Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission
|Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission
|Canadian National Railway
Owned by the Canadian National Railways, CNVR came on the air in 1925, broadcasting from two rooms at the north end of the CNR station in Vancouver. It was part of CNR’s “network” of stations designed to bring entertainment to passengers in the parlour cars on the trains as they came near to major centers across Canada. Vancouver residents benefited from these broadcasts as well.
CNRV attracted a host of local talent because it had the best equipment and largest studios in Vancouver. All programs were live and included music, drama and news. Well known musician John Avison started out playing piano accompanying singers and soloist musicians and over the years put together the Vancouver Chamber orchestra of which he was conductor for more than forty-eight years, retiring in 1982. The orchestra, established in the last years of
CNRV, carried on through all the changes of the station from CNR to CRBC to CBC, as the house band for these stations.
The CNR “network” was closed down, and CNRV was purchased by the new Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission, who carried on the live music and drama schedule started by the CNR.
Music and drama flourished under these conditions, and Vancouver vied with Toronto for top production centre. Many famous Canadian writers, actors and directors developed their skills at CNRV/CRBC/CBU Vancouver. Andrew Allen, Lister Sinclair, John Drainee, Bernard Braden and wife Barbara Kelley, Fletcher Markle and management by Ira Dilworth gave Vancouver a great boost in the Arts field.
Perhaps the forerunner of the soap opera could be found in programs such as “The Carsons”on daily following the noon news, a daily 15 minute drama about farm life, or the series“Mr. and Mrs.” a domestic comedy staring Esther and Allan Roughton. Both these programs ran for several years in the ‘30s.
The new Canadian Broadcasting Corporation took over the station, built
new “state of the art” studios in the brand new Hotel Vancouver and changed the call sign to CBU.
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.