CFRC seeks to ‘build the local scene’

CFRC Programming Manager Eric Duncan takes a break outside of the station.
CFRC Programming Manager Eric Duncan takes a break outside of the station.
Kids on TV was featured as part of last year’s Dance to the Underground.
Kids on TV was featured as part of last year’s Dance to the Underground.
Journal File Photo

Interview: CFRC 101.9’s Eric Duncan

Tucked away in the basement of Carruthers Hall is an often-overlooked pillar of Kingston culture. CFRC, Kingston’s campus and community radio station, has a proud past as Canada’s oldest radio station. But in the past decade the station has suffered a slump due to a lack of student interest.

Eric Duncan, ArtSci ’06, this year’s programming manager, wants to change that trend.

“This year we’re trying to get more heavily involved with shows,” Duncan said. “CFRC is getting their name out there and helping to build the local scene.”

Given the growing amount of concerts coming to Kingston, this move should yield positive results for the station.

“On top of that, we’ve expanded our spoken word department, featuring more high quality in-house as well as syndicated programs, such as the E-File and Democracy Now,” Duncan said.

“We’re also introducing programming that showcases poetry and fiction into the spoken word slot.”

“But most importantly, we’ve switched to a block-programming schedule,” Duncan explained. “What that means is we’re going to offer similar programs at the same time, Monday to Friday.

For example, the CFRC “Indie Wake Up Call” is Monday to Friday from 8-10 a.m. This slot will include weather updates, concert updates and good indie music, including Metric, The Arcade Fire, The Hidden Cameras, and other hot topic bands.

“Basically, we’re trying to compete with K-ROCK for the morning audience,” Duncan said.

For budding music nerds new to Queen’s University, CFRC offers valuable resources to atone your passion. If you’re interested in live on-air broadcasting, conducting band interviews, or just hanging around the massive library, consider yourself welcome.

Students can pick up an application form either from the AMS front desk, or the station. Or you can fill one out online at

“We are looking for anything, in all facets. Music, sports, news, spoken word programming, or just lending a hand around the station,” Duncan said.

As for Duncan himself, he’s been involved at CFRC since his first year at Queen’s.

“I was a wayward music nerd half a decade ago,” Duncan said. “I found out about CFRC during Frosh Week and never left.”

The station also sponsors a monthly concert, entitled Dance to the Underground, showcasing Canadian independent talent. Meant to be an alternative to the typical club scene, the event was founded two years ago by past programmers Steve Birek and Michael Sallot in an attempt to support various genres of electronica.

Although it was initially an unsuccessful venture, Sallot continued the concert series the following year. The shows were much more successful and recruited many well-known Canadian independent bands, such as The Organ and Death From Above 1979.

Sallot provided dance shows that were more entertaining and cheaper than the usual Kingston fare, and the trend will continue under Duncan’s management.

“This year we’re going to try to keep doing that, but the genres may change due to the people running it this year,” Duncan said.

“But we will strive to bring you music that, chances are, you won’t hear anywhere else.”

Some of the shows that CFRC is involved in this fall are Kid Koala on September 15th, North of America with You Say Party, We Say Die and locals Pelt on October 3rd, and most notably Broken Social Scene October 19th, which is all-ages and co-sponsored by the QEA.

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