Sue arrived at CKUT in ’86 and was station manager from 1987-1989.
In this clip we talk details on the switch from cable to the FM signal, the controversy of the licence being granted to an Anglo station, digging our way out of financial debt and coordinating a stream of volunteers parading up and down to the Mountain where our transmitter is housed for frequent – frequency tests. AND- discovering at midnight the night before we went to air for the first time, that we had to be incorporated (first call to the CRTC, second to a lawyer).
Also the writing of policy such as the Statement of Principles (which still is the backbone of CKUT today) , understanding what Balance of Programming means and convincing CRTC of it. the origins of “Gay Day” (the brutal murder of Joe Rose and subsequent community outcry) , amazing CKUT staff and volunteers, and a wild Molson fuelled first anniversary including an earthquake at midnight that, of course, did not stop the party.
She mentions Christof Migone, Pat Hamou, Ian Pringle, France Chevalier Stewart, Joel Savage and has special fond memories of David Shannon and Don Rossiter.
After taking Montreal by storm, Sue moved back to her home coast, Victoria, BC, and now works in podcasting.
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.
As part of CKUT’s 30th Anniversary festivities we hosted a panel on the evolution of CKUT’s News Department. CKUT has covered issues from street level emphasizing the voices of those not heard in mainstream media, namely those affected by the policies, regulations and political decisions. In this panel past Community News Coordinators, Gretchen King, Aaron Lakoff and Courtney Kirkby recount the numerous ways their department covered the prevalent news items of the times. The panel took place at the Anarchist Bookfair in Montreal.
Today marks the 50th Anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King. In commemoration of this historic event, Christopher Heron, host of Mind Soul & Spirit conducted an interview with Reverend Jesse Jackson.
Rev Jackson speaks of his love for gospel music (he grew up with Aretha Franklin). Christopher asks him to contrast today’s “State of America” with that of the past.
Rev Jackson speaks of the humiliation of racism, the current “tug of war for the soul of america”, the dangers of “spending more money on militarism than on human rights leading to morally and spiritually bankrupting the nation”. The importance of globalism – labor, capital, technology and human rights and states in the end it is “character and caring – caring is the key – not limited to race, gender or religious persuasion.
CKUT intern Eve Fiertag looks at experimenting with the radio on the radio for this time capsule installment. She speaks to ex CKUT Music Coordinator and Production Coordinator Christof Migone who participated at CKUT from 1987 – 92. He also hosted the radio show “Dangers In Paradise” which he described as anything other than college rock. He collaborated with Julia Loktev on a show called Body Map where they took the island of Montreal and imagined it as a reclining body and got people to call in so they could let them know what part of the body they were situated in. He also collaborated with Margo Lane (also interviewed in this series) called Margo’s Intense Listening Corner. As production coordinator he trained and motivated volunteers to create with sound and open up the possibilities of radio.