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CKUA Top 5 Hot Files

1. Part 1 – Workshop West Theatre's artistic di...(Arts Alberta)
2. Part 1- Tony Dillon-Davis talks with the Jef...(Arts Alberta)
3. Part 1 – Tommy Banks talks to Allan Sheldon ...(Arts Alberta)
4. Part 1 – Colin McLean talks with Jim Marsh, ...(Arts Alberta)
5. Part 1 – The new theatre program at Grant Ma...(Arts Alberta)

Education Programs

High School Storytellers, hosted by Moe Price, brought student writers into the studio, 1982From its earliest mandate of "taking the university to the people," CKUA has diligently offered education by radio wave. This has included the university talks by University of Alberta professors in the earliest days of the station's broadcasting, the Alberta School Broadcasts produced at the request of the Department of Education, and the radio and distance learning partnership between CKUA and Athabasca University. Indeed, CKUA is considered to be Canada's first educational broadcaster.

With its roots firmly placed in the educational format through the U of A Department of Extension in 1927, CKUA's job in the early years, was to find a more efficient method to bring speakers to Alberta rural communities than sending them on time-consuming road trips.

While much of the educational focus of the station has shifted - for instance, the demand for the award-winning Alberta School Broadcasts decreased radically in the '80s, necessitating a move to creating programs for students in second-language studies - there has nevertheless continued to be a mixture of education coupled with entertainment through much of CKUA's programming.

Brian Dunsmore, in the studioOne of the best-known examples is From Ragtime to Rolling Stones, an early partnering of CKUA producer Brian Dunsmore and Athabasca University professor David Gregory. Modeled on Great Britain's Open University, AU was seeking an alternative to education by telephone tutorial and printed materials. As a popular culture and musicology course, the series would run for four years and cover in 104 one-hour programs, the world of popular music in North America from 1900 to 1970.

But there are other successful examples of the CKUA-AU partnership, such as the broadcast of Ensemble: French for Beginners, a 24-part BBC-produced series (an echo of CKUA's foray into radio French lessons in its early days) that was the AU's French 103 course. In the early '80s, Gregory also paired up with Dunsmore for the 74-program series Writers and Thinkers as an adjunct to its humanities courses. In 1984, it was retitled Theatre of the Air, and ran until 1996 with Athabasca University professor Anne Nothof.

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