ARCHIVED - Transcript - Winnipeg, Manitoba - 2002-02-06
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In order to meet some of the requirements under this Act, the Commission's transcripts will therefore be bilingual as to their covers, the listing of CRTC members and staff attending the hearings, and the table of contents.
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TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS
FOR THE CANADIAN RADIO‑TELEVISION AND
TRANSCRIPTION DES AUDIENCES DU
CONSEIL DE LA RADIODIFFUSION
ET DES TÉLÉCOMMUNICATIONS CANADIENNES
SUBJECT / SUJET:
Multiple broadcasting applications & BROADCASTING applications further to Public Notice 2001-79 "Call for applications for a broadcasting licence TO CARRY ON A RADIO PROGRAMMING UNDERTAKING TO SERVE WINNIPEG, MANITOBA".
MULTIPLES DEMANDES EN RADIOdiFFUSION ET DEMANDES EN radiodiffusion suite à l'avis public CRTC 2001-79 "APPEL DE DEMANDES DE LICENCE DE RADIODIFFUSION VISANT L'EXPLOITATION D'UNE ENTREPRISE DE PROGRAMMATION DE RADIO POUR DESSERVIR WINNIPEG (MANITOBA)".
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Winnipeg Convention Centre Winnipeg Convention Centre
PanAm Room Salle PanAm
375 York Avenue 375, avenue York
Winnipeg, Manitoba Winnipeg (Manitoba)
6 February, 2002 le 6 février 2002
In order to meet the requirements of the Official Languages
Act, transcripts of proceedings before the Commission will be
bilingual as to their covers, the listing of the CRTC members
and staff attending the public hearings, and the Table of
However, the aforementioned publication is the recorded
verbatim transcript and, as such, is taped and transcribed in
either of the official languages, depending on the language
spoken by the participant at the public hearing.
Afin de rencontrer les exigences de la Loi sur les langues
officielles, les procès‑verbaux pour le Conseil seront
bilingues en ce qui a trait à la page couverture, la liste des
membres et du personnel du CRTC participant à l'audience
publique ainsi que la table des matières.
Toutefois, la publication susmentionnée est un compte rendu
textuel des délibérations et, en tant que tel, est enregistrée
et transcrite dans l'une ou l'autre des deux langues
officielles, compte tenu de la langue utilisée par le
participant à l'audience publique.
Canadian Radio‑television and
Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des
Transcript / Transcription
Multiple broadcasting applications & BROADCASTING applications further to Public Notice 2001-79 "Call for applications for a broadcasting licence TO CARRY ON A RADIO PROGRAMMING UNDERTAKING TO SERVE WINNIPEG, MANITOBA".
MULTIPLES DEMANDES EN RADIODIFFUSION ET DEMANDES EN radiodiffusion suite à l'avis public CRTC 2001-79 "APPEL DE DEMANDES DE LICENCE DE RADIODIFFUSION VISANT L'EXPLOITATION D'UNE ENTREPRISE DE PROGRAMMATION DE RADIO POUR DESSERVIR WINNIPEG (MANITOBA)".
BEFORE / DEVANT:
Barbara Cram Regional Commissioner for Manitoba and Saskatchewan /
Conseillère régionale pour le Manitoba et le Saskatchewan
Ronald Williams Commissioner / Conseiller
Andrew Cardozo Commissioner / Conseiller
ALSO PRESENT / AUSSI PRÉSENTS:
Joe Aguiar Hearing Manager / Gérant de
Gary Krushen Secretary / secrétaire
Peter McCallum Legal Counsel /
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Winnipeg Convention Centre Winnipeg Convention Centre
PanAm Room Salle PanAm
375 York Avenue 375, avenue York
Winnipeg, Manitoba Winnipeg (Manitoba)
6 February, 2002 le 6 février 2002
TABLE OF CONTENTS / TABLE DES MATIÈRES
APPLICATION BY / APPLICATION PAR
Rogers Broadcasting Limited 2156
Corus Radio Company 2170
Global Communications Ltd. 2191
N.I.B. 95.5 Cable FM Inc. 2206
CKVN Radiolink System Inc. 2230
HIS Broadcasting Inc. 2243
Red River College Radio 2246
INTERVENTION BY / INTERVENTION PAR
Frank Liebzeit 2255
Richard Gillis 2298
Jazz Lynx, Jan and Ted Hasiuk 2331
Walle Larsson 2359
David McLeod 2396
David Angus 2457
Ron Paley 2487
Karen Oliver 2521
David Sherman 2548
Ken Webb 2569
Robyn Osmond 2589
REPLY BY / RÉPLIQUE PAR
Red River College Radio 2601
HIS Broadcasting Inc. 2605
CKVN Radiolink System Inc. 2613
N.I.B. 95.5 Cable FM Inc. 2618
Global Communications Limited 2629
Corus Radio Company 2646
Rogers Broadcasting Limited 553 / 2657
APPLICATION BY / APPLICATION PAR
Trinity Television Inc. 555 / 2665
Winnipeg, Manitoba /
--- Upon resuming on Wednesday, February 6, 2002, at 0832 / L'audience reprend le mardi 5 février 2002 à 0832
2154 THE CHAIRPERSON: Phase II, Mr. Secretary.
2155 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair. The first item in Phase II will be Rogers Broadcasting Limited. Please commence when you're ready.
2156 MR. MILES: Thank you. Madam Chair, members of the Commission. Phase II of the proceedings, we do not intend to intervene against any other applicant. However, with your permission our comments will be limited to providing additional information or clarification with regards to the information required by the Commission during our formal application.
2157 There were three areas. Our comments will focus on the ability for our Canadian Talent Development commitment to go directly to Winnipeg or Manitoba-based artists. Two, the depreciation amount in year two of our financial projections for the conversion of CKY-AM to an FM. And three, further details regarding the availability of FM frequencies in the Winnipeg market.
2158 First, I will comment on the Canadian FACTOR development. We have a letter which we will file with the Commission from Ms. Heather Ostertag saying that the incremental $4,000 annually will be applied to Manitoba artists as per our request. Further to that, if you'll allow me half a second ‑‑ first of all I'd like to apologize for the oversight, because we'd normally try to do that. However, we have not wanted to hamper FACTOR in their ability to distribute it.
2159 It may well be the time, and I'm going to ask our representative on the FACTOR Board to take a look into saying where FACTOR may have the resources now to actually start providing more regional coverage on the thing. I think they've tried to do it as a matter of fact, but with your permission we'll keep the Commission informed on that and we'll have our board Member, Mr. Harvey Glad, bring it up at the next FACTOR board.
2160 Now, Sandra Stasiuk will comment on the depreciation.
2161 MS. STASIUK: The increase in year two of the depreciation for CKY was a result of writing off the current transmitter equipment that will be replaced with the new FM equipment.
2162 MR. MILES: And third, with further details regarding the availability of the FM frequencies, Madam Chair, we at Rogers have always been proud of our technical expertise. We have Steve Edwards. We've always been willing to share over the last number of hearings this information and have done so quite willingly with all the rest of the participants, particularly for those going after higher power frequencies.
2163 Steve Edwards has been ably assisted by Wayne Stacey in this particular regard. And we had a more detailed bunch of information with regards to the frequencies and all the rest of it that Steve had addressed that we were to, with your permission, file and will do so again at the conclusion of this part.
2164 But one of the comments made by Global during their presentation was at odds with some of the material that we had, so we went back again after that presentation, after supplying the material we had to Global as well as to Corus, had Wayne Stacey and Steve Edwards take another look at it. It has resulted in some minor changes to the information that we were going to file and Steve is going to comment on it now, with your permission.
2165 MR. EDWARDS: Good morning. Yes, I checked with Wayne following Jim Moltner's presentation, and as it turned out, Wayne had relied on incorrect data with respect to the power for CBWT and Jim is quite correct that the maximum power that could be used with channel 204 at the Starbuck site is 54 kilowatts. That would result in a reduction of the radius of the .5 millivolt contour by about six kilometres, from 79.6 to 73.4, and would reduce the population within the .5 millivolt by 3 percent.
2166 So as I mentioned to you, it's surprising how little difference a change in power like that would make but there is a difference and I apologize for the previous error.
2167 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Miles.
2168 MR. MILES: Thank you.
2169 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair. I now call Corus Radio Company for Phase II.
2170 MS. McNAIR: Good morning. First, I'll introduce a new addition to our panel, Jack Hepner, who is the engineer at Corus Radio in Winnipeg, Garth Buchko and Kathleen McNair, myself.
2171 We, like Rogers, are not intervening against any other applicant in this phase but are here to respond to three questions that were raised.
2172 First we were asked what rotation would cuts from the CD compilation receive. Secondly we were asked to report on our staffing levels in Edmonton and Toronto, where we also operate two FM stations and a news-talk AM station. And third, we were asked to assess other available frequencies and determine what technical issues, if any, were associated with those frequencies.
2173 Garth will respond to the rotation question, I'll address the staffing levels, and then we'll ask Jack to review the technical issues.
2174 With respect to staffing in our Edmonton and Toronto stations, we're pleased to report as follows. Toronto, which has two FM stations and one AM talk station, we have a staff of 100 people, 49 in programming representing 49 percent of the workforce. In Calgary, again, two FM stations, one AM news-talk, we have 107 people on staff, 56 in programming representing 52 percent of the workforce.
2175 In Winnipeg, should we be awarded a licence, we will have two FM stations, one AM news-talk station with a staff of 87; 49 will be in programming representing 56 percent of the workforce.
2176 On the technical front, Jack will respond to the available frequencies identified by Rogers but first I would just like to clarify that channel 204 is no longer available as the CBC recently launched their French language service on that channel. So Jack? Oh, I'm sorry. Garth, do you want to do the rotations first or we'll close with that?
2177 MR. BUCHKO: Okay, I'll do the rotations and then Jack can go through all the technical stuff which is really exciting to me.
2178 Canadian artists on Power 97 currently receive a minimum of 16 spins a week, and these are new artists that are added Monday through Sunday, 6:00 a.m. to midnight. I'm going to compare this to what we currently do on Power 97 and how we add Canadian new artists and the spins that we give them.
2179 Obviously with a larger talk component and spoken word component on our new FM station, to allow the same number of spins would be difficult. But we can today make a commitment that the new Canadian artists we add from our CD compilation, they would receive a medium spin category which is between 12 and 18 spins currently utilized on our FM, on Power 97.
2180 We also have a service that we utilize on Power 97 that we would like to utilize the same on our new FM station which is called "WritetheMusic.Com" and it's a service that gives us upwards 1,800 participants in a week and we add the new music to our website and listeners are asked to go to the website and write the songs that they like. In that are new Canadian artists also.
2181 This significantly increases the spins that we give artists based on the listener feedback. So Canadian artists recently, like Nickelback, Default and Sum41, Sum41 being a fairly new Canadian act, have now reached the international power category, which is 30 spins a week, based on listener response on music that they really, really like. So being Canadian or international, it really doesn't matter. If it's on the "WritetheMusic.Com" the spin rate will go up significantly over the medium category. And unless there's any other further questions, that's how we will do it.
2182 MR. HEPNER: Now for that exciting stuff. It's interesting to note that here in the Prairies where we have such broad, vast spaces and relatively little population, we're now getting into the category where there actually is frequency congestion. My counterpart from Toronto area obviously is very familiar with this and we're just beginning to learn what it means to work in a congested area. So we are not afraid of a challenge. We certainly would invite to explore new creative ways of using these frequencies that are presently available and possibly could become available.
2183 Now, in the list that's before me, we have obviously the 99.1, which is channel 256. We all know the beauty of that. But if that doesn't become available, then there are four others that were put on my sheet over here. And incidentally, I should mention that we of course as such have not done an alternate study of the frequencies that could possibly be used by ourselves and others. But the channel 210, 89.9, yesterday when I turned on my radio, lo and behold, there is a frequency already operating there. It's not in the cards anymore: CBC French.
2184 Then there is the channel 204, 88.7. The suggestion has been made that possibly Corus could utilize that particular one. Well, as has already been indicated, that particular frequency in order to overcome the interference problems, basically would need to be co-sited at the CBC Starbuck site. And that obviously paints an entirely different scenario for us as Corus in terms of the overall implication, especially the way it would affect the budget and the ongoing expenses and so forth. So that would not be at the top of our technical selection to begin with.
2185 Then there is the other one, channel 273, which is frequency 102.5, that in its present category of the classification of the ruling would require that it possibly be a directional system. Again, that is a very more complex thing for us to mount on our proposed tower.
2186 The same would apply for channel 284, 104.7. But in the very quick discussions that we've had with our consultants, there appears to be a feeling ‑‑ and this is not a researched condition ‑‑ but that possibly the 284 frequency, 104.7, might be a second best viability for us. But again, as I would like to qualify it from the earlier statement, this needs distinct research. And it is my, from an engineering perspective, suggestion that I would like to make is that we sit back and just have a thorough re-evaluation in terms of where everything is headed with the frequencies here in Winnipeg because we've got to live together. I'm sure if we study this together, we can make things go a lot further.
2187 THE CHAIRPERSON: Can I just ask, Mr. Hepner, in terms of 88.7, channel 204, in your view there's nothing wrong with the coverage, it's just the extra cost?
2188 MR. HEPNER: No, there is an added concern, and one of the other companies that is intending to apply for the -- that is applying for the 99.1 would in effect also be moving closer to the city for the express purpose of trying to increase their downtown coverage intensity. And so that, of course, is the added concern that we would have in that we are moving further away from the city with a signal that would then become less usable in the real downtown area of Winnipeg.
2189 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Thank you very much. I must say I heard Mr. Hepner, and one of the quotable quotes I will remember for this whole hearing was Mr. Edwards saying to me right at the start of the hearing that he's had some interesting charts that he could share with me, and I felt my eyes glazing over, with all respect, Mr. Edwards. Thank you.
2190 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair. I now call Global Communications Limited. Please begin when you're ready.
2191 MS. BELL: Good morning, Madam Chair, Commissioners. My name is Charlotte Bell. With me are Gerry Noble and Jim Moltner our technical consultant.
2192 We do not wish to present comments on the other applications before you at this hearing. We believe that we've made our case for a new FM station and that you've explored the issues raised by each applicant fully and fairly.
2193 However, we did agree to return in this phase with replies to four questions raised during our presentation. In addition, we would like to provide one point of clarification to our CTD initiatives, with your permission.
2194 First, you asked us if we would accept the statement of principles developed during the group licensing process for the relationship between our newspapers and the radio station. As we noted during our presentation, we do not expect there to be a significant exchange between the newspaper group and radio. Nonetheless, as you are aware, we have been working with the CBSC in order to develop an industry code that would be administered by them. We expect that this code will be finalized very soon and long before the station's launch, and Smooth FM would adhere to that code.
2195 Second, you asked us what the difference in the number of people to be served would be using our location and power for 99.1 as opposed to those proposed by Rogers and Corus. Our site is 25 kilometres to the west of those proposed by other applicants. Our Grade B contour will provide service to a total of 806,065 people whereas Rogers would reach 777,032 people and Corus 746,374 people. The difference is explained by the fact that our B contour will include Portage La Prairie, Winkler and Morden, whereas theirs would not. I hope I said that correctly.
2196 Third, you asked us what our second choice of frequency would be. I would like to reiterate that our preference is by far to serve Winnipeg on 99.1 at 100,000 watts. As both we and Rogers indicated, there are limitations on each of the other frequency choices.
2197 We submit that a jazz station provides a much greater dynamic range of sound than a rock or pop station, ranging from solo piano to big bands. Our use of 99.1 would not cause any fourth channel interference problems with other stations in the market, unlike either Corus or Rogers. In addition, as I noted on Monday, we believe that the diversity of our format, our exposure of Canadian jazz talent, and our significant contribution to Canadian talent make our application the best use of the frequency.
2198 If you do not see fit to award us 99.1, of course, we would want an opportunity to optimize another frequency. Our preference would be that you issue us a licence based upon us returning to you within a few months with a proposal to use a frequency accepted both by the Commission and Industry Canada. This is the approach you used in licensing a smooth jazz station to Telemedia in Calgary.
2199 That being said, we wish to be responsive to your question. Without a full technical brief, it appears to us that the best second choice would be channel 272, or 102.3 FM. This is not one of the frequencies mentioned by Rogers the other day; they suggested 102.5. However, from our site 102.3 appears to be a better choice.
2200 Fourth, Mr. McCallum asked if we would accept a condition of licence limiting us to 20 hours per week of acquired programming. I would note that the Commission's general policy, as outlined in the application form, is that at least one-third of the programming be local. Our current draft schedule only includes eight hours of acquired programming.
2201 Smooth jazz is a developing format and we may see new stations licensed across the country. Given the niche nature of the format, it may well be that we will want to share some of our programs with other stations and perhaps broadcast some of theirs, particularly those providing exposure for Canadian artists, concerts from the various jazz festivals, and other features. We believe that a condition of licence limiting smooth jazz to no more than 20 hours a week might be overly restrictive, particularly given all of the other conditions we have accepted, i.e. 70 percent jazz music, 35 percent Category 3 Canadian content, both in the broadcast day and between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., as well as our contribution to Canadian Talent Development.
