Eastlink salutes its many volunteers and their mentors

HALIFAX, April 24, 2017 /CNW/ - We all benefit when local people get involved in their communities. This week, Eastlink TV celebrates the hundreds of volunteers who passionately dedicate their time, honing their programming skills through Community TV programming as they help produce and share stories about the people, places and events that shape our communities.

"We are proud of each and every one of our volunteers, and their mentors, for their passionate commitment to our communities," said Lee Bragg, CEO Eastlink. "We'll be saluting them at various special events across our national serving area this week."

One of many of Eastlink's community programming mentors is Steve Sleep (Programming Director for Coast TV, an Eastlink company), who helps train volunteers that are passionate about learning new skills and giving back to their communities through unique, compelling and entertaining local programming – whether it be lifestyle, sports or community events.

From his home on the Sunshine Coast, Steve is the quintessential mentor. Graduating from Elphinstone Secondary School – where Coast TV supports a TV production class -  he received technical training at CBC TV, eventually moving on to work in the feature film industry before settling back in Gibsons, BC to work and raise a family.

What makes Steve's mentorship that much cooler is that he's been helping to kick start the careers of young people interested in broadcasting for the past 30 years through his presence and tutelage at his Secondary School alma mater - Elphinstone - where Coast TV operations are located.

Excerpt from interview with Steve Sleep that appeared in The Local Weekly, B.C. November, 2016:
"The broadcasting program was started by Marta Mackown, who was a teacher here in the school," Sleep said. "Marta got together with Maryanne West, a community volunteer who had been doing some work with the CRTC (the federal broadcast regulator) and knew the requirements for community television. Marta and Maryanne approached the cable company and said, 'Can we have access to the channel?'"

The company eventually said yes, thus launching a new iteration of Coast TV, with students learning the ropes in a broadcasting course where they produced local content for the channel. Elphinstone's broadcasting courses, in turn, have launched many students into TV and film production careers.

"If you visit a film set in Vancouver, you'll find one of our former students, almost guaranteed. If you visit a television station in Vancouver, you'll find one of our students there," Sleep said. "If you watch the 'Ellen DeGeneres Show,' the TD (technical director) [Zach Greenberg] is a graduate of this program. He's the same guy who was the TD for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Vancouver Olympics."

When asked about the impact that Steve's mentorship had on him, Zach Greenberg had this to say: "Few people in the world have the patience and unconditional dedication to teaching young minds as Steve does. He has continually helped inspire and give hope to the youth of our community, many of whom have gone on to do great things, thanks in large part to his influence."

Eastlink TV is proud to support hundreds of volunteers who learn and work in a variety of roles across the country including camera operation, audio, floor directing, graphics, producing and much more.

For more information on Eastlink TV and how to participate in the volunteer program, visit eastlinktvvolunteer.

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SOURCE Eastlink

For further information: Media Contact: Jill Laing, jill.laing@corp.eastlink.ca, 902.446.1939

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