Canadian Broadcasting Corporation


CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION (CBC), the national public broadcasting system, was created in 1936 and the next year VANCOUVER radio station CBU officially joined the national network. The local station, managed by Ira DILWORTH from 1938 to 1946, quickly established itself as a source of quality programming, epitomized by the radio drama department and the creation in 1938 of the CBC VANCOUVER ORCHESTRA under the direction of John AVISON. During the 1940s, CBC radio introduced Hot Air, BC's JAZZ show, the longest running radio program in Canada; it is still broadcast from the Vancouver studios. Other national music programs originating with the local station include Disc Drive, RadioSonic and Radio Escapade. French-language radio came to BC in 1967 with the opening of the French CBC outlet, CBUF-FM. As of 2005 the CBC also operated stations in Kelowna, Victoria, Prince George and Prince Rupert.

CBC Television began broadcasting in BC in Dec 1953 when station CBUT went on the air in Vancouver. CBUT was the public network's fourth TV station—Canadian television was just a year old at the time—and the first in western Canada. In 1954 CBUT was the host broadcaster for the BRITISH EMPIRE AND COMMONWEALTH GAMES in Vancouver, the first "live" sports coverage across N America. The first "made-in-BC" television dramatic series was CARIBOO COUNTRY, which ran from 1958 to 1966. It was followed up by one of the great success stories of Canadian television, the BEACHCOMBERS, filmed on the SUNSHINE COAST and shown for a remarkable 20 seasons (1971–91) and sold around the world. In 1976 French-language regional news launched its first program, Edition Pacifique, which eventually established itself as the award-winning Ce Soir. Another award-winner on the French-language side was Courant du Pacifique, a weekly cultural magazine show that won the Rogers Communications Award for Arts Coverage in 1997. Meanwhile, the CBC won an Academy Award nomination in 1994 for the documentary "The Broadcast Tapes of Dr Peter," which began as a series of diaries by a young Vancouver doctor, who was also an AIDS patient, broadcast on the Vancouver CBC news. Other award-winning programs include DaVinci's Inquest, a gritty Vancouver-based crime drama that won a 1999 Gemini Award for best dramatic series. During the 1990s CBC Television British Columbia was confirmed as one of 2 network production centres to remain outside of Toronto providing news, information, children's and drama programming. CBC BC has launched or advanced the careers of many well-known radio and television personalities and producers, including Michael J. FOX, Bill Richardson, Chief Dan GEORGE, Ian Tracy, Daryl DUKE, the comedy duo of Double Exposure, the Irish Rovers, David FOSTER, Vicki GABEREAU, and Jason PRIESTLEY.

From 1953, CBC Vancouver radio studios operated out of the Hotel Vancouver, and the television studio was a converted garage and automobile showroom in the city's West End. All that changed in 1975, when the new CBC Regional Broadcasting Centre opened opposite the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in downtown Vancouver.