Community Update

We had a table at the Apple Festival and Fall Fair this year, and we were treated with visitors both local and from afar. We made contact with MLA Gary Holman amoung others at the Fall Fair, and he subsequently paid us a visit at the Apple Festival – so we took the photo op to promote GICRS (Gulf Islands Community Radio Society). We also made many new connections and have increased our membership to the society to over 135 members.  We have about 25 folks total who are active on our committees and board of directors.  There are three committees in total:

Programming Committee: This is a team of people working on outlining programming requirements and methods of proposing and reviewing programming proposals.

Music Committee: The Music team is working on building the music library, and ensuring all music is correctly tagged and coded for CRTC requirements. They are also the team heading up the internet radio efforts, including loading and scheduling the music.  Listen on-line at:

Technical Committee: This team of technical experts are currently working on laying out the vision for technical equipment requirements for the studio, and eventually will help with the tower equipment. This is our newest committee.

We now have a studio space for the society. The Senior Centre has offered us a room which we are currently converting to a radio studio.  The studio is also being used as a meeting place for the various committees as well as the Board of Directors.

Please feel free the check us out at and we are always looking for not only volunteers, but contributions to the effort including equipment as well as monetary contributions. Thank you!



Thank You!

We would like to sincerely thank all of the people who donated to our Kickstarter Campaign back in May and June.  We were able to reach our $12,000 goal, and the money is being used to pay for our nearly complete engineering study!

We would like to list those supporters who donated to the campaign – we had donations large and small – and every single bit helps the effort to get live radio back in the Gulf Islands.  We feel very confident that we will be successful in our effort to get live radio in the islands.

Thank you to our Kickstarter Donors!

Carolyn Coles
Kathy Murphy
Distractions Kate
Jesse Howardson
Katrina Riccartto
Jordan Clark
Don Clogg
Sarah Cordes
Todd Boston
Debbie Magnusson
Maria Geck
Hans Lussenburg
Theresa Shafer
J.J. Pearson
Sally Holland
Liv Lamour
Sam Chaffee
Larry and Cindy Souza
Vera Algoet
Shalon Sugden
Tom Shiffman
Aaron Hailman
Eden Buday
Premilla Pillay
Bruce Hamer
Debbie Harris Funfer
R.J. Jones
Marga Ashley
A Good Life Design
Emily Verlinden
Sue McKenzie
Rob Pingle
Catherine Diakiw
Daniel Van Koughnett
Stephen and Nicole Kelly
Hannah Brown
Lisa MacIsaac
Mary Lowery
David Hart
Matt Steffich
Andrew Fosyth
John Moore
Sean Moore
Ray Higgs
Erika Verlinden
Jim MacLeod
Galen Armstrong
Damian Inwood
Anonymous (3)

Without everyone’s help this project wouldn’t happen. We are so pleased with not only the local support, but the support of friends both near and far. The board feels very confident that not only will the CRTC application be approved, but that the local island community will support this effort through  commitments from the community to meet the financial requirements to make this dream of live FM radio owned by the community a reality!

We also want to recognize all of the volunteers who have contributed many hours to date.  Every volunteer is gold to the society, and we want to give them a word of recognition as well!

Thank you!

The Board of Directors
Gulf Islands Community Radio Society




Word is spreading about Gulf Islands Community Radio! Read the Members’ Meeting Wrap-up

Nearly fifty people packed the program room at the Salt Spring Island Public Library for the Gulf Islands Community Radio Society’s first members’ meeting on the 6th of February. Radio enthusiasts gathered to meet the board of directors and volunteers who laid out the current plan to build and run a community radio station serving the islands. “The turnout was fantastic,” said society president Radha Fournier, “It’s great to see such enthusiasm coming from the community!”

The meeting began with Fournier introducing the team and paying tribute to the Society’s President Emeritus and founding member, Richard Moses. She reviewed preliminary results of the recent survey, and announced the society would soon begin broadcasting online.

Operations Coordinator Dan Miller debuted the current budget and financial plan through 2024. Miller went over the hardware costs and operating expenses, making the case that the station would likely need one or two full time employees. He reviewed the basics of the radio business model, concluding that the main challenge was going to be keeping costs low, whatever revenue or business model was adopted by the station.

Secretary Cindy Jacobsen pointed out that the current budget does not yet include every available source of revenue, such as donations and grants. She then paced attendees through the CRTC application process necessary to start a radio station, laying out the society’s timeline. The first priority was an engineering survey of the islands, she said, to examine available FM frequencies and identify transmitter requirements. Jacobsen said that the goal of the first fundraising drive, to begin in about a month, was mainly to pay for the engineering study, but also to equip a small mobile studio for live internet broadcasting.

Scott Harris, Treasurer, detailed the society’s wish list of everything from radio station supplies to bookkeeping skills and announced the formation of two operational committees to begin work immediately. Immediate objectives include starting the online broadcasts as soon as possible, as well as preparing for the transition to FM, pending the application’s approval. Harris said addressing the need for an office/studio space was also a current top priority.

Vice president Don Elder related two delightful anecdotes pointing to the future of radio in the digital age. Both conventional radio, as well as “digital reach,” he said, will best work together to serve the unique demographics of the Gulf Islands region.

Radha Fournier concluded with thanks to the crowd for their support, and reiterated her call to action. This is the time to get involved, she said, to help make the dream of a community-owned, volunteer-driven radio station become a reality.

