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 World Spinning host, Lark Clark.
I relate to the world through music and I suspect this is true of many CKUA listeners. The music we love, listen to, and support reflects our lives and ourselves. Music matters!
I grew up in a family where the arts were considered essential. It was important to read, to listen, to question: plays, movies, museums. When I left home it became coffee houses, midnight theatre, and busking on the street.
As I wandered from coast to coast through urban ghettos and hippie communes, music was my mind-expanding drug. Eventually my personal lodestar led me to Grant MacEwan, to study music theatre in Edmonton. I was amazed to “discover” CKUA right there on my radio dial! (That’s what it felt like: a discovery.) Lucky are those who grew up with CKUA on their family radio. Those second and third generation listeners are our radio ancestors and elders.
We’ve all heard of identity politics. I think the CKUA identity reaches much deeper. It came as a revelation to me, many years ago, that CKUA listeners hold a broad range of political opinions, but in the interest of maintaining our little miracle, CKUA, we value each others’ musical expressions. It’s the ultimate alliance. You may not like every genre, but we’re proud to be part of the station that has it all.
I can’t tell how much I love CKUA without including its long history. CKUA is Canada’s oldest public broadcaster. That is no small achievement. Think of the numbers of people, the generations, who acquired learning, love of music, and a sense of self-worth because of CKUA.
Yes, self-worth: because CKUA is ours—ours in a way no other radio station is.
We can and do know each other, and we talk to each other with respect, because CKUA has earned respect. It’s a family you can join; if you love music and the arts, if you listen to CKUA not only for the music, but for the connection to the community of music lovers, then you are part of CKUA.
There is only one CKUA. It is precious, but it is fragile. In this crisis time, how many of us have turned to CKUA, and through CKUA, to each other? I am grateful for the part CKUA has played in my life, and I thank every person who has enabled CKUA to thrive and to shine.