The Vankleek Hill Creating Centre, in partnership with the Prescott-Russell Innovation Fund, has launched the Balados Horizons Podcast project. The project chose 12 high school-aged teens from Eastern Ontario and will help each of them produce their own podcast. Applications closed at the start of October, and the producers were selected by a small committee.
The podcasts are centred on universal themes like compassion, selflessness, respect for yourself, and how to find inner calm. Producers will consult with experts on the topics, as well as people in the community who have something to say on the topic and will feature interviews with prominent people in the community.
“We have one young lady who wants to explore how people do self-centering, a reflective meditative practice where people think about what comes next,” said Janie Myner, project coordinator. “It comes from an internal perspective of using their values and how they want to live their life.”
“We have another who wants to explore the concept of perseverance in the context of taking risks. How far do you push your experience of taking risks, and what are your clues of how you want to stop and go with it?”
The program supplied the producers with recording equipment, as well as licensed music from local artists to use in their podcasts. Training workshops instructed the producers on how to develop good interview topics and questions, how to handle microphones and recording equipment, and how to edit their sessions together into YouTube-ready videos. Mentors were onboarded to the project to guide the producers, providing advice while allowing the producers to find their own answers to questions they have.
Organizers hope that the project will foster a deeper connection between people in the community, making people aware of just how deep and varied the experiences of community members are. The project is meant to provide a collective space for sharing experiences, as well as provide experience to the producers who are making it a reality.
The project started at the end of September and will run for at least 12 weeks. This is to allow for the proper development of projects and working relationships between producer and mentor. The podcasts will be unveiled around December 15, and social media accounts will be created by the Creating Centre to promote them.