Posted On: Dec. 29, 2022
Featured Organization - CKXU
CKXU is an independent, campus-community, CRTC-licensed FM radio station located in Lethbridge, AB broadcasting at 88.3 FM and online via https://CKXU.com. Being a non-profit radio station, CKXU broadcasts quality creative content 24/7, 365 days a year. The On-Air Schedule has always, and will continue, to centre Canadian musicians, emerging genres, and underrepresented identities. The organization strives to offer the community what isn’t available elsewhere: diverse local music and programming, a variety of genres on one station, and local grassroots perspectives. CKXU is proud to provide on-air hosts with the space, tools, and training to amplify a perspective, connect with the community, and to curate purposeful content, whether that’s a dance party every Friday or boots-on-the-ground coverage of current local news and happenings. Recently, CKXU has expanded the For the Record program, a grant-funded programming initiative that focuses on amplifying local and emerging musicians, and showcasing local non-profits, businesses, and opportunities.
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What is success for your organization in the coming year?
Success for CKXU is measured via the impact we have on our listenership, local musicians and artists, and the community-at-large. We are constantly asking ourselves how to increase our impact in sustainable ways and looking at who benefits and gains from our programming and events. The organization’s mandate to showcase and promote cultural diversity throughout Southern Alberta is at the heart of everything CKXU does - fostering a space where individuals feel free to explore and learn, expand a perspective, and share engaging conversations is all a part of that! In the coming year, we hope to continue to expand our impact through increased community and campus partnerships, growing our in-kind and sponsorship-based contracts with local music festivals, events, campus and community groups, and musicians, and ongoing internal development work related to bettering the accessibility and purpose of our Music Library! To stay up-to-date with our progress in these areas, feel free to sign-up to our Monthly Newsletter by emailing email@example.com
What are you currently excited about in the music industry?
Seeing the return of live music and witnessing the community come out to engage with and support local musicians and venues has been so exciting! Through our grant-funded For the Record program, CKXU has worked to provide on-air co-host and live session opportunities to over 90 local musicians since the start of the pandemic, providing much needed opportunity for musicians to build connections with our local listenership and expand their community. One of the consistent topics discussed during co-host and live session interviews is the devastating impact the pandemic has had on musicians, live music venues, and the music industry in general. Local musicians are working harder than ever to maintain and grow their listenership despite minimal to no access to live music opportunities throughout the pandemic. Programs such as For the Record provided much needed support to help bridge the gap, and it’s been very exciting seeing the musicians we’ve worked with perform on stage and in our favorite local venues once again.
What is the greatest challenge you face currently, and how can other industry and artists partners help?
Similar to many non-profit organizations, CKXU was hit hard by the pandemic and the changes it brought about to the music and radio industries. Programs and services have pivoted to better respond to the needs of musicians, volunteers, and our community as the pandemic continues on, and CKXU has worked diligently to continue to provide top quality programming and services that respond to community needs. CKXU is funded through a combination of campus levy fees, grant funding, targeted fundraisers, and general community support. We are the definition of community-powered, and without the ongoing support of our community, donors, and industry partners alike, it wouldn’t be possible for us to continue to operate. Moving into 2023, we are working to expand our partnerships and sponsor contributions to local non-profits, student-run groups and organizations, local musicians, and community festivals and events. Collaboration, mutual support, and cross-promotional partnerships will be key to our success in the coming year, and we want to ensure we’re uplifting others in our community and giving back where we can.
Can you give a shout out to an artist or industry member who is also doing great things?
Over the summer of 2022, CKXU Staff participated in a Safer Music Spaces and Bystander Workshop with Good Night Out Vancouver to grow our knowledge and tools related to fostering and creating safer spaces for DIY and venue-based music events. The workshop itself was thoughtful, initiated meaningful discussions, and gave the Staff a plethora of new information and tools to work with when it comes to navigating a variety of different situations. We highly recommend any of their training sessions or workshops to folks who work in the music industry, specifically those who interact with or are local and emerging musicians, local venues, booking agents or promoters, record labels, etc. who are committed to fostering a Safer and Brave space. Check out their website and workshop opportunities here: https://www.goodnightoutvancouver.com/