Ici Radio-Canada Première

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Ici Radio-Canada Première
Type Radio network
Country Canada
Availability AM/FM: Canada; SiriusXM: Canada/United States
Slogan Écoutez pour voir (Listen, to see)
Owner Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Launch date
1937 (CBF)
Former names
Radio de Radio-Canada (1937–1997)
Première Chaîne (1997-2013)
Official website
Ici Radio-Canada Première

Ici Radio-Canada Première (formerly Première Chaîne) is a Canadian French-language radio network, the news and information service of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (known as Société Radio-Canada in French), the public broadcaster of Canada. It is the French counterpart of CBC Radio One, the CBC's similar English-language radio network.

The service is available across Canada, although not as widely as CBC Radio One. Only the provinces of Quebec and Ontario are served by more than one Première originating station. In all other provinces, the whole province is served by a single station with multiple transmitters. The network does, however, reach 90 per cent of all Canadian francophones.

Each originating station outside of Montreal airs a national schedule, taken from flagship station CBF-FM, complete with opted-out local/regional shows at peak times, depending on each market. News bulletins are aired live, irrespective of location.

The network may broadcast on either the AM or FM bands, depending on the market. A national version is available across North America on Sirius XM Canada channel 170.[1] Première was available in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East live via the Hot Bird satellite.[2] The satellite service closed in June 2012 as part of the budget measures affecting Radio Canada International.[3]


Logo as Première Chaîne, used until August 2013.

Some French-language programming had aired on the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission's CRCM since 1933, but the French network was formally created on December 11, 1937, with the launch of CBF in Montreal.

In 1938, the station was expanded into a fledgling network with the launch of CBV in Quebec City and CBJ in Chicoutimi. Also that year, the long-running soap opera La Pension Velder, which ran until 1942 and was then revived in the 1950s as a television series, aired for the first time. The following year, the even more successful and influential Un Homme et son péché was launched.

For the first month of World War II, Radio-Canada aired 24 hours a day, broadcasting war news from Europe. Also that year, the network broadcast its first Montreal Canadiens hockey game.

In 1940, another popular radio soap, Jeunesse dorée, made its debut. In 1941, the network — which had previously relied on Canadian Press reporters — launched its own news division. Also that year, the network launched two shortwave radio stations in Montreal to serve francophones outside of Quebec. Throughout the 1940s, however, the network's expansion in Quebec was accomplished primarily through private affiliate stations.

In 1942, the network controversially refused to give airtime to the "No" side in the Conscription Plebiscite. Nonetheless, 72.9 per cent of Quebec voters were opposed.

In 1945, the International Service was launched. In 1946, the network launched an experimental FM station in Montreal (which would become CBFX), and expanded outside of Quebec for the first time with the launch of CKSB as a private affiliate in St. Boniface, Manitoba, near Winnipeg.

The network also had seven privately owned affiliates:

In 1948, the influential children's series Tante Lucille and Gérard Pelletier's public affairs program Les Idées en marche debuted. Also that year, three studios in Montreal's King's Hall building were destroyed in an explosion, leading Radio-Canada to centralize its operations in a new building on boulevard Dorchester.

In 1952, the network became autonomous from the CBC head office in Toronto. Previously, all programming decisions had to be reviewed by the Toronto staff in advance.

Through the 1960s, the network began to expand across Canada, taking over Toronto's CJBC in October 1964, and launching Ottawa's CBOF in 1964 and Vancouver's CBUF in 1967. As well, influential broadcaster Lise Payette launched her first program, Place aux femmes, in 1965.

The network eliminated tobacco advertising in 1969, and eventually dropped all commercial advertising in 1974, except for Montreal Canadiens hockey games (which would move to the Radiomédia network in 1997). The Maison Radio-Canada, which remains the flagship facility for all of Radio-Canada's broadcast services, was officially opened by Pierre Trudeau in 1973, and Radio-Canada's FM network was launched in 1974. Through the remainder of the 1970s, the network began to directly acquire many of its private affiliate stations, including CHFA in Edmonton, CFRG in Gravelbourg and CFNS in Saskatoon, although with the CBC's financial difficulties in the 1980s, this process was slowed down considerably.

The network was rebranded as Première Chaîne in 1997, concurrently with the rebranding of all of the CBC's radio networks.

