Aboriginal Voices Radio Network

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City Toronto, Ontario
Broadcast area national
Branding Voices Radio
Frequency various
First air date 2002
Last air date November 2016
Format adult contemporary
Former callsigns CFIE-FM (2002-2006)
Owner Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc.
Website http://www.voicesradio.ca/

Aboriginal Voices Radio Network (rebranded as Voices Radio in 2014) was a Canadian radio network, which primarily broadcast music programming and other content of interest to aboriginal people. As of June 2015, the network operated stations in Toronto, Ontario (where its studios and offices were located), Calgary and Edmonton in Alberta, and Vancouver, British Columbia. All of its stations were licensed as rebroadcasters of its flagship station, CKAV-FM in Toronto. The network's administrative office was located in Ohsweken, Ontario, on the Six Nations Indian reserve near Brantford.[1] The stations' music programming consisted mainly of adult contemporary music (including both mainstream and indigenous artists), along with specialty programs focusing on aboriginal-oriented content.

On June 25, 2015, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission revoked Voices Radio's broadcast licenses effective July 25, 2015, citing a long-term history of non-compliance with conditions of their licenses.[2] The CRTC issued a call for applications for new radio services in the markets vacated by the network, with special priority given to new First Nations services.[2] The suspension was stayed on July 23, 2015 by the Federal Court of Appeal, pending the outcome of a request for a leave to appeal the CRTC's decision.[3] The stay was lifted on November 10, 2016 when AVR lost its appeal and the network left the air shortly afterwards.[4]


Aboriginal Voices logo.jpg

Aboriginal Voices Radio Network (AVR) was founded in 1998 by a group of high-profile aboriginal Canadians, including actor Gary Farmer, playwright, novelist and author Tomson Highway, filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin and actress/producer Jennifer Podemski. Other founders and key contributors to creation of the network included project manager and training coordinator Brian Wright-McLeod, Christopher Spence and Andre Morriseau (production and programming), John Matthews and Mark MacLeod (licensing), Robert Templeton and J. Robert Wood (corporate funding), Elaine Bomberry, David Deleary, Sherman Maness, Nicole Robertson, Minnie Two Shoes and Doug Bingley (strategic advice). The network's original scope was to feature programming produced primarily by and for Aboriginal people in Canada, featuring music and personalities from around the world.

AVR's first station, CFIE-FM in Toronto, was licensed by the CRTC in 2000. CFIE changed its callsign to CKAV in 2006. AVR had previously operated on 106.3 FM (JUMP FM) for a short 6 day period in 1998 during the Aboriginal Voices Festival at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto. The network faced technical and logistical problems which have prevented it from launching some of its stations; and the original found here and management were forced out by 2004. The network had applied to the CRTC for extensions five or six times as of the end of 2005. Since then, however, the network had moved forward with most of the approved licenses.[5]

In 2009, the network surrendered its licenses for transmitters in Kitchener, Ontario (CKAV-FM-8, 102.5 MHz)[6] and Montreal (CKAV-FM-10, 106.7 MHz).[7] On August 20, 2009, the CRTC approved an application by Canadian Hellenic Cable Radio (CHCR) to amend the broadcasting licence for its station in Montreal at 106.3 MHz, a second adjacent frequency to CKAV-FM-10 at 106.7 FM, requiring AVR to find an alternative frequency in the event of any interference with the signal of CKAV-FM-10.[8] As of January 2011, CHCR's station, CKIN-FM, has signed on at 106.3 MHz. Another broadcaster, Evanov Communications, has since filed an application for a new station at 106.7 serving the western suburb of Hudson in January 2012;[9][10] that station, since becoming CHSV-FM, was approved in October 2012.[11]

AVR's outlet in Ottawa, CKAV-FM-9 95.7 MHz[12] was on air until early October 2014, but has been silent since that time. It never rerturned to air, though it was still listed on its website among the other stations broadcasting.

In December 2014, AVR renamed itself to Voices Radio, as its scope expanded out of the aboriginal realm and more into music from mainstream artists, generally bent towards adult contemporary. In February 2015, Voices Radio began to air old-time radio programs from the United States, nightly from 10 pm to 12 Midnight local time.

Loss of broadcast licensing[edit]

On March 11, 2015, Voices Radio applied with the CRTC to renew all five station licences (including the closed Ottawa outlet), which were to expire on August 31, 2015. On June 25, 2015, the CRTC denied the renewals, revoked their broadcast licenses, and ordered Voices Radio to cease broadcasting by July 25, 2015. The commission cited repeated, long-term failures by Voices Radio to adhere to the requirements of its licenses, such as a failure to broadcast a sufficient amount of local news content in each of its markets that reflects stories of interest to their respective aboriginal communities, and failing to submit annual financial and business reports, program logs, and tapes of broadcast days to the CRTC. The CRTC intends to hold a call for applications for new aboriginal-focused broadcasters to take on CKAV's frequencies.[13][14] The CRTC's suspension of licence in all the network's cities, except for Ottawa, was suspended on July 23, 2015, pending an application by the station for a leave to appeal the CRTC's decision.[3] The appeal was heard on November 8, 2016 and on November 10, the Federal Court of Appeal issued a ruling upholding the CRTC's revocation of AVR's license.[4]


