Erin Community Radio

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David Spencer's Ontario Communities portal of of David Spencer's Education Paragon provides information on the community history, natural history and significant people of a few communities based in Ontario, Canada.

The following categories will connect you to some background for the community of Erin,Ontario,Canada.


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What is Erin Community Radio

Erin Community Radio is a FM community radio serving the town of Erin,Ontario,Canada.

The station has aired on 101.5 FM and currently broadcasts on 88.1 FM. The station has rebranded numerous times including:

Erin Community Radio is a member of the Community Radio Fund of Canada Inc. and the National Campus and Community Radio Association.

History of Erin Community Radio

On January 24, 2003, Pastor Jake Birch of Erin Village Alliance Church sent an e-mail message to David Spencer requesting some advice on starting a low power radio station in Erin. David considered what he had learned about radio from his work with developing the ChristianRadio.ca Station Directory. He responded via e-mail providing information about the CRTC and Industry Canada expectations in this message.

Ontario and western New York experienced a total blackout emergency on August 14, 2003. CBC Radio One (99.1 FM in Erin) began broadcasting a live phone in show during the blackout. Callers from across Ontario phoned in to share their experiences of coping during the blackout. David Spencer was listening and also phoned in to share his experience walking through downtown Erin where convenience stores were giving away ice cream from freezers that lacked electricity. The next day, David phoned Erin Mayor Rod Finnie to mention that emergency preparedness officials could easily communicate with residents in the future if Erin had a low power FM radio station. Mayor Finnie expressed great interest in the idea and promised to mention low power FM radio at a future Town Council Meeting.

David Spencer began gathering research within the communities of Erin, Acton, Brisbane, Hillsburgh and Orton. A basic survey was conducted by phone and e-mail of residents, students, business owners and visitors. Information was gathered about radio programming interests, listening habits, potential for financial support and radio broadcasting licence application requirements of the CRTC and Industry Canada. David created the name "Erin Community Radio" and organized community meetings for those interested in the vision of establishing a community radio station with an emergency preparedness plan of action. Guest speakers were brought in and many individuals and community stakeholders were invited to the gatherings which were held on a monthly basis. David Spencer posted his research findings on this web site, on our "ErinRadioNews" Listserv.

During Phase Two, the group hired Barry Reuger a community radio consultant from Community-Media.com to share his suggestions for setting up a community low power FM radio station. We are now forming a volunteer Board of Directors and a group of Radio Station Volunteers. Clear job descriptions will be written so that all participants understand their role, responsibilities and time lines for completing their tasks. A constitution for Erin Community Radio will be written so that Members will know their rights and responsibilities.

88.1 is a grass roots community organization that started when a group of Erin residents thought that a local radio station would be a good way for community members to keep in touch, talk about local issues and support local arts and culture.

The concept was given a kick start after the hydro blackout in August 2003. The mayor and council arranged to have a local company provide free bottled water to Erin residents, but, of course, there was no way to get the word out. Phone systems were down, home radios and televisions were off and there was no emergency communications system in the town. If Erin Community Radio had been operating at the time with a diesel generator, emergency information could have been broadcast to those with car or transistor radios.

In the fall of 2003, a group of interested people began meeting every month in various community spaces and living rooms. After a good deal of research, it was decided to check to see whether a FM frequency would be available for Erin Community Radio in the crowded airspace of the GTA. Some fund raising was done and a radio engineer, Elder Engineering, was hired to look for available frequencies. Elder reported back that was an available frequency for a low-power 50 watt FM transmitter at 101.5.

The summer of 2004 was spent doing more research and organizational planning. In September 2004, Erin Community Radio held a public meeting at centre 2000 and invited the public to learn more about the station. The event was well attended and many people voiced their support.

The public meeting was followed by a popular display at the Erin Fall Fair. The organization was then formally incorporated an as non-profit corporation officially called ERIN RADIO.

In 2005, the Board of Directors met with local groups and asked for letters of support. Radio members appeared before Town of Erin Council and received official support from the Town Council. 2005 also saw the establishment of the ECR Founding Sponsors Campaign and the start of a major fund-raising effort.

Using the funds raised, an engineer’s report was commissioned for Industry Canada and an official CRTC application was submitted on August 1, 2005.

Early in 2005, 88.1 received an incredible donation. For various reasons, Orangeville Community Radio had shut down their operations and gave us all their radio equipment, computers and software. We had all the equipment necessary to start broadcasting.

