CKNW 980 AM Vancouver will air a 75th Anniversary broadcast on Aug. 15, live on location from New Westminster where the station first went to air Aug. 15, 1944 at its original frequency of 1230 AM. Now one of the Corus Radio network’s flagship newstalk outlets, CKNW started as Vancouver’s first country music station and was the first in the region to air hourly newscasts. It was also the first station in B.C. to broadcast 24 hours a day, starting in 1947. CKNW will be live on location at New Westminster’s Anvil Centre on Aug. 15, while a 75th Birthday Luncheon will be held Aug. 12 at the Terminal City Club in Vancouver.
The Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) has released the list of nominees for its Radio awards. Nominated for Music Director of the Year (Large Market) are Steph Hansen – CISN-FM/CKRY-FM Edmonton/Calgary; A.J. Keller – CFCW – Edmonton; Amanda Kingsland – CKBY-FM – Ottawa; Rebecca Lafrance – CKKL-FM – Ottawa; and Peter Walker – CJKX-FM/CHKX-FM – Oshawa/Hamilton. Nominess for Music Director of the Year (Medium or Small Market) include Shilo Bellis – CJXL-FM – Moncton; Paul Ferguson – CHCQ-FM – Belleville, ON; Luca James – CKGY-FM – Red Deer; and Cory Noel – CKLJ/CKVG – Olds/Vegreville, AB. The nominees for Country Music Program or Special of the Year are CBC q Live At The Grand Ole Opry – CBCq; The Dungarees Christmas Special – Rogers Media and The Dungarees; Girl Power Hour – Rogers Media; Jess Moskaluke’s A Small Town Christmas – MDM Recordings Inc.; and Paul McGuire’s Country Countdown – ole TV.
Dufferin Communications has applied to the CRTC to swap formats on its Brantford, ON stations CKPC 1380 and Arise Brantford 93.9 (CFWC-FM). The less music intense Christian format would move to the AM side, while CKPC’s country station would go FM. Dufferin is also looking to boost CFWC-FM’s signal from 250 watts to 3,000 max ERP.
Radio Cité 97,9 (CFED-FM) Edmonton, the city’s French-language community station, has applied to increase its signal from 190W to 295W, and raise its antenna height. The station says the move would increase its coverage audience by 50% and potentially result in a tenfold boost to its advertising revenue.
The CRTC has approved Golden West Broadcasting’s $1.6 million sale of 99.5 Drum FM (CHOO-FM) Drumheller, AB to Stingray Radio. Stingray owns the only other commercial station in the market – Real Country 910 (CKDQ-AM) – and says the transaction will allow the company to find synergies in shared studios, production and backroom systems.
The CRTC has approved Stingray’s proposed conversion of CHCM 740 AM Marystown, NL from AM To FM. The new FM station will operate at 88.3 MHz (channel 202C1) with an effective radiated power of 59,300 watts. It will maintain the classic hits format currently offered on the AM station.
Dave Wheeler, the former morning man at 92 CITI FM Winnipeg, who was fired last summer after comments that offended the transgender community, has announced he’ll be running in Manitoba’s upcoming provincial election. Wheeler is running as an independent in the newly-created riding of McPhillips in northwest Winnipeg.
Huddle has entered into a strategic partnership with Acadia Broadcasting Limited, which owns and operates 15 radio stations across the Maritimes and Ontario. Under the partnership, both companies will explore content sharing opportunities to provide local news to the Maritimes. Huddle founder Allan Gates says Acadia is a logical strategic partner with both companies committed to local news coverage outside a paywall. Acadia owns radio stations in Saint John, Moncton and St. Stephen, NB; Bridgewater, Yarmouth and Port Hawkesbury, NS; and Thunder Bay, Dryden, Kenora and Fort Frances, ON.
Martin Streek is the subject of a documentary in production helmed by Orillia-based post-production editor Wil Dunlop. Dunlop first met Streek in the late ’90s, while hustling for music video production work outside CFNY’s former street level studios at 228 Yonge Street. Dunlop says the history of CFNY will play prominently in the documentary, looking at its evolution through Streek’s eyes, who joined the station as a volunteer in his last year of high school and was initially part of its travelling video road show before getting a shot on-air when he took over the Club 102 Saturday night show in 1992 from Chris Sheppard. Dunlop says the last part of the documentary will touch on the period from 2005, up until 2009 when Streek took his own life, two months after getting let go from the station after a 25-year run with CFNY. He expects to finish production on the doc, entitled “Keep it Locked & Cranked” – one of Streek’s catch phrases, next year. Dunlop has put out a call for any visuals or audio that fans or former colleagues may have, like tapes of old shows, airchecks, video road show footage, or photos from the club nights Streek hosted over the years. He can be contacted at email@example.com. Read more here.
