CFUV raises funds with Fundrive

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With its 30th birthday just around the corner, CFUV 101.9 FM is turning to its listeners at UVic and in the Greater Victoria region for donations to the radio station as part of its Fundrive fundraiser.

Starting on March 13, CFUV will be holding a week-long fundraising effort featuring a concert at the Copper Owl as well as pitches from on-air DJs. People wishing to donate can call in or donate on the official CFUV website. The radio station has set a goal of $25 000 with all funds raised going towards repairing and upgrading the equipment in CFUV’s newsroom as well as supporting the shows currently on air.

Native Waves host Janet Rogers shows off CFUV's House of Swag. Photo by William Workman (Production Co-ordinator)
Native Waves host Janet Rogers shows off CFUV’s House of Swag. Photo by William Workman (Production Co-ordinator)

Founded in 1985, CFUV has been an independently run radio station dedicated to hosting programs pertinent to both the University of Victoria and the Greater Victoria community. CFUV gives airtime to independent Canadian bands and allows students at the University to practise running a professional radio station. It’s an impressive list of accomplishments and Station Manager Randy Gelling is quick to say how diverse CFUV’s programming is.

“CFUV has the longest-lasting French program in Victoria,” says Gelling by phone, “as well as the only indigenous program.”

The on-campus radio station also broadcasts shows in Spanish, Portuguese, and even Cantonese. These programs are broadcasted around Victoria thanks to a powerful transmitter—paid for by a Fundrive just 10 years previous.

While CFUV receives $5 per full-time student per semester, the money made from Fundrive will go towards equipment used by the radio station which, as News Director Liz McArthur explains, is truly professional grade.

“We have a high standard of equipment in both our practice studios and in the main studio,” says McArthur, “and the fact that we have the money to expand things means that there’s room for more volunteers . . . Having the money to buy this equipment allows us to better serve the community and bring more people in to do more things.”

Fundrive kicks off with a concert at the Copper Owl featuring local bands Island Eyes and Fascination, as well as solo performances from Ida Diana and Cosy Father. Associating with the local music scene is not unusual for CFUV, one of the few radio stations in Victoria willing to support smaller, more eccentric bands. Fundraising will continue after the concert with giveaways and on-air visitors throughout the week.

Gifts available during Fundrive through donations. Photo by William Workman (Production Co-ordinator)
Gifts available during Fundrive through donations. Photo by William Workman (Production Co-ordinator)

“The idea is to make the Fundrive fun,” said Jim Martens, a programmer who hosts Blues In the Morning at CFUV. “[There will be] a very upbeat, festive atmosphere.”

The fundraiser will end on March 20; all donations received on that Friday go towards the Women’s Radio Collective, providing support, training, and airtime to self-identified women. Donating funds is just another example of the inclusive mentality that lies at the heart of CFUV, though it’s not there by accident.

“It’s part of our mandate to be a voice for under-represented groups and an alternative to the mainstream,” says McArthur, and it’s clear to see that this mandate is a point of pride within CFUV. This alternate viewpoint stems from the fact that the radio station’s funding comes mainly from its listeners, allowing the station to have a large say in what it wants to cover.

Jo-Ann Roberts, former CBC host and activist for independent media in Canada, says, “it is very important for a university to have a local, independent media. It is a way to tell its own story.”

Roberts was also keen to remind people to donate. “Unfortunately, so many people think, ‘I can’t give enough to make a difference,’ so they don’t do anything and that leaves a vacuum—it leaves a hole and we lose a voice that matters.”

Martens reaffirmed Roberts’ words, adding that he believes those who choose to donate will not be making a bad decision.

Photo William Workman (Production Co-ordinator)
Photo William Workman (Production Co-ordinator)

“I believe that CFUV is important because it brings together a diverse group of people across a wide age range. The station functions on a platform of gender and racial understanding. It gives a voice to talented and committed people who might otherwise have no outlet. Our station finds many ways to inform while it entertains. I would tell people to give what you can. It will be appreciated and put to good use—you can’t ask for much more.”

Donate to CFUV’s Fundrive between Mar. 13–20 during normal broadcasting hours at 250-721-8700 or donate online at

Clarification: The original article stated that CFUV receives an annual allowance from the UVSS, when in fact the UVSS disburses a $5 per full-time student fee to CFUV, separate from UVSS operational costs.