Three Niagara College alumni will be part of tonight’s historic television broadcast of the Toronto Raptors basketball game against the Denver Nuggets.
Amy Audibert, who graduated in 2012 from the Broadcasting — Radio, Television and Film (BRTF) program, will take centre stage with four other women as part of the NBA’s first all-female broadcast crew for the game, which will air on TSN 4 at 7:30 p.m. Audibert will host and provide analysis alongside TSN host Kate Beirness and reporter Kayla Grey, national women’s team member Kia Nurse, and play-by-play broadcaster Meghan McPeak.
Kristyn Taras and Kianna Klauck, who graduated from the BRTF program in 2017, will work behind the scenes for Dome Productions, one of North America’s leading production facilities. Taras will work as the second engineer on the broadcast while Klauck will provide graphic support used by the hosts to explain critical plays in the game.
Calling NBA games has been a dream for Audibert since she was a child growing up in Niagara Falls. Calling this game is especially significant for her.
“It’s being given the opportunity to be part of something that’s the first, something that didn’t consistently exist when I was growing up” Audibert said. “I don’t want this to be a men versus women issue. This isn’t us taking over. This is us pulling up a chair and saying we can sit at the table, too.”
This is the second all-women major league sports broadcast that Taras and Klauck have helped produce. Both women were part of the production team for the NHL’s Calgary Flames-Las Vegas Golden Nights match in March 2020, which was hosted by an all-female broadcast crew.
Taras noted that there are typically few women involved in the production of professional sports telecasts, on-air or behind the scenes. However, there’s a kind of magic that happens when efforts are made to include more women.
“It’s a very different environment with all females. The energy is totally different. We all know what everyone is thinking and we’re on the same wavelength,” said Taras, who hails from St. Catharines. “It’s really great the Raptors and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment are doing this and letting women come together.”
As a Woman of Colour, Klauck said it’s especially notable that three of the on-air personalities for tonight’s game, McPeak, Nurse and Grey, are Black.
“It’s going to be a really special moment. For People of Colour, seeing the majority of Black on-air talent is really special,” said Klauck, who calls Port Colborne home. “Hopefully they can reach someone at home who will think ‘I can do that.’ ”
The importance of what Audibert, Taras and Klauck are part of tonight is being felt all the way back to the College’s BRTF labs and by one of their broadcast mentors, program coordinator Peter “Dutch” VandenBerg.
“I use graduate success stories as a means of motivation for my current students,” VandenBerg said. “Participation in a historic event empowers female students here in what’s typically a male-dominated industry.”
Niagara College’s Broadcasting – Radio, Television and Film is a three-year, advanced diploma program within the College’s School of Media based at the Welland Campus. Students select a program concentration during the first year of the program in Radio and TV Presentation, Television Production, or Film Production.
Niagara College offers more than 130 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Part-Time Studies courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine science, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, distilling, horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit niagaracollege.ca.
Photo cutlines: Niagara College Alumni Kristyn Taras (left) and Kianna Klauck at the NHL’s all-female broadcast of a game in March 2020.
Niagara College Alumni Amy Audibert and Kianna Klauck. Audibert, Klauck and fellow NC alumna Kristyn Taras will be involved with telecast of a Toronto’s Raptors game featuring an all-female broadcast crew, the first in the NBA’s history.