Nunavut currently has no full service studio production facility providing access to digital, high definition formats that have become the norm in broadcasting and commercial production worldwide. Most material produced by independents in the Territory is either assembled in small, home-studios or shipped south at considerable expense for editing and mastering. The proposed Nunavut Media Arts Centre will be the first and only of its kind in the territory, providing access and resources to both IBC and the bourgeoning independent production community in the Arctic.
The Centre will be designed to enable new production approaches and formats, including web-based broadcasting and production not necessarily intended for broadcast, such as shorter experimental work by local artists or students. It will incorporate the capacity for web-based distribution of archival, current, and live programming. This will significantly increase the amount of Inuit language and Inuit programming, new and old, available to viewers, meeting one of IBC’s key cultural objectives: the preservation and promotion of the Inuit language.
IBC has sought to reach the point at which our core operations are sustained through generated revenues to a greater degree, with grants/contributions supporting specific activities and projects. The establishment of a full-scale, state of the art, digital production and post production studio will ultimately diversify our revenue generation and reduce dependence on government funding.
Specific outcomes will include:
- Enhancement in Quality of Production
- Strengthened Training and Employment
- Providing a Focal Point for New Collaboration
- Increased Opportunities for Co-production
- Increase in the Volume and Diversity of Production
- Wider Distribution of Programming
- Enhanced Revenue Generating Capacity
- Increased Health and Safety
The Nunavut Media Arts Centre will allow IBC to broaden the scope and scale of programs in a larger studio space, with set construction and storage given dedicated space in a new building. New programming formats such as animation, drama, audience-based programming (e.g., music production with studio audience) will all be possible.
The new facility will provide public access, allow exhibitions, incorporate public viewing spaces, and include coffee service and a green room for studio productions. The Board Room will be a multi-purpose space for meetings, screenings, and training sessions.
Public access to IBC’s production and archives will be enhanced through:
- New streamed service online
- Display space in new facility for local artists
- Screening room for both internal screening and small/midsize groups
- Videotheque of catalogued IBC archives and stock materials, digital and accessible
- Greater capacity for programming involving live audiences and community members
- Exhibits of non-broadcast alternative video and film production
IBC maintains an archive of over 30 years of priceless historic material, an estimated 9,000 hours chronicling, from the Inuit perspective, the division of the territories, the creation of key national Inuit organizations, the concept and signing of Inuit land claims, the creation of Nunavut, and the evolution of a new political, social cultural environment.
The IBC collection is dispersed, housed in four separate production locations across the north on a variety of magnetic tape formats. This material has never been catalogued, archived or stored. Much of it exists in obsolete, deteriorating physical media.
The new facility will incorporate an Inuit Film and Video Archive and library to catalogue, digitize, archive and safely store inventory of 25 years of valuable stock and historic footage; this will enable the network to introduce management and administrative system for receiving and responding to requests for access to archived material.
The new facility will offer protected storage and asset management system for all archival tapes and other media, as well as storage for new recording stock of all kinds. The tape storage room will include:
- Zone climate control
- Enhanced humidity control as required (Enhanced HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) with archival-class humidity control)
- Asset management computer workstation
- Counter space for tape sorting, packaging etc.
- Track-mounted high-density storage system for archival media
- Storage cabinets for new stock (tapes, optical media, hard drives)
The broadcasting industry is presently undergoing a transition as significant as the migration from black and white to colour. IT-based digital delivery systems have rapidly rendered analogue systems obsolete, practically overnight. The migration from standard-definition television to high-definition (HD) television has the industry struggling to keep pace. The expectation of the average viewer, whether screening video works in a gallery or watching at home, has been raised with the emergence of low-cost high-resolution plasma and LCD screens and projection systems. With specialty channels commissioning productions from a growing pool of independent producers, the expectation has grown to expect more for less. The bar has been raised, and all media producers must adapt if they are to survive.
Production styles have also changed. Studios continue to play an important role, but use of single camera EFP (Electronic Field Production) for artistic, commercial and broadcast production increases as the weight, size and cost of the equipment declines. Today, more programs tend to be in production at the same time, placing additional pressures on facilities, especially in post-production. IBC’s production facilities were designed to reflect production styles current in the mid 1980s; current broadcast standards cannot be met with the facilities and equipment that IBC is presently using.
The NMAC will represent Nunavut’s first and only facility combining studio and post production capacity in HD, the new universal standard for video production. Some Nunavut producers currently have access to limited HD equipment or systems, but significant post production in this format – and ANY studio based production – must be done in the southern Canada, at prohibitive expense.
The Centre reflects the current and future requirements of the broadcast industry, and the integration of workflow with new production standards and techniques. The proposed facility’s design, technology and functionality will make jobs easier and more efficient for staff. It will include multiple edit suites, more available studio floor space with two-storey overhead clearance to accommodate fully professional lighting capacity, and segregated control rooms. Studio and single camera EFP (Electronic Field Production) production will be fully accommodated, allowing multiple programs to be in production at the same time.
The proposed technical upgrade will provide new capacity for web-based programming, expand IBC’s audience, facilitate higher quality, lower cost, and more marketable for all artists and producers in Nunavut. The result will be:
- Increased visibility for local, regional and territorial performers and artists.
- Increased market for local, regional and territorial film and video producers;
- Increased exposure for arts and cultural organizations in their program, service and advocacy initiatives.