Huron East home to television pilot project - Feb. 1, 2018
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
Huron East will serve as ground zero for a pilot project by Chris Cooper and Rediscovering Canada, which hopes to reinvigorate local broadcasting.
Cooper, who has been working with Huron East – specifically the Economic Development Department and its leader Jan Hawley – for years, is launching Rediscovering Canada Television (RCTV) public internet television on March 9. The station will feature RCTV original Canadian content and Cooper hopes that it will truly be a viewing experience that will be for the people.
The community television aspect of the project is where Huron East comes in.
“Our commitment to communities, especially in rural Canada and our remote north is our priority,” states the Rediscovering Canada website. The website, Cooper said, will categorize content by province or territory and then even further by community.
The website also states that while Huron East has been the first to jump on board for the project, negotiations are ongoing with a number of other communities across the country that are eager to have a platform to promote local talent.
Cooper hopes to focus on factual original series, comedy, short films, documentaries, home-grown music, theatre, dance and art.
The programming in Huron East will begin with new episodes of Our People, Our Places and other programs presented by Cooper himself, but he hopes as the network gains steam and interest is generated, that more people, preferably young people interested in broadcasting, will get involved.
As production budgets have been slashed, especially to stations serving rural communities, Cooper says that it’s getting more difficult for residents to see their own stories on television. Using the power of the internet and social media, Cooper hopes to restore greatness to the world of local broadcasting with high quality.
While he hopes to bring people on and help them get a start in the industry, he also hopes that the project will continue to grow and that they’ll be able to eventually pay people generating content and working with them.
He also said that copyrighting for the project will be very community-minded. When people contribute programming to the project, they own the material.
So far, Cooper says that the interest has been through the roof, with tens of thousands of people across the country getting in touch and submitting material or pitching ideas.
As for the Huron East connection, Cooper said he has been working with the municipality for years and is consistently impressed with it. He has worked with Economic Development Officer Jan Hawley and Huron East just seemed like the right place to launch original programming.
It also helped, he said, that he and his crew had already produced video for the municipality several years ago that could be rebooted and repackaged ahead of the March launch date.
For more information about Rediscovering Canada’s bold new project, visit Cooper’s website at rediscoveringcanada.ca.