Wednesday, January 12, 2011

APTN Buildings

Missed in all of the other stuff that happens in the city was the news back in November that the Aboriginal People's television Network (APTN) had bought the building that they had been leasing since the launch of the station in 1999. 339 Portage Avenue is now completely owned by the network.

However, APTN did not stop there. They also bought the former CIBC and for a time RBC bank building at 333 Portage Avenue. For a short time this building was a hip hop club following CIBC shutting the branch down in 1990. It used to attract people from as far away as North Dakota for its music. RBC moved in when their old building was torn down for the new Hydro building. They moved back last year.

APTN used 333 Portage Avenue as a temporary base for their extensive Olympics coverage. The station must have liked the possibilities of a street front operation after the Olympics that they bought the building.

I haven't seen any exterior improvements to the bank building yet but one wonders if they might take it public like New York stations do with street scenes behind the studio.

Excellent news for Portage Avenue and great news for the APTN network.

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mrchristian said...

I didn't know that. Yes, it is good for that stretch and for the station.

With the aboriginal population in Winnipeg APTN should be one of THE community stations here. I have to admit, I wouldn't even know how to get into the building that they're currently in. It looks like a concrete parking bollard !

Colin said...

Good luck on the show. Maybe I could drop in and take pictures of the proceedings..?
I was interviewed there once by DJ/friend/all round good guy Michael Elves for an exhibition I had back in 2009. Much fun.

John Dobbin said...

There is no entrance in the front. Like the Air Canada Centre, the building opens onto the park in front of the building.

The APTN building was originally to have been bought by Air Canada but the owner there fought it or at least thought he would get more money so it never happened. It is all probably in Free Press archives from the 1980s.

The expansion into the old CIBC building (which was also the Avenue nightclub and RBC building) will triple the studio and office space for APTN.

One Man Committee said...

Further to Mr.C's post, APTN could stand to improve their presence on Portage a bit when they move into the old CIBC Building. At first they have a APTN sign (which didn't even light up) on the original building, and then replaced it with a jumbotron that doesn't actually say APTN anywhere on it. I think they're missing an opportunity to establish a real presence.

At any rate, it's great to see APTN expanding in downtown Winnipeg. They are perhaps the last man standing from Winnipeg's heady days of the early 2000s when Nick Hirst was describing us as an upcoming "media city" in WFP editorials.