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TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS BEFORE
THE CANADIAN RADIO‑TELEVISION AND
TRANSCRIPTION DES AUDIENCES AVANT
CONSEIL DE LA RADIODIFFUSION
ET DES TÉLÉCOMMUNICATIONS CANADIENNES
VARIOUS BROADCAST APPLICATIONS /
PLUSIEURS DEMANDES EN RADIODIFFUSION
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Metropolitan Conference Centre de conférence
333 Fourth Avenue South West 333, Fourth Avenue Sud‑Ouest
Calgary, Alberta Calgary (Alberta)
February 24, 2006 Le 24 février 2006
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
VARIOUS BROADCAST APPLICATIONS /
PLUSIEURS DEMANDES EN RADIODIFFUSION
BEFORE / DEVANT:
Michel Arpin Chairperson / Président
Helen del Val Commissioner / Conseillère
Elizabeth Duncan Commissioner / Conseillère
Ronald Williams Commissioner / Conseillier
Stuart Langford Commissioner / Conseillier
ALSO PRESENT / AUSSI PRÉSENTS:
Chantal Boulet Secretary / Secrétaire
Leanne Bennett Legal Counsel /
Steve Parker Hearing Manager /
Gérant de l'audience
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Metropolitan Conference Centre de conférence
333 Fourth Avenue South West 333, Fourth Avenue Sud‑Ouest
Calgary, Alberta Calgary (Alberta)
February 24, 2006 Le 24 février 2006
TABLE DES MATIÈRES / TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE / PARA
INTERVENTION BY / INTERVENTION PAR:
Evanov Radio Group Inc. 1074 / 6943
INTERVENTION BY / INTERVENTION PAR:
Aboriginal Voices Radio 1079 / 6992
RGB Productions 1103 / 7127
Asian Heritage Foundation of Southern Alberta 1107 / 7153
Priti Obhrai‑Martin 1112 / 7178
Stride Management 1126 / 7257
Mount Royal College 1133 / 7299
Lari Carter 1145 / 7375
Blaskin & Lane Tires 1151 / 7411
CADME 1158 / 7460
Keystone Music 1163 / 7492
The Beach Audio 1169 / 7526
Canadian Rocky Mountain Festival 1175 / 7577
Alberta International Band Festivals 1185 / 7648
EPCOR Centre for the Performing Arts 1191 / 7679
CKUA Radio Network 1196 / 7711
Fairchild Radio Group Ltd. 1220 / 7849
Neeraj Paul 1233 / 7926
Nimma Khaira 1235 / 7940
Hardeep Dhillon 1238 / 7956
Ukranian Canadian Congress 1240 / 7967
Josh Marantz 1252 / 8036
Calgary Folk Music Festival 1256 / 8053
John Campbell 1259 / 8067
Rob Ursel 1262 / 8083
Lin Elder 1264 / 8094
Tammy Schuiling 1273 / 8144
Megatunes 1276 / 8160
The Union Ltd. 1280 / 8174
Blayne Crowchild 1289 / 8206
Ashley-Rae Snape 1291 / 8216
Town of Cochrane 1304 / 8293
Jim Hughes 1311 / 8334
Stu Bradley 1317 / 8364
TABLE DES MATIÈRES / TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE / PARA
REPLY BY / RÉPLIQUE PAR:
Nawcap Inc. 1337 / 8479
Tiessen Media Inc. 1342 / 8504
Rawlco Radio Ltd. 1343 / 8514
Yadwinder S. Sivia (OBCI) 1344 / 8519
Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Ltd. 1354 / 8587
Calgary Independent Radio Broadcasters Inc. 1358 / 8606
1182743 Alberta Ltd. 1360 / 8621
CHUM Limited 1365 / 8647
Touch Canada Broadcasting 1372 / 8688
Calgary, Alberta / Calgary (Alberta)
‑‑‑ Upon resuming on Friday, February 24, 2006
at 0830 / L'audience reprend le vendredi
24 février 2006 à 0830
6935 THE CHAIRPERSON: Order, please.
6936 We will now start with part two of this public hearing.
6937 Madam Secretary.
6938 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
6939 Phase II of the proceedings is where applicants will appear in the same order to intervene on competing applications, if they wish.
6940 The following applicants have indicated that they will not appear in Phase II: Touch Canada; CHUM Limited; 1182743 Alberta Ltd.; Calgary Independent Radio Broadcasters; Jim Pattison Broadcast Group; Rawlco Radio Ltd.; Harvard Broadcasting; Newcap Inc., for both applications; Tiessen Media; and Golden West Broadcasting.
6941 I would now call on Evanov Radio Group to intervene on the competing applications. You have ten minutes to do so.
6942 Mr. Evanov.
6943 MR. W. EVANOV: Thank you.
6944 Mr. Chairman, Commissioners, bonjour. I am Bill Evanov, President of the Evanov Radio Group. Seated to my right is Carmela Laurignano, Vice‑President of our Radio Group.
6945 We appear in the second phase because there are four matters which we believe should be brought to the Commission's attention to set the record straight.
6946 The first: On Tuesday, when the second applicant was before you, it was stated by the Commission that the Pattison application promised the highest revenues for the seven years of all the applicants in Calgary and that CHUM was the second highest.
6947 For the record, a review of our records shows that Harvard actually promised the highest amount of revenues over that period, and our own application for the Evanov Radio Group promised the second highest, CHUM the third highest and Pattison the fourth highest.
6948 Second, on Wednesday when the Commission was hearing the Pattison application the applicant was understood to say that all we could afford was to hire 20‑year‑olds to tell adult Calgarians what was going on in town.
6949 For the record, all our on‑air talent are mature adults and experienced broadcasters, and an analysis of our application will show that we promised to spend the most dollars in the area of programming.
6950 Third, again on Wednesday the Pattison application described our proposed format as being niche. The fact is that The Jewel, today's new easy listening format, blends more music styles for more eras than any other applicant targeting the older demo.
6951 Obviously this wide appeal translates into a larger audience and will result in higher shares than the other applicants. This is also a matter of record.
6952 Finally, fourth, while the Commission was hearing the Rawlco application, our format was being described as background music. It is not.
6953 It differs significantly from the old easy listening of decades ago. Today's new easy listening format is uplifting. It is fresh. It is definitely foreground. It is music that endures. It evokes passion and it is exciting.
6954 In terms of vocals, it offers lyrics that will be meaningful and touch something within a listener relating to their life experience.
6955 Since we began testing our signal in Ottawa this past week, we have been inundated with over a thousand phone calls and e‑mails from new listeners expressing a deep appreciation for the music selections we are playing.
6956 This is not background. This is not Muzak.
6957 That's all we have to say there.
6958 I would like Carmela to add something.
6959 MS LAURIGNANO: I will be very brief.
6960 I would like to thank the Commission for this opportunity. We feel it has been a great hearing.
6961 We would also like to congratulate all the other broadcasters and applicants for their excellent proposals. We know your task won't be easy.
6962 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
6963 For you to know, on your first point we agree. The table that we have here shows exactly what you just said.
6964 MR. W. EVANOV: Thank you. We hope on 2, 3 and 4 you will agree too.
6965 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: I would only add to that that we have had these sorts of discussions before. We have had the Evanov Group in front of us. We are very accustomed here to making our own decisions on what is elevator music and what isn't and who comes first.
