VOAR-AM, Religious – Christian Family Radio, St. John’s

Seventh Day Adventist Church

VOAR-AM1991121010,000Seventh Day Adventist Church
VOAR-AM19381230100Seventh Day Adventist Church
VOAR-AM1933106540Seventh Day Adventist Church
VOAR-AM193195025Seventh Day Adventist Church
8RA-AM193095025Seventh Day Adventist Church
8BSL-AM1929n/a10Seventh Day Adventist Church


Harold Williams, a pastor with the Seventh Day Adventist Church opened 8BSL with 10 watts of power. The “BSL” in the call sign stands for Bible Study League. The studio was on Freshwater Road.


On November 14, 8BSL became 8RA. The “RA” in the new call sign stands for Radio Association operating on 950 kHz with 25 watts.


The call letters changed again, this time to VONA (for Voice Of Newfoundland Adventists).


VONA was sold to Oscar Hierlihy. The Seventh Day Adventists set up a new station on Cookstown Road.


The call letters changed to VOAC (Voice Of the Adventist Church), now operating on 1065 kHz with 40 watts power.


The station made its final call letter change, to VOAR. The new calls stand for Voice Of Adventist Radio. VOAR operated with 100 watts on 1230 kHz. 


Under the Havana Treaty VOAR was to operate on 950 kHz (Class IV) with power of 25 watts as of March 29. The station remained on 1230 kHz.


Newfoundland joined Confederation as a province of Canada. Despite being owned by a religious organization and having a religious format, VOAR was allowed to remain on the air – with the “V” call sign.

The CBC board turned down VOAR’s request for a power increase.


VOAR 1230 had a power of 100 watts and was an independent non-commercial station with no network affiliation. It was owned by Newfoundland Mission of Seventh Day Adventists which was owned by the Eastern Canadian Union Conference Corporation of Seventh Day Adventists.


VOAR’s studios moved to 106 Freshwater Road.


At this time, VOAR was on the air weekdays from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. weekdays, 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturdays, and 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sundays. VOAR had four part-time and one full-time announcers.

Despite a power of only 100 watts, VOAR could be DXed from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. In January, Broadcaster Magazine recounted a story about how VOAR was picked up by a fisherman out drinking in his boat off Capetown, South Africa, and after hearing a sermonette on the station, “he was so moved by it that he tossed his drink and bottles overboard and went home to get reacquainted with his wife and family.”


VOAR received permission to continue its temporary use of one of VOCM 590’s transmitter towers, which it had been sharing since its own tower was downed in a January, 1985 storm. However, if the use was to be permanent, VOAR was to apply for an installation that conformed with Department of Communications standards by the end of the year.


VOAR received approval to increase power from 100 watts to 10,000 watts, to change frequency from 1230 kHz to 1210 kHz and to change the transmitter site. Since January of 1985, when its tower was destroyed in an ice storm, VOAR had been sharing the transmitter site of good neighbour 590 VOCM.

On November 11, VOAR made the technical moves approved earlier this year. Two towers were used at its new transmitter site.

VOAR started construction of new studios at 1041 Topsail Road. This was the location of the new head office of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, VOAR’s owner.


On February 2, Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Newfoundland and Labrador was given approval to add FM transmitters at Bay Roberts, Botwood, Corner Brook, Deer Lake, Gander, Goose Bay, Grand Falls, Lewisporte, Marystown, Port aux Basques, Springdale and Wabush to rebroadcast the programming of 
VOAR St. John’s. 


On October 8 the CRTC renewed VOAR’s licence until August 31, 2015. The renewal included the following rebroadcast transmitters: VOAR-1-FM Bay Roberts, VOAR-2-FM Marystown, VOAR-3-FM Lewisporte, VOAR-4-FM Gander, VOAR-5-FM Deer Lake, VOAR-6-FM Botwood, VOAR-7-FM Springdale, VOAR-8-FM Grand Falls, VOAR-9-FM Corner Brook, VOAR-10-FM Port aux Basques, VOAR-11-FM Goose Bay and VOAR-12-FM Wabush.


Early in the year, VOAR received CRTC approval to lower the antenna height and relocate the transmitter of VOAR-FM-9 Corner Brook.

On June 27, the CRTC approved VOAR’s application to operate an English-language specialty (Christian music) FM radio programming undertaking in Mount Pearl to replace VOAR-AM and its rebroadcasting transmitter VOAR-1-FM Bay Roberts. The new station would operate at 96.7 MHz (channel 244C1) with an ERP of 100,000 watts (non-directional antenna with EHAAT of 156.8 metres). VOAR stated the existing AM transmitter was in need of replacement and that it would be more cost-effective to convert VOAR to an FM station.

In October, VF2706 100.5 signed on the air in Big River, Saskatchewan to simulcast the programming of VOAR. Power was 50 watts.


VOAR rebroadcaster VF2538 at Nelson, B.C., was shut down.

In October, the following rebroadcast transmitters were removed from the ISEDC database: VF2487 Edson, AB, and VF2572 Ashcroft, BC.

VOAR began testing its new FM transmitter in St. John’s in December. Operating at 96.7 MHz with ERP of 100 kW, the new FM service would replace the AM 120 signal.

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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