When Penticton’s Peach City Radio launched online in 2014, the leaders of the platform wanted to make sure its content would reflect the makeup of the community.
Five years later, the station would officially make its presence felt on the FM dial — CFUZ 92.9.
As station president Jackie Del Rizzo celebrated Peach City Radio’s three-year on-air anniversary Saturday (Feb. 5), she took a moment to reflect on the importance of the station.
“We’ve gotten to see how much support we get from the community,” said Del Rizzo.
“This is meant to be a reflection of the community in which it lives. There is no specific genre of music (we play) and we’re very proud that community members come and use the station as a tool to be able to share something that they’re passionate about.”
Peach City Radio is run entirely by volunteers, from on-air hosts to programming directors and audio engineers.
Donations to keep the station running were accepted all day Saturday as part of its three-year anniversary celebration.
Peach City Radio is proud to separate itself from commercial radio outlets.
“It took people a little bit of time to understand that community radio was different than commercial radio,” explained Del Rizzo.
“Commercial radio is owned by some kind of entity and people know what to expect with its content. A community station is not owned by a corporation and there is no specific genre of music. If you are part of this community, then there’s a place for you here.”
Peach City Radio’s 2019 emergence on the FM dial from Oliver to Peachland didn’t happen overnight.
“You can’t just wake up one day and say ‘I’m going to start a radio station’,” said Dave Del Rizzo, board of directors member and Jackie’s husband.
“We pulled a core group of people together that really worked hard on it, submitted the application and eventually we were successful.”
The belief from a few Penticton residents that their city would be the perfect place for a community station in 2010 began the mission to give people in the South Okanagan their own audio platform.
Aspiring radio personalities, audio engineers and editors are all welcome to participate at CFUZ 92.9.
Del Rizzo explained training for inexperienced people takes place on a regular basis, which includes putting people on-air that have never had the opportunity to do so.
From country to heavy metal, talk-radio segments and electronic music programs, the station’s president said on Saturday she’s proud of the content the station presents to the community.
But there’s still a lot of work to do.
“I hope we have some staff support (in the future),” she said. “That would be great for the volunteers and really help the rookies navigate the sound booth.
“And at some point, we’d like to find a place to mount our antenna on a mountain or somewhere to get a stronger signal to other areas.”
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