In 1999, Radio-Canada applied to the CRTC for a license to launch a third all-news station in Montreal, on the 690 AM frequency CBF had surrendered in 1997 when it moved to FM. The application was rejected. Radio-Canada filed an appeal of the decision with the Federal Court of Appeal, which denied the request in October of that year.

In 2002, two of the network's last three remaining private affiliate stations, CKVM in Ville-Marie and CFLM in La Tuque, disaffiliated from the network, and the final private affiliate, CHLM in Rouyn-Noranda, was directly acquired by the network in 2004. The network now directly owns all of the stations that broadcast its programming.

On June 5, 2013, it was announced that Première Chaîne would be re-branded as Ici Première on August 9, 2013 as part of a wider re-branding of the CBC's French-language outlets. Following highly publicized complaints surrounding the new "Ici" name (which primarily centered around the removal of the historic "Radio-Canada" brand), the new name was changed to Ici Radio-Canada Première instead.[5][6][7][8]


A news bulletin is read at the top of every hour. National newscasts, under the title Radiojournal, air live from Montreal (in Quebec and Ontario provinces) at 6:00, 7:00, 8:00, 12:00 and 17:00 on weekdays, at 9:00, 12:00 and 18:00 on weekends; local newscasts air throughout the morning and afternoon seven days a-week. Overnight newscasts airs live from Montreal.

The brief National Research Council Time Signal airs daily at 12:00 ET in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes provinces.

Regional differences[edit]

There are various regional adjustments to the national schedule. In the Atlantic provinces the national schedule airs live, with programme trailers announcing the broadcast time as one hour later (for example- "neuf heures, Maritimes dix heures"). Due to the time difference, local programming airs one hour earlier to schedule, with Le réveil starting at 6:00 AM AT, 6:30 AM NT. An hour-long filler program, Format libre, airs weekdays at 9:00 AM AT, with regional saturday morning programs running through 12 Noon AT. Also, the Radiojournal airs live from Montreal in each time zone west of Ontario, for the 6:00, 7:00, 8:00, 11:00 and 12:00 Noon bulletins on weekdays only. Weekends, the 9:00 and 12:00 national news are cover-up by the local staff in each province west of Ontario. In the Maritimes, Radiojournal airs lives from Montreal at 7:00, 8:00, 9:00 and 13:00 AT weekdays and 10:00, 13:00 and 19:00 AT on the weekends.

In all regions of Canada outside of Ontario and Quebec, a mid-day regional news and discussion program (running 30 or 60 minutes, depending on region) is broadcast, either before or after its national news and discussion program, Midi Info. Known under various regional titles, the program is heard at 12:30 p.m. local time in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan and 12 noon in the Maritimes. As Midi Info is heard live from Saskatchewan eastward (from November to March,[9] delayed to 11 a.m. local time in Alberta and British Columbia), live from Manitoba eastward (from March to November, delayed to 11 a.m. local time in Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia) the broadcast times for some morning and afternoon programs may vary.

All Première outlets produce a regional program in the morning (Monday to Friday) from their respective studios, exceptions made during certain holidays where a grouping of stations produce the morning program in turn. For afternoon programs, in some provinces or regions, a program may originate from a studio in the largest station in their area and broadcast to all stations in a given region; for example: stations in Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and St. John's broadcasts the program produced in Moncton, CBF-FM-8 in Trois-Rivières broadcasts the program produced by CBF-FM Montreal, and CBEF Windsor broadcast the show produced in Toronto at CJBC. During certain holidays, a single program may be heard on a provincewide or a regionwide basis, also originating from the larger station in the area. In summer, the morning show produced in Moncton is broadcast throughout the Maritimes provinces, the afternoon program produced by CJBC Toronto is heard provincewide in Ontario except for Ottawa and the afternoon program of the Rimouski, Matane and Sept-Îles stations is produced alternately in each of the stations and broadcast on these three stations. For Saturday morning shows, they are produced respectively in Moncton (for the Maritimes), Montreal (for the province of Quebec, except the Outaouais region), Sudbury (for Ontario, except Ottawa and Kenora), and Winnipeg (for the Western provinces, as well as Kenora, Ontario).

