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  • Trevor 20:10 on 21 December 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    My life with radio 

    When I moved to Guelph, I immediately decided to get involved with the local campus-community radio station. Radio had always been an important part of my life, CBC Radio One omnipresent in the car and the kitchen. Shows like Radio Sonic and Brave New Waves opened up a world of daring, new music, changing my life. And although opportunities kept opening, for the longest time I resisted getting directly in radio.

    I remember in Hamilton, a few older friends of mine had a late night timeslot on CFMU, where they played hip hop and plotted the revolution. Super cool, right? But not for me. A family friend from church took a bunch of us youngsters to visit the Mothercorp at 250 Front Street. We got to peek into studios and met some news producers. I had a blast, but that was about it. At the time (in high school), I didn’t see myself becoming a journalist, so I never followed up.

    Later I moved to Montreal, and one of the first things I did was sign up for an orientation at the legendary CKUT. One of the reasons I moved to the city was the indie rock scene, after all. I imagined meeting CanCon legends in Montreal’s decrepit warehouses and dive bars: The Dears, Godspeed!YouBlackEmperor, Stars, DJ Kid Koala. Most exciting of all was the possibility of meeting BNW’s Patti Schmidt! So music was important to me, but not important enough to run the gauntlet of CKUT’s training regime. You had to join a collective show and work your way into your own timeslot… This foolish 19 year old decided it was too intimidating.

    Years later, I took a class on the Canadian broadcasting system with Gregory Taylor. I was mostly interested in learning about CBC Radio. Having been an early addict of youth-oriented outlets like the R3 Magazine and New Music Canada, I wanted to know more about the future of radio online. As part of the course, though, I was reintroduced to campus-community radio. Greg invited a guest from AMARC / CKUT who left me with a lasting impression of the campus-community sector’s unique role in the broadcasting system.

    CKUT kept finding a way into my life in other ways. My friend David Koch helped produce this audio tour of Montreal’s Chinatown. And after showing me how easy it is to work with the free, open source Audacity software, he finally roped me into producing a few segments for his campus news show, All Things McGill. Those were fun, but I never really set foot in the station, and I soon drifted off into other endeavours.

    Now I’m in Guelph, another city well-known for its indie music scene. With no friends outside of my partner’s Masters program, I decided to join CFRU Radio as an easy way to tap into a new community. It worked! I helped out with the funding drive, meeting other volunteers who are students and longtime community members. The staff have been incredibly welcoming and encouraging. Plus, some of them are indie rock celebrities. It’s amazing. It may have taken a while to get here, but it’s definitely the right time and the right place to finally get involved with making radio.

  • Trevor 16:54 on 10 September 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    McGill Asian Religions Area Website 

    As a long-time student, and sometimes loafer, in McGill’s Faculty of Religious Studies, it was a real pleasure and honour to work on the website of its Asian Religions Area, home to some of my most admired professors.

    At first I was not going to touch the actual graphic design. I spent the majority of my time tracking down updated information, and reorienting the information design to fit with the site’s revamped purpose. I also recoded the site so that it is now much more legible, both to search engines and to anyone who needs to update the site in the future.

    When, for a final touch, I was asked to make the design more graphical, the update was as easy as pie. I’ve always understood that content and presentation need to be kept separate, as per the web standards. But this is the first time I’ve actually taken a well coded site and simply switched stylesheets for a completely different experience. So exciting!

    I hope that the new design succeeds in representing both East and South Asian religions, without favouring either, and also without resorting to oriental cliches. The colour scheme, and the choice of images and motifs is designed with this in mind.


  • Trevor 16:31 on 30 April 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    URBAN Monitoring Website 

    Designing the website for McMaster University’s URBAN project was an interesting challenge, because it meant appealing to the usually staid academic audience, while also aiming for a more dynamic, general audience.

    URBAN stands for Urban-Rural Biomonitoring and Analysis Network. So it’s basically about engaging normal people in scientific, ecological work. For instance, there is a very successful project in Ontario’s Niagara penninsula, recruiting bird watchers to help track migratory birds in this ecologically important region.

    The URBAN website design started out with a round of logo designs. The goal was to allude to both aquatic, wetland and forest habitats, while also including the human, built-environment. After several rounds, we settled on this logo design, and the rest of the website coalesced around that.

    Since this website was guaranteed to have a wide audience, including funders and government agencies, I thought I would take a stab at using a CSS Framework. Ideally, this will ensure that the CSS is compatible with the broadest possible range of browsers. I chose Yet Another Multicolumn Layout because it seems to be a mature project, and comes with some good documentation. Integrating it into WordPress came with a few snags, but overall, it seems to have worked well.


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