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KCR hosts Polar Bear Dip, expands broadcast reach throughout West Kootenay

The Nelson Daily Staff
By The Nelson Daily Staff
December 28th, 2023

As Kootenay Co-op Radio celebrates its new transmitter to the top of Elephant Mountain, the Co-op rings in the New Year with the iconic Nelson Polar Bear Swim fundraiser at Rotary Lakeside Park, Monday, January 1, 2024 at Noon.

The event is a fundraiser for KCR and Friends of Kootenay Lake.

Prizes will be awarded for the Top Individual Youth and Team Fundraisers and Best Costume.

Support from locals continues to assist KCR to improve so it can better serve our region and help Friends of Kootenay Lake carry out important stewardship projects needed to improve the health of Kootenay Lake.

Throughout the year, the festivities will continue with special events, fundraisers, outreach to members and activities to honour the past and the hundreds of programmers and guests who have taken a turn behind the mic.

The new broadcast location on top of Elephant Mountain allows the station to reach more communities and creates a higher quality radio signal. KCR’s longtime frequency at 93.5 FM now reaches Castlegar, Trail, Salmo, Ymir, Winlaw and the south end of the Slocan Valley.

“The expansion of the broadcast area aligns with Kootenay Co-op Radio’s mission to be a community and cultural hub for the West Kootenays,” says Ed Zych, KCR’s Operations and Programming Manager, adding that KCR’s mandate is to provide local news, spoken word and diverse music produced in the region.

“We’d love to hear from people in and around the West Kootenays, to see who’s listening and where our signal can reach.”

“This is also a good opportunity for people outside of Nelson who’d like to join KCR as a volunteer programmer,” says Amélie Sauquet-Davidson, KCR’s Advertising and Sponsorship Coordinator.

“You can sign up, get trained and host a radio show that reflects the community you live in.”

Kootenay Co-op Radio’s new transmitter and its increased audience were just two of the major accomplishments celebrated at KCR’s recent annual general meeting.

KCR’s Operations and Programming Manager Ed Zych and Columbia Wireless have installed a powerful new transmitter for the station, high atop Elephant Mountain. — Submitted photo

Kootenay Co-op Radio’s new Board of Directors has also been announced. The board includes continuing directors Kathleen Cauley, Marco Pringle and Jaymes Bowman, and new members Hannah DeBoer-Smith and Sydney Huculak.

“I’m truly honoured and excited to join the board of directors and look forward to contributing to the direction and continued success of our beautiful, community-powered co-operative radio station,” said Huculak.

Michelle Oakley, board co-chair for the past four years, ended her tenure. So did outgoing board members Kim Bater, Bonnie Baker and Darren Davidson.

The 2023 Hall of Fame volunteer award went to Keith Wiley for his on-going commitment to KCR, most notably with the long-running show The Ecocentric.

Volunteer Of The Year honors went to Nick Jones, the lead tradesman helping develop a live performance venue in the KCR station basement, at 305 Hall Street.

With capacity for 30 people, the space will fill the community’s need for an intimate, affordable cultural space, right in the heart of Nelson.

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