CKLB radio station's office up for sale

CKLB Radio's future is unclear after its log building in Yellowknife was listed online with an asking price of $569,000.

'It really became the base, and really the heart of the organization,' said Dane Gibson

CKLB Radio's log cabin — the base for its broadcasting operations — is up for sale online with an asking price of $569,000. (Gabriela Panza-Beltrandi/CBC)

CKLB Radio's log cabin — the base for its broadcasting operations — is up for sale.

The building on Lessard Drive in Yellowknife's Old Town neighbourhood is listed online with an asking price of $569,000.

The station broadcasts in five languages to 30 communities in the Northwest Territories and northern Alberta. Why the move is happening, or what will become of the radio station, is unclear.

For Dane Gibson, the cabin is "pretty near and dear" to him. He was the executive director of the Native Communications Society of the N.W.T. when the society acquired the log building over a decade ago. The society owns CKLB.

"It really became the base, and really the heart of the organization for us anyway at that period in time," he said.

Before taking ownership of the building, Gibson said CKLB bounced from several different locations. At one point the society was paying close to $7,000 in rent a month, a cost Gibson said they couldn't keep up with.  

Gibson said the society acquired the cabin as a way to protect the station and ensure they wouldn't go off the air amid funding problems.

Back in August 2014, the Aboriginal broadcaster went off air and laid off most of its staff, citing funding issues. It received almost half a million dollars in federal funding a few months later and resumed operation.

"Really it was about getting something secure and something that eliminated our rental obligations, so we became the landlord and the owner and it really took control of those types of expenses," he explained.

Gibson said he doesn't know why the Native Communications Society has decided to put the cabin up for sale.

The current CEO of the Native Communications Society, Les Carpenter, declined CBC's request for comment on the matter.