Christian radio station 20 years ago

Wade Kehler, the founder of CHVN Radio and first General Manager, unveils his parking space sign. (Wade Kehler)

Written by Libby Giesbrecht 

CHVN Radio

CHVN is Winnipeg’s only faith-based radio station and it all began with a trip to South Dakota.

Wade Kehler says he and his wife, Lorraine, were visiting the Black Hills in 1986 when they fell in love with a Christian radio station playing in the area.

“In 1986, I said, ‘One day, we’re going to start one in Manitoba,'” Kehler says, remembering his wife chuckling at the time and hesitantly agreeing.

Upon returning home, Kehler contacted the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and Industry Canada.

“They also politely laughed and said, ‘No, that cannot be done in Canada at this time,'” Kehler says.

“There was no way of opening up a Christian radio station in Canada back then.”

But the idea remained in the back of Kehler’s mind. More than 10 years later, in 1997, Kehler heard from a friend that a faith-based radio station had opened somewhere on the west coast.

“That’s when we started working on the CHVN project.”

Kehler says he’s always had a passion for music in general, but especially Christian music.

“There’s so much good in it and there’s so much that it can do,” Kehler says. “We’d always buy albums and I’d think, ‘I wonder if other people could hear this.’

“When that door [for CHVN] opened up, it was like, ‘Okay, I think God is calling.'”

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