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Y95-CJLS celebrates 90 years on April 1, 2024

Y95-CJLS celebrates 90 years on-air

By Kevin Northup Apr 1, 2024 | 6:00 AM

Y95 is turning 90.

CJLS first signed on the air on April 1, 1934 from the top floor of the Grand Hotel.

It was founded by Laurie Smith, owner of the Gateway Broadcasting Company.

CJLS would undergo a number of changes over the years, it moved locations to 222 Main Street and became a supplementary broadcaster to the CBC.

Gateway sold the station to local owners in 1968.

CJLS founder Laurie Smith

In 1998, local broadcasters and CJLS voices Ray Zinck, Chris Perry and Gerry Boudreau took over the station, and it was re-branded ‘The Wave,’ with a mix of classics and current music.

Zinck spoke about their responsibility to the community in a 1999 interview.

“The radio station is a corporate citizen. We have an investment that goes beyond just making money and trying to employ people. I think it’s a higher calling in terms of what we do here, we’re very unique,” Zinck said.

Perry also took part in that interview, and said people wanted more than just great music.

“In my opinion, if people wanted to hear 12 songs in a row, they’d pull out their cassette or CD player. They listen to radio because it’s supposed to communicate something to them more than just music.”

In 2003, CJLS AM radio would flip to 95.5 FM.

This sign for CJLS-AM-FM hangs in the halls of Y95.

Acadia Broadcasting would purchase CJLS in 2015, and it became Y95, playing classics from the 70s, 80s and 90s.

It continues to offer local news, information and programming across the Tri-Counties on 95.5 FM and 94.7 FM Yarmouth, 96.3 FM Shelburne and 93.5 FM Digby.

Current station manager Eric Whynot said the community’s support has been outstanding.

“Ninety years ago, the journey began when CJLS officially went to air.  Today, I stand in awe of the legacy that has been built.  The unwavering support of the community is what has made CJLS a trusted media source for the Tri Counties. Over the years we have weathered the storms, celebrated victories, and connected generations,” said Whynot.

“To our loyal listeners, past and present staff, and the vibrant community we serve:  Thank you!  You are what fuels our passion.”

An open house is being held at the radio station at 328 Main Street in Yarmouth from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday.

Many voices from the past will be heard on the station throughout the day.

For a full history of CJLS, click here.