All County, All the Time Since 2010 MAKE THIS YOUR PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY HOME...PAGE!  Wednesday, November 25th, 2020

Musicians raise the roof to help ‘Raise the Antenna’

By Bill Samuel
Entertainers Emily Fennell, Jamie Stever and Alex Hicks belted out their best at the Acoustic Grill Sunday night to help the “Raise the Antenna” for a new community radio station.

Treat Hull

The Prince Edward County community radio initiative is operating as a non-for-profit corporation, notes Treat Hull, who is lending his talents to the cause. “Community radio is intended to serve all the local needs. Primarily those needs that are not met by commercial stations.”

Local emerging music artists, time for the arts and a focus on agriculture are some of the interests that community radio is better suited to address, Hull noted, adding the importance of the ability to report local news and events of an urgent nature as another strong argument to support local community radio. Benefits for local government extend to public affairs programing. Allowing individuals or groups, in a public arena, to discuss matters that are before council. Individuals, through listening, can have an opportunity to be exposed to various sides of a given issue.  Call in programs are also under consideration, although there are technical issues involving “tape delay” to avoid remarks using profanity, libellous statements or comments prejudicial in nature.

CRTC rules dictate that community radio be accessible and controlled by members of the community and 35 per cent Canadian content. Community radio often chooses to meet higher Canadian content levels to support up-and-coming Canadian artists.
“Our intention is to feature, as much a possible, emerging local talent,” said Hull. “Our hope is to be the place where aspiring local musicians could display their talents publicly to a broad audience for the first time.”

Ange Stever

Raising much needed funding, approximately $100,000, is only one of many hurdles being addressed. The challenge for any radio station start-up in this area is that most of the available radio spectrum is used already. The radio station cannot interfere with an existing station. Scheduling programming (provided by volunteers), fund-raising and acquiring the nuts and bolts (transmitter, antenna, studio space) are ongoing as the project moves forward.

“We are looking at options of up to 2000 watts output in a FM frequency,” said Hull. “This is County Community Radio, not Picton Community Radio, we have to be able to reach all wards in the county.”

The initiative is not associated with the new on-line County Radio station at countyradio.ca

The group is seeking County council support, “but in this day and age, that won’t include financial support”. They are hopeful council will provide a letter of support to the CRTC in their application process. Hundreds of people from the community have already enthusiastically supported the initiative.

More than 70 people squeezed into the Acoustic Grill for Sunday’s fund-raiser. Forty-nine new members were added and $930 including membership fees ($10) wase collected.

The County’s Ange Stever (aka FM 96 Kingston’s Classic Rock morning co-host), was the enthusiastic master of ceremonies. She also serves as a member of the board steering the initiative.

Photos by Bill Samuel
newmediapublishing.ca

Filed Under: Arts & CultureLocal News

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