“The feedback has been very positive,” Fournier said after the event, “Momentum is definitely building!”

To sign up as a member of the society, and to become a volunteer, please visit the membership page.

Why We Need Community Radio: Gulf Islanders Have Lots to Share, Lots to Learn

By Michael Morse |

Folks, we have a unique spirit that makes us want to be Islanders. Some of us have have been here all of our lives, but many of us have sought out this place from all over Canada and farther afield for its unique blend of people and island lifestyle.

For myself, I first came here as a young man back in the 1970s – it seemed like Heaven on Earth already back then, but work in my chosen field was hard to find, so I headed back inland, one thing led to another and a family came along; but I’m back to stay now. I never gave up that promise to myself that this was my TRUE home, and those other places along the way were just ways to get by until I could get back here.

We need our own radio station to celebrate our identity; both to give a voice to our local artists and people with something special to say to us; and to connect us to the bigger world out there beyond our little shoreline. After all, let us not get too insular and cut ourselves off from the rest of the World – we are Planet Earth citizens today as never before, as climate change and the digital age link us all together in ways we never imagined possible even only ten years ago. Keeping up with how that situation is unfolding and how we can best be part of it is becoming increasingly vital to our future.

Keep them Laughing in Heaven Arvid Chalmers!

It is with great sadness that Salt Spring Island lost one of its most beloved comedians in Mexico last night. Arvid Chalmers passed away while on stage in Melaque Mexico. Arvid was dearly loved for his candid and clever humour.  He and Sid Filkow often shared the stage, and would have the crowds in peals of laughter.

Arvid’s most beloved character he portrayed was dowdy Maggie MacCaffery of Scottish Heritage (pictured here). Maggie charmed everyone, with her local gossip, sometimes lusting after Sid’s character Les, and always with a sprinkle of gentle truth or practicality.  Maggie was definitely the world’s best woman at ironing.

Arvid’s claim to fame with local radio was when he did a skit during the opening celebration of CFSI going on-air, and translated CFSI to “Can’t Find Saltspring Island” Radio. That turned out to be one omen that plagued CFSI on Salt Spring Island throughout its five years on-air.

We at Gulf Islands Community Radio Society would like to extend our sincerest condolences to Arvid’s family as well as those near and dear to Arvid. May he continue creating great roars of laughter in heaven.

The Board of Directors
Gulf Islands Community Radio Society



Community Radio Profile: Musician, Author and Authority on Dreams Toko-pa

Toko-pa has been interviewed by CNN News, BBC Radio and her writing appears in publications around the world. She was kind enough to answer a few questions about community radio, which is coming soon to BC’s Gulf Islands. If you would like us to post your profile (even if you live beyond BC), send your answers to the questions below, along with a photo of yourself, to To support the station by becoming a member, please click here.

Which island do you live on?


Why are you excited to have community radio on the Gulf Islands?  

Where commercial radio leaves us feeling sensorially overloaded yet hungry for substance, community radio draws us into intimacy. Rather than the glossed-over, auto-tuned sameness we get in the mainstream, community radio opens us to alternative voices, meaningful conversation on local issues, and gives a platform to the many gifted musicians that populate our islands.

If you had a radio show, what kind of show would it be?

It would be some mash-up of roots & soul music, poetry-bombs and interviews with enlightening folks.

What is the first song or interview you would like to hear on Gulf Islands Community Radio?

You’d have me for life if you played some Morlove and interviewed Nick Bantock about his dreams.

Thank you, Toko-pa!

Radio Builds Community Like No Other Medium, Says Local Advocate Dan Miller

By Dan Miller |

Among modern communication media most resembling ancient oral traditions of storytelling and song – which sustained, informed and entertained humanity for millennia – is radio.

My love of radio stems back to a childhood fascination with the first portable transistor radios in the 1960s. In those days, FM was the rising star that was hoped to save the medium after it was driven out of living rooms everywhere over the preceding decade by television.

Radio was not to be my profession for another twenty years, by then well past the glory days of FM, but just on the verge before another challenging new medium, the internet, made its rise in the early ’90s. While other traditional media struggle to cope, radio holds its own admirably and, while not unchanged, today thrives on the internet. Radio shares with the internet at least one key quality: hotness or immediacy.

Among the unique qualities of audio-only media such as radio, is that it’s likened to a theatre of the mind. Epitomized by the radio-plays of the 1930s and ’40s, radio gives the imagination of the listener free reign. Radio’s obvious strength is as a vehicle to deliver perhaps the most communicative of all human languages, music.

When it comes to helping build and strengthen local community, radio truly shines. Whether connecting local businesses to their customers, supporting local artistic and cultural expression, or providing timely and important information about local and current events, community radio can foster stronger bonds amongst neighbours, and help forge stronger regional identity, not to mention act as ambassador welcoming the many visitors that descend on the islands every summer.

Many ancient oral traditions teach that if something helps create stronger, healthier bonds between folks, it is probably wise. I am sure the ancestors would see the wisdom in creating a not-for-profit community radio station from scratch. Not only for today, but also for future generations. That’s why I am happy to help.

-Dan Miller (aka Dano Hammer)
GICRS Operations Coordinator
Former CFSI general manager
Former show-host of CFSI’s “Hip Hop on the Rock”