Bigger than you think

Long ago, I stopped listening to the radio. I was a young lad of 13, flipping through the dials, listening to the stations du jour, when I finally turned it off in disgust. Tired rock, tired pop, tired, boring, uninspired music.

Thank God for mixtapes.

A few years later, a little older and presumably a little wiser, I gave the radio another shot. Alas, the same drivel I fled earlier bled through the speakers.

Then, like a gift from on high, I heard something magical. Sand-wiched between “ums,” “uhs” and oft-non-sensical babbling was a smorgasboard of inspired, diverse radio.

Thank God for CJSW.

Well, maybe God doesn’t deserve as much praise for our beloved and often beleagured campus/community radio station; the praise should be given to the listeners.

You see, along with a levy paid by University of Calgary students, the beast dwelling in the bowels of MacEwan Student Centre and broadcasting on 90.9 FM is funded by an annual funding drive.

Well, guess what kids? It’s that time again.

From Oct. 17-24, the airwaves will be full of volunteers, sitting in a hot, little booth down the hall from the Den, sandwiching pleas for monetary donations between their “ums” and “uhs” as CJSW turns to the people who love it most for support.

Fear not, there are tangible rewards above and beyond a year of great radio coming your way if you toss some pennies into their fountain. Indeed, T-shirts, hoodies, toques, CDs and delightful little sumo wrestlers await those who contribute.

But enough of this press release.

Many Calgarians lament the lack of diversity, the lack of culture in our city, and rightly so. Like it or not, arts and culture are a hard sell in Calgary. It is, in essence, a suburb to the oil patch.

However, for those who crave exploration of the path less traveled, be it musical, political or sexual, CJSW is good for what ails you.

If all you want is some indie or punk rock while you study or sleep off a hangover, it’s got your back.

Above all else however, CJSW is a warrior in the battle to preserve and promote culture in Calgary. Without it, many things we take for granted in our bliss-filled youthful nights out would be threatened or, God forbid, eliminated.

A primary sponsor of almost every festival, concert, theatre company and aspiring artist in town, CJSW is among our city’s most successful and visible cultural icons.

Please, show some support and appreciation for the work they do, and help them keep doing it. From Oct. 17-24, tune in, drop by their offices or call 220-2599 and give what you can. Every little bit helps, and it will likely benefit you personally over the next year.

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