In 1969 a group of students occupied the 9th floor computer center of Sir George Williams University (currently known as Concordia University) to object to racial bias in academic grading. 50 Years later we revisit this page in Montreal history through an event called Protest & Pedagogy. Khalid M’Seffar of Funky Revolutions interviews Kaie Kellough, spoken word artist, (& Soul Perspective Allum) one of the event organizers to discuss the events that shaped this incident. This piece explores racial tensions, student activism, Montreal Black history through the music of the era, through documentation of the event, personal connection and historic legacy .
Sunday Aug 19th The Goods Radio show went live from Casa Del Popolo for a live interview with Andy Williams conducted by Doug Miller (co-host of Amandla, CKUT’s African News Programme since 1987). They go through Andy’s musical origins in Derby, England, Jamaica, Toronto, Lennoxville and now Montreal. He speaks of the music he listened to growing up and his insatiable hunt for sounds that are sweet to his ears.
(above picture Donnie Rossiter and Martha Marie Kleinham)
As part of CKUT’s 30th Anniversary Oral History project, we interviewed Martha Marie Kleinhans who was one of the key driving forces behind CKUT’s fm licence application and move to FM. She says that Concordia University was expected to get the licence because of their active ties to the local scene however, CKUT’s (McGill) application put a strong focus on community programming and she believes this is what worked in the end. She also said there was some internal resistance as programmers knew that they would be evolving to a different kind of radio station. She volunteered prior to the license and ran for station manager on the basis of delivering the fm licence. She was the first station manager at CKUT 1986-87. She said she worked closely with Don Rossiter and had the help of McGill Legal Professor Dr. F.H. Buckley who said “they rejected my idea that they go All-Monkees, All the time.”
She and Donnie went around to various cultural communities with a large hypothetical grid and said “should we get the licence would you be interested in producing radio”.
“We got the licence based on a promise.” The rest is history.
Andrea Jane began listening to the CKUT radio show AACK as a teen. When in University Alex Moskos walked into her class and did a presentation. He mentioned volunteering opportunities at CKUT and before long she was filling in for Where’s the Beat , then became the Music Resource Coordinator and then Music Department Coordinator (2006 – 2011). She talks about the passion she had for the music library and some of the unexpected challenges she faced as Department Coordinator (like the time someone broadcasted a police scanner over the air!). She describes the listening experience as an eclectic mix and “just as you don’t know what your are going to hear when you tune in to CKUT, you do not know what your are going to encounter when you walk into the station”.
Ian Pringle was a Bookkeeper, then Spoken Word Coordinator from 1987-1991.
He discovered CKUT when he was a McGill student, assigned to do a piece on CKUT getting our FM license for the student newspaper The Tribune. Taken with the diversity and excitement of the station he became a volunteer and ultimately staff member. In this interview he talks about the passion and commitment to diversity and the democratization of media. He also talks about the profound impact people like Martha Marie Kleinhans, Lisa Vinebaum, Christof Migone and especially hosts of the Homo Show, David Shannon and Donnie Rossiter had on him. He also recollects the infamous and historic turning points in the Queer Community, the death of Joe Rose and the Sex Garage raid, police brutality and community uproar.
He went on to work internationally in communications and radio, and now resides in Ottawa.
Here are some links to the HIV/AIDS PSAs Ian mentions (warning: explicit content)
Stuart volunteered and worked at CKUT from 1991-95. He worked in the Spoken Word and News Department. He describes arriving at a time that spawned a lot of activism as it just followed the Oka Crisis and infamous Sex Garage also just following the Gulf War.
He describes what news gathering looked like during this period, receiving communiques in the mail, making cold calls and organizing broadcasts on a bulletin board. A time when people smoked a lot, right in the station, and embraced the misfits.
Stuart went on to cover news with Global News, CBS, SKY and is currently residing in Prague working for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
Bryan Zuraw was at Radio McGill/CKUT from 1983-1997 as a volunteer, music librarian and music coordiantor.
He discusses what was going on musically at the time, musique actuelle, (the beginnings of Ambience Magnetique), college indie rock (pre-Nirvana), hip hop, dancehall reggae (when these genres really started to bloom)… the interest of community members to do radio (given that there isn’t an Urban radio station in Montreal)… establishing an identity and mandate for the station, maintaining a diversity of perspectives and benefiting from this process both personally and intellectually. And of course, conducting all station business (i.e. Steering, Programming, Committee meetings) in the hallway as there was no room to do so at CKUT. All of this was pre-internet. It involved writing to labels, researching magazines such as the Village Voice, OP (Option) Sound Choice, The Wire, newsletters and tape trading networks. He also speaks on picking up the habit of waking up at 3am to make sure that someone is On Air, because if not, he would make his way to the station in the middle of the night.
Bryan now lives in Los Angeles with his wife (ex CKUT programmer Kie Ross Zuraw) and is still finding strange music to vibe to.