The History of Radio at UBC






CiTR has a long history at UBC, evolving from an AMS Radio Society Club to its own independent Student Radio Society of the University of British Columbia. Volunteers from the campus and local community run it, so it is indeed student run radio.



The idea of a radio society on campus comes into prominence when some bored students decide to play records on an old gramophone in the student cafeteria at lunchtime. Not long after, members Struan Robertson, Ozzie Durkin, Dorwin Baird, Victor Freeman and Malcolm Brown get involved in a university publicity campaign, and “Varsity Time”, an information variety show, becomes a regular feature on CJOR.



UBC Radio becomes an official club under the “Literary and Scientific Executive”, the predecessor of the Alma Mater Society. “Varsity Time” moves to CBC for two shows a week.



Pierre Berton is the Radio Society’s chief announcer.



UBC Radio is recognized as a major campus group. “News from Campus” broadcasts on CKWX-AM; Campus sports on CJOR.



UBC Radio becomes RADSOC and gets MUSSOC (Musical Society), a weekly program on CJOR.



“Varsity Time” moves to CKWX and, together with MUSSOC, RADSOC produces programs for CJOR, CKMO, and CBR.



RADSOC is called “the leading Canadian University radio society” and moves into new studios, opened by Dr. Gordon Shrum, honorary RADSOC president.



Under President Ray Perrault, RADSOC expands, and two weekly programs are produced for CKWX and CKMO.



Affiliation with the Western University Radio Federation creates three new programs using CBC facilities. UBC Radio Club moves to “ultra-new” facilities in Brock Hall.



Due to several “mistakes” the year before — the foul-up of a major radio and talent show, overspending (an age-old problem), and unbalanced books — RADSOC members return to school in the fall and find the doors locked. Under the leadership of President Don Cunliffe, RADSOC is reinstated without a budget and broadcasts one hour daily.



Closed-circuit broadcasts to residences begin. UBC Radio Club and CKWX (BC Association of Broadcasters) operate twenty-two week school for commercial radio. The first full commercials are run on UBC Radio.



RADSOC withdraws from the Literary and Scientific Executive to join a seven-member, province-wide radio network organization.



Carrier current replaces closed circuit to residences.



FM is first discussed for RADSOC.



Radio Club moves to new, professionally designed studios (at the time, the most up-to-date in the city) in the newly completed Student Union Building. RADSOC officially becomes CYVR.



CYVR is shut down by the AMS for six months for operating without a licence. Changes in CRTC regulations requiring licensing of carrier current stations are the reason. CYVR had applied, but was continuing to broadcast pending approval of the licence. The station was shut down in January, but CRTC decision 74-260 approves the licence application, and UBC Radio is back in full force as Thunderbird Radio: CiTR.



CiTR goes cable through Vancouver first at 89.5, then 95.9, then 100.0, and now at 101.9 MHz. 1978

CiTR makes first application for an FM broadcast licence with the CRTC.



CiTR changes from an AMS club to an AMS service organization in recognition of the service CiTR provides to the students of UBC. Hopes for FM drop when the Department of Communication freezes the last FM channel in the city, leaving CiTR nothing to apply for.



CiTR gets really involved outside its studio doors for the first time since the 1940’s: working on council committees, helping out with orientation, attending conferences, promoting on-campus United Way programs (The Rick-a-Thon), Alumni Association programs, and last but not least, joining the National Campus Radio Organization (NCRO later known as the NCRA). From NCRO springs another affiliation, pioneered by UBC Radio and University of Alberta radio: the Western Association of Broadcaster, a Western Canadian campus support and information group that had died out twenty years ago. CiTR is incorporated as a society. September 14th: Low Power FM licence approval.



April 1st : CiTR broadcasts at 49 watts in mono at 101.9 FM. Hooray! Much rejoicing. First song: “Dancing in the Streets” by Martha Reeves and the Vandellas.



July 20: Stereo! Towards the end of the year, CiTR proposes to go high power at 107.9 MHz, but the Department of Communications turns it down due to potential interference to radio navigation facilities at Vancouver International Airport. Elections all over the place. CiTR hosts NCRA Conference.



November: CiTR proposes a unique and special licensing plan using a directional radio antenna (for the first time in Canada) to allow the use of 101.9 MHz simultaneously in Vancouver and Victoria at a substantially increased power. Seattle’s Rocket magazine picks DiSCORDER as one of the Top 20 Publications in the World for 1985—the only Canadian rag to get that honour.



Flare magazine picks CiTR FM as What’s Hot in Canada for 1987.



October 8th: CiTR celebrates 50 YEARS OF UBC RADIO with a gala reunion dinner. The Perrault brothers, Ray and Ernie— former RADSOC presidents in the 40’s — are honoured as Great Trekkers for their outstanding contributions to the University over the years.



Wow! DiSCORDER is a finalist in the Western Canadian Magazine Awards competition for both Magazine of the Year (circulation under 20,000) and Cover of the Year (50th issue cover, March ’87). Dave Gregg quits D.O.A.



February 2nd (Groundhog Day): CiTR goes HIGH POWER to 1800 watts with a giant balloon release and a giant Groundhog Gootch courtesy of Evelyn Roth! First song: “Have Not Been the Same” by Slow. First Annual Scholten Cup Softball Tournament is held in minus-20 degree weather. DiSCORDER balloons into a tabloid-sized rag.



CiTR hosts DJ Soundwar Chapter One, Vancouver’s first rap competition. Entrants come from as far away as L.A. Best MC: Richmond’s Terror T. CiTR suffers through the infamous Public Enemy controversy. It fizzles out unnoticed. Big surprise.



Details magazine names CiTR as one of the cool radio stations in “these United States.” Speaking of magazines, DiSCORDER celebrates its 100th issue with a retrospective of the first nine years. Everyone else quits D.O.A.



April 1st (Idiot’s Day): CiTR celebrates 55 YEARS OF UBC RADIO and 10 YEARS ON FM. CiTR hosts the NCRA Conference for the second time in eight years.



CiTR starts broadcasting BBC world news from satellite. D.O.A. get back together.



CiTR becomes the first radio station in Vancouver to hit the internet with an email address and gopher site.



Elements magazine publishes its first issue. CiTR website in full force.



CiTR holds a referendum asking UBC students for five dollars per yer, per student. It fails. Later that year, the AMS cuts our budget big time.



April 1st (Idiot’s Day): CiTR celebrates 60 YEARS OF UBC RADIO.



CiTR wins a "Standard" Award equaling $2800 for our outstanding APEC coverage... our noozies celebrate with wild abandon. We prove we're not just about good music but a happening social conscience too.



A big year!!! We hold a second referendum. Our campaigning trail is littered with shirtless roller-skating execs. and Mr Tapehead stickers. It passes, but we don't get quorum. Later that year, on a group question, we try again and the darn thing finally passes and we receive some sort of guaranteed funding -- $4 per student -- and a contract with the AMS to boot!! Special days of programming include 24 Hours of Radio Art, Day for the Elimination of Racism, International Women's Day, Loud and Queer, and MEDIanATION.



CiTR opens a brand spankin' new studio, starts broadcasting on the web and rocks on into the future.


2001- After twenty years of providing music , CiTR Mobile Sound gets kicked

out of the Pit Pub, costing the station close to $20,000 a year.  CiTR

secretly vows revenge on AMS Events.


2002 - CiTR celebrates its 65th year. 




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