Kootenay Co-op Radio staff and volunteers are excited for the 2019 fundraising drive. Photo submitted

Kootenay Co-op Radio calls for support to avoid deficit

The annual funding drive is important to the station’s financial health

Submitted

Kootenay Co-op Radio’s annual funding drive is now on. KCR is asking listeners and supporters to step up and show that they value the contribution the station makes to the community.

As one of the only community radio stations in the Kootenays (several have folded in the last few years), KCR holds a unique place in the media landscape. Kootenay Co-op Radio works under the seven co-op principles and each influences how decisions are made at the station. Community radio is also about volunteerism, social engagement, independent music, learning by doing, community capacity building, citizen journalism and more.

Membership income makes up almost one-third of the station’s operational budget, making the annual drive very important when it comes to maintaining the quality of broadcasting at the station. According to KCR board chair Jeff Flood, this year’s drive is of particular importance.

“Our year-end is June 30 and we are most definitely headed for a significant deficit,” said Flood. “We run the station on an incredibly modest $120,000 per year, including the salaries of just two part-time staff.”

This is not even accounting for additional expenses that will be incurred from the long-awaited move of KCR’s transmitter to Elephant Mountain, according to operations manager Rob Andrew. “We can’t hold together things by patchwork. This is the little station that could and it’s an incredible testament to this community that it is still alive — but we need to remind people that what we bring can’t be taken for granted.”

In the past 12 months, their music and spoken word programming welcomed fresh new voices and the return of many favourites. There has been a dramatic expansion of KCR’s flagship public affairs program Kootenay Morning — thanks to a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada. They provided comprehensive and in-depth coverage of the 2018 municipal elections in Nelson and surrounding districts and were again the community sponsors keeping the annual Polar Bear Plunge and Kootenay Music Awards alive.

This fundraising and membership drive will culminate in an on-air pitch drive from Sunday, May 26 to Saturday, June 1. There will also be numerous booths in the community where they’ll be talking to listeners and supporters, answering questions, handing out program schedules and of course selling memberships.

Kootenay Co-op Radio is encouraging everyone to consider renewing or becoming a member and for existing members to consider becoming a monthly member.

To support KCR, visit kootenaycoopradio.com/membership, drop by the station at 308A Hall St., or call 250-352-9600.

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