Encore Episode: Bookmobile, Ep. 5 — The Trouble With Poets

Naomi WakanIn the final episode of “Bookmobile,” Gabriola Island poet and essayist Naomi Wakan (also Nanaimo’s first Poet Laureate) offers her thoughts on what poetry is and does — or should do. We also get to hear more of her own work than, modestly, she has included before. Music: John Field’s Nocturne No. 5 in Bb, George Gao performing “Galloping Horses” in concert, and the Carolina Chocolate Drops “Cornbread and Butter Beans.” “Now that’s a sensible, everyday topic for a poem,” says Naomi. First posted Nov. 10, 2014.


When will CKGI begin broadcasting?


We’d like to bring you up to speed on our efforts to secure a tower location, so that we might begin broadcasting

If Gabriola is to have a community radio station, there is only one viable location for its transmission tower, and that’s the site known as Stoney Ridge. Because of Gabriola’s geography, it is the only location capable of reaching most of the island; any other location would exclude large parts of Gabriola. Besides the fact that a radio station that did not reach large parts of our community would not really be a community radio station, such coverage would be particularly inadequate in the event of an emergency, such as an earthquake, forest fire, or extended power outage. It is because the tower proposed for Stoney Ridge would minimize gaps in coverage, and provide much better coverage than currently exists, that the Fire Chief has written a letter in support of our proposal.

You may remember that in 2013 the Islands Trust declined to concur with our request to locate a tower at Stoney Ridge, and asked for additional information. Beginning in October of that year, and continuing through 2014, we worked to provide the Trust with the additional information it required, staying in close communication with them throughout to ensure that we satisfied all their requests.

In November of last year, they declined to concur again.

Their reasons for non-concurrence contained many of the same factual errors as their first decision. In fact, it was not clear to us that the additional materials and information we had provided meantime were taken into account in reaching that second decision. We sought clarification in a letter in December, asking for further information and pointing again to errors in the reasons given for their decision. They have declined to reply to our letter.

For that reason, we have submitted an impasse request to Industry Canada, which has final authority in the matter. Industry Canada will now gather information from both parties, and issue a decision.

We would prefer a solution made on Gabriola, but that is not possible if the Trust won’t respond to our requests for information, as we responded to theirs. We expect Industry Canada’s decision in mid-year. The CRTC has given us an extended deadline of Nov. 2, 2015 to begin broadcasting. After that, the licence will be lost.

However, we remain optimistic that we will be able to flip the broadcast switch before then. In that spirit of optimism, we invite you to consider the “20 Points of Love for Gabriola Radio CKGI”on our website, which will provide you with further details regarding our tower proposal, and all the reasons we think CKGI would be very good for Gabriola. You’ll find them at the link below.

If you have any questions or comments, we welcome them at stnmgr@ckgi.ca.


20 Points of Love for CKGI Radio

Here is my summary of the top reasons for the Gabriola Islands Trust Committee and staff (and you) to support the Gabriola Radio Society (GRS) Application to establish a 40 metre communications tower at Stoney Ridge.

1. Preserve and protect. The current use for the land known as Stoney Ridge is gravel pit. The applied use of transmitter (in the easement area) better preserves and protects the environment. 

2.  Clean Economic Development. Gabriola Radio Society is a local not-for-profit society, therefore, profit is not a motivation. GRS has already contributed nearly $18,000 to the Gabriola economy through its Community Radio Fund of Canada (CRFC) sponsored Spoken Word project, nearly all of which went to Gabriola artists, techs, and businesses. 

Further, the GRS hosting of National and Regional conferences has generated an additional estimated $40,000 for the local economy. I am also pleased to announce we have also just been awarded another CRFC grant of $30,000 for development of radio station software.

All this without considering the value of the CRTC license and its economic impact.  
3. Preserve and protect. GRS agrees to mitigate any potential for damage to the wetland or mature forest. The use of the land for a transmitter is an improvement over gravel pit use. No tree removal is necessary. The tower is high enough to remain operational above the eventual tree height.
4. Best use. The use is consistent with high ground property. Best supports communication towers. 

5. Low Power. GRS has proposed a radio service below the threshold set by Islands Trust for areas with continuous human activity within 500 metres of the structure — 60 watts erp, 0.075 microwaves per cm squared at the base of the structure.

5a. SAFE. The GRS radio service will operate at 1,500 times lower than the most stringent requirements found in Safety Code 6.

6. Ideal location. No location on Gabriola, approved for communication tower use, was designed for the difficult task of broadcasting to Gabriola. All other sites are designed to broadcast off Gabriola. The tower location is central geographically on Gabriola, so best suited to serve the entire island. This area was also chosen by the CBC for their application to serve Nanaimo with the CBC Victoria service. 

