Timeline of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

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The CBC Radio-Canada logo.

This is a timeline of the history of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

1901-1939[edit]

  • 1901
  • 1902
  • 1905
    • Canada's first Wireless Telegraph Act.
  • 1913
    • Radio Telegraph Act includes voice transmission.
  • 1919
    • First broadcasting licence issued to XWA Montreal (later CINW).
  • 1922
    • First licensing of private commercial stations.
  • 1923
  • 1924
    • CN Radio opens its first stations (Ottawa and Moncton) and gradually develops service on about 15 stations.
  • 1927
    • First national broadcast: July 1, Diamond Jubilee of Confederation.
  • 1929
    • Aird Commission recommends setting up a nationally owned company to operate a coast-to-coast system.
  • 1930
  • 1932
  • 1933
    • The CRBC acquires CN Radio facilities, improves coverage and continues program development.
  • 1936
  • 1937
    • Opening of the French station CBF Montreal.
    • New transmitters in Toronto and Montreal increase national coverage to 76% of the population from 49%.
    • The North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement (Havana Treaty) gives Canada better frequencies (ratified 1941).
  • 1938
    • Farm broadcasts begin on the French radio network.
  • 1939
    • Full coverage of the six-week visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II.
    • Declaration of war: a CBC reporting unit goes overseas, and all departments begin special wartime broadcasts.
    • Farm broadcasts begin on the English radio network.

1940s[edit]

The CBC Radio-Canada symbol from 1940.
  • 1940
    • Low-power relay transmitters installed for remote communities.
    • First provincial school broadcasts begin in Nova Scotia and B.C.
    • The CBC symbol showing radio waves and a map of Canada is adopted.
Winston Churchill
  • 1941
    • Formal opening of CBC News Service. Special broadcasts include Winston Churchill's speech from the House of Commons in Ottawa.
  • 1942
    • A total of 43 hours of French and English programs are broadcast daily, compared with 10 in 1936. Special broadcasts include the opening of the Alaska Highway.
  • 1943
    • Establishment of English School Broadcasts Department.

1950s[edit]

The second CBC Radio-Canada logo, adopted in 1958.
  • 1950
    • First issue of the program guide La Semaine à Radio-Canada.
    • Special coverage of the 1950 Red River Floods
  • 1951
  • 1952
    • Opening of Canadian TV service (CBC): CBFT Montreal (bilingual) September 6, CBLT Toronto (English) September 8.
    • CBC supplies radio programs to Canadian troops in Korea.
    • First Canadian urban cable TV is launched in Guelph, Ontario.
  • 1953
    • Opening of CKSO-TV in Sudbury, first private television station in Canada and first CBC TV affiliate.
    • CBFT Montreal begins full French service with opening of English station CBMT.
    • CBC is host broadcaster for the Commonwealth Games in Vancouver.
  • 1955
    • First telecast of the opening of Parliament.
    • CBC Television is available to 66% of the population.
  • 1956
  • 1957
    • The Fowler Commission on Broadcasting recommends transferring regulatory authority from CBC to a separate body.
    • Major political coverage includes the five-hour federal election telecast and the first opening of Parliament by a reigning monarch.
  • 1958
    • New Broadcasting Act establishes the Board of Broadcast Governors (BBG) to regulate all Canadian broadcasting.
    • First coast-to-coast live TV broadcast with completion of the microwave network from Nova Scotia to British Columbia.
    • Opening of Calgary delay centre for western time zones.
    • CBC Northern Service (radio) is established.
  • 1959
    • The microwave network is extended to Newfoundland.
    • Special programs include the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway.

1960s[edit]

The CBC "butterfly" symbol, marking the network's transition to colour television in 1966.
  • 1960
    • BBG recommends licensing second TV stations in major cities and invites applications for Canada's first private network.
    • Opening of the CBC shortwave service to the High Arctic.
    • Experimental bilingual FM network links Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa. (Suspended temporarily in 1962)
  • 1961
    • CTV Network begins broadcasting.
    • CBC issues proposals for satellite use in Canada.
  • 1962
    • The Trans-Canada and Dominion networks are consolidated.
  • 1963
    • CBC hosts the three-week Commonwealth Broadcasting Conference.
  • 1964
    • The FM network resumes in English, adding Vancouver by tape; local French FM continues in Montreal.
    • CBC Corporate Headquarters now to CBC Building in Ottawa, now called the Edward Drake Building
  • 1965
    • The Fowler Committee on Broadcasting recommends a new regulatory and licensing authority.
    • Government announces colour TV policy.
    • First regular CBC stereo broadcasts from a single station in Winnipeg.
  • 1966
    • Colour TV introduced in Canada.
  • 1967
  • 1968
    • New Broadcasting Act confirms CBC's role of providing the national service and establishes the Canadian Radio-Television Commission (CRTC) as the regulatory and licensing authority, including cable systems. Government issues White Paper on satellite communications.
    • Pre-release facilities are installed for Atlantic time zones.
    • First televised national debate among Canadian political party leaders: a CBC/CTV coproduction.
  • 1969