Viewpoints with Todd van der Heyden is being introduced to more markets. Bell Media Radio is expanding the three-hour current affairs show’s reach into the Toronto market, now broadcasting Saturday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET on Newstalk 1010 (CFRB-AM). The show will also be heard on Stingray station Radio NL (CHNL-AM) Kamloops, BC. Hosted by CTV News Channel anchor Todd van der Heyden, the show now reaches nine markets across the country and is also available as a podcast.
Canadaland podcast Thunder Bay is being developed into a TV series. The true crime podcast, which explores the Northern Ontario community’s high hate crime and homicide rates, will be co-produced by Northwood Entertainment – the production company behind Anne With an E, among other series. Podcaster/writer Ryan McMahon and Canadaland publisher Jesse Brown will also serve as co-producers.
The myFM (CKYM-FM) Napanee, ON morning show golfed sunrise to sunset on July 3 to raise funds for the Hospice Lennox and Addington. Jamie Cybulski, along with town councillor Dave Pinnell Jr., tee’d off at 5 a.m. and made their final putt at 9:15 p.m., finishing off a personal best 206 holes of golf in one day at the Napanee Golf Course. The event raised $6.500, bringing its eight-year total to $40,000.
106.9 The Spirit of Dawson (CFYT-FM), the community radio station in Dawson City, Yukon, held its annual Radiothon this month raising $5,500. The station has found success taking pledges during the day-long event in exchange to hear a request, however pledges are also taken by those who wish to pay to get a song to stop playing, resulting in some friendly community rivalry.
On Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast, a couple of new Canadian internet radio stations are exploring the question of what radio would look like if it were invented after the internet? Maple Music Cafe – launched this past New Year’s Eve by Toronto music industry veteran Joey Cee, and OkanaganValleyRadio.com – helmed by former Vancouver area station owner and host Allan Holender.
John Harada, 65, on July 15. Harada worked at numerous stations over the span of a 35-year career, starting out in radio at his high school station – Raider Radio – at Erindale Secondary School in Mississauga. That led to on-air stints at CKWR Waterloo, CFGO Ottawa, Mix 99.9 (CKFM-FM) Toronto, KOOL FM (CFCA-FM) and KFUN FM (CKKW-FM) Waterloo, SUN FM (CKUL-FM) Halifax, 104.7 Heart FM (CIHR-FM) Woodstock, and The Fox 99.9 (CFGX-FM) Sarnia. For the past three years, up until eight months ago when he started hosting mornings stateside at The New SRQ (WSRQ) in Sarasota, Florida, Harada was the voice of afternoon drive on community station 88.7 The River (CIWN-FM) in Mount Forest, ON. In addition to radio, Harada also did freelance voiceover work and produced several television shows for Rogers TV, including “John Harada and Friends.” He counted former CHUM announcers Mike Cleaver and Brian Thomas among his mentors. Read more here.
Bill Luxton, 92, on July 13. Born in Toronto to English parents, Luxton’s family returned to London, where he joined the British Army at 18 in 1945 and volunteered for the Forces Broadcasting Service. Training as an operator and announcer, the military took Luxton to Germany and Libya. After his discharge, he returned to Canada in 1948, landing a job as a junior announcer in Port Arthur, ON (now Thunder Bay). Luxton was later accepted to Lorne Greene’s Academy of Radio Arts which led to work with CKWS Kingston. When CJOH-TV Ottawa was started in 1961, Luxton was called for an audition. He would go on to work with the station for 27 years as a host and actor. Luxton was known for playing Uncle Willy on children’s show Willy and Floyd, which ran on the station for 22 years, and serving as the announcer for The Amazing Kreskin, in addition to hosting a daily magazine show, among other roles. In retirement, Luxton read to kids at Broadview Public School and sang with the Grey Jazz Big Band.
Leo Sabulsky, 67, on July 10. As chairman of the Chetwynd Communications Society, Sabulsky obtained the first “Class A” community radio licence in Canada in 1997 for CHET FM. He went on to spearhead the launch of CHET TV, and CHAD FM (now known Peace FM) where he hosted weekly radio show, Leo & Friends. In addition to being an educator for more than 30 years, Sabulsky was a longtime volunteer firefighter and served as Chetwynd Fire Chief from 1994 until he retired this past June.
