From Podcast to Digital Media Storytelling: Introducing Bonn Park Media Inc.
A source of community connectivity, Bonn Park Podcast is now a division of Bonn Park Media, with a more advanced set of storytelling tools at our fingertips
A new day. A new website. A new name.
The Bonn Park neighbourhood just got a little bit bigger -- and, we hope, better!
I'm excited to share what's going on.
The Bonn Park Podcast began three years ago when Sara pitched the idea of a hyper-local show that highlights members of Waterloo Region's creative community.
Sara and I have been neighbours for years, and we often chatted in the actual Bonn Park about life, community, family, and everything.
We wanted to create the audio version of a neighbourhood park, where members of the community could come together and share stories, laughs, challenges, and dreams. We wanted to introduce some unsung heroes, and expand our own horizons.
We figured we'd give it a shot.
We couldn't have imagined its growth since then, and we certainly couldn't have predicted that its success would be due, in part, to a global pandemic.
When COVID forced so many of us into isolation, Bonn Park remained a source of community connectivity. Friends, neighbours, and strangers could "meet," in a sense, through our podcast during the months of seclusion.
Sara and I chatted with hundreds of amazing people from our community -- mostly via Zoom for months -- recording more than 150 episodes of the show.
We sought grants that allowed us to get better equipment and reach a wider audience with the help of a marketing team.
We invited members of the community to help us plan strategically and sustainably for the next five years; we sought advice from people who have expertise in areas where ours is lacking.
Our podcast is free, but creating it is not. It requires hardware, software, marketing, training, hosting fees, and a huge time commitment.
We funded the podcast out-of-pocket and through sponsorships from local small businesses. For long-term sustainability, we knew our work needed to earn sustainable funding.
With that in mind, the Bonn Park Podcast is now a division of Bonn Park Media, a broader entity that will put a more advanced set of storytelling tools at our fingertips.
Expanding in new directions with Bonn Park Media
Sara and I are both visual artists who tell stories through a variety
of media. She's amazing at photography and videography and digital storytelling. I'm a visual artist who has told stories through paintings, public art, a weekly newspaper column, community radio, documentary films, and other media.
Bonn Park Media allows me and Sara to share stories from this
vibrant community in other ways, while still creating the podcast that started this journey.
So we've launched a new website with a retail store, a blog, transcribed episodes, and more.
We're celebrating our 150th episode of the podcast with the Bonn Park Giveaway, our biggest so far (with some tremendous prizes).
And we've welcomed another member to the Bonn Park team. Though she typically works in the background, you'll sometimes see Angela Pollak appear in some of our marketing, and you may remember her as a guest on the Episode 27. She's helping me and Sara expand in new directions, secure grants and other funding, and the creation of our upcoming geolocative Bonn Park storytelling app (stay tuned).
We love sharing the stories of fascinating people in this region. With our expansion into Bonn Park Media, we can tell more stories, in new ways, and help everyone feel re-connected to this remarkable community.