Sunday, 16 August 2009

[creative-radio] Toronto Community Radio Almost Silenced


Toronto Community Radio Almost Silenced


Where else can you hear programming by and about sex-workers, psychiatric
survivors, independent artists, ethnic communities and other voices that
mainstream radio doesn't include.

So, it was news to me when I heard about the drama threatening another of
Toronto's alternative radio stations, the University of Toronto's CIUT.

While infighting, lawsuits and arrests led to dead air at Ryerson's once
progressive CKLN, the U of T's community radio station was getting the
boot with no appropriate home in sight. Lucky for CIUT, the boot turned
out to be a major upgrade.

CIUT is moving into a $1.3 million renovated space at Hart House this
month once construction is complete. The station will occupy a section of
the first floor and all of the third floor.

"We knew one day we'd be asked to move," says Brian Burchell, CIUT's
station manager for a decade. The Rotman School of Business is expanding
and taking over the Victorian building that CIUT aired from for most of
its existence. It was a long fight to find another appropriate space for
the forty-year old radio station. At one point, the university offered the
basement of one of its off-campus buildings beside the offices of
custodial staff. Burchell wasn't thrilled.

Then Hart House entered the picture. The campus' commuter student space,
known for its library-like quietness, wants to increase its traffic and
relevance to campus life and the surrounding community. Community radio,
say hello to the archery club.

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