Rogers TV honoured its local volunteers

April 9, 2014   ·   0 Comments

By Tabitha Wells – Volunteers and workers from Rogers TV Dufferin-Caledon, as well as prominent residents such as Mayor Rob Adams, gathered Tuesday night to celebrate and honour the Rogers volunteers as part of the National Volunteer Appreciation Week.

Over the years, the local Rogers station has received a number of volunteers, from students to adults, mothers and children teams, and local prominent figures to produce, host and provide technical and set support on local shows and news. Oftentimes, the station has acted as a gateway for students who were interested in any facet of journalism to gain some experience before taking off to college.

“It’s important to keep local citizens aware of what is going on in their community and keep them engaged at the very hyper-local level, because we’re all about being localized,” explained station manager Jake Dheer.

“We’re able to get local volunteers involved with producing shows that are for the community and by the community, and I think it’s terrific because they get to reflect on what’s important to them.”

Melanie Hay, one of the many younger volunteers who have come through the local Rogers TV station, explained that being a part of the studio helped her to figure out where she wanted to go in life. She took a year off after graduating high school, as she wasn’t fully decided on a career path, and decided to try out the field first.

“I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I finished high school and didn’t apply to college because I didn’t want to spend that much money not knowing,” said Ms. Hay. “Through my time here, I was able to realize what our community was worth and what goes on in our community, and it helped me feel like I was a part of something and I was meant to be something. It helped me figure out what I want to do in life.”

Other student volunteers like Mollie Hyde-Whipp and Michael McCreary, amongst many others, also were able to figure out what they wanted to do through their time at Rogers.

Ms. Hyde-Whipp will be pursuing studies in the field in the fall, while Mr. McCreary will be doing a nation-wide tour as he produces a documentary on a topic that is very close to his heart.

“Some younger people volunteer their time because this is a career that they’ve chosen, or because they want to hone their skills or create a demo,” added Mr. Dheer. “If you want to get into the film, media and journalism post-secondary institutions, they want to know what you can do already, and many of the volunteers walk away with the knowledge of having produced television in all aspects.”

Although some students may decide after the experience that the field is not for them, they still walk away with a strong volunteer portfolio and a better understanding of the community.

But it’s not always just students who are interested in dabbling in the field of broadcast television or journalism, as many of the shows’ volunteer hosts, producers and techs are local adults.

“There are lots of people in the community that are interested in journalism or television production, and typically to get firsthand experience you would have to go to the city,” said RaDeana Montgomery, one of the producers and co-hosts of the show Mom2Mom Dufferin. “The problem with the bigger studios is you don’t get to have any real hands on experience. If you get a co-op or internship at one of those studios it’s a lot of watching; here, you get to do a lot more hands on training with every piece of equipment in here and learn about it.”

She added that being a part of the station has also benefitted her personally in many ways, as it has taught about many more topics, situations and people in the surrounding area.

“With Mom2Mom, we’ve just met so many people,” said Ms. Montgomery. “I know a lot of people, but I’ve met so many more through the show – it’s really just that knowledge base. Every time you come in here and you have a guest in front of you, you learn something new.”

And while sometimes, the people that volunteer realize that journalism or TV is not for them, they all walk away with the experience of being a part of something in the community that sheds light on the people and events many locals may not be aware of.

“It allows the community to keep on top of what’s around them that they may not see every day,” added Jennifer McKinnon, Community Producer and Host of a new show called Brushed by Art. “It’s about the stuff that you don’t see on Broadway. There are so many things in this town that if people don’t read the newspaper, they are unaware of.”

Anyone interested in volunteering can contact the station via their website at or by dropping by the studio located on C-Line.

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