CIVL Radio is a campus and community radio station that serves the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV), and the communities of the Fraser Valley.

Station Info

We would like to acknowledge the shared traditional ancestral territory of the Sumas First Nation and Matsqui First Nation. These two First Nations are a part of the Stó:lō Nation. The Stó:lō people are “the people of the river”. The Stó:lō people have lived in the Fraser Valley for 10,000 years. It is for this reason that we acknowledge the traditional territory in which we reside.

CIVL Radio’s Mission:
CIVL Radio will serve and inform the students and staff of UFV and the communities they serve through the mediums of radio and internet broadcasting.

What Is CIVL Radio?
CIVL Radio is a campus and community radio station that serves the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV), Abbotsford, Mission and Chilliwack.

CIVL Radio primarily operates under the auspices of volunteers who also host and produce their own programs.  Staffing the offices of CIVL Radio are an operations committee and student-employees.

CIVL Radio offers all of its programs online.  To have a listen to live audio-streaming, click on the ear icon near the top of the website.  One can also listen to the programs anytime as a podcast.

What Does CIVL Radio Want To Accomplish?

  • To encourage co-operation, interaction, communication and understanding within and between the students and staff of UFV and the communities they serve.
  • To provide a forum for the presentation of opinions, ideas and observations of individuals and groups to the great community.
  • To work towards broadcasting on the local airwaves at 101.7FM.

Our Mission Statement

  1. To serve, instruct and inform the students, instructors and staff of UFV and the communities they serve, through the medium of radio broadcasting and through access to the Society’s facilities, by offering diverse, alternative, progressive, informative and community-oriented programming, and by bringing thought to form and action.
  2. To encourage co-operation, interaction, communication and understanding within and between the students, instructors and staff of UFV and the communities they serve.
  3. To provide a forum, for the presentation of opinions, ideas, and observations of individuals and groups, to the greater community.
  4. The activities and purposes of the Society shall be carried on without purpose of gain for its Members and any income, profits, or other accretions to the Society shall be used in promoting the purposes of the Society.

It is important to acknowledge the traditional territory of the First Nation communities that we reside. In Abbotsford, we have two First Nations communities: Matsqui First Nation and Sumas First Nation. These two nations are a part of the Stó:lō Nation. The Stó:lō Nation covers territory from Yale in the Fraser Canyon to Fort Langley. In Halq’emeylem, the language of the Stó:lō, “Stó:lō” translates as “river”. The Stó:lō people are called the “people of the river”.

The Stó:lō people have lived in the Fraser Valley for at least 9,000 years. We know that the Stó:lō have lived in the Fraser Valley that long in a couple of ways; first, through indigenous knowledge. The traditional stories of Stó:lō elders is how Stó:lō people understand the world. This indigenous knowledge is an oral tradition. This means that Stó:lō history, culture, teachings, and spirituality are passed down orally. There was not a written tradition in Stó:lō culture. Traditional stories of the Stó:lō people tell us of a time prior to 10,000 years ago. Many elders refer to this as ‘since time immemorial’.


CIVL Radio’s programming format is a block format; this means that you may hear a different type of show from one hour to the next. We do our best to create a flow throughout the day; however, the chaos of hearing a punk show after a philosophy talk can be its own kind of flow.

This also means that you can create programming that suits your taste by e-mailing info (at) civl (dot) ca and letting us know that you’d like to get involved as a volunteer show host!

If you’re looking for a song you heard, you can now find playlists at this link.

To contact the programming committee, please contact programmingcommittee (at) civl (dot) ca


CIVL is a Registered BC Non-profit Society, relying primarily on semesterly UFV-student fees for operational subsistance, while receiving project based grants in order to deliver additional services and support to our community partners, listeners, and students. 

Your donation makes a contribution towards funding and operating of many of these initiatives, and ensures that CIVL doesn’t have to rely on ‘strings attached’ project based funding in order to engage in the essential work of strengthening, and serving as a hub for, the diverse, vibrant, and resilient arts and cultural communities, groups and everyone throughout the Fraser Valley.

Get in Touch

At any time we would be most interested in offering you or your group a private tour of our studios and facilities.

At the same time we will be most happy to share a commentary on the Broadcast Industry, with specific thoughts as they pertain to CIVL Radio.

If you would like a personalized tour of CIVL Radio, drop in whenever you are around S building at UFV’s Abbotsford Campus, or contact info (at) civl (dot) ca to book a tour appointment time, and find out how you can get involved in the many aspects of CIVL Radio!


Please visit the volunteer resources we have posted here if you are interested in volunteering at CIVL Radio in the future, and then email programming (at) civl (dot) ca to follow up and get trained!


“Be the change that you want to see in the world”
~Mahatma Gandhi.