Hodan Nalayeh, 43, on July 12. Born in Somalia, Nalayeh emigrated to Canada with her family at age six. She went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Windsor and later studied broadcast journalism at Seneca College. Working in radio and television in both sales and production, in 2013 she was named vice-president of Sales & Programming Development of Cameraworks Productions International, based in Vaughan, ON – a full-service video and television production facility focused on distributing multicultural programming. In 2014, Nalayeh served as host of half-hour Somali community show Integration: Building A New Cultural Identity, which aired on Citytv. More recently, she’d been hosting English-language show Integration on OMNI Television. Nalayeh and her husband were among 26 people killed in a terrorist attack in Kismayo, Somalia on July 12.
John Plul, 79, on July 8. Plul served as the promotions manager for CKNW Vancouver for 25 years, helping raise millions for the station’s Orphan’s Fund charity, in addition to helping establish Canuck Place, a hospice for terminally ill children. Plul also served in the provincial government of W.A.C. Bennett as Deputy Tourism Minister under Grace McCarthy. Among the initiatives that department helped launch were the first B.C. Film Office, in addition to a Cruise Ship Centre. In retirement, Plul continued to serve the community as a governor of the CH.I.L.D. Foundation, established to fund research for children with Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, and liver disorders.
Marjorie Valentine Waters, 98, on July 5. The wife of late CHUM founder Allan Waters, Marjorie and Allan were highschool sweethearts and married in 1942. Marjorie acted as a receptionist at CHUM for many years and later served as a company director. CHUM was sold to Bell Globemedia in 2006.
Ing Wong-Ward, 46, on July 6 from complications from colon cancer. A Ryerson Journalism graduate, Wong-Ward joined the CBC in 1993 and went on to a 23-year career with the public broadcaster contributing to both radio and TV. On the television side, she hosted The Disability Network, and was a researcher and producer for Newsworld and The National. At CBC Radio, she spent 15 years behind the scenes as a producer with CBC Toronto Metro Morning, Here & Now and Fresh Air. Born with spinal muscular atrophy, Wong-Ward was also a disability advocate and was recognized with the City of Toronto Human Rights Access Award in 2004. She left CBC in 2016 to work with Toronto’s Centre for Independent Living as its associate director.
Elie Savoie, 84, on June 28. Savoie started his broadcasting career in the 1960s, holding a number of positions with CFCR-TV Kamloops (now CFJC), and as a production assistant for CHAN-TV. He joined CBC Vancouver in 1964, leaving to take a program director position with CBC Regina in 1977 and then director of television for CBC Windsor. He returned to CBC-TV Vancouver as PD in 1983 and went on to head Program Project Development. Savoie notably served as a director and executive producer on long-running series The Beachcombers. He retired from CBC in 1991, going on to consult and teach Media Studies at Capilano College.
Bell Media has entered into an agreement with the shareholders of Groupe V Média to acquire French-language conventional television network V along with its related digital assets, including ad-supported VOD service Noovo.ca. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and financial terms were not disclosed. Maxime Rémillard, the president and founder of Groupe V Média, acknowledged that it’s become “increasingly difficult to ensure the sustainability of a conventional channel within a non-integrated group.” Groupe V also operates specialty channels ELLE Fictions and MAX, which are not included in the transaction. Read more here.
Schitt’s Creek has earned four Prime Time Emmy nominations. The CBC series, which airs on Pop TV in the U.S., landed nominations in the Comedy Series and Contemporary Costume category, in addition to nods for Eugene Levy (Lead Actor Comedy Series) and Catherine O’Hara (Lead Actress Comedy Series). Production just wrapped on the series sixth and final season which is set to start airing in January.
Kim’s Convenience cast member Simu Liu has landed the role of Marvel’s first Chinese superhero Shang-Chi. Liu will star in upcoming feature film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Liu, 30, was born in China but raised in Mississauga, ON. He embarked on an acting career in 2012 after getting laid off from his accounting job. His credits include roles on Orphan Black, Bad Blood and Blood and Water.
Maitreyi Ramakrishnan of Mississauga, ON has been cast as the lead in Mindy Kaling’s new, yet-to-titled comedy project for Netflix. Unrepresented when she landed the role, the Meadowvale Secondary School student beat out 15,000 others who responded to the open casting call.
