For several years unrelated groups of people in Prince Edward County discussed the value of setting up a non-for-profit FM radio station to serve our community.
In early 2011, a group of County residents got the ball rolling by traveling to neighboring Amherst Island to learn about the experience of setting up their community radio station.
Things finally came together in June 2011 when more than a dozen people from various backgrounds got together to discuss the idea. The conclusion from the meeting was a resounding “yes, let’s proceed”.
A work group developed a vision for the station and a public meeting was organized at the Bloomfield Town Hall in November 2011 to see if there was public support. The 40 people at the meeting unanimously voted to proceed and elected an interim board to get things going.
The interim board met weekly from November until May 2012 when the founding Annual General Meeting of the newly-incorporated Prince Edward County Radio Corporation was held and expanded board elected.
Another milestone was achieved in July 2012 when the board submitted a comprehensive license application to the CRTC asking to operate on 92.3 FM. The license application was accompanied by letters of support from Prince Edward County community and business organizations including the Federation of Agriculture, Arts Council, Chamber of Commerce and Tourism and Wine Growers Association as well as the Municipality.
The 2013 Annual General Meeting was held during January on the coldest night of the winter. Despite the chill, the meeting was attended by 50 members.
The CRTC scheduled a hearing on the station’s application for March 2013, but postponed the hearing due to concern about interference on that channel from another nearby station.
After conduction a new broadcast engineering study to identify another channel free of interference, Industry Canada confirmed that 99.3 FM was suitable in the late spring of 2013.
On September 12, 2013 the CRTC held a so-called “non-appearing hearing” (where the matter is so routine that the applicant is not required to appear).
In October 2013, the station’s membership passed the 300 mark.
In December, 2013, Jim (JJ) Johnston joined the station as Interim General Manager. A County resident and veteran commercial broadcaster, Jim will be responsible to work with the station’s volunteers to get up and running.
On January 21st, 2014 the CRTC announced that the stations’ license had been approved.
The 2014 Annual General Meeting was held on January 22nd in Picton which, despite the wintery weather, was attended by 54 members.
99.3 County FM is expected to go on the air in the fall of 2014.