If you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life. Stefan Ottenbrite the owner of Muskoka411.com is a perfect example.
With a massive follower base of hundreds of thousands of readers including locals, cottagers, businesses and celebrities, Muskoka411.com is the most followed news platform in the cottaging destination Muskoka due to its multi-platform and digitally focused approach to news coverage.
Stefan’s passion for news was sparked at a young age by taking on the role of videographer of mock trials and participating in Speaker’s Corner, a weekly discussion of news and events in his Grade 8 class. That same year, he bought a video camera and shared his work with his family and friends, which inspired him to keep working at it. One day, he attended an exclusive tour at the CHUM City Building on Queen Street West to learn about a day in the life of the business and realised his passion for journalism.
Stefan decided to follow his passion and launched Muskoka411.com in 2014. Today the media platform covers news all over Muskoka and the surrounding areas in addition to covering notable provincial, national and international stories. Muskoka411 is widely recognized as the first to break important local news. Be it traffic, weather or major incidents and events, Muskoka411.com has eyes and reach everywhere, including access to drone and helicopter footage.
Despite difficulties posed by COVID and other industry challenges, Muskoka411.com continues to have its reporters in the field and at the scene. While on location in two different scenarios, Stefan was able to assist people in medical distress before paramedics could arrive. He continues to be at the scene of important incidents and locals know his face from the many community events he attends.
Stefan was on scene for hours during a house fire in Mississauga, providing coverage for Jewel 88.5 FM, leading Stefan to receive the Best Radio News Award from Peel Police in 2007. Stefan has been a guest speaker at Seneca College for Radio Students and at YMCA Muskoka for Employment Services.
Stefan works with a repertoire of clients including Tim Hortons, Sirius XM Radio, The Brick, Canadian Tire and All State Insurance, always ensuring affordability and return on investment for all clients.
Stefan enjoys his career, but more than that, he loves giving back to the community with donations, prizes and by teaching up-and-coming journalists. Muskoka411 employs locals and students for day-to-day operations as well as events, and Stefan sits on various committees to offer them insight and resources to help strengthen the community.
“We have an all-star team who is fully committed to our audience,” Stefan said. “I’m very lucky and thrilled that we have such a great team that makes Muskoka411 the best it can possibly be everyday, and we will continue to do great work.