In Northern Canada, CFWY-FM in Whitehorse, Yukon rebroadcasts the programs of CBUF Vancouver. This station is not owned by the CBC, but by the Franco-Yukon Association. Conversely, Radio Nord Québec (part of the CBC Radio One network) airs a hybrid French/English schedule, produced from CBF-FM and transmitted via satellite to communities in the Nord-du-Québec region using either FM or AM repeater transmitters.

The schedule for Sirius XM Canada airs live across North America from CBF-FM in Montreal, meaning programmes are broadcast using the Eastern Time Zone. The entire schedule is aired as of 2013.[10]

Listeners in Europe, Middle East and North Africa were able to receive direct programming from CBF-FM Montreal, with RCI's own shows inserted into the schedule in the morning and evening. This ceased in June 2012.

Schedule (as of Fall 2015)[edit]

From 2013, overnight programming consists of repeats of programmes aired earlier in the main schedule.[11] Previously, the overnight block was given over to programming from francophone public broadcasters in Europe, such as Radio France, RTBF Belgium and RTS Switzerland.

Unless specified, all programs originate from CBF-FM's studios at Maison Radio-Canada in Montreal and aired live across Quebec, Ontario and the Atlantic provinces. In the Western provinces, programmes are delayed according to the respective local time zone, with local programming aired live.


  • 5:00 - 5:30 - Info matin (Quebec City, Montreal and Ottawa)
  • 5:30 or 6:00 to 9:00 - Local morning shows
    • 5:30 start in Ottawa, Quebec City and Montreal; 6:00 start in other areas
  • 9:00 - 10:00 AT - Format libre (Maritimes only)
  • 9:00 - 11:00 (10:00 AT) - Médium large - current affairs
    • 12:00 - 13:00 AT - L'heure juste (Maritimes only)
  • 11:00 - 12:00 - Bien dans son assiette (from CBV-FM Quebec City) (Quebec and Ontario)
    • Program airs 13:00 - 14:00 CT/MT/PT in the western provinces, 18:00 - 19:00 AT in the Maritimes.
  • 12:00 - 13:30 (13:00 AT / 11:00 CT/MT/PT) - Midi info
    • Airs live from Manitoba eastward, tape-delayed Alberta and BC; may be live or tape in Saskatchewan, depending on year[9]
    • 12:30 - 13:00 CT/MT/PT - Local noon program (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British-Columbia)
  • 13:30 - 15:00 (14:30 AT/CT/MT/PT) - Plus on est de fous, plus on lit!
    • 15:00 - 16:00 ET - Reruns of some Saturday shows (province of Quebec, except Quebec City, Montreal and Trois-Rivières)
      • Monday: Faut pas croire tout ce qu'on dit
      • Tuesday: La Sphère
      • Wednesday: C'est fou
      • Thursday: Les éclaireurs (First hour)
      • Friday: Les éclaireurs (Second hour)
    • 15:00 - 15:30 - Aujourd'hui l'histoire (Airs in pre-release) (Ontario, except Ottawa)
      • Programs airs 14:00 - 14:30 CT/MT/PT in the western provinces; airs only 20:00 - 20:30 ET/AT in Ottawa, province of Quebec and Maritimes.
    • 15:30 - 16:00 - ICI #ONRC (Ontario, except Ottawa)
  • 15:00 or 16:00 - 18:00 - Local afternoon shows
    • 15:00 start in Quebec City, Montreal, Trois-Rivières and Ottawa; 16:00 everywhere else
  • 18:00 - 19:00 AT - Bien dans son assiette (Maritimes only)
  • 18:00 - 19:00 (19:00 AT) - L'heure du monde (national news and discussion program, Radio-Canada's counterpart to CBC Radio One's The World at Six)
  • 19:00 - 20:00 - Bien dans son assiette (Rerun) (except Maritimes)
  • 20:00 - 20:30 (20:00 AT) - Aujourd'hui l'histoire
    • Original broadcast for the Maritimes, province of Quebec and Ottawa; rerun of the afternoon show everywhere else
  • 20:30 - 22:00 (20:30 AT) - Plus on est de fous, plus on lit! (Rerun)
  • 22:00 - 0:00 (22:00 AT) - Médium large (Rerun)

Monday early mornings[edit]

