CBUF-FM, Ici Radio-Canada Première , Vancouver
Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
The CBC was expecting to launch its Vancouver French-language FM station on November 1. Initially it would broadcast programs mostly recorded in Eastern Canada and include several British Columbia newscasts in French.
CBUF was now set to open on December 1. It would serve 50,000 French-speaking people in the lower mainland. The station would offer 17 hours of programming per day on 97.7 MHz with an effective radiated power of 100,000 watts. Only one or two programs would originate from Vancouver. CBUF would have a staff of 9 or 10.
The station did launch on December 1 – at 5:00 p.m. CBUF was part of Radio-Canada’s main (AM) network. Ken Caple was CBC director for British Columbia. Gerrard Benet would be manager of CBUF.
On November 24, CBUF moved to the new CBC Vancouver Broadcasting Centre at 700 Hamilton Street. 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.
Radio-Canada launched French-language television station CBUFT.
The Radio-Canada network was renamed “Première Chaîne” on September 1.
On November 3, CBUF 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 October 28, CBUF was given approval to add a transmitter at Victoria, but not on the 89.7 MHz frequency requested. That frequency was awarded this date to CKAY-AM Duncan. The CBC was directed to file an amendment to the proposed technical parameters predicated on the use of another frequency.
On January 19, the CBC’s application for a transitional digital radio undertaking for CBUF-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 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 June 5, the CRTC denied the application by CBUF to modify the technical parameters of the proposed transmitter at Victoria. The CBC applied to operate the transmitter on 88.9 MHz with an effective radiated power of 2,800 watts. The Commission denied the application to use this frequency to rebroadcast the programming of La Première Chaîne. The Commission noted that 88.9 was the only remaining FM frequency in Victoria that was suitable for transmitting a stereo service and that using this frequency for the French monaural service, would make it impossible to establish a transmitter that would provide Victoria with a full and reliable stereo signal from La Chaîne culturelle on the FM band.
At this time, CBUF-FM Vancouver operated the following transmitters: CBUF-FM-1 Chilliwack, CBUF-FM-2 Kelowna, CBUF-FM-3 Terrace, CBUF-FM-4 Prince George, CBUF-FM-5 Kitimat, CBUF-FM-6 Kamloops, CBUF-FM-7 Dawson Creek, CBUF-FM-8 Port Alberni. CBUF-FM broadcast approximately 43 hours and 15 minutes of local programming each week from Vancouver.
Radio-Canada introduced its FM stereo service to Vancouver listeners with the opening of CBUX-FM.
On May 7, CBUF was given approval to operate a rebroadcast transmitter at Victoria, on 99.7 MHz with an effective radiated power of 160 watts.
On May 12 CBUF-FM had its licence renewed by the CRTC. The renewal included the following rebroadcast transmitters: CBUF-DR-1 Vancouver, CBU-FM-1 Abbotsford, CBU-2-FM Vancouver, CBUF-FM-1 Chilliwack, CBUF-FM-2 Kelowna, CBUF-FM-3 Terrace, CBUF-FM-4 Prince George, CBUF-FM-5 Kitimat, CBUF-FM-6 Kamloops, CBUF-FM-7 Dawson Creek, CBUF-FM-8 Port Alberni, CBUF-FM-9 Victoria and CBUF-FM-10 Whistler.
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 CBUF-DR-1, CBUF-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 CBUF-FM and its transmitters to March 1, 2013.
On February 22, the CRTC administratively renewed the licences for CBUF-FM Vancouver and its transmitters to August 31, 2013.
On May 28, the CRTC renewed the licence of CBUF-FM Vancouver and its transmitters CBUF-FM-1 Chilliwack, CBUF-FM-2 Kelowna, CBUF-FM-3 Terrace, CBUF-FM-4 Prince George, CBUF-FM-5 Kitimat, CBUF-FM-6 Kamloops, CBUF-FM-7 Dawson Creek, CBUF-FM-8 Port Alberni, CBUF-FM-9 Victoria and CBUF-FM-10 Whistler, for a five year term, to August 31, 2018.
On January 25, the CRTC approved the CBC’s application to change the authorized contours of CBUF-FM-7 Dawson Creek by relocating the transmitter site, changing its class from A1 to A and increasing the average effective radiated power from 70 to 820 watts and the effective height of the antenna above average terrain from 88 to 104.9 metres.
In November, the CBC received CRTC approval to decrease ERP for CBUF from 46,000 to 29,000 watts (100,000 to 95,800 watts Max), and to raise antenna height.
On April 20, the CRTC approved the CBC’s application to change the authorized contours of CBUF-FM-4 Prince George by increasing the ERP from 130 to 616 watts, increasing the EHAAT from 61 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.