By Troy Hasselman, November 4 2019 —
CJSW’s funding drive has wrapped up for another year, with the radio campus station reaching their funding goal of $225,000. Throughout the week of Oct. 18–25, the station raised funds from 1,800 different donors, 40 per cent of who were first-time donors, reaching its goal right as the drive came to a close,
“Our goal was to reach $225,000 and we reached $225,000 at 6 p.m. Almost exactly on the dot we got the funding drive donation to put us over that,” CJSW Marketing and Development Director Simon MacLeod says. “There’s still things coming in over the last couple of days now and we’re at $233,00 now.”
The CJSW funding drive covers numerous costs for the station, including the lease for their radio tower, merchandise and maintaining the production studios and other facilities at the station.
“CJSW is the University of Calgary’s campus station so we get some funding from the student levy fund and that funding covers our staff costs,” Macleod says. “but outside of that, our funding drive serves as our budget to keep the lights on and the radio going and covers everything from upgrades to our new equipment to our broadcast tower lease. We lease our tower from CBC, so it covers that cost. Any sort of merchandise, T-Shirts that kind of thing. Maintaining our production studios and library, all that kind of stuff. It serves as our operations budget for the year.”
This year the station upped their funding drive goal to $225,000 from the previous goal of $200,000. Macleod is happy about the community support that has been shown to the station to help reach this goal.
“For the last couple of years, we’ve been asking for $200,000, this year we had a bit of an increase to that,” Macleod says. “It was a bit of a trial to see if we had that support from the campus and the greater Calgary community. It’s really nice to see that the city does value having a community radio station at the local level. We often compare ourselves in the context of the local, provincial and federal level. There’s CBC making radio, CKUA is doing Alberta radio and we feel that we occupy that local level of community radio in Calgary. It’s nice to see that Calgary appreciates that and they support us for sure.”
Looking ahead, the station hopes to continue to see the community support the station, owing to the high operating costs of running the station and the large range of their broadcasting tower which reaches far beyond the Calgary city limits.
“We’re hoping that we’ll be able to continue to ask for that kind of support from our listeners,” Macleod says. “We are starting to look at increasing our goal a little bit more, the cost of making radio is not going down. Our tower lease has gone up in the last few years, the amount we have to pay to broadcast at 18,000 watts, which is one of the largest broadcasting ranges out of any station in Calgary. We reach all the way out to Canmore and High River and almost to Drumheller — that’s no small cost every year and those costs aren’t going down. We’re really hoping to continue to ask for the support that we get from our listeners and we hope that potentially next year we can for a little bit more and start to grow that a bit more.”
CJSW acts as an important voice and platform local artists and individuals that would not have a platform otherwise. The station put emphasis on platforming local artists through playing music, doing interviews and live broadcast sessions.
“Gauntlet, NUTV, CJSW, we’re all in the same boat. We try to give a voice to stories, people and music that might not get an outlet elsewhere in the media landscape of Calgary,” Macleod says. “Part of our mandate is to support local artists and local musicians and local bands and give them the opportunity to have their music played and give them the opportunity to come up here and talk about their music and hopefully play music too. We can do live sessions and have live bands come up on air. That’s important to us as well. In our spoken word department we’re always looking for news and discussions and topics that might not necessarily be covered elsewhere and still have validity and deserve to be heard.”
CJSW listeners can still support the station year-round by donating through their website.