6966 Almost every one of us here can add and subtract, and we have our own records and we are able to use our own calculators.
6967 I think you should rest assured that we will be looking very hard at your application and not losing a whole lot of sleep about other characterizations.
6968 MR. W. EVANOV: Thank you very much.
6969 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mrs. del Val.
6970 COMMISSIONER del VAL: Thank you.
6971 I think the point about the second highest, I think it was a point that I had made.
6972 I did not mean to say that it was the second highest in generation of revenue. What I had said was that the average annual growth rate in revenue, year‑to‑year, the average was the second highest. I think it was like 22 percent and Jim Pattison was 29 percent.
6973 If that is what I said, it was not what I meant to say: that it was the second highest in generating revenues. It was the average annual growth rate.
6974 MS LAURIGNANO: That is great.
6975 Just for the transcript and all that kind of stuff, it's a good thing we are in the communications business.
6976 COMMISSIONER del VAL: It is.
6977 MS LAURIGNANO: Thank you.
6978 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
6979 Madam Secretary.
6980 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
6981 The applicant Yadwinder S. Sivia has informed me that they will not be appearing in Phase II.
6982 Therefore, this completes Phases II of the proceedings for Items 1 to 13.
6983 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
6984 We will now move to the third phase of this proceeding.
6985 Madam Secretary.
6986 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
6987 Phase III of the proceeding is where other parties appear in the order set out in the agenda to present their intervention.
6988 I would now call on, as a panel, the following intervenors to come to the front to present their intervention.
6989 We will first start with the Board of Directors of Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc. to come to the front.
6990 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Hill, whenever you are ready.
6991 THE SECRETARY: You will have ten minutes for your presentation. Thank you.
6992 MR. HILL: Good morning, Mr. Chairman, Members of the Commission, Commission staff and ladies and gentlemen.
6993 My name is Jamie Hill, and I am the President of the AVR Board of Directors.
6994 One of the customs of aboriginal people is that we recognize the aboriginal territory that we are in. We would like to thank the Territory of the Blackfoot Confederacy for allowing us to speak before you today.
6995 We are very excited to be in front of you today to speak to our intervention in support of the application by CHUM Limited for a new radio service in Calgary.
6996 Before we begin, I would like to introduce the members of our AVR team.
6997 Lewis Cardinal is the Vice‑President of AVR. Louis is a Woodland Cree from northern Alberta. He works as a consultant to the city of Edmonton on aboriginal issues. He currently serves as the Co‑Chair of the Global Indigenous Dialogue. He is also the founder and President of the Indigenous Media Institute. He is also the former Chair of the Edmonton Aboriginal Urban Affairs Committee.
6998 Bob Wood, AVR's management consultant. Bob has spent over 30 years in radio, including 17 years with CHUM as National Program Director, and later as General Manager of CHUM and CHUM‑FM.
6999 Tanya Kappo is from the Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation. She began with AVR as our board representative from Winnipeg, but she now lives in Edmonton. At present she is the Communications and Consultation Manager for the Treaty 8 First Nations in Alberta. She is also a member of the National Executive of the Liberal Party of Canada as the Co‑Chair of the Aboriginal Peoples Commission.
7000 Russ McLeod is Sekani from Central B.C. and is our member of the board from Calgary. He is currently the Aboriginal Development Co‑ordinator for an aboriginal pipeline company based here in Alberta. He spent 26 years on the air with CHUM Limited stations in Vancouver and Toronto.
7001 We apologize that due to an unexpected personal matter AVR's General Manager, Roy Hennessey, could not be with us today.
7002 Mr. Hennessey has served as general manager of stations in Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. He is the past President of FACTOR and was recognized for his contribution to the broadcasting industry as the recipient of the first annual President's Award by the Ontario Association of Broadcasters.
7003 As for myself, I am Mohawk from Six Nations in Ontario. In addition to serving as the President of AVR, I am a co‑founder of Knapp Media Inc. with my wife Millie Knapp. Knapp Media holds contracts for the managing editor, advertising, printing and distribution of the Smithsonian's American Indian Magazine.
7004 I am Editor‑in‑Chief and co‑publisher of the Sage Magazine in Ontario. Previously I served as communications and information systems analyst for the Chiefs of Ontario, and I worked as director of economic development for the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres.
7005 We are now ready to commence our presentation.
7006 I would ask Lewis Cardinal to speak next.
7007 MR. CARDINAL: Thank you, Jamie.
7008 Before we get to the reasons for our support of the CHUM application, we would like to spend a few minutes to give you some background about AVR and to update you on the status of our development to date.
7009 AVR was founded in 1998 to facilitate the development of a national not‑for‑profit radio service known as Aboriginal Voices Radio Network. AVR's mission was then, and is now, to address the need for service in large urban centres where the majority of aboriginal people now live.
7010 Thanks to you and many of your predecessors, the CRTC granted us licences to operate a national satellite radio network, a flagship station in Toronto ‑‑ now on the air ‑‑ and rebroadcast stations in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Kitchener and Montreal.
7011 When we originally won the licence to establish a new radio service in Toronto, it was the board's intention at the time to establish the financial viability of the Toronto service before applying for licences anywhere.
7012 When the Commission began to issue calls for applications in other cities, our engineers advised us that the supply of frequencies in major cities was running out and that if we did not apply now, the dream of establishing a national network would be lost.
7013 So apply we did. And thanks to the Commission, we were granted licences in six major urban centres in rapid succession.
7014 In an attempt to address the financing challenge that this licensing opportunity presented, AVR immediately began pursuing funding from various sources to launch the stations that are not yet on the air. While we have raised over $5 million to date, we have needed all of these funds to keep our Toronto station on the air and pursue the constantly licensing processes required to secure licences in other markets.
7015 While we regret to inform you that we did not yet have all the funding required to complete the national expansion, we feel strongly that things have never been better in shape for AVR.
7016 In the past year a new core group of committed board members, that have been identified, would be required to complete AVR's expansion. AVR then called upon McCarthy Tétrault to carry out a complete governance review and to help us untangle a number of complicated governance issues that have now stabilized and strengthened AVR from a governance standpoint.
7017 In addition, AVR commissioned KPMG to carry out a long overdue audit, bring our financial affairs up to date and to help us establish financial transparency.
7018 With the help of the Canadian Executive Services Organization, AVR engaged the services of Michael Jarvis as AVR's chief financial advisor. Mr. Jarvis is now semi‑retired, but he previously served as controller of Ultramar, one of Canada's largest petroleum companies, and as Chief Financial Officer of the York Region Hospital.
7019 Mr. Jarvis has helped us to organize our accounting systems, maintain tight control of our cash flow and given us the credibility needed to enhance our fund raising efforts.
7020 From a technical standpoint, AVR engaged the services of Paul Furminger, the former VP Engineering for Maclean Hunter.
7021 Mr. Furminger has helped us to get things moving with respect to the launch of our various stations. We are confident that our new emphasis on fund raising and sound financial management practices places us in a position to successfully complete the expansion of the networks across Canada.
