The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission has now approved the Voice of the Shuswap Broadcast Society’s application for a broadcasting licence to operate a low-power community FM radio station in Salmon Arm.
The new station will operate at 93.7 on the FM dial.
“It was an important hurdle for us to cross ad we are delighted to have reached this point,” said Warren Bell, president of the board of the Voice of the Shuswap Broadcast Society. “It’s a great leap closer to being on the air.”
The station’s application includes broadcasting 98 hours of programming each week, of which 62 hours would be station-produced programming. Although the primary language will be English, there will be two hours of programming in French, one hour in German and one hour in Secwepemctsin, a language of the Shuswap bands.
The Voice of the Shuswap Broadcast Society is a non-profit group and the station will be run by volunteers.
The society intends to develop partnerships with the Salmon Arm Folk Music and the Roots and Blues societies in order to develop programs incorporating local and international music, discographies and artists’ profiles.
Spoken word programming would consist of local information, news, weather, community calendars and announcements as well as emergency messages.
Voice of the Shuswap intends to develop various spoken word programs, such as live theatre, local sports coverage, story reading, spirituality and inter-faith dialogues, parenting and children’s programs, call-in shows, environmental, business and political coverage, travel ideas and events promotion activities.
The commission expects community radio stations to provide programming differing in style and substance from that provided by other elements of the broadcasting system, particularly commercial radio stations and the CBC. Such programming should consist of music, especially Canadian music, not generally heard on commercial stations (including special interest music, as well as styles of popular music seldom broadcast), in-depth spoken word programming and programming targeted to specific groups within the community.
The group will next move forward with establishing their tower transmitter in the Fly Hills and hope to go live on the air before the end of the year.
Bell credits volunteer Dan White with ensuring the application was successful by compiling all the technical information required.
“He really got it done for us.”
The licence is valid until Aug. 31, 2019.