CBU-FM, CBC Music, Vancouver

Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

CBU-FM1947105.7100,000Canadian Broadcasting Corp.


The CBC announced it hoped to have a 250 watt FM transmitter in operation in Vancouver by October. Equipment would be installed in the CBC studios in the Hotel Vancouver. The FM transmitter would be the first permanent unit on the west coast, although a portable unit was used recently by CKMO to broadcast from a moving auto during a Jubilee parade. CBR officials hoped their move would spark interest in FM broadcasting and help promote further desire among the public for information about FM receivers. The CBC FM transmitter would broadcast the same programs as CBR and would be utilized as an alternative to the regular station equipment. It was predicted that the transmitter would reach Greater Vancouver and environs, and possibly as far as Vancouver Island.


The first FM transmitter west of Toronto was to be set up in the Hotel Vancouver, home of CBR. It was expected to be operational by March. VE5FG would carry the entire CBR-AM service on 105.7 MHz with power of 250 watts. Arthur B. Ellis, senior engineer for the CBC Pacific region said the 40 foot antenna, built by Marconi, would be erected on the ridge of Hotel Vancouver’s roof, one of the highest points in the city.

A 1,000 watt FM transmitter was expected to arrive in Vancouver in late September or early October. 

The first FM transmitter west of Toronto went on the air in Vancouver on December 12 (testing since November 21). CBC engineers estimated they may be around 100 FM sets in the area to be covered by VE9FG. A special program marked the first day of operations. Normally the station would duplicate CBR’s 17 hour program schedule (also broadcast over CBRX on shortwave). Facilities were set up on the 7th floor of the Hotel Vancouver and the 40 foot antenna was on the roof. VE9FG operated on 105.7 MHz with a power of 1,000 watts. 


By this time, the station was known as CBR-FM (105.7 MHz) and effective radiated power was 1,400 watts.


CBR-FM became CBU-FM.


CBU-FM was noted as operating on 105.7 MHz with a power of 750 watts.


The CBC-FM network opened, but only connected  stations in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa. The network closed down in 1962.


On October 1, the CBC FM network reopened. This time CBU-FM was part of the network, receiving programming on tape and disc.


CBU-FM became the CBC’s second FM stereo station. The first was CBW-FM in Winnipeg.


By this time, CBU-FM was operating with 100,000 watts effective radiated power.


On November 3, the CBC-FM network was re-launched as “CBC Stereo”.

On November 24, the new CBC Vancouver Broadcasting Centre at 700 Hamilton Street opened. It was a time of decentralizing at the CBC and there was a need for a lot of studios. Most of the studios were underground, with five storeys above ground. The top two floors were filled with technical systems.


On February 6, the Stereo network went to 24 hour a day operation.


The CBC FM Stereo network was renamed “CBC Radio Two” on September 1.


On October 16, CBU-FM launched it’s first rebroadcasters in BC: Victoria at 92.1 MHz with ERP of 72,000 watts and Sooke/Metchosin at 105.1 MHz with ERP of 38 watts. Victoria and Charlottetown (PEI) had been the only provincial capitals not to have Radio Two service.

On November 3, CBU-FM was given approval to add digital radio broadcasting transmitters, operating on 1454.560 MHz (channel 2) with Effective Isotropic Radiated Power of 5,046 watts from Mount Seymour and 2,774 watts from Burnaby. 

On the same date, Vancouver joined Toronto as the second Canadian city to offer digital radio broadcasting. CBU-AM and FM, along with CBUF-FM, CHUM Limited’s CFUN and CHQM-FM and Fraser Valley Radio’s STAR-FM began regular Digital Radio broadcasting. All six signals were broadcast from two pods located at the CBC’s Mount Seymour transmission facilities. Rogers Broadcasting, Shaw Radio and Westcom Radio were planning to file applications for six more digital services in the city, to operate from the Rogers transmitter site, also on Mount Seymour. 


On January 19, the CBC’s application for a transitional digital radio undertaking for CBU-FM was approved. The station would operate on 1459.792 MHz with an effective isotropic radiated power of 5,046 watts from Mount Seymour and 2,774 watts from Burnaby.

On July 11, approval was granted for CBU to add a transmitter at Kelowna, operating on 89.7 MHz with an effective radiated power of 6,000 watts.

On August 3, the addition of a transmitter at Kamloops was approved. The station would operate on 105.3 MHz with ERP of 4,750 watts.


At this time, CBU-FM Vancouver operated the following transmitters: CBU-FM-1 Victoria, CBU-FM-4 Kamloops, CBU-FM-3 Kelowna, CBU-FM-2 Metchosin/Sooke. CBU-FM broadcast approximately 1 hour and 25 minutes of local programming each week from Vancouver.


On July 17, CBU-FM was granted authority to open a rebroadcaster at Prince George, on  90.3 MHz with an effective radiated power of 151 watts. The transmitter had been licenced to the Prince George Community FM Stereo Society as a radiocommunication distribution undertaking.

On September 17, CBU-FM was given approval to operate a transmitter at Quesnel, on 106.9 MHz with an effective radiated power of 20 watts. The transmitter had been licenced to North Cariboo Community FM Stereo Society as a radio-communication distribution undertaking.


