Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Common menu bar links

ARCHIVED -  Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2004-134

Warning This Web page has been archived on the Web.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived on the Web is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. Archived Decisions, Notices and Orders (DNOs) remain in effect except to the extent they are amended or reversed by the Commission, a court, or the government. The text of archived information has not been altered or updated after the date of archiving. Changes to DNOs are published as “dashes” to the original DNO number. Web pages that are archived on the Web are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats by contacting us.

 

Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2004-134

  Ottawa, 5 April 2004
  Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc.
Edmonton, Alberta
  Application 2002-0708-6
Public Hearing at Edmonton, Alberta
18 June 2003
 

Native FM radio station in Edmonton

  In this decision, the Commission approves the application by Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc. (AVR) for an FM radio station in Edmonton that will feature programming in English and Aboriginal languages.
  The application by AVR is one of four applications for new Edmonton radio stations approved today. The Commission's decisions with respect to these and other applications for licences to carry on new FM radio undertakings to serve Edmonton are set out in Introduction to Broadcasting Decisions CRTC 2004-133 to 2004-137 - Licensing of new FM radio stations to serve Edmonton, Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2004-23, 5 April 2004.
 

Introduction

1.

The Commission received an application by Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc. (AVR) for a broadcasting licence to operate an English- and Aboriginal-language Native Type B FM radio station in Edmonton. The applicant proposed to operate the station at 89.3 MHz (channel 207C1) with an effective radiated power of 100,000 watts.

2.

The Commission considered this application at a public hearing held in Edmonton that commenced 18 June 2003. At the hearing, the Commission heard eight other applications in connection with the Edmonton market, all proposing conventional, commercial, English-language FM stations. AVR's application and that by one of the other parties at the hearing (Rawlco (Edmonton) Ltd.) were predicated on the use of 89.3 MHz and were thus technically mutually exclusive.

3.

The criteria used by the Commission to evaluate the competitive state of the Edmonton market and the likely impact of a new entrant or entrants are set out in Introduction to Broadcasting Decisions CRTC 2004-133 to 2004-137 - Licensing of new FM radio stations to serve Edmonton, Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2004-23 (Public Notice 2004-23), published today. In Public Notice 2004-23, the Commission also announces that it has approved four applications for new Edmonton radio stations, including the application approved herein. This decision addresses the particulars of the application by AVR.
 

Ownership

4.

AVR is a not-for-profit corporation incorporated under federal jurisdiction. It is the licensee of a Native FM radio station in Toronto. The Commission has approved applications by AVR for additional radio stations to be operated in Ottawa, Calgary, Vancouver, Kitchener-Waterloo and Montréal. AVR is also the licensee of Aboriginal Voices Radio Network (AVRN), which will distribute the programming of its Toronto station to other AVR radio stations.
 

Interventions

5.

The Commission received 15 interventions in support of the AVR application, including seven form letters. It also received general comments from Standard Radio Inc. (Standard) and the Aboriginal Multi-Media Society of Alberta (AMMSA).

6.

Standard stated that the Edmonton radio market is already well served. It recommended that, if the Commission were to license a new service, that service should add to the diversity of the programming in the market.

7.

AMMSA expressed concern about the delays in AVR's introduction of a full-time on-air schedule.
 

Programming

8.

The programming proposed for the Edmonton station would be primarily that of AVRN, originating with the Toronto station. The network plans to address the needs, interests and concerns of Aboriginal Canadians, particularly those living in urban areas. AVRN proposes to provide programming primarily in English, with regular broadcasts in many Native languages, as well as French, Spanish and other languages.

9.

In support of its application, AVR noted that the Aboriginal community in Edmonton is one of the largest urban Aboriginal communities in Canada. It added that the proposed service would offer the only Aboriginal radio service in that market. AVR emphasized the essential role that the proposed station's programming would play in allowing the members of that community to be better informed of events and issues affecting their lives, and better equipped to interact with other Aboriginal communities across Canada.

10.

AVR stated that the schedule of programming in Edmonton would present information from an Aboriginal viewpoint, including full Aboriginal news reports, a women's round table discussion, specialty music programs, and programs focused on issues related to language, youth, elders, and health. Edmonton audiences would have opportunities to participate in call-in programs and music request shows through both telephone and Internet access.

11.

