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Digital Changes on the Horizon

 

Exciting news for our CKUA community: our new website is nearly ready! Wondering why ckua.com is getting a huge makeover? Here are the top 5 reasons for the new website:

1. Because it shouldn’t be a struggle to find what you are looking for.
The struggle is real. Right now, navigating through the website is about as straightforward as cracking the Enigma Code. We won’t even mention the ‘search’ functionality (or lack thereof). You support radio that expands your musical horizons, and you deserve an online experience that amplifies that journey of discovery.
Also, our current design is almost 10 years old. And it looks it. Just like the vuvuzela and Bieber Fever, some things from 2010 are best forgotten forever. Our website’s current design is also on that list. It’s crowded, overly busy and there is so much yellow (and black). More than one person has remarked that it “hurts their eyes” to look at.

We don’t want to hurt your eyes. We don’t want to hurt anyone’s eyes.

2. Because the behind-the-scenes magic has lost its luster.
Keeping our website shambling along for such a long time hasn’t been easy. As a result, the backend of the website (where our digital content editor does most of his work) is a quilt of workarounds, patch jobs and good luck. In performance terms, it’s less of a Ferrari and more of a Frankenstein. As we move to offering you more online, we need something more streamlined, stable, and a lot less fussy. This means the website will work how you want it, when you want it.

3. Because it should be there when you need it.
Even with all those fixes and patch jobs, sometimes our site goes down hard. Those issues have been getting a lot worse in recent years. The playlist, one of the most popular features of ckua.com, has been hit the most. Judging from the emails we’ve received, this isn’t news to a lot of you out there. We hear you loud and clear.

With the new build, this means fewer “our website is currently down” messages for you.

4. Because you do things differently in 2019…
The internet is not the same place it was in 2010. Currently, a large portion of our online audience visits ckua.com on their phone. And our current design is sliiiightly unfriendly to mobile users, to put it mildly. You deserve a pleasant online experience, no matter what device you visit on.

5. ….and so do we.
When the current website launched, it was mainly a way for people who were already connected with CKUA to learn what was happening on air. And it still needs to do that, and more! Video sessions, interviews and podcasts that you can access on demand give you even more ways to connect with music, arts and culture in Alberta. We’ve reached the limits of how far we can push our current site to do those kinds of things. CKUA needs a website that can keep up so you can keep learning, discovering and connecting.

Slated for launch at the end of March, the upgraded ckua.com comes thanks to the generous financial support of:

CKUA Volunteer Snapshot: Naomi Jeans

Naomi is one of CKUA’s most recent volunteer recruits, successfully completing her New Volunteer Orientation in January of this year. Welcome to the volunteer family, Naomi!

1. If you could get on the mic and say one sentence on-air, what would it be?

Be present; appreciate the little things. 

2. What drew you to CKUA for volunteering?

Well, I’ve always been a musician, but especially these last few years I’ve had more interest in audio production and radio. As I am starting to take myself more seriously as an artist and producer, I feel more drawn to radio involvement. I’ve listened to CKUA for years, and frequently notice their tents around town, so they’ve been on my radar for some time now. I chose CKUA because it’s eclectic, community-focused and less commercial, which I like.

3. Which album or song do you currently have on repeat?

Song: “Had To Hear” by Real Estate. >Although, I was really feelin’ “Golden Wings” by Gabriel Garzón-Montano that I heard on CKUA.

Curious about volunteering at CKUA? Learn more at ckua.com/volunteers

CKUA Top 5 for February

Ever-evolving JUNO Award-winning duo Whitehorse lands at the top of the list for February. Their latest all-covers LP, The Northern South, Vol. 2 returns to the sound of the early days of electric blues. “Baby, Scratch My Back,” originally performed by Slim Harpo, evokes a sense of Americana noir with a combination of era-appropriate distortion and sizzling guitar grooves. Give this sultry track a look and a listen for yourself.

1.  mapleleaf.GIF Whitehorse  The Northern South, Vol. 2 (Six Shooter)
2.Mark Knopfler– Down The Road Wherever (British Grove / Blue Note)
3. Jeff Tweedy – WARM (dBpm) 

4. mapleleaf.GIF  Foxwarren – Foxwarren (Arts & Crafts)
5. Various Artists– The Al Purdy Songbook (Borealis)

 

A Happy Accident

It was serendipity that ultimately brought Edmontonians Mark and Nina-Leigh Lindsay to CKUA. A musician friend who was playing in a jazz band had told them about a great radio station with eclectic playlists but they hadn’t yet sought the station out. Then, one day in 1999, their radio dial fell, by accident, on 94.9 FM.

“We thought, ‘this is really good, let’s keep listening,” says Mark, “and we just kept listening and kept listening.”

Today, the couple – and their sons, Nicholas and Stuart – are still listening.

They are also Leadership Donors, members of that crucial circle of CKUA supporters who create the Double Your Dollars pools before each biannual fundraiser. They’ve been donating since 2001 and Leadership Donors since 2010.

Mark, a teacher at an Edmonton school for exceptional students, says he loves the interactive nature of donating hours. Each year he asks the hosts to dedicate some of his hours to the kids he teaches.

“It opens their ears to new music and they get a big kick out of hearing their names on the radio,” he says. This year, Matt Masters even created a special science-themed show for Mark’s science class.

“The students were amazed that there were even songs that had a theme of science,” says Mark. “They were also amazed that someone out there chose to make a connection to them personally.”

There are many reasons the Lindsay family supports original, creative radio. For one, they have extremely wide and varied tastes between them and “CKUA touches on them all.”

It’s helped foster a love of music in their boys – Nicholas and Stuart are both budding classical musicians, on guitar and violin respectively.

And finally, as a family, they appreciate the “community nature” of CKUA, says Mark. “It’s more than just good music, it’s a community we are all building together,” he says.

You too can help build the community! Mark and his fellow Leadership Donors make a gift of $550 or more – ahead of CKUA’s fundraisers – to form the Double Your Dollars pool of funds and receive the benefit of donated hours of programming.  For more information about how you can be a Leadership Donor, please contact Lesley McMillan, Donor Relations Officer, at 1-800-494-2582 or lmcmillan@ckua.com.

Short and Sweet

As you know, February is the shortest month of the year. The weather may be chilling here in Alberta, but we also get to witness the days getting brighter and sunnier.

There is such beauty in the juxtaposition of a brutally cold winter day mixed with sunny skies and sparkling snow. These moments are a reminder to keep a positive outlook on life. This is something that CKUA does too.

Whether a listener is feeling down, isolated, of just in need of some rich music to turn their day around, they can turn on CKUA knowing that their favourite hosts are there with them through it all. Thank you to all the donors who continue to make this connection possible.

Monthly donors provide 50% of CKUA’s operating funds annually. This commitment is what keeps CKUA not only alive, but thriving. Thank you for making our winters feel a little sweeter.

To say thanks to those generous folks that support CKUA monthly, we draw monthly prizes that all monthly donors are entered into! You can find out more about these prizes, and learn how you can become a monthly donor.

Find outwho won this month’s prizes, including a donated hour, CD prize pack and more, provided by Chianti’s Cafe, ZINC Restaurant/Catering, Blush Lane Organic Market, Art Gallery of Alberta, Acquired Taste Tea Company and Parkland Nurseries and Garden Centre.

Congratulations to our prize winners; thank you to our tremendous sponsors, and our outstanding monthly donors!