Lake 88.1 — A Voice for the Valley - theHumm April 2021
Lake 88.1 — A Voice for the Valley - theHumm April 2021
Back in 2009, theHumm interviewed Brian Perkin about his then two-year-old radio station, Lake 88.1 lake88.ca . Based in downtown Perth, the station has spent the intervening years covering local events, promoting area businesses and initiatives, interviewing interesting folks, and generally providing an independent on-air voice for this part of the Valley. Recently, we discovered that Brian has made the difficult decision to sell Lake 88.1 to Renfrew-based “My Broadcasting Corporation” (MBC). We contacted him to find out the details, and to ask about his decades-long relationship with radio.
theHumm: Let’s start with the good stuff. What have been some of the highlights of running an independent radio station for the past 14 years?
Brian Perkin: As an independent, we’ve had the freedom to make our programming truly local to reflect what’s happening in the smaller towns and communities in our coverage area. Few news stories or events are too small for us to talk about. We’re not covering the Middle East, we’re covering the middle of town in Perth, Smiths Falls, Carleton Place, Westport, Almonte, Lanark, etc. And people appreciate information that’s relevant to their lives.When my original partner Norm Wright and I were creating the station back in 2007, we really wanted the local communities to “use” the station — literally — by coming in to do interviewers, calling in on-air, doing their own commercials and having their voices heard. Norm retired from the station seven years ago, and unfortunately passed away earlier this month, but I know he would be proud of the way our listeners have accessed the station over the years and made it their own.Another highlight for me in running this station is that it’s been so much fun to work with an amazing staff. Many of us have had radio experience in larger markets and worked with the big chains. But these pros have gravitated to working in a small market and are loving it. Everyone here gets to influence the programming, contribute ideas and then get them on the air.I also love the fact we are have four stations packed into one. We run a heavy news schedule, with interviews; a Saturday home renovation talk show; and my “fave” — Lacey’s Trading Post — with everything from bargains to blackfly reports. Our main music format is adult contemporary, but we rock it up with the oldies on the “Classic Cruise” on Saturdays, and then lay back with softer music Sunday mornings. On top of that, we cover the local Junior hockey beat and then feature world-class hockey with the Senators broadcasts. It’s not a juke box. For a small staff, we do a lot on the air.
Lake 88.1 has provided such stalwart support for area businesses, organizations and initiatives over the past years. Why is it important to have truly local media outlets like yours?
Even though there are thousands of audio services available now, listeners still crave local news, sports, weather and information about local schools, government, events — everything. Although we’re surrounded by 29 stations from Ottawa and dozens of others from Kingston and the U.S., no other station is reporting on our particular communities. We continue to hire news people to cover Perth, Smiths Falls, Carleton Place and Lanark County councils, as well as our broader region. People still want stories on their local government, the business scene, area hospitals and schools, etc. But not all small markets are being served with an emphasis on local news. Local newspapers and radio are having a tough time as advertising revenue migrates to the web, and that in turns affects staffing. The federal government is working to force Facebook and Google to share ad revenue they get from content created by local print and broadcast. I feel we need to support local journalism and local radio. And for the national chains, it can’t all be about shareholder return. If you’re going to hold a broadcast licence in a market, you should have to keep staff in that community to serve it adequately.
Your press release mentions that there will be no immediate changes to programming and staffing, and that you will stay on as station manager for the next two years before retiring. Was retirement part of the reason that you decided to sell the station at this time, and can you tell us a bit about MBC?
In reference to the earlier question, one of the reasons we’re joining MBC is their commitment to have “boots on the ground” — local studios and staff in the towns where they operate, unlike some major radio chains that are running some smaller stations solely from other centres. MBC is currently re-organizing their properties, and will soon have 16 stations in Ontario, specializing in smaller markets. I think Lake 88 will be a nice fit with the eastern Ontario stations in Pembroke, Renfrew and Arnprior. We’ll have a lot in common as smaller towns circling Ottawa.It’s been a tough decision for myself and my wife Jennifer, who co-owns the station. I still love radio, but at some point you have to make plans for retirement. It’s the best of both worlds, as we get all the paperwork done now, along with approval from the CRTC, but I still get to continue running the station for the next couple of years with all our staff in place.