2202 Finally, I would like to provide one point of clarification on our Canadian Talent Development initiatives. In our application, we proposed $40,000 per year to the University of Manitoba Summer Jazz Camp. Subsequent to the gazetting of the application, we had an opportunity to discuss the details of the initiative with the university. They indicated to us that in fact they could do much more with the money than the four bursaries outlined in the application. Mr. Gillis will be appearing in the intervention phase and will outline the details at that time. I can provide them to you at this time if you wish.
2203 THE CHAIRPERSON: I don't think it's necessary. Thank you very much, and Mr. Moltner, I hope you've learned your Manitoba geography. Thank you.
2204 MR. MOLTNER: I did indeed.
2205 THE SECRETARY: I now call N.I.B. 95.5 Cable FM Inc. Mr. McCrea. Please proceed when you're ready, Mr. McCrea.
2206 MR. McCREA: Good morning. I'd like to answer the questions raised in Phase II, or for Phase II, I should say.
2207 The first question was related to Canadian Talent Development details. I was asked about the contributions to MARIA, a little clarification on the Winnipeg Jazz Festival, and station sponsorship.
2208 The answer for the first question on this issue was related to how we were going to distribute the funds in addition to the CAB-CTD money. There's $444,000 that was additional based on projections, contribution of gross revenue. What we propose to do is contribute $344,000 of the $444,000, approximately 3.3 percent of the gross revenue, over the initial period to MARIA.
2209 We'd like to contribute 1.7, the balance, to bursaries and scholarship programs with Anokiiwin College. This relates to a question that we'll get to a little bit later.
2210 As far as the Jazz Festival -- the Jazz Festival was outlined in the application as being an additional station-initiated activity, so the costs of promoting the Winnipeg Jazz Festival were already within our operating budget. It's a station-initiated activity. I've outlined the costs related to a two-week pre-festival promotion special programming produced, artists and music, prior to the festival, and then during the festival we would be doing additional.
2211 The costs. We discussed the Internet. The cost of the development of the Internet site outlined in our application was additional station CTD contributions as well. We do recognize the value of a site dedicated to Canadian talent, and more particularly, local artists.
2212 MARIA already operates a similar site. We would be prepared to contribute additional funds or technical services such as streaming, if this is desirable. So while we will have and do have a station website that does promote local talent, we're certainly prepared to set up an additional site that promotes local talent and to link that site to our station website. But we would like to further discuss with MARIA because perhaps, rather than duplicate what's already there, there may be a better use, i.e. streaming, on their site or something of that nature.
2213 We are already committed to streaming four television projects that are being produced by MTYP this April. They're being produced in April; they'd be streamed later, in the fall probably. This as well is absorbed in the cost and is part of the station website.
2214 We have committed as a condition of licence to maintain a 40 percent Canadian content level in Category 2, and on reviewing the material that is available in Canadian content regarding Category 3, we feel pretty confident that we can also commit to a 40 percent level there as well.
2215 Now, regarding the period that we discussed of non-compliance, you had asked me, Commissioner Cram, about the period of non-compliance and we were discussing '98 and the time that the licence was issued. What I'll do is provide the Secretary with a copy of a letter dated April 9th, 2000. It was written by me to Anne-Marie Murphy, the acting director at the time. It relates to this period where we did fill out a self-assessment form and it indicated that some of the programming elements were not in place yet.
2216 And in fact, there had been a dispute over the -- not over control but over who was the rightful board of directors, the members of the board of directors of the licence-holder. And CRTC and Industry Canada at the time had required us to seek a resolution of civil jurisdiction, and a decision came down, the Court of Queen's Bench, dated November of '99 that was decisive and determined who the board of directors in fact were.
2217 We began signal testing a short time later. This had held up necessary arrangements to the lease executions and a variety of things. We began signal testing in December of '99, we were issued a broadcast authority by Industry Canada on March the 9th of 2000, and by the end of April we were compliant with programming, and that's what this letter outlines. It's already in our file with the CRTC but I'll include a copy for this hearing.
2218 The last item that we were discussing that you asked me to come back to you this morning on was acceptance of another frequency. As we have said, we are prepared to accept another frequency. We would have concern that any frequency considered ‑‑ we have a long-term lease on our existing transmitting site now, and in order to broadcast at the 200 watt level that we had requested, the best option, I believe, for us was 107.9. We had applied for 106.3. Industry Canada suggested we submit another one for 107.9. From our transmitting site, that would seem to be the best option.
2219 Doug Allen is our engineer, who is here, and perhaps he could elaborate on that for us. Doug.
2220 THE CHAIRPERSON: Wasn't he question was what's the number two choice? Didn't I ask you what a second choice would be?
2221 MR. McCREA: I guess you asked us whether there was another option, could we consider another option.
2222 THE CHAIRPERSON: And have you spoken to Mr. Allen about that?
2223 MR. McCREA: Mr. Allen was in Ottawa with Industry Canada yesterday. He's just returned this morning so he's here. I haven't spoken with him although I notified his office that we were going to discuss frequencies this morning.
2224 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, can I suggest that after the morning break that you'll come back with your number two choice of frequency?
2225 MR. McCREA: Okay.
2226 THE CHAIRPERSON: And I know Mr. Allen is here because I saw him here at quarter after eight. So you now have your chance.
2227 MR. McCREA: Okay. Thank you.
2228 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
2229 THE SECRETARY: I now call CKVN Radiolink System Inc.
2230 MR. SMORDIN: Good morning, Commissioners. As with the other applicants that you've heard from earlier this morning, this applicant is not planning any interventions or commenting on other applications but is going to respond to the one question I believe Mr. McCallum raised yesterday with respect to staffing. Then we'll have a comment from Mr. Smith. Mr. Lee Smith is on my right, president, and myself Lyle Smordin, general counsel, and on my left, Ron O'Donovan, vice-president, finance.
2231 The question raised yesterday was one of staffing in particular and I'll ask Mr. O'Donovan to comment on that.
2232 MR. O'DONOVAN: Good morning. The programming staff figure that you required will be four full-time on the programming side and 26 part-time, and from the administration side, there will be four full-time, one part-time.
2233 Just to reiterate, that will give us eight full-time as we mentioned yesterday, 27 part-time.
2234 MR. SMORDIN: We'll be filing that material with the Secretary in written form for your information.
2235 Any questions on that aspect? Nothing?
2236 MR. SMITH: I would like to take the opportunity to clarify two aspects. The first is with respect to Mr. McCallum's question of the condition of licence for Category 2 percentages. Based on some further research and discussion with the staff and what we could do with respect to our music when we sort of sit down and really sift out the wheat from the chaff here, for the sake of simplicity of administration, a condition of licence of 60 percent Category 2 would be just a nice easy number to administer and it differentiate us sufficiently, in our opinion, to put forth a clear delineation between us and any other station operating in the local area as a result of being in the specialty format phase. And that's our comment on that.
2237 You also asked how the Commission could accept licensing a station with a documented position of less than, if you will, the going rate of commitment to new licensees for Canadian content. I would submit that with the majority of our music being older in nature, if only by composition date, even though it may be recorded last week by some very capable artist emulating the easy listening style, that the amount of original material recorded by Canadian artists is in fact in a proportion less than those available to "modern" radio stations just because the easy listening world has not really been exposed via radio to the extent that the rock segments have been.
2238 So therefore, there is considerable room for development of new artists and we feature them in our programming daily and in our future plans. But the majority of the music is historically of an era prior to Canadian artists becoming as exposed in the mainstream of recording as they are today.
2239 That really is all that I have to add on those two aspects.
2240 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr. Smith, Mr. Smordin and Mr. O'Donovan.
2241 MR. O'DONOVAN: Thank you.
2242 THE SECRETARY: I now call HIS Broadcasting Inc. Please proceed when you're ready, Mr. Hiebert.
2243 MR. HIEBERT: We have no comments on any of the other applications and I don't believe there's any questions outstanding.
2244 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Hiebert.
2245 THE SECRETARY: I now call Red River College Radio. And again, please proceed when you're ready.
2246 MR. McGREGOR: Thank you very much, Madam Chair. Just to reiterate, to my left is Julia Brown, who is with research and development of the college, and to my right is Ken Babb from EB Systems. My name is Robert McGregor. We have no reason to intervene on behalf of any of the other applicants and we invite any further questions you may have.
2247 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. We have no questions. Thank you.
2248 We will now take our morning break. Goodness, or should we go into interventions, I'm wondering? The problem is, are the interveners aware that we're starting earlier?
2249 THE SECRETARY: Actually I have one intervener who has requested to be moved up in the schedule. I believe I mentioned that yesterday to you, and this gentleman is here.
2250 THE CHAIRPERSON: All right. And then we'll go through with a couple of interveners if they are here. If they're not, I mean they were told it was at 10:15.
2251 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair. I would now like to call Mr. Frank Liebzeit to present his intervention to CKVN Radiolink System Inc.
2252 THE CHAIRPERSON: Excuse me, Mr. Secretary, I'm sorry, I didn't hear.
2253 THE SECRETARY: Appearing intervener number nine, Mr. Frank Liebzeit to CKVN Radiolink System Inc.
2254 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Well, Mr. Liebzeit?
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
2255 MR. LIEBZIET: Good morning, Madam Chair and board members and everybody here. I wrote a letter of endorsement on January 4th to the Secretary General and I wish to possibly enhance a little of what I had indicated there.
2256 CKVN-FM radio station in Winnipeg is a really great station and really a goldmine of history for us here. It would be a great benefit for them to get the boost from their 14 watt measly size to a hoped‑for 1,000 watt, and I would suggest that this is long overdue in happening.
2257 There is a special utilization ability that the station appears to have for stereo and it has been pre-empted recently or in recent years because of the power range limitations. They had to choose either between short range and stereo or longer range with mono at the 14 watts and to allow the full-time station that the increased power permits to FM stereo to happen. This will increase exponentially the listeners' enjoyment because excellent stereo production and transmission has been the promise to listeners if power can permit stereo to take place.
2258 Please consider that I'm trying in layman's terms. I'm not a technical person whatsoever. Mono listening is almost a disease like mononucleosis as far as -- in my perception to the air, really, but CKVN has made it somewhat passable with what they've done under the circumstances. However, the promise of CKVN in stereo promises to do us all proud.
2259 And there's a great historical content here. The historical radio personalities such as Ernie Mutimer, Dan Woods and his Radio Classics and Theatre of the Air, Cliff Gardner and Murray Parker, and the list goes on, and these are really great heritage personalities as well as dynamic heritage representatives of our community.
2260 I would refer to my letter that I wrote in for a short passage here. The variety and eclectic appeal -- I'm on page 3 of my letter. The variety and eclectic appeal of CKVN content in broadcasting cannot be matched in our listening area. As a matter of fact, I believe the eclectic word spells it out well, something for everyone, at least at some times. We learn about our community, the world, culture and heritage from the best broadcasters available. Persons like Cliff Gardner, Ernie Mutimer, Danny Woods, Murray Parker and a plethora of others who are broadcasting and announcing icons in our area. Some have travelled afar and returned with enriching first-hand experience of the other parts of our country, which they aptly impart to us with special feeling and emotion. It's sort of like placing you right there, and experiencing their described experiences yourself. To me, that's communicating.
2261 CKVN's library has been enriched by our community to an extent not available to be duplicated anywhere else, in my estimation. Heritage music of all veins, popular, jazz, classical, bluegrass, country, country western, regional, some rock, and from all parts of the world enrich us constantly when this fine station is alive and with us.
2262 But it doesn't stop there. Some archive footage of broadcast legends and icons such as Cactus Jack Wells and others who may no longer be with us, they can still enrich us long after we have lost them. Comedy, community activity, and special group interviews further expand our listening horizons, capped off by Dan Woods' Theatre of the Air.
2263 And CKVN is more than just a variety and nostalgia station. It is living history of our country and community in action.
2264 Since your CRTC mandate falls under the Heritage Canada banner, I respectfully submit that the Minister herself should be made fully aware of what this fine station, CKVN, promises to contribute to her Heritage mandate. I challenge you to find any station that can even come close to CKVN for heritage as well as current community communication activity.
2265 Your delay to date to grant CKVN a full-time station status has been extremely hard and difficult to survive from a personal perspective, and we would get a couple of extremely great weeks of transmission only to be plunged into subsequent weeks of darkness until the next venue would surface.
2266 Withdrawal symptoms at these times have been, well, in my estimation, somewhat severe. I believe they have been unnecessary and harsh and unusual punishment that the CRTC has to date needlessly inflicted on the citizens of Winnipeg.
2267 It is long overdue for you to correct your aberrant and abhorrent behaviour of the past in this regard. CKVN contributes to our pride in our history, our positive outlooks and energies and truly relaxing and enjoyment in listening. That is not duplicated elsewhere. There is a built-in educational component also of great value. Each time the station returns to the air it is like greeting and welcoming a long lost friend.
2268 The CKVN library and archives is such a treasury of history of music, radio, theatre archives and such variety dating back to the earliest wax recordings near the turn of the 20th century as it turned from the 19th century. I'm positive they have some one-of-a-kind historical radio artefact recordings that your encouraging their efforts will permit to be preserved and promoted to us as our heritage.
2269 Your assistance to provide the station with a strong, clear signal will be truly cheered and celebrated by the citizens of Winnipeg and anywhere their extremely welcome transmissions can reach.
2270 There has been truly too great a gap in the local Winnipeg broadcasting for far too long, and please correct this and bring our true radio station back to us on a full-time basis.
2271 I realize that most TV stations won't appreciate the fact that CKVN's Theatre of the Air presentations are of a higher quality and content than some of their TV presentations. However, when this becomes apparent, you will have found a tool to encourage TV stations to improve their broadcasts or continue to lose viewers to listeners turning to the radio Theatres of the Air in a big way.
2272 Regardless, CKVN promises to do your Commission and department proud. Please allow them to do so to the benefit and enjoyment of us all. Please grant full-time higher powered station requests to CKVN ASAP. Our nerves become quite frayed after more than five years of imposed withdrawal periods. A lasting and full-time stereo FM CKVN station promises to correct this vacuum in content big-time. Please allow this correction to happen ASAP.
2273 And I thank you.
2274 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Cardozo wants to ask you a question or two.
2275 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: I've got a couple of questions and I promise they won't be of a technical nature, but I notice you're the only member of the supporters of CKVN who asked to appear. There were a large number of people who wrote letters, so you have quite a burden on your shoulders to speak for all those people who were here yesterday. I won't fray your nerves any more than they have been over the past while.
2276 MR. LIEBZEIT: They're back on the air right now so that helps to sooth the nerves.
2277 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Is it your sense that people are looking for the music or the talk part, the spoken word part of the programming that is offered on this channel, or is it both?
2278 MR. LIEBZEIT: Actually, it's something that goes beyond just what a regular radio station has to present. They have sort of a special environment that is created that sort of meshes both the areas you're mentioning plus many others, because it's something that in their extreme knowledge from the icon of radio broadcasting perspective, they know so much from what has gone on and they keep up to date with what's going on at the present.
2279 And what was mentioned by Mr. Smith, I believe, this morning was that they are trying to bring alive some of the things from the past that go back many years and are being presented by our Canadian musicians and artists today. This is a venue that I think is very challenging to these artists and it can be a very mutual benefit. There's a synergy that can be had there if permitted and not just technically put into a little sub-category of music or community interest of some sort.
2280 The merging such as ‑‑ well, for instance one thing that comes to mind is Diana Krall, if you look at her presentation. She's Canadian. She may not be from Winnipeg, but her content has been exposed and it's like bringing to life some of the music that has been before in the 1940s and even before and bringing it up to date at the same time.
2281 This could be done with our local artists as well, and this would be doing a great service both to the community and it would be doing sort of double duty with your department because being under the Heritage Department banner, that, I believe, is one of the components that they are interested to preserve and enhance for the country at large and our community as well.
2282 Somehow it seems that when it comes from these many facets that are being put together at the same time, there has to be a unique quality that the station is being considered for rather than just, you know, simple rock or pop. Easy listening I don't think covers it all, but it's the category that they had to choose from, from what you made available to them.
2283 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Doesn't the term nostalgia radio cover it, too?
2284 MR. LIEBZEIT: Not completely because nostalgia often, in my estimation at least, has a connotation of going into the past and wanting to bring back the old times and whatever. There is a component of that, there's no doubt about it. But I believe that the alive portion, like I was just mentioning, of encouraging local artists, bringing in people from the community that are knowledgeable artists and have something to impart to us in an educational way is of great benefit that is alive and active, not just nostalgia, which has a connotation of being buried in the past.
2285 It's not a complete archive type of operation. It's bringing history alive and that's a tricky thing to do at times, because if it's just labelled nostalgia, somehow it doesn't cover it as well as it should.
2286 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: In the weeks when the radio has not been on the air and you've had the days of your frayed nerves ‑‑
2287 MR. LIEBZEIT: Withdrawal, yeah.
2288 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: -- and withdrawal, what do you listen to?
2289 MR. LIEBZEIT: Well, I sometimes turn off the radio, period, and sometimes there may be fragments here and there of some music on some of the stations. But there's so much rock on the stations now that if you tune in, there's not much of an alternative in many instances.
