Behind the scenes at a CBC Workshop Series for Creators

February is typically known as the coldest month of the year and I usually like spending it hibernating. It takes a lot to get me out of the house and generally when I do get out it is done with much moaning, groaning and complaining. However every Saturday during the month of February, I was committed to be at the CBC headquarters in Toronto to facilitate the CBC Development Workshop Series for Diverse Creators. You may or may not believe this, but I did not moan, I did not groan and I definitely did not complain.

About the program

When I was first approached about the gig last fall I couldn’t believe my luck. It felt as though I had snuck into a program that answered so many of the questions I had been asking in my own creative journey. As an educator/facilitator by day and artist (writer/actor) by night, it felt like the perfect marriage between my worlds. My role was to finalize the program curriculum, contact and schedule all speakers, coordinate the program mentorship, maintain communication between everyone involved and facilitate the weekly sessions. Each week as I listened to the guest speakers and program participants wax poetic about creative ideas, industry standards and network priorities, that feeling that I had snuck into the best program ever returned like clockwork.

The vision for the program was incredibly simple yet that simplicity did not prevent its deeply powerful realization. Take a diverse group of established content creators who have realized success in their own respective fields and provide them with the tools, networks and insight to tap into the seemingly closed world of television production. When I developed the program curriculum, it was important to consider what these participants already knew and what gaps we could fill in. Their experience made the weekly sessions a circulation of knowledge and feedback not from the top down but cyclically between participants, guest speakers, mentors and facilitators. These participants simply needed, and gained throughout the program, access, support and connections to transition into the next sphere.

The team

We were fortunate enough to have the full support of our incredible CBC Advisory Committee. Many of the members went above and beyond what had been originally envisioned for the program by coming in several times, meeting with participants outside of the program and connecting us with incredible guest speakers through their personal and professional connections. Hearing them discuss the new directions for the CBC and seeing that new direction tangibly emerge through their commitment and excitement over the program provided me with a sense of hope and investment in the network that I have never had before. It never failed to astonish me how open and generous all of the guest speakers were with their time, knowledge and network.

The Inclusion and Diversity Department staff that helped to coordinate the program are another core reason for why it was so successful. Their eye for detail, immense patience and coordination skills and their incredible questions and support for participants in the program were critical components contributing to such a successful experience. I am always inspired by the way that my friend Charles Officer who served as our Program Mentor is able to come into every project committing all of his attention and energy. He was consistently present for each of the participants helping to guide and support their ideas, pushing each of them to consider all the ways that their visions could manifest.

The Final Pitches

The final pitches were a thing of beauty. I was – whatever that combination of awe, inspiration and pride is called – that is what I was. I remember turning during one of the pitches to see a CBC executive (not so discreetly) wiping a small tear from her eye. The pride in the air was palpable. Each idea was so distinct not only from each other but also from what is currently on the air that it became tangible to me why it is necessary to create space for diverse creators.

Although when watching television it feels as though every idea has been explored and just keeps getting recreated with a small twist, this program proved to me that there is an entire world of experiences that has yet to be explored. There are so many ideas and so much content which has not been tapped into and it is only through opening the doors to those who are rarely seen in spaces such as this that we can begin to experience them.

The diversity in this group of creators is not only a reflection of their racialized backgrounds but also their wildly different cultural and experiential contexts which provides the necessary ingredients to birth these distinct ideas for content. I am so excited by the possibility of these creative minds and am so excited about where the CBC could go if they recognize the brilliance of these creative minds and put their ideas into development.

What happens next?

The real deal…the test. These are my hopes for that real deal:

I hope that one of these ideas makes it to development.
I hope that one of these ideas makes it to air.
I hope that the CBC is lucky enough to air one of these ideas.

