Vernon BC Community Radio Push Gains Energy

The Vernon Community Radio Society hopes to have its The Valley FM station operating if they receive a licence from the CRTC. (Photo submitted)

Group in Vernon hoping to put ‘The Valley’ on the air in the North Okanagan

There’s a name and a possible spot on the radio dial.

Now, a planned Vernon community radio station is hoping to receive a broadcasting licence.

The brainchild behind the station enlisted social media to come up with a name for the station and pick a winner.

“The board narrowed things down to five and from those five, we launched a social media poll to pick the winner which is Valley FM,” said Gord Leighton, former Sun-FM general manager and 50+-year broadcast veteran, who is spearheading the drive to bring a community radio station to the North Okanagan by forming the Vernon Community Radio Society.
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“There will be derivatives of the name, such as ‘The Valley,’ ‘The Valley Voice,’ ‘The Valley Vibe’ and others.”

Leighton is joined by a four-person board whose objective is to bring a community station that would serve Greater Vernon, from Coldstream through to the north end of Swan Lake, and – “hopefully,” said Leighton – to Armstrong. The board’s engineering consultant said to expect to have a radio transmitter operating at approximately 1,500 watts.

A technical brief will be prepared by a professional engineer to Industry Canada and the Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). The brief will confirm a radio frequency, which Leighton says, at the moment, looks like the FM dial position would be 97.9 MHz.

“The technical brief will take up to six weeks, more or less, depending on a variety of factors,” said Leighton. “With a completed brief, our application to the CRTC should be filed before the end of June. After that, it’s a waiting game.”

Leighton said the commission could issue a licence without a public hearing if they deem the application to be in the public’s interest and straightforward. They could put the application on an agenda of a public hearing, or they could receive the application and defer it to a public hearing at a later date. In the meantime, the CRTC would issue a public call, inviting others to apply for either a commercial or community station.

“At the earliest, a CRTC decision could take 60-75 days,” said Leighton. “At the latest, and assuming the matter is slated for a public hearing, it could take six months.”

The CRTC, said an optimistic Leighton, rarely rejects applications for community radio stations.

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Published on May 11, 2018 at 10:39 am by Turn Table3

Comments

May 11, 2018 - 11:49 am

Dan McAllister

Good Luck Gord!


May 11, 2018 - 12:31 pm

John McAllister

It’ll happen Gord!!! Good Luck. John


May 11, 2018 - 2:17 pm

George in Richmond

Vernon is my home town. This would be a great thing to happen!


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