To help keep Saskatoon’s community radio station thriving, the annual FM-Phasis fundraising drive is back in action. Not even radio stations are exempt from the daunting toll of bills, and with the need to update ever-evolving technology, CFCR staff say that each donation counts.
FM-Phasis runs from Sept. 29 to Oct. 12 and makes up for around 20 per cent of the station’s annual operating budget. This year, the funds raised will be put towards improving production equipment as well as getting more server space and possibly a new board for the on-air studio.
Neil Bergen, CFCR station manager, explains that the methods used to get the community involved with FM-Phasis are far reaching. Bergen says that the station uses every medium that they can.
“We do TV interviews and are very active on social media to help spread the word,” Bergen says.
The FM-Phasis fundraiser supplements other fundraising events, such as the Chinese New Year’s supper and a membership drive.
“We generally have different things going on, but this is by far the biggest one where we are trying to raise the most money. In the past, we’ve tried to raise $70,000, and we’ve been fortunate enough to reach that,” Bergen said.
Bergen says that all donations are appreciated and explains that there’s an extra incentive of prizes to be won — giving $25 allows you to win gift certificates or physical prizes including a VIA Rail Canada travel voucher, a Doug’s Spoke ’N Sport shopping spree and a Yamaha REVSTAR electric guitar.
“The radio station has been around for 27 years. We are trying to raise $80,000 this year, which is going to be a challenge. We try to make it as easy as possible, so you can go to the website and there’s a PayPal [option],” said Bergen. “You can come down to the station. We also issue tax receipts.”
In addition to the prize draw, there is a series of fundraising shows taking place, which are hosted in partnership with community-partner venues. From a screening of Beetlejuice and costume party to events with DJs, there are lots of things to check out and partake in.
The distinctiveness of CFCR is showcased by just how many homegrown artists are involved. As Bergen points out, there are over a 100 volunteers that come in to the station each week to be on the radio, and many of them are artists themselves.
“The one thing that makes radio different than Spotify or any other music-playing app is that we have actual people here,” Bergen said.
The most prevalent quality of CFCR is the abundance of music that is played on air that is created by artists from within the area.
“This is basically not done by anyone else except us. We’re the station that plays all the local bands. It takes some organization to keep it going, but we definitely have a very tight tie to the city,” Bergen said.
For a complete list of FM-Phasis-affiliated events, check out CFCR.
Graphic: Jaymie Stachyruk / Graphics Editor