|City of license||Lethbridge, Alberta|
|Broadcast area||Southern Alberta|
|Slogan||Lethbridge's True Alternative|
|First air date||FM - April 8, 2004
AM - October 23, 1978
|Format||Campus and Community Radio|
|ERP||125 watts (21 dBW) |
|Former frequencies||560 kHz|
|Affiliations||National Campus and Community Radio Association
University of Lethbridge Students' Union
|Owner||CKXU Radio Society
(CKUL Radio Society)
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, 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.
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. 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.
As of 2015, CKXU broadcasts in the following ways:
- Terrestrially at 88.3FM in Lethbridge;
- On TelusTV channel 7084; and
- On the internet.
CKXU Loves You
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
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.
The second annual Love & Records was held on September 15, 2012 in Galt Gardens, Lethbridge, Alberta. The event provided an excellent opportunity to bring together the music-lovers of Southern Alberta to share in their love of music. Featuring a record fair, live entertainment, outdoor art gallery, beer gardens, and food - the event drew over 1,500 people on a beautiful autumn afternoon in downtown Lethbridge. The live entertainment line-up for L&R2012 included: Brenna Lowrie Band; Bonspiel; Big Jim & The Twins; j.am.ani duo; Redrum Triumph; Clockwork Towns; Lethbridge Community Taiko Association; in addition to Drama Nutz Productions. In total there was over 20 different vendors from across Western Canada featuring everything from music collectibles to vintage clothing - the vendors included: Blueprint; Bean Bag World; Edmonton Records; Too North; Maniaco du Records; DV8 Sports; Red Engine Coffee; National Music Centre (NMC); Outlaw Heart Creations; Serious Music Centre; U of L Art Society; J.A.G.; Kinsmen Club of Coaldale; Simon Beach; T-Bar Honey; Private Dealer/Collectors; Amber Cricket; Bohemian Lily; The Pork Pit; Philippine Island Delights; Lasting Impressions/Hawaiian Ice; Fiery Greek; and CKXU Radio Society. The event was sponsored by Downtown Lethbridge, Heart of Our City, Big Rock, and many other local 'Friends' businesses. Love & Records received an Alberta Culture Community Initiatives Project (CIP) grant in January 2013 in the amount of $5,000.00. In total, L&R2012 raised over $16,457.92 in cash and in-kind sponsorship!
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. 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.
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 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
CKXU Loves you is an annual fundraiser that is held in February as a Valentine's Day event.
CKXU has held CupcakeCamp "Bakesale" events for their annual fundrives.
- University of Lethbridge Students' Union
- University of Lethbridge
- National Campus and Community Radio Association
- Alberta Emergency Alert
- Spectrum Direct - http://sd.ic.gc.ca/pls/engdoc_anon/web_search.call_sign_input
- University of Lethbridge Students' Union transfer of levy to independent CKUL Radio Society, Later rebranded CKXU Radio Society during FM transition - 
- Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2003-588
- Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-704
- CKXU page on the NCRA member directory http://www.ncra.ca/members/member-directory/ckxu-fm
- CKXU Fundrive Results
- CKXU CupcakeCamp - http://cupcakecamp.pbworks.com/w/page/12581526/Lethbridge
- CKXU-FM history - Canadian Communications Foundation
- Query the REC's Canadian station database for CKXU-FM