Greg and Yolanda want to create a community cave

Community news is the glue that holds us all together. Knowing and caring and sharing.

And because Greg Allen and Yolanda Gallo believe in the strength of digital video production and community building, there’s an exciting new venture afoot.

CAVE, the Centre for the Advancement of Video Excellence, is setting up shop to help non profit and charitable organizations tell their stories visually. Using community-based equipment and talent, CAVE’s mandate is to help tell the community’s stories utilizing local broadcast stations and new media.

CAVE is set up under the sponsorship of United Way, as a non profit organization with funding from Human Resources Development Canada for three staff positions. It has its own Board of Directors. Strategic alliances with Mac Solutions, Backland Communications, Decent Exposure Media and the Barrie Film Festival are helping this fledgling group with equipment and talent.

Greg Allen, a former audio/video instructor at University of Toronto, and television producer with Trillium, then Shaw, then Rogers Cable wants to use his talent to help organizations tell their stories, produce their message, and reach their audiences with viable video work.

To do this, CAVE needs to set up a complete recording and production facility, with mobile capacity for on-location shoots.

What CAVE isn’t is a cut-rate video production house.

The organization’s mandate is to work with community groups, and students, helping them learn how to produce their own visual message. And then that message, edited and produced in its final format, will be made available as part of the cable network’s continued commitment to air good community programming. “There’s no reason we can’t have a regularly scheduled time slot on local community channels , says Yolanda.

Yolanda Gallo will be using her video and production skills to actually help people produce their stories.

Right now the pair is putting out a call for cast off equipment, and for talent… retired, freelance, or just plain hidden away.

“We know that the Barrie area is home to many film and television production experts,” says Greg. “We want to reach these people and invite them to get involved in this project. We need equipment; we intend to set up a full production and editing facility; and we’d like to connect with production talent, people who will work with our charities in various production capacities.”

Cameras, lighting equipment, Macintosh computers (hopefully laptops) for portable editing, audio equipment, Nagra tape recorders and DAT machines are all on the ‘wish list’. The centre also needs some really good desk chairs because people who are editing are sitting for a very long time.

The team is also seeking a third employee, someone with a video production background preferably with some fundraising expertise.

Because CAVE has a community base, it is looking for yearly memberships from people wishing to use their services. Three membership rates are offered for non profits, sole proprietors, and students.

CAVE is also taking advantage of web streaming technology to make their productions available to users in a one-on-one scenario. People can access CAVE productions by either dial-up or high speed connections says Greg. We ll customize the video file to the users’ connection speed and platform, (Mac or PC). Traditional methods of video tape will be enhanced and made portable with DVDs, for more intimate showings.

For now, it’s an idea which is sprouting wings. You can expect take-off shortly. Tune in, turn on.

You can reach the Centre for Advancement of Video Excellence at Suite 100, 136 Bayfield St., Barrie, L4M 3B1, 705 720-1110. Email: Website:

Thanks, Yolanda. Thanks, Greg. And thanks, United Way, for supporting the vision.