Perhaps the best news members and supporters of Cowichan Valley Community Radio (The Lake) heard at the association’s general meeting Jan. 25 was that a partnership between CICV Radio and Lake Cowichan Secondary School has been formed.
The project of moving the radio station into the high school has been brewing for a little while between committee chair Mike Bishop and LCSS principal Nicole Boucher.
Boucher endorsed the partnership at the meeting, talking about the agreement and what it would mean for both parties. The agreement with the school district, she explained, is that rent would be waived so long as meaningful service was provided to LCSS students on a regular basis.
“Mike and I sat down and established a baseline, talking about different things students could do,” Boucher told CVC Radio members. “They included things like writing radio plays, and borrowing the portable equipment, broadcasting live for school events, and a few times a week students coming in and doing reporting on what’s going on in the school. ”
It’s an important turning point for the future of the community radio station which has been struggling financially to keep afloat with the need for updating equipment and upgrading to a five-watt system.
The need for fundraising will be one of the top priorities for the association in 2013, and Bishop asked the members to agree to forming a volunteer committee to that end.
A report given by technical director and board member Karl Dalskog outlined a list of items the station needs for the stability and on-going development of the town’s station.
The association received a response from the Town of Lake Cowichan saying that they will not waive the $100/month hydro bill the station incurs at its current locale, in the Ranger Station on Wellington St.
Before the station can move into its new locale, hopefully at the beginning of the school’s new semester in February, soundproof booths need to be built. Four association members have volunteered to lend their time and expertise in overseeing that work: Lake Cowichan residents John Harrison, Mike Gagnon, and Karl Dalskog and Steve Willis from Victoria.
The radio station still needs more DJs, Bishop says, and there are two slots on Mondays and Tuesdays to fill. They need more music to be catalogued and volunteers to help with the production.
The subject of continuing on with the Summer Nights in the Lake Cowichan Bandshell was discussed. Bishop says he feels it was a great success last summer, and that it should run again this summer.
“There was something going on every Saturday night, and it brought families out,” he said. “With headline entertainers, it’s a great event for the town.”
The only drawback was that volunteers had to give up every Saturday evening throughout the summer, and Bishop suggests forming two teams of eight volunteers on each team so that they could alternate weekends.
The four board members for 2013 are: treasurer Lynda Rowland, technical director Karl Dalskog, member coordinator Gary Dyck, and newcomer Mike Gagnon. John Harrison accepted to be a contingent board member. Mike Bishop remains chairman of the board and one of the driving forces of community radio in Lake Cowichan.
“It was a good meeting,” said CVC Radio member and announcer Grace Bond. “There was a lot of interest there, more than I’ve seen in a while.”