Original Thoughts - September 2014
In this issue:
- Welcome Back, David Ward!
- Our Favourite Fan Letter of the Summer
- CKUA Top 5 for September
- A Party for Brian Dunsmore
- Calling all Volunteers!
- Congratulations to our Summerfest Photo Contest Winner
- CKUA Book Club
- Donor Corner with Hazel & Jim
- Ways to Stay Connected with CKUA
Welcome Back, David Ward!
Lately, you may have heard a familiar voice from the past on CKUA... David Ward.
David has returned as our Interim Content Director on a one-year contract. David started with CKUA in April 1982 with a part-time position in the library. Over the years his assignments included everything from the reception desk, to news reading, to on-air hosting of a wide variety of music programs from Bluegrass to Classical. Most recently he hosted The Afternoon Edition out of Calgary, from May 2005 through January 2011.
During the last three years David produced CBC Radio 2's National Jazz Show, Tonic. Working for the CBC gave him a rich opportunity to work with new people, new technology, and new ways of doing things, and David looks forward to bringing the best of these experiences to CKUA.
David and his family continue to live in Calgary, so he commutes each week driving up to Edmonton Monday morning and returning home Thursday evening. This is just one of the challenges David faces in his new role. He says, "CKUA is now more complicated than when I stepped aside in 2011, but I look forward to focusing our dedicated programming staff to rise to new challenges. It is an exciting time for me as I engage once again with the distinct magic that is CKUA, and I look forward to reconnecting with the listeners, volunteers and staff that make up the CKUA family.”
We're thrilled to welcome you back, David!
Our Favourite Fan Letter of the Summer
In the spring of 1999 I left my job at CityTV in Toronto and headed for Banff. I knew very few people there and often felt quite alone in the Rockies, yet I knew that I had to be out west.
Within my first month out west I discovered two things that changed my life as a driver on the road servicing Lake Louise to Calgary for an AV company: one was an underground radio station transmitting from an old derelict tower in Banff, and the other was CKUA.
CKUA introduced me to 3 wonderful life-changing artists - Terry David Mulligan's show Mulligan Stew, Martin Sexton, and The Blind Boys of Alabama.
I didn't last more than 8 months living in Banff, but CKUA left a lasting impression on me ever since. And nothing in Canada comes remotely close to what you people do for your province.
Flash forward to the summer of 2014 and what do you know, my band The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer are up at #2 on your top 30 charts... holy smokes!!! This has been quite an honour and a hell of a long trip to get here.
I just wanted to say thank you to absolutely everyone involved at CKUA for supporting us over the years. We both think you're the torch bearers of culture for Canadian radio.
CKUA Top 5 for September
1. Bahamas - Bahamas Is Afie (Brushfire)
2. Beck - Song Reader (Capitol)
3. The New Pornographers - Brill Bruisers (Last Gang)
4. Spoon - They Want My Soul (Loma Vista)
5. Dr. John - Ske-Dat-De-Dat: The Spirit Of Satch (Concord)
A Party for Brian Dunsmore
Recently we had the opportunity to celebrate Brian Dunsmore as he retires from CKUA. Brian has made enormous contributions to the success and history of this station, and many people came together to pay tribute to Brian, including his family, current and past colleagues, and his devoted CKUA Ukulele Choir (pictured).
Brian started with CKUA in 1979 as a weekend classical music host, but soon graduated to a number of other programming and production related tasks, including working with Tommy Banks as producer of our flagship arts program of the day, Arts Alberta. He began working at CKUA full time in 1987 and developed and produced significant successes with the Ragtime To Rolling Stones documentary series in conjunction with Athabasca University. Later he was Executive Producer for two documentary series: The Folkways Collection (a groundbreaking 24-part documentary series that's still available through The Smithsonian and iTunes) and Smithsonian Folkways: Sounds To Grow On.
In 1999, he became CKUA's Program Director, a role that he held until December 2011. Brian played a key role in championing and introducing a number of bold new programs that are now mainstays in our current schedule, including Wide Cut Country, Roy’s Record Room, Mulligan Stew, Dead Ends & Detours, Points North, and World Spinning.