 

- Amanda Parris,  CBC Development Workshop Series for Diverse Creators

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Celebrate Ontario’s creativity

PrintHere we go! The kick off has begun for the 2015 edition of the Ontario Scene festival. Ninety artistic events will be held over 12 days, featuring music, culinary arts, literature, film theatre, visual and media arts and dance performances. CBC/Radio-Canada is a proud partner of the festival, organized by the National Arts Centre.

This is exactly the kind of creative/artistic happening that I love. Artists from across Ontario will be in Ottawa to showcase their works to a public fond of discoveries. Art has the power to bring us together, to make us think, and to encourage us to evolve as a person first, and as a society.

Listing all of the activities scheduled would be too long, but here are some that are particularly interesting. You can follow our media coverage on CBC.ca/Ottawa (click here for the dedicated Ontario Scene web page) and ICI Radio-Canada.ca/Ottawa-Gatineau.

Shad – Saturday, May 2

Shad, the brand new host of the popular show q on CBC Radio, is passionate about music. He will take the stage at this year’s festival with Zoo Legacy, Story Tellers and Jesse Dangerously. This unique mix of genres will offer a memorable evening for festivalgoers!

Ontario Culinary Challenge – Tuesday, May 5

The challenge: prepare delicious dishes and create custom wine pairings with local Ontario wines, for an unforgettable dining experience. Fifteen chefs will compete to win the grand prize of $10,000. Alan Neal, resident foodie and host of CBC’s All in A Day on Radio One in Ottawa, will also be there to unveil the winner.

Trille Or Awards Gala – Thursday, May 7

Radio-Canada Ottawa-Gatineau, alongside the Association professionnelle de la chanson et de la musique (APCM), co-produces the 8th Trille Or Awards Gala presented as part of the Ontario Scene festival.  If you can’t be there, follow the Gala on the radio, on television or on the web. The spotlight will be on Franco-Canadian song artists from Ontario and Western Canada. There will be a number of exclusive performances and new music to sample. The show will be hosted by musical artist Damien Robitaille and will no doubt be entertaining!

Will you be there? Tell us all about your experiences on Twitter and Facebook!

- Carole Breton, Manager, Communications and Public Relations, Corporate Communications

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A look inside Choir! Choir! Choir! Toronto’s no-audition, no commitment choir

Nobu Adilman and Daveed Goldman (AKA: DaBu) are the co-founders of Choir! Choir! Choir! - a no-commitment, no-audition choir in Toronto that meets twice weekly to sing pop classics in bars. Their participants range in age but they all share an intense love for music. You can join them at the 2015 CBCMusic.ca Festival  in Toronto on May 23, 2015 alongside Bahamas, Patrick Watson, Joel Plaskett Emergency, Cœur de pirate, Jenn Grant and others.

 

We are often asked how Choir! Choir! Choir! started. It’s a pretty simple story. On February 2nd, 2011, Daveed and I invited our friends out for a night of singing. It was the dead of winter, the Raptors were on a constant losing streak, and Daveed (a massive basketball fan) needed a distraction. We didn’t know it yet but the night would change our lives.

The media was calling for one of the biggest snowstorms in the history of the world but no one was deterred (maybe because we’re Canadian, or because most storms are overhyped). Word of our event travelled fast, and strangers got in touch to ask if they could attend. Eye Magazine (Toronto’s now defunct weekly) wanted to send a photographer to capture what we would be doing. Daveed’s response was laughably succinct: “We don’t even know what we’re doing!”

Though musical, neither of us had ever run anything resembling a choir. I had never even been in one. It didn’t matter because the stakes couldn’t have been lower. At the very least, the night was a disaster and we went on our merry way. At best, maybe we’d do it again sometime down the line.

Our venue was the lobby of a real estate office on Queen St. West where a friend was an agent. A poster-sized photo of the Toronto skyline loomed in the background. Beers helped loosen any potential performance anxiety.

