Every five years, ArtSound FM needs to reapply for its community radio licence. ArtSound was required to put in an renewal application in 2009 and this was only made possible thanks to hundreds of hours of work from ArtSound’s managers and volunteers, to pull together information to support the argument for renewal.

The submission was successful and it has been placed on the ACMA website for all to view (find link to ACMA at the end of this article). It really gives you the inside scoop about how ArtSound works. Read the answers to challenging questions which need to be answered for license renewal. Also see the reports from managers of the station, view wonderful anecdotes and learn interesting facts about how exactly ArtSound works and what services it provides. It’s clearly evident that ArtSound means business!

In appendix 1–20, you can read about how exactly ArtSound will continue to serve the community interest. This part shows how the station provides its service to the community. There’s also the Strategic Plan, which shows how ArtSound will continue its commitment to being a top-quality Arts broadcaster and service provider. The vision is particularly appealing:

To be the best-known, most popular and most successful radio station in the Canberra region and amongst the best in Australia, both through excellent performance and the imaginative and extensive involvement and participation of the community that ArtSound serves.

In appendix Q19, read comments from the many people, including sponsors, who are satisfied with ArtSound FM:

The publicity campaign for CARMINA is going very well, selling record numbers of seats. In fact, we have been asked what the secret weapon is by our ticketing agent and I say ‘I let you in on a secret, if you want to sell classical music or approach discerning customers, ArtSound is your tool’. (Quote from Marketing Manager, Canberra Symphony Orchestra, 19 May 2008)

In appendix 20, you’ll see results obtained from the website survey. Did you know, for example, that ArtSound appeals to people with higher educational qualifications? But in terms of audience ArtSound has wide-ranging appeal:

When asked ‘what do you like most about ArtSound’, about 81% of respondents said that it’s ‘music rarely heard elsewhere’.

A fun-fact – did you know that the suburb of Belconnen had the highest number of donors for the 2007 Radiothon? Other interesting facts are included:

ACT residents (are) more likely to take an interest in arts activities than those in other areas.

Reading on, you can see that ArtSound has a strong commitment to its volunteers and to participating in our local community. In fact, ArtSound’s volunteers contribute about 2,500 hours a month. In the final set of appendixes, you can read the interesting responses to ArtSound’s anonymous listener satisfaction survey (containing a mixture of praise and valuable feedback):

I listen to your lovely station to and from work and when I am not listening to a CD. It has introduced me to music that I would not have heard elsewhere. Thank you. (Sept. 7, 2006)

Less of that easy-listening crap on the jukebox and let me know what I am listening to please (July 15, 2007)

The results appear to be consistent: that ArtSound has something special to offer to just about anybody in the community. Later, you can read the minutes of the Annual General Meeting and view the Annual Report 07-08, to find out more about how this unique radio station works:

“…I can only be highly impressed by the achievements of the past 25 years. The station that began as the dream of a few visionary citizens in 1983 has become a treasured resource for the community it serves. All of us who work and volunteer at ArtSound are honoured to carry that vision forward.” (Isobel Griffin, Manager Report – Business and Administration)

Read the submission and see for yourself what it is about ArtSound FM that ensured its success in securing the license renewal and funding: http://www.acma.gov.au/WEB/STANDARD/pc=PC_311592

Article by Faraz Ghazi

Posted by: artsound | January 13, 2010

Successful Outside Broadcast Equipment Grant

Late last year, ArtSound was successful in obtaining a $1000 grant from the Community Broadcasting Foundation to assist with the purchase of Internet (IP) based outside broadcasting equipment.  A 3G wireless modem has now been purchased and is undergoing testing.  Used in conjunction with other internet streaming codec equipment, this device should allow us to undertake high quality live broadcasts from any location in Australia with 3G Telstra coverage particularly those locations in Canberra without existing line of sight to Black Mountain.  This is part of a “broadcast in a box” style arrangement that, hopefully, will allow for a more simplified “Plug and Play” method of live broadcasting from remote sites, without the need for a complex UHF link setup.  Thanks to the CBF for their ongoing support of ArtSound FM.

Posted by: artsound | January 13, 2010

New Canberra Region Radio Services

On 21 December 2009, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) varied the Canberra region licence area plan to allow for some new radio services.  The variation:

(a) makes FM frequency 107.9 MHz available for a Tuggeranong translator service for community broadcaster 1CMS-FM

(b) varies the FM frequency of community radio station 2QBN Williamsdale from 107.7MHz to 107.5MHz to allow the CMS translator service, and

(c) changes technical operating conditions and site for a new AM open narrowcasting service (ONC) on 1324 KHz. 

