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CIVL News » Blog Archive » A CIVL Chat With the Cascade Newspaper

A CIVL Chat With the Cascade Newspaper

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?
RHYS MURLEY

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!

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