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Cabin Radio needs your help to get on FM. Here’s what to do.

A Cabin Radio microphone in Studio 1

If you believe Cabin Radio should have a place on Yellowknife’s FM dial, this page is for you! Follow the instructions below to help us out.

Haven’t got time to read all the instructions? The short version is: write whatever you want to write in an email to as soon as you can. But if you want to maximize your impact, read the instructions first.

Thank you for the incredible support Yellowknifers have shown Cabin Radio since the CRTC’s ruling a few days ago that the city’s economy can’t support a new FM station.

We think that was the wrong call – but more importantly, it seems like thousands of Yellowknife residents also think that was the wrong call. Your messages inspire us to work even harder to get this fixed and get on the air.



This petition is great, too, and thank you to whoever set it up. Just remember that if you click the donate button on that petition website, you’re donating to, not to us – if you want to donate to us, you can do that here.

The CRTC’s decision is wrong not just because the economy clearly can sustain us (we’re right here, guys, and have been for five years) but also because the CRTC believes the finances of a large, southern company should be prioritized over the value we bring to Yellowknife as a station owned by people who live here.

Now, we need your help. We need letters of support from every single person who wants Cabin Radio on FM in Yellowknife.

There are instructions below that change slightly depending on who you are. We’ve tried to make some easy-to-follow categories so you can pick which one feels like the best fit for you. If you aren’t sure, just pick the one that makes the most sense – we’re going to be thrilled to have any letter you send us, so don’t worry too much – or contact Ollie if you have questions.



The reason for the different categories is that we want the CRTC to understand that support for Cabin Radio comes from the full spectrum of Yellowknife society.

We also want to make clear to the CRTC that despite their impression that Yellowknife can’t sustain a new station, the city already is sustaining Cabin Radio alongside Vista Radio, and enough business exists for both stations to thrive if they are well-managed and committed to their community.

When you have finished your letter, send it back to us! We have set up a special email address – – to receive letters from everyone. Send your letter there.

When we say everyone, we mean everyone. Please send a letter by the end of February 28, 2023 so we can include your support as we take our next steps in this fight (which shouldn’t have to be a fight!). More information about those next steps will follow in the near future.

How to write your letter!

Pick a category and then get writing! Most people are probably in category 6 or 7 – check the list below. Remember, email your letter to as soon as you can.

It can be a Word doc, a PDF, or just all written in the email.

We are NOT providing form letters/templates because we want the CRTC to hear separately from everyone without feeling like this is a copy-paste campaign. It’s more important than that. Your letter doesn’t have to be long, it just needs to do whatever is listed below for each category.

Having said that, if you have great ideas for what people can put in their letters, feel free to share your ideas on The Deck, our public Facebook group, so others can have extra inspiration.



VERY IMPORTANT: This is NOT about other radio stations. Your views about other stations in Yellowknife won’t sway the CRTC. It’s really important to emphasize your support for us and why we matter, and the fact there is room for us and others at the same time.


  1. Yellowknife business owner, sales manager, or business group
  2. Government, politicians, former politicians
  3. Musicians, music groups and other performers
  4. Arts (non-music) groups, sports groups, non-profits
  5. Education – schools, teachers, students across the NWT
  6. Yellowknife resident (who doesn’t fit into a category above)
  7. NWT residents outside Yellowknife and others

1. Yellowknife business owner, sales manager or business group

You are really important to this fight because it’s up to you to make clear to the CRTC that you are prepared to advertise on FM with us in addition to what you might already spend elsewhere.

We know lots of businesses already advertise with us! And we’re hugely grateful that you do (and we have a big Yellowknife audience, as was probably obvious over the past few days, so rest assured that investment is paying off). Now we need you to show your support to the CRTC.

