NEXT STAGE #16 April 22 2005

There’s a new kid in town

Every week a small band of enthusiasts meet at the Polarcom Institute of Technology on Strickland Street. From these digs a radio revolution is being launched.

You may have already heard it, that crackly signal that comes through at 92.5 fm.

You’re listening to CJUC 92.5 FM in Whitehorse.

“I’ll have the new transmitter in place at the end of the week, It’ll take five minutes” states Rob Hopkins, the main brain behind a new kind of media broadcasting here in The Yukon.

CJUC is a fully functioning radio station that has no large studio or administrative infrastructure. Its basic components are a computer with an Internet connection, a transmitter and an antenna.

At its heart is the OpenBroadcaster; a web interface that allows authorized users to program media content. Hopkins has been working on this program since 1997. CJUC has been turned down for funding numerous times but has had support from the Yukon Technology Innovation Centre

“The idea was given to me by Satnam Rai, General Manager of CKRW” says Hopkins. “The key was to find a way to do remote broadcasting without someone having to be in a control room”.

Taking this idea Hopkins was able to do multiple live remote broadcasts of The Frostbite Festival as far back as 2000.

From that small seed has grown a network of small stations in the Yukon. CFET in Tagish, CIKO in Carcross elementary school and CJUC in Whitehorse with Haines Junction and Inuvik cable TV on line by the end of the year. Pelly Crossing and Carmacks are not far behind. Hopkins has also had emails of interest from Mali and Sierra Leone.

Hopkins is interested in promoting alternative and multicultural voices from throughout The Yukon as well as providing a station for local artists to gain exposure.

Hopkins has added, as part of the programming, the Yukon Twofer, a set of two random songs by Yukon artists that plays at the top of every hour.

This station electronically logs and can account to artist when and how many times their songs have been played on air. Also added is a broadcast override feature that can be used by in case of community emergencies.

Dedicated volunteers’ program unique music programs for a full 24-hour day. Shows are shared via the Internet to Tagish and Carcross.

Shows presently playing include classic and alternative rock, rhythm and blues, rap and hip-hop, ambient and progressive rock, techno, electronic and jazz music. There are around eleven thousand tracks on the database.

A recent contest to give away tickets to see Robert Plant in Vancouver with return air travel from Air North was a great success. Eric Daigneault and his buddy Bob have promised a full report, to be posted at

This station has come a long way since Hopkins first asked himself “What do you have to do to get decent music on the radio around here?”

Does this kind of life seem interesting to you? Contact Rob Hopkins at for more info.