It’s been more than half a year since I stepped foot into the a small downstairs office space at the entrance to Tofino. At the time I had been attempting to find a way to complete work on a video for the Huffington Post Canada and had no inklings of becoming an on air personality. But I exited the former Tuff City Radio broadcast booth with an idea for a new kind of West Coast radio show.
I wanted to create a venue for news, arts, interviews and plenty of the best indie and electronic music. I had already been developing the Frequency Horizon brand for several years in hopes of using it to broadcast journeys in surf, electronic music and other artistic content. The idea of adapting what had perviously seen life as a blog for personal visual expression and Twitter randomness to terrestrial radio seemed challenging and exciting.
It has taken the contributions of many community members so far to get it to this stage. Friends have hopped on the mic — several for the first time every — helping lend a podcast conversation-like feel to an otherwise open-ended format.
I’ve tried to relay the engrossing beauty of this place called Tofino (and its sister town of Ucluelet) in audio format. The West Coast of Vancouver Island is a stunning place where you can get lost in a vibe or explode onto greater international stages. The energies moving through this community — of waves, visitors from around the world, environmental resurgence — can, and does, put any place to shame.
Tofino is the kind of place where you can go out for a Christmas tool around town and come across some propah jungle blasting from the decks on the second floor of a coffee shop that served to host a political meeting just a few months prior.
What I love about Tuff City Radio is its ability to create a truly family-friendly radio experience for listeners and participants while still playing fresh new music and the odd avant guard track — even in the middle of the day. So shout out to Cameron Dennison, the station manager. Good luck in the days ahead as you welcome a new bundle of joy into the world.
Tofino is a community with a big heart. And nowhere is that more clear than in the organization spearheaded by some of the youngest members of the community. We know we are some of the luckiest people in the world by virtue of existing together on this stretch of coastline. It’s nice to see when people don’t lose sight of that. It’s nice to see youth using their abilities to extend a helping hand.
So far, on the Frequency Horizon, I’ve been fortunate to have live guests grace the studio, like Kali-Ann Butala, who hopped on the program to drop a never-before-heard song — specifically about Tofino.
As I went out and about the collect content for the Frequency Horizon Facebook page I continually bumped into friends out to explore their own vision for what the concept behind the show represents. For example it was nice to run into Craig Cooper on a five-foot day at MacKenzie beach. I mean, I don’t expect to see something like that in the next few months. Although, one thing I’ve learned from Tofino is: you never know.
There are just reams of artists of all varieties renting out small rooms trying to explore their musical abilities in the Tofino-Ucluelet nexus. Some stick around. Others are only here for a short time.
Whether you’re a visual artist painting on a canvass, an aspiring fashion designer or a tattoo artist trying to make your mark, there are opportunities here to grow and success — or at least test out your abilities.
I’ve used the radio show as an opportunity to meet with some people travelling internationally to produce powerful photographic work.
I’ve also had to test a million and one different ways to try to record the show as a podcast, because as a small station we only have a super old mixing board that is as finicky as a Victorian princess (and therefore can’t output a recordable signal), as I’m sure you can imagine). This journey has led me to pawn shops, Best Buys, Value Villages, basements, rummage bins and Kijiji posts — and this is a journey I’m not yet finished with. I have learned a ton in the process about blending audio and making things work when it almost seems impossible.
Radio creation for my show has caused me to take time to collect my thoughts in preparation for the show ahead.
It has also given me the chance to interview people who would later go on to start their own radio show or embark on their own filmmaking adventures.
It’s not about what medium is better, print, radio or digital.
Its about using the tools at your disposal to try new things and have a richer experience wherever you are.
Hopefully this is just the beginning.