The idea for a Cranbrook Community Radio station has been around for a number of years. A serious attempt to establish a station was floated, oh probably 10 or 15 years ago, with an application to the CRTC. It appeared to be in conflict with the commercial radio stations and it did not move forward. Since that time things have changed, not the least of it is the advent of the widespread use of the internet, and the time may be right to once again to move forward with the idea. That’s where Rick Edwards comes into the picture.
Rick Edwards is originally from Nova Scotia but he lived in Ontario for 25 years. While there he volunteered and sat on the board of a Community Radio Station. Even as a youngster he has always had an interest in radio and being a d.j. It Goes way back to when he was about 9 or 10 listening to Annapolis Valley radio and a fellow by the name of Hal Sproule. He was the one who sparked his interest.
When he moved to Ontario he followed what was happening with the CRTC but that wasn’t enough to satisfy his appetite so when an opportunity came up to volunteer at a community radio station he dived in and soon realized that community radio was where he wanted to be. Critics say that community radio is too restrictive but in Rick’s view there is more freedom to do things for the community. Although community radio depends on grants and some advertising revenue to survive it is unlike commercial radio with it’s dependence on big corporations and record companies. Community radio allows the community to get involved in many things including programming. It offers a different service and in most instances looks to a different audience with more specialized programming and show casing the local artists that are mostly ignored by commercial radio. For instance, the La Cafamore String Quartet recorded their last performance at the Knox Presbyterian Church in early May of this year. The intent is to broadcast the concdert on Cranbrook Community Radio in the near future. Hopefully, that is the first of many local artists who will benefit from the new service.
When Rick arrived in Cranbrook in April 2010 he noted with surprise the absence of community radio and decided that he had to do something about it. By April 2011 he started Cranbrook Community Radio in the basement of his house. He soon ran out of space and it was a case of finding more room or shutting down. An an opportunity presented itself to relocate to the Artrageous Gallery of the Cranbrook and District Arts Council (CDAC). The whole idea was a good fit with the mandate of the CDAC. That is the physical location of the station but as a listenable entity the station can be found on the internet at http://www.ckcl.ca . The station is broadcasting 24 hours a day. You can log into the site and download an apps and listen to it on your i-phone.
Where to from here? The intention is to apply for an FM license, elect a board in September and register right after that as a non-profit society. In the meantime Rick is looking for volunteers, show hosts, donations, etc. Anybody interested should contact Rick at 250-581-1153, 250-426-8965 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
– Rod Wilson