CanoeFM has entered the world of podcasting.

The community radio station has received a $33,428 grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada to start “Spread the Word.” The initiative will create original community podcasts under the CanoeFM umbrella.

The station has hired Robert Muir to a one-year contract as podcast producer. He said although radio is still a strong way to get information out, there are people instead relying on the internet.

“For a lot of other people, the internet now has become the new way to hear things and learn things,” Muir said. “Providing our community an option that helps us keep up with the trends in the world and keep being able to provide content to people in all the meaningful ways.”

Muir said plenty of people have come forward with ideas but the station has not yet decided what the podcasts will be. He added they are considering podcasts based on radio shows like Planet Haliburton and Medical Matters. More original content is also a possibility, such as shows based on local business, parenting and storytelling.

“We’re trying to take advantage of the talents in the area,” Muir said. “Subcultures, groups that already exist.”

Local musical talent will also be featured for theme songs, Muir said due to the licencing differences between podcasts and radio, licenced music is not likely to be featured. That also means music-based shows, or talk shows featuring licenced music, cannot necessarily be put on podcasts.

“The issue of cost and the issue of copyright make it difficult to just take the old pre-recorded radio shows and just upload them as podcasts,” Muir said. “Right now, we’re looking at recording original content.”

The station aims to produce four of five podcasts, approximately a half-hour or an hour in length, Muir said. But he added he also wants to provide and help people produce podcasts beyond that, both now and after his contract ends.

“No matter what happens, I want to provide a way for people to have a podcast,” Muir said. “Even though budget is a concern and Canoe can only produce so many, I also want to have resources available so if you have an idea for a podcast, you can do something.”

Station manager Roxanne Casey said CanoeFM has explored podcasting for years. She said volunteers should be able to continue podcasting after Muir’s contract expires, but there is uncertainty about it in the long-term.

“There’s lots of possibilities with podcasting and bottom line is, we’re not really sure,” Casey said. “We’re just trying to dip our toe into the water. See how well we do.”

Those interested in podcasting or creating original music for CanoeFM podcasts can contact Muir at podcast@canoefm.com.

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Joseph Quigley is a staff writer with The Highlander. Joseph is always digging hard for news stories and covers all the latest happenings in the County of Haliburton. He believes in the importance of local news, finding more to every story and listening to marginalized voices. When he’s not working on news, Joseph finds himself getting all-too engaged in social media and cheering on his favourite Toronto Maple Leafs.