CICK Radio 93.9 on your FM dial can be translated as Sick Radio or Kick Radio, whatever feels right. I have been in the Sick Radio camp and kind of like its sound.
It’s hard to believe we have had our own community radio station for over 12 years. I caught up with manager Glen Ingram to quiz him on the how, what and where.
The idea started in an old wood shed with a dirt floor at the back of the Blue Sky building (now the Grendel Group), according to Glen.
“Abdel Naroch, Eric Lillis and myself were the guys crazy enough to believe we could pull it off. We pieced together equipment and produced our first broadcast back in early 2010,” said Ingram.
Look where they are now. A very slick 1929 Observation train car planted on tracks next to the Central Park Building.
This present day radio broadcasting studio was given to the community radio society back in 2012 from the previous owners, the Lions Club of Smithers, for the sum of $1.
“Yes, there was a lot of work converting the train car to meet broadcasting needs but it has been a labour of love. We are connected to the town’s water and sewer systems.
“Also the heating system was upgraded in the last few years and we installed a new roof in 2021,” Ingram added.
As of late the society is proposing to install solar panels and hope to produce enough electricity to cover their own consumption and even sell some back to hydro through the grid.
“We are a non profit society run 99 per cent by volunteers. Many of our operating expenses are paid through grants but much depends on donations that come in the form of membership fees. Presently we have 120 volunteer members with around 40 programmers working the radio,” Ingram continued.
“We are a true equal opportunity employer and have devised ways to include handicapped, young, seniors and all persons in between to join our family.”
The station can turn anyone into a radio broadcaster in under a day.
“All a person needs is the passion and desire to produce your own program 30 minutes in length, twice a month,” Ingram emphasized.
“This could be on any topic of your choice as long as it makes for good ethical radio and meets CRTC regulations.”
I say, “What are we waiting for.” This sounds like fun.
Glen gave me tour through the broadcast studio and the equipment is pretty extensive.
Next was the original galley which has now been converted into storage for 5000 CDs which are being digitized.
There is even an old ice locker used for other storage.
Then we pass though the door into a recording studio complete with a stage and capabilities for video and audio recordings.
“We try to get every artist in town and passing through town to come and record,” says Glen. “We can make a digital record for them to help with their promotions.
“We are also set up for student tours and have had Muheim and Walnut park kids come through. They all like the idea of being on the air.
“The society has set workshops for students from Witset, the making of future announcers,” Ingram said.
“Our other agenda is to promote live music in Smithers.
Through COVID times dances and music gatherings have suffered. We at CICK are trying to bring that back.”
“We have had several successful dances at the Legion under the banner of Space Train and hope to continue to promote a return to live performances.
“We have been recognized by our peers locally, provincially and nationally. We have even garnered several community radio awards,” Ingram said.
The CICK society is very healthy today and always looking for more broadcasters to join their team. Check out their website at:
Thanks for this, Glen.
I will buy a membership and all the best for the future.