The latter service is understood to be a commercial Country Music oriented station networked from Queensland.  Details are available at ACMA’s website at: www.acma.gov.au/WEB/STANDARD/pc=PC_91708.

Posted by: artsound | December 19, 2009

2009 ArtSound Awards

Each year ArtSound recognises its volunteers, the programs they make, the work that they do, and other community radio programs, with the ArtSound Awards.

The extent of the nominations reflects the large number of volunteers that keep the station running and the rich diversity of talent contributing to the station’s programs.

And for 2009, the winners are…

Best new presenter of the year
Julianne Patterson

Volunteer of the year (presenter)
Joint winners
Barbie Robinson
Richard Scherer
Clinton White

Volunteer of the year (non-presenter)
Vicki Murn

Most innovative new program
The Gerswin Project [Len Power]

Best Interstate program
Jazz Made in Australia

Stirrer of the year
Bill Oakes

Congratulations to all the winners, there is tough competition among the people and programs that makes ArtSound Canberra’s premier music and arts station.
Recognition must also be made of the tireless contribution of the staff: Lauren Black, Isobel Griffin and Chris Deacon, and the contractors Gerry Kay and Tony Hunter. Their huge efforts, way beyond what we can afford to pay them and what they are worth, provide our volunteers with the environment they need to keep the station running.
Posted by: artsound | December 9, 2009

Abels Music Manuka newest ArtSound FM Sponsor

We are proud to announce our new major corporate sponsor for Arts Diary, Abels Music in Manuka. Abels Music is the oldest independent music shop in Australia’s capital city, Canberra. Established 32 years ago, they are specialist classical retailers with Australia’s foremost ranges of classical and jazz – as well as a comprehensive selection of all styles of music, and a range of quality DVD movies. Abels Music recently won an Aria Award for best specialist music store.

You’ll be hearing their name on Arts Diary in the coming weeks and months. The Art’s Diary segment is a reliable way for listeners to be updated on arts events in the Canberra region. It is broadcast 38 times a week during our Arts Magazine programs, such as Sounds Early, Arts Cafe, Disc Drive and Meridian.

Seems Hollywood has Artsound FM to thank for its role in helping to complete a modest, but important, part of the movie “Amelia”.  ArtSound collaborated with the movie’s Director Mira Nair, to provide production assistance with some audio voiced by Australian actor Mia Wasikowska, who joins Hilary Swank, Richard Gere and Ewan McGregor in the current Hollywood release.   Teenager Wasikowska was chosen last year as one of only two Australian actresses to receive a Heath Ledger scholarship – a fund to help young up-and-coming Australian performers in memory of the late actor.  She is also reported recently to have been chosen to play the heroine in moviemaker Tim Burton’s Lewis Carroll classic “Alice in Wonderland”.    ArtSound FM maintains quality audio recording and production facilities at its Manuka studios and is currently running its annual Radiothon with the theme “Embracing the Digital Future”.

Posted by: artsound | November 7, 2009

2009 Radiothon


Our 2009 Radiothon runs from 6 November until 15 November: we hope to raise over $30,000 in memberships and donations from our listeners over this period. ArtSound has been running radiothons to raise money for more than 20 years, and provides us not only with funds to help us run the station, but also gives us an idea of our community support.

Our theme for the Radiothon this year is Embrace the Digital Future. The Digital Future is full of opportunities, and challenges as well.

The broadcasting spectrum is licensed because it is a limited resource, regulated by governments to impose order and get the best out of it. Digital broadcasting gives us more services for less spectrum, at better technical quality, but requires us to invest in new facilities and transmission equipment to get the most out of the opportunity.

The internet, when compared with the broadcast spectrum, is a seemingly unlimited resource. Our programs can reach the entire globe, and with our listeners’ support soon will, taking local Canberra talent to the entire internet world. This is a great opportunity to expose Canberra’s talent to the world, to expand our listenership, but it is also a challenge to compete with all the other services coming the other way.

Listen, contribute, and help us embrace our digital future.

Posted by: artsound | October 20, 2009

Have your say on the future of the arts in Canberra

The Chief Minister of the ACT, Jon Stanhope, who is also the Minister for the Arts and Heritage, has invited Canberrans to have a say on the future of the arts in the ACT, at least as far as government support is concerned, anyway. He has appointed Peter Loxton and Associates to prepare a review of government support for the arts since Arts Canberra, the ACT Government’s current action statement for the arts, expired at the end of 2008.