Having spent over 40 years in radio, what do you think the future holds for the medium?Naysayers thought radio would die because of television, but it became local and stronger. Then along came satellite radio, and traditional radio remained. Now it’s streaming services and online music, but local radio remains. If owners properly staff their stations and let those people produce good, local programming, radio will always have a unique service to provide audiences and advertisers. It’s immediate, it’s local and it works.
I’m sure you have an interesting perspective on how Covid has affected local businesses, and particularly performing artists, events and venues. In your opinion, how can people best “support local” to help our area rebound from the pandemic?Of course we’re big advocates of supporting local business. Businesses buy advertising, and in turn, that allows us to provide our service, cover local news, programming — everything we do. And it’s the same for other local businesses, providing jobs, livelihoods and services for the community. We’ve encouraged folks to order-in from our area restaurants during the pandemic. Our “shop local” campaigns, along with the area Chambers of Commerce and BIAs, ask residents to give our local retailers a shot. Call them, safely visit them and hear what they can offer instead of instantly deferring to the online giants. For our local performing artists, most have CDs and merchandise we can buy, even though we’re missing their concerts right now. And if you’re able, a simple donation would go a long way to help out our local non-profit groups who run our annual music festivals, art shows, sport events and bingos. We want them all back and running when this pandemic ends.
By Sally Hansen
Art… and Soul
When I think of jewellery, I don’t usually think of walrus whiskers or whale baleen, but these natural materials feature prominently and beautifully in Kaajuk Kablalik’s distinctive pieces. Originally from Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, Kaajuk (friends call him Kaaj) loves working with the materials “from home” that inspire him to promote and preserve his Inuit culture.
He is used to questions about the unfamiliar components that make his earrings and necklaces so different fr......
Rub the sleep out of your eyes and give a good stretch! Come out of hibernation and welcome spring surrounded by incredible original works by local artists. On Saturday, May 29 and Sunday, May 30, Arts Carleton Place presents their annual Spring Fine Art Show and Sale at the CP Canoe Club at 179 John Street, from 10am–4:30pm each day. Both parking and admission are free.
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On the website, people can also find links to l......
Carleton Place resident Jill Heinerth is a Canadian cave diver, underwater explorer, writer, photographer and filmmaker. She is a veteran of over thirty years of filming, photography and exploration on projects in submerged caves around the world. Jill is the first Explorer in Residence for the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, a Fellow of the Explorers Club and member of the inaugural class of the Women Divers Hall of Fame. She has made TV series, consulted on movies, and written severa......
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As it is almost “kitten season”, they are planning an online auction to raise money towards vet care for the cats an......
Ready for Hiking Season? - theHumm April 2021
By Vickie Walsh
“I wish I had a…” says a friend while we are hiking. “Oh — I have that, one second,” I reply. She looks at me deadpan and says, “Of course you do”.
It is a well-known fact that I hike with enough kit to earn all the boy scout badges, and yet still keep my day pack light enough that it’s not a burden. Where did this insistence on being “always prepared” come from? Well, mostly from an experience in the military while deployed over twenty years ago. We were about to head out on a vehicle patrol, so......
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This year’s show will feature the works of 33 artists in a range of media. “This is always a fun show,” says organizer Judi Miller. “We have watercolour, oil and acrylic paintings, as well as pho......
It’s Show Time! - theHumm April 2021
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Get out your wallet; sit by your computer with your finger poised over the Bid button. The Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists Birdhouse Blowout Auction goes LIVE on April 12!
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The auction will run from mid......
By Chandler Swain
This month, to celebrate spring after our long Covid-y winter, we are focusing the Climate Network Lanark column on our Nature-Based Climate Solutions Working Group and several of its initiatives.