  • 0:00 - 2:00 (1:00 AT) - L'ascenseur pour les étoiles
  • 2:00 - 4:00 (3:00 AT) - La soirée est (encore) jeune (Rerun)
  • 4:00 - 5:00 - C'est fou (Rerun)
  • 4:00 - 5:00 or 5:00 - 6:00 - L'heure du monde (Highlights of the past week)
    • 4:00 - 5:00 in Quebec City, Montreal and Ottawa; 5:00 - 6:00 all other areas

Tuesday-Saturday early mornings[edit]

  • 0:00 - 1:00 AT - Format libre (Maritimes only) (Rerun)
  • 0:00 - 1:00 (1:00 AT) - L'heure du monde (Rerun)
  • 1:00 - 2:00 (2:00 AT) - Reruns of some Saturday shows
      • Tuesday: Faut pas croire tout ce qu'on dit
      • Wednesday: La Sphère
      • Thursday: C'est fou
      • Friday: Les éclaireurs (First hour)
      • Saturday: Les éclaireurs (Second hour)
  • 2:00 - 3:00 - L'ascenseur pour les étoiles (except Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa and Maritimes) (Rerun)
  • 2:00 - 4:00 or 3:00 - 5:00 - Quand le jazz est là... (from Ici Musique)
    • 2:00 - 4:00 in Quebec City, Montreal and Ottawa; 3:00 - 5:00 all other areas
  • 4:00 - 5:00 or 5:00 - 6:00 - L'heure du monde (Rerun) (Tuesday-Friday only)
    • 4:00 - 5:00 in Quebec City, Montreal and Ottawa; 5:00 - 6:00 all other areas
  • 4:00 - 5:00 or 5:00 - 6:00 - La librairie francophone (Rerun) (Saturday)
    • 4:00 - 5:00 in Quebec City, Montreal and Ottawa; 5:00 - 6:00 in Maritimes + western provinces
      • In Ontario and Quebec, outside of Quebec City, Montreal and Ottawa, there is no rerun of La librairie francophone


  • 5:00 - 6:00 (6:00 AT) - Détours - Produced by RTS La Première (Maritimes, Quebec (province) and Ontario)
  • 6:00 - 7:00 - Bien dans son assiette (Rerun, except Maritimes)
  • 7:00 - 11:00 - Local shows
  • 11:00 - 12:00 AT - Ça se passe ICI (Maritimes only)
  • 11:00 - 12:00 (12:00 AT) - À la semaine prochaine
  • 12:00 - 13:00 (13:00 AT) - Faut pas croire tout ce qu'on dit - political magazine
  • 13:00 - 14:00 (14:00 AT) - La Sphère
  • 14:00 - 16:00 (15:00 AT) - Les éclaireurs
  • 16:00 - 17:00 (17:00 AT) - Pouvez-vous répéter la question?
  • 17:00 - 19:00 (18:00 AT) - La soirée est (encore) jeune
  • 19:00 - 20:00 (20:00 AT) - C'est fou
  • 20:00 - 22:00 (21:00 AT) - Les éclaireurs (Rerun)
  • 22:00 - 23:00 (23:00 AT) - La Sphère (Rerun)
  • 23:00 - 0:00 (0:00 AT) - Faut pas croire tout ce qu'on dit (Rerun)


  • 0:00 - 2:00 (1:00 AT) - L'ascenseur pour les étoiles
  • 2:00 - 4:00 (3:00 AT) - La soirée est (encore) jeune (Rerun)
  • 4:00 - 6:00 (5:00 AT) - Les années lumière (Rerun)
  • 6:00 - 10:00 (7:00 AT) - Dessine-moi un dimanche - current affairs
  • 10:00 - 12:00 (11:00 AT) - Désautels le dimanche
  • 12:00 - 14:00 (13:00 AT) - Les années lumières
  • 14:00 - 16:00 (15:00 AT) - Culture club
  • 16:00 - 17:00 (17:00 AT) - À la semaine prochaine (Rerun)
  • 17:00 - 19:00 (18:00 AT) - La soirée est (encore) jeune
  • 19:00 - 20:00 (20:00 AT) - La librairie francophone - Produced by Radio France in Paris. Co-production between France Inter, Ici Radio-Canada Première, RTBF La Première and RTS La Première.
  • 20:00 - 22:15 (21:00 AT) - Tout le monde en parle - Simulcast of the television program on Ici Radio-Canada Télé (during the normal television season)
    • 20:00 - 22:00 (21:00 AT) - Désautels le dimanche (Rerun) (Summer months, or when Tout le monde en parle had no episode that week)
  • 22:00 or 22:15 - 23:00 (23:00 or 23:15 AT) - Culture club (Rerun; joined in progress if following Tout le monde en parle)