2290 Even the stations that do have perhaps what you might call easy listening may only have a spurt of half an hour to one or two hours at the maximum and then that's it. Whereas CKVN has the perspective of 24/7 for the benefit of us all, and there's such a variety as well. It's not just nostalgia; there's a great variety.
2291 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Now, for a station like this to be viable, it's got to have a sufficiently large base that advertisers want to advertise on the station. You may not be an expert in marketing issues, but is it your sense that there's enough people in the Winnipeg area who are going to be listeners that advertisers are going to want to advertise on the station?
2292 MR. LIEBZEIT: I would expect so because I think there's a hidden audience there that somehow they're able to touch base sometimes but they're not always aware that the station is back on the air until they're almost off again because of these pauses. As a result, if there was a continuous flow, I think from the advertisers' perspective that this would be a great stability for their purposes and it would be also a great stabilizing feature from the listeners' perspective because you know what to expect and you know that you can tune in and not have dead air.
2293 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thanks very much for that. I've got to tell you, you echo the views of all the people who wrote in. I've read a lot of those letters, all those letters, and you've probably read them as well because you certainly have the same passion as all the other people who wrote in. So thanks for coming this morning.
2294 MR. LIEBZEIT: Thank you.
2295 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr. Secretary.
2296 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair. I understand that Mr. McLeod from Native Communications is not here yet but will be a bit later this morning. So with your leave, I'll move on to the interveners for Global Communications. I'd now like to call Mr. Richard Gillis. Is Mr. Gillis in the room? I'll move on. I'd now like to call -- oh, Mr. Gillis just entered the room. Please proceed when you're ready, sir.
2297 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning, Mr. Gillis. Go ahead when you're ready.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
2298 MR. GILLIS: All right. My name is Richard Gillis. I'm a professor of music at the University of Manitoba. I teach trumpet and do the jazz bands and I'm also artistic director of the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra, a big band of professional musicians in Winnipeg. And I also am a musician myself and play with some groups in town, at times with the WSO, with Ron Paley and some groups out of Manitoba as well.
2299 My perspective is from the point of view of an educator in instrumental music and jazz, a performer and bandleader.
2300 I wanted to lend my support to the proposal being put forward by Global Communications to establish a new FM radio station in Winnipeg. I believe that the station would be a wonderful addition to the community and I wanted to just make four quick points in terms of the listening, the programming, its benefits to the local jazz musicians, and as well as the financial commitment that Global Communications has put into their plan.
2301 Knowing my students, I know a station like this would be listened to. The station would have certainly entertainment value but educational value as well, enabling students to hear artists and performances that they might not otherwise be exposed to.
2302 There are obviously jazz programming on CBC but the opportunity to hear a wide variety of jazz artists and materials ‑‑ many of my students are widely versed in music and jazz music, but oftentimes, you know, CD's are expensive and sometimes being exposed to certain performers is not as easy. You get recommendations from other people but at times its nice to tune in to a jazz station and hear new things, unexpected things as well. So in terms of listening, I know that from my experience and my students at the University of Manitoba and also I'm in contact with a number of jazz students in the high schools and junior highs as well, and I think there's a real potential for developing that audience as well.
2303 The second point, when this proposal was mentioned to me, besides the listening and the value of the music itself, which came to my mind first, the second thing that came to my mind was the programming and the possibility of developing local programming as well.
2304 Over the next couple of years we plan at the University of Manitoba to develop a Bachelor Degree in jazz study as well as a Master's program, and I see the potential in the developing relationship between the station and the School of Music in terms of programming, and also with the high schools and junior highs, developing programming that maybe features some of the great music that we have coming out of the high schools in Manitoba.
2305 There are over a hundred schools in Winnipeg that have jazz bands very active in many of those schools, and many of the schools have more than one jazz band. So there are a number of students in Winnipeg involved with jazz. There is over a dozen very, very strong high school programs in Winnipeg itself.
2306 Thirdly, in terms of the local jazz musicians, I believe that the radio station would also be of great value to the Winnipeg jazz musicians, providing an outlet for many of the fine recordings that are being produced here. Having some recordings myself, I know that it's difficult to get consistent airplay and hearing fellow performers as well. You've got to know when to tune in and when it's going to be played.
2307 An album that I produced with a jazz group from Iceland last March has received about three playings in Winnipeg since it has been done ‑‑ one particular cut has been played three times. So it would be great to have the opportunity for the many fine recordings that are being produced here to get more play. Also, the opportunity to support and develop local talent through airplay would be tremendous as well.
2308 The fourth point is really the last point that ‑‑ when I heard about this station at first, I didn't realize that this was a possibility as well. But it's a great one, and that's a financial commitment that Smooth FM and CanWest Global Communications has made in its proposal.
2309 So aside from the benefits already mentioned, Smooth FM has proposed a financial commitment to developing jazz in the community. In the past, CanWest Global has demonstrated a real and ongoing interest in and commitment towards developing jazz in our community.
2310 As I mentioned earlier, there's a great deal of interest in jazz in the junior high, high school, college and adult communities. Unfortunately, there often isn't enough opportunity to develop that jazz interest and to develop the interaction between students and the many fine jazz musicians we have in Winnipeg. Gifted students often end up going to other centres for their training and opportunities, when they could get them here.
2311 So CanWest Global has proposed, as part of the proposal, has proposed providing money to the University of Manitoba to use for jazz education. My goal that I would like to see in Winnipeg, and it has been my goal at the University of Manitoba and in setting up the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra and the other things that I've been doing, is, number one, I want to give the students an opportunity to study here and not have to go to other provinces or the United States to get good jazz training.
2312 I'd like to enable students to become familiar with and study with the great jazz musicians we have in our community. I'd like to provide opportunities for growth in jazz to Manitobans, and I want to provide opportunities for work for our Manitoba jazz professional musicians.
2313 On the sheet that you have, it's outlined some of the ideas in terms of providing money to the different areas of jazz education. I propose that this money be used strictly for scholarships, strictly to get into the hands of students to provide money for them to study jazz in Manitoba. The University School of Music plans to give scholarships to students for several projects, including the U of M Summer Jazz Camp, which involves students from junior high right on up to adult; the U of M High School Honour Jazz Band, which selects some of the best jazz musicians to perform at the Winnipeg Jazz Festival; and jazz studies at the University of Manitoba.
2314 Our goal is to give Manitoba students the opportunity to study jazz in Manitoba, and you can go over the breakdown. If there's any questions on the breakdown, I certainly would be happy to answer them.
2315 In conclusion the value of the station to the community, I believe, is huge. This is a stable company that is interested in the development of our community and their track record has been demonstrated. I wholeheartedly support this application.
2316 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Professor Gillis. I just have one question. Global initially said that the $40,000 per annum would be given to the University of Manitoba Summer Jazz Camp, and is that run by the Faculty of Music?
2317 MR. GILLIS: Yes, it's run through the Faculty of Music at the University of Manitoba. It involves many people throughout the province; in fact it's managed right now by a high school teacher in Brandon, so we try to involve the whole province.
2318 I had discussions with them in that that's one part of the picture and it provides a great opportunity, but it's only a week in the summer. There's many other facets that I believe we need to develop in order to maximize jazz study in Manitoba and provide the best benefits to the community. Certainly the Jazz Camp fits right in with that as one part of it. It is run through the School of Music.
2319 THE CHAIRPERSON: So really, instead of Global giving the money then to the U of M Summer Jazz Camp, you are saying that they should actually give the money to the U of M School of Music to administer these scholarships?
2320 MR. GILLIS: Right.
2321 THE CHAIRPERSON: For everything from high school, Summer Jazz Camp, and through to the jazz master class with the --
2322 MR. GILLIS: Right, and not for --
2323 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- throughout the territory in Manitoba.
2324 MR. GILLIS: Sorry. Right. And not for administrative kind of costs but for scholarships so the students can actually study from different people.
2325 I also put in that of course the main benefit -- the first benefit, number one, is the station itself. The money is wonderful and I think there's some really great opportunities for our students. But what I want is not some money just for the University of Manitoba. I believe that it needs to be used widely through, from junior high right to adult. And so there's different projects that I believe that may not be down here, that may develop over time. But these are the projects that we have now that there are some needs. The Summer Jazz Camp is one of those, the High School Honour Jazz Band. Jazz master classes would also be great too.
2326 And as I told Global Communications, this needs to be something that we do in conjunction with ‑‑ and I put down the Manitoba Band Association, the Manitoba Conservatory of Music and Arts, and the U of M Prep Studies division, which is training for basically people that aren't going to university, younger people and adults as well. It needs to be used in conjunction with other groups in our community that are really interested in educating our community, not just the young people. There are many adults that study jazz as well and take master classes and come to the Summer Jazz Camp.
2327 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Professor Gillis.
2328 MR. GILLIS: Thanks.
2329 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary.
2330 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair. I now call Jazz Lynx, Jan and Ted Hasiuk. Please proceed when you're ready.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
2331 MS. HASIUK: Good morning, Madam Chair, members of the Commission. My name is Jan Hasiuk and together with my husband Ted, sitting on my right, we formed Jazz Lynx several years ago to develop and promote the smooth jazz genre in Canada and around the world.
2332 Based in Winnipeg, Jazz Lynx produces Café Jazz, a very successful three-hour radio show hosted by Ted. Café Jazz is broadcast on UMFM in Winnipeg and CJRT-Jazz FM 91, Canada's only all jazz station in Toronto. Recently, we have become affiliated with the Smooth Jazz network in Australia.
2333 Besides producing Café Jazz, we have been involved with other projects as well. We have acted as consultants to Craig Broadcasting and Harvard Broadcasting in their smooth jazz applications in Vancouver and Ottawa. We also met with the management team of The Wave in Hamilton prior to their going on the air.
2334 We also manage several Canadian smooth jazz artists and are actively involved in the promotion of the smooth jazz genre and the artists, on a local, national and international level.
2335 The Global application for the smooth jazz format is very important to us, particularly in light of the CRTC's decision not to grant a smooth jazz licence in either Vancouver or Ottawa. We can only express with frustration what this means, not only to the artists we manage, but to many Canadian jazz musicians as well.
2336 MR. HASIUK: Good morning, Madam Chair, members of the Commission. I'll pick it up where Jan left off. An artist's success depends on exposure. Currently there are too few radio stations to support established and developing artists who fall outside of the present commercial formats. From our many years experience in working with smooth jazz artists and with jazz artists in general, we know that they exist in significant numbers throughout Canada. What they lack is a vehicle that will help to promote them and one which will give them a voice so that their music is heard. We have no doubt that there would be many more such artists since, if they were played and heard, it would greatly improve their chances for commercial success. After all, why produce this music and incur in some cases huge financial debt if no one will play it?
2337 Lack of radio exposure also limits public performances. Generally for an artist to have a successful performance, the public needs to be familiar with the artist and their works. Festivals and promoters have too much at stake to take chances with an artist. They will only feature those that are already established and are "safe" in the sense that they are guaranteed to generate ticket sales. As such, many developing artists are just left out.
2338 Unfortunately, it is the developing artists that also rely on these live performances not only for exposure to attract labels and distribution offers, but as well for their CD sales.
2339 Lack of airplay results in the inability to obtain distribution. If an individual were to go into a music store and look for new Canadian jazz and smooth jazz releases, one would find very few. Because of the high cost of carrying inventory in the stores, CD retailers will only carry inventory that has a fast turnaround, which is a result from a high level of media exposure. As such, jazz inventories typically consist of only a few artists who are carried by a major label or have been successful in larger U.S. markets.
2340 Artists that are on independent labels suffer from a lack of presence in retail stores and are often relegated to generic bins. It is difficult, if not impossible, to find artists such as Marcie Campbell, our own Walle Larsson, Mark Hasselbach, Torben Oxbol, Ron Paley and Skywalk in their own retail bins even inside their own province.
2341 It is ironic that stations around the world are playing and therefore promoting Canadian artists such as Four 80 East, Warren Hill and Brian Hughes, yet very few Canadians know who these artists are. Some are at the top of international music charts and have received numerous awards, yet are not getting airplay, public performances or even CD sales in their own country.
2342 MS. HASIUK: The mandate of the CRTC is to safeguard, enrich and strengthen the cultural, political, social and economic fabric of Canada. If the primary objective of the Broadcasting Act is to ensure that all Canadians have access to a wide variety of high quality Canadian programming, it is essential that genres other than popular, established formats are supported and offered to Canadians.
2343 As such, we hope that you will give the Global Communications application your utmost consideration.
2344 Thank you, Madam Chairperson, Commissioners, for allowing us to appear today in support of this application.
2345 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Williams.
2346 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Good morning. Can you tell me a bit about your Café Jazz and what it's all about, what the program is like, and would that be available should Global be successful and are there are other projects that you may be working with with Global as well?
2347 MR. HASIUK: I'd love to tell you about Café Jazz, and even better still invite you to tune in some time and give it a listen if you're able to.
2348 I started Café Jazz ‑‑ I think it's about four or five years ago now ‑‑ on a local station, CKXL. That's a French community station and it was actually broadcast in French. I only had to go on the air twice myself to handle the French duties because I had a partner who was able to handle that for me.
2349 I did that for two years and then moved to the University of Manitoba radio station. That has been on Sunday mornings for the past four years. And then I guess it was May of the year 2001, just last year, that we sent a demo tape to CJRT in Toronto. They had recently flipped to an all jazz format and in fact were looking for some smooth jazz programming to include in their regular play list. They liked what they heard and offered to put us on the air, so we've been on there since May 6th of last year and have continued to do that. Café Jazz is still heard in Winnipeg on UMFM.
2350 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: So it's a talk show or a music show, or what's the content of Café Jazz?
2351 MR. HASIUK: It's almost primarily music. I would think ‑‑ if I could use the Toronto program as an example, it's a three-hour program with minimal advertising, perhaps four to six minutes an hour. The talk component would more than likely be 12 to 15 minutes in three hours, which means it's almost primarily music. Any talk that is included always gives historical perspective on the music or background to an artist. So most times I try not to fill the time but provide information and in a sense educate the public. Many of the listeners who have tuned in and written me e-mails say they really like that approach to music, and that's something that they don't get in regular radio.
2352 As far as whether this program would appear on Global, I think that was another part of your question, if I'm not mistaken?
2353 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Yes, this Café Jazz and other similar projects, I was just curious whether you had done any negotiating with Global.
2354 MR. HASIUK: To be honest, I'd love to have them play it but no, we haven't discussed that. Our support of the application is based strictly on the music. This is not my full-time job yet. Probably I devote more time to this than my full-time job, but don't tell my boss, and have earned very little. I've done this basically for the love of the music and to try to promote the Canadian artists.
2355 Other projects? Well, as Jan mentioned, we've become affiliated with the Smooth Jazz Network in Australia in the last few months and hope to get involved with them in cross-promotions between Australian and Canadian artists. I'm also discussing at this time some connections with a company in the U.K. to see if we can in fact get our artists out there.
2356 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Okay. Thank you very much, Madam Chair.
2357 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Hasiuk.
2358 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair. I'd now like to call Mr. Walle Larsson. Please proceed when you're ready, Mr. Larsson.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
2359 MR. LARSSON: Madam Chair, members of the board, thank you very much for having me here today.
2360 My name is Walle Larsson. I come from largely a musical background. I'm a composer for Mid Canada Productions. I'm a radio host. I host a show called Lights Out. And most of the things I've done over the last 25 years: I've been a saxophone player, recording CD's and travelling and generally getting involved in jazz and the smooth jazz business and related activities.
2361 It's very exciting for me to see the potential growth in the smooth jazz industry. When I started in the '70s, there was a couple of artists like Grover Washington and David Sanborn getting just a little bit of airplay and from there we've seen the format grow incredibly. It has been very exciting to travel to Los Angeles and New York and see active stations doing very well, like KKSF in San Francisco and The Wave in LA. I know we really can't compare that to the Canadian scene just yet. I think we really have to see it as a prototype to what will eventually happen in Canada.
2362 As yet, we don't have the support of the artists travelling through due to the fact that we don't have the airplay here yet. We don't have all of the support mechanisms in place to really make smooth jazz a complete success. I think we are really well on our way and I think it will take a while, but I think that CanWest Global is able to support this format and continue on over the years, as it takes some time to really get going.
2363 I'm hosting a show right now. It's called Lights Out; it's on from 10:00 until midnight. It's a specialty show. I've been doing that for six years. I was brought onboard as somewhat of an experiment as the awareness of smooth jazz was starting to build even in this town at that point. Our show has grown to become the number one show in town for evening show, for ratings. You can check that out. That's very exciting for me.
2364 We get many comments from people wanting a full-time station to be able to listen during the day at work.
2365 The smooth jazz format is an interesting format. If you take a look at it from a musician's standpoint, it's really a fusion of pop music, the grooves of pop music that we can tap our feet to with the excitement and the creativity of improvised music. It's something that's not done the same every night. Even though the band will play it, it will be a little different, the solos will be a little different every night. That makes it tremendously exciting, I think, from a musician's standpoint and from an audience standpoint.
2366 I think a lot of people are discovering this music and making it their own, largely because people are used to listening to pop music, they've been exposed to jazz music. For some people, the intensity of jazz music is too much but there's an element in there that really excites them. So the smooth jazz, it's no mystery to me as a musician why this is really catching on because there's elements in there really for everybody.
