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CKXU logo.png

University of Lethbridge Students Union Building
City Lethbridge, Alberta
Broadcast area Southern Alberta
Slogan Lethbridge's True Alternative
Frequency 88.3 MHz
First air date FM - April 8, 2004;
14 years ago
AM - October 23, 1978;
39 years ago
Format Campus and Community Radio
Language(s) English

125 watts (21 dBW) operating.[1]

2900 watts licensed [2]
HAAT 23 meters
Class A
Transmitter coordinates 49°40′37″N 112°51′47″W / 49.677°N 112.863°W / 49.677; -112.863Coordinates: 49°40′37″N 112°51′47″W / 49.677°N 112.863°W / 49.677; -112.863
Former callsigns CKUL
Former frequencies 560 kHz
Affiliations National Campus and Community Radio Association
Owner University of Lethbridge Students' Union
(CKXU Radio Society)
Webcast Listen Online

CKXU-FM is a Canadian Not-for-profit radio station, broadcasting at 88.3 FM, from the University of Lethbridge, in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.


CKXU began as CKUL in 1972, when a public address system was set up in Section A of University Hall at the University of Lethbridge to broadcast musical content inside the building from mid-morning to early afternoon. The station was managed by a three-member executive under the auspices of the University of Lethbridge Students' Union.

The CKUL Radio Society was incorporated in October 1977, to govern the affairs of the station, and a year later the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) granted the society a licence to broadcast at 530 AM. Even in those early days, the Board of Directors of the station began examining the possibility of a move to the FM band by increasing the number of daily broadcast hours and developing the long-term income streams necessary to fund such an operation.

On October 23, 1978, CKUL-AM signed on to the radio spectrum for the very first time with national anthem,[3] broadcasting at a mere 25 watts, the AM transmitter was of such low power that it was drowned out by the time it reached the parking lot of the university, by a station originating in Montana. However, the move to AM still represented a major step forward in the development of the station. CKUL was now a bona fide radio station, broadcasting 65 hours per week with 25 DJs rather than irregularly with only a handful of programmers.

FM Transition[edit]

Although the station began broadcasting on cable FM in 1988, a switch to FM was considered ideal and the CKUL Radio Society began this process. In 2003, the CRTC approved the application to operate a new English-language community-based campus FM radio station in Lethbridge.[4] CKUL's call letters were changed to CKXU, and on April 8, 2004, the station began to broadcast at 88.3 FM to the city of Lethbridge and the surrounding area from a 125W transmitter located on top of the Students' Union Building at the University of Lethbridge. CKXU 88.3 FM now broadcasts for more than 168 hours per week, year-round, with a volunteer core of over 100 members.

In 2012 CKXU officially became a partner of the Alberta Emergency Alert and now provides emergency news updates to listeners during an emergency with information provided by AEMA. During this year CKXU also received a license renewal to extend their ability to transmit to the Lethbridge area on 88.3 FM.[5]

As of 2015, CKXU broadcasts in the following ways:

  • Terrestrially at 88.3FM in Lethbridge;
  • On TelusTV channel 7084; and
  • On the internet.

CKXU is a member of the National Campus and Community Radio Association.[6]


CKXU Loves You[edit]

In February of every year CKXU hosts a fundraising event at the Slice Bar and Grill in Downtown Lethbridge. First held in 2006, 'CKXU Loves You' features a variety of local musicians.

Love & Records[edit]

First held on September 17, 2011, there were live performances throughout the day by Fist City, Lustre Creame, Loom, Stalwart Sons, The Gooeys, and Teledrome. In addition to the live music the event featured a wide variety of vendors selling such things as vinyl records, compact discs, tapes, posters, clothing, accessories, and food. Some of the vendors that attended the event were Heritage Posters and Music, Too North Records, Aaron Levin and Jonathan Murphy, Blueprint, Urku, J.A.G. Jewelry, Coffee Company, and Juice Fare among others.

CKXU 88.3 FM now annually presents: Love & Records - Western Canada's largest FREE out-door record fair held annually at Galt Gardens in Downtown Lethbridge on a Saturday in September; featuring 12+ hours of live music, a massive single-day selection of new/used music (CDs, LPs, 45s, 78s, Tape), outdoor art gallery, beer gardens, food, family-fun, raffles, and more! Listen to the live broadcast at | 88.3FM - find out more at


In February 2006 CKXU held its first annual on-air funding drive. The funds raised totaled over $5,000. In 2007 the annual funding drive (Fundrive) took place from February 8 to February 11, and the goal was $6000, a modest increase from the first year and The pledges totaled $7,800. During the 2012 FUNdrive the pledgers managed to surpass the pledged amount of $10,000 with a total of $12,543.[7] FUNdrive centres on a week-long change in the regular radio format where the DJs ask listeners for pledges to the station in return for incentive packages (often referred to as 'SWAG'). During FUNdrive CKXU also hosts various events throughout the community called 'LiveDrive Events' to provide an opportunity for listeners to unite and enjoy such activities as: Cupcake Carnival, Boardgame night, Movie Night, Appreciation Gala, and DIY workshops. In CKXU's 2016 #FundTheFrequency campaign over $25,000 was raised in support of increased signal strength.

Friend's Card[edit]

One initiative of the FUNdrive is the CKXU Friend's Card. In exchange for a $25 donation to the station a pledger receives a Friend's Card keytag that can be used at multiple Friend's business locations throughout Lethbridge. The Friend's Card entitles the bearer to discounts and special pricing at over 20 locations (complete Friend's list).

CKXU Christmas[edit]

CKXU also hosts an annual Christmas party benefiting the Lethbridge Food Bank or other community organization as determined by the organizing committee. The CKXU Christmas often features photos with Santa, an impressive Pick-Your-Prize Raffle (with prizes donated from local 'Friends of CKXU' businesses). The 2012 CKXU Christmas party raised over $1,000.00!

CKXU Loves You[edit]

CKXU Loves You is an annual fundraiser that is held in February as a Valentine's Day event.

CKXU CupcakeCamp[edit]

CKXU has held CupcakeCamp "Bakesale" events for their annual fundrives.[8]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]