by Tristan Turner
Morinville News Correspondent
Town Administration will be starting a pilot project to live stream Town Council meetings to Facebook within the next few months after a motion by Councillor Brennan FitzGerald.
This decision comes following a report by Administration updating Council on progress made so far on getting live streaming up and running; a project Administration has been working on for a few months now.
The Town’s permanent streaming setup is not yet complete, but it includes fixed swiveling cameras and a sound system that would enable Administration to broadcast audio directly from their current microphones used by each member of Council and Town staff during meetings. The Administration was short on nearly any details in their report for costs, timelines, and plans for the project, but CAO Andrew Isbister noted the permanent setup should be up and running before the next Council is sworn in.
In the meantime, Councillor Brennan FitzGerald made a motion to try an interim streaming set up using a simple mobile phone or tablet to stream the meeting to Facebook live. Facebook live is a service integrated into the popular social media platform that allows individuals or organizations to stream live video from a mobile device and enables views to ‘react/like’ or comment in real time along with up to thousands of simultaneous viewers. Communications Coordinator Felicity Bergman warned that the audio of this interim setup may not be of the highest quality, but that it could at least be attempted while the final setup is in development over the next few months.
FitzGerald’s motion passed unanimously, with positive comments from most of Council. Mayor Holmes noted her support for the idea, saying that she felt attempting this inexpensive setup now will give council greater insight on making funding decisions for the final version of the project.