The Radio Malaspina Society has announced that the nonprofit radio station CHLY 101.7 FM will be moving into the historic Globe Hotel building at 25 Front St. The society plans to use the property as a multimedia production space as well as a gathering place for community groups. The move comes after over a decade of operating out of a single studio below the Queen’s Hotel.

Dylan Perry, VIU Student and CHLY’s Program Manager, says that the opportunity to acquire the space came as a bit of a surprise but fits nicely with the strategic plans of the society to expand their role as a cultural producer in the community. “It’s great to see the radio station expanding,” Perry says. “Not just in space but in services as well.”

Perry has been managing the radio station for nearly four years and believes that the move is long overdue. He says that CHLY is also progressively expanding with the advent of their online television station <tv.chly.ca>. “CHLY has been making great strides in video production. Having our own events space, where we can bring live bands in, film them, and broadcast them on air at the same time is going to have a huge impact on Nanaimo’s arts and culture scene,” Perry says.

The 124-year-old waterfront property is an important source for uncovering Nanaimo’s colourful social history. The historic hotel has served myriad purposes, as an affordable housing option for coalminers in its inception to its most recent role as Nanaimo’s last standing gentleman’s club. The Globe Hotel is also one of Nanaimo’s protected heritage properties.

Though the building has been restored and seismically upgraded in 1998, the radio station has yet to place a permanent footing on property until it receives an endorsement from its members and the community. “We have received a magnanimous offer to move in and try operating the facility at a discounted rate for 60 days, during which time we may walk away with no obligation or, if our members and the community show their support, we will proceed with a two year lease at fair market value starting in Apr. with the hopes of eventually buying the building outright,” Perry explains. He says that people wishing to support the project can help in a number of ways, such as by purchasing a membership with the Radio Malaspina Society for $20 or by donating a “building sustainer” pledge of $30 per month. Locally owned businesses can also be recognized on air for their support by purchasing a special “foundation” advertising package for as low as $300 per month. To donate to the project, please contact CHLY at 250-716-3410 or email Perry directly at <programdirector@chly.ca>.