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.

Local Radio Experience results in Studying Broadcasting at University

By DJ Andrew Walker |

I joined CFSI FM back in early July of 2012. A few days prior to receiving my own show at the tender age of 17, I had moved with my family from Calgary to Salt Spring. Yeah, THAT old story…

For me, I have always had a passion for music, as well as radio. So when I heard there was a community station on the island, I drove to the studio to see if I could do anything to help out. There, I met the station manager (Dave Gordon), Operations Manager (Mike Cherry) and the owner (Gary Brooks). I just remember being completely star struck, seeing all three of them in a small room chatting away.

From that moment on till the last week of summer every Saturday night, I played non-stop dance music for two hours commercial free. I had listeners ranging from the island, to around Alberta, and the occasional listeners overseas. The very last week of August, I was moved to Thursday nights at 10pm, which was fantastic because the high school there had Fridays off and I could imagine the high schoolers wouldn’t know what to do on a Thursday night, so it gave me the opportunity to play party music and showcase what I was all about.

Flash-forward to September of 2013, I decided to kick things up a notch. I changed my show completely, renaming it “Euphoria & Entrancement” and had the first hour dedicated to house music, and the second hour dedicated to trance. I also brought in world famous DJs from across the globe to even do a half hour guest mix (electronically) on the occasion.

For me, September 20th 2012 was probably the most memorable night I can remember at CFSI. A few days prior, the community was in shock hearing about the tragic death of Ryan Plambeck. I decided to give back by dedicating the first song on my show to Ryan, “Don’t You Worry Child” by the EDM group Swedish House Mafia, followed by a moment of silence. The request line as well as Facebook and Twitter for the station was INSANE. I took as many call ins and dedications live on air as well as song requests. That is one night I will never forget.

Thanks to CFSI, I am now enrolled in my second year at Mount Royal University studying Broadcasting. As well, I was signed to a DJ company that throws some of the biggest events across Alberta that draw thousands of people. I also have been able to have more special guest DJs/Producers on my radio label that I could not have done if it weren’t for CFSI and their great staff.

The people of Salt Spring, as well as the rest of the Gulf Islands need a radio station. I was in shock when I found out that CFSI was no more this summer! I believe that every person on the island has a story to tell, and we have an audience for that. If it goes through, I can’t wait to hear what interesting stories and music they have to show!

Best of luck! You at Gulf Islands Community Radio Society have my full support!

Sincerely,
Andrew Walker
Founder/DJ at Euphoria & Entrancement

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Andrew working his musical magic