Happy birthday to us!

OTTAWA, July 14, 2011 – Today we celebrate 25 years of working with and for campus and community radio stations all over Canada. A lot has changed since 1986, but much of the work is the same: supporting the right of communities to speak for themselves, representing the sector to government and industry, and bringing passionate people together to share their skills, ideas and voices.

Located in Ottawa, the NCRA has been a key player in Canadian broadcasting since 1986. It currently represents 84 members, including stations that have been on-air for 35 years and those that just launched, campus and community stations, internet and FM, rural and urban.

“Twenty-five years is an important milestone for a non-for-profit organization,” said Shelley Robinson, Executive Director. “Despite changing technologies it shows how relevant we still are in making space for diverse community voices.”

We'll continue to celebrate all year long. Among the efforts to highlight the event, we will release a public service announcement (PSA) every month, produce a radio documentary on the history of the sector, and host a national Community Radio Day. Listen to the first PSA, an overview of our history, here in English and French.

From CFRC-FM in Kingston, ON which has been on the air since 1922, to CFTA-FM in Amherst, NS -- which starts broadcasting this summer; from CRFO-FM in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside to CFTH-FM in the village of Harrington Harbour, QC, the NCRA and its members represent the diversity of Canada’s many communities.

10 of our greatest accomplishments:

1. Helped found the Community Radio Fund of Canada, which has already given out $480,000 in three years and recently received mandatory funding from Canada’s private broadcasters.

2. Coordinated the Dig Your Roots project, giving hundreds of independent artists in under-represented genres national exposure through a website, a CD series, and 30 live national concert broadcasts.

3. Coordinated Women's Hands and Voices, an initiative seeking full and equal access for women in all levels and spheres of non-profit, community radio broadcasting.

4. Started GroundWire, a 29-minute grassroots news and current affairs program produced by volunteers from across the country, broadcasting on more than 30 stations.

5. Helped coordinated 30 National Community Radio Conferences, giving the opportunity to people working within the sector to meet, learn and exchange ideas once a year.

6. Founded the NCRA Community Radio Awards in 1993 to recognize the amazing work and involvement of stations, programmers, and volunteers all over the country.

7. Started Chart Magazine to raise the profile of independent music in Canada, which later became independent.

8. Now publish !earshot, a monthly music and chart magazine online and in Exclaim! Magazine.

9. Ran a National Hip Hop Week in 2000 to explore the roots of that culture, celebrating the music and its artists.

10. Worked to become a bilingual organization, which will be achieved this year with the translation of the website and the development of other resources to help stations do the same.