The National Film Board (NFB) has postponed the release of its strategic plan amid an ongoing dispute between NFB commissioner Claude Joli-Coeur and a group of directors concerned about the organization’s spending priorities. ONF/NFB Creation, made up of over 250 freelance directors, says NFB continues to scale back production funding while administration costs and salaries continue to rise. The group is calling for more transparency and creator input into how funds are allocated.
The Canada Media Fund (CMF) and DHX Media have launched a new program to support the development of Canadian kids’ and family content. The DHX-CMF Kids and Family Development Program, which is funded by DHX Media at over $1.4M for two years and administered by the CMF, aims to support new entrants to the production community as well as regional projects, creators in official language minority communities, and French-language producers. Half of the program’s funds are reserved for women-led projects. Click here to access the guidelines. The deadline to apply is Nov. 1.
The Canada Media Fund and the Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual Arts (INCAA) of Argentina have established an incentive for the codevelopment of animated television series, and other digital media content between Canadian and Argentine creators. The total budget for the incentive is set at over $130,000 CDN with the total maximum contribution for each project $32,000. Click here to access the guidelines. Submissions close Oct. 31.
The Canada Media Fund and Film Fund Luxembourg (FFL), the body responsible for film funding and media business development in Luxembourg, have announced the relaunch, for the second year in a row, of the Canada-Luxembourg Codevelopment and Coproduction Incentive for Audiovisual Projects. Projects funded at the development stage must be drama or animation series, feature-length animation or digital media projects. The incentive also funds eligible digital media projects—specifically in the areas of virtual or augmented reality, transmedia or enabling technologies—at the production stage. The incentive’s annual combined budget is $900,000 CDN. Click here to view guidelines.
The Canada Media Fund (CMF) will distribute $12 million in funding to 44 projects through three of its programs. A total of $4.3M will be invested in 16 innovative digital media projects through the first round of funding of its Experimental Stream’s Prototyping Program and an additional $1.6M are being invested in six projects through the Innovation Program: Limited Marketing and Promotion. A further $6.1M will fund 16 projects through the Francophone Minority Program. Click here to view a list of CMF-funded projects
The Canada Media Fund has reopened the Corus-CMF Page to Pitch Program, with a program budget set at over $830K. Applications for funding can be submitted until Oct. 10. Now in its seventh year, the program is available to producers seeking funding for creative and business activities during the development of eligible live-action and animated television projects triggered by any CRTC-licensed Canadian broadcaster. It funds eligible costs related to story and script development as well as expenses related to the acquisition of pre-sale financing from foreign broadcasters and distributors. Click here to access program guidelines.
The Canadian Media Producers Association(CMPA) is expanding eligibility for its Indiescreen Awards nationally. The CMPA has called for applications for the annual awards, recognizing both established and emerging Canadian feature film producers, announcing that in addition to those with films screening at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), applications are now also being accepted from producers screening at the Calgary International Film Festival, FIN: Atlantic International Film Festival, and the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF). The awards ceremony will take place during TIFF on Sept. 5. More on the application process here.
Telefilm Canada is currently accepting Canadian entries on behalf of the Sundance Film Festival for the selection screenings of feature films to be held in Montreal Sept. 1-5. Open to narrative and documentary feature-length films (50+ minutes), world or international premieres only, entry fees are waived for Canadian feature-length films submitted to the Montreal selection screenings. The deadline to submit is Aug. 22. More info on the Telefilm platform.
Telefilm Canada is currently accepting entries from Canadian production and distribution companies wishing to join the Canada Pavilion and attend MIPCOM 2019. MIPCOM is an international market dedicated to financing, co-production, acquisitions and sales of audiovisual content on all platforms. Preceded by MIPJUNIOR, (Oct. 12-13), MIPCOM annually attracts more than 13,000 industry professionals from 100 countries. More here.
Ethnic Channels Group has secured a distribution deal for two Ukrainian channels – 5 Kanal and First National with Telus Optik TV. 5 Kanal is a popular nationwide news and information channel in Ukraine, positioning itself as the “Honest News Channel.” First National is Ukraine’s state broadcaster. Its programming focus is on almost all segments of Ukrainian society, including ethnic minorities, featuring information, scientific, cultural, entertainment and sports programming. Both channels are now on free preview.
