CHOM 97.7 Montreal radio legend Tootall hung up his microphone for the last time on Sept. 22, after a 40-year run on the station. Surrounded by friends, colleagues and wellwishers, including Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, Tootall signed off with Jackson Browne’s The Load-Out. Listen here.
The first ever QX104 (CFQX-FM) Winnipeg Slo-Pitch 4 a Wish in support of the Children’s Wish Foundation took place Sept. 15-17, with 32 Teams and over 400 players raising $65,000. Spearheaded by morning show team Brody Jackson and Jess Hoy, a celebrity game included a team of country music talent featuring Dallas Smith, Darren Savard, Jojo Mason, Dan Swinimer, Bobby Wills, David James, Chris Thorsteinson and Dave Wasyliw of Doc Walker, Jason and Tom Petric of Petric and Leanne Pearson.
Kelly Clarkson is the star of the first Canadian IHeartRadio Secret Session at Bell Media Studios on Sept. 28. Hosted by CHUM-FM Toronto and iHeartRadio’s Andrea Collins, the singer sits down with fans in an intimate setting for a Q&A and preview of her upcoming album Meaning of Life. The appearance is also being recorded for a radio special, iHeartRadio First Listen, set to premiere in October.
CJBQ 800 AM Belleville will be the broadcast home for the Belleville Senators, who open their pre-season Sept. 30 in Laval. Marking their inaugural American Hockey League season, CJBQ will carry all exhibition, regular season and playoff games for the Ottawa Senators farm team. Longtime Belleville hockey voice Jack Miller will do play-by-play for Quinte Broadcasting.
Fairchild Radio Group and its operations in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto, partnered with Autism Speaks Canada for Autism Awareness Week, Sept. 17 to 24. Fairchild Radio featured interactive forums with medical and psychological experts and interviews with parents and counsellors. A charity sale was also organized in Vancouver to raise funds for Autism Speaks Canada, with DJs and staff in all three cities wearing blue for a day to commemorate the event.
Rev. David Mainse, 81, on Sept. 25 after a five-year battle with leukemia. Mainse was the founder of Crossroads Christian Communications Inc., which started in 1962 as a weekly black-and-white, 15-minute broadcast that aired after the nightly news on a small Pembroke, ON TV station. It was Mainse’s vision, motivated by a desire to see Christian programming in primetime, and his team’s arguments before the CRTC in the early 1980s, that led the regulator to amend the Broadcasting Act and call for applications for religious channels. Mainse subsequently founded YES TV (formerly CTS), with television stations in Burlington, Calgary and Edmonton. Crossroads went on to launch numerous spinoff ministries, including the Circle Square Ranch children’s camps. Mainse stepped down as CEO of Crossroads and host of 100 Huntley Street in the summer of 2003.
Johnny Burke, 77, Sept. 21, of cancer. Best known for his time as band leader on CTV’s Funny Farm in the late 1970s, Bourke was born in Rosaireville, N.B. and got his start playing Maritime kitchen parties. He left for Toronto as a teen in the early 1960s, playing in various bands, including the Caribou Showband, which was later named Johnny Burke and the Eastwind. They played on a variety of TV shows and went on to play for acts like Loretta Lynn, Conway Twitty, Waylon Jennings and Glen Campbell as the Funny Farm house band. Burke’s biggest hit was 1978’s Wild Honey. In 2005, he was inducted to the New Brunswick Country Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 2012.
Thelma Chalifoux, 88, on Sept. 22 in Alberta. After leaving an abusive marriage in the 1950s, Chalifoux went back to school to study sociology at Lethbridge Community College and construction estimating at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, while working to support her seven children. She began working in community development and was offered a job by the Métis Association of Alberta, later serving as chairwoman of the Métis National Council Senate and vice-president of the Aboriginal Women’s Business Development Corporation. She was the first Métis woman on the Senate of the University of Alberta. Along the way, she also became the first full-time Métis woman staff announcer, producer and host of a weekly show on CKYL Radio Peace River; and was co-producer of Our Native Heritage series on Allarcom (ITV). Chalifoux was appointed to the Canadian Senate in 1997 and served until her retirement at age 75 in 2004. Among other accolades, she received a National Aboriginal Achievement Award in 1994.