To participate, members of the community can fill in an online survey (http://www.arts.act.gov.au/), and also attend Community Forums, to be held at:

  • ‘The Link’, Canberra Theatre Centre, Civic: 12 – 2pm, Wednesday 28 October 2009
  • Tuggeranong Arts Centre: 5:30 – 7:30pm, Wednesday 28 October 2009
  • Belconnen Arts Centre: 12 – 2pm, Wednesday 4 November 2009

If you want to go to any of the sessions, contact Arts.Review@act.gov.au or phone 02 6207 5970.

For more information, call Canberra Connect on 13 22 81 or visit the artsACT website.

Posted by: artsound | September 26, 2009

ArtSound’s New Board

On September 21, ArtSound’s Board met for the first time since the 2009 Annual General Meeting. At the meeting, outgoing Vice President James Steele welcomed new Board Members Evol McLeod, Brian Leonard, George Cora and Kathy Syrette. Members returned to the Board at the election were John Mitchell and Richard Scherer, who were co-opted to the Board last year to fill casual vacancies. Eric Harrison, Ian Tidy, Wendy Brazil and James himself are continuing Board Members for another year. There are two casual vacancies as a result of the resignations of Board Members Christine Wallace and David Stephens.

The first order of business was the election of officers. All elected unopposed, the office-bearers for the next twelve months are:

  • James Steele, President
  • Brian Leonard, Senior Vice President
  • George Cora, Vice President
  • John Mitchell, Secretary
  • Ian Tidy, Treasurer.

Major issues discussed at the meeting included the draft plan for the redevelopment of the Manuka precinct; funding the capital requirements of the organisation over the next twelve months; clarifying procedures relating to ensuring presenters, volunteers and members follow the various Codes of Conduct and station policies; and re-invigorating the Board Committees. ArtSound’s Committees are expected to advise the Board on the operations of the organisation. Members are encouraged to become actively involved in committees where their interests lie.

The present Committees are:

  • Program Committee (Wendy Brazil, Chair)
  • Fundraising Committee (George Cora, Chair)
  • Promotion Committee (James Steele, Chair)
  • Resource Planning and Development Committee (Chris Deacon, Chair)
  • Training Committee (Eric Harrison, Chair)
  • Volunteer Support Committee (Isobel Griffin, Chair)
  • Silver Memories Committee (James Steele, Chair)
  • ArtSound Fund Committee (Ian Tidy, Chair)

Please contact the chair of any committee you are interested in joining. Each Committee has been asked to review its Terms of Reference; the ArtSound Strategic Plan in relation to its activities; and contribute advice to the Board on what the committee is doing to fulfil its Terms of Reference. Committees are expected to report back to the Board.

The last twelve months were as always busy for the organisation. Among many other things we saw the development of the ArtSound Strategic Plan, the submission of the Licence Renewal Application to the ACMA, and building work completed on Studio 5. The next twelve months offer further challenges: ensuring the future of the studios within the Manuka Arts Centre; funding the operations and the capital expenditure required to keep the service going and to continue to improve it; and provide better communication between the membership of ArtSound, its volunteers, management, the Board, and the wider community ArtSound seeks to serve.

Posted by: artsound | June 20, 2009

Manuka Redevelopment

ArtSound’s General Manager Isobel Griffin spoke with Neale Guthrie – General Manager Territory Venues and Events at the community consultation meeting at the Manuka Oval – Wednesday 10 June. Isobel took the opportunity to present ArtSounds position in the proposed development and Mr Gutherie said he hoped ArtSound would present a submission to him before the end of June. He also indicated his enthusiasm to visit the studios in early July.

It is important that we see this as an opportunity to be a part of a vibrant precinct. To combine the Arts and Sport in a partnership that will benefit the whole community. It must also be made clear to those concerned with the development, of the thousands of volunteer hours and the many hundreds of thousands of Government, corporate and membership dollars invested in the studios. A vital part of that process will be inviting affected parties to visit the studios and see for themselves what that investment is and realising the implications of any relocation option.

The ArtSound Board and Management are monitoring the progress of the discussions and will be keeping a close eye on movements. We will be making a submission to Mr Gutherie by the end of the month.

Please watch this page for updates as they become available.

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