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!earshot - july 2001 - issue 52

2001 Standard Awards > Local Talent Development Award

CHSR members, including station manager Tristis Ward (front row, second from left), accept the 2001 Standard Award for their efforts in local talent development.


The "reviving Fredericton's dying music scene" award: This year's Local Talent Development award goes to Fredericton's CHSR 97.9 FM for initiating an annual Battle of the Bands series. In this Maritime city, "the scene was dying," admitted CHSR station manager Tristis Ward, citing a lack of alternative venues for independent and all-ages acts. "We tried to do smaller gigs (as fundraisers) but the scene wasn't there." In February 2000, the station expanded the "small gig" idea into a large event that attracted local attention. The project was spearheaded by then-development/promotions manager Melissa Kaestner, who managed the bands, prizes, venue, judges, promotions and pretty much everything else up to (and including) the night of the event. "The place was packed," Ward remarked, adding that the Battle of the Bands's success encouraged CHSR to make it an annual event. Their secnd annual Battle resulted in a compilation CD handed to c/c stations across Canada during this year's NCRC in June. The effects of an annual alternative music event extends not only to the station as a fundraiser, but to Fredericton's musicians. "On a personal level for the bands, they communicated to us that the contacts they made led to more gigs," Ward said.

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