Carl Newton, Sept. 15, at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Newton founded Newton Cable in the 1960s, originally known as Willowdowns Cable, which served North Toronto. The business was sold to Rogers in 1992.
Global News Okanagan celebrated its 60th anniversary on Sept. 21 with a special live broadcast from Stuart Park in Kelowna, joined by about 200 viewers. On Sept. 21, 1957, the station went on-air as CHBC-TV, after Okanagan radio stations CKOV Kelowna, CKOK Penticton and CJIB Vernon came together to build and operate the station as a CBC affiliate. Three engineers built the original 45’ x 55’ studio in the converted Smith Garage on Leon Street. CHBC-TV went to air with an effective radiated power of 3,700 watts, with repeaters in Vernon and Penticton due to the mountainous terrain. At the time, there were only 500 television sets in the Okanagan and the station could only broadcast live, in black and white, until 1967.
CTV Vancouver celebrated its 20th anniversary on the air on Sept. 22. As part of the festivities, CTV Morning Live Vancouver hosted a 20th anniversary special featuring a live studio audience for the first time. The broadcast featured a series of special guests from the station’s past and present, including CTV News at Six co-anchors Mike Killeen and Tamara Taggart. Initially known as Vancouver Television, the station officially hit the airwaves on Sept. 22, 1997. It became a CTV station in 2001 and has been known as CTV Vancouver since 2012.
Rick Mercer has announced that the 15th season of The Mercer Report will be its last. The mix of political satire, ranting, sketch comedy and fun segments, debuted on CBC-TV in 2004 as Rick Mercer’s Monday Report. In 14 seasons, the show has garnered 16 Gemini and Canadian Screen Awards. The final season concludes on Apr. 10.
Culture Club alumnus Boy George, Canadian singer/songwriter Alessia Cara; founding Mötley Crüe member Nikki Sixx; singer/songwriter Julia Michaels; and Sugarland co-founder Jennifer Nettles are the latest artists to join CTV original music series The Launch. They join Shania Twain, Fergie, and OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder as mentors on the inaugural season. Joining previously announced producers are busbee, Dann Huff, Ian Kirkpatrick and Stephan Moccio. The first season of the Canadian version of the program is currently shooting in Toronto, before the format is rolled-out internationally later this year.
MAtv Montreal has debuted Montrealers, an eight-week series featuring intimate conversations with multicultural Montrealers. The show is co-produced by Christos Sourligas and Leah Balass, who also hosts and directs.
CraveTV has partnered with Just For Laughs on three original specials. The partnership marks CraveTV’s first commission of original stand-up comedy, which will stream on the service in 2018 and anchor its Stand-Up Comedy Collection. Showcasing Canadian talents Debra DiGiovanni, Darcy Michael and Graham Chittenden, the specials were taped at Toronto’s Berkeley Church during the JFL42 Festival.
Bell Media is making Comedy Central series and specials available to Canadians on iTunes. Including more than 100 offerings, the Comedy Central Room features all 21 seasons of Much’s South Park, Nathan For You, Inside Amy Schumer, Comedy Central Roasts, Comedy Central Presents and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.
The Invictus Games Toronto 2017 Opening Ceremony delivered a peak audience of 1.3 million viewers, according to preliminary Numeris data. The Opening Ceremony was the most-watched program of the day, and the #1 primetime broadcast in the A18-49 and A25-54 demos. In total, 3.1 million Canadians tuned in to some part of the broadcast. Coverage of the games culminates with CTV’s broadcast of the Closing Ceremony, headlined by Bruce Springsteen, alongside Bachman & Turner, Bryan Adams, Coeur de Pirate, and Kelly Clarkson on Sept. 30 at 8 p.m. ET.