In August 2015, the CRTC issued a call for new licenses to replace Voices Radio in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa. On February 23, 2016, the CRTC announced that they had received twelve applications for the new stations: two applications for stations in Vancouver, three for Calgary, three for Edmonton, two for Toronto and two for Ottawa. The five organizations that applied were: the Aboriginal Multi-Media Society of Alberta, Watwatay Native Communications Society, Northern Native Broadcasting (Terrace), VMS Media Group Ltd and First Peoples Radio Inc (a subsidiary of the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network).[15]

The licenses for Voices Radio remained in effect, pending results of their appeal, though the CRTC subsequently announced that Voices Radio's outlets in Calgary and Edmonton had ceased operations, leaving Toronto and Vancouver as being the only stations in the Voices Radio group still broadcasting as of February 2016.[16]

In November 2016, Jean La Rose, CEO of APTN told the Winnipeg Free Press that the broadcaster was pursuing a proposal to bid for the licenses as an extension of its national television service.[17]

On June 14, 2017, the CRTC granted First Peoples Radio Inc, licenses to operate stations in Toronto and Ottawa on AVR's former frequencies. Northern Native Broadcasting (Terrace) was awarded AVR's former Vancouver frequency and will broadcast as CKUR-FM, and AVR's former frequencies in Edmonton and Calgary were licensed to the Aboriginal Multi-Media Society of Alberta.[18]


These four stations were on the air at the time of their license revocation:

  • Toronto - CKAV-FM 106.5 MHz [19]
  • Vancouver - CKAV-FM-2, 106.3 MHz [20](Their website and some station identifications are falsely identify the station is on 106.7MHz instead of 106.3MHz.[21])
  • Calgary - CKAV-FM-3 88.1 MHz [22] (has since ceased operation) [16]
  • Edmonton - CKAV-FM-4 89.3 MHz [23] (has since ceased operation) [16]

Ceased operation prior to 2015[edit]

  • Kitchener - CKAV-FM-8, 102.5 MHz (on-air from 2008-2009)
  • Ottawa - CKAV-FM-9, 95.7 MHz (on-air 2008-2014)
  • Montreal - CKAV-FM-10, 106.7 MHz (on-air from 2008-2009). In 2003, the station previously applied for 100.1 MHz, but was denied that frequency, due to new station CJEB-FM in Trois-Rivières being awarded the frequency.[24]

Licensed but never launched[edit]

Both stations were approved by the CRTC in May 2007 and slated for launch in 2009, but never commenced broadcasting.

In 2003, Aboriginal Voices Radio was also approved to broadcast on 850 kHz in Abbotsford, British Columbia, following the conversion of Rogers Communications' CKSR to 107.1 MHz.[27] That station never signed on, and the 850 AM frequency remains vacant.


  1. ^ Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2015-84
  2. ^ a b "CRTC Revokes Licences of Aboriginal Voices Radio (AVR)". Broadcaster, June 26, 2015.
  3. ^ a b http://ijg.me/avr/KMBT35020150723155840.pdf
  4. ^ a b http://www.canlii.org/en/ca/fca/doc/2016/2016fca275/2016fca275.html?autocompleteStr=Aboriginal%20voices&autocompletePos=2
  5. ^ "Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2005-118". CRTC. Retrieved 2008-03-01. 
  6. ^ CRTC Decision 2009-177
  7. ^ CRTC Decision 2009-178
  8. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2009-508
  9. ^ Canadian Radio News at Facebook, January 20, 2012.
  10. ^ Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2012-29, January 20, 2012.
  11. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-576 English-language FM radio station in Hudson/St-Lazare, CRTC, October 19, 2012
  12. ^ Decision CRTC 2001-627
  13. ^ "Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2015-282". CRTC. Retrieved 27 June 2015. 
  14. ^ Faguy, Steve. "Why the CRTC decided it was fed up with Aboriginal Voices Radio". Fagstein.com. 
  15. ^ http://mediaincanada.com/2016/02/23/next-steps-for-urban-aboriginal-radio/
  16. ^ a b c CRTC News Release: "CRTC receives 12 applications for radio stations serving urban Indigenous communities", February 23, 2016.
  17. ^ "Aboriginal TV network seeks U.S. expansion". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 29 November 2016. 
  18. ^ http://theturtleislandnews.com/index.php/2017/06/14/crtc-grants-licences-five-radio-stations-serve-indigenous-people-urban-centres-country-wide/
  19. ^ Decision CRTC 2000-204
  20. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2006-258
  21. ^ VOICES 106.7 VANCOUVER
  22. ^ Decision CRTC 2001-172
  23. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2004-134
  24. ^ Decision CRTC 2003-195
  25. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2007-156
  26. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2007-155
  27. ^ Decision CRTC 2003-67

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