Indie Toronto wants to be home to indie music on the radio
Since CKLN had its license revoked a few months ago, 88.1 FM has merely been static on the radio dial. But that's set to change. Enter Indie Toronto, a new radio project spearheaded by the Barrie-based Central Ontario Broadcasting company (which also owns Rock and Kool FM) that wants to give Canadian indie musicians and their hundreds of thousands of fans their own place on the Toronto FM radio dial.
Four years ago, the team behind Indie Toronto applied for a similar radio format in Vancouver. It didn't pan out as their application was not approved by the CRTC. In Toronto, however, they have reason for optimism. The main selling point has to be that the playlist on Indie Toronto would be substantially different from the other radio stations operating here. Everyone knows that most mainstream dials toggle between the same top 40 songs with choices that can be as limited and predictable as a playlist at a nightclub. Journey's end of the night Don't Stop Believing, anyone?
Lately, I've been tuning into Indie Toronto's online stream to get a better idea of what to expect. There were tracks by The Rural Alberta Advantage, Bahamas, Bombay Bicycle Club and Bon Iver, to name a few.
A recent article in Macleans talked about "Why indie acts are everywhere, except on the radio". Dave Farough from Corus Entertainment was quoted as saying "It's not radio's job to break new music. In some cases, listeners want to hear new music. But in most cases they just want to hear what they like".
I put this statement to Dave Carr, the program director of Indie Toronto, who begged to differ. "The job in radio is to introduce great bands to the listeners and make them familiar. What will set Indie Toronto apart from the other radio stations is that 60% of our playlists will consist of emerging artists from Toronto and across the globe."
Of course, before they get that coveted radio dial Indie Toronto needs a license to broadcast on the airwaves. You can show your support by liking their Facebook page or sending them an e-mail. Up next is a hearing in May but it will likely not be until much later this year until any decisions are made. Competition will be stiff with over 30 applicants for the spot.
Would you support Indie Toronto or an "indie" radio station on the FM dial? Add your comments to the thread below.
Writing by Charissa Tosio