The site will also reach additional areas not currently served by CHLY, a Nanaimo campus radio service. 

The Stoney Ridge site is the only acceptable site for local emergency service, as it will provide the widest coverage possible, to as many people as possible, in the event of a catastrophe. If Gabriola experiences a major earthquake or forest fire, for example, somewhat good communication won’t be good enough.  Our monopole tower is designed to be able to continue operating during an extended power outage.

7. Low development impact. No other location, with this much potential, is available on Gabriola. Power, road, telecommunications infrastructure all close by. No other site can be developed with similarly low impact.

8. Isolated area. The transmitter site is planned for a low population area. 

9. Suitable terrain. Construction will not impact wetlands as the site slopes away from them. We have also documented that the proposal does not contravene RDN covenants. 

10. Low Cost. The economic and social benefits of a community radio station will be provided to Gabriola at minimal, if any, cost. This radio service also has a lower carbon footprint than newspaper print services and is less expensive to operate than community television. 

11. Supports goals of Islands Trust. Community radio offers a communication service to advance the goals of the Islands Trust by informing residents about Trust issues and services and enabling additional public participation. For example, reminders regularly broadcast about energy conservation can enable real social change.

12. Demonstrated Community Support. GRS application is supported by more people than opposed as evidenced by letters submitted in support of the application and signatures on a clearly written petition. Gabriola Islands Trust Committee wrote a letter of support in favour of this community radio proposal. Additional letters of support were submitted by our MP, MLA and other community leaders. The funding required to bring this proposal and station to its current, viable position came freely from the pockets of residents.

13. Stable. Community radio in Canada is a stable venture with a very low chance of failure, especially now that the Community Radio Fund of Canada exists and funds community stations. 

14. Funded. GRS has just been awarded a $30,000 grant to develop radio station software. The maximum amounts for funding have been increased to $50,000 per station, more if stations combine their applications.

15. Proven Media. GRS has an established track record as a communication medium on Gabriola. We have already produced over 100 hours of music and spoken word programming by and for Gabriolans, which can be heard on our website at ckgi.ca. Among many other programs, we have provided extended coverage of the ferry cuts, participated in the national Resonating Reconciliation series,  and, most recently, interviewed the local candidates for the Islands Trust. However, by definition, a community radio service should not be restricted to those able to afford internet service and the technology required to use it, which, along with the reasons given above, is why we continue to pursue a radio service
As well, our three community bulletin boards on Facebook constitute the largest social media group on the island, with over 2500 members. 

16. Connected. CBC has demonstrated support for CKGI by providing technical and administrative support. Friends like the CBC help ensure a successful radio service. 

17. Emergency Resource. GRS proposes a monopole tower, which can be used during extended power outages, following earthquakes and snow storms. 

18. Ready to Go On Air. GRS is already approved for use of 98.7 FM by the CRTC. Transmitter, antennae are on hand.

19. Ongoing support. The community has demonstrated support, for over a decade, for the service.

20. Enabling. Community radio is an enabling service for other community groups. Community radio provides outreach and funding opportunities.

CKGI – President


Gabriola Radio Co-operative operates as a volunteer organization with a growing membership consisting of Gabriola residents and visitors. We hold regular monthly public meetings the first Wednesday of each month at different locations around the Island.

We invite you to share your ideas for Gabriola’s own FM radio station.

Our mission is to provide the island and surrounding communities of Gabriola, Valdes, Mudge, Link, DeCourcy, Ruxton, Pylades with an FM Radio Station capable of performing the following:

 a. provide, local and Canadian, actors and musicians a broadcast platform on an alternative, commercial free community radio station;

b. offer the general public an intelligent, innovative, entertaining, alternative to the programming fare currently offered;

c. communicate, with the highest standards of journalism, the concerns, interests and activities of the gulf islands to the general public;

d. give groups from the community (other than partisan political or religious groups) an opportunity to communicate with their members and with the general public;

e. give individuals, from all age groups and cultural backgrounds, an

opportunity to develop and use their creative talents on radio.

Our Coverage objectives are, “to establish an ongoing community radio station that can broadcast during an extended period of declared emergency to the region under the authority of the Gabriola Provincial Emergency Coordinator and additionally Cedar, Yellowpoint and Nanaimo. This region would include the Islands in the immediate vicinity of – Valdes, Gabriola, Mudge, Link, DeCourcey, Pylades, Ruxton, Tugboat and the communities of Cedar, Yellowpoint and Nanaimo.”

Community Radio can help create bridges in any diverse population base. Gabriola and the surrounding communities will benefit from this community building enterprise. Radio creates a voice that helps develop understanding, tolerance, and even acceptance among diverse groups such as exist locally.

– Guidelines and Policies
– Our Mandate
– Developments
– Personelle

Create a program!