Portfolio Entertainment has signed its first-ever deal with China’s iQiYi Kids video-on-demand platform. 86 half hours of the Toronto-based producer/distributor’s animated preschool series CITH and DOKI, will run on the service in Mandarin, subtitled in English. The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That! (60 x 30’) and DOKI (26 x 30’) both air throughout Asia.
The Bell Fund is launching the first of four pilot programs, created in response to the CRTC’s update of the Policy Framework for Certified Independent Production Funds. The Fund’s first deadline will be Nov. 13 for its Short-Form Digital Series for non-fiction which covers factual, lifestyle and documentary programming with a maximum length of 15 minutes per episode and a minimum of six episodes. To be eligible, a producer now has more platform options, including hybrid VOD services and digital platforms accessible to Canadians. The next deadlines are Feb. 1 for the Development Programs (Slate/Webdocs) and May 7 for the second deadline of the Short-Form Digital Series, fiction (comedy, drama). Details at bellfund.ca.
The CRTC says the presence of RT (Russia Today) on Canadian cable is not under review, despite being labelled a propaganda tool of the Russian government by U.S. intelligence. RT was approved for Canadian distribution in 2009.
The CRTC has approved Canadian distribution of Greek-language general interest and news channel Star International. Odyssey Television Network Inc. was behind the application.
François Girard’s Hochelaga, Land of Souls (Hochelaga, Terre des Âmes) will represent Canada in the race for Best Foreign Language Film Oscar at the 90th Academy Awards on Mar. 4. The film, due for release this fall, looks at several centuries of Montreal history through an archeological dig after a sinkhole opens up under Percival-Molson Stadium in Montreal.
Three Canadian productions have received International Emmy Award nominations. In the Arts Programming category, Hip-Hop Evolution – The Foundation, from Banger Films; The Amazing Gayl Pile, LaRue Entertainment for Short Form Series; and 30 Vies – Isabelle Cousineau, Aetios Productions, nominated in the Telenovela category. The awards will be handed out Nov. 20 in New York.
Boat Rocker Media has acquired Toronto production and distribution company Proper Television and Proper Rights. Proper will continue to operate as an independent business unit, while the rights and distribution business is being consolidated into Boat Rocker Rights, the company’s global distribution arm, adding over 2,200 half hours of content to its catalogue. Reporting to Michel Pratte, CRO of Boat Rocker Media, Lesia Capone and Cathie James take over as co-presidents of Proper, providing day-to-day executive leadership and production oversight. The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) says cell phone video footage of a school stabbing in Abbotsford, BC should not have aired on Global BC and CTV Vancouver newscasts on Nov. 1, 2016. The CBSC has concluded that use of the video was an unnecessary depiction of violence under the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ (CAB) Violence Code and offended the dignity of the victims contrary to the RTDNA Code of Journalistic Ethics. The CBSC received numerous complaints from viewers of both stations. It also concluded that Global violated the code provision requiring broadcasters to warn viewers in advance of showing scenes of graphic violence.
Bell Media has officially killed MuchFact and BravoFact, leaving a gap in how Canadian music videos are funded. Both programs had faced an uncertain future since May when the CRTC dropped the requirement for Bell to fund them. MuchFact had handed out more than $100 million since 1984, funding about 9,000 projects, while BravoFact funded short-form scripted projects. Bell Media president Randy Lennox suggests with most music videos now viewed online, streaming services could pay to fund them.
Ahead of Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly’s hotly-anticipated speech Thursday, outlining her cultural policy vision, more than 270 representatives from the Canadian creative community have signed an open letter calling on the federal government to subject internet giants like Netflix, Amazon, Google and Facebook to the same business conditions as Canadian companies. Spearheaded by the Quebec English-language Production Council, the move follows recent comments from Quebec culture minister Luc Fortin that he won’t rule out a provincial tax on foreign over-the-top (OTT) services. Quebecor Inc. president and CEO Pierre Karl Péladeau also called on the feds this week to stop subsidizing U.S. digital media providers.