In addition to primary production centres listed here, most stations in the network also serve a larger region through rebroadcasters. Due to the significant number of such rebroadcast frequencies, those are listed in each individual station's article rather than here.

Frequency Call sign Location Region served
FM 88.1 CBAF-FM-15 Charlottetown Prince Edward Island
FM 90.1 CHFA-FM Edmonton Alberta
FM 92.3 CBAF-FM-5 Halifax Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador (St. John's and Port au Port)
FM 102.1 CBGA-FM Matane Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine
FM 88.5 CBAF-FM Moncton New Brunswick
FM 95.1 CBF-FM Montreal Greater Montreal Area, Nord-du-Québec
FM 90.7 CBOF-FM Ottawa Eastern Ontario, Outaouais
FM 106.3 CBV-FM Quebec City Capitale-Nationale, Chaudière-Appalaches
FM 97.7 CBKF-FM Regina Saskatchewan
FM 89.1 CJBR-FM Rimouski Bas-Saint-Laurent
FM 90.7 CHLM-FM Rouyn-Noranda Abitibi-Témiscamingue
FM 93.7 CBJ-FM Saguenay Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean
FM 98.1 CBSI-FM Sept-Îles Côte-Nord, Newfoundland and Labrador (Churchill Falls and Labrador City)
FM 101.1 CBF-FM-10 Sherbrooke Estrie
FM 98.1 CBON-FM Sudbury Northern Ontario
AM 860 CJBC Toronto Greater Toronto Area, Central Ontario, Western New York, Northwestern Pennsylvania
FM 96.5 CBF-FM-8 Trois-Rivières Mauricie
FM 97.7 CBUF-FM Vancouver British Columbia, Yukon
AM 1550 CBEF Windsor Southwestern Ontario, Southeast Michigan and The Thumb
FM 88.1 CKSB-10-FM Winnipeg Manitoba; Kenora and Rainy River Districts, Ontario
Sirius XM 170 Première Montreal North America

Some of the former Radio-Canada French network transmitters that once operated on the AM dial can be viewed here.[12] Historically, Première has broadcast primarily on the AM band, but many stations have moved over to FM. Over the years, a number of CBC radio transmitters with a majority of them on the AM band have either moved to FM or had shut down completely. See: List of defunct CBC radio transmitters in Canada (Première Chaîne)


  1. ^ Radio Canada Sirius, retrieved 22-10-2011
  2. ^ Radio Canada International - RCI-2 French-language schedule (pdf). Retrieved 22-10-2011
  3. ^ [1] Retrieved 01-02-2014
  4. ^ CBC Radio-Canada French Radio Network - at the Canadian Communications Foundation website
  5. ^ "New Brand Architecture" (PDF). News Releases. CBC/Radio-Canada French Services. June 6, 2013. Retrieved June 20, 2013. 
  6. ^ "ICI Radio-Canada: We’ve heard you" (Press release). CBC/Radio-Canada. June 10, 2013. Retrieved June 19, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Radio-Canada retreats on rebranding company as ICI". CBC News. Retrieved 11 June 2013. 
  8. ^ "Radio-Canada president apologizes for ‘Ici’ rebranding plan". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 11 June 2013. 
  9. ^ a b As Saskatchewan uses the Central Standard Time year-round without using Daylight Saving Time in the summer months, they have the same time as Manitoba from November to March and they have the same time as Alberta from March to November. For the programs airing live in Manitoba, they air live in Saskatchewan too only when Manitoba uses the Central Standard Time during the winter months.
  10. ^ Retrieved 01-02-2014
  11. ^ Retrieved 01-02-2014
  12. ^ List of Radio-Canada rebroadcasters from 1985 (French) page 86.

External links[edit]