2367 There's also elements in there that are very unique to this category and that is that smooth jazz can be very effectively used as like a background music. Say you're just working in your house or working in your office; you're not going to want to hear obtrusive lyrics and overbearing sounds of guitars and so on. Smooth jazz is contoured to be a very smooth sound, some would say a healing sound.
2368 I get very many comments from busy businessmen or travellers that will put it on, close their eyes and listen to smooth jazz at the end of the day for an hour or at lunch time or whatever, or have it on in their office. So it's very therapeutic as well and I think those of us that love this style of music would have to agree with that.
2369 From my own experience, we've played in a lot of clubs across Canada and it's really interesting to see younger people come in with their parents. And they're interested in the music because they take these instruments at school. They take trumpet, saxophone, flute lessons at school. Here they get a chance to really relate what they're doing in not only a jazz idiom, which requires some training and historical background and what-have-you, but also in the area that they're really interested in, which is more pop music, more groove oriented. So there's been a tremendous excitement with entire families coming out. Many of the restaurants and bars we play in, although alcohol is permitted, they are family licences, which is the whole family can come in, children with their parents and so on. So that has been really exciting too. As a family man, I like to go and hear bands with my family as well.
2370 It's interesting. The smooth jazz really doesn't compete with other markets. A lot of people you talk to that discover smooth jazz, they feel it's somewhat of a personal discovery. They say, "Finally I've found something I really love here." I get those kind of comments a lot. So it's not like you're stealing listeners from other contemporary styles or hits or oldies or anything. It's a different category altogether.
2371 I really feel that Winnipeggers want a choice in their music and I say that not just from my own personal opinion. It's from actually hosting a show, a smooth jazz show for six years, sitting there every night and listening to the comments we get.
2372 And like I say, CanWest has the ability to see this project through, accept a loss for however long it takes. But I really feel that the CanWest Global proposal has a lot of reality to it because we know that they want to do jazz programming. But the reality is ‑‑ we can take a look at the books. Jazz stations have a hard time. So the reality of doing a smooth jazz programming and largely supporting the station with the smooth jazz programming, inserting the speciality programming tastefully at hours where it works I think could be very feasible.
2373 Another interesting thing that they're proposing, and this is very exciting for musicians ‑‑ I hate to be selfish here, but the Friday evening program that they're proposing to do live at clubs around town is a really exciting thing. With the show I'm doing, we did it for a year on Thursday nights. We did a live broadcast. And live radio is a lot of fun. You can't do it again. And we'd have bands and musicians and we'd do it every Thursday night. We did it for nine months.
2374 The interesting thing about that is in a city like Winnipeg, you have artists passing through town that are doing concerts. A lot of them love to come out and jam afterwards, be part of a live radio show, do a little interview, something impromptu, something not quite as strict and tense as the concert that they came into town to do. So we've seen the reality of that as well.
2375 I just really feel that the model from the U.S., the success in the U.S. and studying the U.S. smooth jazz station, we really can't ignore that. It's going to happen here. It is happening here. It's just a matter of time, and I really believe that this is a very positive seed for planting the smooth jazz format in Canada. Somebody is going to do it. These guys are qualified to do it.
2376 Just one last point as far as entering the world of recording and presenting yourself on the air and so on. Production costs of a smooth jazz CD are lower than a pop or rock CD because oftentimes the musicians can do a lot of the production work on their own or at home. So we have several artists already here in Winnipeg that have CDs out and many of them I'm already presenting them on my show. There's several more that are poised and ready and prepared to go on this. And like I say, the cost is less prohibitive.
2377 That's basically what I have to say. And I'd just like to give my wholehearted support to this project.
2378 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Larsson. Lights Out, is that the one that one of the applicants referred to as, it goes from 10:00 to midnight?
2379 MR. LARSSON: That would probably be correct, yes.
2380 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is this Monday through Friday?
2381 MR. LARSSON: This is Sunday through Thursday at this point.
2382 THE CHAIRPERSON: And do you actually tape it live?
2383 MR. LARSSON: I have the option to do the show live or I can pre-tape it, and I do both. When time permits, I go into the station and I do it live. We do not take calls live; however, we do messages and review the messages.
2384 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you say that this has been -- it's number one in the ratings for that station?
2385 MR. LARSSON: That's correct, yes.
2386 THE CHAIRPERSON: And number one in Winnipeg at that hour, is that the idea?
2387 MR. LARSSON: Number one in Winnipeg. I can be more specific. I believe it's ages 35 to 54 as a demographic.
2388 THE CHAIRPERSON: And do you know what the share is at that time for that show?
2389 MR. LARSSON: No, I'm sorry, I don't, but I could be happy to provide you with that.
2390 THE CHAIRPERSON: I think we can probably find it out. And nobody has offered you a job yet, eh, from Global?
2391 MR. LARSSON: Nobody has offered me a job yet. But you know, like I say, I've been in the business a long time. I intend to stay in it.
2392 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Larsson.
2393 MR. LARSSON: Thank you very much.
2394 THE CHAIRPERSON: I think we'll take our morning break and be back in 15 minutes.
--- Upon recessing at 0958 / Suspension à 0958
--- Upon resuming at 1021 / Reprise à 1021
THE CHAIRPERSON: Will you come to order, please. Mr. Secretary.
2395 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair. At this point, I'd like to call Mr. David McLeod of Native Communications Incorporated to present his intervention to the Corus radio application.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
2396 MR. McLEOD: Thank you. I would like to begin by first thanking the Commission for this opportunity to appear before you today.
2397 As mentioned, my name is Dave McLeod. I'm the general manager of Native Communications Incorporated. I'm here on behalf of the NCI Board of Directors to extend our support for the application put forth by the Corus Radio Company for a licence to operate an FM radio station here in Winnipeg.
2398 I would like to briefly explain who we are. NCI-FM is Manitoba's only and Canada's largest Aboriginal radio network. We began in 1971 in northern Manitoba. Due to our long history we are regarded by many other Aboriginal broadcasters as the largest, most successful radio network of our kind in Canada. We are currently heard from Winnipeg to Churchill, reaching over 57 communities. We will also be re-broadcasting our signal in the Brandon region, 100,000 watts, in the spring of this year.
2399 NCI programming is around the clock, specifically designed to meet the special needs of Manitoba's Aboriginal people. Examples include Aboriginal news, community events, sports coverage and open line talk formats that focus on Aboriginal issues. We feature the best contemporary Native music every hour daily and have a high rotation of the Aboriginal Top 30.
2400 With that, there are several reasons why we are supporting the Corus application, the first being our successful partnership over the last year and a half. NCI and Corus have teamed up on numerous occasions to offer Manitoba programming that would otherwise not be available, especially north of Winnipeg.
2401 One excellent example is the simulcast of the Blue Bomber football games. During their last outstanding season, Corus and NCI worked together so the games could be heard on our network. Not surprisingly, we received a lot of positive feedback from sports fans in outlying communities who received game coverage for the first time thanks to this partnership.
2402 Another example occurred when technicians from Corus assisted our annual Aboriginal talent show with telephone line equipment. This greatly improved the sound quality that was sent to our studio, then onward to the network, reaching music fans everywhere from Winnipeg to Churchill.
2403 The Corus engineers have also worked with NCI when our technical manager is out of town or unavailable.
2404 These are several examples of partnerships which have benefited thousands of music fans and sports fans in the province.
2405 NCI is now excited that the Corus FM application proposes to further this partnership, which will benefit not only our communities but Manitoba's broadcast industry as a whole. As stipulated in the application, Corus Radio Company will contribute the amount of $150,000 per year over a seven-year period to be utilized towards Aboriginal broadcast training and other initiatives.
2406 I believe that this proposed partnership will become part of the big picture, building the foundations of an Aboriginal broadcast industry. Right now, in very real terms, an Aboriginal broadcasting industry is being created in Canada. There are currently Aboriginal radio networks similar to NCI operating throughout Canada. The recent creation of the national Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, based here in Winnipeg, is a great part of that new industry and illustrates that there is a need for future opportunities for up-and-coming Aboriginal broadcasters.
2407 Manitoba needs to cultivate Aboriginal broadcasters, particularly journalists. As included with our letter of support, as well as others from the Aboriginal Council of Winnipeg, the Manitoba Metis Federation and the Minister of Aboriginal and Northern Affairs, Eric Robinson, strongly support this cause. The reasons are quite simple.
2408 Statistics Canada figures for 1996 show that Aboriginal people are the second most populous ethnic group in Manitoba. In 1996 there were 128,685 self-identified Aboriginal people, nearly 12 percent of Manitoba's total population. Conventional wisdom tells us that the number is probably a lot higher than that.
2409 A public policy institution, the Canada West Foundation, released a report last September that estimated Winnipeg's Aboriginal population to be approximately 60,000 people at this time.
2410 The big news is by 2016, Canada's Aboriginal population will double. I'll go on to say that Manitoba's First Nation and Metis people are currently moving into Winnipeg in record numbers. By 2016, Winnipeg's Aboriginal population is expected to reach 100,000 people.
2411 According to the report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal People, "The potential of Aboriginal media to reinforce identity and community while providing a bridge to participating in the larger society is demonstrated in the history of broadcasting in the north," which is something NCI certainly knows about.
2412 Aboriginal people have stories to share, experiences, achievements and a living, flourishing culture. Trained Aboriginal broadcasters can achieve the goal of obtaining and reporting these stories. We need properly trained Aboriginal journalists to accomplish this goal.
2413 Over the last several years we have noted that there is much difficulty in hiring Aboriginal students who have graduated from a broadcast training program, particularly with a journalism background. In the past, we have had to contact colleges in other provinces to find suitably trained people. This situation exists primarily because of one critical obstacle for many Aboriginal people, specifically the youth, and especially in northern Manitoba, there is a lack of resources in order to gain the appropriate training to enter the broadcast industry.
2414 The application by Corus would greatly remedy this situation and offer an opportunity that would benefit NCI and potential Aboriginal journalists, as well as thousands of listeners and viewers in the province.
2415 The training dollars that Corus is offering is a seven-year solution that will not only help build an Aboriginal broadcast industry; it will certainly change lives.
2416 Each year, for seven consecutive years, five Aboriginal students will benefit from the Corus fund. Three will enter a full-time Creative Communications program at Red River College and two graduating students will receive an internship for a one-year period with NCI-FM and CJOB, Corus owned. A selection criteria will be formulated that will review each potential candidate's ability to successfully complete a broadcast journalism program.
2417 The Creative Communications program is a two-year diploma program designed to give students the skills to succeed in the communication fields of broadcast production, advertising, journalism and public relations.
2418 In the first year, students broadly study all four fields and in the second year, they major in one specific area. In this case, it would be journalism.
2419 I recently spoke with Larry Partap. He's the Coordinator for the Creative Communications program, and he assured me that if the Corus FM application is accepted, he would guarantee three spots out of the soon-to-be 75 spots available at the college, the only stipulation being that the entrance requirements are met, those being a grade 12 diploma and the successful completion of entrance tests and an interview process.
2420 According to him, the number of Aboriginal students in the program has been very, very low. In fact, out of the program's current 100 students, only six are Aboriginal. He also mentioned that no Aboriginal students from northern Manitoba have ever entered the program to his knowledge. He also commented that Aboriginal students as a whole are under-represented and need to be targeted by the college. The main barrier, he said, was funding. In addition, his department gets calls from employers seeking out Aboriginal students for mentoring programs.
2421 Needless to say, Red River College is excited about this proposed initiative. I would like to also mention that the hiring rate from Creative Communications is 90 percent, which bodes well in terms of Aboriginal employment initiatives. And Larry also mentioned that that usually happens within a six-month period after graduation.
2422 The bottom line is 36 Aboriginal students will graduate over a seven-year period. Fourteen Aboriginal and visible minority students will gain a one-year work experience with NCI and Corus. Why I've mentioned visible minority is, when a person graduates from the program, if another opportunity comes along that they want to take, fine. Because I think we need to open this up to mainstream, to us, to everybody once a student completes the program.
2423 The budget presented, which is in my report also, highlights 8 percent of the $150,000 towards a Manitoba Aboriginal talent showcase. Over the last year, we have noted a lack of events that showcase Aboriginal talent. There is a great need for these showcases. When the Manitoba Metis Federation showcased a Metis talent show at the Winnipeg Concert Hall, they sold out the venue with over 2,300 people in attendance. NCI also had a talent show at the historic Walker Theatre. We sold it out as well with over 1,500 people in attendance. Aboriginal people want to attend events that showcase our music and talents, as opportunities for exposure are limited within the mainstream.
2424 In the coming years, I believe NCI's Country Jam will become the number one Aboriginal music event draw. The event is broadcast live, winners' songs are broadcast live on the air, and as part of the prizes, three winners receive a total of 175 airplays.
2425 Action is needed now to make this come to life. Aboriginal youth need to access training through educational institutions and Native culture and music needs a forum for exposure and development. This proposed partnership with Corus will offer a training initiative that will bring a unique opportunity to Aboriginal people here in Manitoba.
2426 Thank you very much for the opportunity to speak here today. Meegwetch.
2427 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. McLeod.
2428 MR. McLEOD: Thank you.
2429 THE CHAIRPERSON: And thank you for coming here and telling my colleagues about NCI. I certainly know about it and appreciate its prominence in the world of Aboriginal broadcasting.
2430 I wanted to ask you a few things about the benefits that are proposed. Number one, Corus said that this sum of money, $150,000 would be given to you for what was defined as operational expenses. In terms of NCI's funding, are you still getting funding from the federal government?
2431 MR. McLEOD: Yes, we are. We're 45 percent funded.
2432 THE CHAIRPERSON: So if monies are given to you as operational funding, is that going to reduce your federal funding? That was my concern.
2433 MR. McLEOD: I don't believe it is because we're encouraged to find monies elsewhere, and being 45 percent funded, I think that the government recognizes that.
2434 THE CHAIRPERSON: It's a heck of a lot better than anybody else.
2435 MR. McLEOD: Well, yeah. And I think the changes that occurred last year in terms of advertising ‑‑ we were capped at six minutes an hour ‑‑ that was taken away as part of that recognition of our funding levels are dwindling. So we in fact as a non‑profit group, need to find ways to sustain what we do. But in terms of operational, we will get the two trainees every year to help, which will be working towards talk format programs, open line formats, getting news.
2436 I think it's quite exciting. We did a survey probably about a year and a half ago and we phoned 400 listeners, an in-house survey, and one of the biggest needs that people want is Aboriginal talk shows and Aboriginal, news and weather was one of them as well, which took us by surprise. But when you're living up north, you need to know the weather a lot, so it's a need that was identified in the in-house survey as well.
2437 THE CHAIRPERSON: And when we're talking about -- first we'll talk about the students. Are you going to ‑‑ I know you're going to direct it to Aboriginal students, but are you going to direct it to Manitoba Aboriginal students or is it going to be open?
2438 MR. McLEOD: Yes, we want to encourage -- this is something that Larry and I talked about as well. Through our network, we would obviously be able to promote this as well on the air. He asked about that. We talked about that and I said yes, that would be part of this, so that way the word would get out there, you know, and what better way to reach the audience than through our radio network. And I believe we'll get an amazing response.
2439 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you wouldn't limit it to Manitoba Natives but you would only promote it through NCI so that would probably end up that you would --
2440 MR. McLEOD: Yes, what we found in the past is in our hiring practice, we hire an Aboriginal person, say, from Saskatchewan, usually they'll want to be here for about a year and then they'll want to move back home.
2441 THE CHAIRPERSON: Back to God's country.
2442 MR. McLEOD: Exactly. So if we get somebody from Manitoba, chances are they'll do better, they'll do well if they stay in the province.
2443 THE CHAIRPERSON: And then for the work experience, when you talk about either Aboriginal or visible minority students, the eligibility list would be just graduates from Red River or graduates from any journalism --
2444 MR. McLEOD: When I talked with Larry, what's happening with them is they're focusing more on journalism and they're moving into their new building on Princess. They're going to have state-of-the-art editing suites and it's going to be a great facility for people to learn in. So it's quite exciting to have the opportunity that we might be able to be part of that. Larry is very vocal about trying to get these kind of initiatives going too.
2445 THE CHAIRPERSON: So it would then only be graduates of Red River or people from Red River that you would be recruiting for this second ‑‑ the post-graduate?
2446 MR. McLEOD: No, I don't -- yeah, I think we could go outside. I think we want to open that up to an interview process. And of course, Corus would be involved with that as well because they would be working alongside at CJOB as well. So no, we would open that up.
2447 THE CHAIRPERSON: And then you were talking about the showcase. You don't have an annual showcase in Manitoba? NCI doesn't have an annual showcase?
2448 MR. McLEOD: Yes, we do. We brought it to Winnipeg, and frankly we were shocked by the turnout. The ticket sellers from Ticketmaster said they have never seen a line-up like they did for our show ‑‑ they call it walk-ins, where people just walk in and pay for their tickets ‑‑ because it was around the block. It was an incredible sight. That's why we decided that it would be good to help promote Aboriginal talent here in the province.
