Local radio station CICV 98.7-FM co-founder Brian Simpson found himself high as a kite last week.
The volunteer was hard at work tweaking the radio station’s antenna in an attempt to have it both save energy and produce a clearer signal west of Lake Cowichan.
“Basically, we’re tuning up the station for spring and summer broadcast,” Cowichan Valley Community Radio Society chair Mike Bishop said.
Configured as it has been, the antenna has been bleeding electricity, with the fine-tuning hoped to correct the problem, and produce clearer signals.
The fine-tuning was not an upping in the station’s frequency.
With their current Class C licence, they are unable to legally do so. At a cost of $10,000, they could upgrade to a Class A licence, and up their frequency, clearing up their signals in the radio-unfriendly Youbou area.
With their Class C licence expiring in 2012, co-chair Ron MacKenzie said that they’ll be making a go toward becoming a Class A station.
“There’s going to be a lot of fund-raising activities,” he said.
It’s not only their signals that they are fine-tuning.
The radio society is currently going through a pile of 118 written surveys outlining the community’s wants for the station.
This is in addition to a number of online submissions.
“We had a lot of feedback on it, so we’ll be better able to cater to the public than we have in the past,” MacKenzie said.
The main wants of the community include the need for more up-to-date local news and weather, and for the station to play more older rock and roll music.
The suggestions presented in the survey will be taken into account, and will take effect in the station’s programing as of March 17.
“The valley has spoken, and we’re making our chages on St. Patrick’s Day,” Bishop said.
As for the station’s long-term future, they have also expressed interest in becoming involved in the community’s upcoming elementary school, through the Neighbourhood of Learning project (see Page 8).
“There’s no way in hell I was going to let that pass us by,” Bishop said, adding that being centralized in a community centre would help encourage the public to become involved.
“We do need volunteers,” MacKenzie said.