(2003 — 2008)

When I (Douglas McLean) started working for the Student Union in the fall of 2003, I chose to chair the Radio Station Development Committee. This was the initial start of 88.5 CIVL Radio. There was no direction provided to me at the time, and in hindsight, this was probably a good thing. I was working at a local computer store by myself on Sunday mornings and took every free second I had to pour over the 89 pages of CRTC regulations. Since I had read all the documentation and analyzed the legal language, I thought to myself “I may as well get on with this my going ons”

Rachel Kates, Miles Bissky, Damon Skuce, Ben Cadieux, Michelle Kneale, Maxwell Winchester and I among other directors and volunteers for the Student Union conducted a survey of over 800 students and proved a 80% approval of the radio station. I still have the survey documents now, and after seeing them today, became a little nostalgic about the original group.

I started creating a little buzz around the campus about the radio station with the survey, and we put some posters up that asked for students to vote for the idea in the next Student Union election. Unfortunately, the idea didn’t receive the necessary 66% approval for a $3 fee; but, since the election was spoiled by some hacker, all referenda results were thrown out.

I took a break from working on the radio station project during the spring semester of 2004, and I even reconsidered whether I would focus on studies or continue on with the bureaucracy. During the summer, Rachel got a fulltime job, Damon went tree planting, and I ran into an old friend that was very excited about the project. Jordan Brigden, my old physics buddy, introduced me to Sara Church at the beginning of the fall 2004 Semester. We designed an advertising campaign for the September 24th election, and we won with a 68% majority (thanks Sara and Jay). It was close, but $40 of suckers taped to business cards and a couple t-shirts got us enough attention to win the vote.

After the September campaign, we started having weekly meetings to organize ourselves. Jordan Turner, Lance Hathaway, Lorinda Ramsey, Martin Kelley, Peter Whitmey, Dave Stephen, and many of the Cascade Newspaper crew started getting involved. By November, Miles, Ben and I had prepared a proposal for the UCFV Board of Governors, and they motioned to collect the $3 fee. We placed our order with D.E.M. Allen and Associates for the engineering documents.

In January, things were looking great. I was putting over 30 hours per week into 88.5 CIVL Radio (we actually knew it would be 88.5 that month) and I was still getting good grades. We had $20,000 to pay for the engineering documents and to prepare for the renovations. We started working harder on the CRTC application and put a lot of the ideas the group had come up with onto paper. Dustin Ellis, Deane Hanseboute, Wu, Johnny, Seth & Corwin jumped on the bandwagon and helped with the creation of the marketing plan, local development section and the programming schedule.

(2008 — 2010)

When I, Aaron Levy, first heard about CIVL Radio in the summer of 2008, it was through a job posting for a program director at the newly minted UFV’s brand new Campus and Community radio station. The station had been podcasting since March at www.civl.ca . Dustin Ellis’s The Freaky Freaky Show had been CIVL’s inaugural program, and by 2010 the station had seen some significant changes, and reocgnition from Punk Rock Bowling awards to Larry Portelance’s Can-Con Containership being syndicated at CKDU in Halifax and CHSR in Fredricton.

88.5 became 101.7, and CIVL looked towards broadcasting on FM via collocation with the CBC, sending campus radio through the Valley with the same antenna as CBC’s 88.1 FM; but when I was hired in 2010 to succeed Dustin as Station Manager after Bob Simpson, we were looking at a temporary tower in UFV Abbotsford’s B Building to implement our license and await the preparation of our CBC site.

It was a complicated process that saw CIVL broadcast at low power of 40 Watts for a year and a half. Dustin had spent years pouring over applications for broadcast licenses, technical amendments, site re-locations, signal swaps, license extensions, and more. Original CIVL Program Manager, Swinder Singh, had overseen the building of a program grid that was impressively robust for a brand new station that had only ever been on the internet, and roughly 40-50 different volunteers of all interests and backgrounds were hosting weekly content at civl.ca . On September 7th, 2010, shortly after 11 am, CIVL finally broadcast on 101.7 FM.

Through all of this CIVL was starting to bring better live music to UFV than ever before, and with the help of partners like Jam in Jubilee, UFV Student Life, and the UFV Student Union Society, Larry’s CIVL Stage concert series has been bringing bands to venues all over Abbotsford.

(2010 — 2013)

The next three years were all about growth. The expansion of CIVL’s program grid, the increase of CIVL organized concerts at venues throughout Abbotsford and on campus, an increase in CIVL’s impact in the community through winning the 2011 Cultural Diversity Award for Outreach, and the National Campus and Community Radio Award for Community Development as well as Honourable Mentions in Music Programming for Alicia Williams’ Mood Swings, and Chuck Anger for Community Development with Abbotsford Streets in 2012!  (Find out more about the many awards CIVL has been recognized with here.)

