On March 2, Saskatoon’s community radio station CFCR 90.5 FM is putting on their annual FEMFEST! concert fundraiser at Amigos Cantina, which aims to give thanks to the many important women and non-binary folk in our lives.
FEMFEST! 2018 is the third iteration of the International Women’s Day concert fundraiser, and this time, CFCR is enlisting help from Grey Records for the show. The concert will showcase an impressive array of female and non-binary artists, including Wares, T-Rhyme, Lip Slackers and Taylor Jade.
Throughout the night, Julie Maier and DJ Brenda Machine will also be playing music, while Jenny Ryan from LadyBits Improv Comedy Collective hosts the night. When the event is in full swing, OUTSaskatoon and Girls Rock Camp Saskatoon will have information booths at the back.
As in previous years, there will be a FEMFEST! 2018 zine up for grabs at the concert fundraiser. The zine will include poetry, written musings, artwork and photography — all themed to show different representations of the strength and resiliency of women and non-binary people — from members of the community. The layout for the magazine was done by local graphic designer and visual artist Stephanie Kuse.
For Kira Yanko, volunteer co-ordinator and office manager at CFCR and head co-ordinator of FEMFEST! 2018, CFCR has a unique platform and a responsibility to put on an event like FEMFEST!
“CFCR figuratively and literally gives women and non-binary people a voice. We offer such a broad range of programming, and we really do try to encourage all folks from all different backgrounds to become a host,” Yanko said. “We have a great number of female and non-binary hosts right now, not to mention the fact that we actively try to work alongside other organizations that are supporting similar causes.”
This year, all proceeds from FEMFEST! 2018 are going to two local organizations: Iskwewuk E-wichiwitochik (Women Walking Together), a group that assists families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and the Saskatoon Mothers’ Centre, which supports women and their children. Yanko reveals that CFCR chose to donate to these organizations because of their locality and their need for such assistance.
“It so happened that the Saskatoon Mothers’ Centre lost what little funding they were receiving from [the] provincial government with the latest budget. They were recently crowdfunding to stay open, so this year, particularly, [it] was very important to donate to them,” Yanko said. “The unfortunate ongoing reality of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls is something we always need to support, as well.”
Aside from accruing financial support for these organizations, Yanko hopes that the concert fundraiser allows attendees to find other ways to get involved with similar initiatives.
“We want them to come in and celebrate women, and to think about [the] women and non-binary folks in their lives that matter so much — that’s also what the zine is focused on,” Yanko said. “We want people to think about these organizations and to figure out how they can help on their own.”
For Yanko, the most impactful way to help out organizations that support women and non-binary people in Saskatoon is to get out and volunteer.
“Work alongside these grassroots organizations,” Yanko said. “We have some really great organizations in town that are always looking for volunteers — that is the most direct way they can help.”
Tickets for the FEMFEST! 2018 Fundraiser Show are $10 at the door. If you can’t make the show, pick up the FEMFEST! zine at the CFCR station or at the Women’s Centre on campus, if there are some left over.
Tanner Bayne / Culture Editor
Graphic: CFCR / Supplied