On May 12, CBU-FM was given the ok to add a transmitter at Whitehorse (Yukon), operating at 104.5 MHz with an average effective radiated power of 240 watts.

On September 7, CBU-FM was authorized to add a rebroadcast transmitter at Chilliwack, operating on 99.9 MHz with an effective radiated power of 790 watts.


On May 12 CBU-FM had its licence renewed by the CRTC. The renewal included the following rebroadcast transmitters in B.C.: CBU-DR-1 Vancouver, CBU-FM-1 Victoria, CBU-FM-2 Metchosin/Sooke, CBU-FM-3 Kelowna, CBU-FM-4 Kamloops, CBU-FM-4 Prince George, CBU-FM-5 Quesnel and CBU-FM-6 Chilliwack. Yukon: CFWH-FM Whitehorse and CBDN-FM Dawson City. Northwest Territories: No Call Sign at Yellowknife.

On December 4, the CBC held an open house to show off its revamped Vancouver headquarters at 700 Hamilton Street. The renovations took four years and $65 million to complete. The corporation considered selling the building and constructing a new facility, but that would have cost $100 million or more. It also would have been difficult to find a new location as central as the existing facility. The old building was still there, but it was kind of hidden behind a new wing in front. The new 25,000-square-foot space housed all local news gathering operations – TV, radio, English, French, and internet. 

Johnny Michel was CBC Vancouver’s managing director. 


On August 9, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence of CBU-DR-1, CBU-FM (and its transmitters) to August 31, 2011.


In 2010, the CBC had the licenses for its Montreal digital radio transmitters revoked. On January 21, 2011, the CRTC revoked the licenses for the rest of the CBC’s digital radio transmitters across the country – at the Corporation’s request. The revocations included CBU-DR-1, CBU-DR-2, CBUF-DR-1 and CBUX-DR-1 Vancouver. There had been a total lack of interest in digital radio by all parties involved.

On August 25, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CBU-FM and its transmitters to March 1, 2013.

Former CBC Vancouver Regional Operations Manager Marc Turenne died at age 54. He began his CBC career in Regina, transferring to Vancouver in the late 1980s, where he stayed for 17 years. He then moved to Winnipeg and began a home inspection company.


On February 22, the CRTC administratively renewed the licences for CBU-FM Vancouver and its transmitters to August 31, 2013.

The CBU-FM transmitter at Yellowknife changed its call sign from CFYK-FM (95.3 MHz) to CBNY-FM. This was because CFYK-AM in Yellowknife moved to the FM band, becoming CFYK-FM.

On May 28, the CRTC renewed the licence of CBU-FM Vancouver and its transmitters CBDN-FM Dawson City, Yukon Territory, CBU-FM-1 Victoria, CBU-FM-2 Metchosin/ Sooke, CBU-FM-3 Kelowna, CBU-FM-4 Kamloops, CBU-FM-5 Prince George, CBU-FM-6 Quesnel, CBU-FM-7 Chilliwack, CBU-FM-8 Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, and CFYK-FM Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, for a five year term, to August 31, 2018. The Commission considered that it was appropriate to impose conditions of licence on Radio 2 that: permit the broadcast of a maximum of four minutes of national paid advertising, as currently defined by the Commission, in any clock hour; and limit the number of times that programming can be interrupted for advertising to no more than twice per clock hour. The broadcast of advertising by Radio 2 was for a three-year trial period from September 1, 2013 until August 31, 2016.

On December 5, the CRTC gave approval to the CBC to introduce advertising on the Radio 2 and Espace Musique networks. Advertising would be limited to four minutes every hour. The CBC would need to seek permission to continue airing commercials on the two networks after three years.


In March, the CRTC approved a decrease in effective radiated power for CBU-FM from 50,000 to 31,800 watts (100,000 to 95,800 watts maximum ERP). Antenna height would be raised from 567.0 to 610.1 metres (EHAAT).

In July, the CRTC approved the CBC’s application to increase the power of CBU-FM-1 Victoria from 74,000 to 88,540 watts (87,000 to 88,540 watts Max), lower antenna height, change the radiation pattern from directional to non-directional, and to relocate the transmitter.

On August 31, the CRTC denied the CBC’s application to continue commercial advertising on Radio 2 and ICI Musique beyond the initial three-year licence amendment. The CRTC found that CBC had failed to maintain satisfactory investment in radio and failed to meet ad revenue projections.


Radio 2 became CBC Music.


On April 20, the CBC received CRTC approval to change the authorized contours of CBU-FM-5 Prince George by changing the antenna radiation pattern from directional to non-directional, increasing the average ERP from 151 to 602 watts (maximum ERP from 321 to 602 watts), decreasing the EHAAT from 78 to 64.6 metres and correcting the coordinates for the location of the tower.

The story continues elsewhere…
Effective September 1st 2019, we will only be adding new material to these station histories in exceptional circumstances. Our intent to chronicle the early days of these radio and television stations has been achieved, and many new sources and technologies, from the CRTC website to Wikipedia, and others, are now regularly providing new information in these areas.

Contact this station