Here’s what category 1 needs to put in a letter to the CRTC:

  • Your business, your role at that position, and what authority you have over marketing
  • Explain how prepared you are to increase your ad spend to include FM advertising with Cabin Radio
  • Tell the CRTC why you are ready to make that investment
  • If you are a group like a chamber of commerce that holds any data demonstrating Yellowknife’s economic ability to support another FM station, please include that data (it could be spending data, population data, new businesses opening, anything like that)
  • Anything else the CRTC should know about the value we already provide to your business and how us being on FM will improve that

We’re not going to come round and yell at you if for whatever reason you don’t actually end up advertising with us once we reach FM. The point of this letter is that it’s critically important to demonstrate to the CRTC that Yellowknife businesses are prepared to invest in advertising with Cabin Radio on FM without removing ad spend from other radio sources.

If you don’t advertise on FM right now but would do if Cabin Radio got on the dial, that is fantastic. Make sure you say that. If you already do advertise on FM and would do it more with Cabin Radio on FM, that’s also great to hear and you should tell the CRTC that. If you would move advertising spend from social media like Facebook (or Google etc) to us, amazing, tell them that too.

When you’ve written your letter, send it to Thank you so much from all of us.



2. Governments, politicians, former politicians

This category is for you if you are writing on behalf of any level of government – territorial, City of Yellowknife, Indigenous, communities outside Yellowknife and so on – or are an elected official in any of those governments.

Here’s what category 2 needs to put in a letter to the CRTC:

  • Which government you represent and your role in that government (or, what your title is as an elected official and which government you are part of)
  • Explain why you or your government support Cabin Radio’s work in Yellowknife and the NWT, particularly if you can think of an example or two of work we do that helps Yellowknife thrive (maybe our Covid-19 coverage, our journalism in general or our support for local arts)
  • Tell the CRTC if your government would be prepared to increase its overall radio marketing budget to include more advertising with Cabin Radio if we had an FM licence
  • Tell the CRTC if you and your government value the extra voice that Cabin Radio has brought since 2017 and are disappointed to see a southern business prioritized in the licensing process
  • If your government holds any data demonstrating Yellowknife’s economic ability to support another FM station, please include that data (it could be spending data, population data, new businesses opening, anything like that)

Letters of support from governments mean a huge amount to us, given the work you do to look after and grow your communities, and also the standing you have. You have clout! The CRTC will listen. So please feel free to check in with Ollie by email if you’d like more guidance about what your specific letter could say.

When you’ve written your letter, send it to Thank you so much from all of us.

3. Musicians, music groups and other performers

Firstly, you have no idea how excited we still are to play your work on FM radio as soon as we get the chance.

The CRTC needs to hear loud and clear from the Yellowknife and NWT music communities that we do important work promoting northern and Indigenous music. (And if we can do more, please let us know, we’re here for constructive criticism too.)

Here’s what category 3 needs to put in a letter to the CRTC:

  • Your name or group’s name and a short summary of what you do
  • How have we helped or featured you or your group since we were formed?
  • How important is the work we have done to promote Yellowknife or NWT music and the arts more generally?
  • What difference would it make if we were doing that work on FM in Yellowknife?

Our answer to the last question is that we would obviously reach a bigger audience. In turn, because we playlist northern and Indigenous artists every day rather than relegating them to specific “local music” shows, reaching a bigger audience would help the whole of Yellowknife to better appreciate the amazing talent in the city and the North. We want more people to know the lyrics by heart to our local artists’ best tracks!



You can also mention the support we provide at festivals like Folk on the Rocks, where we broadcast 30 hours of live music each summer and have our own stage. (Music fact: The first two things we ever played on Cabin Radio’s live stream were a composition that we paid Yellowknife’s Carmen Braden to create specially for that moment, followed by a Reuben and the Dark track featuring Yellowknife’s Shea Alain.)

When you’ve written your letter, send it to Thank you so much from all of us.

4. Arts (non-music) groups, sports groups, non-profits

Choose this category if you’d like to write on behalf of an arts organization, a sports group, a non-profit or any large organization that isn’t really a business.

If you’re a business, go to category 1. If you’re a musician, go to category 3. If you’re a music business, I dunno, pick one.

