WestMan Internet Radio's (WMIR) Alan Gillies is planning to give Neepawa and area residents an early Christmas gift by this December.
The program director of the radio station based out of Neepawa plans to have his station broadcast over-air by Dec. 1 of this year. The station is currently broadcast solely online.
Gillies plans to register WMIR as a community station on low power frequency, to become exempt from certain CRTC licensing.
If all goes according to plan, the station will be able to be heard as far away as Eden, and may even reach to the McCreary audience.
As Gillies explains, the station will be all about keeping it local for area listeners, and will feature a mix of Top 40, Rock, Country and Pop music.
“We're focussing on what's palatable to the area; what affects them the most,” Gillies said. “We'll have local content, talk shows, sports and news breaks, and local involvement with volunteers from the community. We'll be wide open to submissions (from local artists), too.
“It's a community station for, and with, people in the community.”
Once on the airwaves, WMIR will be the second radio station based out of Neepawa, with CJ97.1 being the other.
WMIR expects to have its tower installed and up by next week, and to be assigned a radio frequency number following that. Gillies also expects to face a bit of resistance as he gets his station on the airwaves, but he is ready to meet it head-on.
“I expect to have complaints pertaining to CRTC (licensing and regulations) from at least one individual, however both Industry Canada and the CRTC have encouraged us to pursue this as long as we follow the standards for the community (station designation),” Gillies noted, adding, “Which we intend to not only meet, but exceed.”
The WMIR station is based out of Gillies' store in Neepawa, located across from the Royal Bank of Canada. The store features a wide array of collectibles, musical instruments and equipment, a recording studio, as well as the station desk.
There is space for music lessons, and Gillies will be holding an open, once-weekly live music jam session at the building Monday evenings for anyone interested in joining or listening.
WMIR has been operating online since March of 2012.