To discuss that and other issues, there's going to be a community leadership meeting about the proposed Vancouver Urban Aboriginal Radio Station. Vancouver community leaders are invited to a meeting to be held at the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre at 10:30 AM on Tuesday, August 27, 2002.
In the Fall of 2000, the Vancouver Aboriginal community came together to demonstrate tremendous support for an application to license an urban Aboriginal radio station in Vancouver. The proposal was by the non-profit group Aboriginal Voices Radio AVR to the Federal Government's radio regulatory agency, the CRTC.
In June 2001, the CRTC approved the license application, but declined to allow AVR to use 90.9 FM, the frequency they had requested. That frequency was subsequently awarded to the CBC. AVR found itself with a license to broadcast to the community, but no approved frequency to use, and an FM band in the Vancouver area that was totally congested - including signals from many US stations. After months of further research, AVR could only find one creative way to reach the community - use 92.3 FM in Vancouver as well as 850 AM in Abbotsford. AVR has re-applied to the CRTC to use 92.3 FM/850 AM, but is facing serious opposition from two of the largest radio organizations in Canada - the CBC and Rogers Broadcasting. Both have rejected AVR's proposal, claiming that their existing radio services will be hurt by the new station.
Right now they are lobbying hard to force the CRTC to approve AVR only for a much smaller coverage area - about 50 per cent of the Vancouver area. The CRTC will make their decision in the next 30-90 days.
AVR's Gary Farmer said "If CBC and Rogers are successful, many in the community will be unable to listen to the new station, and the community will effectively be divided. The Vancouver Aboriginal community needs a radio station that can serve the entire urban community. The community spoke in favour of the application for a Vancouver Aboriginal radio station in 2000, and now the community must speak again, or ... we all lose."
Urban Aboriginal Radio
Long overdue for the Calgary Market
Compelling need and support for Aboriginal Voices Radio
AVR team appears at CRTC hearings in Calgary
with plenty of community and corporate support
The CRTC Hearings
Aboriginal Voices Radio presentation to the CRTC in Calgary
- Click here to read The Transcript
Aboriginal Voices Radio went before the CRTC hearings in Calgary where Gary Farmer and the AVR team laid out their plans to commissioners, including a repeater licence for Calgary to add to the network AVR is building across the country.
BACKGROUND - The Toronto licence was approved this past summer. The application for a Network licence was a non-appearing item at the Calgary hearings. Without that licence approval there is no network. Without approval of Calgary and Vancouver, there is no network. Without approval of AVR's partner's licence applications NewCap in Calgary and Vancouver, the network lacks funding to make a serious attempt to get off the ground and into the Canadian airwaves. But as the AVR team and supporters have said over and over - the time has arrived for an Aboriginal Voices Radio Network in Canada. The need is clear and so is the support - from the Urban Aboriginal Community and AVR's corporate partners Newfoundland Capital Corporation.
AVR's confidence also flows from Canada's own Broadcast Act and its committment to Native radio and the Canadian Government's own Aboriginal policy Gathering Strength that clearly highlights better communications and corporate partnerships to provide Aboriginal people with solutions to address today's many challenges as clearly illustrated in the Royal Commission report and its recommendations to the government in Ottawa. ( Now that's a mouthful....and obviously the aforementioned has not been written in radio style.)
Richard Agecoutay, Aboriginal Arts Program, the Banff Centre for the Arts.
Click on the photo to read his words to the CRTC
Evan Adams - Actor and Medical Student and AVR Supporter
Support is very strong and is growing stronger in favour of the distribution of new broadcast programming to link Aboriginal people by radio across the country.
The only opposition in Alberta was Bert Crowfoot of AMMSA who, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, claimed there's no need now for a network or other new local service for Aboriginal people in Calgary. But supporters of AVR from the urban Aboriginal community said that in fact they welcome Aboriginal Voices Radio because the local community is not serviced by Crowfoot's own radio operations and they think new radio programming is long overdue in Calgary with its estimated forty thousand or more Aboriginal people.
Crowfoot conceded in the end that he wasn't against AVR's plan but not right now and besides he and the established groups have plans themselves. But he kept saying he would provide programming to urban Aboriginals but "down the road", and that they were not his target audience right now.
Later this month the application for a Vancouver licence will be heard at the CRTC hearings in Burnaby starting November 20th.
Click here for Aboriginal Voices Radio final comments to the Commissioners at CRTC hearings in Calgary.
November 1, 2000
Community support grows for an Aboriginal Voices Radio Network...and support for the licence application in Calgary at the CRTC hearings
Nakoda broadcaster Margaret Rider with Gary Farmer
and Actor/Medical student Evan Adams
Both strongly support the application to bring more and better Aboriginal broadcasting to the urban Aboriginal community in Calgary and across Canada
Click here or on the photo above to read Evan Adam's presentation to the CRTC on behalf of Aboriginal Voices Radio.
Aboriginal Voices Radio application at CRTC Hearings in Calgary
Click here to read the Aboriginal Voices Radio presentation
Margaret Rider, Gary Farmer, Marilyn Buffalo, Bob Kennedy
Tom Horvath, Michelle Thrush, Mark McLeod, Redmond Littlechief, Joshua Fraser
Prior to their presentation before the Commission at Calgary's Telus Centre, members of the AVR team gathered for a spiritual ceremony with Nakoda elder Rod Hunter Senior. Below with AVR's Gary Farmer.
