One of the country’s oldest radio stations is on the move. CKUA Radio celebrated the move in style Saturday morning, with a ceremonial delivery of the first record to the station’s new home at the newly restored Alberta Hotel building.
“The first thing I noticed is that here – the floors don’t creak. The old Alberta block down the road was coming apart,” explained longtime CKUA DJ John Worthington.
Dozens of people attended the event including Senator Tommy Banks and Alberta Culture Minister Heather Klimchuk.
The city and the province made exciting announcements at the event, which Klimchuk says represents the partnerships both have with the arts community.
“The government is going to be putting in $5 million towards CKUA, and it’s a power partnership. The city of Edmonton has put in $5 million, as well, and to me it’s about working together and celebrating this incredible radio station and the history that we have here in Alberta.”
“Culture connects our past, our present, and our future. It’s really important for our future generations to know about this,” Klimchuk said adding, “It’s really important we keep these treasures.”
Worthington made the ceremonial record delivery, pulling up to the new building in a vintage 1963 Lincoln Continental convertible. He chose a record with a compilation of songs from 1927, the year CKUA went on the air. Worthington has been broadcasting on CKUA Radio since 1949. Prior to that he had worked in commercial broadcasting but, thought he could further his career at CKUA.
“I kind of began to think, after I had been here for a little while, that I did not ever want to go back to commercial broadcasting. This was much more interesting, much more rewarding than anything else I might have spent my life at.”
The new building is just eight blocks away from the old location. The station will broadcast from its new home for the first time on October 15th.