Friday, March 9th was a big day for CICV Radio – “The Lake” when they enlisted the help of dedicated listeners from Berkey’s Corner in Duncan to the outskirts of Honeymoon Bay and Youbou. For over three hours the CICV crew took their transmitter and mobile generator on the road to help determine the best site for providing clear radio service around the Cowichan Lake area. These tests are all part of the community station’s full power broadcast application to the CRTC.
“This is part of the engineering study to support our full power licence application with the CRTC,” said CICV spokesman and on-air DJ, Mike Bishop. “We running at five watts on our developmental licence and a full power licence will allow us to broadcast at 50 watts.”
The all volunteer community station was given a three year developmental licence which will expire on August 31st of this year. If all the pertinent tests and documentation are completed and into the CRTC by the end of March and the full power licence is approved, the station will be granted a full power licence.
“If it all goes through in time it will be a seamless transition,” said Bishop. “We’ll sign off on August 31st at five watts and start off September 1st with 50 watts.”
The cash strapped station was recently the recipient of a dream- come- true in the world of non-profit organizations. An anonymous donor came forward and offered to foot the bill for the licence upgrade.
“These people appeared out of the woodwork. They asked not to be identified, but said they just wanted to help and keep the station on the air,” said Bishop.
Libra Tree Services of Duncan also stepped up to the plate by donating the use of their 70 foot boom truck to assist in the transmitter tests.
“We basically dismantled the station and took it on the road,” said Bishop.
The fact the CICV can go mobile and transmit from nearly anywhere using a portable generator for power is a huge asset if ever we face a major disaster in the Valley. Local citizens could tune in to get updates on everything from weather warnings, to emergency procedures after an earthquake or other natural disaster.
“Because of the tests we have to do, this exercise does double duty. We could be a self powered mobile radio site if ever there is a disaster,” said Bishop.
CICV puts its membership at about 50 people now, with nearly half that many actually doing on-air work. It is not alone in the small, community, radio fraternity, there being community stations in Nanaimo, Ladysmith and soon to be Gabriola Island.
CICV-The Lake can be found at 98.7 on your FM dial and offers a wide variety of music and programming, all with a distinctly Lake Cowichan flavour.