CBC North

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CBC North
Type Broadcast radio network
Television system
Country Canada
Owner Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Key people
Hubert Lacroix, president
Launch date
1958 (radio)
1973 (television)
Former names
CBC Northern Service
Official website
CBC North

CBC North is the name for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's radio and television service in Northern Canada. Originally known as the CBC Northern Service, its first operations began in 1958 with radio broadcasts (including the takeover of CFYK—originally a Royal Canadian Signal Corps-owned, community-run station in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, which began broadcasting in 1948). Around the same time, the CBC took over CHFC in Fort Churchill (then an army camp in northern Manitoba); the station had previously run a variety of programs, including American AFRS shows. Peter Mansbridge is its most distinguished alumnus. The station in Churchill was closed in the late 1970s and moved to Rankin Inlet as CBQR-FM.

CFFB began operation in Frobisher Bay (now known as Iqaluit, Nunavut) on February 6, 1961. The service initially consisted of local programming in Inuktitut, English and French, along with news and other programs from the CBC network received via shortwave. With the advent of the Anik series of satellites, Inuktitut and English radio programming from CFFB became accessible in most Eastern Arctic communities.

Radio[edit]

CBC North Radio carries daily aboriginal language programming in Dene Suline, Tlicho, North and South Slavey, Gwich'in, Inuvialuktun and Inuktitut. The shows include news, weather and entertainment, providing a vital service to the many people in Northern Canada for whom English is not their first language.

In the Yukon, the regular CBC Radio One schedule in English is aired on CFWH. CFWH is, however, the only station in the network which uses the Saturday afternoon between 5:05 and 6:00 p.m. local arts program block to air the French language program "Rencontres",[1] as the territory is not served by a Première Chaîne production centre or a local francophone community radio station.

In the Northwest Territories, afternoon programming is pre-empted; instead, CBC North airs special afternoon programming in First Nations languages. On CFYK in Yellowknife, which serves the southern part of the territory, the afternoon schedule is as follows:

  • 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. - Tide Godi, Dogrib
  • 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. - Le Got'she deh, Slavey
  • 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. - Dene Dayalt'i, Dene Suline

On CHAK in Inuvik, which serves the northern Beaufort Delta area, afternoon programs include Nantaii in Gwich'in from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. The Northwest Territories otherwise hears the usual CBC Radio One schedule.

In Nunavut, greater differences occur on CFFB. The Nunavut service is the only local or regional CBC Radio service which covers three time zones (Eastern, Central and Mountain). The local morning program, Qulliq (broadcast in Inuktitut and English segments), airs from 6 to 10 a.m. and is followed by abbreviated broadcasts of The Current and Q. At noon a bilingual program, Nipivut, airs in Inuktitut and English. In the afternoons, programming is in Inuktitut and includes Tausunni from Iqaluit, Tuttavik from Kuujjuaq and Tusaajaksat from Rankin Inlet. During the evenings, Ullumi Tusaqsauqaujut presents highlights from the day's Inuktitut programs at 10 p.m. Eastern. At 10:30 p.m. Eastern Sinnaksautit features traditional Inuit storytelling. The nighttime edition of Q follows Sinnaksautit, after the 11 p.m. news. The CBC Radio One network schedule continues through the night.

The Nunavut program service also carries a CBC North regional live music program called The True North Concert Series on Saturday afternoons at 5 pm Eastern Time. TNCS features concert recordings from across the three northern territories. There is also a music request show for youth, which airs on Sunday afternoons at 3 pm Eastern Time.

In the Nunavik region of northern Quebec, the program service from Nunavut is heard on a network of low-power FM transmitters,[2] with some program differences. Weekday mornings from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. Quebec AM from CBVE-FM Quebec City is heard, and a repeat of Tuttavik from CBC in Kuujjuaq airs in the evening.

In the Nunavik region of northern Quebec can also be heard the program service from CBFG-FM Chisasibi. The programming is a mix of "ICI Radio-Canada Première" programming as well as programs in Cree and Inuktitut.

On October 5, 2012, Radio-Canada/CBC was licenced to add new FM transmitters in Kuujjuaq, which will operate at 105.1 MHz (channel 286LP) with an effective radiated power (ERP) of 50 watts (non-directional antenna with an effective height of antenna above average terrain (EHAAT) of 9.3 meters). The new transmitter in Kuujjuarapik will operate at 105.1 MHz (channel 286LP) with an ERP of 50 watts (non-directional antenna with an EHAAT of 30.1 meters). The licensee indicated that since there is currently no coverage in those areas, it wishes to extend to those areas the service of La Première Chaîne. This will rebroadcast the French-language Première Chaîne programming of CBFG-FM Chisasibi to add two low-power FM transmitters in order to rebroadcast the programming of its French-language national network La Première Chaîne.[3]

On October 30, 2012, Radio-Canada/CBC received approval to change the source of programming on the following Premiere Chaine stations from CBF-FM 95.1 Montreal to CBFG 103.5 Chisasibi:[4][5]

  • CBFA-FM-1 Manouane (radiocommunication distribution undertaking (RDU))
  • CBFA-FM-2 Obedjiwan (RDU)
  • CBFW-FM Wemindji (RDU)
  • CBFM-FM Mistassini (RDU)
  • CBFA-3 Weymontachie (radio programming undertaking (RPU))
  • CBFH-FM Waskaganish (RPU)
  • CBFV-FM Waswanipi (RPU)

In December 2012, the CBC filed an application to convert two AM transmitters to the FM band:

  • Chisasibi (Fort-George), Québec 92.3 FM.[6]
  • Weymontachie, Quebec 750 AM CBFA-3 to 92.3 FM; approved April 23, 2013[7]

Shortwave service[edit]

CBC Radio Nord Québec also operated a shortwave service, transmitted from the Radio Canada International (RCI) transmitter in Sackville, New Brunswick, on 9625 kHz with 100 kW and programmed from the CBC studios in Montreal. This shortwave service was shut down December 1, 2012 and replaced by five low powered FM transmitters broadcasting on 103.5 FM from Puvirnituq, Kuujjuarapik, Inukjuak, Salluit and Kuujjuaq.[8]

CBC Radio Nord Québec also airs a hybrid Radio One/Première Chaîne schedule mixed with programming in Cree and Inuktitut to the Nunavik region originating from CBFG-FM Chisasibi.

