South West Tv News will be relocating its services to British Columbia after 12 years.
During its run of operation, SWTV News captured footage of some of the best and worst moments southwest Saskatchewan has experienced — footage it will now look to sell to interested parties.
SWTV News reached out to the Town of Maple Creek with the offer of selling some of the footage its captured of the town during its news coverage. Some of that content includes extensive coverage of the Maple Creek flood. While snippets of the flood coverage have been shown, there are still hours of content not yet released.
“We’ve been contracted over the years to do different video projects for the Town,” founder George Tsougrianis said. “The reality is when you are contracted to do video production you are really being contracted to make a video product.
“The footage is not necessarily part of that. In a minute or two-minute video, you may have hours of footage.”
Tsougrianis believes this footage would be valuable to the town.
“Having access to this footage can be beneficial in several different ways,” he said. “For example, in the future, if the town wants to do a video promo for Heritage Day or Taste of Maple Creek they have access to all this footage.
“There is an historical significance to having this available. If you don’t have it, you can’t ever use it.”
Tsougrianis says they have roughly one terabyte of video pertaining to Maple Creek. The footage is broken down into several different categories, ranging from business to tourism. Categories such as business have footage of the various restaurants in town and the museum. SWTV News was also contracted various times by the town to cover events, adding to the vast library they possess.
“The breakdown gives various visuals of the community through all these categories. Whether it’s in terms of lifestyle or actual events such as Taste of Maple Creek that we’ve not only covered once but several times, we have a catalogue of those years,” he said.
Tsougrianis says at the end of the day all the content and what the town wants to do with it would be for discussion, but would most likely tie into the marketing and communication direction the town wants to go in. Tsougrianis says the idea to approach the Town of Maple Creek with the thought of selling the content came from thinking back to the shut down of CJFB-TV.
CJFB-TV was a television station in Swift Current. The station was operational from 1957 to 2002 as an affiliate of CBC Television. It broadcasted on channel 5, cable 9 in Swift Current. It also operated rebroadcasts on channel 10 in Riverhurst, channel 2 in Cypress Hills, channel 3 in Ponteix, channel 2 in Eastend, channel 7 in Shaunavon, and channel 2 in Val Marie.
“They were here for 45 years,” Tsougrianis said. “As you can imagine being here for that long, think of what kind of archives they would have. As a TV station, they would have a substantial library. But where is that library today?
“I wasn’t here but from what I was told they were literally dumping tapes when they were shutting down the operations. Archiving these tapes is very important to us, and we have gone to great lengths to make sure all of it is backed up and archived.”
Tsougrianis added as the community continues to tell their stories more and more, they are the stakeholders and should be the owners of the content. No decision into buying the tapes has been decided on by town council, but there is heavy interest in taking ownership of the footage. SWTV News has not yet made a move to BC, and there is no set date on that move either.