As part of its application, AVR made a commitment that, in each broadcast week, a minimum of 2% of all programming and a minimum of 2% of all vocal musical selections would be broadcast in a Canadian Aboriginal language. AVR also committed to ensure that a minimum of 25% of all programming aired in each broadcast week would be spoken word programming and that music programming would feature a mix of primarily Canadian and World Aboriginal artists.

12.

AVR committed to devote nine hours of each week to original programming of direct relevance to Edmonton audiences. The applicant indicated that this programming would initially be produced by the Toronto station, and that local programming would originate from Edmonton as resources become available. Initially, programs would feature material provided to AVRN from volunteer producers in Edmonton, and a part-time reporter working out of the Edmonton station would provide reports for the local and national news. As resources become available, more local journalists or producers would be hired to provide enhanced local coverage.

13.

While the network programming on the Edmonton station would be primarily music-oriented, most of the local programming would consist of spoken word, including news reports, public service announcements, special events, and a one- to two-minute activity community calendar. As discussed below, local music programming would also feature local and regional Aboriginal artists.
 

Canadian talent development

14.

AVR expressed its belief that the greatest contribution it can make to Canadian talent development is to broadcast the music of Canadian Aboriginal artists. The applicant noted that because the proposed station would be a part of the AVRN network of radio stations, Aboriginal artists in the Edmonton area would see their exposure to the entire country increase dramatically. AVR stated that it was committed to the development of Canadian native talent and would extensively promote and feature music by new and seldom-heard artists. It stated that the new station would ensure that a minimum of 25% of all programming broadcast would be musical selections composed or performed by Canadian Aboriginal artists. Where possible, live studio appearances or live broadcasts from local music venues would present well-known as well as previously unrecorded artists. The local programming produced in Edmonton would also be carried on the national AVRN network. AVR also committed to ensure that Aboriginal artists would receive featured exposure on programs with spoken-word background information through its plans to broadcast two, two-hour programs each week focusing on Aboriginal music and artists.

15.

In addition to the commitments noted above, AVR proposed to feature in-studio interviews with Aboriginal artists, programs hosted by Aboriginal guests and live studio performances. The applicant also set out plans to offer free promotion of performances by Native artists. As resources become available, AVR would also produce an annual talent showcase for emerging Aboriginal musical talent and a CD compilation.
 

Business plan

16.

AVR noted that the AVRN network is dependent upon national advertising. It suggested that the network's national advertising revenues would be enhanced by having an affiliate station in Edmonton, which is a desirable market for national advertisers. The applicant further stated that the projected increase in the network's national advertising revenue would defray the costs of operating the Edmonton station. AVR did not propose to solicit local Edmonton advertising initially. It stated that it would request prior approval from the Commission to solicit local advertising if its plans change.
 

Advisory Circle

17.

AVR's main advisory board, the Aboriginal Voices Advisory Circle, is made up of people from across Canada in different professions. This advisory board would promote and publicize the radio station's programming, gather material for AVRN and recruit members for a smaller group to be known as the Edmonton Media Advisory Circle. The smaller group would communicate the particular needs and interests of the local Aboriginal community to the network, and provide feedback and advice to the network on the programming needs of the Edmonton audience.
 

Employment equity

18.

AVR stated that it is essentially a gender-balanced organization with an Aboriginal component and, if licensed to operate in Edmonton, it would have every intention of including persons with disabilities in its staff. The applicant added that, while the staff of the proposed station would be predominantly Aboriginal and there would be requirements for knowledge of Aboriginal issues for some positions, qualified non-Aboriginal candidates would certainly be considered for employment. It further indicated that it has drafted an employment equity policy that recognizes women, Aboriginal peoples, persons with a disability and visible minorities.
 

The Commission's analysis and determination

19.

As set out inPublic Notice 2004-23, the Commission is satisfied that AVR's proposal will not have a significant negative financial impact on any existing local Edmonton radio station, and that the entry of AVR into the Edmonton market will not change the competitive balance of that market.

20.

The Commission considers that the business plan presented by AVR is satisfactory.

21.

With respect to the applicant's plans for Canadian talent development, the Commission is aware that, as a not-for-profit station, the proposed undertaking would not be able to dedicate a budget to financial assistance for talent development initiatives comparable to those of commercial radio stations. The Commission notes, however, the applicant's plans for the development of Canadian talent, and agrees that by providing increased airplay for Aboriginal musicians, the station will benefit the careers of Aboriginal artists.

22.

Further, the Commission is satisfied that the programming service proposed by AVR is consistent with the objectives of the Broadcasting Act (the Act), in particular its call for the provision of programming reflective of Canada's Aboriginal cultures.

