By Thomas Johnson, October 18 2018 —
This Friday, CJSW 90.9 FM is kicking off its annual funding drive, looking to the local community to support its on-campus broadcasting. Between Oct. 19–26, the station will be looking for pledges as they try to reach their goal of $200,000, which will be put to use to improve their ability to provide Calgary with a diverse array of alternative radio.
“This year’s theme is FM Anchor. It’s a nautical theme, all things sailor and mer-people,” says Simon MacLeod, CJSW’s community development coordinator. “The idea behind the theme is that at CJSW, we see ourselves as an anchor point in the community and on campus. Students and community members look to us as a source for new music or music you might not find on another radio station. [Plus] local events, news, spoken-word programming and a lot of multicultural radio programs that you won’t find on another station in Calgary. We’ve been here for 35-plus years and we’re staying strong.”
FM Anchor’s narrative will follow Captain Bob and First Mate Fiona throughout their week-long quest for buried treasure. The nautical theme received a visual treatment from Edmonton graphic artist Hamburger Hands, who designed the theme’s artwork, including the anchor logo, featured extensively in the pledge reward system.
The pledge system is divided into five tiers, with rewards increasing in correlation with the amount pledged. The first 500 pledges receive an enamel anchor logo pin and the first 500 people to pick up their reward get an anchor logo patch.
Photo by Mariah Wilson
Tier one starts at $30 pledged and rewards a CJSW Friends Card, which offers discounts to 190 Calgary businesses — 30 more than last year’s card.
Tier two begins at $100 pledged and gets you a CJSW-branded T-shirt and the CJSW Live-Mix triple-disc CD, a compilation of performances from bands who have visited CJSW within the last year.
Tier three starts at $200 pledged and gets you a CJSW mug and Steve Zissou-styled sailor’s beanie, the latter of which was made and designed by Alberta Apparel, a Calgary apparel company.
Tier four, the dollar-a-day tier, starts at $365 pledged and gets you a CJSW sweater, also designed by Alberta Apparel.
The fifth and final tier begins at $500 pledged and gets you a handmade mason jar radio, tuned exclusively to CJSW. The radio’s bass and treble can be manipulated by increasing or decreasing the size of the jar.
In addition to the main $200,000 goal, a stretch-goal of $250,000 has also been set which, if met, will allow for the replacement of the CJSW backup-transmitter that has sat for the past 20 years on Cemetery Hill, having slowly been corroded by the erosion of time and, presumably, ghosts.
For the financially strapped, contributing to CJSW doesn’t necessarily have to come monetarily.
“We only have seven staff members but have a team of over 300 volunteers throughout the year. All of our on-air hosts are volunteers, as well as those who come in to do music reviews, submissions, etc.,” MacLeod says. “It can be as simple as coming in to make buttons, processing CDs, going to [our] events or just doing general promotion for the station. There’s tons of ways to get involved in a volunteer capacity.”
FM Anchor activations will be visible across Calgary during the Funding Drive, with Hamburger Hands’ artwork gracing billboards, roadway banners and CTrain platform screens around town. The Funding Drive proper, however, will be based at the CJSW offices in MacHall.
“We want to be the rising tide that lifts all boats. If we can be strong, we can better support the campus and community. Music venues have closed in the last couples months, breweries are in flux with some thinking they may have to close their doors, while others already have,” MacLeod says. “We just want to do our part so that doesn’t have to happen. But we need our listeners’ support to be able to be the best version of ourselves.”
Photo by Mariah Wilson