No call letters, no pre-production facility and funding not yet nailed down, but Whistler’s newest radio station hopes to be on air within a week.
“It’s just a question of what day it is going to be, that’s the kind of craziness it is right now,” said Scott Kittleson, founder of the Mountain Culture Collective Radio Society.
Recently approved by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to run an English-language development community FM station, the five-watt station will operate at 97.9 MHz and have a range of about eight kilometres.
Originally Kittleson hoped “The Pulse,” a volunteer-run station, would feature different music genres four nights a week: a Sunday youth-oriented program produced by and for local elementary and high school students, a Friday drive time show and an eclectic afternoon cooking/retro music show hosted by local chef Paul Charron.
Kittleson said he still wants that programming to come about but right now he’s just concerned that the station pass its initial three-week probation stage, ensuring that its signal doesn’t interfere with overhead air traffic.
“We’re just going to fly by the seat of our pants for the first couple of weeks and make it hilarious and keep the tempo up there,” Kittleson said from Vancouver, where he works as a massage therapist.
Several Whistler DJs have expressed interest in contributing to the station’s programming and Vancouver broadcaster Steve Herringer will be hosting a how-to workshop in January for volunteers.
A key element to the station will be its ability to broadcast over the Internet. Kittleson said that although there are many stations that broadcast over the Net “there are not going to be as many of them that are in our mindset — it’s going to be pretty fresh.”
Kittleson has been lobbying potential sponsors for $500,000 in start-up funds for the non-profit station that could, within its first year, apply for a 50-watt license.