CHSR gets a facelift

CHSR is undergoing some major renovations (Megan Cooke/AQ)
CHSR is undergoing some major renovations (Megan Cooke/AQ)
CHSR is undergoing some major renovations (Megan Cooke/AQ)

On Jan. 6, the CHSR team was surprised to find that half their station had suffered water damage over the Christmas break. What was less surprising was the number of people ready to lend a hand.

“This September we’re looking at a new CHSR and we’re pretty excited for that,” said Tim Rayne, station manager.

Repairs and renovations have now begun at the station and Rayne says this will be an opportunity to make CHSR even better providing a larger space for audio and news content.

“We are really looking forward to having a new multi-purpose room. This will be designed to allow us to do more news and allow the journalism students to do more documentary and audio work. It also allows us to focus on audio drama as well.”

It also means more off the floor recording for bands and artists, meaning live recordings and more of them.

“There’s kind of a sense of excitement.” said Mark Kilfoil production manager at CHSR, “I can never forget the day, seeing water come through the walls was pretty much a shocker, but everything that’s happened after that has been just how can we help out? People sending us messages that same day saying, ‘How can we help?’”

In just over two months the station raised roughly $5,500. Rayne said that money came directly from a supportive community.

“It came from local businesses that supported us, individuals who listen to the station, and it also came from the music community itself. Ben Caplan gave us $200 and we’ve had just amazing support from a whole array of people including the Mayor,” said Rayne.

Raising that money wasn’t an easy task. The station had their hands full organizing events, concerts and a crowd funding campaign.

“I think crowd funding campaigns offer an opportunity for individuals to give in to projects larger than themselves without having to feel obligated to give huge amounts of money. It’s about getting a larger amount of people to help commit to do just that,” said Kilfoil.

“It’s something we have always tried to stress here at the station is that we’re part of the community and we want the community to feel like they’re part of us as well.”

The station offered perks and incentives for people to donate whatever they could to the renovations and repairs  – from a simple CHSR mug to sponsorship opportunities for local businesses and organizations.

“This is also a window back to the community, like telling everyone why this is happening, why we did need this money. Well we’re going to show them the repairs that are being done and show the work that is being done throughout,” said Kilfoil.

Erin Bond is a volunteer coordinator for CHSR and a frequent doodler. She began doing paintings on vinyl, and then people began offering her money for them.

“When everything shit the bed here, I had a lot of people still interested in the vinyl so for the entire month of February whoever wanted vinyl I told them I would do it for them, for a donation towards the station.”

The whole team is glad to put the experience behind them, but agree the experience has been a positive one for the future of CHSR.

“What we’re really excited for is we are in the stages of actually doing the repairs and renovations to the studios currently,”said Rayne. “It has allowed us to move ahead and it’s also given us a lot of excitement here in the station to know that there are a lot of people behind us.”