So here’s the deal for you guys. We work hard to cover the huge efforts put in by arts and sports groups across Yellowknife and the NWT, and by non-profits of all kinds, who do ridiculous amounts of work, often in some really tough circumstances. And we want the CRTC to know that we do that.

Here’s what category 4 needs to put in a letter to the CRTC:

  • Who you are and which group you represent, plus a quick summary of what that group does
  • How have we had a positive impact either on your group or the wider community in which your group operates?
  • What will Cabin Radio being on FM do to help that impact grow? Why’s it so important to you?
  • Anything else we do that demonstrates our value to the community of Yellowknife

When you’ve written your letter, send it to Thank you so much from all of us.

5. Education – schools, teachers, students across the NWT

We enjoy some really good relationships with schools in Yellowknife and elsewhere, and we want the CRTC to know how much we’re trying to invest in the city’s young people – whether that’s through covering their achievements or providing opportunities where we can.



If you represent a school or school district, are a teacher, or are a student in Yellowknife, this is the category for you.

Here’s what category 5 needs to put in a letter to the CRTC:

  • Who are you and what’s your role? (Teacher, student, superintendent etc, and where)
  • How would you describe the benefits Cabin Radio offers to students in Yellowknife and elsewhere in the NWT?
  • Why do you believe having Cabin Radio on FM in Yellowknife would be important?

If we were answering that, we’d say that we want to continue providing broadcasting and journalism opportunities to Yellowknife students, and that an FM presence allows us to give them a new platform with which to learn and try out new things.

We run two separate internship programs each year, work in partnership with various schools to run classes or one-off events, and have in the past travelled to Fort Simpson and Fort Providence to provide broadcast training for youth. We want to keep doing that, too, so if you’re an educator and you’d like us to come to your community, email Ollie and we can talk more about what would work best.

When you’ve written your letter, send it to Thank you so much from all of us.

6. Yellowknife resident

We’re expecting a lot of people to be in this category!

If categories 1 to 5 don’t sound right and you live in Yellowknife, this is definitely you. This is also a really important category because the whole point is to convince the CRTC that Cabin Radio on FM is something residents want. The CRTC has a mandate to serve the public interest, so we need to demonstrate that the public interest in Yellowknife is best served by our presence on the FM dial.

Here’s what category 6 needs to put in a letter to the CRTC:



  • Tell us who you are and be clear that you’re a Yellowknife resident. If you’re a longtime Yellowknifer, by all means mention that too (but to be clear, if you just moved here last week and you already want to support Cabin Radio, you count!)
  • What did you think of the initial CRTC decision? What did the CRTC leave out or get wrong?
  • Why is an FM licence for Cabin Radio important to you as a Yellowknife resident?
  • Feel free to add any specific examples of things Cabin Radio does, or has done, that you believe are beneficial to the community and not done by existing FM stations

We’re happy for you to freestyle too – add in anything you like that you think supports our case, just of course keep it polite throughout.

When you’ve written your letter, send it to Thank you so much from all of us.

7. NWT residents outside Yellowknife (and others!)

If you don’t live in Yellowknife, you may well belong to category 7. (Former Yellowknifer who moved away? If you lived in Yellowknife any time between 2017 and now, go to category 6, since we existed while you were a resident. Otherwise, stay here.)

Your voice is still critical, particularly if you can demonstrate a connection to Yellowknife or our cause that explains why your view should be given consideration.

Here’s what category 7 needs to put in a letter to the CRTC:

  • Who you are and where you live
  • Whether you have any connection to Yellowknife
  • If you live elsewhere in the NWT, say where and tell the CRTC why Cabin Radio matters to your community, too
  • If you live beyond the NWT, explain what makes you compelled to write to the CRTC about our case. What’s your connection?
  • Add anything else you’d like to say about what Cabin Radio has achieved, why FM status for Cabin Radio matters, and why the CRTC’s initial decision missed the mark

If you think you are a special case that doesn’t fit into any of the above categories easily, and need extra guidance, email Ollie for help.

When you’ve written your letter, send it to Thanks for supporting our cause from beyond Yellowknife!