7022 MS KAPPO: We would like to provide you with a bit of background about the need for AVR that will help you to understand why we think this network is so special and why we are also committed to seeing it succeed.
7023 No other community in Canada is dealing with the social disaster that our community is dealing with and no other community needs your and our help more.
7024 As well, aboriginal populations in cities continue to grow in record numbers. Today over half of the 1.5 million people with aboriginal ancestry live in major urban centres.
7025 Unfortunately, apart from Friendship Centres, there are very few institutions aboriginal people can call their own to serve them and help them cope with the difficult situations they face.
7026 Aboriginal people are not well served by existing radio. There are no programs on the CBC's main network in the south, virtually no programs on private sector commercial stations and only a limited patchwork of programs, usually in non‑prime time, on campus and community stations.
7027 Now I would like to highlight AVR's role in adjusting these circumstances.
7028 When fully up to steam, AVR will provide hourly news and information reports, public affairs programs, a national telephone call‑in show, and other spoken word features that will address the needs and interests of Canada's increasingly urban aboriginal population.
7029 AVR will be unique in that it will be the only aboriginal station in Canada that offers 100 percent aboriginal music and spoken word programming on a 24‑hour dedicated basis.
7030 AVR will do more than just fill a gap in service in major urban centres. AVR's programming will be made available free of charge by satellite and internet to more than 200 low power aboriginal stations located on Reserves in rural and remote regions in Canada.
7031 The entire AVR schedule will be available day or night to enable stations to downlink AVR, to extend hours of operation, carry national news or upgrade the quality of their service with enriched public affairs and other spoken word programming.
7032 As a result, by helping us you are helping all aboriginal stations in Canada and in a sense helping us to build the infrastructure for an effective aboriginal broadcast system in Canada.
7033 AVR will provide a home for Canadian aboriginal artists and musicians who have difficulty achieving airplay on radio because aboriginal and non‑aboriginal stations feature a diet of predominantly mainstream Pop, Rock and Country.
7034 These are just some of the ways AVR will help aboriginal peoples achieve their social, political, cultural, economic and health‑related aspirations.
7035 MR. McLEOD: We are pleased to provide our full and unqualified support for CHUM's application to establish a new radio station in Calgary.
7036 We consider the establishment of a corporate partnership with one of Canada's largest and most respected broadcasters as a tipping point that will enable us to complete our mission to establish the world's first national aboriginal radio service.
7037 CHUM has already provided us with a wealth of engineering, business, financial, legal, promotional and lobbying support that has contributed enormously to the development of Aboriginal Voices Radio.
7038 The partnership with CHUM has given us new found credibility that is helping us to open doors in our quest to secure government and corporate funding, instil confidence in our stakeholders that AVR is going to survive and provide a shot in the arm for our staff and management.
7039 We are of course delighted to extend our support to CHUM, in part because of the $4.5 million commitment paid over seven years that will enable us to finally launch our stations. We note that your faith in us is shared by many others who have written letters of support of the CHUM application because of the funding that we will receive if CHUM is granted a licence.
7040 Aboriginal Voices Radio is grateful for letters submitted by the following people: Phil Fontaine, the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations; Jason Goodstriker, the Alberta Regional Chief; George Erasmus, Co‑Chair of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal People; Beverly Jacobs, President of the National Women's Association of Canada; and Vera Pawis Tobobondung, President of National Association of Friendship Centres.
7041 CHUM has offered to contribute the first year instalment of its $4.5 million in funding within 90 days of the Commission's decision. If the CHUM application is approved, therefore, AVR intends to use the money to complete its expansion.
7042 Once the expansion has been completed, some of the funding will be used to improve the programming, strengthening the sales effort and take the first steps toward implementation of local services in Calgary, Vancouver, Edmonton and elsewhere.
7043 By licensing CHUM you will be helping Aboriginal Voices Radio to complete the expansion of AVR. Also, you will be helping AVR to create a national aboriginal broadcasting infrastructure and programming source that hundreds of existing aboriginal stations can access at no charge to augment, extend and enrich the service they provide to their communities.
7044 You will also be helping AVR to provide training and employment opportunities for aboriginal youth that will help to increase the presence of aboriginal people in media in general and lead to improvements in the way aboriginal people are portrayed in the media.
7045 MR. HILL: Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen of the Commission, I would like to add a couple of final points.
7046 Section 3(1)(d)(3) of the Act states that:
"The Canadian broadcasting system should reflect the special place of aboriginal people within Canadian society."
7047 Section 3(1)(0) of the Act states that:
"Programming that reflects the aboriginal cultures of Canada should be provided within the Canadian broadcasting system as resources become available for the purpose."
7048 By licensing CHUM, two of the fundamental principles and objectives of the Act can be met to help our community find its rightful place on Canadian airwaves.
7049 I would like to say that AVR has a new talented board management team in order to expand our national network. This new team is the team who are going to get the job done.
7050 The outcome of these CRTC hearings will have an enormous impact on the future of AVR, regardless of the decision made. However, we will remain hopeful that a favourable decision is rendered so that AVR can move forward without any more delay.
7051 Finally, we would like to respectfully request expeditious consideration of the CHUM licence so that AVR can move forward. Quite simply put, AVR has much to lose and even less time to do so.
7052 We thank you for the opportunity to present our intervention in support of the CHUM application.
7053 This concludes our presentation. We would be pleased to answer any questions you may have.
7054 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Langford.
7055 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
7056 Thank you for your presentation. It is very clear and echoed, of course, what was in your written submission and in a number of submissions we have heard in licensing applications from AVR over the last few years.
7057 I want to try to speak as directly, and yet I hope non‑threateningly, as I can.
7058 I understand fully what you are telling us here today, and I understand how important funding is to AVR and its hopes and aspirations. But I have a lot of trouble, speaking personally now, trying to figure out how much weight I should give your dreams when I am trying to figure out who has the best application in Calgary for scarce resources.
7059 Let me go on, if you don't mind, because I want to make sure you understand where I am coming from.
7060 All of us in this room I think would celebrate if somebody just came along and gave you folks a lot of money and solved your problems. We have listened to your licence applications. We have granted them across the country. But we don't have money. We are not a money‑granting organization.
7061 So we would all be happy. We would all say, "Good, that problem is solved."
7062 But how much weight do I give to the fact, how much weight in the sense of a competitive application for scarce radio frequencies in Calgary ‑‑ you already have yours. You are okay, at least at that element.
7063 But all these other applicants have their dreams too, and their business plans and their aspirations.
7064 Does somehow the fact that CHUM can give you $4.5 million make their station, their application, a better application than the other ones here?
7065 How much weight do we give it? Can you help me with that?
7066 MR. HILL: Mr. Commissioner, you can appreciate that I am probably biased in this regard.
7067 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: I should hope you are.
7068 MR. HILL: And I do believe that CHUM has the best application, just in the information that I am aware of.
7069 Of course, my awareness is not anywhere near what all of yours is. But from what I have been informed, they have a very good solid application.
7070 I appreciate the fact that there are scarce resources. This is everyone's dilemma continually.
7071 I would have to ‑‑ without I guess getting into how you make the decision, because I can't take all of that into account. I don't really know everything that is involved in how you come to this decision.
7072 I would have to say as far as the aboriginal portion of the application, I would like to assert that the aboriginal community in Canada historically, and probably right up until today, is the most challenged community in the country. The impact that a national radio service would have on the aboriginal community in the country, I just think is tremendously large in terms of the positive benefits and I guess the positive benefits into the community in order to turn around the historical situation.
7073 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: You see, we agree with that and that's why we have given so many licences. We are 100 percent on side with that.
7074 It is then taking the next step. If we could vote for you to get money, we would all vote for it, I'm pretty sure. I haven't canvassed my colleagues, but I'm pretty sure everybody at this table would. They can speak for themselves.
7075 So that part is okay. It is just why should we think more of CHUM's application as an application for a station because they are doing this?
7076 We think a lot of CHUM because they are doing it, as a philanthropic organization. And everyone in this room would probably say the same thing.
7077 But they want the same frequency that the Evanovs want or Harvard, at least the same right to use the frequency. Usually we look at what kind of programming will they give to the people, the same way we assessed your applications. What is their business plan like? What will they do for talent development? And all the normal things that we lay out in our public notices when we say come and apply for licences.
7078 Now they have added an extra element.
7079 I think I put the question to the CHUM team earlier. There were so many questions, forgive me if I didn't. What if someone came here and said: Hey, we are going to give $4.5 million to the fight against breast cancer? That would be nice for the people who were trying to stop breast cancer and for every woman in the country.
7080 So how do we weigh this?
7081 When I see Mr. McLeod read to us the list of these very important and influential people who support this application, does Phil Fontaine really support CHUM Adult Contemporary Radio in Calgary or does Phil Fontaine support the notion of Aboriginal Voices getting a leg up and getting started and getting going?
7082 I think we all know the answer to that.
7083 I have met Phil Fontaine. I have a huge respect for Phil Fontaine, but I bet you he couldn't tell me two things about the CHUM application. He would say it was radio and they know how to run a radio station, probably.
7084 So how do we weigh this in the terms of all the other applicants here who have the same dream as CHUM?
7085 MR. HILL: Commissioner, if I could, I would like to ask Mr. Bob Wood to talk further on your question.
7086 MR. WOOD: Commissioner Langford, Phil Fontaine does know one thing about the application presented by CHUM, and that is that they will contribute $4.5 million to AVR.
7087 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: That's precisely my point.
7088 MR. WOOD: Exactly. So that's number one.
7089 Second, to go to your question about why this benefit, what is the point of all of this, I think that goes to the question of why have benefits at all in a licensing process, if that's a question.
7090 The third point to answer your question, it goes back to the Broadcasting Act. The Broadcasting Act clearly states that the Canadian broadcasting system should reflect the needs and interests of the aboriginal community when funds become available.
7091 So that is what makes this particular initiative, if you will, unique and special and necessary.
7092 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Is it the kind of precedent ‑‑ and I'm familiar with the Broadcasting Act. I think you will agree that what you have just quoted to me is only one aspect of it. There are a lot of other directions in section 3, as well.
7093 They don't take away from that one. I agree with you.
7094 What happens if we follow this to a logical extreme? Is it only people who have millions of dollars to give away? Do they get a better chance at a licence than a local group who has worked and scraped, the same as you have?
7095 There are applicants here who don't have much money. If you were here yesterday, you heard from some of them. They have dreams and they have aspirations. They have experience. They have business backers. They have plans. But they don't have $4.5 million to give to anyone.
7096 It is difficult for me to understand. As much as we have already shown our support for AVR by giving out lots of licences in areas where there are scarce frequencies, Calgary included, it is difficult for me to understand how you can lift that direction from broadcasting, attach it to a kind of ‑‑ and I say this in the kindest way because all aspects of applications are self‑serving; attach it to a self‑serving part of an application ‑‑ and that is not a criticism. That is how people structure applications.
7097 How do we do that? If we set a precedent like that, how do we go forward? How do we control it?
7098 We may end up like the United States where essentially we are setting up an auction, a bidding process for licences.
7099 MR. HILL: Commissioner, can I respond about maybe, I don't want to say marketplace rationales but the rationales as far as the benefits on Canadian society.
7100 I know, I can appreciate how many different factors you have to take into account when you make these decisions because I know the decision can be quite complicated.
7101 I would imagine, not being in your position, that one of the things you take into account is the quality of the service that will be delivered into Canadian society, and I would think that would weigh heavily when you consider an applicant like CHUM who has a long track record of delivering extremely high quality service.
7102 I think that speaks to maybe the reason why CHUM has been successful.
7103 So I think there is always a mix, and this is of course the challenge of the Commission: How do you divide up the mix between maybe let's say an older, more experienced applicant like CHUM as opposed to maybe a newer and smaller applicant for a licence?
7104 I can't give you all of the things that one would consider, but I would think as far as CHUM is concerned you would want to consider that it would be the highest quality of service. And that, as far as Canadian society is concerned, certainly the Calgary population, is a very important consideration.
7105 As I think about the application, the benefits package is one part of it. I know that you do look at again how strong is the benefits package and how much will it impact the people that it is meant to.
7106 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: You have spoken very eloquently and I think you have summed up our dilemma. You have also summed up in a sense one of your greatest strengths. CHUM is a very professional operator and they would, if licensed ‑‑ nobody in this room would doubt it ‑‑ provide a very good service for the people of Calgary.
7107 You have spoken eloquently and you have given us some help in trying to figure out how to balance that with the obvious benefits to AVR. No one would deny them. And your obvious need, no one would deny that.
7108 As well, I hope I have given you a bit of an understanding of what we are struggling with here.
7109 If it was just simply a matter of me saying "three cheers for AVR; this will help", I think everyone in the room would say go. But it is not that.
7110 We also have a whole licensing structure here that we somehow have to keep focused on what the licensing process is generally focused on. That is how you won your licences, so you don't want it to fall apart.
7111 MR. HILL: Yes.
7112 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: If you are successful, you will be back for more licences. There are areas of this country where you haven't got licences yet. You don't want it to fall apart because someone finds a better needy outfit to give benefits to and all of a sudden you can't compete.
7113 In a sense, I hope you understand. I think you do from your last comments. I hope you understand our problem. We want to support AVR, but we very much want to keep our licensing process clean and fair to all the people who come before us.
7114 Those are my questions and comments. I'm sorry to have gone on so long, but it is something that I am struggling with personally. It is a difficult part of this decision. It is a new element in a licensing framework for us.
7115 I am finding it difficult to struggle with, and I thank you very much for your assistance.
7116 Those are my comments, Mr. Chair.
7117 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Langford.
7118 For the record, CHUM filed yesterday afternoon a copy of the July 26, 2005 letter regarding the commitment that they have made with AVR regarding the financial contribution.
7119 That was not part of the record, but it is now part of the record. For anyone who wants to consult the document, it is available at the examination room.
7120 Thank you very much, Mr. Hill.
7121 MR. HILL: Thank you.
7122 THE CHAIRPERSON: We will move to the next intervenor.
7123 THE SECRETARY: Mr. Chairman, for the record, I would like to indicate that the intervenor Solange McAlister will not be appearing this morning. She is intervention No. 680.
