Idea Thursday: Community Hubs

Who do you share the rent with? For campus stations, we know that your most common neighbours are the student unions or their services. But have you thought about sharing with other nonprofits?

We are seeing a growing trend of nonprofits coming together to create hubs. The best example of this is tech-based non-profits sharing spaces to promote entrepreneurship. This idea is certainly catching on! There was a recent article in Charity Village which looked into the Kahanoff Centre in Calgary which houses a number of nonprofits and charities with affordable rental rates. They have effectively created a campus of nonprofit innovation.  Read more about this great innovation here. There was a similar initiative in Vancouver.

Why is this important?

There is a growing push to create ‘Cultural Hubs’. Myself and Barry recently met with senior staff at Canadian Heritage to discuss the Community Hubs Fund. We talked about the Strategic Initiatives Fund which is a fund of $300 million over the next ten years. The money is aimed at helping artists and creators have shared spaces. The crux is the money is for capital investment in building, or renovating a building with multiple spaces, for multiple tenants which brings a range of tenants from the arts and heritage sector. There has to be public access, for example, performance spaces. The fund will cover 50% of the capital costs.

We know that only a few of our members would be able to take something like this on. The details of the fund are still being developed, but we believe that c/c radio is going to be eligible. The Strategic Initiatives Fund might be a little too big for our members to handle, but there is a lot to be said for bringing together other arts and heritage groups. For example, local theatre, community newspapers or Dance groups. This fund is to house professionals related to arts and heritage. The fund can also be used to renovate spaces as long as the same specifications apply. Don’t forget for those looking for capital infrastructure improvements on the less grandiose scale, Heritage Canada also has the Cultural Spaces Fund.

Have you thought about improving your space or moving to a new space?
When you think about who your neighbours are is creative synergy something that comes to mind?

Let us know what you think

This is something I have thought about. I can’t remember if it has been discussed on a board level though, but I imagine it will be an eventuality.

With CHLY potentially returning to our campus, we don’t want to lose our connection to the downtown community. How do we do that?
With increased resources connected to the move, we should be able to
—Put on more music events. Maybe a festival.
—Work with our downtown library’s creation space (audio+visual room). We already have librarian’s hosting a segment on one of our shows. Check out one of the most recent episodes of the Radio Survivor podcasts for this one.
—Have a ‘remote’ office downtown at the local downtown co-working hub, which is also focused on community.
Anyway. I’d love to chime in more, but I’ve got a huge list of to-dos today.

If you have access to low-cost space downtown, why not think
about setting up a small studio downtown?  You could then
have the option of having shows originate from either the
Downtown location or the main studio location.

Do any of our members operate remote studios? 

I know when I was at a station on their Board, having a remote DT station was always a thing that came up. The campus was a little isolated from the community at large. 

Do you have a separate studio? 

Ultimately, that comes down to staff and volunteer capacity. We’re in the midst of hiring, and when we have that completed, we’ll be able to address these possibilities.

This has been on the radar for us here... the remote studio is interesting - a remote advertising hub is another interest.

I'd love to talk this one out further... like most of you tho, I'm on the run!

We have partnered with our three other organizations - Haliburton School of Art and Design, Sticks and Stones and the Haliburton County Public Library on a Community of Making or Makerspace.
 Make it at the college
See it at Sticks and Stones
Hear it at Canoe
Think it at the library.

Check out this link to an article in the paper.

CJNU has always been nomadic - for the first few years of our operation, we didn’t have a ‘home’ studio at all. 
We operate by having our ‘remote studio’ - a bunch of kit we set up each month - in a new community location each month. Ideally somewhere nice and public so we can interact with folks. Right now we’re in an empty mall storefront and getting great feedback. 
In around 2010, we were donated some space at a retirement home as a contra for advertising. We were incredibly fortunate that they provided that space to us rent free. That enabled us to have around 500sqft for a small office, and a ‘home’ studio for the first time. Prior to that, all the admin was done by volunteers at their own homes.  
In 2014, one of the organisations we work closely with, The Winnipeg Foundation, donated a new office space to us when they refurbished their offices in the heart of the city. We continue to be incredibly fortunate in that we have been offered this space rent free as well. In this 800sqft space we now have a small production studio/office, several desks for volunteers, and a more permanent ‘home studio’ that we broadcast from for the 2 days a month that we’re moving the main remote studio to a new location, and sometimes evenings and weekends if access to the remote location is a problem after business hours. 
We’re a little bit unique in many regards... most people think we’re a bit mad for moving our studio every month (and I suppose we are just a little bit) - but something that was initially born of necessity has become our ‘thing’. It’s a great way to meet different people across the city, and to try and reach as many people as possible. 
Well, what can we learn from this? I think tangibly for everyone: there’s a definite benefit in having the flexibility of more that one studio in more than one location if at all possible. I also think the ideas Luke had initially suggested are solid - finding a like minded organisation/organisations to share space with. It was by building those kinds of relationships that we were able to find a home in the first place. 

CJSF will be opening a centrally located satellite studio with in the next few months. We have partnered with a new community hub centre that will have a lot of other interesting community groups in it. We are just waiting for the construction/renovation to be finished on the new centre's building.They are way behind schedule but almost finished - so any day now.

There is a radio station in New York that operates out of a
converted shipping container:

I have always thought that it would be relatively simple to
set up something similar but mobile - using either a
converted cargo van, an old and converted camper trailer or
motorhome or something similar.

The ultimate remote setup - drive up, plug in (or fire up a
generator), connect back to your main studio, and broadcast!
 Bring along an ice cream cooler or a grill for making
burgers and it could be a source for fund raising too!

Here at CKUT in Montreal, we share a greystone townhouse with QPIRG, right across from the McGill campus. We're technically not in the same space as they occupy the floor above us, but we do have access to their comercial-grade printer and a meeting room. It works out well because we have shared values and sometimes cover the same events.

Our Major sponsor Okanese First Nation, has given us one section of their Community buildings, the Section that back in 1970's was the former band office, they recently allowed us to expand into the front and we have our work cut out for getting that new space ready, but our staff and extended family members have all worked construction so we are volunteering our time to get that done.

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