Tuesday, May 28, 2013

POP off the air

DJ Frankenstein
Chris Davis, Pincher Creek Voice

Frank van Zandwijk aka DJ Frankenstein started Pincher Creek's POP Radio in 2011 when he was 13 years old.  He was determined to give area listeners a choice of something other than country music and talk radio, and in the ensuing years has developed a strong local following, despite the fact his transmitter didn't spread the POP signal much beyond the boundaries of the town of Pincher Creek.

Last Saturday, May 25, van Zanwijk came home from a Halton Senior Band trip to discover "men in suits" representing Industry Canada Spectrum, Information Technologies and Telecommunications (SITT) had shown up at his home to order the station off the air.

van Zandwijk reluctantly complied.  "Since 'someone' thought it would be funny to call Industry Canada and let them know that there is an unlicensed radio station here, POP Radio Pincher Creek has been shut down," he explained. "I cannot deny that I am unlicensed, but to my knowledge my radio transmitter is just below 'illegal limits' without a license, and thus there was no reason for POP Radio Pincher Creek to be shut down. For now POP Radio Pincher Creek will be shut down until I can find a way to not be bothered by authorities again (by legal means)."

An email to van Zandwijk from Industry Canada's Andrew Bewernick reads in part:

In the Radiocommunication Act it states: (

"4. (1) No person shall, except under and in accordance with a radio authorization, install, operate or possess radio apparatus, other than
(a) radio apparatus exempted by or under regulations made under paragraph 6(1)(m); or
(b) radio apparatus that is capable only of the reception of broadcasting and that is not a distribution undertaking."
Under Offences:
"10. (1) Every person who
(a) contravenes section 4 or paragraph 9(1)(a) or (b),...
is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and is liable, in the case of an individual, to a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or to both, or, in the case of a corporation, to a fine not exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars."
Frank, please keep in mind there is also a safety concern regarding unlicensed FM broadcasting. Operating your station until this point no incidents have occurred, but the possibility is still there. I would hate to learn one day, if operation resumed, that an aircraft crashed because of your uncertified, unlicensed, station that has never been properly evaluated.
We will be monitoring for any activity that is not authorized. Up to this point Industry Canada (IC) is not pursuing prosecution because of your compliance. If compliance ceases we will take steps to correct the situation.
Thank you for being cooperative. As mentioned before if you wish to develop a community radio station there are approved transmitters available. To find a list of transmitters approved for use in Canada please see In the "Advanced Search" tab enter the frequency range, i.e. 88 to 108 MHz, the transmitter power range, e.g. 1 to 20 W, and the REL will give a list of all certified equipment meeting the search criteria.

van Zandwijk said he hopes to see the issue resolved so that POP can return to the airwaves. In the meantime he invites POP to fans keep an eye on the POP Facebook page for up-to-date information (click here).


  1. Anonymous28/5/13

    This is certainly an issue with which I would expect the illustrious and erudite editor/commentator of the Voice to take exception. An example of how beaurocracy deals with trivial items while impotent in larger and more critical items!

    And, just as important, who would be so petty as to complain?

    Here we had a young man harnessing his skills and enthusiasm for the conmmunity and he is rebuffed!

  2. Myra Hammond28/5/13

    I was in town yesterday and tried to find POP Radio...this explains why I couldn't. I hope you find a way to resolve this Frank! You have a good thing and you are good at it. I was unaware that there was the possibility of safety concerns...however I hope the person who reported your station had the tact to let you know first (doesn't sound like it). What a shame if the person went behind your back. You are a 15 year old being productive with your time!

  3. Anonymous30/5/13

    Well DJ Frankenstein hope you do your best to become legal!!!


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