Choir Choir ChoirDaveed and I stumbled through teaching our simple arrangements. But by the end of the night, we had recorded two songs on an iPhone: Pilot’s Just A Smile and Nowhere Man by The Beatles. New friends were made; great fun was had. Daveed and I suggested we do it again in a month’s time. Everyone wanted to do it the next day. We compromised on the following week.

Fast forward several years, we now run two choir nights weekly in bars and our arrangements (and recording techniques) have greatly improved. We’ve performed with members of Sloan, Buck 65, Tim Baker from Hey Rosetta!, punk legend Patti Smith, Irish singer-songwriter Damien Rice, and West Coast pop rock twins Tegan and Sara on the Juno Awards – to name a few. We’ve raised thousands of dollars for charities around the city.

We didn’t plan any of it but we appreciate every second of it. The joy we’ve experienced is unquantifiable. Choir! Choir! Choir! is now a local fixture that has built a sizeable and inspiring community here at home. We’ve gotten all kinds of media attention on both sides of the border, and get shout outs fans from around the world and from the bands we admire.

In many ways, we feel like we’re just getting started. We’ve got so many great memories but a lot of plans for the future, both of which we’ll continue to write about in this space on a semi-regular basis. We hope you enjoy it and we invite you to join us!

-Nobu Adilman, Co-founder of Choir! Choir! Choir! 

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CBC News on your wrist

mfcdtb-20150417-155x274Starting April 24, 2015, breaking news alerts and headlines will be available “at a glance” on your wrist. On the same day the Apple Watch becomes available to Canadians, cbc.ca/news is pushing an update to its iOS News app so it comes with compatibility for the new device.

Len Cervantes, Product Manager for Mobile Apps, explains how the Watch app will work: “As soon as users download the latest iOS News App update, they can receive breaking news via push notifications on their Apple Watch. They can glance at the alerts on-the-go, read the most crucial information right on the Watch and then read the full article on their iPhone (iPhone5 running iOS 8 and up).”

Soon, users will be able to share articles on social media as well as save a selection of articles for later reading.

“People will engage with the news on their wrist many times throughout the day, but we’ll also be there when they are ready to sit down and read more on a more appropriate device. Our specialty is to deliver the full story: the Apple Watch is a companion that will allow us to meet users where they are,” adds Spencer Walsh, Executive Producer, CBC.ca.

Len Cervantes and Spencer Walsh look forward to seing how users will interact with cbc.ca/news on their Apple Watches. “Listening to users’ feedback is critical if we want to increase our adaptability and mobility. It’s how we got where we are today,” says Spencer Walsh.

“It’s all about what Canadians need, when they need it and where they need it.”

- Jacinthe Lacombe-Cliche, Senior Writer, Corporate Communications

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Collaboration and partnerships in an ever-changing world

A lot of ink has been spilled about our own situation: evolving technologies, adapting to new consumer habits, restructuring, layoffs, financial viability. But what we too seldom discuss is just how generalized these challenges really are – and the opportunities that come with working together with our peers and partners to overcome them.

The fact is the entire media industry is struggling. Here at home, it’s painfully clear the model is broken. Alarm bells are ringing.

Just over a year ago former Rogers President, Keith Pelley, was before the CRTC predicting nothing short of the collapse of conventional television business. Even then he was saying things like: “The industry is not changing yearly, it is changing monthly, weekly, daily…”

More recently Bell Media’s former president Kevin Crull warned that current regulatory policies are undermining Canadian TV. He cited a perfect storm. The rising cost of content and Canada’s fundamentally broken revenue model.

And they’re right. We know from our own experience that declining revenues – both public and self-generated, in our case – combined with our need to innovate and invest in our own future is placing severe pressure on our finances and on our people. In fact, we were among the first to see and speak out about the broken model across the industry. And we’ve been coping in our own well-publicized way. Planning to reduce our real-estate footprint in half, scaling back our infrastructure, building-in reserves and reducing our workforce.  All that, without the kinds of management tools – line of credit, streamlined approvals for speed of reaction – that others take for granted.  It is a little like changing the tires on a car while it is cruising down the highway.

