Nunatsiaq Online
COMMENTARY: Nunavut April 24, 2013 - 6:02 am

Nunavut media arts centre would usher in “new era”

“NMAC represents grand opportunities to produce leading-edge digital content”

SPECIAL TO NUNATSIAQ NEWS

MADELEINE D’ARGENCOURT
Chair, Inuit Broadcasting Corp.

Significant changes in the worldwide broadcast and communications industries are underway because of advances in digital technology and the pervasiveness of internet connectivity.

IT-based digital delivery systems are rapidly replacing analogue broadcast systems. Standard-definition television has virtually been replaced by high-definition, or HD. Increasing numbers of specialty channels commission productions from a growing pool of independent producers; the expectation is to do more for less. The production of content intended only for the internet is becoming more and more viable.

Far beyond a technological shift, the change is at the very core of the industry. The foundations of the broadcasting and communications industries are being redesigned. The bar has been raised, and all media producers — regardless of region or language or culture – must adapt if they are to survive.

The Nunavut Media Arts Centre has been developed to facilitate a new era for digital media content production in Nunavut. For IBC, ICSL, other production companies and independent producers across the territory, NMAC will be Nunavut’s first and only full-scale, IT-based digital facility combining studio (audio, video and performance), satellite connectivity and HD post-production capacity.

Nunavut producers currently have access to limited HD and post-production facilities. The result is that many stages of production (studio production, HD online post, audio mixing, colour correction, mastering) are being done in southern Canada. 

For the first time in the territory, the centre will facilitate all of those services. In turn, the Nunavut industry increases its capacity significantly and further sustainable employment is created for Nunavummiut.

The centre will be a hub for the territorial film, broadcast and digital media industry. It is designed to incorporate current and future requirements of broadcasting, digital media and satellite connectivity and for the integration of future production standards and techniques. 

Partnerships and alliances among the territorial media industry will be facilitated. Like-minded agencies, companies and individuals will work together to advance the media industry as a whole.

The NMAC will benefit local and territorial freelancers, small to medium production companies, other broadcasters, such as CBC and APTN and offshore production companies temporarily working in Nunavut.

The NMAC represents grand opportunities to produce leading-edge digital media content, films and broadcast programming in the Inuit language and in Nunavut. It will result in substantial industry advancement and sustainable employment. The NMAC will become a focal point for a strong and growing cultural sector.

Qaggiavuut’s ever increasing movement to build a Performing Arts Centre is heartening. This Performing Arts Centre will provide a venue to showcase live performance of Nunavut’s incredible talent – actors, musicians, writers, dancers and puppeteers – and the NMAC, as a supporting TV and digital media production partner, could help to ensure that all Nunavummiut share the rewards.

In a few years, many more people will come to know and love the cultural material and programs being produced at the NMAC. Ultimately, it is envisioned that the NMAC will become one of Nunavut’s cherished cultural and language institutions. In this way, all Nunavummiut will benefit immeasurably.

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