2020 President’s Message – Latest Update

Hey Everyone, I hope you are all doing well and adjusting to this new way of doing things. I can tell you back on March 13th, when I was packing up my laptop and other work items to get ready to work from home, there was a definite feeling of uncertainty heading into all of this. As I am sure it was the same with you, there was a huge rush to figure out how to keep broadcasting while ensuring the safety of our teams. As a broadcast industry, we had a role to play in this pandemic which included keeping Canadians informed and entertained and we were able to successfully do that largely through the help of our unsung heroes, the broadcast engineers.

The WABE executive was also scrambling about what to do with the convention as we watched event after event being cancelled. What would things look like in October? Would we be able to gather as a large group? Would travel be allowed by then? Would companies be willing to send people or even be able to afford it? Like many things at the time, there were more questions than answers.

While the idea of just cancelling was something that we did look into, it was not something that we wanted to do unless absolutely necessary. Not wanting to be the first ones to cancel the convention in 70 years, we engaged our Chancellors for advice. After some good ideas and great discussion, it was agreed that we should go ahead with something, so the executive was tasked with finding a solution.

As well, we referred to our constitution which states our objectives.

The W.A.B.E. shall be a non-profit organization with the following objectives:
(1) To promote and advance the dissemination of technical knowledge among its members. The primary means of achieving this shall be the organization of an annual convention at which appropriate technical papers shall be presented and current technical equipment exhibited.
(2) To represent the interests of the majority of its members to duly appointed technical, educational, and legislative institutions.

To this end, we have been exploring a few different ways to meet our objectives and bring everybody together as a community. While we do not know exactly what that looks like, we have been researching different options, such as a virtual convention in October with a physical component, according to what the local health authorities will allow in different locations. We have also been in discussion with our counterparts out east, CCBE, to see if there is a way that we can work together to give the broadcast community a way to continue to connect.

So, in short, we are not cancelling the convention this year, we are just revamping it to adjust to the new way of doing things. We are excited about this new opportunity and will look to provide updates as soon as we get more info.

Clint Hollinger
WABE President