It is with heavy hearts that CIVL recognizes, on behalf of the UFV Campus and Community Radio Society, our community lost one of it’s key builders this past week.
CHLY Nanaimo, whose 101.7 FM shares a frequency with CIVL, made the following post about Bob on their website this weekend, and we also welcome you to read a letter written in nominating Mr. Simpson for a Radio Legend Award to celebrate his 50th year in broadcasting.
Thanks for everything, chief!
“I am sad to have learned today that former CHLY Station Manager Bob Simpson passed away this morning from stomach cancer in a private hospital room in Calgary. He was 75 years old and had just last night celebrated a wedding anniversary with his wife Judy.
Some of you would not have met Bob Simpson, but Bob was there for the CHLY when we needed someone capable and level headed during a difficult time for the station.
Bob was a radio veteran of 50 years by the time he retired, and was a mentor to me in numerous ways. I would even say he was a bit of a father figure during some difficulties in my personal life. I am very saddened by this loss, as I was hoping to see him again had his diagnosis and treatment regimen gone better.
I fondly remember the phone calls I had with him, as well as our regular lunches to discuss station business, politics, and life in general. Bob knew how to treat people well, and when to be stern. Raised on the prairies and having lived there for much of his life, he was the son of a minister (if I remember right both the politician kind and the pulpit kind), and like some from that part of Canada, a bit conservative. That said I did convince him to vote NDP in the 2015 Federal Election, something that I got a real kick out of at the time. He was not fond of Harper in those years.
He liked his martinis, he liked his oldies, and the booth always smelled of Old Spice when he was hosting his Wednesday afternoon show Bobby Be Cool. He was a sight to behold in the booth, organized and “on” it in only the way a veteran of 50 years could be.
He loved radio.
He was a friend.”
May 6th, 2016
ATTN: NCRA Awards Community Radio Legend Award Jury
Re: Bob Simpson Nomination
I’ve had the pleasure of managing CIVL 101.7 FM for the past 6 years as of this August, and I’m indebted to a small group of UFV students and community volunteers who, from 2003 until 2009, worked tirelessly to connect with the NCRA, raise awareness in the Fraser Valley, and develop from genesis the concept and opportunity of placing Campus and Community Radio East of Vancouver.
Today, CIVL is an NCRA Award winning radio station for Programming (‘14) and Community Development (‘11), having twice been recognized by Abbotsford Community Services’ Fraser Valley Cultural Diversity Awards for Marketing (‘15) and Outreach (‘11), and being awarded the Abbotsford Arts Council’s 2014 Arty Award for Outstanding Arts Organization, as well as that year’s Punjabi Literature Society of Abbotsford award for contribution to Punjabi Language, Culture, and Literature.
CIVL is the only Campus/Community Radio station within over 50 KM to the West, nearly 300 to the North, and almost 600 KM to the East. We are an essential community outlet in the Valley, with unparalleled isolation from our sister stations considering the population we serve. (The Fraser Valley is home to 1.5 million residents, and we are the only station to serve it with a Type A license.)
None of these accomplishments would be possible if a group of UFV students hadn’t encountered the help, early on, of one Robert Simpson. In 2008, when I first applied to CIVL’s Program Director job posting, it was Mr. Simpson’s positive and encouraging response to my application that motivated me to attend broadcast college in Ontario, in order to further strengthen my skills, which in turn allowed me to successfully apply for the Station Manager position left vacant when Bob moved to Salt Spring Island as owner/operator of CFSI-FM — a volunteer based commercial undertaking.
During the early days, Bob was the sheppard for CIVL’s flock of as yet un-call-letter-assigned small undertaking. He utilized his 40+ years of experience in commercial radio and advertising, as well as invaluable contacts at the CRTC, CBC and Industry Canada, to ensure that CIVL was able to withstand successful broadcast implementation extensions (3), change of technical parameter/broadcast location applications (2), a frequency swap and a tower lease.
It took the UFV Campus and Community Radio Society 5 years to graduate from society incorporation to FM implementation, throughout which Bob was a volunteer, Station Manager, ex-officio, and station dad to many. The skills and work ethic he instilled in CIVL’s volunteers and staff are evident in the success not only of the station, but of the founders who spent their years in academia focusing as much, if not more, on this pipe dream of a project, now become a reality, than their respective Math, Library Sciences, Pedagogy, and Philosophy degrees.
Today, these founders are Law School Graduates, Tech Firm CTOs, Librarians, and High School Teachers, having fostered an environment at CIVL where our Alum can count among them two commercial radio station drive time hosts, executive directors of two Lower Mainland Arts Councils (New West and Abbotsford), and a freedom of speech activist with millions of hits and followers on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.