CBC has announced the launch of a new slate of content for young adults ages 13-24 on the CBC Gem streaming service. The new slate includes CBC Gem original series Warigami (10×10), a contemporary samurai saga starring Emily Piggford (The Girlfriend Experience, Michael: Every Day), produced in partnership with The CW, First Love Films and New Form, and four short films produced as part of the CBC New Indigenous Voices training program, presented by the National Screen Institute, in support of emerging Indigenous filmmakers and creators. CBC will continue to add new original series each month including Utopia Falls (10×60), a young adult sci-fi drama infused with dance and music, produced in partnership with Sonar Entertainment and featuring music producer Boi-1da (Drake, Rihanna, Eminem, Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj and Kendrick Lamar) as executive music producer.
CBC has announced broadcast and streaming premiere dates for its fall 2019 slate of new and returning original series. The fall schedule launches Sept. 16 on CBC and CBC Gem. Among the highlights, Mystery Mondays return to CBC with new seasons of Murdoch Mysteries and Frankie Drake Mysteries (Sept. 16); new sketch comedy Tallboyz joins CBC’s Tuesday night comedy lineup beginning Sept. 17, along with new seasons of Still Standing, This Hour Has 22 Minutes and Baroness Von Sketch Show; new hosts Aurora Browne and Carolyn Taylor host Season 3 of The Great Canadian Baking Show (Sept. 18); Battle of the Blades with host Ron MacLean will make its return to Thursday nights (Sept. 19); while The Nature of Things moves to Friday nights (Sept. 20). Heartland returns with new episodes Sept. 22, followed by Season 3 of Anne With An E; Dragons Den returns for a 14th season Sept. 26; CBC Arts: Exhibitionists returns for Season 5 (Sept. 20), in addition to Season 2 of immersive art docuseries In The Making (Sept. 27).
CBC has opened casting for Family Feud Canada, set to debut on the public broadcaster this fall. Based on the long-running game show, first introduced in the U.S. in 1976, international versions of the game show now air in 71 different markets, including the UK, Australia, France, India and Indonesia. Comedian Gerry Dee will host the new Canadian offering which will be broadcast four nights a week (Tues – Fri), starting Dec. 17. Read more here.
CBC says production is underway in Halifax on the second season of original one-hour drama Diggstown (6×60). Produced by Circle Blue Entertainment, Freddie Films Inc., and Waterstar Entertainment Inc. and created by Halifax’s Floyd Kane (Across The Line), the new season will premiere in winter 2020. Cory Bowles, Kelly Makin and Lynne Stopkewich are back as directors, with Sharon Lewis signing on as an additional director.
Crave’s Drag Race Canada (working title) has started casting for Canadian drag artists who’ll compete for a cash prize of $100,000 and the title of Canada’s First Drag Superstar. Competitors 19 years of age and older, who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents can apply here.
Crave Original Comedy New Eden is currently in production in North Bay, ON an expected to conclude in Brampton and Hamilton in mid-August. Spanning the 70s, 80s, and 90s over eight half-hour episodes, the series is a complex, true crime parody that begins in 1977, when two women played by Kayla Lorette (Kim’s Convenience, Space Riders) and Evany Rosen (PICNICFACE, Baroness Von Sketch Show), attempt to start large scale feminist utopia “New Eden.” In addition to Rosen and Lorette, Tony Nappo stars as a small town sheriff with a grudge and Caitlin Howden as a former commune member. The series is directed by Aleysa Young with Rosen and Lorette serving as showrunners. Slated to premiere on Crave later this year, New Eden is being developed in partnership with Peacock Alley Entertainment.
Bell Media Studios and Melbar Entertainment Group have joined forces on new feature documentary David Foster: Off The Record. The film about the 16-time Grammy Award-winning producer and composer is directed by Barry Avrich (The Last Mogul, Prosecuting Evil) and executive produced by Randy Lennox, Barry Avrich, Jeffery Latimer, and Marc Johnston. Currently in post-production, the doc will have a theatrical run before premiering on CTV and Crave. The film features interviews with Barbra Streisand, Lionel Richie, Michael Bublé, Celine Dion, Quincy Jones, Clive Davis, Josh Groban, Peter Cetera, Chicago, Diane Warren, and Carole Bayer Sager, among others.
Global has started production on Season 4 of Private Eyes. Along with co-starring in the series, alongside Jason Priestley, Cindy Sampson will take on the role of director for one episode. Returning cast include Jordyn Negri, Barry Flatman, Samantha Wan, Ruth Goodwin, Mimi Kuzyk, and Linda Kash, along with new faces including Canadian singer and ET Canada correspondent Keshia Chanté and Supinder Wraich (The Beaverton). According to Numeris data supplied by Global, the series is currently averaging over one million viewers each week.