2449 In fact, our Top 30 has about five artists on it from Manitoba and we've been in touch with the MACA Awards, who recognize musicians here in Manitoba. They want to give an Aboriginal award out now. They came to our offices and talked to us about that. We said great. And they said, "What's the line‑up? Who do you guys play," and we gave them the line‑up. And so they're really excited about that partnership, recognizing Aboriginal musicians here in the province.
2450 THE CHAIRPERSON: So given that you already have your own talent showcase, the extra $16,000 a year, is that going to make it bigger? Is that the hope?
2451 MR. McLEOD: Yes. My thought is ‑‑ because I can see this event growing a lot and the money that's shown here, obviously we would be putting monies towards that as well and finding other sponsors to further develop it. I've been contacted by a studio in Winnipeg as well, wanting to know if they can work with us to bring the winner of this talent show into the studio to record a single or some songs. So there's talks of that going on now too. Of course, they recognize that when these events are held, the winners have a CD, we play that music, it gets sold. So it's interesting. We're creating a bit of a music industry in that term, especially having a Top 30 that has a high rotation.
2452 THE CHAIRPERSON: And don't you develop that Top 30?
2453 MR. McLEOD: Yes, we develop it based on requests in the evening, some charts in Canada and the United States and we -- yeah, we do. We develop the Top 30 and its also published every month in the Grassroots newspaper.
2454 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for coming here.
2455 MR. McLEOD: Thank you.
2456 THE SECRETARY: Now I'll return to the interveners to the Global Communications application. I now call Mr. David Angus of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce. Please proceed when you're ready.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
2457 MR. ANGUS: Thank you. Good morning, Madam Chair, members of the panel. It's a pleasure for me to be here. I'm Dave Angus. I'm the President of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce.
2458 CanWest Global has been and continues to be a long-time member of our organization and certainly a major contributor to our community. I'm here to speak briefly on CanWest Global's contribution to our local community, which I think is important to address.
2459 CanWest Global's corporate success and growth has had a dramatic and positive impact on our community from the beginning 24 years ago with the establishment of CKND-TV. CanWest Global has grown to become an international player in the media industry. Their success stems from a keen understanding of the industry, the customers they serve, and an unwavering commitment to innovation and excellence in all facets of their operation.
2460 Their pursuit of expansion in all forms of media including television, radio, print, and the Internet will continue to make significant contributions to the development, promotion, and exhibition of domestic content in the Canadian market. Their commitment to strengthening the Canadian broadcasting system as well and the opportunity to bring its broadcasting expertise to Canadian radio presents a tremendous opportunity, not only for Canadian broadcasting but also for the local Winnipeg community. They are also extremely committed to the development of Canadian talent, which is very important to our community.
2461 We really highlight Winnipeg's success as a national centre for arts and culture, a very important part of who we are, certainly a very important part of our future. So the development of local talent, Canadian talent, is extremely important to the quality of our community.
2462 As impressive as CanWest Global's business success has been, equally impressive is their unwavering commitment to Winnipeg. This community has benefited greatly from the growth with a continuing consolidation of their operations in Winnipeg. Just recently in the last year, from their cable specialty channels to their call centre operation, Winnipeg has been the beneficiary of their commitment to this community.
2463 One cannot comment on the contribution of CanWest Global without highlighting their contribution to the quality of life in Winnipeg. Their investment back into the community, especially in the area of arts and culture, has been very impressive. From CanWest Global Park to CanWest Performing Arts Centre, to the Manitoba Theatre for Young People, and all the contributions to the many organizations that make up the fabric of Winnipeg's arts and cultural community, CanWest Global has been an outstanding corporate citizen within our community.
2464 If we just look at the slice of their contribution to the arts or their commitment to jazz, which is pertinent certainly to today's discussion, we see support for Jazz Winnipeg Festival, sponsorship of the Legends of Bandstand, the presenter of an evening of Manitoba Jazz, and the establishment of the CanWest Global Jazz Achievement Award, which is really just an example of how they contribute back to the community and how they contribute back to the arts.
2465 The Asper family, from Israel to Leonard to Gail to David, are extremely active in building our community, and we see their involvement really in every corner of our community: in education through the Asper Centre for Entrepreneurship and Asper School of Business, right to Health Care, with the recent announcement of Israel Asper's multi-million dollar contribution to the St. Boniface Health Research Centre, really, two recent examples of how they continue to raise the bar when it comes to their commitment and contribution to the citizens of Winnipeg.
2466 The application for smooth jazz is being made with a company that is committed to excellence in Canadian broadcasting, has a proven track record of success, and has gone above and beyond in their commitment and contribution to the city and the people of Winnipeg.
2467 I really do appreciate, on behalf of our organization, the opportunity to provide some commentary on what we consider to be a very valued member of our chamber but also a very important member of our community. We've always been very impressed with their commitment to Winnipeg and with all the ventures that they enter into. A piece of it is how they contribute back to Winnipeg and how it will facilitate further growth and enhance the quality of life of Winnipeggers.
2468 I thank you for the opportunity to provide those comments.
2469 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Cardozo.
2470 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you very much for your presentation, Mr. Angus. A few questions. I appreciate what you've had to add to this, and I'm certainly aware of the Asper family and the corporation in terms of their corporate citizenship and what they do for the city of Winnipeg and the proud citizens that they are and indeed the pride that Winnipeg citizens have of them too.
2471 Let me ask you a couple of questions that come up sometimes. One is a matter of media concentration. As a chamber of commerce, do you have any concerns about one company owning a television and a radio station in the market?
2472 MR. ANGUS: Well, first of all, I think this process is a healthy one and one that certainly our chamber embraces to ensure that we're going to have healthy competition within the marketplace.
2473 I think what CanWest Global has embraced is sort of the advantage of the convergence of different media and how we can leverage that to continue to grow. So certainly, when we look at how CanWest is progressing and how they're handling that convergence, we've been impressed to date and we certainly don't have concerns as a chamber in terms of having one company that has multiple operations within the media landscape.
2474 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: And are you satisfied that there are enough other -- one of the issues we deal with that they ask us to look at is diversity of news voices. So when you have one owner owning a television and a radio, are you satisfied that there are enough other voices among radio and television?
2475 MR. ANGUS: I can only speak personally to that, but certainly I think we do have ‑‑ we're well represented in terms of our diversity of voices, and there isn't a sense, from my perspective, that there's just too much of a centralization of that particular voice.
2476 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: It's interesting as an observation, the perspective of media concentration and the role of Southam and the Asper family has a different take on it in Winnipeg than it does in the rest of the country, because even when you look at the issue of national editorials, which I don't want to get into, they come from Winnipeg to elsewhere, and usually national comes ‑‑ so I think there's a certain perhaps pride in Winnipeg that national something comes from here.
2477 MR. ANGUS: Right.
2478 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Can I ask you about the -- I don't know if you've had a chance to look at their application closely. Obviously they have indicated that they are extremely committed to this genre and so committed that they're prepared to run a radio station essentially at a loss for the first seven years. As a chamber, does that concern you?
2479 MR. ANGUS: Well, I think it would concern me if the organization that is running it isn't financially in a position to be able to do that. Obviously getting into certain operations, there's going to be a certain period of time in order to recoup your investment. I think what the application speaks to is their long-term commitment to this particular genre, their identification that there is a void in the local marketplace when it comes to this type of programming and a company.
2480 Really, I speak to sort of -- they see a benefit from this application not just from the business case, which obviously they have had a pretty good track record in terms of addressing, but also in terms of the genre of music and how it will add more diversity to the local marketplace.
2481 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Tell me ‑‑ you mentioned this, but tell me a little more about how this radio station would fit into what this corporation and this family does. There are projects or buildings or schools that bear their name. There are also other major events which they are major contributors to. How does this radio station fit in with the rest of that?
2482 MR. ANGUS: Well, I think ‑‑ and really, I would leave that to CanWest Global to describe in specifics, but what I see from this organization is a real commitment to the arts and culture, and the investment in the development of local talent, when you take a look at the creation of the Performing Arts Centre and the Manitoba Theatre for Young People, which actually I sent my kids to ‑‑ had a great experience there ‑‑ in terms of the development of local talent. I see that as a major motivation behind all of these things. So with the establishment of the enterprise comes more contribution and commitment to the development of local talent as well. That's what I see in the application.
2483 MR. CARDOZO: Okay. Those are my questions. Thanks very much, Mr. Angus.
2484 MR. ANGUS: Thank you.
2485 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Angus. Mr. Secretary.
2486 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair. I now call Mr. Ron Paley.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
2487 MR. PALEY: Good morning, Madam Chair and members of the panel. My name is Ron Paley. I'm a musician here in Winnipeg.
2488 I love music -- I love all music. I love rock and roll, I love hip-hop, I love country music, I love classical music. I love to play it and I love to listen to it. And I can hear many of those kinds of music on a regular basis. If I want to hear rock and roll, I can hear it. If I want to hear dance music, I can hear it almost at any time. Classical music I can hear almost any time. And that's not a bad thing. That's a good thing. That's a great thing.
2489 But if I want to hear jazz almost any time, I can't. I can hear it sometimes but I can't hear it any time. I think that's something that has been sorely missed for many, many years. We've needed a full-time jazz station, and this station would address different types of jazz, not just smooth jazz. They're going to play traditional jazz. So it's going to be eclectic. It's primarily smooth jazz but it will play other kinds of jazz, and I think that's important.
2490 I'm sure that some of your either have or have had children in music programs in schools, and jazz is very important in those programs. Sometimes I get the opportunity to work at various high schools with the students, and it's amazing to see what jazz, how it influences their life, their lifestyle, just their attitudes, and this would really help them connect, I think, more strongly with jazz.
2491 I would like to say a few words about Izzy Asper and CanWest Global. Izzy is an excellent jazz pianist and he loves jazz. I mean he really loves jazz. And I think that's the reason why he's prepared to take losses for a number of years. He sees that the momentum of jazz has been building for a number of years and it really is time for something like this, for a full-time jazz station. As you've also seen, when he's prepared to do something, he will use his resources and do it. I know that if he has the opportunity to do this, this station will work, benefiting the jazz listeners and musicians and, I think, the whole artistic community.
2492 So I really hope that you will give this chance for jazz to be disseminated on a full-time basis.
2493 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Good morning, Mr. Paley. What's the jazz scene like in Winnipeg now? Are there nightclubs, or what kind of venues would a jazz musician enjoy today?
2494 MR. PALEY: It's excellent. There are clubs -- there isn't a full-time jazz club but there are many different clubs that have jazz. The scene has been burgeoning for a number of years now. I can only describe it as healthy and it's also very eclectic. There are many different kinds of jazz that are played. So it's a very good jazz scene. The Jazz Music Festival has helped that a lot. There are lots of things happening jazz-wise.
2495 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Are you able to make a full-time living in a band?
2496 MR. PALEY: Yes, but not -- I don't make a full-time living playing jazz. I play jazz whenever the opportunity ‑‑ whenever I'm able to do it, but that's why the first thing I said is I love all music because I love to play all kinds of music. So I play other kinds of music as well.
2497 I would like to play more jazz and I would like to hear more jazz, and I think that's -- again, that's not saying anything negative towards any other kind of music. I love all music. But we definitely need a full-time jazz station.
2498 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: In your written intervention, you talked about the proposed Canadian Talent Development initiatives and how you find it most positive and heart-warming, and as you understand how difficult it can be to get first established as a musician. Can you build on that a little bit? What are the challenges that you --
2499 MR. PALEY: Can you say it again? What do I say?
2500 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: You say you understand how difficult it can be to first get established as a musician and you thought the Global Canadian Talent Development initiatives would help make that easier.
2501 MR. PALEY: No question. I mean, the CanWest Global award is awarded every year and that's a major incentive for musicians. There are scholarships that are awarded by CanWest Global. It's not easy to make your living ‑‑ to get started or make your living as a jazz musician. There are musicians that do it. I don't think there are any in Winnipeg that do it full time, only jazz. Most musicians play other kinds of music as well. But there are musicians in larger cities that make a living only playing jazz.
2502 So to address the issue of it being difficult to get started, yeah, it's difficult. I think it would be more difficult if this station doesn't happen because if the station was around, the opportunity for young people to hear more jazz would be there and it would be less difficult for them to say, "I like that. What is this?" It's a new kind of music, so I think it would make it less difficult for them to get -- at least to hear it and have their imagination piqued by the sound that they may or may not have been aware of.
2503 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Okay. Thank you very much. I have no further questions.
2504 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Paley. It's a pleasure to have you here. Do I take it that you also support the Red River application?
2505 MR. PALEY: I support all applications.
2506 THE CHAIRPERSON: Aren't you on the board of that?
2507 MR. PALEY: The Red River?
2508 THE CHAIRPERSON: Red River College?
2509 MR. PALEY: No, I'm not.
2510 THE CHAIRPERSON: No? Okay.
2511 MR. PALEY: No, I'm not but --
2512 THE CHAIRPERSON: Another Mr. ‑‑ OKAY.
2513 MR. PALEY: So I mean, I ‑‑
2514 THE CHAIRPERSON: I was in error.
2515 MR. PALEY: No, that's okay. That's why I said -- what is the reason that we can only have one FM station? Is it something as far as the broadcast ‑‑ like the FM band is concerned or what? Why is it not possible to have more?
2516 THE CHAIRPERSON: It could be an issue of frequencies, and then also there's the issue of the ability of the market to absorb too many new stations. Those are the challenges that we have to deal with in deciding if there should be more than one.
2517 MR. PALEY: So I do support all of them but I'm here to support jazz. But as I say, I love all music. That's why I'm here.
2518 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, sir.
2519 MR. PALEY: Thank you.
2520 THE SECRETARY: I now call Ms. Karen Oliver of the Manitoba Conservatory of Music and Arts. Please proceed when you're ready.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
2521 MS. OLIVER: Thank you. Good morning, Madam Chair and members of the Commission. My name is Karen Oliver. I'm the director at the Manitoba Conservatory of Music and Arts.
2522 The Conservatory is a non-profit organization which provides music education programs for Manitobans. These programs include everything from private and group instrumental instruction to classes in music and art appreciation, and we do include a growing jazz program in our programming opportunities.
2523 Approximately 1,700 students studied with the Conservatory last year and thousands of others attended our performances and events. Broadly, the mandate of the Manitoba Conservatory of Music and Art is to develop the artists and the audiences of the future. This includes the development of the jazz genre and it's a growing interest, we're finding, in our client base.
2524 Just to tell you about the perspective that we take on music education, it's a very inclusive approach. Our students are all ages and all levels of ability from nearing professional students to students who are just starting out, students who want to play recreationally, you might say, and also adults and younger people who simply want to understand music and enjoy it more. They may not be performers, they may not even be musicians, but they want to understand music and be able to incorporate it into their lives more.
2525 So we provide programs for all of those people. Professor Gillis has already made many points from an arts education perspective so I'm not going to repeat them. But I would like to voice the support of the Conservatory for this application by Global Communications because we believe that this radio station would support the goals that we are trying to accomplish by developing a wider audience for jazz and by providing opportunities for Canadian jazz artists including emerging artists to be heard.
2526 The format that I understand that's proposed for this station is one which will undoubtedly be of interest to our students and the families of our students. In our current radio market here, there isn't really a station which offers the specific format that's proposed here whereby traditional jazz fans have not previously had a station where they can consistently hear music that they wanted to hear, and so many of them, I think, have drifted away from radio. We've been tuning into CBC at specific times and so on but there hasn't been a radio station which was offering that opportunity more regularly.
2527 I think with the combination of smooth jazz and the traditional jazz that this station has proposed to offer, there will be a wider range of listeners which will appeal to both our younger students at the Conservatory and our older students with more mature jazz tastes.
2528 We're also very delighted that the application proposes a significant percentage of Canadian content because there are so many excellent Canadian jazz musicians, both established and emerging, who can benefit from the airplay that will be provided.
2529 On our faculty at the Conservatory we have many prominent jazz musicians from the community who are teaching our students, and I think it's very exciting for students and other members of the community to see those people getting airplay and to have role models so that they can aspire to the same thing.
2530 And as I mentioned, we also have students who are nearing professional and would look for opportunities to also get more public exposure and airplay for recordings that they are now making. So I see this station as having so much potential to support what we are trying to do at the Conservatory.
2531 Finally, I also wanted to comment on the dedication that we have seen demonstrated by Global Communications both in this application and in the community support that we have seen over the years in the development of jazz and Canadian jazz musicians. This particular application contains several outstanding local initiatives for identifying and supporting new talent.
2532 But I think even more than that, we realize that it's more than a commercial venture because Global Communications and the Asper family have clearly shown through their involvement in the jazz program, for example, at the Conservatory, and almost every other jazz venture that's happening in the city, that their interest is genuine and it's intelligent and it's sustained. They have been willing to consistently and methodically invest in jazz development, and this application appears to continue to support that vision.
2533 What we struggle with as an educational organization is that music education is not sexy to sponsors. It's not something that gets a lot of profile for a sponsor or a donor. So while it may be much easier to attract a sponsor for an individual concert, when you're looking at sustaining an interest in music or in arts development, it's not easy to find a sponsor or a supporter. We have found that CanWest Global has come to the plate for us, and it has been most encouraging to see that they really care about the future of our young artists.
