Planet Radio – Exploring Vancouver's Global sound – Check out this proposal by CHUM

Over the past few days I was involved with the Planet Radio proposal by CHUM Radio, applying for a new FM licence before the CRTC.  I had been invited by Prem Gill to be part of their community advisory committee, Prem is host of ColourTV at City TV.

It was a great learning experience on how the CRTC licences radio
applications both for AM and FM.  As well, it was great to meet
all the CHUM and CityTV people who made this proposal come together,
particulary David Goldberg of Much Music in Toronto.

This was
very exciting to think about how a new music radio station could better
reflect the youth/young adult market in Vancouver and really play the
kind of music that I can not only culturally identify with, but a radio
station that can also reflect my diverse music collection with global
and world beat artists.  Check out and you will
find that CHUM is proposing to reinvent Canadian urban radio
formatting.  They propose to concentrate on 35% Canadian content
to feature Canadian artists that no other radio station would touch
except for Co-Op, CBC or some special niche programming slot.

hearing Chinese Canadian turntablist Kid Koala, Calgary born Leslie
Feist, or George Leach from the Sta'atl'imx Nation near Lillioet
BC.  These Canadian artists are expressing and contributing to
Canadian culture – but can't crack the tight radio formats of Top 40,
Adult Oriented Rock, Classic Rock, Soft Pop, or Cool Jazz or whatever
that station plays.  Mix this up with Angelique Kidd, Bob Marley,
Nelly Futado, Eryka Badu and you have a very vital music sound that
represents the social folk music of the 21st Century!  Very Cool

Does Vancouver need a new radio station that will play
all this great stuff on FM radio?  Does any other radio format
actually understand that Vancouver's population demographics include 4
out of 10 residents were born outside of Canada, or that 37% of our
population is visible minority?  Okay, the CBC does… but CBC
Radio One still struggles with balancing ethnic and cultural
stereotypes, Torontoistic perceptions of Canada while doing its best to
reflect the hearts, minds and souls of Vancouverites – and it does this
mostly through spoken word.  Planet Radio will capture the
soundtrack of Vancouver's youth and young adults, and inclusively
reflect our global heritage as well as our multi-generational and
multi-racial families and histories.

I hope the Planet Radio
proposal goes through and CRTC gives them a chance.  Most of the
other applicants I saw or heard about were proposing Indo-Canadian
ethnic radio.  Do we really need another traditional multicultural
radio station that divides its time slots according to ethnic
groups?  I think not.  We are now into the post-multicultural
phase of our city's evolution, if not our country's.  Let's
recognize where this country is going and who is actually making the
music.  It is intercultural people who can embrace and relate to
all cultures and recognize that to be Canadian, we have to be inclusive
– not exclusive.

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