CIVL Radio, based at the Abbotsford campus of University of the Fraser Valley, has been approved to operate a transmitter in Chilliwack. (Facebook photo)

CIVL-FM campus radio station in Abbotsford expands to Chilliwack

Station based at University of the Fraser Valley receives approval to operate new transmitter

The radio station based out of University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford has become the first such station in Canada to be approved to to broadcast on multiple frequencies in multiple municipalities.

The decision made Thursday by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) amends the broadcasting licence for CIVL radio in order to operate a transmitter in Chilliwack.

The station will broadcast on 92.3 FM in Chilliwack, allowing it to reach UFV students and staff in Chilliwack, as well as the surrounding community.

CIVL was originally approved in 2006 to broadcast on 88.5 FM from McKee Peak in Abbotsford. It has been serving FM on 101.7 in Abbotsford since September 2010 – when on-air testing began – and at its full power of 520 watts since February 2012.

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An initiative began in 2013 – with a fundraising drive supported by the Community Radio Fund of Canada – to expand its reach.

CIVL station manager Aaron Levy said many Canadian commercial broadcasters serve multiple communities through repeater towers, and there are even some community radio stations – such as Kootenay Co-op’s CJLY based in Nelson – that use three different signals.

But he said this week’s decision by the CRTC is the first time a campus radio station will expand in such a way.

“It’s been a surreal project to work on over the last decade – the idea that campus radio, a niche endeavour by design, can grow and build to the point of expanding our signal to include brand new communities after a decade,” Levy said.

“It’s a testament to the essential nature of community building and arts engagement, specifically in our more rural and growing regions.”

Next year, CIVL expects to be approved for its second licence-renewal term since implementation.

Levy said that although no firm date has been set for the first 92.3 FM broadcast by CIVL, the CRTC has set a customary two-year window, requiring implementation to take place before May 16, 2021.

Read the full CRTC decision here.

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