South Peace News
Back on the air after more than two years, francophone radio station CKRP was celebrated with a relaunch Aug. 21 when a new name and logo were unveiled.
Nord-Ouest FM CKRP 95.7 was announced as the new name of the community radio station based in Falher under new management.
“Congratulations to CKRP on its relaunch,” M.D. of Smoky River Reeve Robert Brochu says at the brief ceremonies.
Serving the Peace region, the station was also congratulated by other government officials.
“Residents are excited to have the radio station back on the air,” Northern Sunrise County Carolyn Kolebaba says.
Central Peace – Notley MLA Todd Loewen expressed greetings from the Government of Alberta.
“It is important to conserve the language and unique heritage of the francophone community here in the northwest of Alberta,” Loewen says as he spoke in English and French.
“I offer my congratulations and best wishes to you on the occasion of CKRP-FM’s return to the air.”
Loewen also presented a scroll from the government to congratulate the radio station and the new non-profit organization, Société CKRP Radio Rivière-La-Paix.
Society president Carmen Ewing lauded radio assistant director Esther Picard, who helped revive the radio station.
“She had a dream, she had a passion and determination to not let the radio station go off the air forever,” Ewing says.
“She recruited gently, and otherwise, a group of supporters to revive the radio station.
“It would have been a shame to see it fade out.”
CKRP-FM returned to live programming in December 2019 after the station went off the air in October 2017.
The Peace regional office of the Association canadienne-française de l’Alberta (ACFA) operated the community radio until November 2017 when the local ACFA ran into trouble and decided to pull the plug.
Initially started in October 1996, the revived radio station is committed to serve the region.
The relaunch event featured live performances by local musicians, all of which took part in the series Reminiscing with Local Artists, a one-hour program that ran on CKRP from February to July 2020.
Oldtimers such as Raymond Rey, Philippe Dubé, Léon Roy and Henri Roy, Carmen Pelletier and the Joël Lavoie band, along with up-and-coming artists Ariane Côté and Manon Mano entertained the crowd throughout the afternoon.
The live entertainment lasted from noon until 5:30 p.m. and was broadcast live onCKRP.
The Relaunch show will be broadcast again Sept. 7 from noon to 5 p.m.
Nord-Ouest FM employs a small team of employees, including general manager Gisèle Bouchard, assistant manager Esther Picard, Vincent Lavoie, a Young Canada Works interns as well as Justine Dubrûle, a summer student.
This fall, the station will be producing two new shows En direct du Nord-Ouest, a public affairs and local news program starting in September hosted by Vincent Lavoie and Accents Nord-Ouest, a cultural content program hosted by Gisèle Bouchard.
Three reporters will be providing local coverage for the station thanks to funding from Young Canada Works and from the Community Radio Funds of Canada.
As a community radio station, Nord-Ouest FM is looking for volunteer hosts and technicians.
Training and guidance will be provided.
“We’re here to support the communities,” Ewing says. “We need everyone’s support to support our communities.”
The radio station is supported by volunteers.
“Every little bit counts,” Ewing says. “Give us ideas for programs.”
CKRP is open to promote and cover community events, Ewing says.
The society always welcomes volunteers and board members.