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of the project's work
Atelier Radio Enfant/Fondation Radio Enfant
11 chemin Inook
Chelsea, Qc Canada J9B 2J7
Tel: +1 819 827 3146
Fax: +1 819 827-3591
Mobile: +1 819 743 8180
Title of project
Provincial Ministries of Education
School commissions and/or committees
Ministry for the Canadian Heritage
Community, public and private radio stations
Throughout Canada and the French-speaking world.
Atelier Radio Enfant and the Fondation Radio Enfant are initiatives
of Michel Delorme, a pioneer of community radio in Quebec and French
Canada, and president and founder of World Association of Community
Radio (AMARC) between 1982 and 1992. He also worked with Agence
Intergouvernementale de la Francophonie to set up 26 rural radio
After creating a radio project at his daughter's primary school,
Grand Boisé, (Chelsea, Quebec), from March 2001 he made partnerships
to extend the experiment to 54 Canadian schools. In spring 2002
more than 100 took part in the First Festival of Children's Radio.
A second influence was the creation of the first permanent radio
station entirely dedicated to children and teenagers in the Outaouais
and Ontarian East areas, planned for March 2003.
Atelier Radio Enfant also offers expertise to projects concerned
with international cooperation for child protection, a priority
of Canadian government aid.
Aims and objectives
Atelier Radio Enfant Inc aims to develop an under-represented sector
In Canada there are plenty of television channels and time slots
on the mainstream channel for young people, but very little on radio
to meet the needs of those aged 5-18, who make up 20 per cent of
the population. Canadian law is quite clear that broadcasting must,
'through its programming answer to the needs and the interests,
and reflect the condition and aspirations, of Canadian men, women
Facilitating the expression of young people through simple
and accessible media, focusing on their creativity.
Providing training in radio technology and production techniques,
its history, place in the media landscape, formats, finance, marketing,
Developing a participative and critical spirit in relation
to the media and discovering the possibilities of making a different,
alternative and citizen's radio.
Supporting the discovery of local and regional communities
through communication; bringing together adults; to make new points
of view heard from the perspective of young people.
Supporting and promoting the development of French-speaking
Supporting project management, cooperation, entrepreneurship
Discovering the richness of children's radio in a landscape
from which children have been absent.
The primary target is children, but also their parents and everyone
interested in childhood. The participation of parents and those
working with young people is an absolute necessity.
Children and their communities. In order to sensitize adults to
the opinions, tastes and interests of young people, the project
works in close cooperation with parents, teachers, school management
and local radios.
Involvement of children
Children make, present and broadcast their programmes.
Summary of project
The first Festival of Children's Radio was inspired by positive
evaluation of the March 2001 experiment and the interest expressed
by many schools throughout Canada.
For 100 days, from mid-March to 24 June 2001, more than 100 Canadian
schools presented one day of radio. More than 10,000 indigenous
and Francophone children produced the programmes, alongside international
contributions from France, Belgium, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Louisiana
and other places. The programmes were retransmitted by local stations
in Ottawa and Montreal and on the Internet.
Partners and funders
See 'Project partners' above, plus community
organizations and private foundations.
Short term experiments of Radio Enfant in 100 communities:
100 projects at an average cost of Canadian $2,500 each = Canadian
$250,000 per year.
Development (support, coordination, hardware): Canadian $50,000
Strengths of project
The positive assessment of the two years' experiments and increasing
interest have generated greater participation of children in media
Treating children as real partners from the start.
Ensuring good participation of parents.
Avoiding risks associated with the marketing of Radio Enfant
- to protect this activity from commercialization.
Ensuring effective integration of the media in the school
Accepting that the initial step is teaching: encouraging
self-expression by the children, and a listening mode of training.
Providing teaching and organizing aids: teaching handbooks,
websites, forums and information and training sessions for each
A media education resource centre made a complete evaluation of
the experience of the March 2001 experiment in the Montreal area.
It is available at CREM.
Its conclusions were very positive - that the project was very
beneficial for the children's education.
To offer more support in terms of training and technical expertise
to the teaching personnel and to local communities to ensure that
there is adequate adult support for the children.
This results from the significant impact of sensitizing the general
public to children. Also, the greater confidence among children
that comes from being able to participate in communication by the
There are many anecdotes that speak to the effectiveness of the
project, but the most fascinating thing is the creative potential
of children when they are given access to large audiences.
Do it! Just do it... call on the children in the neighbourhood,
get them to choose their music and sing their songs, especially
the youngest ones, who are the people for whom things are the more
'magic', who are most naïve in their contribution to communication.
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