Since the mid 2000s, a small group of West Kelowna residents have held onto the dream of bringing a community radio station to the Westside.
At 10 a.m. Thursday morning, that dream took flight.
R.J. Smith, acting president and volunteer operations manager for the Westbank and District Community Radio Society said the station is the first of its kind in the Okanagan.
“The concept of community radio is returning the airwaves back to the people,” said Smith.
“I think people are gratified to hear that they can have direct input on programming and special events.”
Westbank and District Community Radio—which can be heard at 95.1 FM—plans to offer local shows and local spoken word, according to Smith. He said the music played will be the type not normally heard on mainstream radio stations.
Smith said one of the biggest motivating factors to get the station up and running was so West Kelowna Warriors hockey games could be broadcasted live during the 2013-2014 season.
“The hockey team is extremely successful and popular here in West Kelowna and elsewhere,” said Smith.
He noted John Zacks will provide play-by-play for WDCR.
Other programs will include live DJs, local musical acts, local news, sports and weather and alternative music.
Westside-Kelowna MLA and B.C. Premier Christy Clark also offered her congratulations to the new radio station in a recent release.
“This new radio station is a first for West Kelowna and I know a lot of work has gone into making it happen,” said Clark.
The station is being run entirely by volunteers, 24 hours per day, seven days per week. It will broadcast from the Governor’s Landing Shopping Centre II at unit 519 – 3041 Louie Drive, West Kelowna, and can be listened to at wdcr.ca.
WDCR is currently looking for corporate sponsors and volunteers.
“Community radio is never owned by one individual, but serves the community; therefore, the fate of this station…will be determined by the people of West Kelowna,” said Smith.
For more information, call 250-768-1111.