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Celeigh Cardinal’s CKUA Story

Community Profiles

During our Spring 2020, Powered by People fundraising campaign, we’re posting personal essays by CKUA announcers about what our service and their relationship with you, means to them. Here’s one by Full Circle host, Celeigh Cardinal.

I’ve told this story, it feels like too many times, but the impact of it cannot be minimized, and it’s a true story, so I’ll probably never stop telling it.

At age 23 I became a mother. And not just any kind of mother: a single mother. I was lucky enough to have my own mother around to help me raise my child together for his early years. I worked nights, she worked days, and somehow, we made it work.

Now, I’ve always known I was supposed to be a singer. I have sung since I was three months old, and I’ve never questioned it. It is my true purpose and my calling. However, being a single mother, I had to take an assortment of jobs over the years, just to make ends meet.

I remember while I was working one of my “real jobs” I would listen to Tony King before work, and he was hosting Alberta Morning. I would listen to his insightful enjoyment and descriptions of the artists he played, and I knew he loved music. I would lay in my bed, willing myself to get out of it, and think “One day, Tony King is going to play me on CKUA”.

And then one day, that dream came true. I heard Tony King play a song of mine that was requested by a listener. Then I heard Baba play a song of mine, then Grant, and then one day, I was asked to submit a demo for a hosting position for CKUA.

Last September I was given my own hour to curate whatever kind of program I wanted. That hour became Full Circle, just as my story has. I now have the opportunity to play the music of Indigenous artists who otherwise, might not be heard. Because I am part of the lush, beautiful and ever-growing Indigenous musical community in Canada, I know a lot of the artists whom I get to share with you on CKUA.

It is a beautiful gift, and it is indeed, a Full Circle. From being a young single mother, dreaming one day to have my music heard on CKUA, to now having the opportunity to share that space with others, much like myself many years ago.

When you donate, you are truly changing lives, and you are authentically supporting artists, even the artists who haven’t even been heard yet. That is community. That is you.

Thank you for supporting CKUA all these years.

You’re dream-makers.

Helpful links:

Donate today!

Tuning In to the CKUA Community by Grant Stovel

How to donate online to CKUA! (we can’t take calls right now)

‘Keep Calm and CKUA On’ – A fundraising message by Marc Carnes