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Radio Show a Dream Come True

AN UPDATE TO THIS STORY: Darrin and Brian did two wonderful shows of Darrin on the West Coast. The shows included music, great interviews and fun banter between the two friends. One can imagine that preparing for a radio show is a great deal of work and Darrin found it to be a little overwhelming. He’s grateful to CIVL for the opportunity he had to fulfill a life-long dream of hosting his own radio show and says thanks to everyone for tuning in and listening. Darrin, we wish you all the best on your next adventure!

Darrin has always had a fascination with radio. He vividly remembers being a child and sitting with his dad in the living room of their home in Campbell River listening to the AM station on their large, console radio/record player.

“On Saturday mornings, my dad would turn it on and sit in the living room listening to this great program focused on old-time, vintage, jukebox music,” Darrin says. “I asked dad if he thought there would be anyone there on a Saturday and if they would let me go in and see what it would be like.”

Well there was someone there, they did let him in to show him around and it completely captured Darrin’s imagination. Ever since, he has dreamt of having his own radio show. On March 3rd, that dream will come true when Darrin on the West Coast airs on CIVL radio, which broadcasts from the University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford.

Darrin’s one hour show is called Darrin on the West Coast and will be a mix of talk and music, featuring the eclectic mix of tunes that Darrin loves as well as music requests from listeners. What makes his show unique is Darrin himself: Darrin lives with autism and his show will feature interviews with others who live with developmental disabilities.

“I want my show to be a voice for people with special needs,” he says.

Darrin is part of the Community Inclusion program at Communitas Supportive Care Society. He and his worker, Brian Cucek, have been preparing for months. They first approached the program manager at CIVL, Dave Cusick who gave them a tour and invited Darrin to consider a show.

“It’s part of our mandate to have diverse voices and perspectives on our station, especially those that mainstream, commercial media typically doesn’t include,” Dave says. “It matters to me that people have an opportunity to hear ideas and personality from someone they may never have encountered in their lives otherwise. It’s been fun, personally, for me, to get to know Darrin.”

In order to get the show to air, Darrin and Brian had to complete several different steps. They had to complete ethics training, which helped them to learn what they should and should not be said on the air. Tech training taught them to properly use the recording equipment in the studio and what the procedures are for hosting your own show. Since CIVL operates primarily under the auspices of volunteers, Brian and Darrin also put in a couple of hours of volunteer work, cleaning the studio and doing some music recording for another show. Then they had to put together a 20-minutes demo of Darrin’s show.

“That was a challenge because we learned quickly that you can’t have any ‘dead’ air,” Brian says. “It took us four or five tries to get it perfect.”

Darrin agrees.

“It’s hard for me not to get distracted by things in the studio but we did it,” he says.

Finally, they had to write a proposal for Darrin’s show which was approved by a committee. Darrin is excited for the opportunity to share his love for music and to include others on his show. He invites music requests and he and Brian would like to interview people in the community who live with special needs.

“I have my own equipment so we can record interviews anywhere in the community,” Brian says.

Anyone interested in participating in this way or requesting a song for the show can contact Darrin through Brian by emailing bcucek@communitascare.com

“This has been my dream for quite a while,” Darrin says with a huge smile on his face. “Now it’s coming true.”

Darrin on the West Coast aired for the first time on Thursday March 3rd from 10-11 am on CIVL radio, 101.7FM. The next show is Thursday, April 7th at 10 am. Stay tuned!