The story of Nick Frost is the story of SILK-FM
The CRTC denied application by Nick Frost for an FM station at Kelowna, partly on the grounds that it was not satisfied, based on the evidence before it at that time, that the Kelowna market could support an independent FM station.
Silk FM Broadcasting Ltd re-applied on October 30, 1984 and at a hearing in Vancouver, provided evidence to support the contention that there was sufficient demand and potential market in Kelowna for the introduction of a new FM service. This time the application was successful and the CRTC granted the licence on December 21.
CILK-FM “Silk” signed on at 101.5 MHz with a Soft Adult Contemporary format at 10am, June 21 with an average effective radiated power of 11,000 watts. The transmitter had a northward-directed pattern from the 3,200 ft level of Okanagan Mountain, 7 kilometres south of Kelowna city centre.
On December 22, following a public hearing in Vancouver on October 25, the Commission approved the application from Shuswap Lakes Television Society for a licence at Magna Bay, 90 kilometres north of Kelowna, at 94.7 MHz, with a transmitter power of 6.3 watts to rebroadcast the programs of CILK-FM Kelowna. Twin Cities Radio Ltd., licensee of CFJC and CIFM-FM Kamloops, opposed the application on the grounds that Kamloops was the major city in the area. However, Shuswap convinced the Commission that residents in the area would prefer the easy listening format offered by CILK-FM to the rock or country music provided by Twin Cities.
On November 28 SILK FM Broadcasting Ltd. applied to amend the broadcasting licence for CILK-FM Kelowna by reducing the level of instrumental musical selections from 50% to 35% of all musical selections played each week.
On January 23 the CRTC approved the application to reduce the proportion of instrumental musical.
On May 7 SILK FM Broadcasting Ltd. applied to amend its broadcasting licence by relocating the transmitter site on Okanagan Mountain approximately 3 kilometers to the south and by decreasing the effective radiated power from 11,000 to 10,300 watts. The applicant indicated these changes would improve service to the Central Okanagan area. On July 19 the CRTC approved the application. The change to the new site was never made due to costs.
After attending an Internet session at the 1995 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention in Las Vegas, station owner Nick Frost hired a single employee whose mandate was to start up an Internet Service Provider (ISP). The work place, and all the associated equipment, was set up in the lobby of the radio station. By the end of the first week of operation there were five brand new Internet subscribers. Within five years the subscriber list was up to about 6000.
On November 6, SILK FM Broadcasting Ltd. applied to add a stereo re-broadcaster at Big White Mountain, a ski resort 45 kilometres southeast of Kelowna, operating on a frequency of 103.9 MHz with an effective radiated power of 30 watts. CRTC approval was received on December 17.
The CILK-FM re-broadcaster at Big White Mountain, officially designated by Industry Canada as VF2329, came on the air in February.
On June 6, affiliate Internet Service Provider Silk Net was sold to Pacific Coast Net Inc. in Victoria to bring enhanced Internet services to customers in the Okanagan region. On November 1, the station started Castanet.net "Kelowna's Home Page" as a local community web portal.
On April 2 SILK FM Broadcasting Ltd. proposed to add an FM transmitter at Magna Bay, which in effect was taking over the licence held since 1988 by Shuswap Lakes Television Society. On May 15 the CRTC approved the application and the licence became attached to the main CILK-FM licence. Nick Frost has held majority (66%) ownership of the company since inception, with another 10 smaller local shareholders. The station format, while having been adjusted over the years, has remained consistently Soft Adult Contemporary.
In August CILK-FM, along with other Kelowna stations sharing transmitter facilities was knocked off the air due to the massive Okanagan Mountain fire, which destroyed several residences in the city. Most stations returned with limited power. Full power wasn’t restored until January 2004.
At the end of June CILK-FM moved from “Soft Rock” to “All 80’s” which lasted until Labour Day, when it adopted an “80's, 90's & Now” format. On October 5 the CRTC announced that Silk FM Broadcasting had applied to add rebroadcast transmitters in the nearby Okanagan cities of Vernon and Penticton.
On February 28 the CRTC denied application to add the transmitters into Vernon and Penticton on the grounds that it would result in a significant increase to the coverage of CILK-FM into the adjacent radio markets.
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