Turning it up: campus radio station wins national awards

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The campus-based frequency 105.5FM (CHRY-FM), serving the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) as VIBE 105, was recently named the 2023 Best Community/Campus Station in a Canadian major market by the Broadcast Dialogue Canadian Radio Awards (BDCRA).

VIBE 105 logo

The award is the latest point of pride for a broadcast that – especially since its rebranding in 2015 – has been a leader in spotlighting R&B, electronic and, notably, hip-hop. “You can’t tell the story of hip-hop in Canada without mentioning CHRY,” general manager and CEO Randy Reid recently told The York University Magazine.

VIBE 105 has grown into a national broadcast leader in majority Black media content, aimed at the growing Afro-Caribbean and racialized populations across the entire GTA with an average listenership of 425,000 during prime drive time.

The BDCRA’s Best Community/Campus Station award was given to the not-for-profit station for demonstrating broadcasting excellence as well as an ability to impact and engage with its campus and local audience.

That wasn’t the only award it received, either. The station was also was recognized with the 2023 Best Imaging Production award – despite competing with the largest commercial broadcasters in the country – for the creative and technical imaging efforts behind its campaign “Celebrating 50 Years of Hip Hop,” tied to a global initiative to celebrate the musical form.

“This is a culmination of years of work,” says Reid about the BDCRA’s recognition.

Broadcasting from the First Student Centre on the University’s Keele Campus, VIBE 105 is firmly rooted in the York community. It is supported, in part, by student levy contributions from the York University Graduate Students’ Association and the York Federation of Students, in addition to occasional work-study grants from the University. The station also provides experiential education opportunities for students, as well as people from the community surrounding the Keele Campus, to express themselves through media and the arts.