Posted by Colin Heggie on Nov 24, 2020
We’re back to Zoom meetings!  Dave Weatherill hosted Gord Leighton & Vicki Proulx, from the Vernon Community Radio Society.  Gord is a 50-year veteran of commercial radio & leads the Society; Vicki is a Board member, & Executive Director of our Vernon Winter Carnival.  In July 2018, Kal Rotary provided $8,000 in seed money to finance the Society’s bid for regulatory approval.  Just a few weeks ago, the CRTC granted approval to operate 97.9 Valley FM, serving +/-60,000 people in the Vernon area, from a transmitter located on Vernon Hill.  A small paid staff is anticipated, with most work performed by a variety of volunteers.  Initially, about $220,000 is required to build the station.  The funding model calls for modest government grants, public fund-raising, & a small revenue stream from advertisements.  Fund-raising will begin in early 2021.  The planned format is 20% “spoken word,” plus a variety of music genres dominated by pop/rock, including about 40% Canadian content.  July 1st, 2021 would be an ideal starting date, but between now & then, a lot of people have to be engaged in the build.  About 1,500 square feet of office space within Vernon’s downtown must be found.  Community radio is intended to be more creative & spontaneous than commercial radio, offering a platform for a variety of respectfully delivered opinions.  Gord, being familiar with Rotary, holds the 4-Way Test as a guide to Valley FM’s operations, with the addition of having fun to the mix.