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CVUE has a new home

Community radio is alive and well and endeavouring to mould high school students into broadcasters, thanks to a partnership between the Sunshine Coast Radio Society, School District No. 46 (SD46) and the Sunshine Coast Lions Club.

Community radio is alive and well and endeavouring to mould high school students into broadcasters, thanks to a partnership between the Sunshine Coast Radio Society, School District No. 46 (SD46) and the Sunshine Coast Lions Club.The radio society, which operates CVUE-FM, was facing a tough time last spring, finding it difficult to pay rent for their broadcasting space in Trail Bay Centre.

"The folks at Trail Bay Centre have been really good to us, giving us a break on rent, etc. But there are a lot of expenses to running community radio we were starting to sink a bit with the overhead we had to pay," said Fred Bradley, general manager of CVUE.

The radio society went on the air with CVUE in 2000, reaching listeners through the Coast Cable system at 105.9 FM and later through live webcasts at They provided background music for the Coast Cable community channel and offered a variety of programming featuring local talent and news of interest to the Sunshine Coast.

To meet ongoing expenses, the society came up with the idea of perhaps moving their operation into Chatelech Secondary School to offer a broadcasting course.

"We had a student who was interested in radio broadcasting as a career and he worked with us for quite a while. We sent him a letter to BCIT [British Columbia Institute of Technology] to go through their broadcasting program and he was accepted. Then we saw him on Global TV doing some on-air work for them we realized we could help train students in broadcasting and create a course that is transferable to BCIT. We approached SD46 with the idea and they embraced it," Bradley said.Kerry Mahlman, district principal of partnerships, said the school district was excited about the opportunity, but funding the renovations needed for the move proved to be a problem.

"There was definitely a neat potential there but the problem was our whole capital planning process. In that process we need to be planning for things five years ahead of time we explored putting it on our capital plan to take place in five years but that wait time seemed really tough for all of us. That would mean a whole generation of students wouldn't have the opportunity to train in broadcasting," Mahlman said.

The cost for renovations to a room in the basement of Chatelech Secondary School to house the station was estimated at about $12,000.

That's where the Lions Club came into the picture.

The radio society and Mahlman made a presentation to the Lions Club last April.

"One of the things the Lions Club wants is to always support the youth in our community. This seemed like a really interesting way to do that," former Lions Club president Norm Blair said.

Blair had some college experience in radio and urged the club to support a motion to fund the renovations.

"There was quite a bit of debate because it was a substantial amount of money and at the same time we had made an obligation to the Back the CAT campaign for just over $11,000," Blair said.

But in the end the club decided to fund the renovations over a two-year period, giving them an opportunity to raise the funds incrementally.

The agreement was signed and CVUE moved into their new home at Chatelech late last year.

Now work on training interested teachers in broadcasting has begun and SD46 hopes to have a program to offer Chat students next September. Mahlman says their goal is to develop that course in conjunction with BCIT, which has expressed interest in the idea.

And the Lions Club is set to start their fundraising to pay for the renovations already completed at Chat for the radio station.Sometime in April they plan to start airing their own talk shows on things like gardening, Coast lifestyles and creative healthy cooking. They are looking for businesses to sponsor those shows as a fundraising effort.

"We are putting promotion packages together now for businesses to buy into, and we are open to ideas for programs as well," Blair said. If you would like to sponsor a show or have show ideas to share, you can contact the Lions Club by emailing Jim Brooks at [email protected].

All partners are extremely excited about the future of CVUE and the learning possibilities for Chatelech students.

"We couldn't have possibly partnered with a better group of people on the Sunshine Coast to achieve these things," Bradley noted.

For more information about CVUE, see their website at or call 604-885-0800. The radio society is always looking for more members to support their efforts and they welcome anyone with an interest in radio.