Squamish FM secures SOCAN licence 

New Internet radio station looking to expand programming

They've had a few months to navigate the ins and outs of the radio industry, but armed with a Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) licence, Squamish FM is now able to legally broadcast its home-grown, Sea to Sky content across the Internet.

"We have the licence we need to be an Internet radio station, we have the program we need to support streaming radio and we have a couple radio hosts with us to create local content and we're right now trying to get a few more things we need," said Andrew Koole, assistant coordinator for Squamish FM. "A program manager for the station - so we're looking for a leader - and we're looking for more content."

Due to organizational delays, Koole said the initial interest from potential hosts and DJs waned while the station worked out the kinks, but they are open to programming suggestions and playlists from anyone willing to contribute weekly content. Their goal is to secure 15 hours of programming per week. Once they have that, the sky's the limit.

"The SOCAN licence was pretty easy to get because once we established that we were going to establish a community radio station and not a commercial thing, then it became a simple process," said Koole. "The difficult process is getting into FM radio, the CRTC (Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Commission) licence.

"Once we have a regular streaming station then that's something we can move forward on because we'll have a schedule that we can plug into an FM station, but at this point I don't think it's wise for us to start a CRTC licence application, simply because we don't have a lot to show for it."

Although a CRTC licence isn't expensive, establishing numerous radio towers throughout the mountainous Sea to Sky corridor is, so for the time being Squamish FM organizers are satisfied to stick with Internet broadcasting.

Squamish Community Radio is a project of the Hotspot Community Resource Centre, a non-profit organization that works to improve access to technology, learning and information to improve community engagement. To listen or pitch a program idea (no experience necessary, training is provided) go to http://squamish.fm/ or email info@squamish.fm.



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