Campus radio at the University of Alberta is stepping up its game this week in an effort to raise money for its annual fundraiser.
This year’s FunDrive, CJSR Radio’s annual fundraiser, will feature a variety of performances and events running from Sept. 26 until Oct. 6. The campus radio station has been hosting this event since its initiation in 1984 with the intention of raising one-third of its operating budget in the span of 10 days.
The goal for this year’s event is to raise $125,000, which will go towards maintaining a global online presence, covering operating costs and providing the salaries of the five staff members responsible for running the station.
This year, more than 150 volunteers will be contributing to the array of programming CJSR offers as well as behind-the-sounds operations. Since the station’s launch, over 150,000 volunteers have contributed to CJSR’s vision of providing a local base for up-and-coming artists as well as a platform for interesting dialogue.
“There’s also a lot more to FunDrive than just raising money — it’s about explaining and integrating the community into our celebration of community radio,” said CJSR News Coordinator Matt Hirji.
Local artists will be playing at a variety of venues throughout the 10 days, representing a variety of music styles including metal, rock, alternative and folk.
An Edmonton Records Collector Show is taking place Sept. 30, and the Garneau Theatre will be hosting the Shut Up And Play The Hits event on Oct. 2.
Organizing this fundraiser is a huge effort that Hirji says begins the day after the last FunDrive is finished, with around 200 people involved in different stages throughout the planning and during the fundraiser itself.
With a number of events and performances taking place, he also says the FunDrive is more of a festival than simply a fundraiser.
“I think that one of the things that FunDrive allows the station to do is, first of all, it allows us to interact with the public on a face-to-face basis,” said one of the station’s DJs, known as DJ Figgy, who runs the Tuesday 9 a.m. program Put ‘er in ‘D’ for ‘Dangle’.
The event is also a celebration of the radio station’s existence, which showcases local Edmonton talent and gives emerging artists a head start in getting their name out to the city and the music community.
Hirji said the station also wants to continue to project its image as a multicultural outlet that inspires new discussions and ideas across campus, the city and other online listeners around the world.
Describing CJSR as an “alternative voice” in the Edmonton community, Hirji added that this principle is reflected through news programming which embraces feminism, environmentalism and a variety of other perspectives and cultural outlooks.
“A lot of people say that radio is often the most intimate news medium out there, and I think that is integrally important to providing a dialogue in our community of acceptance (and) openness,” Hirji said.
“We break down those barriers by providing an outlet to marginalized groups to express their voice on radio.”
Hirji hopes that campus and the community will recognize that any amount helps to keep the station going, and hopes to them come together for this annual event yet again.
The artist lineup, dates and more information on supporting the CJSR FunDrive can be found on their website at cjsr.com.
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