SHEET HARBOUR – It has been a busy year for the Sheet Harbour Radio (SHR) Society, one highlighted by the launch of its low power community broadcast on 94.7 FM and an ongoing increase in live broadcasts.
The organization celebrated its accomplishments – and looked to the future – during its annual general meeting (AGM), which took place March 29 via Zoom.
Society president Ed Empringham thanked the Sheet Harbour Radio team – as well as its supporters – for their effort in 2020, which has been a challenging year.
“Sheet Harbour Radio – like many organizations – has struggled with the impact of COVID-19 on the momentum of our organization,” he said.
“While the team met most weeks – by Zoom – it is not the same as meeting in person.”
In 2020, the Society received two grants from the Community Radio Fund of Canada, funding focussed on supporting community radio stations across Canada in the production of local programming during Covid-19.
“One of these grants allowed us to purchase new equipment, which will allow us to do more live broadcasting,” explained Empringham.
Led by team member Dan Goodsell, SHR produced several live broadcasts in 2020, including the Sheet Harbour Remembrance Day service, LEA Place vigil, Christmas on Main Street and a weekly broadcast with staff from the Gerald Hardy Memorial Society, while, in 2021, it launched “East Coast Indie,” which features virtual interviews and the music of independently produced east coast artists. The show is done from the Sober Island Brewing Tap Room.”
One difficulty that arose during 2020 was pandemic health restrictions and another was senior students moving on – which lessened maintaining contact with Marine Drive Academy students who have volunteered with the radio station since its development.
“With the graduation of some of our student members, we are in need of student participation. We have proposed a student cooperative learning option but no students came forward in the February 2021 offering,” Empringham said. “We look forward to being able to rebuild our relationship with Marine Drive Academy as the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.”
In 2021, the Society has set goals that include continuing to complete the requirements of the FM licence, increasing the size of the board to facilitate inclusion of supporter and community representation, continuing to work on student engagement and building the community listening base.
Empringham said SHR is “always looking for new team members, supporters and general community input and support.”
Contact the Sheet Harbour Radio Society at firstname.lastname@example.org
Janice Christie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal