Revisit some Ottawa Live Music on CKCU!

Tune in Tuesdays at 2PM for selected highlights from CKCU’s long running Live in the Studio music program “Ottawa Live Music“. Bands would come to the 5th floor of the Unicentre at Carleton U for a chance to play live on the Radio. Expect to hear some of the best live moments from some of Ottawa’s greatest bands, live off the floor, no overdubs! OLM Revisited is edited, assembled and hosted by CKCU intern Elijah Sliwa, but you can expect to hear some of the hi-jinx and banter between the band members and hosts from back at the time as well! Here are some of the bands we will revisit: Bonnie Doon, Chautauqua, The Sentries, Saint Clare, The Dant Danners, Clavius, Slow Dawn, Nessie, Honest Racket, Huntley Slim, Steve Stacey and the Stump Splitters, The Diotones, LSB…

Carleton’s First-Ever Radio Play to Hit the Airwaves

Like a record scratching to a stop, in-person classes at Carleton University came to an abrupt halt in March 2020. Six months later Rachel Stanley, Jadi Genita, and Drew Torresan, all enrolled in a theatre production seminar found themselves facing a challenge.

The main assignment was to create and perform a play, but due to pandemic restrictions, they would not be able to meet to write and rehearse, let alone stage a show in front of a live audience.

Thankfully, Prof. Janne Cleveland, who co-ordinates the University’s Drama Studies program, and instructor Rebecca Benson had a plan.

The result — A Little Too Maybe, Carleton’s first-ever radio play, about a couple falling out of love —will air on the campus-based community station CKCU, along with a three-part documentary about how the project came together.

A lot of the play is built around failing communications. Instead of being focused on COVID itself, the play is on based the feelings of the pandemic: loss, uncertainty, worries about not being heard. Continue reading

Friday Night Truck Stop throw a Gram Parsons Bday Bash in support of CKCU

The time Gram dropped by CKCU for an interview while we were silk-screening T-shirts in the office....

Hey all you grievous angels! Get yourself on down to the Rainbow Bistro for a night of music, laughter, and a tribute to the legendary Gram Parsons!

Join Ray Harris, Lefty and The Whiskey Standards with special guests Pat Moore, KJ Thomas, Rey Sabatin Jr., Chris Landry and Shawn Tavenier, as they celebrate the life and music of country-rock pioneer Gram Parsons. Slo’ Tom will be opening the night with his unique brand of folksy fun and general good-times vibes!

Saturday, November 6th at the Rainbow Bistro (76 Murray St.) This show is a fundraiser for this year’s Funding Drive, so come on out and show your support for Community Radio!

Limited capacity, get your advance tickets before they’re gone! More info:

New “Intramural Conversations” feature on “Can I Have A Word?”

For the last couple of years, volunteer host Bob LeDrew has been the Thursday-afternoon voice behind “Can I Have A Word?“, a long-form interview show. In that time, he’s talked to authors, actors, nurses, organ donors, vermiculturists, activists, and many more. But this fall, he’s starting a new monthly feature on the show — something he’s calling the “intramural conversations.” Once each month, a CKCU host will join Bob to talk about… well, it could be anything. “The joy of the show is that while I have some ideas about where the conversation is going to go, there’s always room for digressions and diversions. It’s like knowing that we’re going to the grocery store and the coffee shop, but in between we might stop at a brewery and a video arcade.” In September, the first intramural conversation aired with guest Shelley Ann Morris, host of “Welcome To My World?” on Tuesday mornings.
Next up will be Susan Johnston, who introduced Bob to CKCU as a guest on the Friday Special Blend.

“I have some ideas about other CKCU folks I know and want to talk to for the show,” says Bob. “But most importantly, I want to hear from people I DON’T know. There’s so much programming on the station, and I can’t say I’ve heard every show. I would love to hear from EVERYONE on the grid and have my monthly schedule for the next 8 years filled up.” If you’re interested, take a listen to Bob and Shelley’s conversation, and then drop him a note at

The return of Midweek!

Students in their final year of a four-year Honours Journalism program or in their second year of study for a Masters of Journalism make up the production team for Midweek. While they are evaluated as students on their radio work, the aim is always for a professional outcome.

Midweek’s studios are located at The School of Journalism and Communication in the St. Patrick’s Building on Carleton’s campus but is transmitted from CKCU, FM and live stream.

Carleton University‘s School of Journalism and Communication is the oldest journalism program in Canada. It was initiated in 1946 and continues to graduate top students with a thorough education in journalism and public affairs.

Midweek takes flight again at 12:05 PM tomorrow (Sept 29th), right after the BBC News summary. It will also be available On Demand after the fact ( We at CKCU are excited to welcome Midweek back for another season!