7124 I will now call on the next three intervenors to come up to the front: RGB Productions Ltd., Ms Lucy Henry; The Asian Heritage Foundation of Southern Alberta; and Priti Obhrai‑Martin.
7125 THE SECRETARY: I would now call on Ms Lucy Henry for RGB Productions to present her intervention.
7126 You have ten minutes to do so. Thank you.
7127 MS HENRY: Good morning. My name is Lucy Henry and I am the Event Co‑ordinator for RGB Productions.
7128 RGB has been promoting independent Alberta bands for over five years. RGB's premier event is Alberta's Own Independent Music Festival. This annual event features up to 50 of Alberta's top indie bands featuring a wide variety of musical genres, including Pop, Hot AC, Hard Rock, Rock, Funk, Punk, Folk, Blues, Jazz and Christian.
7129 The purpose of Alberta's Own is to showcase independent artists, helping them gain experience and exposure.
7130 I would like to thank the CRTC for taking the time to consider CHUM Limited's application for a new FM radio station here in Calgary and providing me with the opportunity to highlight what we feel are the most important points of our intervention.
7131 CHUM's application for Energy 104.5 will not only provide Calgarians with a great new radio station but will initiate needed support for the development of new Canadian talent with their proposed Indie Artists Initiative.
7132 The greatest challenge for independent artists is to gain momentum from local star to regional star, regional star to national star, and national star to international star. There is nothing greater than community support to develop awareness of new emerging artists.
7133 CHUM's Indie Artist Initiative has three key components to promote emerging independent artists. These include airplay, marketing and promotion and the emerging indie CD series.
7134 CHUM has proposed to add one track from an emerging independent Canadian artist to their playlist from coast to coast each month. CHUM has ten stations which will play the artist of the month track a minimum of 15 times per week for a month. This will result in the emerging artist's music reaching an audience of over 2 million Canadians.
7135 This recognition will encourage other programmers to take a chance on a new song, hence increasing the awareness of this emerging artist even more.
7136 CHUM will also be partnering with a major retailer to stock, display and promote the artist of the month.
7137 In addition, CHUM will create a 30‑second produced commercial campaign promoting the artist of the month and participating stations will air that commercial free of charge.
7138 This exposure will give the retailers a much needed incentive to stock and showcase material from Canadian artists.
7139 In addition, CHUM Radio Calgary will air a new music special called "Demo Depot". This will be an hour show highlighting independent music from the Calgary region.
7140 We are seeing a trend where the public wants to be involved in the making of stars. This is where the demo depot comes in. Each week listeners will be encouraged to vote on line rating the music. Along with playing independent music, they will offer interviews with upcoming artists and promote the venues to see live music.
7141 This is a true community initiative which will also work closely with Alberta's Own in both promoting and the programming of our event.
7142 CHUM will also host a summer Cafe series in Calgary for ten weeks, during June, July and August. The Cafe series will stage live lunch‑time concerts in several downtown locations featuring emerging Canadian artists from both indie and major label rosters.
7143 The intent of these shows is to build awareness and appreciation for new Canadian talent.
7144 Many people hear the word "indie" or "emerging artist" and they have the perception of a basement band not good enough for mainstream. CHUM's Indie Artist Initiative will put these perceptions to bed.
7145 CHUM's vision of developing regional, national and international stars will initiate more awareness in both the public and business sectors. This recognition will build stronger communities by supporting local businesses and teaching kids to believe in their dreams.
7146 CHUM's application for Energy 104.5 proves their belief in strengthening communities, not only with their indie initiatives but also with their support for FACTOR, the Radio Starmaker Fund, CARS Music Education Program and Aboriginal Voices Radio.
7147 RGB Productions feel that CHUM is the right company to serve Calgarians and the greater community. Dreams can be a reality. We strongly recommend the Commission approve CHUM's application so we can help emerging Canadian talent move from regional stars to international stars.
7148 Again, thank you.
7149 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
7150 We will hear the three presentations. Then we may have some questions.
7151 THE SECRETARY: Then I would call on the intervention of The Asian Heritage Foundation of Southern Alberta.
7152 You have ten minutes for your presentation.
7153 MS WOO‑PAW: I am Teresa Woo‑Paw and I am the Chair of The Asian Heritage Foundation of Southern Alberta, as well as the Chair of the Ethnocultural Council of Calgary.
7154 The Asian Heritage Foundation has been a driving force for Calgary's Asian Heritage Month Celebration since we first introduced the festivity to Calgary in 2001. Our Asian events have received strong support from Calgarians and recognized by all levels of government.
7155 Our main objective is to foster appreciation for the participation and contribution of Asian Canadians through cultural and educational activities.
7156 Our focus is the mainstream Asian Canadian issues arts and culture.
7157 The Foundation benefits from a network of over 20 community organizations, as well as program partners such as the public library, booksellers, Calgary's Philharmonic Orchestra, Film Board and various levels of government.
7158 The Ethnocultural Council of Calgary is formed with a mandate to act as the collective voice of visible minority communities in order to influence social, economic and political change through collaborative actions.
7159 Our membership includes over 45 major organizations in Calgary's Chinese, African communities, Filipino communities, South Asian communities and various South American communities, as well as individuals.
7160 With promoting the interests and meaningful participation of members of visible minority communities in all aspects of Canadian life and providing a forum for Calgary's visible minority communities to discuss and address issues and concerns that impact on the communities as our key objective, we have organized community forums on consultation, community based action research, as well as public education activities over the past few years.
7161 The Council has established extensive linkages and networks with Calgary's varied communities and institutions throughout initiatives and membership.
7162 Given the stated objectives and mandates of both the Ethnocultural Council and Asian Heritage Foundation of Southern Alberta, we share CHUM Radio's interest in providing a station in our city that includes providing programs for young Calgarians, celebrating Calgary's diversity and supporting Calgary's civic‑minded community.
7163 The growing minority communities would greatly benefit from a mainstream media element that is committed to including their voices and providing them the space to celebrate and entertain with diverse formats and sources, as well as to inform and debate issues that are important to the targeted population.
7164 Youth who participated in a Council focus group on civic participation and participation in both the community and broader society told us they prefer cross cultures rather than ethno‑specific settings, programs and venues. They believe that kind of setting would create greater networks and strengths.
7165 They said they need programs and activities that cater specifically to youth interests and needs. People should let the youth decide what they like to do.
7166 They also told us that they should have free flowing discussions, forums. They feel that they have to feel safe so that they can participate freely.
7167 Youth who participated in a Calgary system evaluation on immigrant youth services in Calgary in 2005 said they don't feel they are understood by the adults and by institutions and service organizations. Their issues are not heard and they need a stronger voice.
7168 As a long‑term member of the former Calgary Diversity Leadership Council and Chair of the Council and the Foundation, I believe we need to explore and support different approaches and venues, engage young Calgarians on issues such as active citizenship and community engagement in ways that are effective to the targeted population. We have a need to create an environment that is secure and accepting for these populations to explore and express their diverse views, beliefs and perspectives.
