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...
Phil’s Pick n Mix

Phil’s Pick n Mix

Originally Published on the ECOreport Phil Allen became a DJ back in the years that Cortes Community radio was a pirate station. He likes to find new music and share it with others. Phil jokes that his show is the one man and his dog show. It can feel very lonely, being in the DJ booth by himself speaking into a microphone. You don’t know if anyone is actually listening until someone comments about your show. So why does he do it? What is the Story Behind Phil’s Pick ’n Mix? The Story Behind Phil’s Pick n Mix As you can tell from his accent, Phil comes from England. His father still lives in Oakley village. “That is where I go back, when I go back, but as soon as I hit adulthood I did a lot of travelling. I spent a year at college in Plymouth. I went back to Bedfordshire for a short time, realized I could not live with my parents anymore. I was in my twenties. So I moved down to London and squatted there for three years, living in empty council places,” he said. Phil explained, “You can’t be caught for breaking and entering if you are just living there. You aren’t doing anything illegal. I didn’t consider it bad because I wasn’t taking anyone’s place. All the places we were living in were considered unfit for human habitation. They had no heating or … the council couldn’t rent them out, so we just moved in instead.” Most of the building was occupied and, as Phil lived on the 19th floor, his unit benefitted...

The Homegrown Show

  The Homegrown show has been playing on Cortes Radio since 2012. It features local and Canadian music, especially artists from the west coast. The genres are open, but it tends to feature folk music, country, rock and blues, particularly with a west coast theme, or subjects that celebrate our lives on the BC coast. However, I like to play a few songs from Atlantic Canada as well in each show. The Homegrown Show I try to include a humorous or novelty song each show as well. These can be from anywhere. Spoken word also gets played on the show, and I would welcome more recorded poetry to include, as well as short stories, taking a bit of a literary direction as well as the music. The well respected works of Stewart MacLean and Wade Davis are two examples of Canadian literary work that I would like to include more of, as well as local radio plays. It would be awesome to revive the lost art of the radio play on the Homegrown show and showcase local creativity. Some of the music played on the Homegrown show is available online through CD baby, a platform for independent artists to distribute their works. A lot of the music is aquired at live shows hosted by our sponsoring establishment, Kameleon Food and drink. A lot of it is not available online, and is the one time only collected works of local artists who may have published one album and not found their way into distribution. Hurricane Rena here on the Homegrown Show makes sure their music will be part of our...

Andy Vine

Originally Published on the ECOreport His best known song is probably Woman of Labrador, released in 2005. His musical roots go back to the UK’s 1960s folk revival. CKTZ listeners know him as the host of the Folk Club, every Wednesday at 10:00 AM. I recently interviewed Andy Vine about folk music, his trip to Ireland and much more. Andy Vine’s Pilgrimage Andy was born in Swansea, in the south of Wales, but spent most of his formative years in a suburb of Liverpool. His decades long connection with Ireland began with music. By 1963, Andy was in a folk group. They “decided to do a little pilgrimage to Ireland to find out more about the music they were singing.” “I just loved the culture and the people. They were so friendly and they love music so much. So when I went back to England I told my brother all about this and he was looking for a place to study for his masters degree in marine zoölogy … So he looked up Galway University, where they had a program he interested in, and got accepted at Galway University. While he was there he met his future wife,” says Andy. He added, “They live in her home town, … Clifden, which is where I [just] went and where the art’s festival [he performed in] was. So many years later that connection that I first started through my love of folk music … still lives on.” Steele’s Tavern On Yonge Street Steele’s Tavern on Yonge Street – Photographer: Harvey Naylor ca. 1975 City of Toronto Archives Fonds 1526, File 3, Item 26 via Flickr (CC BY SA,...