October 17, 2007


CKCU-FM is a remarkable institution; starting thirty-two years ago solely as a campus radio station, it accepted the challenge of the needs of the diverse communities who live in Canada's National Capital Region, and today as a campus/community station it broadcasts in over twenty languages. I also believe that our quality of programming in blues, country, dance, jazz and world music is unsurpassed by any other Canadian radio station. We are listener-supported radio; this means we receive no subsidies from any level of government and can only survive because of your contributions and our volunteers' dedication.

I am writing to ask if you would consider sponsoring one hour of alternative/community radio at CKCU-FM 93.1 in Ottawa. CKCU provides at least six unique and valuable services to the community:

(1) We present a whole range of alternative music that you'll never find on commercial radio, presented by people with passion and authority. Our jazz, blues, dance, world, country and classical music programs cover the whole history of these musics, are presented by acknowledged experts in each area, and reject the “Top 40” approach you’ll hear on the commercial stations.

(2) We provide a voice and a community billboard for many of the communities that make up our population; we have regular Afghanistani, Arabic, Asian, Caribbean, Celtic, Christian, Croatian, Filipino, First Nations, Haitian, Hindi, Indian, Islamic, Jewish, Kurdish, Latin American, Lebanese, Persian, Polish, Somali, Spanish, Tamil, Urdu and Vietnamese programming.

(3) We give an independent and diverse point of view on political and community affairs. We are not owned by a large profit-oriented corporation, and our volunteers and our Board reflect the diverse communities they come from.

(4) We bring you the renowned BBC World news twenty times a week, respected internationally for its independence and broad coverage.

(5) We support local musicians by airing their CDs and publicizing their gigs.
They don’t have to be a big name to get heard on CKCU.

(6) I keep you informed of upcoming jazz concerts that you might otherwise
miss, by mentioning them on my program and in e-mail-outs.

As a former Treasurer and Chairman of the Board, I can assure you that CKCU has a bare-bones budget. Because most of us are volunteers, we are able to bring you first-class radio at a cost of a little over $40.00 per hour! We have three revenue sources:

A levy paid by the students of Carleton University
Income from organizations who sponsor particular programs
The community of listeners and musicians [You!]

Our community Funding Drive runs this year from Friday October 19 until Sunday November 4. You can Dial and Donate at 613-520-3920 or 1-877-520-3920. You can complete a Pledge form if you've received one in the mail. You can pledge by E-mail at www.ckcufm.com. However you pledge, you will receive a tax receipt for donations over $25.00, as we are a registered charity.

For those of you with pets, In A Mellow Tone will this year have two new categories of donor – “Cool Cats” and “Hip Hounds”, so please mention your pet’s name and type if you’re pledging on his/her behalf.

Readers of this blog are familiar with my show "In A Mellow Tone" which airs every Wednesday from 9:00pm to 11:00pm in Ottawa [and around the world on the Internet at http://www.ckcufm.com/audio.html]. When you pledge, please mention “In A Mellow Tone” if you want to support my program specifically.

Please see if you can sponsor just one hour of alternative/community radio. It's your community and your radio station!

With my sincere thanks for anything you can do,

Ron Sweetman.