Stay in the Loop this Snow Season—Ontario Snowmobiler Launches New Podcast
The breadth and range of snowmobiling in Ontario is incredible—from one end of the province to the other, snowmobilers gather throughout the winter in groups and clubs to enjoy the thrill of beautifully-groomed trails. As we all know, snowmobiling is as much about the people that you meet along the way as the trails themselves, and a pair of Ontario snowmobilers have decided to start a new podcast to help reflect those ties that bind us together as sledders.
OntarioSnowmobiler.ca is a talk radio podcast that is hosted by snowmobilers for snowmobilers. Hosted by Dave (Krusty) Hunt and Paul (Yukon) Ineson, the weekly show aims to provide the community with current news from the snowmobiling world, using Facebook and other sources to help gather news and tips. Feel free to share your ideas and input!
The podcast is being spearheaded as a volunteer-driven grassroots internet radio show, with basic costs being funded through a crowdsourcing campaign. Below, host Dave "Krusty" Hunt elaborates.
What will OntarioSnowmobiler.ca be about?
Topics will vary from week to week, but in general anything related to snowmobiling… clubs, permits, routes, manufacturers, parts, you name it. The show will be hosted by myself and Paul "Yukon" Ineson, whom I've known for a few years now. We meet each year at the OFSC annual general meeting, and keep in touch via Facebook.
It's still early on, so we really want to let the audience have their say, as well. We're aiming for around mid-December, weekly to the end of March. So, roughly 18 episodes the first year.
What is your experience as a snowmobiler?
I've been sledding since I was 14 and volunteering for the past 15 years with my local club. I've done all sorts of roles, from the standard trail maintenance things, all the way up to President. Currently, I'm the Operations Coordinator for OFSC District 1 in eastern Ontario.
I think it's always been the same for me… to me, snowmobiling is 50 percent about outdoor activity, the landscapes, the scenery and the thrill of the routes. The other 50 is the social aspect, all of the great people that you meet from all over the place. One of the things that made me really want to do this project is that I've got so many friends throughout the province who snowmobile and I wanted us to be able to share our experiences.
Why a podcast?
Well, in general we want to share our enthusiasm for snowmobiling, and what it takes to make a volunteer-driven organization successful. Being so involved in the snowmobiling community, I know the work that goes into it. It's not a government body that runs this, it's volunteers. It's totally grassroots, so we wanted to be able to reach across the entire province.
In the past I've done videos, and it's amazing when you stop on the side of the trails and people will say, "Hey, that's Krusty!" For this project, the interesting challenge is that Paul is near Barrie, I'm in Ottawa, and our guests will be from all over Ontario. That's part of why we chose a podcast. I figured with audio, we could essentially bring them to us, to our virtual studio and reach a wider audience.
Also, personally I listen to podcasts every morning and night during my commute. I'm not aware of any other podcasts of this type out there, and there's really an audience for this out there. Since the launch of this podcast, we've already gotten over 190 likes on Facebook within just 24 hours.
Who owns Ontariosnowmobiler.ca?
We don't want this to be our show, we want it to be everyone's show. Funding-wise, we're trying to minimize advertising and do it through crowd-sourcing. We've also set up a toll-free number so that people can call in and leave comments for upcoming shows (1-855-561-4401). We've decided to use Indiegogo to crowdsource. We're setting up a bunch of rewards for contributions… stickers, mentions on the website, guest spots on the show, t-shirts. During the 30-day crowd-sourcing period, we're asking for $1500 total.
That's just to cover costs, for equipment and studios and that sort of thing. Any extra money that we have left over will go to future shows, or just let us do more contests and giveaways.
We also have a bunch of individuals, such as the Groomer Guy, who are supporting this project and will be providing regular content and information. We've got a whole slew of people who have already stepped up, like Blake Schofield, Marni Smith, Andy Faulkes, Jeff McGirr and Rick Sauer.
You're based in OFSC District 1. To you, what stands out about snowmobiling in this region?
Well, to me snowmobiling in Ontario in general stands out. I've been to other places, but it's more dynamic here. There's such a range of trails just within my district. And I've been up farther north, to places like Cochrane, and seen some great trails and amazing scenery... it all stands out.
If you're planning a snowmobile trip in District 1, give the French Connection Loop a try!