7169 Calgary is a socially, culturally and economically dynamic, energetic and rapidly growing city with a younger than national average population. We offer the fourth most racially diverse city in the country. Various city initiative infrastructures such as the Centre for Arts Authority are indicative of our keen interest and commitments in enhancing the cultural vibrancy of our city of opportunities.
7170 In order to have programs that are authentically inclusive of cultural and racial diversity, it must be congruent with and be driven by a set of organizational beliefs and practices that embrace, and breathe and live diversity.
7171 We believe CHUM's corporate values of inclusion, reflection, quality, relevance, accessibility, understanding and respect, their best practices used as a reference by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters to draw up the industry guidelines on cultural diversity, will not only give Calgary's growing minority communities the much needed assurance and hope for the mainstreaming of diversity in media, it will also serve as a prime model for inclusive organizations.
7172 CHUM will help raise the bar for the industry, as well as a city taking strides to respond to this growing diversity.
7173 We share strongly with the CRTC's belief that the broadcasting system should be a mirror in which all Canadians can see themselves and all broadcasters contribute to a system that accurately reflects the presence in Canada of cultural, ethnic and racial minorities and aboriginal peoples.
7174 If mainstream media is to reflect the true diversity of Canadian society, it must take into account the racial and multicultural make‑up of these markets. CHUM's policies, best practices and current operations in other major cities in Canada are strong evidence of their living commitment to inclusion and cultural diversity in Canada.
7175 We would like to extend our strong support for CHUM's application and we urge you to grant the licence to CHUM Limited for operation in Calgary, as we look forward to CHUM's participation and contributions in our diverse and dynamic city.
7176 Thank you.
7177 THE SECRETARY: We now call on Mrs. Priti Obhrai‑Martin to make her presentation.
7178 MS OBHRAI‑MARTIN: Thank you.
7179 Mr. Vice‑Chair, Members of the Commission, good morning. My name is Priti Obhrai‑Martin and I am the publisher and President of cuemagazine.ca, Calgary's first and only cross‑culturally based e‑read and the inspiration for the "CUE Review".
7180 This is one of CHUM's innovative local programs for Energy FM. This is a one‑hour weekly talk show which will feature local cultural news, a weekly review of Calgary cuisine, called "Planetary Palette", club news, music reviews and coverage of local events, as well as in‑depth interviews with representatives from various cultural groups and top musical artists.
7181 I am here not only to support CHUM in their application for this radio but also to convey to you the nature of our partnership and our commitment to this application, the importance and impact of our audience demographic on the vibrancy and the true identity of Calgary, and most importantly why we chose to partner up with CHUM for this project.
7182 So who and what is CUE?
7183 As mentioned, we are Calgary's first and only cross‑cultural on‑line magazine. We cater to Calgary's young urban professionals who straddle more than one cultural identity: the cross‑cultural community.
7184 Cultural Urban Essence ‑‑ also known as CUE ‑‑ examines mainstream issues from diverse perspectives by exploring various subjects that impact the metropolitan culture of Calgary.
7185 Our mission is to be informative, entertaining and inspiring while covering the many facts of life and technology, to travel, to personalities to personal growth.
7186 Our online magazine is dedicated to showcasing the true diversity of Calgary's urban mosaic through insightful commentary, cultural depiction and through supporting arts and community events.
7187 CUE supports the many talents hidden in our midst by ways of film festivals, community events and so much more.
7188 I am proud to say that our readership in the last two years has grown from 200 subscribers to over 3,000 subscribers, and this is through word of mouth alone. We average 150,000 hits a month.
7189 It is important to understand how this tiny but fast‑growing magazine came to be in Calgary.
7190 A few years ago I had the privilege of learning about CHUM Limited and their media outlets in other cities, mostly by watching them as I travelled and worked across Canada. What I noticed was that in these cities I was being reflected. My interests were being showcased, and I felt as though for the first time I was considered part of mainstream Canada.
7191 This happened in Ottawa, Victoria, Vancouver and Toronto. What I wondered was why did it not occur here in Calgary?
7192 After my travels I finished my schooling in public relations with a minor in journalism and set up myself as being one of Calgary's few media relations advisors for the cultural communities here in Calgary.
7193 This happened mostly because there was a need for the cultural communities to be included in Calgary's media coverage, yet this bridge was difficult to build, mostly because none of Calgary's media outlets were willing to hear their voices.
7194 I have to tell you that I struggled in Calgary to get our mainstream media to see these communities as anything but festivals, food and clothing. There was no cross‑cultural reflection, no coverage of social and economic events, and no solicitation of their perspective on local and national events.
7195 I worked with many different organizations to reach out to the media community, to try to show them ways to be inclusive. To my frustration, many of them did not listen and kept telling that there was no audience for this here in Calgary. And more importantly there was no money to be made if they were to be included.
7196 Well, I'm here to tell you that CUE was developed to show them that they were wrong.
7197 I am proud to say that we were successful in this endeavour by not only proving that there was an audience for this, but they were also advertising hungry for this audience.
7198 In two short years CUE has grown from my personal website to a full‑fledged interactive and informative website in which many Calgarians submit articles that reflect and share their perspectives, cultural practices, life experiences, community businesses and so much more.
7199 There is a serious lack of cross‑cultural inclusion in Calgary's media, and because of this there is little if any choice for our business communities to spend their advertising dollars. In Calgary our media outlets pretty much chase the same advertisers, thus making it seem as though there is little room for opportunities in Calgary.
7200 I ask you to challenge our media community to become more inclusive in their coverage, and you will see that they will automatically attract businesses from the ethnic community, from young entrepreneurs, from corporate Calgary, small businesses and major advertising firms.
7201 How do I know this? Because these are the kinds of advertisers that are constantly approaching us, a grassroots online cross‑cultural magazine to do write‑ups, promotions and advertisements for them.
7202 From our experience, having a mandated diversity, a broadening of the demographic scope and a realistic look at the fastest growing demographic in Calgary, the 20‑35 age group, opens up these advertising opportunities.
7203 This is the group that most advertisers want: the intelligent consumer with a high disposable income and a willingness to explore their world.
7204 Once again, how do I know this? Because this is our demographic and this is the target audience Energy FM will be tuning into when they listen to our radio show.
7205 As a media outlet ourselves with a specific mandate, it is important for us to line up any partnerships that we have with companies that have a reputation for inclusion and diverse content and coverage.
7206 As mentioned previously, I first became acquainted with CHUM through their television station and was amazed by their simple and not forced cross‑cultural inclusion.
7207 I then had the privilege of becoming a key supporter and community champion for their previous attempts to bringing a CityTV station to Calgary. Through this endeavour I learned more about CHUM's corporate culture and policies and was honestly blown away by their mandate to be cross‑culturally inclusive, not only in their hiring process but in their reflections of the communities that they serve.
7208 I could see that this was a media company that not only preached diversity but practised it. They got it.
7209 It is because of this and the fact that they are a media company with a reputation of building community relationships, fulfilling their community promises and developing unique content and style to deliver to their audience that we agreed to partner up with CHUM on its innovative and unique programming.
7210 Furthermore, as you can see by the support letters, our readers are excited about the possibility of finally having a mainstream radio station that will reflect their music and social needs. The cultural communities are also excited about having a media vehicle that will promote and support them in reaching out and finally becoming part of Calgary's mainstream identity.