1970s[edit]

The iconic "gem" symbol, designed by Burton Kramer in 1974.
  • 1970
    • CRTC introduces Canadian content regulations (60% overall) for public and private TV.
    • TVOntario is established.
    • The Report of the Special Senate Committee (Davey) on Mass Media is published.
    • The CRTC issues network licences to CBC for the first time.
  • 1971
    • Canadian content regulation (minimum 30%) in force for AM radio music.
    • First French-language private TV network (TVA) opens.
    • Experimental radio and TV from the Nova Scotia House of Assembly.
  • 1972
    • CRTC invites proposals for future development of pay television.
    • Anik satellite launched: CBC rents three channels for radio and TV network distribution.
    • Special coverage includes Canada-Russia hockey series.
    • CBC's International Service is renamed Radio Canada International (RCI).
  • 1973
  • 1974
    • Introduction of new CBC symbol based on "C" for Canada, designed by Burton Kramer.
    • Opening of French FM stereo network.
    • CBC discontinues most radio advertisements.
    • Government announces Accelerated Coverage Plan to extend CBC radio and TV to small unserved communities.
    • Global Television Network opens.
  • 1975
    • English FM stereo network opens.
  • 1976
  • 1977
  • 1978
    • CRTC denies pay TV applications.
    • First TV production facilities in the North (Yellowknife).
    • CBC is host broadcaster for Commonwealth Games in Edmonton.
  • 1979

1980s[edit]

The "gem" symbol became single-colour in 1986.
  • 1980
  • 1981
    • CBC introduces closed captioning on Canadian TV programs.
    • CBC is asked to manage the installation of a telecommunications system (OASIS) in Parliamentary offices.
    • Government announces a three-year CBC trial of Canadian teletext system (Telidon).
  • 1982
    • The Report of the Applebaum-Hébert Committee is released.
    • Opening of Cancom to provide remote communities with additional TV services by satellite.
  • 1983
    • Government creates Broadcast Program Development Fund.
    • Opening of first pay TV (general channels).
  • 1984
    • CBC stereo networks start 24-hour broadcasting and supplementary cable distribution.
    • CBC is host broadcaster for the 12-day papal visit.
    • First pay TV specialty channels open.
    • Federal-provincial committee publishes report on future of French-language TV in Canada.
    • CBC and other broadcasters join TV5, a European French-language satellite service.
  • 1986
    • Federal Task Force on Program Review (Nielsen) publishes recommendations on culture and communications.
    • Opening of 2nd private French TV channel (Quatre Saisons) in Montreal.
    • The Federal Task Force on Broadcasting Policy (Caplan/Sauvageau) publishes its recommendations.
    • A commemorative postage stamp is issued for CBC's 50th anniversary.
  • 1987
  • 1988
    • The CBC Broadcast Centre Development Project in Toronto gets Cabinet approval in April, and work starts in October.
    • The International French-language channel TV5 starts broadcasting in Canada in September.
    • Cabinet approves CBC licence to operate an English all-news channel.
  • 1989
    • The CBC English all-news channel, Newsworld, is launched on July 31.
    • The CRTC holds hearings to consider CBC's application for an all-news channel in French. This first proposal is rejected.
    • The French private channel Le Réseau des Sports goes on air September 1.

1990s[edit]