CIVL was built on sound fundamentals in programming procedures, organizational dynamics, and good governance. So much so, that when I arrived at this still yet-to-get-out-of-the- podcast-and-onto-FM-radio-station, trepidation mounting regarding my ability to take the reigns of this burgeoning operation, I was overjoyed to find complete training processes that were comprehensive, clear, and turnkey, ready for me to implement and orient volunteers with, perfectly melding the technical know how of professional, academic radio training, with the progressive, inclusive environment of Campus/Community Radio that makes it so essential for our ever diversifying communities in Canada.
We use these training processes, developed by Program and Communications Directors Swinder Singh and Larry Portelance, under the supervision and direction of Mr. Simpson, essentially unchanged – save for relevant CRTC updates – to this day.
Bob is the kind of person who makes you want to put your best foot forward. His achievement and dedication urge you to look inside yourself and search for the best contribution you can make to your community, and the idea that this man basically walked into campus and community radio as a commercial ex-pat 10 or so years ago, but was able to be such an essential part of such an impactful and broadly accessible community service, is a true testament to what C/C radio in Canada is all about.
This is the legacy that Bob left at CIVL, from the lens of a person who never worked alongside or under the man a single day in his life. To me, that is the definition of a legacy; the legend that carries on with those that endeavour to undertake the work you’d once begun, and have the privilege of seeing grow beyond your own efforts.
Though he spent the lion’s share of his time in the commercial sector, in the comparably short time he’s spent engaged with community radio, he’s been able to impart astonishing institutional and experiential knowledge onto the C/C sector, now on his 3rd community oriented broadcast undertaking. The impact he’s made in the Fraser Valley have been felt for the past 5 years in significant ways, and no doubt will continue to be felt as long as CIVL is operational.
I’m beyond pleased to recommend Bob Simpson be awarded with this year’s Community Radio Legend NCRA Award, to mark his 50 years of contributions to broadcast in Canada.
If you have any questions about this letter, or Mr. Simpson’s time at CIVL, please feel free to contact me at your leisure.
My very best,
CIVL Radio Station Manager
It’s time for the CIVL Website Re-design!
June 19th, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CIVL and CJRU Release Joint Website Redesign RFP
Abbtosford, BC – CIVL-FM is excited to announce a partnership with Ryerson’s CJRU 1280AM based in downtown Toronto that will see both stations redesign web and streaming services.
An RFP is available below that outlines the nature and scope of the project, as well as context relating specifically to the histories of both organizations. The deadline for proposals is July 10th. More details are available below.
“While campus and community radio in Canada has been involved in podcasting as pioneers through the decades,” according to CIVL station manager Aaron Levy, “the incredible growth of podcasts in the past decade requires that our stations develop resources towards new and emerging technologies in order to ensure our continued relevance in the future media landscape.
In particular, Ryerson’s student body has been one of the most historically impactful on the development of campus radio in Canada since the 70’s, and we are thrilled to be partnering with CJRU to move both of our engagement capacities into the 20’s together with this web development project.”
UFV Campus and Community Radio Society
S-2109-33844 King Road, Abbotsford, BC
V2S 7M8 (604)851.6306 Aaron@civl.ca
CJRU and CIVL are looking to redesign and rebuild their websites. The new sites will include the content that is already on our current sites, but will also include features such as responsive capability, automatic playlist publishing, and automatically as well as manually when desired, podcasting every show broadcast on the station.
CJRU is Ryerson’s campus and community radio station. We began as an online station in 2013 and started broadcasting on the AM dial in 2016. We are a non-profit organization and our programs and much of the writing and videos shared on our website is made by dedicated and talented volunteers.
Our current website was developed in 2013. As we’ve established ourselves as a station we see there being specific needs that we’d like to see addressed with a new web presence.
CIVL is University of the Fraser Valley’s campus and community radio station. We began as an online station in 2008, and started broadcasting on FM in 2010. We are a non-profit organization built on the auspices of volunteer engagement and accessibility.
Our current website was developed in 2007. As we’ve established ourselves as a station we see there being specific needs that we’d like to see addressed with a new web presence.
What we are currently using:
The new development should include the content currently available on our site. We are open to reorganizing this content but the ability to share interviews, videos, reviews, blog posts and charts is vital.
What we are currently using:
The new development should include the content currently available on our site. We are open to reorganizing this content but the ability to share interviews, videos, reviews, blog posts, ongoing projects, initiatives and charts is vital.
