CKTZ’s Reach Extends Beyond Cortes Island

Thirteen years ago a tiny group of enthusiastic Cortes Islanders launched their own pirate radio station, sticking the antenna up a tree. Cortes Community Radio was still the expression of a remote island community, when the station received its license in 2011. Now CKTZ’s reach extends beyond Cortes Island. CKTZ’s reach extends beyond Cortes Island The station’s broadcast area includes Campbell River, Quadra Island, Lund, and the east coast of Vancouver Island as far south as the outskirts of Courtenay.  Listeners that visited the Cortes Radio website left a virtual snapshot of the larger whole. Around 7,250 people have come the website since Google Analytics was installed on January 19, 2017. Close to three quarters of the sessions are from “returning” rather than “new” visitors. This suggests that most of the web traffic comes from people with a connection to CKTZ, rather than internet searches. Only 26% were from “Campbell River,” which appears to include Quadra, Cortes and the surrounding islands. There are also significant numbers from Courtenay (16%), Powell River (4%), Nanaimo (1%) and Comox (1%). Though all but one of the radio society’s board currently reside on Cortes Island, most have connections to the station’s larger broadcast area. CKTZ’s Vice President, Barry Glickman, worked with the SRD to develop emergency communications resources through out the SRD including such places as Tahsis, Gold River, Zeballos, in addition to Campbell River. He and his wife Amanda helped set up the physical communication resources as well as develop the training programs for the region. They also laid the groundwork for CKTZ’s recent Memorandum Of Understanding with the Strathcona Regional District. Rochelle Baker,...

Free Range Radio

Originally Posted on the ECOreport Doug Hamel made his first broadcast almost two months ago. His two-hour-long tribute to Gord Downey was the beginning. Doug had underwent some introductory DJ training at Cortes Radio months before, but found the time commitment intimidating. He works as a building contractor six days a week! Everything changed that first day he spoke into the microphone. That was the birth of Free Range Radio. Shut Off Mainstream “I don’t hear my point of view anywhere in Mainstream - anywhere. There are some small alternative sites where what I am trying bring out comes out - and this was brought forward to me by a gentleman who used to work for the CBC who lives in the community. My sister worked for the CBC. And I shut off Mainstream eight years ago because I couldn’t handle the inability to show any kind of balanced reporting,” says Doug. “So I’m trying to bring that other viewpoint forward and if people don’t want to listen - they don’t have to. There is other stuff to do. But if you are not going to argue history and you are not going to try to bring these things forward. Mainstream media is full of it.” Doug was in tears the day Obama was elected. He and co-worker watched the election unfold at the Banff Centre. “I made the mistake of thinking he was Jackie Robinson [the first African American to play Major League Baseball]. Robinson was a man of immense character who would not quit despite being verbally abused, cleated and even having bottles thrown at him. Doug...

Becoming Cortes Community Radio, CKTZ 89.5 FM

Originally Published on the ECOreport George Sirk whispered “Cortes Radio” for years before he found the right pair of ears. This led to a meeting at Manson’s Hall, to  discuss possibilities. Howie Roman attended and, six months after the station was launched, became a DJ. He still is. “My prime interest in Cortes radio is [that] I really enjoy having a show.”  Howie served on CKTZ’s board for five years, the maximum amount allowed by the society’s constitution, and now is the station’s manager. In this morning’s interview, I ask Howie about the process of becoming Cortes Community Radio, CKTZ 89.5 FM.   Becoming Cortes Community Radio “This is my story. It’s not Sean’s story, it’s not Amber’s story; it would not have been Vicki’s story and not John Jordan’s story - people who were really there at the very beginning and are still part of Cortes Radio,” he explained. Then he proceeded to describe incidents from CKTZ’s past. The station’s first antennae was up a tree. After it was destroyed in a storm, they used a 30 foot analog TV tower. One of Howie’s “coolest, craziest days” was when he and about twenty others raised the current 85 foot radio tower at Thunder Road. “Those are the days I live here for. The days when a group of us get something big done,” he says. (Listen to the full story in the podcast above) Two weeks later the board received letters stating that if they did not apply for a license, the society was liable for a $20,000 fine and each director was personally liable for $5,000, and could...

CKTZ’s Rendez-vous de la Francophonie Programs

In addition to our regular Francophonie broadcast, Cortes Community Radio is one of the 22 National Campus and Community Radio Association (NCRA) stations that produced 30 minute programs during 2017. Our first show (podcast below) was broadcast last April. The second of CKTZ’s Rendez-vous de la Francophonie programs will be aired Wednesday, Nov 29, at 9:30-10:00 AM. CKTZ’s Rendez-vous de la Francophonie Programs Last April, Danielle Arcand introduced listeners to six Francophones and Francophiles living on Cortes Island and Campbell River. They explained the circumstances that motivated them to come live on the west coast, relating struggles and successes they have had in trying to maintain French in their daily lives and featuring a musical «coup de coeur», a song chosen by each participant. At the time of the broadcast, Danielle was a retired teacher and educator living on Cortes Island. “After a fulfilling career spent in French language education, including more than ten years as Associate director of the Office of Francophone and Francophile Affairs at Simon Fraser University, she is still active in her retirement, volunteering as Board secretary for the national organization French for the Future and as member of the Board of directors for «Maison de la Fancophonie» in Vancouver. Danielle is keen to raise awareness about the social, historical, artistic and economical contributions made by Francophones in communities in BC and across Canada,” she explained. “Although the show’s narrative is in English, the interview material quoted is in French. The narrative sums up roughly in English what is said in French so unilingual Anglophone listeners will be able to follow.” Le Mariage Anglais Danielle Arcand returned to Quebec. When Cortes...

Local Programs

According to article 2 of Cortes Community Radio’s constitution, this society was founded to offer local programs: (a) to offer the general public intelligent, innovative , entertaining and alternative programming (b) to provide local, minority and Canadian actors and musicians a broadcast platform on alternative, non-commercial community radio (c) to communicate the concerns, interests, and activities of the Northern Gulf Islands to the public (d) to give groups from the community an opportunity to communicate with the general public (e) to give individuals of all ages and backgrounds an opportunity to develop and use their creative talents on the radio (f) to provide an educational opportunity for community members to acquire skills in the broadcasting area (g) to establish an ongoing community radio station that can broadcast important information to the community in cooperation with emergency services Local Programs Our original content is what sets us apart from every other radio station that you find on the web, whether it consists of: The compilations of local DJs, who bring their audiences: Folk, Country, Bluegrass, Acoustic, New York soul, rock’n’roll, Fado, Pop, Blues, Dance, Samba, Jazz, Reggae, Hip-Hop, Folk, Bossa Nova, MPB, Forro, Choro, Frevo, Batucada, Maracatu, Morna, Semba, Marrabenta, etc. Live talk shows like Free Range Radio. The ECOreport, an environmental news program from Cortes Island that asks What works? What doesn’t? And what can we do about it?. The motorcycle travel show Adventure Rider Radio, from Quadra Island. Special productions like Vintage Vigniettes about a Cortes Island from decades past - a joint initiative of CKTZ and the Cortes Island Museum. The Deep Roots Initiative - local and...