BY ALYSSA LASHBROOK
The radio waves in and outside of Sheridan have a new voice since the fall launch of SheridanLife Radio.
They already have a positive reputation within the school and radio communities.
Early in the school year, the station was just a club, offering workshops to recruit and work on content before the station launched and hosts went live. Those meetings have now changed dramatically since the station launched in October.
“We scrapped the PowerPoint (presentations) and started with hands-on experience,” says Amelia Sher, program coordinator for the station. “We have become increasingly more collaborative and really have hit a rhythm working as a team.”
The workshops are where hosts work on content for their shows, where members produce public service announcements and get training for different aspects of the station.
“Students have been coming out to workshops since the start of September, so we have a lot more student content for the station. Personally, I have been able to train many different hosts and technical operators for the station,” says technical director Tyler Bogaert.
Member Kate Matesic, who helps to run the design and social media team for the club, enjoys the atmosphere.
“The club is a really friendly and fun place! Everyone is so nice and willing to share their talents and knowledge. Every week I get to work with new people and learn something from them,” says Matesic.
One of the hosts, D’Andre Hemmings, also enjoys the club members and the production team.
“They always encourage us to try new things and they give great constructive criticism on how we can all get better,” Hemmings says.
The station plays mostly Canadian music in mainly indie and rock genres. The live shows range from news, sports, and local musicians. The podcasts also have a diverse range, from business, an advice show and one that focuses on topics that Sheridan students need to know about.
“The station has six hosts who run really different types of shows from news to sports, to mixing live music on the air. The diversity is really cool to see and hear,” says Sher.
Listeners of the station see that diversity on air and the reflection on the community.
“The station reflects the school community and it reflects positively on the school due to the fact that it is a good promotion for events and it is really nice to see the school have involvement in the music scene in Canada,” says listener, and Visual and Creative Arts student, Thomas Bland.
Throughout the semester the club worked hard to plan and orchestrate their own pub night for Nov. 30.
“It was also really awesome that they threw their own pub night because that showed that they want the students to be involved in what happens with the station,” Bland says.
Although the pub night was the first one for the station, they did have a good turnout and they are possibly planning on doing another one, or a similar event to get people excited and more familiar with the station.
Now that the first semester as a station is coming to an end, SheridanLife Radio is planning for the changes that the new year will bring.
“Coming up we will have a big shift in the new semester with people’s schedules changing, so our programming schedule will have to adapt to that,” says Bogaert.
As technical director, Bogaert has some larger plans for the station to help boost the audience.
“I have been looking into getting us on iTunes Radio and iHeart Radio,” he says.
The station can currently be found on TuneIn.com and they have a test frequency at 90.7 FM, but it can only be heard about one or two kilometers from the Trafalgar Campus.
“Eventually we would like to build a full tower and get a full frequency to broadcast but right now web-based seems to be the best both in terms of our funding and as a startup station,” Bogaert says.
“We thought that we would try TuneIn for this semester and see how it went. We’re just waiting to get some analytics back from them to see how many people have actually been listening, and we also will be getting our metadata up on those streaming services. So people will actually be able to see what they are listening to,” he says.
Once they get the metadata and analytics back, they will look into developing a code to get the song history on the site as well.
“One cool thing is that we are going to be appearing in a documentary about radio for the Bachelor of Film and Television students,” says Sher.
While the station is still in the beginning stages, the members can see it becoming a larger station.
“I see the club becoming more than a club where we have shows happening around the clock and we would be looked at as one of the top stations in the GTA,” says Hemmings.
Matesic, like many of the members and the production team, is proud to be a part of the station and to help it grow, “I think SheridanLife Radio has so much potential and I am excited to be a part of its growth!”
The team is always looking for new members and new content. They continue to hold weekly workshops and events to recruit and spread the word.
“Recruitment is always a thing, so if you have a fresh idea, want to learn tech, or just be a general member or enthusiast, please come on out!” says Sher.