Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Woman perfoming Karate kick

On Saturday night, my dear friend Tristis Ward was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Campus/Community Radio Association (NCRA).

To put this into some perspective, this is only the second time this award has ever been bestowed. The first time, it went to Freida Werden of CJSF , founder of Women's International News Gathering Service (WINGS), a womens' news service used by radio stations around the world.

Tristis gave me my first job when I moved to Fredericton, as Traffic Coordinator for the local campus/community station, CHSR-FM. She was then Program Director, and my main duty was scheduling advertisements, PSAs, federally-mandated station IDs, and so on, and recording that they'd occurred. At the time, what I knew about campus/community radio could be put into a thimble with some room left over. By the time I left, I recognized campus/community radio - - radio which is run as a collective, which is often located on a post-secondary campus, but which anyone in the surrounding community can get involved with and eventually offer programming through -- is incredibly important in getting unheard voices on the public airwaves.

We not only became co-workers, we became extremely close friends, and she was a bridesmaid at my wedding. We both think slightly sidewise; and often it seems like she is the only person who understands my cockeyed ideas, and vice-versa.

Tristis is currently CHSR's Station Manager. Most, but not all, of her programmers are university students, who also make up most of the Board of Directors she works with. Anyone who has supervised university students, much less been supervised by them, will recognize the challenges she has faced. Her key role is the monumental task of creating a place that is a "safe space" not only for the lesbian thrash-metal show host but the born-again Christian who shares the station with her, for the Chinese students who host a weekend show to the fellow who has been doing a Newfoundland music show for years to the vintage punk host to the Voice of Islam. Yet she's managed it - with a few significant explosions along the way.

I expect that the main reason she's received the award, though, is in recognition of the work she's done in helping other communities - in particular Native reserves - set up their own stations. She's been a very hands-on resource for communities seeking to have their very own way to communicate through radio.

C/c radio people are goofy people, and Tris describes her award to me thusly: "[It's] two feet tall, has a woman performing a Karate kick on the top and has the random number 83 at the base. I was amused. I think it's cool." Here's an appropriately-out-of-focus photo of her admiring it moments after receiving it (I am not sure if people without Facebook accounts will be able to see it).

Woman performing a Karate kick, eh?

Appropriate, I'd say.

Congratulations, Tris. You deserve this far more than your modesty will ever let you understand.




Blogger Xtreme English said...

no, people without Facebook cannot see this unless they sign up for Facebook. but we can imagine....we can imagine that woman planting a firm karate kick right in Facebook.

kudos to your friend!!

11:27 p.m.  
Blogger ronnie said...

LOL Perfectly reasonable reaction, M.E. I was afraid of that. Unfortunately the photo belongs to the woman who presented Tris with the trophy, so I can't steal it to post here, and is currently only available on Facebook, although there may be something posted to the NCRA's website shortly.

9:43 a.m.  

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