Feature Story                                                     Friday, February 19, 2016


Thanks A Million!

Local radio station has given almost a million dollars to the Chilliwack community as it celebrates its first seven years

89.5 The Drive/Voice, file photos


89.5 The Drive staff (L-R); Kevin Gemmel, Station Manager, Kerry Grace, afternoon Drive, Natalie Columbus, Sales Advisor, Sadie Hesketh, Morning Co-Host and Glen Slingerland, Program Director and Morning Co-Host.


even years ago, on February 20, 2009, CHWK FM – 89.5 The Drive was launched in Chilliwack by owner/operator Fabmar Communications Ltd.


Since that time, 89.5 The Drive has made many contributions to the community of Chilliwack particularly in the area of Canadian Content Development (CCD) providing direct cash funding and on air promotional support for numerous local organizations.


In our first 7 years of operation, the station has contributed over $955,000 to local Chilliwack community organizations including:


Some local programs 89.5 The Drive has contributed to:

Chilliwack Academy of Music (CAM)

Horizons Unlimited Project: $217,167 was donated to the Horizons Unlimited project to support several programs, including:

• Post-Secondary Music Education scholarships through the Chilliwack School Division
• Creation of the Tayosei Youth Choir
• Funding of a Piano Lab
for group piano education at the Chilliwack Academy of Music

"The funding from Fabmar has been absolutely vital to us. We've been able to offer children's choirs, music ensembles, and bursaries for music education all for low-cost or no cost, enabling thousands of families to attain music education for their children who wouldn't otherwise be able to afford it. We can't thank Fabmar and 89.5 The Drive enough for supporting music in our community!" says Melissa Ratcliff, Principal of CAM.


Chilliwack Symphony & Metropolitan Orchestra

89.5 The Drive provided funding of $40,000 to help hire vocalists and musicians for key performances each year by the CSO nd the CMO. Further, 89.5 The Drive offered No-charge promotion of events and concerts to these important cultural organizations in Chilliwack.


"The Canadian Content Development dollars contributed by Fabmar has been extremely instrumental to the success of the Chilliwack Metropolitan Orchestra. We were supplied with regular funding during the initial development period of the orchestra, an organization of community-based volunteer musicians dedicated to the performance of full symphonies, dynamic collaborations, and working with world class solo performers," says Anne D. Fleming, Chilliwack Metropolitan Orchestra. "The support provided with in-kind on-air radio commercials and interviews has also been of great assistance in marketing our performances. On occasion, some of the radio announcers performed as Masters of Ceremonies which was a great addition to the program. 89.5 The Drive has been a great supporter of our volunteer community orchestra – the Chilliwack Metropolitan Orchestra."


Chilliwack Exhibition - Opening Acts

89.5 The Drive provided $82,500 in funding for the hiring of key headline bands and opening acts of local origin to appear at the Chilliwack Fair including: Trooper, Honeymoon Suite, Platinum Blonde, Jerry Doucette, and Prism along with dozens of local bands as opening acts. These headline performances have bolstered the bottom line of the Chilliwack Exhibition Association helping make the Chilliwack Fair a success each year.


89.5 The Drive booked Trooper for the Chilliwack Fair, August 8, 2014.


"The Chilliwack Agricultural Society is sincerely thankful and appreciative of the generous support that 89.5 The Drive and Fabmar Communications has shown the Chilliwack Fair. With your profound contributions, our event has showcased famous Canadian content as headlining performers for the past several years to attract, on average, 30,000 guests per event. This support has allowed our partnership to encourage Canadian talent by providing an enthusiastic audience at a major community event. Our goal is to provide the best in entertainment for this community within our budget, and the support of your fund has raised the bar with the talent that we have been able to share and present!" says Nicole Hill, Chilliwack Fair Event Coordinator.


Music Business 101

Fabmar invested $159,729 to create 89.5 The Drive Music Business 101 as an opportunity to offer up-and-coming musicians the chance to learn from the pros. Facilitated annually by Tractorgrease  Studios, Music Business 101 gave twelve bands a chance to sit in with experts such as Barney Bentall, Dave Genn (54/40), Ryan and Molly Guldemond (Mother Mother), Bob D’eith (Music BC) and many other seasoned professionals. Each attending band also had an EPK produced by Tractorgrease Studios.


"We've had well over 100 musicians take part in the Music Business 101 education seminars. From that, over 60 live songs from local artists have been filmed and recorded. The best in Canadian talent such as Barney Bentall, 5440, Mother Mother, The Odds, Said the Whale, We Are the City, Steve Dawson, Tom Wilson and many more have hosted workshops as part of this program. Our music community in Chilliwack is stronger than ever because of the Music Business 101 Program," says Jeff Bonner, Tractorgrease Studios.


Former Chamber of Commerce president, Kevin Gemmel, draws winners at a business mixer in July 2014.

In its first 7 years of operation, the station has contributed over $955,000 to local Chilliwack community organizations including:

Not only has 89.5 The Drive contributed significantly to the community through their CCD fund, the station has also contributed hundreds of thousands of in-kind on-air promotion throughout the past seven years.


"When we launched our new radio station in Chilliwack, we committed to provide a locally focused radio service and support for community organizations. That commitment has been achieved as 89.5 The Drive continues to provide this great community with local information and promotional support." said Gene Fabro, President of Fabmar Communications Ltd.


Kevin Gemmell, Station Manager of 89.5 The Drive in Chilliwack, has been a part of the station since launch.


"The past seven years in Chilliwack have been very rewarding. Our company is pleased support the community via our CCD fund. I am thrilled with the opportunity to continue to support Chilliwack moving forward – helping to promote events and organizations that do not have the financial capacity to afford broad coverage. 89.5 The Drive has truly become Chilliwack’s radio station," he said in a release Friday.


Fabmar is thankful to the business community for supporting 89.5 The Drive over the past seven years and we look forward to helping build local success in the future.



About Fabmar Communications Ltd.

Fabmar owns and operates four radio stations in Western Canada. CHWK-FM, Chilliwack BC; CIXM-FM, Whitecourt, AB; CJVR-FM and CKJH-AM, Melfort, SK. Fabmar Communications Ltd. is owned and operated by the Fabro family of Calgary, Alberta.



Don't forget to visit our friends at www.mychilliwacknews.com




© Copyright (c) 2009-2016 The Valley Voice