IBC’s first network centre was an abandoned classroom in the old adult education centre. When that centre was demolished as unsafe, IBC rented facilities in a used, one-story wooden building formerly occupied by Fisheries and Oceans, comprised of three recycled 1950’s era military barracks.
We have occupied that site for twenty years — it houses the IBC historic archive of early film and video production, IBC’s corporate headquarters, production facilities, broadcast centre, training and technical centre. It is divided into three narrow strips, and is completely unsuitable for its purpose, with long narrow hallways, poor ventilation, a lack of windows, small odd-sized rooms, patchwork electrical wiring and plumbing, inadequate soundproofing, no central alarm or sprinkler system, highly flammable building materials, and poor overall connectivity between the various production areas. IT network cabling has been tacked up along walls and ceilings in the absence of cable conduit in the building. Air quality is poor. Inadequate humidity and dust control wreaks havoc on tape machines and on the thousands of hours of archived taped programs. Washroom facilities are inadequate for the number of people in the building, and are frequently rendered inoperative by blockages or freezing.
The current building, including its washrooms, is not accessible to the disabled, limiting the network’s ability to include disabled community members in the production, taping, and viewing of programs.
In 2006/2007 IBC carried out a formal review and needs assessment of the Iqaluit broadcasting and production centre. The study confirmed that the continuing deterioration of the building and the demands of production have now rendered it not only inadequate, but hazardous. Poor construction, ventilation and wiring pose a constant fire danger to the workers who occupy the building, to the guests who attend or participate in production, and to the priceless collection of recorded Inuit oral and visual history in storage.
It is now time for a fresh start – a new building to serve as IBC’s Iqaluit headquarters.