We want to build a site that really takes into consideration the programming that we offer and puts it center stage. We expect that everything is built with web standards and is designed to work on all modern devices. A few functionalities that we are looking for:
We currently publish a number of our spoken word programs using Spreaker. We also have spoken word archives on Soundcloud. With the new website, we want to make all shows streamable and downloadable and where appropriate, podcastable. Some considerations:
The Program Guide is the backbone of the station on the air, and it’s deep integration into the new website build will be a key to the success of the new website. This integration would include things such as:
We want to build a site that really takes into consideration the programming AND community engagement that we offer through both content and festival/event/awards sponsorship and puts it center stage. We expect that everything is built with web standards and is designed to work on all modern devices. A few functionalities that we are looking for:
Though CIVL currently has different functionality than CJRU from a podcasting standpoint, in addition to the “other functionalities” listed below, CIVL wants a podcast system that achieves all the goals that CJRU has, but that also provides for hourly content to be archived and linked for access automatically without manual logging by programmers or staff.
CIVL sees the functionality of the CJSW.com website’s podcast platform as ideal because programs can be grouped according to genre or lists of genres, and then whittled down to create playlists of only the episodes users want to hear. It is searchable, mobile-compatible across platforms, and allows you to save your profile in order to return to the playlists of programs you’ve selected, which also update in a style similar to RSS. Ideally, programs could also be searched for specific songs, artists or albums played by being cross-referenced with digital logsheets and metadata.
Specifically from the original CJSW website build RFP:
A number of listeners come to the station because they are a fan of a certain genre of music that we program. We would like to provide listeners with the option to click on a genre stream for jazz or metal and have the system build them out a never-ending stream of that genre’s programs from our podcast archives.
While some folks come for a certain genre of music, many others come for certain personalities or they like many different genres of music. For these folks we would like to have a way on civl.ca where they can select the programs they love and the system will build them out a personalized stream of their favourite programs back-to-back. The system should also save the users data somehow so that they can jump right back into listening the next time they visit the site. We basically imagine this as a very easy entry way for people to get the
podcast experience without having to know anything about podcasting.
CIVL would like to achieve all of the functionality mentioned by CJRU, as well as ensuring that sponsorship imaging/messaging and host engagement can be integrated into individual program pages as well as the schedule at-large.
These stations have allocated up to $80,000 CAD in total to complete these two website redevelopment projects.
We would like the websites to be live for the end of September 2020.
Responses to this request for proposals are due by 11:59 PM PST on July 10th. Please send your proposals to email@example.com .
Proposals submitted should contain a minimum of the following items:
• process plan and timeline for how the project will be completed
• pricing schedule
• a list of key team members and sample work each of them have been principals on in the past
• client references
• your personal connection to radio
Beyond these items, feel free to include anything you think we need to see. If there are items that already live online, feel free to include a link to those things instead of duplicating them in your proposal.
May 29th, 2020
Abbotsford, BC – CIVL and the Common Room Music Collective are teaming up. Submissions are now open for the Common Room Recording Grant, for which CIVL is proud to come on board as a major sponsor.
Eligible applicants will have a chance to receive $3,500 to put towards audio recordings for a musical project of their own work.
Full criteria can be found at the www.CommonRoomMusic.co/recording-grant, but Fraser Valley musical artists who do not have label support are the primary focus for this prize.
Common Room has been operating based in Abbotsford since 2016, beginning as a songwriter circle that has taken place in backyards and living rooms throughout the Central Valley roughly bi-monthly ever since.
In 2018 Common Room hosted it’s first annual Songwriter’s Retreat in Otter Lake near Princeton, BC, and finally last summer, the collective began fundraising in order to offer a recording grant for local independent artists, and CIVL Radio is pleased to sign on to match those funds, and participate as a long term sponsor of this exciting initiative.
“We’re over the moon that CIVL has decided to partner with us,” says Casey Kowalchuk, one of the Common Room founders. “We did this because we wanted to help the local artists who struggle financially to be able to take that next step, and it’s great that CIVL can come along and help us make that happen.”
CIVL Station Manager Aaron Levy was thrilled to find that Common Room was interested in partnering: “We’ve been watching what they’re doing for years now from the outside, and have been so impressed and proud of what the community has come together to provide for itself in the form of the spaces and opportunities that Common Room have opened up for local artists.”
Applications will be open for two months, and all submissions will be adjudicated by a committee of personnel made up of staff and volunteers from CIVL and Common Room.
The winner of this year’s Common Room Recording Grant will be announced at this year’s Jam in Jubilee webcast at the end of August. WATCH PROMO VIDEO HERE