University of Lethbridge-based radio station CKXU is more than just a radio station. It’s a place to not only hear music you won’t hear anywhere else, according to their mandate to not play anything you hear on any other radio station, but it is also a place to hang out, blow off a little steam and stress, and make new friends in the process.
CKXU is also a contributor to the community, helping out with events in and around Lethbridge as well as big contributors to the local music scene, either by playing local musicians on the air, hosting and sponsoring concerts or actually being part of it as numerous CKXU personalities and volunteers are part of a variety of local bands.
This year’s annual FUNdrive fundraiser runs March 17-24. This year’s theme recognizes how CKXU is more than just a radio station.
“We’ve planned a pretty cool FUNdrive this year. I am legit excited about it,“ said CKXU station manager Aaron Trozzo.
“FUNdrive is the time of year when CKXU actively solicits listeners, members, alumni, community members and students for donations to offset operating expenses and help fund special projects,” Trozzo continued.
“This year’s theme is the things about CKXU that illustrate our involvement in the community and our contribution to the community,” he said.
“Whether that’s supporting the local music scene or in some capacity helping with other community organizations with projects and events on a more human resources level or local environmental initiatives like the spring highway cleanup or the annual community cleanup,” he continued, adding they are also planning to make the 2017 Love and Records festival in September 75 per cent waste free.
This year‘s FUNdrive goal is to raise $30,000 to cover station expenses and, if they beat the goal by $3,000, that extra money will be put towards an annual $1,000 scholarship for U of L students.
“A really cool thing we’re doing this year is implementing a ‘stretch goal.’ The $30,000 has already been earmarked for specific projects, but the other $3,000 will be for a scholarship — $1,000 a year for three years. If we don’t make it, we’ll do it again next year. But we want to blow that $30,000 out of the water this year and improves student life,” he enthused.
“Having a radio program and being on the air for an hour or two hours whatever is very important to our programmers’ well-being. We live in a very high-stress world and everything is running at breakneck pace,” he observed, noting he feels it health wise when he is forced to miss his own radio show “Fridays Of Our Lives,” Friday mornings, 9 a.m -12 p.m., due to illness or focusing on the paperwork and details of boosting CKXU’s signal, which was the theme and goal of the previous three FUNdrives.
“CKXU programming has an incredible amount of diversity,” he said.
But FUNdrive is not just on-air personalities asking for money from 7 a.m. to midnight, it is a chance to get some cool swag including the Friends Card, giving you a discount at numerous local business, T-shirts, reusable water bottles, hoodies, hot sauce and a special CKXU compilation CD of bands who recorded in the stations lobby on the first floor of the Students’ Union Building.
“The CD is of bands that have recorded in our lobby. It’s a great cross-section of local and emerging artists,” he said.
There are also a lot of cool events happening throughout the week beginning with the CKXU Gala kickoff at the SAAG which is partnered with the SAAGs monthly craft beer night, featuring brand new CKXU brew brewed by Theoretical Breweries.
There is a $5 cover for craft beer night which includes a float of beers. The CKXU Gala begins at 9 p.m.
“We will also unveil the silent auction, which will run all week this year,” he said.
Other popular FUNdrive events happening include the return of the Tuneful Tangle at Attainable Records, March 18, which is an all-ages, under-18 battle of the bands; the always popular CKXU Cupcake Carnival, March 19 at the Boys and Girls Club this year; and the FUNdrive wrapup at the Slice, March 24 featuring local bands covering “banned songs.” Tickets for that event are $10 in advance. It begins at 8:30 p.m.
Every pledge over $25 gets the pledgee an entry into a grand prize draw for a surprise, fun group activity valued at $250 which will be drawn April 7 at 4:30 p.m.
“We’re excited about what our programmers are doing for individual FUNdrive incentives,” Trozzo said.
FUNdrive details are online at http://www.ckxu.com.