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CKUA and the Depth of Possibilities

Do you (or someone you know) have a 200-300 word story about you and CKUA that you’d like to share with us? Please let us know by writing us. We’d love to feature it! What do such stories look like?

Well, here’s a touching one by the Harvey-Jansen family.

“Throughout the many garages, basements, and kitchen tables of Alberta, young musicians spill their thoughts and emotions into song. Often times, these songs are unpolished, maybe even rough, but they reflect the soul of the province.” (Excerpt from Luke’s copy of the 2016 Project Wild essay prep)

CKUA creates relationships for your whole life journey, but we never knew this at first. We just thought it was another radio station on the dial. But apparently our preschooler, Luke Jansen, knew better.

Luke would listen, along with his dad, Brad, to The Celtic Show on Friday nights; little Luke seemed to love the music and Andy Donnelly’s gentle style. At this age Luke, had trouble pronouncing Andy’s last name properly; he called him Andy “Don-del-dy” and that phrase stuck in our household. Fast forward into elementary school and Luke became the first one in our family to donate to CKUA, telling the phone volunteer his favorite show was the Andy “Don-del-dy” show, and he wanted to share some of his birthday money.

As Luke’s musical interests flourished and changed, there was always a CKUA show to feed that musical passion. His childhood choir introduced him to Canadian songwriters, classical pieces, and more. In junior high, Luke’s love for jazz music was insatiable. In senior high, he fell in love with folk music, and he and his friends in Creative Music started the indie folk band North of Here in 2012. Luke‘s soul was fed by the many artists who shared their musical talents on CKUA, and by the announcers who wove the connections between the songs. Luke and his younger brother Ethan had a great time exploring new songs and new artists long before most of their friends, thanks to CKUA.

New connections were built with CKUA and the Alberta music scene as Luke and North of Here’s talents grew. North of Here recorded a two-song vinyl [single] at Leeroy Stagger’s Rebeltone Ranch studio called “Without Windows”. Luke saw the possibilities that CKUA created, for listeners and musicians.

For example, CKUA is a huge supporter of the Canmore Folk Music Festival and this festival gave North of Here an amazing opportunity to showcase their folk music at a new level. As a performer, Luke loved the sheer energy in Miner’s Hall when North of Here played the 2016 School of Song stage, which provides performing opportunities for young, emerging musicians. He loved getting to know The Milk Carton Kids, and bantering between songs on the outdoor stage with CKUA’s Tom Coxworth watching from the side. Luke was a loyal listener of Tom’s Folk Routes. Look at the CKUA synergy now!

So the intertwining of CKUA, and so many wonderful musicians and organizations, carried through into Luke’s life in 2017. Among many special musical moments was North of Here’s performances at the Forestburg Concert Series, the Stingray’s young performer’s program at the Winnipeg Folk Music Festival, and back home for their biggest performance to date at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival.

And guess who introduced North of Here to the thousands of people watching Main Stage that Thursday evening for the first tweener spot? Of course, you called it—no other than the CKUA guy who first caught Luke’s 5-year-old radio ear—Andy Donnelly. EFMF’s 2017 School of Song experience was electric for North of Here. They headed into the fall with energy and focus for their first full-length album, having performed the songs together live many times.

But now we, Luke’s parents, must tell you the sad and poignant twist in this Luke ♥ CKUA story, but please continue reading as there is more joy to come. The story’s twist happens out of nowhere, just like Luke’s death at 22½ years old, while he was out for a run on October 6, 2017. You would think Luke’s passing would bring an end to Luke’s CKUA story, but the twist is, it didn’t, not in the least. Apparently, unlike Luke, we did not fully understand yet the splendour, the energy, the beauty, the loving kindness of the people who make up the CKUA family. The joy-filled twist is that the story continues in a way we did not see coming, and it began in a very small way. The first weekend of CKUA’s 2017 fall fundraiser was also Luke’s memorial service. Midweek after the service, for some reason, Luke’s text encouraging us to donate a year earlier came to mind. There and then we spontaneously decided to donate a CKUA hour of Folk Routes for the weekend nearest to Luke’s birthday.

We are not alone as we arrive at Luke’s 26th birthday without him on March 9, 2021. We can count on amazing music to add to our life journey and to keep Luke and North of Here’s music close at hand. Luke’s love has carried on, as we meet and build new relationships within the CKUA music community, and donate program hours for Full Circle with Celeigh Cardinal, Dirty Windshields Radio Hour and Folk Routes each year. Look at the many CKUA blessings in our grief, our love, our life.

We hope you have found your own place in the CKUA possibilities and people. Sure glad Luke and Andy “Don-del-dy” started our CKUA story.

With love, The Harvey-Jansens
Written by Z’Anne Harvey-Jansen, Luke’s Mom

Thanks again for this beautiful story about you and CKUA, Z’Anne, and all of our gratitude and love to you and your family.

Please email us if you would like to share your own 200-300 word CKUA story with our community! And tell a friend too! We’d love to hear from listeners of all generations and backgrounds!