We’re not alone. Global’s parent company, Shaw Communications Inc., announced this past February that it is relocating 1,600 employees. Overall Shaw says it lost about 36,000 cable TV customers, 12,000 land-line telephone subscribers and 1,800 Internet customers in the last quarter.

Again in February, Sun News Network went dark; and, the entire Sun Media English Language Newspapers and Digital Properties were recently acquired by Postmedia. Job losses are looming as the parent chain itself continues to cut spending.

Even more recently Rogers – yes, Rogers – reported its profits were down 19% this past quarter citing, in part, “lacklustre broadcast revenues from mid-season NHL hockey games” and regulatory changes.

Corus Entertainment had a rough quarter too, posting an $86 million dollar net loss for its second quarter, and lowering its outlook for 2015 due to uncertainty in the advertising market.

In the 11 months since we launched our own strategy, Bell Media, Rogers, Shaw, Star Media Group, Transcontinental, V, Musique Plus, Quebecor, Corus and Postmedia have all reduced staff or announced restructuring of some kind.

In the midst of all this the CRTC concluded Let’s Talk TV, its review of the television industry in Canada. Among other decisions it announced “pick and pay” (meaning that specialty channels must eventually be offered by cable and satellite providers on a stand‐alone basis and in small packages), which will constitute a major shake-up of the television market over the next five years.

Meantime, the CRTC did not address local programming funding issues and chose to maintain the requirement for conventional TV broadcasters (like CBC Television and ICI Radio-Canada Télé) to broadcast over-the-air.

The CRTC also recognized in its decision that the rules that ensure that Canadians have access to Canadian programming will not survive into the Internet age.  While they did not offer any new direction, it is a sign that we need to start looking at how we transform the services we provide to Canadians in even more radical ways on a five to seven year time horizon. More on that in the coming months.

Canada’s not alone. As I have said recently, the picture for public broadcasters around the world is much the same.

It’s always interesting to note the many parallels between the BBC and ourselves. Despite their funding being nearly six times our own, they too are making headlines like: BBC risks having to cut more services after it misses targets.

In March, Tony Hall, the Managing Director of the BBC, laid out the ambitious role it intends to play in what he calls the “Internet age”, placing big data, social media and more collaboration and partnership at the centre of his plans. Their own restructuring has affected thousands of employees in the last few years, most recently announcing an additional reduction of 600 positions in news and radio.

Lord Hall says he needs to “…reinvent the BBC once more.” Here are two quotes I think are particularly striking, both from a speech he gave on March 2 in London:

This is the start of a real transformation – the myBBC revolution. How to reinvent public service broadcasting through data. But we’ll always be doing it our way – not telling you what customers like you bought, but what citizens like you would love to watch and need to know.” (March 2, 2015)

“So this future is a choice, for our decision-makers. A big choice. The BBC is at a cross-roads.

Down one path lies a BBC reduced in impact and reach in a world of global giants. Damaging the UK’s creative industries. A sleep-walk into decay for the BBC, punching below its weight abroad, and Britain diminished as a result. Which means a UK dominated by global gatekeepers, partial news and American taste-makers. Down the other path is a strong BBC helping bind the country together at home and championing it abroad. A British creative beacon to the world. Providing a universal service for a universal fee. An internet-first BBC which belongs to everyone and where everyone belongs.”

Australia is in much the same situation. A budget cut of Aus$207 million means that the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) is cutting services, reconsidering spending priorities and implementing a “smarter and more focused” approach to how it services rural and regional Australia – including closing stations.

Switzerland is holding a referendum on June 14 to transform their funding model from a licence fee currently paid by anyone who owns or operates a television set or radio, to a universal fee applicable to every household and business in the country.

In France last month, a committee of four federal cabinet ministers announced and endorsed an inter-ministerial working group report on France Télévisions’s relevance in 2020. It recognises that the broadcast framework that has delivered public service media in France for the last 40 years needs to be totally revamped.