2534 So in conclusion, I would just like to say that as an organization that is dedicated to music education and performance, to the future of the arts and culture in Manitoba, the Manitoba Conservatory of Music and Arts sees this application as proposing an intelligent and artistic option and believes it would be in the interests of Winnipeg's music community and indeed of the community at large to see this station on the air.
2535 Thank you very much for the opportunity to present our feelings on this issue.
2536 THE CHAIRPERSON: Ms. Oliver, when I was growing up not so long ago, in Saskatchewan, I took my music through the Royal Conservatory of Music, not "arts."
2537 MS. OLIVER: Right.
2538 THE CHAIRPERSON: Is that essentially what the Manitoba Conservatory of Music and Arts, is the structure -- is that essentially what it is?
2539 MS. OLIVER: The structure of our Conservatory is somewhat similar to the Royal Conservatory structure in Toronto. The Royal Conservatory has an examination system which they offer to students all over the country, and it's a curriculum that can be followed and then exams you can take in order to get accreditation at various levels. So many of our teachers at the Manitoba Conservatory use the Royal Conservatory examination system, so in that sense we're somewhat affiliated.
2540 THE CHAIRPERSON: And so the manner in which your Conservatory teaches the 1,700 music students is through music teachers all throughout the province?
2541 MS. OLIVER: Our main branch is in Winnipeg and that's where the vast majority of our students are, but when we get a request from a rural community we work to find either a qualified teacher in that community who we can somehow support or we send a teacher out to that community. So currently we do have four rural branches where we send teachers on a weekly basis to provide musical instruction where there's a gap existing.
2542 THE CHAIRPERSON: And what arts, then, are you also involved in, in terms of --
2543 MS. OLIVER: We have a visual arts program so that we have teachers who are doing painting and drawing and some multimedia sort of art. And although we don't currently have instruction in theatre or dance, because we feel those areas are being very well served by other organizations, we do audience development programs. So sometimes we might work, for example, with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet on providing a workshop or a series of workshops on understanding ballet. Likewise, we might do the same thing with the theatre centre, Manitoba Theatre Centre, where we concentrate on a certain kind of theatre and work with them to develop their audience because we're concerned about the whole arts community.
2544 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Thank you very much for coming here.
2545 MS. OLIVER: Thank you.
2546 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary.
2547 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair. I now call Mr. David Sherman of Jazz Winnipeg Inc. Please proceed when you're ready, Mr. Sherman.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
2548 MR. SHERMAN: Good morning, Madam Chair and members of the Commission. I'm Dave Sherman, the executive producer of the Jazz Winnipeg Festival. I've been the producer of the festival since 1993 and this upcoming June will be our 13th Annual Jazz Festival, Lucky 13, we hope.
2549 We present the festival every June for approximately seven to 10 days. We also produce an urban music festival in the fall of every year as well as an Evening of Manitoba Jazz Concert where we present the CanWest Global Jazz Achievement Award, as well as several other events throughout the year.
2550 On behalf of our board at the festival, I think that Smooth FM would offer a very unique and important opportunity for the promotion and development of jazz music in Canada. The absence of a full-time jazz radio station in Winnipeg leaves a notable gap on the airways. I travel a lot around the U.S. and Canada, and especially in the United States, and I go to certain cities and I want to hear jazz, I know I can listen to a certain station almost any time of the day or night and there is jazz on there. That makes a huge difference.
2551 In Winnipeg you really have to search to find a jazz radio show. It could be at 7:00 at night or 7:00 in the morning on any day of the week. I think it would be very important. Smooth FM would greatly help increase the audience for jazz music in Winnipeg, especially at the festival and for our events that we present during the year. Jazz music might not be as accessible as pop music, but once people listen to things, they're more willing to go out and pay to see a show at the festival.
2552 I think the key strength of the Smooth FM proposal is its diversity. It's not only smooth jazz but incorporates other forms of jazz music.
2553 With regards to their commitments, I think they'll help stimulate the development of both new and existing Canadian jazz talent through their specific commitments to FACTOR, Jazz Winnipeg, and the University of Manitoba Band Camp. I think the Project Smooth talent competition is a great idea to support local talent. And I think the general exposure it will afford to Canadian artists with airplay in this market will be huge, and it will provide a much needed boost to the artistic community that has too often been ignored by commercial radio.
2554 I also believe that Smooth FM eventually will help create more artists such as Diana Krall, Holly Cole, Jessie Cook, just to name a few, that can become self-sustaining. There's a lot of great Canadian talent; it just needs to be heard.
2555 As I've done the festival since '93, we've brought in so many great musicians over the years that tend to find other careers after a while because they can't get the revenue from live shows. It's really hard for them to connect to an audience unless people can hear them on the radio.
2556 CanWest Global has already shown an impressive commitment to jazz in Winnipeg. I've already mentioned the CanWest Global Jazz Achievement Aawards. It's an event we've held, I think, for the last five years. We've presented awards to Ron Paley, Lenny Breau, Dave Young -- who else? ‑‑ Reg Kell and Ron Halderson, as well as broadcaster Ross Porter received the award.
2557 There's also the Asper Foundation Jazz Performance Series which takes place throughout the year and they do support the Jazz Festival.
2558 I think the addition of the Smooth FM station, the most important reason I think it would help is just to create a very strong interest for jazz, especially Canadian artists, in Winnipeg.
2559 Thank you.
2560 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Sherman, you talked about the festival in Winnipeg, and of course you set it up. How many people attend the festival on average?
2561 MR. SHERMAN: On average it's between thirty to forty thousand, depending on the weather.
2562 THE CHAIRPERSON: And it's a week long; have I got it right?
2563 MR. SHERMAN: Yes.
2564 THE CHAIRPERSON: And it's in the summer?
2565 MR. SHERMAN: Yes. And what we'd like to see with this ‑‑ as part of the festival, there's so many -- like I mentioned Holly Cole, Jessie Cook ‑‑ we'd like to see more artists of that stature. Obviously, with the way the Canadian dollar is, I would prefer to hire Canadian acts, and with their commitment to fund Canadian concerts, with a free Smooth Jazz concert that will only help to increase the audience for Canadian artists.
2566 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Thank you very much for taking the time.
2567 MR. SHERMAN: Thank you. You're welcome.
2568 THE SECRETARY: Now moving to the interveners to the Red River College application. I now call Mr. Ken Webb. Please proceed when you're ready, Mr. Webb.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
2569 MR. WEBB: Thank you very much. Good morning, Madam Chair and members of the Commission.
2570 My name is Ken Webb and I'm the vice‑president academic at Red River College. I'm very pleased to be here today to support Red River College Radio's application for a campus instructional FM license.
2571 The college has a very proud and longstanding reputation for educational excellence of our award-winning Creative Communications program. As a flagship program for Red River College, the Creative Communications program was selected as the outstanding college program in Canada by the Association of Community Colleges of Canada in 1998, and it continues its tradition of excellence today.
2572 We are very excited about the addition of a comprehensive radio and TV broadcast major in conjunction with the opening of our new downtown campus later this year.
2573 Colleges train and educate the workforce. We are the centres of applied learning, preparing graduates for careers in an increasingly global economy. Applied education focuses on the application of skills and knowledge, which includes practical hands-on experience through labs, work experience, practicums and clinical placements, cooperative education and "living laboratories," such as our restaurants, dining rooms, day cares, newspapers, animal blood banks and radio stations.
2574 A student-operated instructional radio station will fulfil this applied learning mandate in spades. The opportunities to respond to the real deadline pressures of an operating radio station will do more to prepare learners for careers in broadcasting than any other single component of the program.
2575 Students in all four disciplines of the Creative Communications program will benefit from the opportunity to work at a radio station. Journalism students will write news and current affairs programs. Advertising and public relations majors will hone their sales and community relations skills, and broadcasting students will be responsible for the station's technical and day-to-day operations.
2576 There are a number of other benefits to the college and the community and to our learners of a radio licence. It gives the opportunity to showcase the talents of college students. It provides a public forum for college issues and current events. It connects students to the community and to the college by reaching to their homes, and it will provide a communication link between our campuses.
2577 Red River College is committed to the success of a campus instructional station. Capital funding for the station start-up has been accommodated in the construction budget of the new campus and in the program funding for the new radio and TV broadcast production major that was approved in December. The college has also committed to covering the operating shortfalls for the first three years until the station can become financially self-sustaining.
2578 Red River College also supports the CRTC policies of campus radio stations being governed by a not-for-profit organization associated with a post-secondary educational institution. Accordingly, the college supports the incorporation of Red River College Radio under the Corporations Act of Manitoba.
2579 Red River College is a learner-centred, multicultural college, and this means that our prime focus is on the success of our learners. A campus instructional radio station will help us provide the learners in our new radio and TV broadcast production program the high quality applied education they deserve and that our community needs.
2580 I respectfully request that you support and approve their application. Thank you very much.
2581 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Thank you for that thoughtful, comprehensive, and well organized presentation. I have no questions.
2582 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Webb. I do. You talked about the college willing to support the station for the first three years until it becomes financially self-sustaining. What if it takes four?
2583 MR. WEBB: That would not be a problem. The funding for the program is in the order of $700,000 a year. The estimated cost of operating the radio station is around thirty to forty, and we're hoping to generate the to thirty to forty revenue. All college programs are expected to live within their budgets of course, but they all experience some minor variance from year to year. The managers of those programs are asked to adjust operations to accommodate those shortfalls. If they become too large, then the college as a corporation steps in and helps out.
2584 The importance of a college FM licence and instructional radio station to the success of this new major in our program is very significant and we would support it. We would also help it become self-sustaining.
2585 THE CHAIRPERSON: So $30,000 is only a rounding error?
2586 MR. WEBB: Yes.
2587 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Webb.
2588 THE SECRETARY: I now call Robyn Osmond of the Red River College Students Association. Again, please proceed when you're ready, Ms. Osmond.
INTERVENTION / INTERVENTION
2589 MS. OSMOND: Good morning, Madam Chair. My name is Robyn Osmond and I am the Students' Association member on the board of directors of Red River College Radio.
2590 The Red River Students' Association is committed to serving the interests of Red River college students and in some cases by proactively ensuring that services and programs that are needed are delivered to our students.
2591 As the president of the Red River College Students' Association, I'm here today representing not only the Association but also all of the students at Red River College. I would like to express my enthusiasm for the program's application for the CRTC instructional broadcast licence for the Creative Communications students at the Princess Street campus.
2592 This radio station will provide students with the training and experience needed to make it in commercial radio. By providing a voice within the Winnipeg community, we are allowing our aspiring broadcasters an opportunity to gain public exposure and experience as they look for employment.
2593 Red River College's Creative Communications program is recognized and highly respected in both Manitoba and the rest of Canada. A true-to-life broadcasting experience can only further and enhance the quality of Red River College's educational experience.
2594 This radio station will be using some of the latest technologies found in the commercial broadcasting community, which will better prepare our grads.
2595 Since the beginning of this application, the Red River College Students' Association has supported this initiative. An example of our ongoing campus media support includes our student newspaper, called The Projector, our TV broadcast, RRCTV, as well as our closed-circuit radio station, CMOR, all of which are 100 percent funded by our association and created and compiled 100 percent by students on campus. CMOR, the closed-circuit radio station is unique because it offers all students on campus access to be a DJ and to take advantage of our service.
2596 The students at Red River College welcome this exciting new addition and encourage the CRTC to look favourably towards the future possibilities that this holds.
2597 Thank you.
2598 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms. Osmond, and thank you for coming.
2599 MS. OSMOND: Thank you.
2600 THE SECRETARY: Now moving to Phase IV of the process of the radio applications, I would like to call Red River College Radio to reply to the interventions to their application.
REPLY / RÉPLIQUE
2601 MR. McGREGOR: Madam Chair, I'd just like to thank those that came forward today to speak on our behalf and also to Mr. McLeod for speaking to the scholarship opportunities for the college, which we very much appreciate, and scholarships are a very important part of what we do at Red River College.
2602 Again, if there are any other questions, we're here to answer them.
2603 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. McGregor and panel.
2604 THE SECRETARY: Thank you. I'd now like to call HIS Broadcasting Inc.
REPLY / RÉPLIQUE
2605 MR. HIEBERT: I would certainly like to thank all of the people that did positively intervene for us in the written interventions.
2606 Just one final point, if I might be permitted to make, and that is that I have listened to all of the presentations and I did in fact scan all the applications. A clear conclusion that I have is that there really is no overlap between -- or competition between FREQ and all the other applications.
2607 On a number of accounts, aside from Red River Community College, all the other applications are demographically 35 or at least 25-plus, while FREQ is targeted at 12-24.
2608 From a spectrum perspective, if FREQ is awarded a licence, then the 107.1 mark makes the most sense. FREQ has little impact on the economics of the marketplace. So I think the simple, at least relatively simple, decision on the part of the Commission is whether we can produce the value to the marketplace that we've suggested.
2609 Therefore, if at all possible, and depending on the whole process, we would recommend or request that in the decision-making process, that since FREQ has already been in the process for about 13 months, really that FREQ get expedited.
2610 That's all I needed to say. Thanks.
2611 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Hiebert.
2612 THE SECRETARY: I now call CKVN Radiolink System Inc.
REPLY / RÉPLIQUE
2613 MR. SMITH: Madam Chair and Commissioners, our situation at the moment is very, very simple with respect to interventions. That is that we have none, except to say thank you ever so much for your being here and of giving us our opportunity to freely express what we can do for the city of Winnipeg. And also, although we don't have the room full of our supporters today, that our enthusiasm matches that of those people who appeared before you. Hopefully, when you do your deliberations you will find that we are suitably equipped.
2614 We are highly motivated and we have a staff who are fully, fully committed to the long-term establishment and maintenance of what we are doing, and it's simply an expansion of an operating entity.
2615 Thank you very much, and I hope you enjoy your remaining time in Winnipeg.
2616 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Smith. Mr. Secretary.
2617 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair. I now call N.I.B. 95.5 Cable FM Inc.
REPLY / RÉPLIQUE
2618 MR. McCREA: The first issue I would imagine we want to discuss is the frequency question, and so I'll hand it over to Doug.
2619 MR. ALLEN: My name is Doug Allen. I'm a consulting engineer.
2620 Madam Chair and Commissioners, the reason we have not prepared a submission showing an alternative channel was that no one else at the hearing has applied for the channel 300, which is 107.9 MHz. In other words, the application is not mutually exclusive.
2621 The channel initially applied for, 292, which is 106.3 MHz, would be the preferred channel, but it was Industry Canada who suggested that N.I.B. change the channel applied for.
2622 In the list of available channels prepared and provided by previous applicant, these two channels, 107.9 and 106.3, were shown clearly as available subject to NavCom clearance. So the alternative channel would be 106.3.
2623 MR. McCREA: On conclusion, I would like to thank all of the individuals that wrote the station and showed their positive intervention for our application. And I would thank the Commission for your consideration.
2624 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. McCrea, Mr. Allen.
2625 THE SECRETARY: At this time I call Global Communications Limited.
2626 THE CHAIRPERSON: They shrink every time.
2627 MS. BELL: Oh, I thought you were making a comment about my height.
2628 THE CHAIRPERSON: People in glass houses --
REPLY / RÉPLIQUE
2629 MS. BELL: Good morning, Madam Chair, Commissioners, Commission staff.
2630 I'd like to start our remarks in this phase by acknowledging the overwhelming support we've received for our proposal for Smooth FM. More than 1,200 letters and comments have been filed with the Commission in support of our application. These include letters from representatives of the business and cultural communities in Winnipeg, musicians and their representatives, including those from the local and national jazz community. As well, many local advertisers and individuals took the time to outline the benefits that licensing Smooth FM would bring to this community, as well as to the system as a whole.
2631 We also wish to thank the individuals who took further time from their schedules to appear at this hearing and explain their support to you in person.
2632 In particular, they have confirmed the need for this format and the diversity it will offer the community; that Winnipeg is a jazz town with a large musician and fan community for the music; their trust in the Asper family and CanWest for their enthusiasm and support for jazz and other cultural endeavours over the years; that Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Canadian jazz artists are of high quality and in need of more windows to expose their music; the positive impact that our CTD initiatives will have in building Canadian jazz stars.
2633 Along with these interveners, we believe that our proposal is the best one for Winnipeg.
2634 The other day, Corus pointed out that there is really not a music station serving the more mature demographic of the community. We agree with this, but not their conclusion that the need is for a soft A/C station playing today's softer pop and oldies. In fact, we believe that the existing FM stations and CKY are already filling that niche between them.
2635 As L. Pollard of Pollard Banknote noted in his written application or intervention, "I am very encouraged that at long last someone has come forward prepared to serve a discerning and mature audience with jazz music and not just pure jazz, but the full spectrum of jazz music. At present, there are too few radio signals addressing the more mature audience, an audience that is rapidly growing to be the dominant audience in Winnipeg."
2636 Smooth FM will provide a completely new and distinct music format that will not only attract existing jazz fans but will also introduce a new generation of listeners to the music.
2637 We agree with you, Madam Chair, and the musician you quoted the other day: what is needed to create stars and record sales is rotation. Smooth FM will provide sufficient exposure to our artists to contribute to Mr. Asper's goal of creating Canadian jazz stars. That is one of our primary goals and we will stick to it. Gerry.
