World Class Radio Show in Our Own Back Yard

By Jason Cressey |

I started the ‘Off The Beaten Track’ show as soon as CFSI began broadcasting – realising a dream I had to unite two passions (travel and radio) in a weekly half-hour slot.  Going into the studio, armed with notes, photos and music that I’d picked up on my travels was a wonderful way to relive memories and share the passion, experiences, tips and insights I’d gained in 25 years of travelling to nearly 150 countries.  Over my five years with the station I reported on destinations from Antarctica to Nanaimo – both far and near – and the audience feedback I received was always very encouraging.  I had people who overheard me speaking to friends on the ferry come over and say “I know that voice – and that accent!  You’re the travel guy, aren’t you!”.  Always very rewarding and humbling to know the shows were being appreciated by many travellers – both adventurers and armchair alike!

The folks at CFSI were always so helpful from the beginning at showing me how things worked and allowing me to eventually prepare shows and edit pre-recorded pieces that were often described as being ‘good enough for syndication’ – a quote from two or three people during my time at the station.  I miss the experience and the opportunity to be a part of radio on Salt Spring – and I’ll be among the first in line to resurrect my show when radio returns to this wonderful island.

Overall, my experience with CFSI was my first sustained experience with community radio and, for me, was a very positive one at that.  To be able to go and pursue the passion of radio in my own island back yard, and to connect the big-wide-world with my local community, really mattered to me.   Community radio fills a different need – and a different niche – to large-scale commercial radio… it’s like talking and listening to friends: my experience of both broadcasting on an tuning in to CFSI was always one accompanied by a warm and familiar feeling.  It’s like a radio-wave comfort blanket that gently settles over the island, and our community would be all the richer for it to return stronger and more cohesive than before.