23.

The Commission therefore approves the application by Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc. for a broadcasting licence to carry on a radio programming undertaking in Edmonton providing programming in English and Aboriginal languages at 89.3 MHz (channel 207C1) with an effective radiated power of 100,000 watts.

24.

The Commission is imposing requirements, as conditions of licence, consistent with the licences previously issued to AVR, that the applicant adhere to commitments to provide, in each broadcast week, a minimum of 2% of all programming and a minimum of 2% of all vocal musical selections in a Canadian Aboriginal language. Also consistent with the applicant's commitments, the Commission is imposing conditions of licence requiring that the applicant broadcast a minimum of nine hours of original local programming during each week, that a minimum of 25% of all programming each week be devoted to spoken word programming, and that a minimum of 25% of all musical selections each week be composed or performed by Canadian Aboriginal artists. In addition, the Commission is imposing a condition of licence requiring that a minimum of 35% of all popular music broadcast be Canadian.

25.

In accordance with AVR's commitment, the Commission expects the applicant to file with the Commission a list of the members of the Edmonton Media Advisory Circle, within six months of the date of this decision.

Issuance of the licence

26.

Consistent with the Commission's Native Broadcasting Policy, Public Notice CRTC 1990-89, 20 September 1990, the licence will be for a Native Type B FM radio programming undertaking. The licence will expire 31 August 2010 and will be subject to the conditions specified therein and set out in the appendix to this decision.

27.

The Department of Industry (the Department) has advised the Commission that, while this application is conditionally technically acceptable, it will only issue a broadcasting certificate when it has determined that the proposed technical parameters will not create any unacceptable interference with aeronautical NAV/COM services.

28.

The Commission reminds the applicant that, pursuant to section 22(1) of the Act, no licence may be issued until the Department notifies the Commission that its technical requirements have been met, and that a broadcasting certificate will be issued.

29.

Furthermore, the licence for this undertaking will be issued once the applicant has informed the Commission in writing that it is prepared to commence operations. The undertaking must be operational at the earliest possible date and in any event no later than 24 months from the date of this decision, unless a request for an extension of time is approved by the Commission before 5 April 2006. In order to ensure that such a request is processed in a timely manner, it should be submitted at least 60 days before this date.

30.

At the hearing, the Commission discussed with the applicant the delays in the implementation of the previously approved radio stations mentioned above. At the time of the hearing, only the Toronto station had commenced broadcasting (and even then, with limited spoken word programming). As a result, the Commission remains concerned about the slow progress in the implementation of these stations. The Commission will therefore closely monitor the progress of the implementation of AVR's stations.
 

Cultural diversity

31.

Section 3(1)(d)(iii) of the Act states, in part, that the Canadian broadcasting system should reflect the "multicultural and multiracial nature of Canadian society and the special place of aboriginal peoples within that society."

32.

AVR stated that, although the station would be operated predominantly by Aboriginal Canadians and would focus primarily on Aboriginal issues and concerns, it would reflect the reality of Canada's cultural diversity in its employment practices, news, music and promotion of Canadian artists.
  Secretary General
  This decision is to be appended to the licence. It is available in alternative format upon request, and may also be examined at the following Internet site: http://www.crtc.gc.ca
 

Appendix to Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2004-134

 

Conditions of licence

  1. In each broadcast week, the licensee shall broadcast, at a minimum, nine hours of original local programming.
  2. In each broadcast week, a minimum of 2% of all programming shall be broadcast in a Canadian Aboriginal language.
  3. In each broadcast week, a minimum of 2% of all vocal musical selections broadcast shall be in a Canadian Aboriginal language.
  4. In each broadcast week, a minimum of 25% of all programming broadcast shall be spoken word programming.
  5. In each broadcast week, a minimum of 25% of all musical selections shall be composed or performed by Canadian Aboriginal artists.
  6. In each broadcast week, a minimum of 35% of all musical selections from category 2 Popular music shall be devoted to Canadian selections played in their entirety.
  7. The licensee shall adhere to the guidelines on gender portrayal set out in the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' (CAB) Sex-role portrayal code for television and radio programming, as amended from time to time and approved by the Commission. The application of the foregoing condition of licence will be suspended as long as the licensee remains a member in good standing of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council.
  8. The licensee shall adhere to the provisions of the CAB's Broadcast code for advertising to children, as amended from time to time and approved by the Commission.

Date Modified: 2004-04-05