Recently, the CIVL Radio society president sat down with a reporter from the campus newspaper of UFV called the Cascade. The following article was printed in the Friday, February 19, 2010 edition of the Cascade:
“Q & A: Dustin Ellis
CIVL and CBC: Together at Last?
CIVL, UFV’s campus radio station, has been broadcasting on the internet for the past couple of years with live streaming and archived podcasts. Offering a diverse group of shows, almost all by volunteer DJs, CIVL is quite honestly an amazing radio station. If you have not yet checked it out, you really should. This week I had the opportunity to sit down with operations director Dustin Ellis and talk to him about CIVL and CBC joining forces.
First off, let’s talk about CIVL and CBC coming together and what that means.
OK, well first CIVL is a campus community radio initiative serving UFV in Abbotsford, Mission, and Chilliwack. Since its inception in 2004, we have been working on broadcasting on the FM dial. The trouble is finding viable tower space. Eventually we decided to build a tower on campus in Abbotsford and broadcast from there on 88.5 FM. [This frequency] caused interference with CBC Radio One in a high population zone. So, basically the skinny on this project is that we got a letter from CBC saying it wouldn’t be a good relationship between us if we broadcasted from this frequency. So CIVL and CBC sat down together, scratched their heads to come up with a solution. We came to the decision to switch frequencies with one of CBCs. Right now our license is for 88.5 FM, so we are seeking to change our license with CRTC (Canadian Radio Television and Telecommunications Commission) to switch frequencies with CBC from 88.5 to 101.7 FM. This a neat situation, where the parties involved were able to come to their own solution; this doesn’t happen often in CRTC land. Usually the organization has to regulate groups and try to find solutions for them, which takes more time. So here, CBC and CIVL were able to come to a better solution at lesser cost.
Alright, so with the new frequency, what would be the broadcast area for CIVL?
We’ll have a tower in west Abbotsford, and we’re hoping to broadcast from that tower into Mission. One of our primary objectives is to broadcast into Abbotsford, Mission, and Chilliwack. Of course, this tower won’t reach into Chilliwack, but it certainly has to hit two of the three campuses in order for it to be a viable frequency for us. So the station should play from approximately 200 street [in Langley] to Whatcom road exit in Abbotsford, and well into the hills of Mission. It’s a nice frequency, kind of nice coverage. We have to put up another tower in Chilliwack, which has been a project for us for a while now.
What are your broadcasting plans for Chilliwack?
Well, we have to set up an amendment to our license with CRTC. They should approve it on the basis that the first license was approved to broadcast into Chilliwack. They’re kind of big on this campus community thing, let’s hope they still are, I imagine they would be. So, we have to put in it’s our campus zone, apply for it, list all the good reasons for it and they should go for it. The next phase would be to find a viable tower, CBC has one, and there may be one on campus. The trick is that it will be on a different frequency; it can’t be 101.7 because it will create a zone of interference. The funny thing about radios, if you’re radio receiver picks up two signals they cancel each other out, they interfere. It’s because one may be fractions of a second ahead or behind, so they create interference and overlap, and it sounds like chaos.
So then for Chilliwack will need to find a different frequency?
Yeah, so it kind makes the call letters a little less, “sexy” or marketable when you call them. So when you say “you’re listening to CIVL radio, 101.7 in Abbotsford and Mission, and 106 point whatever in Chilliwack” it makes things more difficult.
Yeah, causes a little bit of a hitch there, makes a longer preamble when introducing the station. But as long as we get into Chilliwack, fantastic.
Yeah, hitting Chilliwack is really important to us. A lot of our DJs are from Chilliwack, there’s a lot of talent out there. We’re really excited about this project and how it can merge the three cities together. We’re [pretty] pumped about the ability to promote concerts and young bands as they come through town, and boost the profile for community events.
So then, when can we expect CIVL to hit the FM broadwaves?
There’s always that question, you know, when’s the deadline? We used to publicize our projected targets and it’s always a major disappointment when you pass those dates and there’s a technical problem. So for me to say right now it would be perhaps damning to me later [laughs]. I’m hoping sometime this summer that we’re testing the frequency.
Alright, so for now we’ll be sticking to live internet streaming and podcasts?
We have one of the best podcast systems in the country for campus radio stations. Other radio stations send us emails asking us how we do it. Some of our DJs were back east in New Brunswick at some of the campus stations there and they were asked all the time how we have our podcasting system set up. The trick is we podcast every hour of music where the other stations only podcast selected programs.
So, there you have it. CIVL is well on its way to hitting the FM and broadcasting all over the valley. We’re really looking forward to it.”
Thank you to the Cascade for this great article!