7211 In closing, I would like to ask for your help in making a dream come true for this Calgarian. You see, I know my city is vibrant. I know my city is diverse. And I know my city is unique. But I don't see this reflected anywhere in our city's media.
7212 As a result, everyone thinks that there is no diversity here, that there is no vibrancy, and that this city is extremely boring.
7213 I ask that you give us a chance to show Calgarians, Canadians and the world Calgary's true identity. I also ask that you see this as an opportunity to shape a city that is growing rapidly, not only in its economic position but with a new breed of Canadians: the young, cross‑cultural urban professionals.
7214 This new demographic is the heart and soul of Calgary and Canada, and because they straddle more than one culture they are the ones that will show us how to be tolerant, peaceful and civic‑minded. But in order to do so, they must be included and reflected in our media.
7215 As a member of this demographic, I sit here before you asking to be reflected and included on Calgary's airwaves.
7216 Thank you.
7217 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
7218 I have Mrs. del Val.
7219 COMMISSIONER del VAL: Thank you very much for your interventions and your presentations today. You also elaborated on your letters and gave me a lot of answers to questions that I had.
7220 So thank you very much.
7221 Ms Woo‑Paw, I believe I get the message on why you throw your support behind CHUM. I am wondering whether you are comfortable in commenting on say why not ‑‑ in terms of the youth group and the needs of the youth, there are at least two other applications, Harvard and Newcap, who also target the younger demographic.
7222 Then in terms of the ethnic needs, there is also an application for an ethnic station. I understand that Fairchild, an existing station, also serves some needs here.
7223 Are you comfortable on commenting on why those are not sufficient or why your support is behind CHUM rather than any of those existing services or services that the applicants are applying for?
7224 MS WOO‑PAW: I will try to answer to the best of my ability.
7225 I have to admit that I am not aware of the other applications, nor have those applicants approached the organizations that I represent, that I am a part of.
7226 As an active member of Calgary's Chinese community and the minority community, I am aware of some of the awareness raised by some of the other media institutions. However, I think that the ‑‑ I have been doing this community work for 30 years, and my background is social work. I truly believe that what we need in Canada now, in terms of diversity development, is to have organizations that truly are culturally competent, from its governance to its programs and to its human resource practices.
7227 CHUM is one of those organizations. That is why we have thrown our support behind CHUM. They approached us. They did not meet only with myself; they met with people from the Filipino community, the youth from the Filipino community, the Vietnamese youth group in Calgary.
7228 So I am actually a messenger from many community groups who actually are very excited about this opportunity. They want to have their voices included and reflected in a mainstream station that is cross‑cultural, and they want to have their voices heard by other Calgarians, not just by the ethnic community.
7229 That is why I am here. The youth and the communities, they want this opportunity to be included and reflected in Calgary.
7230 COMMISSIONER del VAL: Thank you. That is a good answer. Thank you for your time.
7231 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Ron Williams.
7232 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Good morning.
7233 My question is for Ms Obhrai‑Martin.
7234 You talked about the reflection and participation of minorities and aboriginal peoples in Canada's broadcasting system.
7235 Should our Broadcasting Act, as Commissioner Langford suggested, contain provisions for funding, I think he said needy groups, breast cancer or other lofty initiatives, or should we make our decisions on licensing matters by confining our thinking process to the Broadcasting Act and to the presentations that are before us?
7236 I would be interested to hear your thoughts on that matter.
7237 MS OBHRAI‑MARTIN: Absolutely. I'm glad you asked that, because my experience working in Calgary with these communities, as well as my government relations experience, leads me to believe that first and foremost the CRTC needs to see the needs of the city when they are giving out the licence.
7238 I don't think it should be about who needs the most money, what lobby group is coming up to you. What is required, first of all, is that lobby group actually addressing a need?
7239 For example, here in Calgary for the aboriginals and the minorities, and the cross‑cultural community, there is no reflection. There is no place for us to feel as though we are included, our perspectives are included. Therefore, there is a need for it.
7240 I think that is the most important thing to understand. Calgary is growing and it no longer is the same city that it was 10, 15 years ago. It is growing and it is growing into a new direction.
7241 We are the fastest growing city. We are the fourth city for immigration. We are also highly educated, post secondary. When you look at this demographic, you look at who makes it up. It is everybody. It is the aboriginals. It is the minorities. It is mainstream Canadians. Yet at the same time there is no inclusion of everybody's perspective being reflected in media in Calgary.
7242 To me, it is kind of ‑‑ I don't think it is whoever gets the most money. That is not important. What is important is who is making the effort to have those communities being included into their application and who is doing it in a way that is effective, that is creative, that is innovative and that is actually meeting a market niche.
7243 At the end of the day one of the things that the CRTC will be looking at is if there are dollars that can help sustain this particular application. I am telling you, I know from experience in working with media in Calgary that they all keep telling me there is only so many dollars that are available for advertisers. I am like, well, how is it possible that I can go out there and sell the same things to different advertisers in Calgary and broaden my advertising scope by just broadening who my demographics are and by being inclusive?
7244 Does that answer your question?
7245 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: I think I get the impression that, from your opinion, there is a lot of work to be done yet in the Broadcasting Act before we take on the tremendous challenges of cancer and widespread economic development or those types of issues.
7246 MS OBHRAI‑MARTIN: Absolutely. I think it is important to see that, but I also think it is important to see that there is a community that can support it.
7247 There is no point in giving money to cancer in a place where there is hardly anybody that can help give money back, support the cause, be part of the marathons. Here in Calgary we do have the population. We do have the need for that.
7248 It is very important to see what the application is and what the end result is going to be.
7249 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Thank you very much.
7250 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
7251 Your three presentations were very comprehensive and will help us in our deliberations. Thank you.
7252 Madam Secretary.
7253 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
7254 I would now call on the next two intervenors to come to the front. It is the intervention of Sean Libin from Stride Management, and Mr. Chikinda from Mount Royal College.
7255 THE SECRETARY: We would first ask Mr. Libin from Stride Management to start their intervention.
7256 You will have ten minutes for your presentation.
7257 MR. LIBIN: Thank you.
7258 Mr. Chairman, Commissioners, CRTC staff, good morning. My name is Sean Libin. I am appearing today in support of 1182743 Alberta Ltd. in their application for The Lounge 92.9 FM.
7259 Specifically, I would like to address the need for this radio station that proposes to serve the 45‑plus audience from an advertising and marketing perspective, from where I come from.
7260 I would first like to give you a little background on my experience and qualifications to speak to this topic.
7261 Over the past 18 years I have held several senior marketing positions in the Calgary market, including media buying and media director roles. And for several years I held the position of Director of Marketing for Corus Entertainment's Country Music Television Specialty Channel.
7262 Today I am the Vice‑President of Marketing with Stride, a full service marketing and advertising agency with offices in Calgary as our head office and branch offices in Edmonton, with a staff of 40 and annual billings in excess of $10 million.
7263 In the case of radio in Calgary, Stride works regularly with all radio stations, including Rogers, Standard and Corus properties, as well as independent stations such as Newcap's California 103.1.