2638 MR. NOBLE: Thanks, Charlotte. We started on Monday explaining our radio philosophy and why CanWest wanted to get into radio. We also talked about how the convergence of our desire to get into radio and the fact that we saw an opportunity for Smooth FM to fit as a format into this market converge with the desire of our Chairman, who is an avid jazz fan. And as you've heard today from all of our interveners, they also are passionate about the format.
2639 Winnipeg is our hometown. CanWest has been here for 25 years as a company. Izzy grew up here; his children grew up here. That in itself isn't a reason to award us the licence but it does indicate our commitment to the community.
2640 We think there is room for Smooth FM in the jazz format in this market. We think that our company has demonstrated a track record with the Commission, certainly in the television industry. We want to demonstrate that now in the radio industry.
2641 Certainly our chairman and the family and our company are huge supporters of the music, arts and particularly jazz industry here in Winnipeg. That won't change whether we're awarded the licence or not because they are passionate about it.
2642 What we want to do is create a new branch for the CanWest tree, a new business -- the radio business. Jazz works in Winnipeg. It may not work in Toronto -- who knows? Research will tell us what the best format is in the market we go into. But in this market it's a real opportunity. And although it's true that our financial projection isn't what we're used to seeing, for the shareholders who are listening we are cash-flow positive by the end of year five. It will be a business and it also will be a labour of love.
2643 We think we have a credible application. We hope you see fit to award us a licence. Thank you very much.
2644 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Noble, Ms. Bell.
2645 THE SECRETARY: I now call Corus Radio Company.
REPLY / RÉPLIQUE
2646 MR. BUCHKO: Good morning, Madam Chair, Commissioners and Commission staff.
2647 My name is Garth Buchko. I'm the general manager of CJOB/Power 97, Corus radio stations in Winnipeg. With me today is Kathleen McNair, vice-president regulatory affairs for Corus.
2648 We are pleased to be here to comment on the interventions filed in respect of our application. First, we would like to publicly thank all those groups and organizations who supported our application. In particular, we wish to acknowledge NCI's support for our application.
2649 As you heard earlier today from David McLeod, Corus's commitment to provide more than $1 million to NCI will support essential training and educational initiatives for Aboriginal on-air and broadcast talent. In the words of David McLeod, this will change people's lives.
2650 We also received strong support for our applications since it will result in the introduction of a diverse and innovative programming service which targets adults 35-64 into the Winnipeg market. Our station will bring a high level of news, talk and information to the FM band, blended with oldies, soft A/C selections.
2651 As our research demonstrated, this format will be truly unique in Winnipeg and also in Canada. It will respond to a demonstrated need and fill a void on the FM dial.
2652 Additionally, we received significant support for our Canadian Talent Development initiatives. We will contribute almost $2 million to the support of the development of Canadian talent. These direct expenditures are incremental to the extensive promotion that the Winnipeg and Manitoba soft A/C artists will receive from our station. We are confident this support will launch the careers of local musicians.
2653 Finally, we wish to acknowledge and thank those interveners who noted our commitment to the local community. CJOB and Power 97 have a long tradition of providing an exceptional level of community service in Winnipeg. Our commitment to the local community will be the cornerstone of our new FM station.
2654 That concludes our remarks. We would be pleased to respond to any of your questions.
2655 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Buchko, Ms. McNair.
2656 THE SECRETARY: And now I call Rogers Broadcasting Limited. Please commence when you are ready.
REPLY / RÉPLIQUE
2657 MR. MILES: Thank you, Madam Chair, members of the Commission. I have with me our market manager, Ron Kizney, who has been a long-time resident and has lived in Winnipeg all his life. He's responsible for discharging the duties and the obligations of our radio station and will be in charge of the application if we are granted it.
2658 I would just like to thank the many interveners from all the community, business, social, government, et cetera, that intervened on our behalf.
2659 I would like to thank you and the rest of the Commission for your gracious attention to our presentation, and through you, to the staff, who have done a terrific job of keeping me out of the grease on many occasions -- not this one being the least of such.
2660 Thank you very much.
2661 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Miles, Mr. Kizney.
2662 This concludes the hearing for you radiophiles. We next have the hearing on television. I suggest that we would break until quarter to two, 1:45, and start with the Trinity application.
--- Upon recessing at 1138 / Suspension à 1138
--- Upon resuming at 1345 / Reprise à 1345
2663 THE CHAIRPERSON: So we'll come back to order. Mr. Secretary.
2664 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Madam Chair. We'll now hear an application by Trinity Television Incorporated to carry on an English language religious television station in Winnipeg. The new station would operate on channel 35B with an effective radiated power of 20,000 watts. Please proceed when you're ready.
APPLICATION / APPLICATION
2665 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Good afternoon, Madam Chair, commissioners. My name is Willard Thiessen and I am president of Trinity Television Incorporated. We are here before you today to present our application for a licence to carry on a single faith-owned, balanced religious television broadcast undertaking in the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba, pursuant to the requirements of the Broadcasting Act and the Religious Broadcasting Policy.
2666 It is a particular pleasure for us to appear before you in our hometown of Winnipeg today. This is a privilege which I have not had since our first application back in 1995 in the wake of the new Religious Broadcasting Policy, published in public notice 1993-78. The religious policy has taken shape since that time and I am delighted to have the opportunity to once again bring before you our dream of broadcasting in Manitoba.
2667 Fortunately I bring with me more than dreams today. Each member of my team brings a unique strength and ability and experience to this undertaking. And by the way, I'm just going to have to do a little shuffling here. The tables are arranged a little different than we'd planned, but I think I'll manage.
2668 On my immediate right in the front row is Mr. Richard Edwards, director of programming balance at CITT Winnipeg, and then beginning at the other table over there is Mr. Jeff Thiessen, senior vice-president of Trinity Television Incorporated. Going on beyond him, Mr. John Reimer-Epp, legal counsel for Trinity Television, and then John Downs, national sales manager for CHNU, the station in the Fraser Valley.
2669 To my immediate right -- or left, rather is Shane Neufeld, station manager, CITT Winnipeg, and then Tim Smith, vice-president of programming for Trinity Television. In the row behind me beginning on my far left are Albert Lo, director of programming balance for CHNU Fraser Valley; Tim Plett, director of production for a leading local church known as The Meeting Place; Vicki Olatundun, director of donor relations for Trinity Television; and Romano Guzzo, hair of the Finance Committee for Trinity's board of directors.
2670 Madam Chair, let me begin where my heart is today, with our vision for programming on CITT Winnipeg. As noted in your opening remarks, Trinity is well known for its work in the religious program production field over the last 25 years.
2671 At the core of our efforts to move into broadcasting is a mandate to create great programming that is relevant to the lives of Canadians and thus to bring religious and spiritual truths to life for our viewers. As a broadcaster, we want nothing more and nothing less than to be relevant to our community from a religious point of view.
2672 I'm very excited about the opportunity that CITT will have here to make a tangible difference in our community by providing a meaningful alternative to conventional television. I believe that we can provide a fresh, vibrant programming concept that avoids the temptation to put religion into a simplistic box. As our guide in this endeavour, we look to Public Notice 1993-78 where the Commission provided the following context for its policy, and I quote:
In developing its approach to religious broadcasting, the Commission sought to be responsive ... to the daily realities facing many Canadians in an increasingly complex society, particularly residents of communities where suicide, alcoholism, and loneliness are widespread. The Commission heard eloquent and convincing testimony that religious programming can provide a valuable service to those in such circumstances.
End of quote.
2673 Commissioners, our society has become exponentially more complex since 1993. A simplistic view of religion simply cannot meet the needs of Canadians or provide the valuable service that the Commission envisions in its policy. The reality is that people do not commit suicide or sink into addictions or become trapped by loneliness for trivial reasons. No, they lose hope under the weight of the events that happen to them in daily life: failing relationships, economic downturns, illness or fears such as those induced by the terrorists who blew up buildings in the heart of New York City.
2674 If we as religious broadcasters are to provide hope and comfort in such situations, then religious television must not speak in a vacuum or simply preach to the choir. We cannot expect to make a difference while we ignore the complex web of spiritual implications that surround us every day.
2675 With these convictions in our hearts, we launched CHNU on September the 15th, 2001, in the aftermath of the tragic events of September the 11th. There have been both challenges and immense rewards as a result of this timing, but I truly believe that the Commission opened the door to religious broadcasting for such a time as this. There are certainly few, if any, moments in recent history more complex than September 11th, and the overwhelming response of our viewers leaves no doubt that the exploration of the spiritual and religious significance of those events has been a valuable service to our viewers.
2676 We had always held before ourselves and before the Commission our vision for making religious television relevant to our society and our viewers. In the days before and after our launch in B.C. we learned in real time exactly how relevant and effective religious television can be. We are grateful for the opportunity to have been there to serve at that moment.
2677 Despite this overwhelming success, I feel that the broadcasters who intervened against this application have placed an onus on me to explain that we have not betrayed the confidence that the Commission put on us 18 months ago. As a Christian ministry, I assure you that we do not take lightly the doubts which have been expressed about our integrity in this process.
2678 With respect to our program schedule on CHNU in the Fraser Valley, I will be the first to say that our program schedule looks a lot better in reality than it did on paper when we applied for the Fraser Valley licence. But upon closer inspection, I am trusting that you will recognize that the changes are only on the surface. In our application, we said that we would air religious movies, music videos and series as well as a two-hour balance package delivering world news followed by expert analysis and viewer call‑in comments. We have delivered exactly that. The names of the programs have changed, but the formats are exactly the same.
2679 Realistically, I do not believe that the programs about angels and nuns or the classic morality parables are really at the core of the interveners' concerns. These shows are unquestionably at home on our station as they have been on Vision TV for 15 years now. Rather, the root of their objections relate to the news magazine content which we've built into our "NOW Online" programs. I submit that the only difference between the balance block which we proposed and the one we now deliver is the top quality of the world news content that we use to launch the expert analysis and call-in discussion with our viewers.
2680 "NOW Online" is a successful and relentlessly religious program that grabs hold of the spiritual implications of world events that no conventional broadcaster will touch and helps our viewers to deal with those implications well beyond the surface realities. Each and every program specifically deals with religious questions that are capable of supporting a full hour of analysis and discussion. We know this because we examined a full year's worth of back episodes for each program prior to buying it. I want to assure you that we proceeded in good faith, in the interests of our viewers and in the spirit of the Religious Policy.
2681 Now to bring the importance of our programming approach home in the context of our Winnipeg application, I would ask Reverend Tim Plett to comment on the approach taken by his local Mennonite church in addressing spiritual relevance.
2682 MR. PLETT: As a matter of detail, I should probably mention that I'm not a reverend. Surprise from the back row there, but I am a member of the pastoral team at The Meeting Place. The Meeting Place has grown in the past 12 years from about 30 people to well over 2,000, making it one of the fastest growing and at this point one of the largest congregations in western Canada.
2683 Early on in our development we realized that there was a gap in the ability of the traditional church to communicate the relevance of religious and spiritual truths in a post-modern society. The focus of our church as a result of that awareness has been that in all our activities, we seek to demonstrate the relevance of those truths in the context of community.
2684 Without a way to connect spirituality to daily life, religion quickly becomes an academic topic that has very little practical use for most of us, and to help bridge that gap, aesthetically and culturally, if you came to visit us at The Meeting Place, you would find that we have exchanged the traditional sanctuary for a former nightclub. You wouldn't find a pulpit, you would find a contemporary stage. Instead of a choir, a house band. Instead of stained glass, a video projection unit and a lighting rig. We use news and movie clips to connect our teaching to the faith issues in our lives and we frequently use humour to remind us that, while religion deals with the most serious aspects of existence, it is, at its core, an experience of relationship and joy, and the fact, of course, that the participants are people provides us with plenty of material for humour.
2685 The Meeting Place is a spiritual ‑‑ that was humour, by the way. Okay, just checking you. The Meeting Place is the spiritual home to many people who are disenfranchised by the more traditional church, although I think it's obvious to any astute observer that in many ways we are dwarves that stand on the shoulders of giants of the traditional church, as a wonderful and important place in what God is up to. We bring together many people who are grappling with the fallout of our increasingly complex and forever changing world ‑‑ people who struggle with addictions, with failed relationships, with financial ruin, apathy, isolation and despair. I guess, in other words, normal people.
2686 It is against this backdrop that I am invigorated by the concept of the television station that Trinity is proposing to bring to Winnipeg. I think that this will be religious TV like we have never seen before, certainly unique in this country, perhaps in the world.
2687 I believe that television is a medium that has not yet been used effectively to communicate on this topic. I think we all have plenty of examples of religious broadcasting done poorly. I think we have enough of them that we have a powerful collective stereotype and it's not a positive one. It's a bad taste in our mouth, and that has tended to limit our imagination of what religious television has the potential to be, and one of the consequences is that religious television has had limited relevance for many years.
2688 I think that the launch of CHNU in British Columbia was a watershed moment in this conversation, a very positive change. I understand that it's easier to put religion in a box so that it can be readily understood and managed, but I know that for the people that attend The Meeting Place and make up that community, and for many, many more, CITT represents the opportunity to explore religion and spirituality through discussion of today's issues, through entertainment that challenges, through comedy, and through more traditional forms of teaching.
2689 I believe that this is a powerful tool that can help ensure that some of the greatest ideas and beliefs and, if I may say, mystery that is part of our history will not be lost for a lack of creative ways of expressing them for the consideration and the grappling of this and future generations. Thank you.
2690 MR. SMITH: Good afternoon. My name is Tim Smith. As Willard mentioned earlier, programming is the foundational reason for the existence of Trinity TV. CITT will reflect this priority by always, to the best of our ability, providing the best, the most relevant and the most effective religious programming possible.
2691 Having said this, we of course have absolutely no guarantee that the programming we obtained in B.C. will be available here. We will not know that until after all of the broadcasters have established their schedules prior to our launch. Only then can we determine what, if any, appropriate programming at all may be still available.
2692 Given these uncertainties, we recognize that the Commission may have some concerns about the possible increases in our spending on foreign programming. While we are not in a position to make that determination at this time, we will never back away from our Canadian programming commitments. To that end, we are prepared to make a commitment by a condition of licence that no conventional broadcaster would consider. We will invest into Canadian content all surpluses derived from the sale of advertising during acquired American programming.
2693 In this way, we retain much needed flexibility to adapt our program schedule to best serve our viewers, while at the same time ensuring that the ongoing development of high quality Canadian content remains a priority.
2694 Regardless of the specifics of the schedule, however, CITT will make a significant and meaningful contribution to the television landscape in Manitoba by airing over 80 hours of Canadian religious programming per week, including 24 new hours of local content. We also anticipate spending at least $4.1 million to buy and produce Canadian programming, and of course we are also committed to airing 50 per cent Canadian content during evening hours and 60 per cent in the run of schedule, that's peak viewing hours.
2695 In addition, because we are confident that our entry into this market will have no impact on the ability of incumbent broadcasters to buy commercially appealing programs, we are fully prepared to commit by condition of licence not to compete with conventional local stations for the purchase of programming.
2696 CITT's programming policies are derived directly from the Religious Broadcasting Policy, where the Commission set out expansive and creative parameters within which religious broadcasters have more than enough room to create dynamic and effective program schedules. Certainly these parameters are not well understood within the conventional broadcasting industry, as we have seen with the interventions against our application.
2697 Without reiterating the details of our September 30th response to these interventions, we thought it would be helpful to the Commission to understand the criteria by which we will determine whether programming is suitable for airing on CITT. We have found these to be a useful, practical guide for more narrowly implementing the Commission's definition of religious programming, as well as Vision TV's interpretation, as approved by the Commission in its 1994 and 2001 renewals.
2698 CITT programming must be substantially consistent with the following criteria, namely to:
2699 One, raise and specifically address issues or questions which are spiritual, moral, ethical or religious in nature.
2700 Two, be constructive and positive in its portrayal of moral or ethical issues, religious ideas, dogma or traditions.
2701 Three, enhance freedom of religious expression.
2702 Four, promote understanding and respect of religious differences.
2703 Five, present religious teachings, music, services or events.
2704 Six, tell stories dealing with religious or spiritual themes, events, morals or characters.
2705 Again, while we do not propose these criteria to in any way alter the definition of religious programming, we are prepared, in the interests of being fully transparent to the Commission in our decision-making, to commit to the use of these criteria by condition of licence.
2706 MR. EDWARDS: Madam Chair, my name is Richard Edwards. As director of programming balance for CITT, it is my role to ensure that a reasonably consistent viewer will be exposed to a spectrum of differing points of view on religious issues and religion itself within a reasonable period of time.
2707 It has been my privilege to work with Winnipeg's various faith communities for many years in connection with Videon Cablesystems community access channel when it provided access for local religious programming. As I approached community leaders from a variety of faith groups on behalf of CITT, I was warmly received and invariably found that Trinity's reputation as a tolerant and welcoming environment preceded me.
2708 I am very pleased that the leading individuals and organizations in each of these communities have intervened in support of our application, and we are looking forward to deepening those relationships by working together to serve Winnipeg's communities of faith.