After a rough launch plagued with audio and picture quality problems, sports streaming service DAZN will partially refund customers and offer a month of free service. The UK-based company, that owns exclusive video rights to NFL Sunday Ticket and NFL Red Zone in Canada, said in an email to subscribers that it will offer monthly users $20 and its annual subscribers $12.50. Bent on becoming the Netflix of sports, DAZN experienced similar issues when it launched J. League soccer coverage in Japan.
The Ottawa Citizen has discovered that Google search algorithms can link to stories on individuals whose identities are protected under court-ordered publication bans. The Citizen found that in six high-profile cases searching the name of a young offender or victim linked to media coverage of their court cases, even though their names did not appear in the actual articles. Searches using Bing and Yahoo didn’t link the names with the same consistency.
Jim Pattison Broadcast Group is launching a new free, online local news and information site serving Northern BC. CKPGToday.ca will feature news, sports, community updates, weather, classified ads and obituaries, powered by the CKPG-TV Prince George news team.
CMRRA-SODRAC Inc. (CSI), the music collective representing music rightsholders in Canada, is challenging a Copyright Board of Canada decision certifying royalties payable to songwriters and music publishers for the reproduction of musical works by online music services, including downloads, on-demand streaming and webcasting. CSI has filed an application for judicial review before the Federal Court of Appeal, saying it does not agree with a reduction in the royalty rates for streaming services and the virtual elimination of minimum rates for subscription services or those offered on a free or ad-supported model. President Alain Lauzon also argues that the tariff, which applies to the years 2011-13, was largely based on scant evidence available at the time of the hearing, conducted before most of today’s online music services began operation in Canada.
Bell has called on the federal government to support mandated piracy website blacklisting, criminalize copyright violations and overhaul the retransmission system for broadcasters that would keep U.S. channels out of the Canadian market or increase their cost of access while maintaining simultaneous substitution. Bell’s position was asserted at a hearing of the Standing Committee on International Trade on NAFTA. Rogers appeared at the same hearing, but took the view that any changes to domestic copyright laws should be made through the upcoming five-year review of the Copyright Modernization Act, not through NAFTA renegotiations.
TELUS says it’s successfully conducted Canada’s first Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) test on a live commercial network, achieving wireless speeds of nearly 1Gbps. In a press release, the company says tests conducted at its downtown Vancouver 5G Living Lab delivered download speeds of 970 Mbps indoors and 966 Mbps outdoors, using 80MHz of aggregated spectrum in a live, dynamic production network. The technology works by combining licensed wireless spectrum with publicly-accessible unlicensed spectrum.
Rogers has unveiled its new StreamSaver feature, offering Share Everything customers the ability to better control their family data plan and stream up to three times more video on popular apps like YouTube, Twitch, and Rogers NHL Live. With the new feature, the data manager (i.e. mom or dad) can change video streaming settings from high definition to standard definition, allowing a customer to watch up to 18 minutes of SD video compared to 6 minutes in HD, while using the same amount of data. Rogers says giving customers more control of data usage has led to a significant drop in related calls and higher customer satisfaction.
Bell customers with the new Apple Watch Series 3 are being put on notice that their longitude and latitude location may not be supplied to 9-1-1 operators when the device is not paired with their iPhone via Bluetooth. Bell says it’s working to resolve the issue as soon as possible.
Darce Fardy, retired CBC journalist and former Review Officer for Nova Scotia, is the winner of the 2017 Grace-Pépin Access to Information Award. During his 40-year career, Fardy contributed to programs including The Fifth Estate, Marketplace, Venture, The Journal and Man Alive. He then continued his career with the Office of the Information & Privacy Commissioner of Nova Scotia, founding the Nova Scotia Right to Know Coalition.