The picture is clear. Adapt or die. We’ve chosen to adapt. And most others are too.

Take Norway for example… just this week it announced it will become the first nation in the world to eliminate FM Radio. It will be phased out in 2017 – and digital offerings will take its place.*

And back to Britain for a minute. The digital shift there is nothing short of revolutionary.

On April 9, the BBC’s Chief Technology Officer, Matthew Postgate, has been tasked with making sure that the BBC can compete with online rivals such as Netflix and Amazon. To do that, he says the BBC will become “Internet first‎” to appeal to younger audiences. And, he says: “Rather than trying to deliver one large project, we’ve been taking off the different components and moving forward.” Yet, even despite this focus, The Guardian still claims that: A digital public space is Britain’s missing public institution.

Sound familiar?

Even at a quick glance we see that our challenges, though very real, are far from unique. That’s why when we developed our strategic plan we spoke to nine other public broadcasters, and representatives from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to discuss everything from brand affinity to revenue models. Earlier this month, researchers from Japan’s public broadcaster, NHK, traveled from Tokyo to meet with us as they look to their own future. Why? Because around the world – Public broadcasting is under increasing pressure to prove its worth, legitimize its funding and justify its very existence.

Together, we face:

  • the growing abundance of available media content – both linear, digital and OTT (Over-the-top meaning bypassing traditional television and going straight to the consumer through the internet);
  • changing media consumption habits;
  • constant tightening of the public purse strings across the developed world;
  • higher expectations for effectiveness, efficiency and value for money;
  • increased demand for transparency and accountability of public bodies; and,
  • strengthened reporting and assessment requirements from governments, legislators, regulators and other oversight bodies.

Meantime, the case for public broadcasting has never been stronger. Countries built their public broadcasters to give themselves a voice. To ensure a presence on their own airwaves – to make sure their citizens, their stories and their history were celebrated. It’s based on the premise that Canadians deserve Canadian content. Australians deserve Australian content. Belgians deserve Belgian content. In an increasingly global and fragmented media environment, public broadcasters create the spaces where local communities can find themselves and thrive, where national identity is expressed and national cohesion is built, and where the political debates that ensure the health of a democracy are given air and space. Public broadcasters do that wherever they are, even though each is purpose-built to meet the specific needs of the population they serve.

So we are all unique but we all face similar problems. And we can learn from each other to find the best way to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.  I believe CBC/Radio-Canada can play a leadership role in finding, sharing and applying these solutions. We can do that through our longstanding relationship with the Public Broadcasters International (PBI), and support for its members in their endeavours. We can do that through bilateral discussions with other international public broadcasters. And, finally, it’s why we need to engage Canadians, our employees and our peers, both in the media sector and the public sector, to help identify the needs, opportunities and innovations that will define the era beyond broadcasting. As we implement our strategy and set our sights for the future, we have no intention of going it alone. Collaboration. Partnerships. Cooperation. That is the way forward.

- Hubert T. Lacroix, President and CEO, CBC/Radio-Canada

 


*We have made a clarification to the original text.

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What book has had the greatest influence on your life? Check out “Les Incontournables”, a list of must-reads in French.

Incontournables de Radio-CanadaWe can all name a book or two that’s had a major impact on our life. It could be a novel, short-story collection, biography or even a graphic novel. But whatever it is, it’s probably associated with a memorable event, a turning point in your life, or an important person you met. It’s hard to pick just one, but mine is definitely Michel Rabagliati’s Paul à Québec. Have you read it?

To mark World Book and Copyright Day, ICI Radio-Canada Première is launching the “Les Incontournables” project – a virtual library containing the 100 Canadian books you should read in your lifetime. The must-reads microsite includes the list of books, the reasons they made the list, selected excerpts, and links to related content. All of these Canadian books were written or translated in French.

