It was billed an an AGM like none other. Close to two hundred people attended at least one of the three events, a significant turnout on a rural island like Cortes. Some went to the thank-you party/potluck for volunteers on May 26, in Whaletown. The biggest crowd gathered in the Klahoose Multipurpose Building in Squirrel Cove, for the official launch of Deep Root’s second season. The grand finale was Cortes Radio’s 2018 AGM on June 3 at Manson’s Hall.
Cortes Radio’s 2018 AGM
This was the first time a Cortes Radio AGM was preceded by other radio events.
It is also the first time there was live entertainment. In Whaletown they watched a video of the recent cabaret. The first two new Deep Roots programs were aired in Squirrel Cove. Cortes Island’s own Improv troop, the Laughing Mussels, performed at the AGM. Also, CKTZ’s Secretary Rochelle Baker, who acted as the MC, sent Howie out to give everyone kisses (the chocolate kind).
Looking back over the past 13 years, Howie says “Overall I feel like this (2017/18) was our smoothest running year yet.”
To which CKTZ’s Treasurer, Julia Rendall, adds, “Working with this board has been a breeze. We communicate well and have been respectful of each others sometimes varying opinions.”
The 2017/18 Board - Rochelle Baker (now Vice President), Barry Glickman (Emergency Communications) , Roy L Hales (President), Julia Rendall (Treasurer), and Leonard Woywitka (Member at Large) - was returned. In addition, Paul Fournier (now Secretary) was nominated from the floor and will join them for 2018/19..
The most spectacular achievement of this term was a memorandum of understanding with the Strathcona Regional District. CKTZ declared its willingness to act as a channel for emergency communications. Consequently, one of the first packet VHF communication systems in the district was installed at the station. Barry and Amanda Glickman, who spearheaded these developments, will soon be teaching Cortes Islanders how to use this system.
“Cortes Radio took its first steps towards becoming an emergency resource in 2016/17. We failed miserably - announcing our independence [of the grid] just prior to a snowstorm that took us off the air for four days,” explains CKTZ President Roy L Hales.
“Since then, we’ve seen that under certain circumstances we can broadcast up to 14 hours after the grid goes down. We have taken the first steps towards moving our tower to a new location, where we may be able to continue broadcasting even if the internet and grid go down.”
Cortes Radio took a lead in informing the public about the recent Read Island fire, with a series of daily interviews with BC Wildfires.
“If you google ‘Read Island fire,’ Cortes Radio comes up first on the list. Thank you Roy and Sean for making that happen,” says Howie.
This is the first year CKTZ has been able to the required quota of locally produced content. The station achieved this for the first time last January, by broadcasting most of their local shows twice during the week. As a result the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) found CKTZ to be in “apparent compliance” with its license, which should soon be renewed for another seven years.
“We would not have anything to put on the airwaves if it were not for the efforts of more than two dozen volunteer DJs and producers. Phil Allen, DJ Artemisia, Rochelle Baker, Bobbi, Victor van Buskirk, Doug Butt, Clio, Nat King Cono, DJ Liquid Crystal, Sean, Driven, Doug Hamel, Ken Hanuse, Howie, DJ Johnnie, Jonsey, DJ Josee, Paul the K, Hurricane Rena, Psychedelic Sam, George Sirk, Susana Vijaya, Andy Vine, and I are responsible for between 3,500 and 4,000 hours of local programming that CKTZ broadcast this year,” says Hales.
He added, “Roughly six hours of CKTZ’s original material originates with our projects committee, but it also is some of the very best of our spoken word content, the Deep Roots Initiative and Vintage Vignettes. If CKTZ was handing out Academy Awards, most of them would probably go there. In edition to their expertise, these initiatives forged partnership relationships with the Cortes Museum and Klahoose First Nation which are continuing to go forward.”
“Deep Roots initiative wouldn’t be possible without Jacqueline Mathieu and her coordination work with Klahoose community members. Big thank you to her! She has natural collaboration skills and always is thinking of her community and how to do what is best, and how to do it right,” said Odette Auger, the project’s Fundraising & Volunteer Coordinator.
“Last night at the launch party, over 150 people showed up to LISTEN TO NEW STORIES! This is amazing to me, and feels like confirmation we are doing something truly unique and necessary for our time… bridging communities, strengthening connections and becoming genuine allies.”
Lip Syncs, Cabaret & Merchandise
“The Lip Syncs and cabarets bring in about half of our rock bottom operating expenses. We owe a deep debt to Rick Brockner for all the years of MC’ing he has done. Now George SIrk has joined him, doubling the fun. Over the past five decades on Cortes I have watched a few different theatre groups come and go, The fact our Lip Syncs and now cabarets have continued to pack the house for 10 years is quite an achievement. There will be a summer Lip Sync on August 25th,” says Howie.
“Merchandise sales haven’t been as strong this year as last. We will have a couple of new items this summer as well as both types of solar lanterns. The new items are CKTZ baseball caps and stainless steel water bottles. My brother David is working on a new T-shirt. I don’t expect to have it until late fall.”
To which Rendall adds, “Thanks to these events, the steady memberships and generous donations we have kept a healthy bank account, and managed to grow by purchasing much needed equipment. Purchase of equipment is always a priority. and this year looks like being even better.”
CKTZ just purchased Telos’ call in system, and will soon offer DJs and talk shows the ability to receive phone calls on the air.
Areas Of Concern
However Howie pointed to some areas of concern, “Our frequent slowness in getting things done is a real hindrance. I have very deep concerns about how much the radio depends on so few of us. I think with things like our emergency response work and ties to Klahoose though Deep Roots, we have proven the value and importance of Cotres Radio, but to continue far into the future more people will have to step and and become board members, or volunteer to take some of the weight off Sean and I.”
Between 5,000 and 6,000 people are believed to listen to CKTZ either through FM radio or over the internet. They are in Cortes, Quadra and the surrounding islands, Campbell River, the Northern parts of Comox and Powell River. According to the Google Analytics program on the station’s website, around 12% of its web listeners are from Vancouver and more than a quarter are from other nations. The largest segment is 17% from the United States.
Top Photo Credit: Three of the Laughing Mussels performing at CKTZ’s AGM - Rochelle Baker photo