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 Alberta Morning host, Grant Stovel.
Every weekday, I have this incredible experience.
I get up at around four o’clock in the morning, make my way through deserted streets to an empty, darkened building, go inside, sit down, put on headphones, and plug in to a worldwide community of thousands upon thousands of people.
It’s the most amazing feeling. It’s spine-tingling. It’s transformative. I literally don’t talk to a single person for the first couple of hours of my day, then suddenly I join in with this palpable, global energy! From early birds here in Alberta, to folks on the other side of the world for whom it’s already midnight tomorrow!
It’s mind-blowing. And a huge part of the magic is that we’re all talking to each other through the music. Every day, we can all share messages, stories and musical requests back and forth. It really tunes us in to how we’re feeling as a community, and what we’re going through collectively. Sometimes the stories are simple, charming accounts of people and families just trying to shake off sleep; sometimes they’re heartbreakingly beautiful accounts of struggle and adversity. It’s a wide, uplifting spectrum of human experience. And then there’s all the wildly diverse stories and perspectives that we get through the music! Every day, we get to share a lot together.
What those shared morning radio experiences all represent for me is simple: connection. Human connection.
At the most fundamental level, that’s what radio is! And community radio, in particular. When we tune in to that certain frequency, we’re truly tuning ourselves in to a shared wavelength—both literally and figuratively. It’s a powerful thing: to know that you’re living through exactly the same experience, at exactly the same moment, as thousands of other souls—both in your hometown and around the world! It imbues the very act of tuning in with magic.
It’s the magic created by the collective energy, attention, and participation of thousands of folks, across the CKUA globe. Hearts beating in rhythm together. I feel that powerfully. Each day.
I’ve known this my whole CKUA life! Ever since my family moved to Alberta when I was ten years old, and my parents first flicked on CKUA. CKUA hosts have accompanied my every step through life, and soundtracked my very existence—with music and stories that have fired my imagination, touched my heart, and made me feel ever closer to my fellow human being.
It’s that oh-so-human, all-too-rare connection that we all have with each other that makes me so grateful that I get to be part of this CKUA community. We’re all blessed that we have this, that we have each other.
We are all together, across the CKUA universe. And we all need to make sure that we remain connected with one another—now, and for a long, long time to come.