By Sarah Krichel
Ryerson announced the official opening of the Rogers Communication Centre’s new teaching and broadcast facility, the Allan Slaight Radio Institute, on Feb. 3.
A $3 million donation was made to the school last May by the Slaight Family Foundation — a philanthropic organization that donates money to various projects supporting radio entrepreneurs. Allan Slaight is a broadcast pioneer known for founding Slaight Communications. He was also a former co-owner of the Toronto Raptors.
The facility is intended for the radio and sound concentration of the RTA school of media.
“This institute in the heart of the RCC is very much a building block in FCAD as a creative innovation hub,” said Charles Falzon, dean of the Faculty of Communications and Design. “It’s also a place for experimentation.”
The studio is primarily being used for Spirit Live — which has been the RTA School of Media’s digital radio station for more than 20 years — but the space is also open for anyone to apply to host their own show or volunteer.
“Ever since it’s been open for business, which has been a couple of months, it’s just changed the dynamic of the radio community in the building,” said Falzon. “The response from RTA is that radio has been a major area of growth and as the school and faculty think of new media, new applications and new approaches.”
Ivor Shapiro, chair of Ryerson’s journalism program, added that the space could eventually be used by journalism students, but details are still being worked out.
Interim president Mohamed Lachemi said in a press release that the school is grateful to the Slaight family for this “inspirational generosity.”
“It is from here that young people will continue the work of Allan Slaight, and take the industry in new and exciting directions,” he said.