Victoria Times – A-Channel TV Station Tour

Add a Comment by Rebecca Bollwitt

We watch A-Channel during the week sometimes, while cooking dinner and playing along with Jeopardy. We do so mostly because their weather guy, Bruce Williams, comes on with “Watch and Win”. A call-in contest where you can win anything from gift certificates to Canucks tickets.

A-Channel Victoria Open HouseThis past Saturday A-Channel opened its doors from 11am to 4pm and had a general open house for the public. Now, I’ve had my share of tours and the CBC tour from last weekend was still fresh in my mind, but man – was this ever a cute lil station.

A-Channel is a part of the Chum group, along with the likes of CityTV and Much Music. It’s got that “behind the scenes” look to its newscast and the building is nothing like the concrete bunker that is the CBC. It’s a converted warehouse with neat little nooks n crannies. For example, there are “hydrants” in various places along the walls. They look like water pipes for firefighters to tap into but they’re loaded with connectors and plugs in case the wireless on your laptop craps out in the middle of a broadcast and you need to get a connection.

The first stop on the tour was a little station where guests could sit at a news desk and read a teleprompter. One brave guy sat up there and read, and about 4 minutes later they handed him a DVD of his performance.

A-Channel Victoria Open House We meandered through marketing and editing suites, then down to the audio room. We got autographs from Bruce Williams then had a chat with Hudson Mack – the news anchor.

In another room there was a green screen set up by the creative teams. They asked for volunteers then played clips of stock footage behind them as the crowd participant danced around in front of the green screen. The results were displayed on the TV and were quit funny. The best was when we were in the main room, getting a speech on mass media and journalistic integrity from Hudson Mack, but all the TVs in the room were displaying a little kid dancing around in front of the green screen – flying with geese and swimming in the water with Jaws. It was REALLY hard to keep a straight face.

A-Channel Victoria Open HouseAfter the tour we were all given a ticket for a free hot dog, pop and chips. On top of that, we were loaded with swag: stickers, little foam microphones, thundersticks and balloons. The staff were so hospitable and the on-air talent were really down to earth.

All I could think about in that audio booth with the sound guy was, “I bet John could get a job doing this kinda thing.” But I don’t think we’re ready to be moving out of town any time soon.

Victoria Times – The Delta Ocean Pointe

Comments 2 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Every year we come to Victoria and every time we stay at the Delta Ocean Pointe Resort. Originally we would get treatments at the spa, but it then just turned into our main hub for the weekend.

Location wise, you can walk across the Johnson Street bridge or take a water taxi and you’re in the heart of downtown.

Delta Ocean Pointe - Best Hotel in Victoria

It’s comparable with any other full service hotel you’ll find when it comes to price. It also has a pool, fitness room and restaurant/lounge. But where it really takes the cake, is the customer service. There’s all those little things you come to appreciate, especially how much a big ol’ resort like that caters to the young’uns. There was a wee-sized robe in the closet when we got into our room and every night at 8:00pm they have a story time for the kids, complete with milk and cookies. There’s also a free shuttle that will take you out on the town or bring you home safely. You can even knock on the door of your mom’s room then run down the hall with your 6 year old niece giggling… and no one will say a word.

It was nice to see familiar faces and to make it back for another girls weekend – we missed last year because I had that whole “getting married” thing. But I did take John to the OPR in November of 2005, and we had just as good a time. It’s always a pleasure.

Feeling Disconnected

Comments 3 by Rebecca Bollwitt

What was old will be new I started my new job on Monday and it’s a complete 180 from anything I’ve ever done. I’m not at a computer all day, there is a LOT of paperwork and hardly anyone I work with probably knows what a) a blog is b) computers can be used for more than typing memos and keeping spreadsheets. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fantastic company with really nice people, it’s just leaving me feeling really… disconnected.

I went into the IT room this afternoon and I felt like I was “with my people” for the first time all day. I’ve made such a transition lately on top of going away for the weekend and starting a new career – it’s all a little too much to take in right now.

Update: May 1st, 2007 I started an even better job where I’m at a computer 24/7 and work with like minded people who talk and think geek all the time, just like me!!