Happy fifth birthday to Shine FM!

shinefm Edmonton’s Christian radio station, Shine FM, turns five years old this weekend.

I remember how excited I was when the station first came on the air, because it was the first time in Canada I’d ever heard a Top-40 style Christian music station, and it opened my eyes to all kinds of new bands and artists – Starfield, Casting Crowns, Downhere, Pillar, Skillet, Drentch, Big Dismal, FM Static, Switchfoot, Building 429, Hawk Nelson, Thousand Foot Krutch and dozens more. In the first year Shine was on the air, I think I spent more money on music than I did in the previous 10 years. It was, quite literally, the only radio station I listened to. I had been waiting my whole life for a Christian pop-rock station, and Shine was a Godsend.

Over the years, Shine’s music mix has shifted, and it has become more of an adult contemporary station than a Top 40 station, and I admit that, as a result, I haven’t listened to it as much in the last couple of years as I had when it first came on the air. Its playlist and my musical tastes were diverging too much, and any one of a half-dozen Internet-streaming Christian rock radio stations that I rotated through were filling that gap. (I particularly like the Christian rock station Ignite 107 in Winnipeg, which streams over the Net.)

shinefmrocks However, I’ve been very happy to discover that all those rock songs that Shine basically erased from its playlist have now been moved to an Internet-only radio station – ShineFMRocks.com. And while I can’t get that in my car, it’s now my first choice for my streaming music when I’m at home on my laptop. So I’m happy again.

I’m pretty sure that in the five years Shine has been on the air, a half dozen other stations in Edmonton have shifted their format completely trying to find a bigger audience and higher ratings. Meanwhile, Shine plugs on - playing Christian music without a lot of fanfare from the local media or, I’m sure, much recognition or appreciation in Edmonton’s radio community.

God bless them all. And happy birthday to the Shine gang. May you have many more birthdays to celebrate on Edmonton’s airwaves.

And turn Shine FM Rocks into an actual radio station, OK? Thanks.

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