Pledge-O-Rama!

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The University of Manitoba campus radio station UMFM 101.5 is planning its first annual Pledge-O-Rama event, and this weeklong fundraising extravaganza promises to be out of this world.

The event will take place from Oct. 19 to 26, with the goal of raising $20,000 to help pay for budgetary items such as maintenance costs, audio equipment, and other day-to-day expenses.

“Our current budget really only allows for a perfect, inflation-free world where new equipment or repairs are never required, and we never expand our programming or improve anything,” states Ryan Filteau, event organizer, board member, and host of UMFM program Smash It Up.

“We have about 125 very creative and ambitious volunteers who will do really great things for Winnipeg community radio if they could be supported [ . . . ] and had access to a few more resources. It’s hoped that by calling on our listeners for support, Pledge-O-Rama will create a bit of a cushion which will allow the station to plan a little farther into the future [ . . . ] and allow our volunteers to continue and expand the cool things they already are doing for our listeners.”

Listeners will have the chance to call in and pledge their cash to UMFM in exchange for some sweet Pledge-O-Rama schwag. Schwag includes items such as: Pledge-O-Rama t-shirts, record bags, mugs, pins, and the coveted UMFM ”Friends with Benefits” card, which will get you mega discounts at over 30 local businesses.

The most unique incentive item offered this year is the UMFM Transmissions compilation album. The CD features 50s-style artwork of a DJ alien sending “transmissions” of nothing but the finest roots, rap, and rock and roll Winnipeg has to offer. The album is illustrated by local artist Darren Merinuk and designed by Steve Hallick at Little Man Graphic Design.

“This year’s inaugural CD is made up of two discs of songs, the first being already recorded tracks that the bands provided,” said Filteau.

“We invited these bands [based] very loosely on whether they had charted in the past year at UMFM, or more generally if they have been getting attention in the local or national music scene. The second disc was all recorded live-off-the-floor [over] the past year at UMFM studios as live-broadcasts and one-off sessions.”

Pledge-O-Rama will come to a close with a party. The wrap-up event will take place on Oct. 26 at the U of M campus bar The Hub. It will feature music from local synth-pop act, Scotch + Tape, as well as out-of-towners Evening Hymns, which consists of members from Timber Timbre, the Wooden Sky, and City & Colour, who come together to play hauntingly beautiful folk-inspired music.

“Anyone who is currently not directly involved with the station is invited to come down, answer a phone and lend a hand,” says Filteau. “Pledge-O-Rama would be a perfect time for a prospective show-host or future volunteer to start getting involved with the station.”

To make a donation to Pledge-O-Rama, call (204) 474-6610, 24 hours a day, between October 19 and 26.