CKGI welcomes proposals for new programs. Residents of Gabriola are particularly encouraged to present proposals, but we welcome them from anywhere.

Both spoken word and music program proposals are invited. As at most community radio stations, programmers will be volunteers. If your proposal is chosen, you’ll be asked to produce a pilot episode before we commit to a series. CKGI members will be available to advise and assist, as necessary.

Proposals may be submitted at any time.


Program Proposal Guidelines

Please include the following information in your program proposal:

Submission Date
Show host(s) Name, Address, Phone Number & email
Proposed Program Name
Length of Program (15 minutes, 30 minutes, 60 minutes)
Do you see this program running on a regular basis? If so, daily? Weekly? Bi-weekly? Monthly?
Do you live on Gabriola? (You don’t have to, but proposals from residents of Gabriola are particularly encouraged.)
Description: Brief description of program theme, content, and objective.

Format: Please state whether you are applying as a solo host or co-host (if co-host, please tell us who your partner will be, if you know), or as a collective program.

Content: Description of objective, themes, content, For spoken word programs, any regular features that would be part of the program (interviews, book or album reviews, activist rally listings, Cooking Corner, etc.). For music programs, genre or genres of music you would play.

Host Bio: List any applicable volunteer or employment experience, community involvement, social service experience, writing, public speaking, etc. that you think would be relevant to producing this program.

Production: Do you have your own equipment (microphones, audio editing equipment, etc.)? If not, CKGI will supply.

Training: Would you need training and other assistance in radio production (recording, editing, podcasting, etc.) in order to produce a pilot episode of your program? (If so, we’re glad to supply it.) Or do you have the skills already to help train others – and if so, would you be willing to do so?

Availability: If your proposal is selected, how long do you think it would take you to produce a pilot episode of your program?

Please email your proposal to the Programming Committee at pd@ckgi.ca or mail it to CKGI, PO Box 98.7, Gabriola Island, BC V0R 1X0.

Questions? Contact Frank Moher, Programming Director, at pd@ckgi.ca. Thanks for making your creativity and energy available to CKGI, and your community!

Latest programming on CKGI

  1. Best of Joy Infusion: Elders Michele Fire-River Heart 1:00:00
  2. Singer-Songwriter Ep. 50 – Blues George Macdonald 59:59
  3. Best of Arrhythmia: Cats Alive – A Non-Profit That Cares For Cats Michael Mehta 30:12
  4. Singer-Songwriter Ep. 49 – Eclectic George Macdonald 59:59
  5. Encore Episode: Bookmobile, Ep. 5 - The Trouble With Poets Naomi Wakan 29:20
  6. Best of Arrhythmia: Marine Conservation and Community-Level Decision-Making Michael Mehta 44:45
  7. Singer Songwriter Ep. 48 - By Water George Macdonald 59:47
  8. Encore Episode: Bookmobile, Ep. 4 – Gardening and Gardening Books Naomi Wakan 35:54
  9. Best of Arrhythmia: Intuitive Living and the Spiritual Journey Michael Mehta 59:53
  10. Singer-Songwriter Ep. 47 - By Road George Macdonald 59:58
  11. Encore Episode: Bookmobile, Ep. 3 – Don’t Quote Me Naomi Wakan 31:53
  12. Best of Arrhythmia: Fit after 50 Michael Mehta 45:16
  13. Singer-Songwriter, Ep. 46 - By Air and Rail George Macdonald 59:58
  14. Encore Episode: Bookmobile, Ep. 2 – Travel Writing Naomi Wakan 36:20
  15. Best of Arrhythmia: Aging on an Island Michael Mehta 45:32
  16. Singer-Songwriter, Ep. 45 - Covers George Macdonald 59:36
  17. Encore Episode: Bookmobile, Ep. 1 - The Poetry of Aging Naomi Wakan 28:49
  18. Rhythm Stick Freakshow, Ep. 39 - Friendship-7 Prof. Mariachi 1:00:00
  19. Singer-Songwriter, Ep. 44 - War and Politics George Macdonald 59:59
  20. Encore Episode: The Farmer's Table, Ep. 9 - Heirloom Seeds, Heritage Breeds Alexandria Stuart & Sean Enns 30.00
  21. Singer-Songwriter Ep. 43 - Eclectic George Macdonald 59.55
  22. Rhythm Stick Ep.38 - Suckerpunch Prof. Mariachi 1:00:01
  23. Singer-Songwriter, Ep. 42 - Relationships George Macdonald 59:58
  24. Encore Presentation: The Farmer's Table, Ep. 8 - Seed Sovereignty Alexandria Stuart & Sean Enns 30.00
  25. Rhythm Stick, Ep. 37 - Just Inside Prof. Mariachi 1:00:00
  26. Singer-Songwriter, Ep. 41 - Blues George Macdonald 58:34
  27. Arts on Board, Ep. 15 - Concert on the Green, Jessica Stuart, Remembering Antony Holland Frank Moher 36:11
  28. Arts on Board a la carte: Dixon Kenney and Concert on the Green Frank Moher 14:30
  29. Arts on Board a la carte: Jessica Stuart plays the Rollo Roost Frank Moher 11:01
  30. Arts on Board a la carte: Remembering Antony Holland Frank Moher 5:05
  31. The 60s Show, Ep. 7: Sock-Hop Special John Roman 01:10:22
  32. Encore Presentation: The Farmer's Table, Ep. 7 - Market Madness Alexandria Stuart & Sean Enns 30.00
  33. Singer-Songwriter, Ep. 40 - By Water George Macdonald 59.57
  34. Rhythm Stick, Ep. 36 - Rewrite Insight Prof. Mariachi 1:00:01
  35. Wildfires: An interview with Fire Chief Rick Jackson Frank Moher 13:08
  36. Live at the Surf, Ep. 4: Featuring John Gresham Steve Elder 58:12
  37. Gabriola Stories, Ep. 1: Early settlements, “Gabriola Roots: The Land Provides” Gabriola Museum 19:34
  38. Singer-Songwriter, Ep. 39 - By Road George Macdonald 59:40
  39. Rhythm Stick, Ep. 35 - Cooped Prof. Mariachi 1:00:00
  40. Gabriola Current, Ep. 1: Eco-Cottage Tear-Down, "Gabriola Roots: The Land Provides," Karma Yoga, A Tribute John Hague Tobi Elliott, Frank Moher, Nicholas Heather, Michele FireRiver-Heart 1:05:12
  41. Gabriola Current a la carte: Eco-Cottage Tear-Down Frank Moher
  42. Gabriola Current: "Gabriola Roots: The Land Provides" Tobi Elliott 13:25
  43. Gabriola Current: Karma Yoga Nicholas Heather 10:31
  44. Gabriola Current: A Tribute to John Hague Michele FireRiverHeart 12:53
  45. Live at the Surf, Ep. 3: Featuring Heather Macleod Steve Elder 45:02
  46. The Farmer's Table, Ep. 6: Where's the Beef? Alexandria Stuart & Sean Enns 29:59
  47. The 60s Show, Ep. 6: British Invasion II John Roman 1:24:59
  48. Rhythm Stick, Ep. 34 - XS-NRG Prof. Mariachi 1:00:1:00:0000
  49. Singer-Songwriter, Ep. 38: By Rail George Macdonald 59:59