OUTtv has acquired four new live stand-up comedy specials set to air this fall, in partnership with Producer Entertainment Group (PEG), the leading drag management firm. The specials include Trixie Mattel: Skinny Legend, Katya Zamolodchikova: Help Me, I’m Dying, Bob the Drag Queen: Crazy Black Lady and a new Alaska Thunderf*ck comedy special. OUTtv has also acquired the feature-length documentary The Queens from PEG, chronicling two years in the heels of four of the world’s most famous drag queens.
Viceland has ordered a second season of wrestling docuseries Dark Side of the Ring, which will air in Canada as a Crave Original series. Evan Husney and Jason Eisener return as executive producers. Season 1 will have its Canadian premiere this fall on Crave.
The Mayor of Comedy: A Canadian Stand-Up Story is set for release this fall, following Canadian comedian Sandra Battaglini as she interviews Canada’s top comics including Scott Thompson (Kids In The Hall), Debra DiGiovanni (Conan), Mark Forward (Fargo), and Aisha Brown (Terrific Women), among others. Filmmaker Matt Kelly promises to give viewers an all-access pass to the murky world of Canadian showbiz, where some of the funniest people in the country struggle to make a living.
The Journalism and Written Media Independent Panel of Experts has released its final report providing guidance on which journalism organizations should qualify for tax measures intended to support written news outlets that provide news of general interest to Canadians. Among the recommendations for small publications, the panel underlined that some of the incentive limitations set out by the government – such as the requirement to have at least two regular newsroom employees for at least the past year – excludes smaller, local news outlets that are at significant risk of disappearing. The panel recommends that small publications serving “established audiences” for at least a decade, should be allowed to apply for tax credits for freelancers and independent contractors. The panel also recommends another funding program specifically for small print and digital publications, and suggests five per cent of the federal government’s advertising budget be directed to publications written for minority language communities.
OneSoccer, the digital platform dedicated to Canadian soccer coverage and content, has broadened its international portfolio by obtaining rights in Canada to Mexico’s LigaMX. The deal was sealed by parent company MEDIAPRO Canada, the Canadian subsidiary of Spanish media giant MEDIAPRO, which earlier this year became the long-term media partner of Canadian Soccer Business and the Canadian Premier League. OneSoccer subscribers will be able to watch LigaMX at no extra charge, gaining access to a minimum of 38 games in 2019, in addition to over 40 Chinese Super League and Chinese FA Cup games, 100 Canadian Premier League games, home games of Canada Soccer’s Women’s and Men’s National Teams and the 24 games of the 2019 Canadian Championship. OneSoccer also airs a weekly League in Review highlights show hosted by Andi Petrillo as well as Kickoff Countdown, a league preview panel show fronted by soccer pundit Kurt Larson. OneSoccer is available through OneSoccer.ca and the OneSoccer app.
Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana has launched Mandarin YouTube channel, Red Bear Animation (红熊动画), building on a strategy to strengthen its online fan base internationally. The company has already earned two Gold Play Buttons from YouTube, recognizing its Treehouse Direct Español and Treehouse Direct Brasil channels, which have over one million subscribers each. The Red Bear Animation channel will roll out new Mandarin episodes of Super BOOMi, Mysticons, Backyardigans and My Friend Rabbit several times a week throughout the summer, and will feature additional series including Franklin, Babar and Ranger Rob later this year.
Encore+, the Youtube channel dedicated to iconic Canadian TV and film of yesteryear, will continue. The unions, associations and guilds collaborating on the channel have renewed their commitment. They include the Canadian Media Producers Association, Directors’ Guild of Canada, L’Association québécoise de la production médiatique, L’Association des réalisateurs et réalisatrices du Québec, La société des auteurs de radio, télévision et cinéma and the Union des artistes. Upcoming additions to Encore+ include the release of 1990s series Max Glick.