While waiting for the CRTC to look at our application, we asked for an received permission to do two short temporary broadcast events: The Fall Fair in October and Remembrance Week in November. We were able to set up our equipment and show the Town of Erin what we could do. The station was very well received, our Founding Sponsor Campaign moved steadily along and we gained more volunteers.

In February 2006, our application was heard at a CRTC Public Hearing in Calgary and we received our licence in May. Since then, we rented a studio at 106 Main Street and got busy setting up a radio station.

At the end of May, we did another short 10 day broadcast in support of the BIA’s Summer Celebration and the Rotary Club/Erin Fair Board Dodge Rodeo event. At the same time, we received an operating loan from the Waterloo-Wellington Community Futures Corporation as well as funding from Industry Canada to hire a summer student.

Phase Three involved establishing a Board of Directors, Radio Station Volunteers and Members of Erin Community Radio working together to complete the following tasks:

  • Hire a radio engineer to complete an assessment of frequency,signal and broadcast terrain
  • Prepare radio broadcasting licence applications to the CRTC and Industry Canada
  • In our applications, we will request a specific FM frequency and the call letters CERN
  • Sign up memberships,fund raising, securing corporate sponsorships, and advertising
  • Secure the antennae and transmitter location
  • Secure radio station studio, office, music library and lobby space
  • Design the programming for our station
  • Build a music library in MP4 and MP3 digital format
  • Recruit volunteers
  • Build an interactive web site for our radio station
  • Communicating with the media and local governments.

The group discussed the need studio space, reception area,station manager's office and a washroom. They considered renting the vacant room between the doctor and dentist office at the Erin High School/Centre 2000 in Erin. An educational component could be developed that would allow technology, music and co-operative education students to be involved in running the radio station. Other options considered included a room in the Club 109, the office beside the Royal Bank on Main Street, or space in the Plastikbelt building Erin.

Erin Community Radio considered seeking financial support through memberships, grants from municipal, regional, provincial and federal government, and advertising sponsorship from local businesses community service clubs . Become a member today! ($20 Youth/Senior, $30 Adult) The membership fee would help cover the cost of an e-newsletter, info brochures, posters and a traveling info booth to be used to promote the station at the Erin Fall Fair and other community events.

On April 21, 2006, a local community group, Erin Community Radio (operating under licensee name "Erin Radio Board of Directors"), was granted approval by the CRTC to operate a new community radio station at 101.5 MHz in Erin. It launched in September 2006, and the official launch took place at the Erin Fall Fair on October 8, 2006.

88.1 went on officially during the Erin Fall Fair and we are now broadcasting 24/7. We’ve covered Remembrance Day and the Santa Claus Parade live and interviewed all the 2006 Municipal election candidates and broadcast the election results live.

On January 29, 2010, CHES applied to change frequency from 101.5 to 88.1 MHz, receiving CRTC approval on June 16, 2010. On April 11, 2011, CHES began a test broadcast on 88.1 FM.

On April 20, 2012, CHES rebranded from "Erin Radio" to "Main Street Radio FM 88". On November 29, 2012, CHES rebranded from "Main Street Radio" to "Mix 88.1". Their studio also moved from 106 Main Street to 8 Thompson Court in Erin.

On November 1, 2013, the CRTC approved Erin Community Radio's application to increase the average ERP of CHES-FM from 125 to 570 watts (maximum ERP increasing from 250 to 1,250 watts).

On December 11, 2013, Erin Community Radio submitted an application to operate a new FM transmitter at Orangeville, which would repeat the programming of CHES-FM as CHES-FM-1. If approved, the new transmitter will operate at 89.1 MHz with 50 watts. On January 28, 2014, Catherine Fisher and Freya Zaltz of the National Campus and Community Radio Association wrote a letter of support for the repeater.

A Reunion of Erin Community Radio Volunteers was held on Saturday September 27, 2014 at the The Busholme Inn 156 Main Street, Erin, ON, N0B 1T0. The Wellington Advertiser newspaper promoted the event to their readers.

2004 Mission Statement

Erin Community Radio is a not-for-profit organization formed to develop an alternative to commercial radio service that will be of direct interest to listeners in or near the Town of Erin. Erin Community Radio will provide the opportunity for any individual, group, or community located in the same market to create high quality, entertaining, informative and innovative local radio programming.

2004 Radio Service Proposal

The service will feature a wide range of programming including:

  • All styles of music with an emphasis on Canadian music
  • A mandate to broadcast concerts by local performers whenever possible
  • News and information of interest to the local community including weather, community announcements and interviews on issues of local concern including, but not limited to, heritage, natural resources, environment, agriculture, faith and politics.
  • Broadcasts of local council meetings and other local community meetings
  • Programs created by local community groups
  • Emergency information such as road closings, school bus cancellations and severe weather warnings
  • Programming that promotes local business, services and industries.

