Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin Vancouver Island University student Ogaga Akpomiemie, left, and Rebel Music International host Simon Schachnerbroadcast from CHLY headquarters under the Queen’s Hotel. This month marks the 16th anniversary of the station’s first terrestrial broadcast.

CHLY looks to amp up the volume

VIU’s community radio station is now debt-free and has ambitious plans for the future

It’s been 16 years since Vancouver Island University’s volunteer-run community radio station first broadcast on the FM dial, and like any other teenager, CHLY 101.7 is moving past its turbulent adolescence and toward a place of confidence and maturity.

When CHLY board president Jesse Woodward joined the station’s executive four years ago, he said “the station was in a bit of a crisis.” CHLY was facing debt and dysfunction, resulting in soured relations with VIU and the students’ union.

“Whether an organization succeeds or it sinks, it fails, is really dependent up on the people who were there,” said Sandeep Chauhan, a CHLY programmer and executive member who has been involved with the station since April 2000, joining two weeks after its first online broadcast.

“One of the things that has helped is when we’ve been in those moments of crisis, people have come and stepped up and said, “Look, you know what? I care about this place, I care about what it offers and I want to see it keep going.”

Woodward said the station’s debt has since been repaid and its internal drama resolved. In the next two to three years he envisions the station returning to the VIU campus from its current location in the basement of the Queen’s Hotel.

With its books balanced, he hopes to eventually afford to hire paid staff to help supplement its volunteer workforce, upgrade equipment and acquire remote equipment to allow for broadcasts outside of the studio. Woodward hopes to take a step in that direction by adding between $15,000 and $20,000 to CHLY coffers as a result of its upcoming fall fundraiser, which begins after Thanksgiving.

Woodward and Chauhan credit the station’s longevity to its dedicated supporters and volunteers. While Chauhan concedes that CHLY was “chaotic back in the day,” those involved with the station are now “developing more towards a co-operative movement.”

“It’s a platform for people who are passionate about something to share and build community around that and that’s what keeps us going,” said Simon Schachner, a 12-year volunteer and the host of the reggae program Rebel Music International.

“It’s cool to be a cultural contributor and a cultural promoter and Nanaimo’s kind of a place that’s always trying to prove itself, to a degree. Being between Victoria and Vancouver, it’s sort of the junior player in the arts and has its moments of glory but it takes some real champions of culture to make it happen and CHLY is something that’s consistent.”



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

VIU, City of Nanaimo collaborating on geese management

City staff have not discussed cull with council

Canada C3 celebrates Canada 150, raises subject of reconciliation

Research icebreaker, travelling the country’s oceans as part of 150 celebrations, docks in Nanaimo

Kellers Jewellers in Lantzville suffers damage in break-in

Incident happened around 5:30 a.m. Oct. 21, says Nanaimo RCMP

Petroleum spill temporarily closes crab fishing dock

Dock closed for public safety after oily sheen forms on water off Maffeo Sutton Park

Mobility scooter stolen during medical emergency

The theft occurred Oct. 9 along Nicol Street

V.I. Raiders win B.C. football championship

Nanaimo’s junior team defeated the Westshore Rebels 21-7 Saturday on a rainy night in Victoria

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

Jewelry store smashed up with crowbar, silver and gold stolen

Owner of Kellers Jewellers said the most expensive items were locked away in a safe

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

Designs revealed for downtown conference centre hotel

A development permit application for the Courtyard by Marriott hotel has been submitted

Beefs & Bouquets, Oct. 19

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

VIDEO: Nanaimo school district expands testing for lead in the water

Annual facilities grant money totalling $110,000 allocated for testing, anticipated to begin Nov. 6

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Most Read