2709 At this time, I wish to confirm our commitments to balance programming, recognizing that our written presentation of these commitments may have not been entirely clear. CITT is committed to airing a total of 18 hours of programming specifically to provide balance to our program schedule. A minimum of 10 of these hours will be aired in prime time, of which at least 7.5 hours will be original programming and 2.5 hours will be non-Christian, faith-specific programs. We are also committed to co-producing up to 2.5 hours per week with local faith groups as set out in the co-production agreements enclosed with our application.
2710 Through these programs, as well as invitations to participate as guests on our call-in programs and issue-oriented programming, we will ensure that there are many opportunities through our schedule for respectful, non-confrontational expressions of differing points of view and dialogue on specific topics or events of religious concern.
2711 MR. JEFF THIESSEN: My name is Jeff Thiessen. We believe that local broadcasting is the heart and the soul of the Canadian broadcasting system. Each Canadian centre is unique, deserves its own religious expression, and we are certainly convinced that this is true in Winnipeg. In Decisions 2000-40 and 2001-698, the Commission specifically averted premature competition in order not to diminish the prospect of emerging local religious broadcasters. We applaud this expression of local priority and put forward this application to serve the local Winnipeg market in the hope that it will further the orderly development of religious broadcasting in Canada as envisioned by the Commission in 1993.
2712 The city of Winnipeg and southern Manitoba are religiously vibrant, and with approximately 2,000 letters of support for this application on file, this region is more than ready for local religious television to call its own.
2713 MR. NEUFELD: Commissioners, my name is Shane Neufeld. CITT's target advertisers will primarily be local and regional businesses that are, in my experience in the conventional broadcasting environment, presently underserved in the market. Our projections are also consistent with the experience of Christian Radio Manitoba, CHVN, which has found advertisers in southern Manitoba eager to be associated with a broadcaster who shares their values and deliberately serves their community.
2714 The pre-launch and start-up period of operation for the station will be funded primarily through donations and pre-sale of brokered time. Based on our experience in British Columbia, we are confirmed in our confidence in these projections. In fact, in CHNU's pre-launch period in the first quarter, Trinity received incremental donations over $800,000. By comparison, we are projecting a total of only $275,000 in donations in the equivalent period of time for CITT Winnipeg, which we believe to be highly attainable.
2715 Sales of brokered airtime to religious program producers have also exceeded our expectations for CHNU in B.C., and we expect similar or higher levels of interest in Winnipeg due to our established market presence with religious program producers in Canada and in the United States.
2716 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: CITT is committed to providing a strong, vibrant, new element to local Canadian content. We will reflect Winnipeg and contribute to the development of a distinct television industry in western Canada. We are committed to this city and have anchored our head office here for the long term in hopeful anticipation of the privilege of being granted this licence. We are intimately familiar with the strong pioneering spirit of this community that has launched some of Canada's most successful media enterprises. We hope to open a unique new chapter in Manitoba's proud history of broadcasting.
2717 In conclusion, in preparing for this hearing, I was reminded of the 1992 public consultation in Ottawa on religious broadcasting, which I attended together with my son Jeff to present our views as a program producer. I vividly recall the compelling testimony that day given by a family whose child had committed suicide, and I'm certain that their pain-wracked testimony to the power of religious television to provide tangible comfort in the midst of their grief and confusion carried the day for the Commissioners who were in attendance. That family spoke to the idea that religious television matters in the daily realities of life, in fact that religious television is needed by Canadians.
2718 I urge you to grant our application for the sake of those in Winnipeg who have waited patiently for this service, as well as those who will discover CITT in their moment of need.
2719 We would be pleased to take your questions at this time.
2720 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr. Thiessen, colleagues. I'll be asking you the questions and we will be covering, of course, programming. What is religious programming, because clearly that's been raised. Schedule issues, carriage, closed-captioning and then the economics, the demand and revenue issues.
2721 I will start ‑‑ and I forget, I was in one hearing, oh, I guess it was a month ago, and I started with COLs and I just clipped right through them to the point where one of the people started putting his hand up because he wasn't sure that the other person was committing correctly to all the COLs.
2722 I want to talk balance, and have I got it correctly that you would commit to, overall, 18 hours a week by COL?
2723 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: That is correct.
2724 THE CHAIRPERSON: And of that, 12.5 would be original first run?
2725 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: I believe that we were committed to at least that, yes.
2726 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you'd agree to that by COL?
2727 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: We will. Yes, we will.
2728 THE CHAIRPERSON: And of that, 7.5 in prime time hours per week?
2729 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Yes, we will commit to that.
2730 THE CHAIRPERSON: And then, if I see further in what you were saying, I believe Mr. Edwards, would you also agree to a COL to 2.5 of those hours being non-Christian, faith-specific?
2731 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Yes, we are committed to that.
2732 THE CHAIRPERSON: And then I gather a further of that 7.5 hours, 2.5 hours per week being the co-produced with the local faith groups?
2733 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Right. That may not be in prime time. We don't know how to work that out, but we're committed to two and a half hours, to the best of their ability. We've been working with them on that, but we want to get -- we've committed up to two and a half hours of time to work with the local faith groups to fill up that time.
2734 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And that 2.5 may or may not be in prime time?
2735 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: In prime time, yes.
2736 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And when we're talking about that, the co-produced and the -- in fact I believe, what was it called, "Faith Talk." What happens in terms of the production assistance that you would be giving to the various faith groups? What is that? What would that be?
2737 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Okay, I'm going to -- Richard has been talking specifically with those faith groups and I'll let him answer this.
2738 MR. EDWARDS: Thank you. Now, in connection with "Faith Talk," that we were receiving essentially as a daily open-line program, so that would be essentially programming which would be under our direct control, which we would be working to ensure that we had another method of achieving balance in various issues within the community. So "Faith Talk" for example would be a program that would be produced with our facilities but involving as many other various faith groups as are interested, depending on the topics.
2739 That's not to be confused with programs that the local non-Christian faith community might be producing themselves, which as Willard has said, we would be providing up to two and a half hours of facilities and air time for per week as they get rolling in that direction.
2740 THE CHAIRPERSON: So when you say facilities and air time, we're talking studio space, equipment, production expertise?
2741 MR. EDWARDS: That's correct. And we've reflected much of that in the attached contracts and general letters of agreement, that we reflected that kind of involvement.
2742 THE CHAIRPERSON: And so how do you ‑‑ when you don't have staff hosting and scripting on these, how you achieve the balance is by having different groups. Is that fair?
2743 MR. EDWARDS: That is correct. Having said that, we will also work very carefully and closely with those groups, recognizing that they know as much about balance by the time they're getting ready to do programming as hopefully we do. But beyond that we also have various mechanisms in place to ensure that programming on the service, regardless if it's produced by them or by others, remains balanced and we actually track that through logging process to ensure that if a program in itself isn't balanced, although that's often the objective, then we find ways to ensure that, over a reasonable period of time, everything is balanced.
2744 THE CHAIRPERSON: I wanted to talk about the agreements that you had with religious groups, and I'm confused, I guess, about the distinction between religious and ethnic groups. And in particular, there's the agreement you had with the Shri Baba Society -- Shri Sathya Sai Baba ‑‑ and I ask myself if this is a religion because I read what Mr. Bahad Singh (phonetic) said and he actually refers to a sizeable number of members are from the Hindu faith, which is a faith, I mean -- and I know it's difficult to sort of establish what's a faith and what isn't. But it would appear to me that -- can you tell me why you believe this to be a faith? Maybe that would be the best question to ask.
2745 MR. EDWARDS: That's something that obviously we wrestle with from time to time. We believe that it is a form of a faith that differs from perhaps some of the other faiths, and the objective is not to be producing ethno-cultural programming but religious programming from that perspective. And I guess over time the community will tell us if they're feeling that that strays from being cultural programming, or we'll find that ourselves. In discussions in Dr. Venkataraman, we believe that -- and he believes, certainly, as do the others in the group that we've talked to, that it constitutes a faith and that it is a different perspective on a very large community. And therefore we felt that we would provide that kind of open access to achieve that goal.
2746 THE CHAIRPERSON: I want to now go to programming in general and start off with ‑‑ I'll call it the Fraser Valley station because I'm not good at call letters, and it's now up and running. And I'd like you to talk about the synergies that you anticipate as a result of having, if we licensed the station in Winnipeg, what synergies you anticipate having.
2747 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: We'll probably have several of us responding to this.
2748 THE CHAIRPERSON: Sure, that sounds good.
2749 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Because we're already benefiting -- the station in the Fraser Valley is already benefiting from our production facilities here. We're rather limited there. We didn't have the resource to build the kind of facility there that we have here and so we're already producing programs here that are airing out there, actually in some cases flying talent out here to do the program and then airing the programs out there. So that's just the beginning. Obviously programs that we've already produced for that station have tremendous application out here and we see that synergy being strong. But I'd like to refer this to Shane, who will be the station manager here.
2750 MR. NEUFELD: Thanks, Willard. Speaking of synergies between Fraser Valley and Winnipeg, we've, to be honest with you, really just started into exploring that in a real powerful way. The station in the Fraser Valley has only been on the air for six months and we're actually excited that one of the first projects that we started in production actually before the station launched in the Fraser Valley was a Christian stand-up comedy half hour. It's a 13-part series featuring Canadian Christian comics that we actually shot on location before a live studio audience in our Winnipeg facility, and that show is airing on the Fraser Valley station.
2751 Likewise, we would likely try and realize opportunity where it was appropriate to our local broadcasting market. For example, since we've launched a new programming concept that we've been able to develop and actually enter in production on is a two-times-a-week, one-hour talk show that deals with sex and relationships from a religious standpoint and that show is called "Pure Sex and Relationship." And that's an opportunity that came to us, a very creative and innovative idea that came to us from a pastor and his wife in the Vancouver area that deal with relationships. And that is something that we would look forward to bringing to the Winnipeg market because it would have relevance here. And likewise future shows that we would be developing both here and there if they had relevance in the other communities, we would obviously look at using those there, and I think Tim Smith may want to add to that as well.
2752 MR. SMITH: Certainly there are a number of things that can present themselves over time. You know, we have just started having conversations with some producers in Vancouver who are now aware of us and are interested in talking to us about the development of program, and one such program, in fact, sort of came to them through a circuitous fashion, I guess, and was an opportunity to discuss producing a magazine program with Juno award winning musician Steve Bell. So there's an opportunity, and Steve is a Winnipegger, as it turns out, and would love to work out of our facility. As a result, we may see opportunities there and this is just one example of a program that could be developed here for use by both stations.
2753 THE CHAIRPERSON: Let's talk about the balance program that was developed for Fraser Valley. Will it become part of your balance programming here?
2754 MR. EDWARDS: A program that's produced and created for balance in the Fraser Valley would be intended for Fraser Valley. If a local community non-Christian faith group were to decide that they wanted to use a portion of that program or all of that program in something they were doing, because they felt it was relevant, then we would welcome to them to do so and we'd provide that to them with no problems. In some cases, they may choose just to use part of that program; in other cases, they may just use a little clip or they may use the whole thing. And we'd leave that decision in their camp, allowing them to determine what's relevant for their community.
2755 And we wouldn't suggest that that's part of our original programming essentially. We just would want, as those groups generate and create their own programming, to have that as an active resource that they can use.
2756 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, because I -- when I was reading your application, there was something about that if you -- if it was being used here, it would not be counted amongst your balance programming. Is that the understanding?
2757 MR. EDWARDS: That is correct. We went further, I guess, to suggest that typically if a program is -- half or more of it is being used, then of course, it relates according to typical measurements for that kind of thing, but under normal circumstances, that is not part of the -- that certainly isn't part of the local original balance programming that we're committing to.
2758 As a matter of fact, the programming balance that we're committing to is material that is other than programs that are produced by the local faith groups. Those programs are over and above and we're allowing them to grow over time, so the numbers that we're projecting do not include that number that they're providing with. So essentially it's one that we felt we could leave some latitude as to how much of that program was used because it was outside of our commitments either way.
2759 THE CHAIRPERSON: So when we get to the 2.5 of non-Christian, faith-specific programs ‑‑ not the co-produced ‑‑ that 2.5, the non-Christian, faith-specific programs will not include balance programs from Fraser Valley to extend (inaudible ‑‑ off microphone) 50 per cent.
2760 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: The struggle we have here with some of the local groups ‑‑ because we've had this discussion over a period of time and Richard's been carrying this ‑‑ was that a number of the groups locally are limited in size and resources. And so when we went to them initially, without giving them any -- well, first of all, they need our physical help, which we're able to give them. We'll give them help in resources as far as they -- we can't give them help as far as content goes. That's their responsibility.
2761 And some of them felt limited in the amount of resources that they would have there and for an ongoing basis. So we're committed to providing two and a half hours of faith-specific programming in prime time.
2762 Now, some of that may be provided by the local groups. In fact, if we're able to produce it from the local group and we can meet the quality for prime time programming, that would be our preference of going there. But if we're unable to do it with the local content, we will then bring in faith-specific programming that this community here is in agreement with, that reflects their perspective, in other words, that they are comfortable having it aired to their -- because it's their community that will particularly be receiving it, and so we're very concerned that their community be not only satisfied but be delighted to receive that programming.
2763 So whether we bring it in from -- the fact that we have resources available now from the Fraser Valley is a huge asset for us, because clearly we are working there with producers and that programming ‑‑ because we're helping produce that programming there, it's available to us to use here. And so that will be our prime time, or that could be our prime time promise of two and a half hours.
2764 Now, the local programming, if we could fit it in there and we can fill that two and a half hours, then we will add time on at another time, rather than the prime time, or whatever -- however we can meet the needs of the local community.
2765 MR. EDWARDS: Just to be clear, the 7.5 hours of original balance programming that we're committing to does not include the two and a half hours that we're making available for the local community groups, so our 7.5 is a commitment. We're also providing the facilities and the air time to ensure that there's available room for two and a half additional hours of programming produced by the local community. We're simply not wanting to place undue stress on them to say that has to be something that we're going to measure in the form of hours as opposed to activity.
2766 THE CHAIRPERSON: Now I'm totally turned around. Every week in prime time there will be 7.5 hours of original programming?
2767 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Correct.
2768 THE CHAIRPERSON: Balance, original balance programming?
2769 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Original balance programming.
2770 THE CHAIRPERSON: Included in those are 2.5 hours of non-Christian, faith-specific programs?
2771 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: No. Not in the original hours. In addition to the seven and a half original hours of balance programming -- the seven and a half hours of balance programming that we're committing to is programming that will be produced by Trinity Television of a balanced nature, where we will be using resource to make them balanced, which we have the production responsibility for, so we can ensure that they're balanced programs. That will be new programming.
2772 The two and a half extra hours that we will be providing in prime time is programming that will be faith-specific but we don't guarantee is original because we may be re-purposing programming from the Fraser Valley or locations like that.
2773 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, so the remaining -- out of the 10, we've taken the 7.5 of original.
2774 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Yes.
2775 THE CHAIRPERSON: The remaining 2.5 will be non-Christian, faith-specific --
2776 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Correct.
2777 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- but not necessarily original?
2778 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Not necessarily original, that's right.
2779 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
2780 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: That's absolutely correct, yes.
2781 THE CHAIRPERSON: And it would be in this slot that you may use some of your balance programming from --
2782 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: From the local area.
2783 THE CHAIRPERSON: From Fraser Valley.
2784 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Yes, and from Fraser -- exactly, from Fraser Valley.
2785 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. The 2.5 co-production with local faith groups --
2786 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Yes.
2787 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- will not include any of your balance programming from Fraser Valley --
2788 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Well --
2789 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- unless --
2790 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: It's more than -- unless it's more than 50 per cent. I mean, if they use clips out of the Fraser Valley, but it would have to be less than 50 per cent before we would call it a local program.
2791 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, I've got it now, thank you.
2792 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: Sorry.
2793 THE CHAIRPERSON: And when we then talk about Winnipeg, are you anticipating that the schedule will be different than Fraser Valley or that it would be the same essentially in terms of the block programming that you've got?
2794 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: In many ways it will be the same as what we've shown in the schedule. There will be a block program. We still will use an issue -- in order to stimulate the discussion on issues, we will use a block arrangement of programming.
2795 What that will look like is impossible for us to know because we're totally unaware -- we're not aware of programs that are available. But from our earliest application process, which goes back a number of reiterations ago, the use of using news issues to bring the issues to the table, to bring discussion out of, has been part of our application process for, I think, almost since the beginning. And yes, that was what "Faith Talk", as it's shown in the application here, is all about. Again, a world report or a news program that is packaged together with the issues discussion with people of expertise and concern relating to those issues. Yes, that will be a part of our program schedule.
2796 THE CHAIRPERSON: There's a difference in the commitments that you've offered. In Fraser Valley you offered 80 per cent Cancon in peak time. There's nothing in this application saying what you're proposing by way of Cancon during prime time, 7:00 to 11:00.
2797 MR. WILLARD THIESSEN: I'm going to go to ‑‑ is it John or Jeff on this one, because there were some -- John, I'm going to you on this.
2798 MR. REIMER-EPP: Thank you, Willard. The 80 per cent Cancon was actually ‑‑ I'm not sure if a typo or an error in the original decision that was -- in the original copy of the licence. It was subsequently amended and I wish I had it with me.