SUNSHINE COAST, BC, June 13, 2019 /CNW/ - Forty years ago, Coast Community TV began rolling its cameras, producing community programming in a most unexpected way – by students at Elphinstone Secondary School.
Velcrow Ripper, a student of the original Television Production class who has gone on to become an award winning filmmaker offers insight on how the community channel came to be: "We were actually an after school group; we called ourselves ESRP, Elphinstone Student Research Productions. Our mentor and teacher, Marta MacKown, came up with this idea of creating a broadcasting community station. We actually went to the CRTC on a school field trip, presented our short video and said, we as students want to run the local cable station, we can do it! And they said, okay, you can. They accepted our motion and this was born."
Flash forward to 2019 as Coast Community TV prepares to celebrate its 40 year anniversary.
"We take great pride in our community TV programming across the country," says Deborah Shaffner, CEO Eastlink. "Coast TV's unique beginning and success over 40 years is quite remarkable and a story in and of itself worth sharing and celebrating. I've had the pleasure of seeing first-hand the quality, passion and enthusiasm of the Film and TV Production students at Elphinstone. They, along with Coast TV staff and volunteers, deliver beautifully-produced programming that showcases the people, places and events that make the Sunshine Coast the truly special place that it is."
Steve Sleep, manages Coast Community TV and recalls the early days: "I was working for the CBC when Coast 10 TV got started and had the opportunity to help Marta and the students with some of the technical aspects of their TV station. They were already well established in the community and when the job to manage the station became available, I jumped at the chance to work with the class and the community, and help the community channel continue to grow."
This special partnership between the community channel and the school continues to this day. "We see amazing students come through the Television Production Class every year and go off to do amazing things in the industry," says Mr. Sleep.
Students like Zach Greenberg: "When I came to Elphinstone Secondary, I had no idea it would change my life so dramatically," explains Greenberg, former student and now technical director of the Ellen Show. "This program was life changing for me. I don't know what I'd be doing today if this program hadn't planted the seed of film and television for me."
MLA for Gibsons-Sunshine Coast shared his thoughts on what Coast Community TV means to his community: "I have always enjoyed my time in the Maryanne West Studio with the wonderful crews over the years. Coast Community TV has provided a voice to the people of the Sunshine Coast and a valuable learning ground for students. Maryanne West with Marta MacKown has established an important television studio that has evolved into a local institution; a lasting legacy for our communities. Congratulations to Steve, the crew and the students who have welcomed guests and recorded important events and concerts up and down the Coast for 40 years."
An open house celebration event will be held on June 15 from 11-3 in the Maryanne West Studio at Elphinstone Secondary.
For further information: Media Contact: Jill Laing, 902.446.1939, [email protected]