We need your help! To launch the library, we asked Radio-Canada personalities to provide suggestions for the first half of the list. But for the second half, we want to know what Canadian books you think should be must-reads. Send us your picks and you could win a trip to Dublin – a city with one of the richest literary traditions in the world!

The top 100 books will be revealed on May 15 online and during a special episode of Plus on est de fous, plus on lit! (link only available in French), with host Marie-Louise Arsenault.

Want to see your most influential book on the list? Share it with us!

- Marie-Eve Desaulniers, Senior Advisor, Brand, Communications and Corporate Affairs

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Programming suggestions to celebrate Earth Day

April 22 is Earth Day. On CBC and Radio-Canada, Earth Day continues all season long through such flagship programs as The Nature of Things, Quirks & Quarks, La semaine verte, Découverte and Les années-lumière.

Below is a partial list of reports and series to help you learn more about the issues facing our planet as we mark Earth Day 2015.

The Nature of Things, CBC TelevisionALL_620X296_TNOT-thumb-620xauto-224960-thumb-620xauto-243294

Spirit Bear Family, To Bee or Not to Bee, SongbirdSOS, Trek of the Titans, the three-part Arctic Meltdown series, and Mysteries of the Animal Mind, to name but a few of the documentaries featured on this program.

La semaine verte, ICI Radio-Canada Télé (Available in French only)

The program team suggests watching or re-watching the following reports: L’agriculture de précision, La mondialisation des marchés, Bergers du saumon, Reboiser les grandes villes, Terre neuve, Funérailles vertes, Bélugas de l’aquarium de Vancouver, Les abeilles and Ferme du littoral.

Découverte, ICI Radio-Canada Télé (Available in French only)

The three episodes from the 1000 jours pour la planète 2015 series that aired on Découverte: “La grande disruption climatique,” “Poissons au cyanure et autres petites recettes nocives” and “La déforestation.”

Quirks & Quarks, CBC Radio One620x296-QuirksQuarks-thumb-620xauto-250312

You’ll find these and many other reports in the full list of Quirks & Quarks episodes: Canada’s Disappearing Glaciers, Drowning in Plastic, Failing Grades on Failing Species, Lakes Turning to Jelly.

Les années-lumière, ICI Radio-Canada Première (Available in French only)

A topic that I’d never heard about before: plastic microbeads that end up at the bottom of our lakes and rivers, then find their way into the food chain.

- Jacinthe Lacombe-Cliche, Senior Writer, Corporate Communications, CBC/Radio-Canada

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Earth Day for Kids

Calling all Parents and Kids! Did you know that today (April 22) is Earth Day?

Earth Day is celebrated to help make people aware of the importance of keeping our planet healthy and clean. The first Earth Day was celebrated April 22, 1970. Since then, more than 500 million people in over 180 countries have participated in Earth Day activities!

Want to learn more about Earth Day and different things you can do for the environment? Check out the great shows and clips we have available with an Earth Day and environment focus!

For clips from Mamma Yamma, What’s Your News, JiggiJump, dirtgirlworld and more, check out the Kids’ CBC playlist.

Or check out Oniva! featuring stories on natural foods, prehistoric times, insects and the weather! (Available in French only.)

For fun ideas and ways to celebrate Earth Day, check out Kids’ CBC on Facebook. You can create an Earth Day Wildflower Seed Bomb, plant a garden or just learn about the composting process. (English only.)

We at CBC/Radio-Canada are committed to participating in and promoting environmental activities. Check out more of our past initiatives in our annual Environmental Performance Report. Next version coming out this fall.

-Athena Trastelis, Senior Manager, Environment, CBC/Radio-Canada

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Radio-Canada and post-Snowden era journalism

Catherine Mathys

Catherine Mathys

Many of us were shocked by the information Edward Snowden made public in 2013. Of course, both the quantity and nature of the data he provided to the reporters were staggering, but the leaks also marked the beginning of a new era of journalism where protecting the confidentiality of sources via encryption has become crucial.

