“Be the change that you want to see in the world” ~Mahatma Gandhi.
(2003 — 2008)
When I (Douglas McLean) started working for the Student Union in the fall of 2003, I chose to chair the Radio Station Development Committee. This was the initial start of 88.7 CIVL Radio. There was no direction provided to me at the time, and in hindsight, this was probably a good thing. I was working at a local computer store by myself on Sunday mornings and took every free second I had to pour over the 89 pages of CRTC regulations. Since I had read all the documentation and analyzed the legal language, I thought to myself “I may as well get on with this my going ons”
Rachel Kates, Miles Bissky, Damon Skuce, Ben Cadieux, Michelle Kneale, Maxwell Winchester and I among other directors and volunteers for the Student Union conducted a survey of over 800 students and proved a 80% approval of the radio station. I still have the survey documents now, and after seeing them today, became a little nostalgic about the original group.
I started creating a little buzz around the campus about the radio station with the survey, and we put some posters up that asked for students to vote for the idea in the next Student Union election. Unfortunately, the idea didn’t receive the necessary 66% approval for a $3 fee; but, since the election was spoiled by some hacker, all referenda results were thrown out.
I took a break from working on the radio station project during the spring semester of 2004, and I even reconsidered whether I would focus on studies or continue on with the bureaucracy. During the summer, Rachel got a fulltime job, Damon went tree planting, and I ran into an old friend that was very excited about the project. Jordan Brigden, my old physics buddy, introduced me to Sara Church at the beginning of the fall 2004 Semester. We designed an advertising campaign for the September 24th election, and we won with a 68% majority (thanks Sara and Jay). It was close, but $40 of suckers taped to business cards and a couple t-shirts got us enough attention to win the vote.
After the September campaign, we started having weekly meetings to organize ourselves. Jordan Turner, Lance Hathaway, Lorinda Ramsey, Martin Kelley, Peter Whitmey, Dave Stephen, and many of the Cascade Newspaper crew started getting involved. By November, Miles, Ben and I had prepared a proposal for the UCFV Board of Governors, and they motioned to collect the $3 fee. We placed our order with D.E.M. Allen and Associates for the engineering documents.
In January, things were looking great. I was putting over 30 hours per week into 88.5 CIVL Radio (we actually knew it would be 88.5 that month) and I was still getting good grades. We had $20,000 to pay for the engineering documents and to prepare for the renovations. We started working harder on the CRTC application and put a lot of the ideas the group had come up with onto paper. Dustin Ellis, Deane Hanseboute, Wu, Johnny, Seth & Corwin jumped on the bandwagon and helped with the creation of the marketing plan, local development section and the programming schedule.
(2008 — 2010)
When I, Aaron Levy, first heard about CIVL Radio in the summer of 2008, it was through a job posting for a program director at the newly minted UFV’s brand new Campus and Community radio station. The station had been podcasting since March at www.civl.ca . Dustin Ellis’s The Freaky Freaky Show had been CIVL’s inaugural program, and by 2010 the station had seen some significant changes, and reocgnition from Punk Rock Bowling awards to Larry Portelance’s Can-Con Containership being syndicated at CKDU in Halifax and CHSR in Fredricton.
88.5 became 101.7, and CIVL looked towards broadcasting on FM via collocation with the CBC, sending campus radio through the Valley with the same antenna as CBC’s 88.1 FM; but when I was hired in 2010 to succeed Dustin as Station Manager after Bob Simpson, we were looking at a temporary tower in UFV Abbotsford’s B Building to implement our license and await the preparation of our CBC site.
It was a complicated process that saw CIVL broadcast at low power of 40 Watts for a year and a half. Dustin had spent years pouring over applications for broadcast licenses, technical amendments, site re-locations, signal swaps, license extensions, and more. On September 7th, 2010, shortly after 11 am, CIVL finally broadcast on 101.7 FM.
Through all of this CIVL was starting to bring better live music to UFV than ever before, and with the help of partners like Jam in Jubilee, UFV Student Life, and the UFV Student Union Society, Larry’s CIVL Stage concert series has been bringing bands to venues all over Abbotsford.
(2010 — 20013)
The next three years were all about growth. The expansion of CIVL’s program grid, the increase of CIVL organized concerts at venues throughout Abbotsford and on campus, an increase in CIVL’s impact in the community through winning the 2011 Cultural Diversity Award for Outreach, and the National Campus and Community Radio Award for Community Development as well as Honourable Mentions in Music Programming for Alicia Williams’ Mood Swings, and Chuck Anger for Community Development with Abbotsford Streets in 2012!
CIVl also started broadcasting institutional events at UFV in 2011 with live Cascades Men and Women’s Basketball games, live Convocation Ceremonies in 2012, and even SUSPocalypse during UFV Weeks of Welcome.
CIVL hosts and provides music and sound for annual student and services based events at UFV like the Student Life’s O-Week Orientation Day, Canada Day, BC Day, Drag Show, Infotainment, International Student Orientation, The UFV Career Centre’s Career Fair, and UFV Athletics’ Tailgate Party.
As CIVL prepares for it’s inaugural Fundraising Drive, no help can be more appreciated than that of the Community Radio Fund of Canada (communityradiofund.org), whose contributions of over $25,000 since 2011 have enabled CIVL to provide Fraser Valley residents with Campus and Community News on a semi-daily basis throughout the year, and the ability to host the first Fraser Valley Battle of the Bands at UFV Aftermath, and run it’s first ever on-air support campaign.
These three years have seen students create video documentaries about CIVL, develop into professional quality radio announcers, follow their dreams of broadcasting careers through college programs and start bands that have found success, make significant impacts in their communities and in the lives of their neighbours, friends, and families, and worked together to build an open community for the Fraser Valley to get involved with.
Looking forward to the next ten years.