CHLY-FM, Campus, Nanaimo

Radio Malaspina Society

CHLY-FM2001101.7Radio Malaspina Society


The Radio Malaspina Society was formed at Malaspina University-College in Nanaimo, BC on Vancouver Island.


At a public hearing, which commenced November 20, 2000 at the Hilton Vancouver Metrotown, the CRTC heard application by Radio Malaspina Society for a broadcasting licence to carry on an English-language FM campus/community programming undertaking at Nanaimo. Spearheading the application were Administrative Manager Gord Bibby, Technical Manager Kam Abbott and Program Manager Mario Ravello.


In February, the Society started up a broadcast website. On April 1 live streaming of station CHLY-FM commenced.

On June 5 the CRTC approved the application for a community-based campus radio station. Under it’s new campus radio policy, the Commission noted that it expected Canadian music, not generally heard on commercial stations (including special interest music, as well as styles of popular music seldom broadcast), in-depth spoken word programming, and programming targeted to specific groups within the community. The Commission also noted the applicant’s plans to devote more than 5% of its weekly schedule to foreign language programming, to provide a further seven hours of Aboriginal-language programming, and three hours in French each week.

The new station, CHLY-FM was licensed to operate at 101.7 MHz with an average effective radiated power of 1300 watts (3000 watts peak ERP).

At 6:30 a.m. on September 21, CHLY-FM began transmitting a test signal on 101.7 from the same tower as the other two Nanaimo stations, CKWV-FM and CHWF-FM at Cottle Hill, just north of the city. The station ran promotional information for the first two weeks until the studio transmitter link was completed allowing program origination from their studios.

The station officially signed on at 6 p.m. Friday October 5, four months to the day, after official CRTC approval, with an on-air party followed by a live Nanaimo Clippers hockey broadcast. Coverage included north to Qualicum and south to Ladysmith on Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, plus parts of Vancouver and the BC Lower Mainland and into the northwest corner of Washington State.


Community station CHLY FM 101.7 planned to take over a space formerly occupied by a pub and a strip bar. The heritage building, once a hotel, would, when renovations were completed, be a restaurant and a place for live music to be broadcast on the station and its website. CHLY planned to stay at its current location for another year, and the live venue in the 124-year-old Globe Hotel was projected to open once or twice a week to allow it to build a clientele.

The story continues elsewhere…
Effective September 1st 2019, we will only be adding new material to these station histories in exceptional circumstances. Our intent to chronicle the early days of these radio and television stations has been achieved, and many new sources and technologies, from the CRTC website to Wikipedia, and others, are now regularly providing new information in these areas.

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