The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) says a contest broadcast on KiSS FM (CISS-FM) Ottawa in January violated the CAB Code of Ethics for providing misleading information about eligibility for the first of two draws to win a trip to Jamaica. To enter the contest, listeners had to send a text message to the station in response to a question or topic posed by the hosts. Winners were then randomly selected from among those entrants. According to the contest rules, the draws took place at 6 a.m. in Ottawa on Jan. 11 and 18, off-air and announced later. On Jan. 11, the hosts of the morning show talked about the contest, encouraging listeners to send in texts – even after 6 a.m. – to be entered into the first draw. The winner was not announced until 8:12 a.m. A listener complained that the hosts’ statements were inaccurate and misleading, since, if KiSS had followed the contest rules, the draw had actually already taken place. The station responded that the draw had indeed been done at 6 a.m., but any entrants who either did not win the first draw or submitted texts after the first draw would be entered into the second draw. The CBSC English-Language Panel concluded that the verbal inducements to enter the first draw when it had already taken place were misleading, contrary to the code.
Peter S. Grant, the Broadcasting Arbitrator under the Canada Elections Act since 1992, will not be seeking reappointment when his term expires in 2020. Grant is the past chair of the McCarthy Tétrault Technology, Communications and Intellectual Property Group in Toronto and a pioneer in the field of communications law. Grant made the announcement in handing down the revised Allocation of Broadcasting Time, to be made available to registered parties under the Act, ahead of the fall election.
The BBC and CBC/Radio-Canada have announced a commitment to future collaboration across drama, factual, news, current affairs and radio. The agreement was reached, between Tony Hall, Director-General of the BBC, and Catherine Tait, CBC/Radio-Canada president and CEO, at the 82nd General Assembly of the European Broadcasting Union in Oslo, Norway. In a release, the two public broadcasters say they are coming together in a shared belief that the benefits of modern storytelling, with public service values, are best achieved through greater collaboration. The two organizations have already been sharing ideas around engaging young audiences, fact-checking to help tackle disinformation, content including news coverage, and new technology. The agreement includes a commitment to regular discussions to build on areas of common interest. Read more here.
Videotron intends to challenge a CRTC ruling in court in an attempt to lift conditions of licence related to the sharing of data from set-top boxes. Videotron believes the regulator is overstepping its authority by requiring it to provide data to a third party. In a June 28 decision, the CRTC denied Videotron’s attempt to be exempt from certain licence conditions related to the incoming national set-top box-based audience measurement system. The company walked away from a working group of broadcasters in April. Read more here.
Bell Media is asking the Federal Court of Appeal to review a CRTC decision that made concert tickets distributed for promotional purposes by Bell stations ineligible as Canadian content contributions. Canadian content requirements require licensees to make concert tickets available to the public, except for a minor number to be used for promotional purposes. The case dates back to two concerts in 2014-15 in which 25% of the tickets in question were claimed by Bell for promotions. The commission previously ruled that a quarter of total tickets for promotion is too many and ordered Bell to pay back the more than $188,000 the tickets were worth.
TVA is suing Bell over unpaid wholesale fees for TVA Sports for April. In the suit, Groupe TVA is claiming just over $1.5 million for non-payment of channel distribution royalties.
The CRTC has denied an application from TVA Group to have new described video rules only apply to new programming. Quebecor had asked the commission to amend the condition so that it would apply only to first-run programming broadcast after Sept. 1, 2019, rather than to any repeat programming first broadcast before that date. In its application, Quebecor argued that producing described video for both new programs and those being broadcast for the second time or more, comes with a considerable price tag. It says from 2019-20 to 2021-22, it will spend on average more than $1.8 million per year to produce described video solely for original first-run programming.
The CRTC is asking Freedom Mobile, Rogers and Bell to explain how throttling wireless speeds once a customer has exceeded their data cap doesn’t violate policy on internet traffic management practices (ITMPs). In a June 28 letter, the commission asks for rationale and data on “why these practices should not be considered to amount to blocking the delivery of content or Internet traffic to an end-user.”
PwC’s Global Entertainment and Media Outlook predicts Canadians will double their data consumption in the next five years. While the outlook predicts Canada’s total revenue for the industry will remain stable at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.7% over the next five years – the same as last year – it projects staggering growth for data consumption, internet access, over the top (OTT) services, and esports, with more modest growth in cinema, music, and internet advertising. PwC anticipates total data consumption in Canada doubling to 77.4 trillion in 2023 from 31.9 trillion MB in 2018, increasing at a 19.4% CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate). With 5G on the horizon, PwC says fixed and mobile internet penetration will increase slightly over the forecast period at a 7.36% CAGR, however the introduction of the new spectrum will shift how people consume data. 5G will enable more streaming of high-quality video, including live events like sports and music, and better use of AI. Read more here.
