Bracebridge Council webcasts meeting for first time

(March 3 BRACEBRIDGE) Today was the first day for the Town of Bracebridge to webcast a General Committee meeting. The meeting this morning was streamed live, recorded for viewing, and is available on the town’s web site: www.bracebridge.ca

Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith says today’s meeting was typical, all went well and he is very pleased with the launch of the new webcasting service.

“As the meeting was being streamed live this morning I was receiving notes from interested viewers locally, outside our community, and even outside the country,” he says. “It immediately proved its value in providing more openness and more engagement with local government.”

Featured photo shows screen capture of the beginning of first webcasted committee meeting

One observer from nearby Minden was watching with interest. Township of Minden Hills Reeve Brent Devolin commented the he was watching live and the webcast looked great. He says he’s going to recommend his township “just cut and paste your [the Bracebridge] model and use it with little revision in Minden Hills.

Today’s webcast is the first in the one-year trial webcasting initiative in Bracebridge.

In February 2015, the Town entered into an agreement with iSi Global Webcasting (Integrating Solutions Inc.) for a one-year trial webcasting service to provide live streaming and archiving of Standing Committee (General Committee and Planning and Development Committee) and Council meetings as part of an effort to increase awareness of Council and Committee activities.

Council and Standing Committee meetings are being streamed live on the Town’s website, and recordings of past meetings will be available on-demand for those who want to watch the meetings after the fact. Council and Standing Committee meetings will also be indexed to correspond with the main agenda sections to help viewers to quickly reference key parts of the recordings.

During the trial period, the Town of Bracebridge will be using a single fixed camera to stream and record the meetings.  Staff will be reviewing this service prior to the end of the one-year trial and will be reporting back with recommendations related to the potential continuation and enhancement of the webcasting service.

“The Town of Bracebridge is excited to be one of the first small municipalities in Ontario webcasting and recording its meetings in an effort to be more transparent for its residents,” said Mayor Smith in a release before today’s webcast test. “

On-line webcasting of Committee/Council meetings is growing in popularity amongst municipalities as an effective method to communicate to a wider audience. In Ontario, the majority of municipalities that use webcasting are larger cities, such as Toronto, Thunder Bay, Oakville, Ottawa, Mississauga and Timmins. In Muskoka, the Trillium Lakelands District School Board has provided webcasts of its meeting since about 2007.

Those curious to see how the Town’s first webcast today can view it on Bracebridge.ca directly by clicking on this link: http://download.isiglobal.ca/bracebridge/archive_2015-03-03.mp4.html

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