Most recently, Brian has led our community outreach efforts as Executive Director of Community & Special Projects for the past two years. His legacy from this role will include the very successful school tours program, fostering a wide range of important relationships with community partners, and forming the CKUA Ukulele Choir, which he has agreed to continue to lead in a volunteer capacity.
In recognition of his 35 years of service to CKUA, for his mentorship of many announcers and production staff, and for his passion for and devotion to CKUA for most of his adult life, Brian has been honored with the naming of “Prep Room # 1” on second floor - which will now be called the Brian G. Dunsmore Production Suite.
We will miss Brian - his warmth, his singing in the hallways, his inexhaustible knowledge of all things CKUA. If you'd like to send a message to Brian, email us and we'll pass on your comments.
Calling All Volunteers!
As a listener-supported station, when we start a relationship with a donor we want to make sure the relationship lasts a lifetime. But as you know, life sometimes gets in the way of making regular donations, and it helps to have a friendly reminder from a dedicated volunteer who also loves CKUA.
We'd love to have your help. From September 29 to October 2, we'll be calling CKUA supporters who have given in the past, but not lately. We'll be asking them to consider starting to donate to CKUA once again, and even to consider becoming a monthly donor.
Visit our website to learn more about how you can help. And if you're someone who would like to resume donating, we'd love to hear from you!
Congratulations to our Summerfest Photo Contest Winner!
We’d like to thank everyone who participated in our #SummerFest Photo Contest! We’ve had some great shots of festivals from around Alberta, reminding us once again that we are truly blessed to be living in a province that has so much to offer in terms of music and culture.
And now, without further ado, we’d like to congratulate Mike Scott for his submission from the Edmonton Blues Festival. Mike has won a deluxe camera package courtesy of McBain Camera. To view all the finalists please visit our Facebook Album (you don't need to have a Facebook account to see the photos).
CKUA Book Club
We’re reading Bicycle Diaries by David Byrne for the September edition of CKUA Book Club. The nearly 300-page book chronicles what the musician finds as he pedals through some of the world’s major cities. It was published by Penguin Books in 2009.
You can join the book club anytime! Read along and listen into ArtBeat as we feature a different element of the book each week. Plus, let us know what you think by calling our Talkback Phone Line (toll free in North America) 1.855.650.2582. We might just use your comments on the air!
If you want to get caught up on what Book Club has been talking about, just head over to www.ckua.com/bookclub. There you’ll find a podcast of our interview with Michael Ondaatje about the August book, Coming Through Slaughter, and a conversation with Geoff Berner on his debut novel, Festival Man, which was our July pick.
Donor Corner with Hazel & Jim
Do you ever get lost in thought and come to, only to realize that although you meant to turn left, you had turned right because that is the way you usually turn?
Well, that feeling of despair swept over me with a great amount of angst when I returned from a walk and realized that it was between 6 and 7 on Thursday evening. I had left for my walk before 6 PM on Wednesday, and now a bluegrass song was merrily playing away on the radio, and that meant that Steve Fisher was hosting Fire on the Mountain.
But I realized that in the delightful eclectic world that is CKUA, a Bluegrass song had been played on a Wednesday afternoon. It could just as easily have been a new release by an Alberta artist, or folk song sing-a-long, or an easy listening melody or an oldie goldie by the Beatles.
And those are the two reasons why I listen to CKUA. Number one is the sheer, unmitigated eclecticness of the station. I never know quite WHAT to expect.
And the second reason I listen to CKUA? Well, it works as a clock and a calendar for me. I know the time of day, not by the clock, but by the DJ on the radio.
We subscribe to CKUA because we love the Blues. We love Country. We enjoy many genres. We don’t like to tune to a station that only plays one genre. We want to be pushed and pulled and educated and amused and entertained and we want it done in a variety of categories. Thanks to CKUA for their eclectic array of music.
Read the full (and entertaining) article.
Ways to Stay Connected with CKUA
Saturdays at 7pm
Top Spin This Week:
The New Pornographers - Brill Bruisers