CJSW serving up some ‘delicious radio’

By Jordyn Marcellus

After 25 years of funding drives, CJSW is gearing up for a new space and a move to a new tower. The only thing they need is your help to make it happen.

The first funding drive in 1985 allowed the station to move to the high fidelity FM band it currently holds. Fittingly, 25 years later, the group needs the money to help re-locate to a new space on the third floor of Mac Hall. The move is tentatively slated for Nov. 6.

Station manager Chad Saunders says this year’s fundraiser aims to “re-stock the fridge” for the “delicious radio” found daily on 90.9 by paying for larger projects the station is unable to cover with its primary funding sources.

“We’ve been saving away for 10 [or] 12 years, little bit at a time, for this big expansion project,” he says. “The tower — as much as it pains me to go through that whole process again — we’re moving the tower as high and as close to, if not over, 10,000 watts as possible. It’ll push back 90.3 [Amp Radio], because we’ve been getting tower interference.”

Kat Cardiff, CJSW librarian and host of Turing Radio on Sunday at 10:30 p.m., explains this year’s goal is the same as last year’s — to fundraise a solid number the station believes it can achieve.

“Our goal this year is $200,000,” she says. “Last year we got up to $204,000 during the drive and collected a bit from pledges just coming in. It’s a reasonable goal this year.”

The station’s two major funding forms are the student levy fee and the annual funding drive. The levy covers the day-to-day costs of running the station, but the funding drive is the only time CJSW raises money for capital projects and surprise costs.

“Like an ice cream cone, funding drive is the extra scoop,” says Saunders. “The levy is the cone. That’s the shell of everything. But no one wants to eat a cone. Y’know, when you don’t get enough ice cream to the bottom of the cone it’s not very tasty and it’s like ‘My mouth’s all dry.’ Well funding drive is that extra scoop.”

Cardiff says the station needs the funding drive not only to move upstairs, but also for the ancillary costs of running the station, like maintaining an online presence. CJSW provides streams from their site as well as podcasting services for their radio shows, so not only can Calgarians listen in, but ex-pats and fans of tasty radio can too.

“It affords us our space online and we need that to be able to not only keep those operations going, but to expand,” says Cardiff. “As the bandwidth of our radio gets narrower and narrower, we need to get a stronger signal. We’d love to be able to increase our online feed and help it reach more people at those peak times.”

“Sometimes it cuts out now on peak listening hours. To be able to expand that it would be really awesome,” she added.

Funding drive is one of the best opportunities to help a powerful local presence like CJSW, which sponsors concerts and film screenings, promotes independent artists, and offers University of Calgary students practical experience working in radio.

“We can start with the little things, but the punch-line is fantastic radio in a fantastic new space,” says Saunders.

“Number one, [CJSW is] great radio. You look at what’s happening in media and you see the TV campaign ‘Save Local TV.’ Often those TV companies are owned by — oh I don’t know — giant multinational corporations and they’re worried about what’s happening on local content on television. We’re not that. We’re a non-profit society.”

How to make a pledge

1) Online through Paypal
If you want to pledge your support but don’t live in Calgary it’s the easiest way. This is the best way for CJSW fans from outside the country to get their swag and support their station.

2) Phone it in

The CJSW phone bank puts the Jerry Lewis telethon to shame. It’s the quickest way to support the station and you can also talk to a rad, if harried, volunteer.

3) In person

For those who want the all-in-one complete solution immediately. Get in, pay and receive the goods.

4) Pre-authorized payments

Bring a void cheque and your money will be divided into 10 easy equal payments. It’s best for those who can’t afford one big payment.

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