Past winner: Fentanyl Forum (2018)

Tell us why this show deserves to be recognized for best community channel programming:

The highly potent opioid drug, Fentanyl, has created an urgent health crisis in Canada, killing many each year, and its use is expanding rapidly. VCTV (Valemount Community TV) was one of the sponsoring partners in hosting a Fentanyl Awareness Forum in our small community of 1,021. VCTV documented the entire forum, then made it available on our own local channel, across Canada on the Bell and Telus satellite networks to over three million subscribers, and made it available for free on DVD to any community who might request it. VCTV also re-airs the program regularly. ** NOTE: the full video is 85 minutes in length. The video clip attached is a 10-minute cutdown highlight version for the nomination. **

In your opinion, what makes the show excellent?

Small communities suffer the same medical hardships on individuals, families, and communities that larger centres do. This forum, with information and resources specific to Valemount, was far more relatable to locals than a forum presented in Vancouver, for example, might be. It is life-saving informational programming, filled with valuable information on Fentanyl, resources available to assist with treatment, information what to do in the event of an overdose, and on counselling options available. From a technical point of view, this was a difficult event to document as only one small light was available to use in the darkened auditorium for the speakers (the lights were off for Powerpoint and video presentations), and microphones were sometimes not used or used improperly. However, VCTV believed that the information was too valuable to miss out on and did its best under the restricted circumstances.

What kind of impact did the show have upon you and/or your community?

This program has been viewed by many in the community, from high school age students to seniors. It raised awareness of what Fentanyl is, and showed how to get help for those using or even overdosing on the drug. While we have no statistics or stories to relate, we feel that this is the type of important programming that can save lives by bringing a small community together to assist with the fight against an urgent health crisis.