To begin, let me introduce Jay Young, the coordinator of this working group. Jay lives outside Clayton with his wife Amber, who teaches yoga and is a massage therapist, and their two boys. As a project manager with Carebridge Community Support, Jay leads the development of the Neighbourhood T......
Make Your Business Cycle-Friendly! - theHumm April 2021
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The Ontario By Bike Network certifies tourism businesses and locations as bicycle-friendly, helping businesses reach the growing number of cycle tourists in Ontario, promoting and further developing cycle tourism in destinations across Ontario.
Now more than ever, cy......
From March 31 to May 7, Sivarulrasa Gallery in Almonte is pleased to present Sarah Anderson: Let’s Be Alone Together, a solo exhibition of new paintings by artist Sarah Anderson. Based in Ottawa, Sarah works with techniques of abstraction. She sees colour as a powerful tool for the expression of emotion. Her paintings are influenced by her observations of people and relationships in everyday life, most commonly by themes of family. She is interested in “where we come from......
Haunted by Books - theHumm April 2021
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Rain Barrel Fundraiser Almonte Lion’s Club and Home Hospice North Lanark Join Forces - theHumm April 2021
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Fundraising has been a challenge over the last year for all organizations that depend on it. Both organizations are ......
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By Submitted Smiths Falls Community Theatre
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By Glenda Jones
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The Blakeney Project - theHumm April 2021
By David Hinks
Amazing and extremely generous communities! The Lanark County Food Bank (branded as The Hunger Stop) has been overwhelmed by the response of our communities to the needs of our most vulnerable folks as the pandemic has exposed serious cracks in our social support structures. We have received local financial and food donations that continue to astound us.
But generous folk have also enabled us to find new ways to help the community: thanks to very generous land-owners and grant money from ......
Local Libraries Break into Spring - theHumm April 2021
By Your Friendly Neighbourhood Librarians
Now that “April Break” is a thing in Ontario, our local libraries are rising to the challenge of helping keep kids busy and happy during their week off. Here is a round-up of area offerings:
Spring Break Smiles at the Arnprior Library
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Poem In Your Pocket Day - theHumm April 2021
By Dagne Forrest
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“This workshop is for anyone interested in reading and writing poetry. All levels of experience are welcome; no specialized knowledge ......
Grappling with Grief - theHumm April 2021
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Dina writes: “My involvement with Sch......
ConnectWell Community Health - theHumm April 2021
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The MVFN Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary An Interview with 2018 Recipient Sophie Anderson - theHumm April 2021
The 2021 Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary application period is now open. Students entering first year post-secondary studies in a university or college program related to the natural environment are encouraged to apply! Please go to mvfn.ca/cliff-bennett-nature-bursary for all eligibility criteria and the application form. The application deadline is May 1.
This year the Bursary Fund, a program of the Mississip......
Lake 88.1 — A Voice for the Valley - theHumm April 2021
Back in 2009, theHumm interviewed Brian Perkin about his then two-year-old radio station, Lake 88.1 lake88.ca . Based in downtown Perth, the station has spent the intervening years covering local events, promoting area businesses and initiatives, interviewing interesting folks, and generally providing an independent on-air voice for this part of the Valley. Recently, we discovered that Brian has made the difficult decision to s......
Mar 10 - Apr 16 Exhibition: Jim Hake's Sculptures
Mar 31 - May 7 Exhibition: Sarah Anderson
Apr 20 Winterwords Café #4
- Kaajuk Kablalik — Art is My Medium for Preserving My Inuit Culture
- Spring Fine Art Showin Carleton Place
- Festival of the Maples We’re Back – Just Virtually!
- The Aquanaut Among Us —An Interview with Jill Heinerth
- Dickie’s Cause 4 Paws Online Auction
- Ready for Hiking Season?
- Artists Welcome Spring with New Online Show
- It’s Show Time!
- Natural Solutions = Climate Solutions
- Make Your Business Cycle-Friendly!