Canoe FM makes history with OLA award
By Darren Lum
Canoe FM station manager Roxanne Casey said she was taken aback by the magnitude of the crowd with more than 1,500 people in front of her when she accepted the Ontario Library Association (OLA) Media and Communications Award on behalf of Canoe FM on Thursday, Jan. 28 in Toronto.
Casey, station manager for the past seven years, said it’s the biggest award for the community radio station in its 13 year history.
“This is huge for us. Being recognized by not just the Haliburton County Public Library, but all the libraries,” she said.
Last year’s OLA Media and Communications Award was captured by CBC Radio 1 and the Grand 92.9, Fergus, Ont.
According to the OLA website, the Haliburton radio station was recognized for its effort in presenting “libraries and librarians in a constructive light, breaking down stereotypical images often associated with the profession.”
Part of the criteria for the award states that coverage must appear in Canadian radio stations.
Casey said this isn’t possible without support and credits the station’s close to 110 volunteers, thousands of listeners and sponsors.
“This award was really won by all of the volunteers that put these programs together and work on at the radio station. Of course all the listeners, who listen to the program and all our sponsors. When I dedicated the award that’s who it went to,” she said.
The award will be on display at the radio station.
Casey said the award has this inscribed: “100.9 Canoe FM for making literature and a love of reading part of the cultural fabric of Haliburton County through the programs Haliburton County Reads and Library Moments.”
The station was nominated for the award by Haliburton County Public Library’s branch services librarian Erin Kernohan-Berning.
In her nomination letter to OLA she wrote: “Canoe FM has made it possible for HCPL to reach everyone in every corner of Haliburton County, whether they are a commuter in their car, an artisan creating in their studio, a construction worker on the job, a consumer visiting our local businesses, or a cottager on the dock. Our partnership with Canoe has brought HCPL to our patrons wherever they may be.”
Casey also noted the great work by the library to promote literacy through its many programs.
Although there is a cost for their work, the importance to the community can’t be downplayed.
“What they get back is obviously worth it,” she said.
Following the win, the OLA’s manager of members services Beckie MacDonald wrote in an email to Casey, “It is people and stations like you that create great partnerships for our field.”
To Casey, the award is a reminder of the great work at the station and recognizes excellence, but also the strength and importance of partnerships.
“It’s a really good partnership. You want to develop more of those partnerships. We’ve got a lot, but the library is part of a bigger organization too and sometimes I forget that. It never even crossed my mind they would put our name forward for something like this,” she said.