It's a partnership - sharing cultural support
NewCap's CEO Bob Templeton, VP John Steele, Executive staffer Linda Emerson participate in sweetgrass smudging ceremony prior to CRTC hearings in Calgary
NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: "Most Aboriginal businesses serve only the local Aboriginal community. To create jobs and increase incomes, Aboriginal businesses need assistance to expand into regional, national and international markets. This will require the partnership of the federal government, private sector, the provinces and the voluntary sector."...Gathering Strength
The Aboriginal Voices/NewCap Broadcasting partnership is a first for Canada. The licensing of radio in this country demands that benefits be put into the community. Usually non-Aboriginal broadcasters put their money into the CRTC's process of Canadian Talent Development. But NewCap is doing both --- providing funds to CTD as well as Aboriginal Voices Radio. Corporate arrangements like this are encouraged by the Canadian Government's Aboriginal policy known as Gathering Strength - Canada's Aboriginal Action Plan. It recognizes that unique and creative ventures like this are necessary if Aboriginal Canadians are to be successful in finding solutions to their many community challenges - especially in the urban centres where the majority of Aboriginal people now live.
CRTC - NATIVE BROADCASTING POLICY
September 30th, 2000
Reality Radio - Urban Aboriginal-style!
CRTC hearings will consider Aboriginal Voices Radio
Actor, publisher champions a National Network
by Tehaliwaskenhas - Bob Kennedy, Oneida
Surprisingly, there hasn't been a lot of fanfare, but sometimes good works can get done quietly too. Not for long.
May I be among the first to welcome you to the new era of Aboriginal media and communications in Canada. Silent sounds of success are soon to be replaced by bold new 'breaking-out-of-the-box' broadcasting. Aboriginal voices are about to be heard in a big way in Canada.
Actor, publisher Gary Farmer who for years has helped us 'find our voice' through his magazine Aboriginal Voices, and such movies as Smoke Signals, has launched another great venture. This time he's championing a project to improve the radio waves. He's also challenging us to help bring this dream to life through our letters of support. [Read on to find out how you may be able to help]
In June, the CRTC approved a licence application for an Aboriginal radio station - FM 106.5 in Toronto. But how does that broadcasting breakthrough help me, you ask? ... I live in Calgary .... I live in Vancouver. That's okay, because the CRTC is holding hearings this month in Calgary and then in Vancouver in November.
Gary Farmer's Aboriginal Voices Radio proposal includes applications for repeater stations in those cities --- but that's just for starters. Provided the financing comes together, the game plan is to expand into other markets, including Victoria, Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, London, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City and Halifax.
Aboriginal Voices Radio (AVR) will offer a very diversified programming schedule. You will hear a variety of music, open line programs, round table discussions, spirituality and teachings, language and cultural lessons, as well as news from an aboriginal perspective.
Reality radio, Aboriginal-style! Urban Aboriginals have a noticeably different lifestyle than their 'Rez' cousins. Bringing the two together through voices and sounds will be one of the delightful pleasures promised by Aboriginal Voices Radio. We'll be sharing our stories like never before, and believe me, once they hear about it, the non-Aboriginal world will be tuning in to find out what all the big fuss is about.
Just like the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network - APTN, I believe a national radio network will provide Aboriginal individuals and organizations with empowerment and help to improve our own communications and relations with each other --- and also the non-Aboriginal people, organizations, governments and corporations we interact with on a daily basis.
Speaking of corporations ( that's a nice segue, as radio folks call it) ... in the first broadcast venture of its kind in Canada, the Newfoundland Capital Corporation through NewCap Broadcasting is partnering with Aboriginal Voices Radio to provide funding to ensure the success of AVR. After all, it costs big bucks for broadcasting. Here's how the Newcap/AVR deal works.
The CRTC requires broadcasters who win licences to provide funds to the local communities where they broadcast, through talent development for example. Usually the funds flow to non-Aboriginals. However, this time by taking a unique approach, NewCap proposes to flow funds - millions of dollars, to the operations of the Aboriginal Voices Radio Network. For it to work, Newcap needs the CRTC's approval for its licence applications before the funds can actually flow to AVR.
AVR is committed to fund raising as well, but for now, if you meet Gary Farmer he's more likely to ask for your signature and support rather than dollar bills.
Will we win the licence applications? We should, and here's some background information to suggest why we should have a national Aboriginal Voices Radio Network in Canada.
The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples recommended
"The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission include in licence conditions for public and commercial broadcasters, in regions with significant Aboriginal population concentrations, requirements for fair representation and distribution of Aboriginal programming, including Aboriginal language requirements."
"Building public awareness and understanding should become an integral and continuing part of every endeavour and every initiative in which Aboriginal people, their organizations and governments are involved and in which non-Aboriginal governments and stakeholders have a part."
The Canadian Broadcast Act
states that radio must reflect in it's programming and employment opportunities the "special place of aboriginal peoples".
CRTC web site at www.crtc.gc.ca click on the CRTC.Please Send Your Cheque or Money Order
Vancouver Radio Licence Applications - CRTC Hearings
For More Information on the Vancouver(Burnaby) Hearings - Click HERE
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