Erin Community Radio will also serve as a training facility for the local community in all areas of radio broadcasting including on-air performance, interviewing and programming, particularly for local young people looking for careers in the media. Erin Community Radio will strive to become the voice of the Town of Erin.

Erin Community Radio Programming and Show Hosts

Over the years, volunteers produced a number of music and talk shows for Erin Community Radio including:

Add these show links.

  1. Acoustic Planet with Steve Clarke. Read the tributes to Steve and on his Facebook page after his death.
  2. Arm Chair Athletes with Wally Cole & Danon Hennessy
  3. Business Intelligence with Jane Lavelle-Farris
  4. Canadian Voices with Zo Creighton
  5. Carl Dixon comes to Ches 88.1 fm
  6. Cool Country Radio with Dave Currie
  7. Country Grass with Donna Muir
  8. Crooners
  9. Crossroads with Bruce McCabe
  10. Friday Afternoons with Pete Doolan
  11. Learn, Grow and Live
  12. Left Of The Dial
  13. Money In Your Pocket
  14. Morning Show with Erin Montgomery
  15. Race Time Radio
  16. Saturday Mornings
  17. Saturday Oldies Show
  18. Songwriter's Spotlight
  19. Sunday Music Mix
  20. The Best Medicine
  21. The Motts
  22. The Sounds of Soul
  23. The Time Warp

Live Events Aired on Erin Community Radio

Erin Community Radio produced and broadcast the following events live to air:

  • Rotary Club/Erin Fair Board Dodge Rodeo in May 2006
  • Erin Fall Fair Thanksgiving weekend October 2006
  • Remembrance Day Ceremony in Erin November 11, 2006
  • Santa Claus Parade
  • Municipal Election All Candidates Debate 2006
  • Municipal Election Results for 2006

Erin Community Radio Volunteers

Erin Community Radio has been on the air for over 8 years thanks to the following people who volunteered and provided their services at various stages of the radio station growth:

  1. Laura Bender
  2. Phil Bender
  3. Terry Bennett
  4. KC Chaplin : Connect with KC on Facebook.com.
  5. Steve Clarke (deceased) Read about Steve's Acoustic Planet show on Facebook.com.
  6. Wally Cole
  7. Zo Creighton
  8. Dave Currie : Connect with Dave on Facebook.com.
  9. Carl Dixon
  10. Pete Doolan
  11. Peter Douglas
  12. Rod Finnie : Connect with Rod on Facebook.com.
  13. Aaron Freeman
  14. Joyce Freeman
  15. Brett Girvin
  16. Stephanie Giugovaz
  17. James Gunn : Connect with James on Facebook.com
  18. Scott Hammond
  19. Scott Hanenberg
  20. Danon Hennessy
  21. Scott Jensen : Connect with Scott on Grand 92.9 FM and Linkedin.com.
  22. Jerry Kooiman : Connect with Jerry on Grand 92.9 FM
  23. Jane Lavelle-Farris
  24. David MacDonald
  25. Joe Maraschiello
  26. Bruce McCabe
  27. Ronia Michael
  28. Jennifer Mitchell
  29. Erin Montgomery
  30. Jay Mowat : Connect with Jay on WillowCreekOnline.ca
  31. Donna Muir
  32. Eric Nagler : Connect with Eric on EricNagler.com.
  33. Charles Neal
  34. Peter Noce
  35. Sal Noguera
  36. Norma Pokocky
  37. Brad Polous
  38. Georgina Rogers
  39. Andrew Savage
  40. Joe Scully
  41. Mary Shields
  42. David Spencer
  43. Jerry Staples
  44. Peter Stock
  45. Patrick Suessmuth (deceased)
  46. Jerry Staples
  47. Katie Watson : Connect with Katie on Facebook.com.

Supporters of Erin Community Radio

The following local businesses supported Erin Community Radio during various stages:

  1. Infotel Phone Services and owner Peter Noce in Orangeville, Ontario
  2. The Grand 92.9 FM in Fergus, Ontario

Erin Community Radio Web Sites

The Erin Community Radio Team designed a number of web sites to represent their broadcasting vision.

Erin Community Radio has owned a number of web domains including:

  • www.erinradio.ca 2005 to 2010
  • www.88.1fmradio.ca 2010 to 2012
  • www.mix881.com Since 2012

Newspaper Articles About Erin Community Radio

Blog Posts About Erin Community Radio


References

External Links About Erin Community Radio