Raise a Radio: Peach City vies for licence

by • December 15, 2014 • Articles, BC Musician News, Current Issue, Front Page, Radio, Resources1417

peach city radioDave del Rizzo rose to the occasion and answered some questions posed by BC Musician Mag about the Raise a Radio campaign and the future of community radio in Penticton (and beyond…)

Before we get to the technical details of the broadcast licence application, tell us a bit about the new fundraising campaign and what’s behind that ambitious goal of raising $30,000.
It’s a very exciting, multi-faceted, incentive-based donation campaign… does that sound too complicated? We’re hoping to engage individuals, businesses and community groups in Penticton to rally around the idea of building a community radio station here — one that will be accessible to all. We’ve structured the donations and sponsorships in such a way that virtually everyone can participate. As well, we have a Friends Card promotion  which is a great cross-promotion exercise that will benefit everyone involved.

The goal of $30,000 encompasses all of the projected start up and capital costs that we plan to incur in getting our studio and our signal established. We’ve managed to receive some great donations of equipment both locally and from around the province, but allowing us to purchase items such as a transmitter, antenna and computers that are state-of-the-art will help to prevent us from having to replace old, tired equipment in the short term once we get going. Our goal may seem ambitious, but we believe it is very achievable.

When the new broadcast booth is ready to go (early 2015?) what fun and games do you envision for that space?
We are very much looking forward to making our new space in the Valley First Community Arts Centre a great home for Peach City Radio. Right from the start, we’ll be poised in a central location, and be at the hub of a very exciting new performing and theatre arts-focused centre in Penticton. We’re looking forward to being a big part of that, and the arts community in general… but that’s about all I can say without ruining any big surprises!

And what about the larger venue space around your new booth — how does a performing arts venue fit the future picture of a radio station?
We think that the synergy between ourselves and the VFCAC and the Penmar Community Arts Society is already amazing, and it will only get better. We will be able to provide some great information to the public about the happenings there (and elsewhere in the Penticton arts scene for that matter) on the air, and even continue to do that via the internet, so that others who might also use the venue can still tune in.

In our short existence, Peach City Radio has already been involved in many forms of performing and musical arts, and we can’t wait to have a presence there, and lend a hand and some creativity in designing programs and events together going forward. Many Campus/Community stations around the province and the country would kill for the opportunity to be located in a venue such as this, we consider ourselves very lucky!

One of the biggest challenges for community radio is fundraising, and building that membership and list of (ongoing) donors is a constant job. If you build it they will come, but seriously, what methods will you use to pry open the pocketbooks and build your membership?
We’ll continue to build and develop the events that already help us to raise money throughout the year, such as Big Broadcast (live radio drama) and Okanagan Vinyl Fest. In addition, we’ll be doing traditional ‘fun-drives’ once we’re on the air, and developing other fun, engaging ways of creating interest and participation in Peach City Radio.

There is no doubt about it, though, community radio is not always an easy sell. However, we feel that there are individuals and businesses in our community that believe in what we are doing for Penticton. People that believe enough in the hard work and effort going into this project, and who can see that the end result will really help to raise the level of social consciousness and community awareness amongst those who appreciate all things local. We’ve talked to a lot of people in Penticton, and most of them are very supportive of our goals. Taking this next step — obtaining a licence, and building a studio — helps to legitimize our efforts in the eyes of many who might otherwise think our organization is just a group of hobbyists. No one said it would be easy, but we’re determined to make it happen.

Back to the broadcast licence: We hear that your application may take up to a year to be granted. What are the hoops to jump through and how many forms in triplicate does that require? And when you have a licence does that mean PCR will need to fill 24 live radio hours?
Our application was submitted on August 19, 2014. The next step is for the CRTC to publish our application, and start a 30-day period where anyone can voice their support (or dissent) for our application. Once that period of time has passed, we will be given the opportunity to respond to any negative interventions to our application, and after that, it goes to a hearing in front of CRTC Commissioners. Most of the heavy lifting is done, and we’re now in a little bit of a waiting period. We’ll be sure to let everyone know if and how they can help us along the way. Once we get our licence, and with the help of automation software, and a large back-catalogue of podcasts, we’ll be broadcasting 24 hours a day — whether it will be a live person in the studio for most of it will depend on how many people volunteer to be on the air… we’re not anticipating many problems. With that!

This is a real question, that we want you to answer for our readers in particular: What ways can BC Musician magazine work with community radio stations in general, Peach City Radio in particular, to build the audience for both, which we believe are very similar?
Great question! Firstly, and most importantly, I’d say that BC Musician needs to keep on doing what it does. Being great at spreading the word about new and emerging artists in BC, the venues that they play, the festivals they attend, and the radio stations that play their music is a huge boon to community stations like Peach City Radio. The effort BCM puts towards this helps to unite those who love and support independent music in BC with the artists they enjoy, and that serves to make the scene even stronger.

Down the road, wouldn’t it be great to see a regular feature from each C/C station in BC within BC Musician, where front line DJs and Music Directors can let readers know what’s new and upcoming? Sharing regional information in that way will help to spread the word about new artists that may not have had the opportunity otherwise.
How about a show produced in conjunction with BCM, where new and interesting artists are showcased exclusively — there are likely not many stations who wouldn’t pick up such a show in BC. Everyone wins — more Canadian content on the radio, more exposure for artists, and for BCM! I think that based on BCM being based here in Penticton, that show is certainly going to happen… now where did I put that transmitter….

Thanks Dave! I see some fusion in our future! Any other ideas out there? Send us an email: hello@bcmusicianmag.com

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