The current simplified "gem" symbol from 1992.
  • 1990
    • CBC publishes its vision for the future in a document entitled Mission, Values, Goals and Objectives.
    • CBC Engineering plays a proactive role in the development of Digital Audio Broadcasting.
    • CBC closes eleven regional stations as a result of budget cuts.
  • 1991
    • CBC Toronto consolidates its operations into one downtown location, the new state-of-the-art Canadian Broadcasting Centre.
    • Bill C-40 on broadcasting receives royal assent on February 1 and is proclaimed Law on June 4.
  • 1992
    • CBC develops a new identification program.
    • CBC introduced a simplified version of the iconic gem symbol, designed by Gottschalk + Ash.
  • 1994
  • 1995
  • 1996
    • CBC TV boasts an all-Canadian prime-time schedule.
    • The House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage presents its report on the future of CBC in a multi-channel universe.
  • 1997
    • The CRTC approves CBC's applications to transfer CBF (French) and CBM (English) in Montreal, CBV (French) in Quebec City and CBL (English) in Toronto from the AM to the FM band.
    • The English Information Radio service is rebranded Radio One and the stereo music service, Radio Two. French Radio services are now called Première Chaîne and Chaîne culturelle.
    • Galaxie, the first pay, satellite and cable delivered audio service, is launched.
    • CBC files applications for six new specialty services: Le Réseau des Arts, Le Réseau de l'économie, Le Réseau de l'histoire, Land & Sea, Télé classique and The People Channel.
  • 1998
    • The International Olympic Committee awards CBC, in partnership with NetStar, broadcast rights to the next five Olympic Games.
    • CBC makes a presentation to the CRTC's review of television policy in Canada, the first such review in 17 years.
    • On September 28, CBC Radio opens a station in Victoria, the last provincial capital to get a CBC Radio station.
    • The CRTC opens competition in the satellite delivery of radio and television services by giving Shaw Direct a licence.
  • 1999
    • The CRTC holds public consultation sessions in 11 cities to find out what Canadians think about the CBC, its role, its programming and its direction.
    • CBC is the host broadcaster for the Pan Am Games in Winnipeg.

2000s[edit]

  • 2000
    • The Y2K project team ensures that CBC/Radio-Canada does not experience technological problems on January 1.
    • CBC/Radio-Canada and Corus Entertainment Inc. partner on a new digital music service.
    • Radio de Radio-Canada opens a new station in Abitibi-Témiscamingue.
    • CBC Radio 3 launches three websites geared to new music and youth culture: 120seconds.com, newmusiccanada.com and justconcerts.com.
    • The Nature of Things celebrates 40 years on CBC television.
  • 2001
    • Three specialty services are launched in partnership with the private sector: ARTV, The Documentary Channel and Country Canada.
    • The Centre de l'information in Montreal, a state-of-the-art facility for gathering and producing news for Télévision de Radio-Canada and RDI, is opened.
  • 2002
  • 2003
    • State-of-the-art broadcast centres open in downtown Edmonton and Quebec City.
    • CBC/Radio-Canada is named one of Canada's Top 100 Employers for 2004.
    • As It Happens celebrates 35 years on CBC Radio.
  • 2004
    • Ottawa operations move to the new state-of-the-art CBC Ottawa Broadcast Centre.
    • The Prairie Aboriginal Content Unit is created to develop First Nations storytelling content for both Radio and Television.
    • The Chaîne culturelle, Radio de Radio-Canada's music channel, is re-launched as Espace musique.
    • Radio Canada International adds a ninth language, Portuguese for Brazilians, to its line-up.
  • 2005
    • Radio Canada International celebrates its 60th anniversary.
    • The CRTC approves SIRIUS Canada's satellite radio application, a partnership between CBC/Radio-Canada, Standard Radio Inc., and SIRIUS Satellite Radio. SIRIUS Canada's 100-channel line-up is announced, featuring six from CBC/Radio-Canada.
    • CBC Radio 3 celebrates millionth podcast download.
    • Télévision de Radio-Canada and CBC Television jointly aired an important documentary on the 1995 Quebec referendum called Point Break/Point de Rupture.
  • 2006
    • CBC/Radio-Canada is the host broadcaster of the XVI International AIDS Conference, which is held in Toronto.
    • HDTV service launches in Quebec City and Vancouver.
    • The daily program Virginie, which has run on Télévision de Radio-Canada since 1996, broke the record for most episodes ever produced as part of a French-language television drama series: 1221.
    • Radio de Radio-Canada's Première Chaîne marked Jacques Languirand's 35th year on air by treating listeners to a major documentary on this legendary communicator, man of the theatre, and host of the program Par 4 chemins.
  • 2007
    • Bernard Derome hosted his 22nd election night special on Télévision de Radio-Canada; since 1972, he has anchored 11 federal elections, eight provincial elections and three referendums.
    • Jacques Bertrand and the entire Macadam tribus team celebrated the 10th anniversary of this offbeat radio program on Première Chaîne that mixes humour and serious discussion, reality and fiction, rap and electronica, animal life and the human condition, as well as News and views.
    • 3.7 million: Viewership to the first episode of CBC Television's Little Mosque on the Prairie.
    • 300,000: Number of subscribers to Sirius Canada Satellite Radio as of January 1, 2007 (six of Sirius Canada's 11 Canadian channels are provided by CBC/Radio-Canada).
    • CBC Records brings home two Juno awards in the Classical music category.
    • CBC Television captures the first ever television Broadcaster of the Year Award at the prestigious New York Festivals.

2010s[edit]

  • 2011
    • CBC/Radio-Canada celebrates its 75th anniversary.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]