Hello WABE members!
As you may know, the WABE constitution clearly outlines the purpose of our organization which put simply, is to educate our members! Over the years the main forum for education has been provided via our yearly WABE conference. Way back when, the conference was held in all major cities in Western Canada, but due to reduced attendance in some of the cities, a three city rotation was adopted (Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary)
With this rotation it was obvious to the WABE committee that we would be missing opportunities to educate our members in the cities that our convention didn’t travel to. In an attempt to reach out to our other WABE members, two educational initiatives were started. The first was our WABE/SAIT training program. This program provided outstanding hands-on technical training to Television and Radio broadcast technicians at an extremely cost effective price, in a week long format. Originally launched in 2004, this program is very popular and well attended until it ended.
The second initiative that WABE launched was to form an Education Committee. The Committee started out with a single purpose; to bring technical education to the technicians throughout Western Canada. As the committee met, several other equally important educational goals also became apparent; the desire to encourage young people to pursue broadcast technology as a career, the desire to expand WABE’s presence in the industry, and the desire to enlarge our membership by expanding into similar under-served areas such as Telcos, Cable, Production, live and e-sports and social media content production.
Then a global pandemic came in 2020 and turned the world on its head. The first blow was the loss of the SAIT program. The was shortly followed by upheaval in traditional media. The realization of the lack of recruitment of young people into the industry that had been discussed but not acted on became a crisis.
WABE decided to continue shifting to two virtual conventions for 2020 and 2021. In that period, it held conversations with stake holders to explore solutions.
Those conversations along with the training crisis led to an industry lead consortium developing a new program with SAIT and Pippin Technical looking at a training program at its new facility in Saskatoon. At the same time with the success of virtual technologies to bring WABE to you during the pandemic, we are looking at refocusing the Education component. We thank Mark and the volunteers for their dedication and work as the Education committee. For the time being, the committee has been placed on hold. WABE is looking at developing a STRAT Plan and reshaping what our Education component outside the traditional yearly convention looks like.
WABE will continue to take a chair at the discussion table and engage the broader technical community as we develop and renewed Educational offering in the future.
Tessa, Rob and Cameron – The 2023/24 WABE Executive Team