CIVL also started broadcasting institutional events at UFV in 2011 with live Cascades Men and Women’s Basketball games, live Convocation Ceremonies in 2012, and even SUSPocalypse during UFV Weeks of Welcome.

CIVL hosts and provides music and sound for annual student and services based events at UFV like the Student Life’s O-Week Orientation Day, Canada Day, BC Day, Drag Show, Infotainment, International Student Orientation, The UFV Career Centre’s Career Fair, and UFV Athletics’ Tailgate Party.

As CIVL prepares for it’s inaugural Fundraising Drive, no help can be more appreciated than that of the Community Radio Fund of Canada (communityradiofund.org), whose contributions of over $25,000 since 2011 have enabled CIVL to provide Fraser Valley residents with Campus and Community News on a semi-daily basis throughout the year, and the ability to host the first Fraser Valley Battle of the Bands at UFV Aftermath, and run it’s first ever on-air support campaign.

These three years have seen students create video documentaries about CIVL, develop into professional quality radio announcers, follow their dreams of broadcasting careers through college programs and start bands that have found success, make significant impacts in their communities and in the lives of their neighbours, friends, and families, and worked together to build an open community for the Fraser Valley to get involved with.

Looking forward to the next ten years.

(2022 to Infinite (and Beyond))

That fundraising drive did work. The plans started to slowly emerge in 2014, and eventually a new, additional frequency was identified, applied for in 2018, approved in 2019, and extended in 2021.

This new website represents the next stage in CIVL’s development. 

Within it, you can learn about and experience many of the exciting projects, initiatives, programs, and partnerships that we’ve engaged in over the past decade or so since the last time we tried to provide a ‘brief’ synopsis of who we are and what we’ve done for you ‘lately’.

It’s been a wild decade, one that’s seen:

The shuttering of every local music venue that doesn’t seat several hundred plus, while we shockingly broadcasted an entire season of AHL hockey, and even more surprisingly, saw us hold a Singer-Songwriter Battle of the Bands finale during the intermission of a game; 

A new studio for the radio station, outfitted by longtime CBC studio tech wizard John Henderson (of Delong John Blues Revue), which itself necessitated another referendum where students approved of elevated funding levels in 2014;

Losing volunteers Dakota Leslie and Chuck Anger in May and March of 2015 respectively, eventually naming our new live broadcast studio after the two most dedicated CIVLians who never got a chance to program out of it;

The development of the #CIVLBattle into the establishment of the Fraser Valley Music Awards with CRFC support in 2015/16;

Hosting the National Community and Campus Radio Conference here in Abbotsford at UFV in 2017 with over a hundred c/c radio folks from around the country;

Establishing a full time co-operative educational opportunity as CIVL’s program manager; 

Funding semesterly independent studies opportunities for UFV Visual Arts Students at the Abbotsford Arts Council’s Kariton Art Gallery at Mill Lake;

A pandemic, during which original CIVL Station Manager Bob Simpson passed away, after leaving CIVL to make immeasurable contributions as a staff member at CFSI on Salt Spring Island and CHLY in Nanaimo before absconding to Calgary to volunteer with the legendary CJSW;

What some are calling a ‘racial reckoning’ for institutions and communities;

The uniquely Canadian experience of reconciling having slept on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for over a decade before this summer’s dialogue was sparked by forced recognition of the past (and possibly continuing to do so – none of the CIVL volunteers who resigned upon learning of the, then new, policy requiring territory acknowledgments to start each program, around 5 years ago, have come back to volunteer again);

Local attempts at addressing the chasm between well-funded and supported arts communities and the landscape that artists face in Abbotsford today.

Even a local environmental disaster that had implications nationwide and beyond.

Only just last week, as of this writing, we learned of the loss of another one of our longtime volunteers, show hosts, board members, and one of the historic members of the UFV family, when decades-long Head Groundskeeper at UFV, and original host of The Wheelbarrow Show, Greg Aitken, passed away after having retired to Vancouver Island a few years back – he had maintained his role mining the charts for new music on 101.7 FM since March of 2009. Without his calm, kindness, integrity, support and friendship, I (still Aaron) would not be in a position to still sit here, taking stock of the work we’ve done 10+ years later. Similarly, without Greg’s stewardship, CIVL would have been long forgotten about by the institution itself in ways we can only fear they may, today.

And so, things are a little different around here than they were in 2013, never mind 2003.

Through nearly 100% of all of that, though, you could always tune into CIVL 101.7 FM in Abbotsford, and hear the exciting, sometimes challenging, but always thought provoking sounds of Canada’s Original #1 Campus Radio Station (according to Broadcast Dialogue, the ‘industry publication of record’), and by May of 2023, you’ll be hearing it on 92.3 FM in Chilliwack, as well.

Thanks for the fish so far.