Arts on Board

  1. Ep. 15: 2015 Concert on the Green, Jessica Stuart, Remembering Antony Holland 36.11
  2. Ep. 15 a la carte: Dixon Kenney, Concert on the Green 14:30
  3. Ep. 15 a la carte: Singer-songwriter Jessica Stuart 11:01
  4. Ep. 15 a la carte: Remembering Antony Holland 5:05
  5. Ep. 14: Change in the Harbour City 31:46
  6. Ep. 13: Arthur Milner, Jerry Wasserman, "Facts". 31:48
  7. Ep. 13 sneak preview: Jerry Wasserman of "Facts". 6:27
  8. Ep. 12: Gabriola Christmas craft fairs, Island Singers 47:38
  9. Ep. 11: Performance poet Jem Rolls, Radio After Dark and "The Magic of Time", Mary Desprez of TheatreOne 32:01
  10. Ep. 10: 2014 Gabriola Theatre Festival (Alina Cerminara, Darien Edgeler), Nanaimo Fringe Festival 1:00:38
  11. Ep. 9: Summer Breeze Arts Tour (Ocean Mussack, Kate Wood), Nanaimo Blues Festival 30.38
  12. Ep. 8: 2014 Isle of the Arts Festival - Devon Featherstone, Jeff Molloy, Trevor Tamboline and animation 30.47
  13. Ep. 7: Gabriola Players' "Inherit the Wind", Islands Short Fiction Contest 31:53
  14. Ep. 6: Gaming the Arts 25:31
  15. Ep. 5: Starlets Christmas Burlesque, Art & Activism Festival
  16. Ep. 5 sneak preview: Art & Activism Festival 15:13
  17. Ep. 4: 2013 Gabriola Theatre Festival, Nanaimo Fringetastic Festival 1:02:26
  18. Ep. 3: Radio After Dark, Gabriola Pops Beatles' tribute 29:42
  19. Ep. 2: Gabriola Museum's "Free Spirits, Changing Times", Aloha Ukelele Festival 31:04
  20. Ep. 1: 2013 Summer Breeze Studio Cruise, Naomi Wakan, David Bateman, Tanka 29:25