listen-liveOn Air Now


Listen Now

CKUA CEO, Marc Carnes: An Open Letter to Our CKUA Community.


Dear listeners,

On the heels of our recent campaign, I’m pleased to report that the mail has been collected, donations kept rolling in, and the couch cushions have been thoroughly searched. The final campaign total wound up being $856,922.20. On behalf of all of us at CKUA, thank you to everyone who took the time to share touching stories and messages of support, along with your new, renewed or increased contribution.

As you know, CKUA is unique in so many ways. That includes our campaigns, where listeners have a minute-by-minute detailing of our fundraising success. The wonderful thing about this is that you get to share in the excitement as we approach our goal. The not-so-wonderful thing is the feeling of disappointment that we all share if we do not make it. This unusual level of transparency into the real-time financial state of an organization inevitably leads to questions when we don’t have the success we all wish to see.

A public shortfall leads to questions from some about the future of CKUA when we don’t make our goal. But as you will read in our annual report, we generate approximately $4M in donations each year. While $150,000 below our goal this campaign is not an insignificant number, we can temporarily absorb the shortfall thanks to the sustained support of our monthly donors. This is a far cry from those who remember 1997 and the campaign to bring us back on the air. In those early days, every dollar was the difference between lights on and off.

To be clear, we absolutely need to raise the total amount we set out to raise each campaign and year-round to fuel your favourite station and maintain a balanced operating budget. But one moment in time doesn’t define our fate, nor will we let it. Not making our campaign goal means that we took our best shot—not our only shot—at raising critical funds through time-tested means. Unfortunately, it means we will have to work three times as hard in other ways to make up the difference, which our team has been working on behind the scenes.

If there’s one takeaway from this campaign, it’s that if you value what music and creative expression mean in your life, you can donate any day of the year when the spirit, or the music, moves you. Giving is not just an April and October thing.

But enough about the business of CKUA. Our campaigns are about more than just money. They are a time when we all get to celebrate the importance of music and art in our lives. So, in closing, I thought I would share one of my favourite comments from a donor who gave to the recent campaign.

CKUA is a conduit that enables artists to reach out and touch people in meaningful ways. When you give to CKUA, you aren’t supporting transmitters and internet connections. You are adding a little something special to the world, and to each other, every day.

Thank you for your support!

Marc Carnes 

P.S. Should you wish to read further, I have collected some common questions we receive from listeners when we don’t make our goal. It happens from time to time, just like in most organizations. The difference with CKUA is that you have a front-row seat when we do.