Two CBC Radio One stations, CFGB-FM in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador (with call sign CKZN) and CBU in Vancouver, British Columbia (with call sign CKZU) operate shortwave relay transmitters, but neither transmitter site has the ability to reach the Arctic with usable signals year-round.

During the 1960s, the CBC Northern Service featured a mailbag program on Saturday evenings entitled The Northern Messenger. Since mail delivery was rare in the north, letters were sent to the CBC studios in Montreal and read on the air to listeners in far-flung settlements.[9]

With RCI ending shortwave broadcasting due to CBC budget cuts, and the end of CBC's Northern Quebec shortwave service from CKCX-SW in Sackville, New Brunswick, the future of the Northern Quebec shortwave service is in doubt.

Reception issues[edit]

Both Radio One transmitters broadcast 1 kW ERP. These shortwave relays can be difficult to receive, due to increased terrestrial noise from electrical and electronic systems. Also, nighttime broadcasting on 9625 kHz is difficult due to interference from Radio Exterior de España, which uses that frequency at night for transmission to North America.

Television[edit]

Screenshot of CBC North station identification
CBC North ident, September 1998

The primary CBC North television production centre is CFYK-DT in Yellowknife, with local news bureaus located in Whitehorse and Iqaluit. The CBC North television service is seen through a network of community-owned rebroadcasters in some communities in the Northwest Territories, the Yukon, and Nunavut. Up until July 31, 2012, the CBC owned and operated many rebroadcasters in the Canadian Arctic, which combined with community rebroadcasters ensured coverage to a vast majority of communities in the North; these rebroadcasters shut down on that date due to budget cuts mandated by the CBC, with only the transmitters owned by local governments or community organisations remaining in operation.[10][11] Among the rebroadcasters affected by the closure were CFWH-TV in Whitehorse and CFFB-TV in Iqaluit. Although they operated as semi-satellites with their own associated rebroadcasters, they were licensed as rebroadcasters of CFYK. However, few people in the Arctic lost access to CBC programming due to the high penetration of cable and satellite, which are all but essential for acceptable television in much of the area.

CBC North is essentially a television system within the larger CBC Television network, airing the same programming as the main network (with some exceptions). Until 2011, the CBC North stations were not licensed as television stations, but merely as transmitters used to redistribute CBC North's satellite feed.

The station airs an hour-long evening news program known as CBC News: Northbeat, anchored by Randy Henderson. It was the sole local newscast that was not merged into Canada Now from 2000 to 2006.

A daily newscast in Inuktitut, Igalaaq, is also aired at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time, again at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time in Nunavut and at 4 and 5:30 p.m. in the Northwest Territories with anchor Rassi Nashalik. A weekly Cree newsmagazine, Maamuitaau, also airs on CBC North TV. These programs also aired on APTN before that channel launched its own news operation.

Unlike the other owned-and-operated CBC stations, CBC North airs few local ads, instead airing additional promotions for other CBC programs and public-service announcements.

There are two CBC North television feeds: one for the NWT and Nunavut on a Mountain Time schedule and another for the Yukon on Pacific Time. All local CBC North programs originate from Yellowknife and other Arctic locales. Viewers with C-Band dishes used to enjoy CBC North in the clear until about 2000 when the CBC switched to a proprietary digital system, requiring a C$3000 receiver.

Before the change to digital transmission, the two CBC North TV satellite feeds originated in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador (which was seen in the Eastern Arctic) and Vancouver, British Columbia, (which was seen in the NWT and the Yukon). Those channels carried regional programs originating in those areas to the north. With the new digital transmission system (now centralised at CBC Television's headquarters in Toronto), the north no longer sees the regional east-coast and west-coast programs. Some US communities offer CBC North on cable or low-powered TV.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.afy.yk.ca/secteurs/main/fr/index.php?location=m249&secteur=1&classification=0&event=85
  2. ^ Brodadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-602, 30 October 2012
  3. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-538, CBFG-FM Chisasibi – Addition of transmitters, CRTC, October 5, 2012
  4. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-599 CBFG-FM Chisasibi – New transmitters and revocation of licences, CRTC, October 30, 2012
  5. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-602-1 CFFB Iqaluit – New transmitters in Puvirnituq, Kuujjuarapik, Inukjuak, Salluit and Kuujjuaq (Fort Chimo) – Correction, CRTC, November 5, 2012
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ CBFG-FM Chisasibi – New transmitter in Weymontachie, CRTC, April 23, 2013
  8. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-602 CFFB Iqaluit – New transmitters in Puvirnituq, Kuujjuarapik, Inukjuak, Salluit and Kuujjuaq (Fort Chimo), CRTC, October 30, 2012
  9. ^ Lorna Roth, Something new in the air: the story of First Peoples television broadcasting in Canada. McGill-Queen's Press, 2005, p. 67
  10. ^ Speaking notes for Hubert T. Lacroix regarding measures announced in the context of the Deficit Reduction Action Plan
  11. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-384, July 17, 2012.

External links[edit]