I hope you are well and coping with the restrictions and uncertainties of the past six months. It’s difficult to find a silver lining among so much disruption, but over the past few months a common theme has emerged when the conversation turns to JAZZ.FM91.

Comments such as “The station has been my saviour” and “I listen to it all the time” and “It makes me feel good to hear Brad and Heather” all point to why we say JAZZ.FM91 is “more than just a radio station.” If our listeners find respite, if our listeners find connectedness and contentedness (as a good friend wrote in a Facebook essay earlier this week about “sharing”) when they listen to the station, we have succeeded. This is an ultimate measure of our success.

But we also know that providing that unique listening experience comes with a cost — the cost of running the day-to-day operations of the station and providing the programming that creates that connection with our listeners.

Our fiscal year ended on Aug. 31, and while it will be some time before audited financial statements are available, I can give you a preliminary report on how the station fared during the year. Despite the pandemic that caused the cancellation of concerts and a significant downturn in advertising, we will report positive net income for the year, and a much better cash position than at the beginning of the year. Several factors contributed to this improved financial performance — an above-budget first half before the pandemic hit, the federal government’s wage subsidy, rent relief from our landlord, and most importantly, continued support from our donors.

Still, the reality of the near future is clear. We don’t expect live concerts or international jazz safaris to re-commence any time soon, and advertisers will continue to be constrained as they, too, adjust to tough operating conditions.

The management team at the station will continue their great work of controlling costs, of each staff member doing more than their “fair share”, of developing creative ideas to engage listeners with therapeutic programming — who hasn’t enjoyed Bunker Report? — and keeping us on the air while working remotely or at the station, all the time observing strict protocols for a safe workplace.

The support of our donors will be critical in the months ahead. Our spring campaign was a testament to donors’ generosity, and for that we are immensely grateful. And yet, we know there are many listeners who do not yet contribute to our fundraising campaigns. If you are one of those, and if your circumstances allow, please consider making JAZZ.FM91 on of the beneficiaries of your generosity. It will help us to continue to survive these difficult times and enrich the lives of our listeners.

Our fall fundraising campaign begins today. You can donate online at jazz.fm/donate or call our pledge line at 1-800-811-2400.

With thanks and in anticipation,

Brian Hemming

Chair, JAZZ.FM91