The Raven has taken flight

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021 9:31am

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Summary

"All our staff and management have worked really hard to make this a reality. I’m so proud of them..." — Bert Crowfoot

The Aboriginal Multi-Media Society of Alberta (AMMSA) is proud to announce the launch of its new Edmonton and area radio station CIWE 89.3 FM—The Raven.

The Raven will include blues, hip hop, classic rock and pop music, but what’s unique about this station is it comes with the AMMSA Indigenous perspective. The Raven will feature Indigenous musical artists, Indigenous language programming—Cree, Dene, Nakoda Sioux, Blackfoot and Michif—news and events, as well as Indigenous culture.

The Raven is the third station under the AMMSA umbrella, which currently operates Country stations CFWE-FM—a finalist in the Radio Station of the Year, large market category of the Country Music Alberta Awards—and CJWE 88.1 FM, located in Calgary and serving much of southern Alberta. AMMSA is also publisher of flagship national Indigenous news website Windspeaker.com.

AMMSA founder and CEO Bert Crowfoot said he’s excited about 89.3 FM—The Raven and is looking forward to listener reaction. “It’s like waiting for the arrival of another newborn to our expanding family! All our staff and management have worked really hard to make this a reality. I’m so proud of them and our new baby.”

The Raven has been in a testing phase for the past three weeks to ensure its signal is clear within 150 kms around Edmonton. For listeners not within reach, they can Listen Live on The Raven’s accompanying website www.ravenradio.ca and apps, which are coming soon.

Each day will begin at 6 a.m. with an Indigenous prayer, a welcome song and then the news.

Scheduling includes:

  • Raven Mornings with Shannon Medaglia, the morning drive show, is from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Shannon has 25 years’ experience in radio stations across the country. She’s a lover of Halloween, horror movies, bad reality television and her vinyl collection. When she's not waking up with you in the mornings, she's busy being a mom and most likely crafting in her basement.
  • Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays is half-an-hour of Conversational Cree from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays it’s Conversational Nakoda with Alice Kaquits and Thomas Snow from the Nakoda Sioux First Nation in that same time slot.
  • Tribe Drive is 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. with Bill Leblanc, aka Rellic, a multi award-winning Edmonton musician, born and raised in Amiskwaciwâskahikan (Edmonton). He’s been an active member of the Edmonton arts and Indigenous scene for more than 20 years. Rellik says he’s “pumped” to make his radio hosting debut with 89.3 FM.
  • Jacob Lebanc takes the 11 to midnight slot for a hard rock hour.

Block Programming:

  • Tuesday: 9 p.m. – At the Crossroads Blues hour, hosted by Brant Zwicker; 10 p.m.—Heartbeat of Nations—Best of Powwow and Round-dance with brothers Doug and Donny Rain, aka Mumford and Miserious from Paul First Nation
  • Thursday: 9 p.m. Indigenous Blues Hour, featuring Indigenous blues from across Canada
  • Sunday: 8 p.m. – At the Crossroads Blues hour, hosted by Brant Zwicker and 9 p.m. — Heartbeat of Nations

Background for the Aboriginal Multi-Media Society of Alberta (AMMSA)

CIWE 89.3 FM—The Raven was supposed to launch last April, but the COVID-19 pandemic pushed back those plans.

AMMSA’s first radio station, CFWE-FM has been in operation since 1987. It serves much of northern Alberta, but can be streamed from the cfweradio.ca website or from the apps for Apple and Android

Four years ago AMMSA was granted a pair of other licenses from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to commence two new radio stations.

The decision was made at the time to focus on building just one station, CJWE 88.1 FM, launching in June 2018. It serves Calgary and much of southern Alberta. It can be streamed from cjwe.ca or the apps for Apple or Android 

February 1 is the day 89.3 FM—The Raven went live from Edmonton with a 100,000 watt transmitter carrying the signal.

AMMSA CEO and Founder Bert Crowfoot said seeing The Raven take flight is a memorable moment in the organization’s history.

He likens it to the time back in March 1983 when he witnessed the first print edition of Windspeaker come off the presses and the moment two-and-a-half years ago when he himself flipped the switch to launch CJWE 88.1 FM.

While we’ll cater to Indigenous people, this station is for everyone.

 “We have a lot of listeners that aren’t Indigenous,” Crowfoot said. Many non-Indigenous people are extremely interested in the radio shows featuring language programming and culture.