The University of Saskatchewan’s main campus is situated on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis.

CFCR 90.5 FM celebrates 20 years on the air

By in Culture
Arctic Monkeys play at the Odeon on Sept. 30 as part of CFCR's anual fundraising drive
This year marks the 20th anniversary of CFCR, Saskatoon’s only community radio station. If you’re unfamiliar with CFCR 90.5 FM, they operate out of a small office on 3rd Avenue downtown with a few employees and an army of dedicated, unpaid volunteers, which means, if you really love music, chances are you can manage to snag a time slot for your very own community radio show.

I had the opportunity to talk to music director Arnold Van Lambalgen about the goings-on at CFCR.

As with any community radio station, CFCR’s entire existence relies on fundraising. Its annual fundraising drive, FM-Phasis, kicks off on Sept. 16 at Amigos with Regina’s Library Voices headlining.

This year’s lineup proves that, every year, CFCR’s fundraising becomes increasingly more sophisticated.

“It’s basically the lifeblood of the station. We couldn’t exist without it,” said Van Lambalgen. “It’s the 20th year of the station being on the air, which adds even more emphasis to the importance of community radio. We have a goal of $70,000 this year, which we reached last year.”

One of the bigger shows scheduled is the English band Arctic Monkeys at the Odeon, which Van Lambalgen failed to mention in our interview, modestly choosing instead to focus on local bands that need Saskatoon’s support.

“The two local shows we have, the Shooting Guns show and the Golden Smoke show, both cost about five dollars so we’re going to have to really push for people to come out and support local music,” he said.

FM-Phasis will also bring back some favourites from last year, most memorable of which, to me, was the Yukon Blonde show with The Wooden Sky at Amigos.

“Yukon Blonde played last year,” Van Lambalgen said. “And they’re doing the wrap up party this year; it’s one of the biggest shows. They’re playing with Hollerado, Young Rival, Wildlife and White Ash.

“We got a lot of new stuff as well this year like Besnard Lakes, another one of our favourite bands, and maybe your favourite band too, who knows?”

The inclusion of bands like Besnard Lakes, hailing from Montreal, displays CFCR’s willingness to include bands beyond our fine city.

“We try to get a lot of local bands and accent it with some out-of-town bands as well,” he said.

If you have ever listened to CFCR or know someone who DJs for them, forgive me in saying that it should be second nature to support them and keep community radio alive for years to come. So come out and enjoy some awesome music and make new friends, you big loser.

image: supplied

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