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


Thank you!

Emails and calls from listeners, from you, these days are reminding us that CKUA is more than a radio station. It’s something intensely personal—we touch people’s lives.

CKUA is an audible connection between us, shared thousands of times over, all around the world, in real-time. The bonds, the relationships, that we have forged through a shared passion for something as pure and uplifting as a perfect chord, a rich harmony, and a touching lyric are yours, as much as ours. And we know that no matter where we are or what the circumstances, at that moment, we are not alone.

In uncertain times we draw on music, arts, and culture to bring us together, to process and express our feelings, creating a sense of shared comfort when we need it most.

This is why CKUA is here. Now. With you.

You tell us that CKUA is a beacon. A lifeline. A needed break from a confusing time in what feels like an overwhelming world. A source of joy. A familiar voice. A comforting friend.

For over 92 years, CKUA has been the voice for music, arts, and culture that has brought us together through some of the most triumphant and most turbulent times we’ve ever faced as a society. And the fantastic thing is that we’ve always met them together—you and us—the CKUA community that we hold so dear.

There is nothing more reassuring than being told you matter, and through your recent emails and social media posts, we’ve heard that from you. Loud and clear.

You matter to us too.

With the music, arts and culture community experiencing unspeakable hardship during a time of social isolation, CKUA is one of the few places we can turn to for a daily dose of human connection and cultural well-being right now. I trust you will agree with me when I say that right now is the time when our community needs CKUA the most.

I won’t sugar-coat it. Like any other local business, independent media outlet or arts organization, CKUA is vulnerable to the financial realities of the world around us.

We must keep going. Social isolation doesn’t stop us; CKUA is a part of our collective healing and well-being. As one listener told me recently in response to the world around us: “We need to keep calm and CKUA on.”

And we are keeping calm and CKUA’ing on, together.

April is our annual spring fundraising drive where we raise critical operating funds. We’ve wrestled with this in recent weeks. How do we ask the community for money now? Will our listeners be offended? How do we do this when our hosts are at home, we can’t work with our volunteers in a phone room, we can’t have local artists live on air from our performance space.

And yet, to not ask puts CKUA at risk. Support from you, our listeners represents two-thirds of our annual operating budget. We are listener-supported, and so we must keep calm and fundraise on.

We know that to ask for financial support in a time like this requires respect, gratitude, and humility. Respect for those who already support us and continue to help in any way they can. Gratitude to everyone for your belief in CKUA and what it means to our community right now. Humility in asking for your support when so many are just trying to maintain their way of being.

We understand. We are here with you.

We can’t shy away from the inevitable; we must move forward with the campaign. The campaign will look and sound a little different. We are adapting to ensure the health and well-being of volunteers, staff and you, our listeners.

After all, CKUA is your radio station. We ride the highs and lows, and persevere, as one community.

We understand if you cannot contribute right now or must give lessFor those able to donate we ask that you give an amount that is meaningful to you. That’s the beauty of community—that we help each other where and when we can for the benefit of us all.

I’ve made my pledge. 

Please join me by contributing to our spring fundraising campaign this April.

With respect, humility and immense gratitude,

Marc Carnes
CEO, CKUA Radio Foundation