|City||Vancouver, British Columbia|
|Broadcast area||Metro Vancouver|
|Frequency||100.5 MHz (FM)|
|First air date||April 14, 1975|
|Former frequencies||102.7 MHz (1975-2012)|
|Owner||Vancouver Co-operative Radio|
CFRO-FM, licensed and owned by Vancouver Co-operative Radio, is a non-commercial community radio station in Vancouver, British Columbia. It is a legally registered co-operative and is branded as Co-op Radio. The station broadcasts on 100.5 megahertz FM and have studios and offices on Columbia St. off Hastings St. in Vancouver's Downtown East Side, while its transmitter is located atop Mount Seymour. CFRO is a member of the National Campus and Community Radio Association.
CFRO-FM received its radio license from the CRTC on May 7, 1974.
The station first went on the air April 14, 1975, launched by people mostly from various local activist groups in Vancouver. The station airs programmes in four categories: public affairs and news, music, multi-lingual, and arts. The group producing each programme is mostly self-governing—within the co-operative frame.
On December 9, 2010, CFRO applied to exchange frequencies with CKPK-FM, which operated at 100.5 MHz. This application was approved by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission on September 9, 2011. The frequency swap occurred on September 10, 2012.
Public affairs programmes and subjects in English include Redeye (radio) (news and analysis on Saturday mornings), Wake Up With Co-op (three weekday mornings), The Brown Bagger (lectures and interviews four weekdays at noon), several programmes by and about aboriginal people, learning Coast Salish, Union Made (labour news), politics, women, international affairs (special programmes on Latin America, the Philippines, and Palestine), health, gay and lesbian, parenting, youth, the environment, animal rights, neighbourhood news, senior citizens, disabled people, yoga, and Democracy Now (from the USA).
Music programmes specialize in one or more of these: aboriginal, accordion, African, alternative, bluegrass, blues, Caribbean, classical, Celtic, electronic, folk, fusion, gospel, hardcore, hip hop, house, India, jazz, Jewish, Latin, metal, old timey, punk, reggae, rock 'n' roll, roots, rumba, ska, soul, swing, tango, and world music. The weekly classical music program, "West Coast Classics," is the longest-running classical radio program on the air produced in Canada.
Arts programming includes arts news, poetry, comedy, sound art, show tunes and other music, and story-telling.
Nearly 100 different programme series air each week. Most of the late-night and week-end programmes are music and repeats, with public affairs and specialty talk programmes running mostly Monday through Friday in the day and evening. (See schedule in the external link below.)
Listening and technical aspects
Co-op Radio can be received in four ways:
- 100.5 FM on the radio.
- Cable television-radio throughout most of British Columbia. The cable company in each part of the province provides a frequency, some of which are 102.7 and 104.9.
- The Internet at Co-op Radio's website.
- Shaw Direct Satellite 845.
The station is licensed by the Canadian government's broadcast regulating agency, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), with occasional license challenges by members of the public who object to some view-points and statements being broadcast.
The co-operative is governed by its thousands of members, who may attend and vote at its annual general meeting and special general meetings. The members exercise their will also through an unpaid elected board of directors and its committees, four part-time paid staff members (union members of the union Unifor), and hundreds of volunteers, the latter creating all the programmes.
To volunteer or serve the organization, those aged 16 or older must be dues-paid members, as are thousands of people who join mainly to support the operation financially and to vote at general meetings. The station broadcasts two major fund-raising drives a year, in the spring and autumn. Government grants are a very small part of the budget.
Co-op Radio has received many awards and is sometimes called the leading co-op radio station in Canada. National Campus and Community Radio Association Broadcasting Excellence awards received by Co-op Radio include:
- 2012 Outstanding Achievement, Music Programming: "West Coast Classics," by Kerry Regier
- 2007 Best Documentary (tie): Marc the Knife: The Overshadowed Career of Marc Blitzstein (Steve Bowell)
- 2006 Best Documentary: 30 Years of Prison Justice Day by Emily Aspinwall and Tiffany Chong
- 2003 Programming Excellence; Redeye (radio) public affairs program
- 1997 Programming Excellence "Voices from the 11th International AIDS Conference"
- 1995 Programming Excellence "Earth Day on the Air"