UBC’s Student Radio Station CiTR Moves into New Studios

Multimedia outlet out to prove that radio is audio, not old-fashioned
By Kevin Griffin, Vancouver Sun     June 26, 2015
UBC student radio station on the move
Photograph by: Jenelle Schneider , SUN

VANCOUVER — The student radio station at the University of B.C. (moved) into new studios Saturday after 46 years in the Student Union Building.

CiTR’s bigger, brighter new home is in the AMS Student Nest, the $107 million alma mater society building for students which officially opens later this summer.

The brown brick walls and their patina of graffiti and glued-on comics have been replaced by an open plan that includes accordion glass doors that open to a concourse designed as a meeting and gathering space for students.

Former program director Ken Hardie said he and three other alumni were on air for a two-hour program from 11 a.m. At 1 p.m., reminiscing and interviewing other station alumni who went on to success in broadcasting.  A parade was organized to head over to the new studio, which then went live at 2 p.m.

Hardie said the first sounds from the new studios were the drumming and words of a Musqueam elder who acknowledged that the land on which CiTR is located as traditional indigenous territory. The first commercial music was from Vancouver synth-pop band Sur Une Plage.

Hardie said being part of the change at CiTR is “very nostalgic” for him. He said that in the 1960s, CiTR was the only place to get training in radio in B.C. Students often volunteered at CiTR and then moved on to a small-market radio station for their first job.

“We merged the UBC radio society with our campus life,” he said.

“A lot of us went on to have careers in broadcasting … I was in radio for 15 years.”

Overseeing the move was station manager Brenda Grunau.

No longer only a student radio station, CiTR now has more than 100 programs in seven different languages, Grunau said. About one-third are hosted by students and the rest by community groups. The longest running show is George Barrett’s The Rockers Show which has been broadcasting reggae music for more than 30 years.

In its new, more visible space, CiTR hopes to increase student involvement and boost membership from the current 440.

“There is definitely a feeling that radio is old,” Grunau said. “We need to educate people that we’re streaming and podcasting. Everyone is listening to podcasts. Radio is just audio — you can listen to that audio any way you want.”

Grunau said CiTR thinks of itself as a multimedia outlet. In addition to broadcasting at 101.9 FM, the station publishes on the Internet and in its print publication, Discorder. A new website will be launched in a couple of weeks.

Before the move, local bands had play in a cramped lounge, but they will now be able to play in the performance area, where more students can hear and see them.

Grunau said in the seven years she’s been station manager, CiTR has gone completely digital and increased student involvement.

“We used to be more alternative and hide under the radar,” she said. “We’ve become more proud and vocal about what we do by engaging with UBC departments and letting them know about our great programming.”



  1. “We’ve become more proud and vocal about what we do by engaging with UBC departments and letting them know about our great programming.” oh really, that’s funny.
    I work at UBC and never heard about CITR engaging with our particular department.

    I wish them well.. but honestly.. this push, as they are trying to promote the NEST and the restaurant and other commodities located within the SUB to the world outside, without even giving the UBC community a fair shot — are they kidding.

    Its supposed to be for the students, after all they (the students) paid for it… so let it be… this trying to market to outside of UBC is a bit ridiculous.


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