CKXU history

Written by Shawn Funk

Buried in the Students’ Union building (across from The Meliorist office) is a room packed to the ceiling with albums of every genre across multiple decades. The spectacle will make you swoon. All that music shelved, wanting to be played by someone like you!

The opportunity is yours. Did you know that CKXU is always looking for new programmers to share their interests on-air? 

You might think that you might need some experience to have your own show. Well, you don’t! Training is facilitated by the incredible staff at CKXU. You might think that your voice isn’t good enough for radio. It is perfectly fine! Just be yourself! You might think that everyone will think your music sucks. WRONG! CKXU values unique tastes, broadcasting an eclectic mix of genres spanning decades.

The coolest thing about becoming a programmer for CKXU is that your shows get archived, meaning that you get to be a part of the history of the CKXU radio station, this is reason enough to contact CKXU and start programming today! 

I caught up with Michael Doherty, the Program Director at CKXU, to ask a few questions about the station and how to get involved as a student or community member. Here is what he had to say:

How can I become a member of the CKXU radio station?

“Come in and say hi! The station is located on the first floor of the Students’ Union building. Chat with us in person; myself [Michael], Dai, Genna, Courtney or Jeremy would love to talk to you and get you to fill out the one to two pieces of paperwork to become a volunteer. You can also fire off an email to us. All of our contact info is located on our website,

What skills do I need to begin programming?

“Absolutely none, just have to have a love of music. If you love music, and you want to showcase it to people, or you have great taste and want the world to hear it, then come in. We provide onsite training for any type of programming. We’ll show you how to create a show whether you want to do a prerecorded or if you want to be a star and broadcast live on-air.”

What kinds of shows can I broadcast?

“You can broadcast pretty much any kind of show. We have a long-form podcast. We have hour-long spoken word interview shows. We have shows that focus purely on all Albertan music. We have somebody who focuses on ambient drone and field recording music. We have blues-oriented shows. We have late-night punk rock shows. If there’s a genre of music that you like, or even if you like all genres of music, you can come in and play some stuff, or you can just chat with your friends for an hour if you want.”

Are there any other volunteer opportunities besides programming?

“Oh, absolutely! Maybe you love music, but you don’t want to be on-air. We have people who help brand CDs, they review and genre them. We have people who work in our library whose job is just to listen to music professionally. We’re always looking for staff for our events. We put on several big shows throughout the year, and we run a bunch of community events. We’re looking for volunteers for our annual fundraiser, Fundrive, which comes up in October of every year. We look for people for highway cleanup as well. Also, and this one’s for me personally, we’re looking for voice actors and producers so, you know, if you work in digital audio and you want to get your voice on the radio without having the pressures of doing a radio show, you can come in work on your resume and work on your portfolio as a voice actor as well.”

Is there anything else you would like the student body to know about CKXU Radio?

“Some people get a little intimidated by the radio station. But you know what? Just come hang out. Also, we got the best working microwave in the student union building, so even if it is just to use that, come down, say hi, hang out, you might have a good time.”

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