The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) has published its annual look at the state of the nation’s internet. Canada’s Internet Factbook 2019, based on a survey of more than 2,000 Canadians, found that 85% had not gone “off-the-grid” (spent more than one-week offline) in the last year, and only one in five had even disconnected for eight consecutive hours. Key findings include that: Boomers are embracing smartphones. The percentage of those 55+ who browse the web using mobile devices has increased from 24% in 2015 to 57% in 2019; three-quarters of Canadians surf the internet while watching TV; 46% of Canadians admit to using their mobile device in the bathroom. Nine per cent of Canadians completed their education online, 16% have found a home online; 22% found a job online; and 10% found their spouse online. Seven in 10 internet users say they would be unlikely to purchase a home in an area that didn’t have high-speed internet. Quebecers are the most likely to seek out Canadian content online with 22% saying they often or always do so. British Columbians are least likely with 39% indicating they never or almost never look for Canadian content online.
Rogers Communications has announced a three-year partnership with Communitech to open a new 5G innovation lab that will advance made-in-Canada 5G technology and commercialize 5G use cases. As part of the partnership, the new lab, opening in Waterloo, ON in September, will accelerate and launch smart city, IoT and enterprise 5G applications. Rogers is preparing for 5G commercial deployment in 2020 and just completed 5G test calls in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver.
Vendasta has announced that it’s raised $40 million in growth funding. Vendasta’s software allows businesses that provide digital solutions to small and medium businesses (SMBs), including broadcasters, media companies and agencies, to sell all of their digital and non-digital solutions in one spot from SEO and SEM, to websites and social ads. Currently boasting more than 10,000 channel partners, the company has been named one of the 50 fastest growing tech companies in Canada and one of the top 500 fastest growing companies in North America by Deloitte. This latest round of growth funding, $25M of which was led by the Canadian Business Growth Fund (CBGF), follows an earlier round in May of $15M led by Comporium Inc. and Saskworks Venture Fund Inc. with participation from existing investors Vanedge Capital LP and BDC Capital IT Venture Fund. With the new investment, Vendasta plans to expand its Saskatoon-based team from 285 people to 650 in the next three years and enhance the Vendasta Platform, including its owned and operated product suite and marketplace of digital solutions. The company also plans to accelerate its expansion into new customer channels including banks, telcos, insurance companies and other enterprise organizations looking for a scalable technology solution to serve SMB customers.
Matrix, the global ad sales platform built for media, has announced that The Jim Pattison Broadcast Group (JPBG) will implement the Monarch media ad sales platform across all of its television, radio, and online properties, throughout its markets. Adoption of the platform is aimed at helping deliver connected transparency across the JPBG teams, allowing for a holistic view of data while automating workflow.
Tapad, a leader in digital identity resolution, has struck a partnership with digital audio ad solutions provider AdsWizz. The partnership combines Tapad’s digital cross-device technology with AdsWizz’s AudioMatic buying platform, offering the ability to connect audio ad experiences across screens. The integration of the Tapad Graph onto the AdsWizz platform allows marketers to reach, engage and measure each interaction with desired consumers on digital radio and podcast channels, and across devices, making AdsWizz the first audio buying platform to offer enhanced cross-device identity capability in the U.S. and EMEA markets. Digital audio is experiencing high growth, with 84% of advertisers and agencies saying it will play a bigger role in their media plans in the future.
DVB, an industry consortium that develops open interoperable technical specifications for the delivery of digital media and broadcast services, has revised its specification for the use of video and audio coding in broadcast and broadband applications to include solutions for HDR Dynamic Mapping (DM). The solutions allow a receiver, such as a TV set, to adapt a High Dynamic Range video signal to the characteristics of the display. DVB’s specifications for Service Information (DVB-SI) and Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (DVB-DASH) have also been revised to support HDR DM. DVB says the changes will be reflected in the respective ETSI standards in due course.
SMPTE is seeking technical manuscripts for peer review and possible publication in upcoming issues of the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal. Published 10 times per year, with nine print/online editions and one online-only edition, the journal gives readers a window into the technical world of motion-imaging science. Past issues have focused on file-based workflow, compression, UHD/HDR, audio, distribution formats, machine learning, cloud technologies, content management, display, over-the-top, and digital cinema. Manuscripts submitted for publication must address technical theory, research, innovation, application, or practice specific to any of the evolving technologies associated with the media and entertainment industry. Manuscripts of a commercial or promotional nature will not be considered. Find guidelines here.
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