The mayor, fire chief and other Penticton movers and shakers were all on air Wednesday morning at the grand opening of a new internet radio station.
Okanagan radio personality Dennis Walker held the event to introduce dignitaries and the public to his online station, SO Country Internet Radio.
“In my opinion radio has gone so generic, and I wanted to have my own radio station,” he said. “Basically it will be Giant FM on the Internet.”
Walker launched the station, only weeks after he and other on-air staff were laid off from Giant FM in April of last year. He had worked there for 22 years.
It started as a small effort in the kitchen of his home, and in recent months moved to a corner of the Adidas Sportsplex.
Ezra Cremers, the executive director and head coach of Pinnacles Football Club at the sportsplex, said they were quick to offer Walker the location because he has been a pillar of the community.
“He was looking for a location, so we thought why not offer him a space in this building doing something he loves,” he said.
Walker will be broadcasting at socountry.ca, four hours a day, seven days a week. The broadcast will feature country music as well as local talent and news.
On Wednesday morning, people who have been loyal fans of Walker for years showed up at the station’s new location to offer their support.
“When he transitioned in his career there was a void that needed to be filled about community connectedness, so this is filling that void,” said councillor Judy Sentes. “This location is ideal, it is central with high visibility and I am thrilled to see Dennis doing what he does so well.”
Now the official launch has taken place, the advertising, marketing effort will go full speed ahead, according to Darcy Donahue, who is doing marketing and sales for Walker.
“The grand opening today is to say thank you to a lot of people who supported him,” said Donahue. “After the launch we will be out visiting businesses throughout the Okanagan.”