CKCU Commemorates the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Tune in to this Sunday (Sept 26th @ 9AM) and  Tuesday (Sept 28th @ 5PM)  for special Orange Shirt Day episodes of Indigenous CKCU and Bear Necessities. The programs will be hosted by Lester Bear to commemorate the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Lester will also be sharing music selections from Indigenous Artists that have paved the way as well as some of the newer artists that are currently making waves. Sponsored by the (Public Service Alliance of Canada) PSAC-NCR Racially Visible Action Committee.
@psac_afpc @PSACNCR #orangeshirtday #TruthAndReconciliation #canlab

Here is a link to the event on Thursday:


The Ethics, Poetics and Radical Imagination of C/C Radio: Talk by Adrian Harewood

Adrian Harewood is co-host of CBC News Ottawa. He was involved in community radio at CKCU, CHUO and CKLN-FM and was also the station manager of CKUT-Radio McGill (1996-1999). Before coming to television, Harewood was the host of All In A Day on CBC Radio One in Ottawa. Adrian is now a full-time faculty at Carleton School of Journalism teaching Journalism, Race and Diversity. In this talk Adrian speaks about the ethics, poetics and radical imagination of Campus Community Radio.

The session was hosted by Luke Smith who is the Learning and Development Officer at the NCRA (National Campus and Community Radio Association). Luke is former CKCU Board member and was the host of a program on CKCU called “Velvet Studio” from about 2013 to 2016.

House of PainT on CKCU!

Saturday, August 21st & Sunday, August 22nd
CKCU Radio Take Over (93.1 FM, or

Performances by:
Asuquomo / Dioganhdih / Exmiranda / Eyeda Sophia / Five and Tens / Hueso / Jesse Dangerously / DJ JFun / Kmbrly Snstrm / Lunafhy / Squerl Noir / Trevor Walker + OG500 Virtual Poetry Slam!

but also SO MUCH MORE!! check out:
Drop by!
…Day ONE in the books, listen back:
and now Day TWO:
plus extra last minute content from Mohammad Ali, the Socialist Vocalist:

Thanks for passing thru!

Reggae In The Fields Celebrates 45 Years In Your Ears!

Over the next month we are celebrating 45 years of Reggae In The Fields on the air! Tune in to hear testimonials from listeners, friends, admirers and others all month as we toast the great Junior Smith on this incredible milestone!

One of the most steady and popular voices on the airwaves, Junior is an international treasure!! So many have been introduced to the sounds and culture of the Caribbean through Reggae In The Fields. We feel lucky and honored to support Junior throughout his incredible run. He has represented the station and his community with distinction.

From everyone here at CKCU we want to congratulate Junior on this singular achievement, and we look forward to supporting Reggae In The Fields for many more years.

Tune in starting at 1PM tomorrow (June 26th) as Junior presents a 4 and a half hour extravaganza, special presentation of REGGAE IN THE FIELDS only on the Mighty 93.1, CKCU FM

A “Reggae In The Fields” Reflection by Ewart Walters

Ewart Walters

It was August 12, 1995, and Junior Smith, host of CKCU-FM’s popular Saturday afternoon music program, “Reggae in the Fields,” put his reggae records aside. Instead, he devoted the full two and a half hours of his program to a panel discussion and call-in show. Smith’s in-studio guest that day was Ottawa-Carleton’s Chief of Police, Brian J. Ford. Before long, and to almost nobody’s surprise, they were talking about a man, Vincent Gardner, who died in hospital in the late autumn of 1991, six weeks after being felled and crippled by a police bullet.

Gardner’s death had enraged the community because the system was engaging in a cover-up, claiming that Mr. Gardner died of liver cancer and not the gunshot. This was finally put to rest five years after his death by a Coroner’s jury that rule death was due to the bullet.

But this was only one of many public affairs matters that were discussed over the years on Reggae in the Fields. And it was the only one that took up the full two and a half hours. For Reggae in the Fields was a music program based on the Jamaican music that was sweeping the world.

Bob Marley & Junior Smith circa 1979

Bob Marley & Junior Smith circa 1979

In the year 1976. Junior Smith was a young math student at Ottawa’s Carleton University when he discovered that Radio Carleton had opening for volunteers. It was, after all, a student-run entity and was open to just about anything that students wanted to do. And so he sought and obtained a one-hour space on a Saturday for a program based on reggae music.

Grounded in the music of Reggae King Bob Marley, the program sought to bring a wide variety of popular Jamaican music to listeners.

Shortly after the program began, the Counsellor at the Jamaica High Commission got word of it and contacted Junior Smith who invited him to assist. The result was seven programs featuring the historical rise of the music and the singers and musicians behind it. Since then, there have been several programs based on the history and the impact of the music.

Speaking of impact, as good as Marley’s music is, it is his lyrics that make the impact, with his persistent concern for equality, brotherhood, upfulness and righteousness.

On the occasions when Smith has had to be away others have filled in, notably DJ Karess who also for a few years prepared and presented a review of Caribbean news.

Nearly half a century later the program has grown to 2½ hours. Listeners around the world tune in each Saturday, sometimes sending in music from their homelands, but always contributing in one way or the other.

Indeed, Junior Smith has been central to promoting and maintaining Jamaican culture here in Ottawa with Reggae in the Fields. May it long continue.

(Ewart Walters is a journalist, author and former diplomat. Former Publisher and Editor of the defunct Black newspaper “The Spectrum”, he is a recipient of numerous  awards including the Order of Ottawa)