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National “Reclaim Your Radio” Event Stresses Importance of Community Radio in Canada

Canada Celebrates Community Radio (Photo: J. Waits)

Canada Celebrates Community Radio (Photo: J. Waits)

On Monday, November 14, 22 non-commercial radio stations in Canada took part in a day of action and celebration dubbed “Reclaim Your Radio.”

Organized by the National Campus and Community Radio Association (NCRA), the day-long radio event was designed to bring awareness to the importance of campus and community radio. A special 8-hour broadcast (an archive of the entire broadcast is available here) aired on 22 stations all across Canada and the entire day served as a kick-off for a campaign geared towards establishing policy changes in Canada in order to preserve community radio.

NCRA, a “not-for-profit group of organizations and individuals committed to volunteer-driven, non-profit, community-oriented radio across Canada” explained the purpose of Reclaim Your Radio on their website:

“The airwaves are public. But because of limited spectrum, sometimes communities that want to start their own local non-profit stations find there’s no room for their voices. Over the coming year we will be asking the government and individual MPS to help reserve at least one frequency for campus and community radio stations in every community across Canada.”

NCRA’s statement goes on to point out the plight of campus-community station CKLN in Toronto, which had its license revoked by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in January 2011. According to NCRA, “The station had had problems with regulatory compliance, but also had a long and strong history of community involvement and amazing programming. Now that CKLN has stopped broadcasting, it is the only frequency available in greater Toronto.”

NCRA’s hope is that CKLN’s replacement in Toronto will also be a non-profit, community radio station and through Reclaim Your Radio, they wanted to spread the word about the future of the CKLN frequency. The archive of the live broadcast is full of not only testimonials about the importance of community radio in Canada, but also contains more background on the situation at CKLN.

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