because of this, the lemonade and water that were served along with the hotdogs and hamburgers, were well received. It was the first of a number of opportunities to meet and greet other members of the local area and forge new and exciting relationships. Yes, this may sound a bit over the top but I believe as time goes on, SmallTownRadio will prove its official slogan as the Heartbeat of Our Community.
Thanks to all who helped to organize and in particular a big thank you to the many individuals and businesses whose contributions have built the new facility and brough SmallTownRadio to where it is today. As always, new volunteers are needed in various areas of the operation and more details on how to get involved can be found at www.smalltownradio.ca. There is still much more of SmallTownRadio’s story to be written but this has been a most promising beginning.