When the Radio-Canada Idea Accelerator project gave us the opportunity to think up innovative digital solutions, I was quick to put forth my idea to create a platform to securely protect all communications between our reporters and whistleblowers.

I saw big media companies like the Washington Post, the New Yorker, Le Monde, the Guardian and several others had taken the plunge. It was really important to me that Radio-Canada join the global movement to protect sources.

When I submitted the idea for the competition, a team slowly began forming with that same goal in mind. First Naël Shiab, then Hamady Cissé, and finally Dominique Marchand came forward wanting to contribute their know-how and technical expertise.

When we found out we were among the five finalists, we knew there wasn’t a second more to waste. I’ve been doing reports for 12 years on the air at Radio-Canada, but boy was it a tall order to develop an idea, prototype and budget, and then present it all well enough to convince the panel to get behind it – all in three short minutes, if you please. There was no time to dilly .

A few Google Hangout sessions later we’d structured our ideas, but it was truly our meeting with  FounderFuel CEO Sylvain Carle that helped us put the final touches on our presentation. As he told us, pitching is an art, and we saw that with our own eyes. Every word must be carefully considered, and each image has to complete what you’re saying. He reminded us of that fact on presentation day, citing Blaise Pascal – it takes more time to make it shorter than it does to make it longer!

The ensuing race to win votes was a tight one. The five projects were all well worth backing. I’d like to congratulate all finalists for their exciting initiatives. We all look forward to letting you know what’s next in the coming months. We’ll get back to you soon!

-Catherine Mathys, @RCTriplex blogger

* To view the presentations, you can click on the video below. Please note that the presentations are in French.

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How I put the Accelerator pedal to the metal with Snapchat

IMG_3789

A personal account of the adventure of Chloé Sondervorst and her fellow team mates Florent Daudens, Stéphanie Dufresne, Zoubeir Jazi, Santiago Salcido as they develop Radio-Canada’s first Snapchat mini-series.

***

Radio-Canada’s Idea Accelerator is a modern, creative, collaborative take on the good old suggestion box. I wanted to be part of the project the second I heard about it.

Our prototype was based on a simple observation. Ask those around you if they regularly use Snapchat. You’ll see few hands go up. But wait . . .

Snapchat is the pet app of millennials, who are using it to develop their own way to communicate via messages that disappear once read. It’s a whole new world that’s growing fast and attracting as much media attention as the premium brands do. It’s also a place where CBC/Radio-Canada has yet to set foot.

IMG_3778So we jumped with both feet into the Accelerator by pitching Radio-Canada’s first-ever Snapchat mini-series. We very quickly received comments that encouraged us to keep going, refine our concept, and build bridges with our colleagues. That’s when you could really feel the acceleration effect kicking in. Things got more intense after that, when we were selected along with four other teams to present our idea in person before a live audience.

We had less than a week (that’s not a lot) to prepare our three-minute pitches (that’s really not a lot) to convince the panel and our colleagues that they should let us go ahead with our idea.

To put us on the right track, Accelerator mentor Sylvain Carle shared a few quick and valuable tips with us on the fine art – not science – of pitching. We helped each other out to fine-tune our presentations. #solidarity. As Sylvain summed it up, we were striving for a common goal: put on a great show on D-Day.

Catherine Mathys et Chloé Sondervorst.

Catherine Mathys et Chloé Sondervorst.

I don’t think the audience was disappointed. The teams defended their idea with conviction. Ours (the Snapchat yellow team!) was fortunate enough to cross the finish line. I’d like to thank everyone who helped us gain momentum, and I also tip my hat with a snap to the team who so brilliantly organized this first experience . . .

What next? Make our idea a reality in the collaborative, experimental spirit of the Accelerator. If you have any suggestions, questions or comments about our prototype, feel free to contact us!

-Chloé Sondervorst, Producer, Regional Services

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