Clifford Sifton (1893-1976)

Clifford Sifton

Year Born: 1893

Year Died: 1976

Year of Induction: 1986

Pioneer – Member of CAB Hall of Fame

Sifton, Clifford (1893-1976)

Clifford Sifton was one of three sons of Sir Clifford Sifton, who was Minister of the Interior and Immigration in the government of Sir Wilfred Laurier, and was instrumental in attracting to Canada a great influx of immigrants who settled in the west around the turn of the 20th century.

Born in Brandon, Manitoba, Clifford Sifton was educated at the University of Toronto, graduating in 1915 with an arts degree, and subsequently receiving a Bachelor of Law Degree from the Osgoode Hall Law School. Immediately afterwards, he obtained a commission as a subaltern in the Royal Canadian Artillery, fought with the Canadians in northern France for the duration of World War I, and retired with the rank of major. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for gallantry, was twice mentioned in dispatches and was wounded three times.

Clifford Sifton’s entry to broadcasting was a by-product of the Sifton families’ 1928 acquisition of the Regina Leader newspaper (later to become the Leader-Post) which established CKCK in 1922.

By 1953, Clifford Sifton had become the sole owner of the Regina Leader-Post, the Saskatoon Star Phoenix, and radio stations CKCK Regina and CKRC Winnipeg. He was also a shareholder in Wentworth Radio Broadcasting Limited’s CKOC, which was purchased in 1938 by a group formed by Harold Carson of Taylor, Pearson and Carson of Calgary.

In 1953, CKOC became an equal partner with CHML Hamilton and the Hamilton Spectator as a licensee of CHCH-TV Hamilton. In 1960, Clifford Sifton formed Armadale Communications, obtained control of CKOC and disposed of interests held in CHCH-TV.

In 1954, Armadale obtained a licence for Regina’s first private TV station, CKCK-TV. In succeeding years, Armadale was awarded licences for FM stations in Regina, Winnipeg and Hamilton.

However, by the mid-90s. all of Armadale’s radio and TV properties had been sold. and Armadale withdrew from the broadcasting field.

Clifford Sifton was a keen supporter of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters and served for many years on the CAB board of trustees. His stations and the executives of the stations played a leading role in the industry.

Clifford Sifton died in 1976, He was posthumously inducted into the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame in 1986.

Written by J. Lyman Potts – October, 1996