7264 I am very intrigued and encouraged with the proposed Lounge FM radio station.
7265 While I was approached to intervene in support of more than one licence being considered here this week, I only agreed to speak on behalf of The Lounge application.
7266 Why? First and foremost, I feel there is a void in the Calgary FM radio landscape in two areas.
7267 The first is in easy listening content and the second is the delivery of news content.
7268 In broader terms, I would argue that generally speaking, there is a lack of FM radio services catering to the 45‑plus audience. I know this because we have several clients that specifically target this demographic, and we often find ourselves struggling to develop effective radio campaigns for them. We often end up having to buy three and even four stations deep in an effort to find the efficiencies we seek and require for a specific campaign.
7269 The 45‑plus market is the fastest growing segment of the Calgary population, and there is no question that there is ample audience to support The Lounge FM as a viable radio station.
7270 I am certainly not a research expert, nor a statistician, but I recently pulled some of the numbers to determine if my gut instinct was actually valid or just heartburn.
7271 According to the 2004 City of Calgary Municipal Census, the 45‑plus population in Calgary now totals just over 304,000 people, meaning that one in three Calgarians is over the age of 45.
7272 In terms of radio listening habits, when I am buying radio against the 45‑plus demo and I refer to the BBM S4 survey, or what we used to call the Fall Book, total market share of adults 45‑plus is only 74 percent, leaving me to ask the question: If a station caters specifically to the 45‑plus Calgarian, would listenership increase?
7273 I believe it would.
7274 While arguably all stations have some degree of 45‑plus listenership, no FM station specifically caters to this important demographic.
7275 If we steer away from age demographics for a moment and specifically look toward genres or programming, one can make the point that there is certainly no FM station serving Calgary providing a strong news focus.
7276 The Lounge FM proposes to fill this void with hourly newscasts throughout the day and three dedicated news reporters.
7277 One can make the point that there is currently no FM station serving Calgary providing an easy listening format, particularly in light of Breeze 103.1 FM's recent format change to California 103.1 and with Lite 96's brightening of their music mix.
7278 The Lounge FM proposes to fill this void with a uniquely programmed modern nostalgic mix of music that will certainly and obviously appeal to the 45‑plus crowd, while also remaining inviting to younger listeners.
7279 As a person who just entered his forties, I must say on a personal note that I happen to also enjoy the distinct format being proposed with The Lounge. It is a station that I know I would tune into personally and therefore I am confident that of the 304,000 other older Calgarians, I would not be alone.
7280 That said, it is one thing to make the case that there is a void, which I hope I have, but it is another matter to determine whether the demographic not being served even needs to be.
7281 How important is the 45‑plus demographic to our society?
7282 According to Boomers Marketing, people over 45 are responsible for more expenditures than any other group in Canada, some $35 billion a year. Canadians over 45 control about three‑quarters of our nation's wealth. They enjoy a median net worth that is about double the average and are forecast to inherit about $1 trillion dollars between now and 2015.
7283 Canadians over 45 are active and vibrant.
7284 When I recently celebrated my big 4‑0 this past December, I for the first time became a little age conscious. I was recently at a corporate function just about a week ago with a lot of 20‑year‑old business women there, and one of them told me that 40 is the new 20. So I was quite excited to hear that.
7285 I am very fortunate to live in what many are calling the most vibrant city in Canada. Calgary's economy, as you have already heard, is strong. Our population is growing faster than we can manage it, with an influx of fresh new faces. And our future is certainly bright.
7286 The time is right to grant new FM licences within Calgary.
7287 There are currently FM stations stumbling over each other with similar programming and equally, as I have pointed out, there are holes in the fabric of FM radio in Calgary.
7288 Obviously the Commission needs to carefully consider how to best fill these holes. I know that you will.
7289 I strongly suggest that now is the right time for the Commission to license an FM station that specifically targets adults 45‑plus in Calgary. Now is the right time to license an FM station dedicated to providing news content, and now is the right time to license an FM station that will provide a unique forum of modern nostalgic music programming.
7290 I heard you ask a previous intervenor why this application versus another similar one. I am confident that The Lounge 92.9 FM's application is the best choice to provide these services. The applicant has clearly researched and understands the potential audience and has created a dynamic radio format that will fill these existing voids.
7291 Perhaps even more importantly, though, as a Calgarian, as a person who actually grew up in Central Alberta where you learned to support your own, I also look positively to the fact that The Lounge FM will be a Calgary radio station owned and operated by Calgarians, whereas all other stations in this market are part of larger media corporations with eastern‑based management who have, in my opinion, on too many occasions proved that they are not necessarily in touch with Calgary's unique personality.
7292 I have had the pleasure of working alongside Mr. Larsen when we both worked for Corus Properties, and I can say unequivocally that Mr. Larsen and his Lounge FM management team, some of whom I also know, have demonstrated extensive experience, creativity and capability in radio broadcasting, including extensive experience right here in the Calgary market.
7293 I would respectfully request that the Commission seriously consider licensing 1182743 Alberta Ltd. and The Lounge 92.9 FM.
7294 I would be pleased to take any questions you may have.
7295 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
7296 We will hear from the next intervenor.
7297 THE SECRETARY: Mr. Chairman, it is Mr. Chikinda from Mount Royal College.
7298 Please go ahead.
7299 MR. CHIKINDA: Bienvenue. Welcome, Mr. Vice‑Chairman, Members of the Commission, to our city. I hope that the legendary hospitality and warmth of the hospitality of this city will in some way complement in the best possible sense your stay here.
7300 My name is Marc Chikinda. I am an instructor of broadcast journalism at Mount Royal College here in the city of Calgary. I am also the acting Chair of the broadcasting program at that institution.
7301 As others have said to you ‑‑ and I am sure this morning was an example of that, and I am sure it occurred at other points throughout the presentations before you ‑‑ my little city of 160,000 people when I was born has grown to virtually almost one million, certainly one million before the year 2010.
7302 It is changing. It has an insatiable demand, in my view, for public information, for news, for current affairs.
7303 Calgary, I think second only to our nation's capital, Ottawa, is the most wired community in Canada in terms of the internet.
7304 We are reaching out constantly for information in Calgary. As Members of the Commission will remember, we had just last month, in January, political events in our nation. Governments come and governments go, prime ministers come and prime ministers go. It may be that the putative centre of the universe of our country, which formerly may have been considered to be east of here, might be resident in the city of Calgary for a while at least.
7305 Be that as it may, Calgarians love information. They need it. They even lust for it, Members of the Commission.
7306 What is inherent in this, and is at its very core, it seems to me, is a promise of performance in that the largest FM radio newsroom would be established in our city with this application before you. And that is not an insignificant undertaking.
7307 We have heard earlier people reference the need for diversity and I echo those needs, those demands for change.
7308 I have been involved in the news area for mostly 25 years, I would suggest, both as a reporter, as a news anchor and now as an instructor of broadcast journalism.
7309 I have seen the literal face of news change. Diversity is here within my city but it needs to be accommodated in newsrooms. It seems to me, Members of the Commission, that the way to do that is to staff a newsroom so that people can go out and encounter the diversity that is exists on the streets of this city.
7310 News does not come to reporters. Reporters must seek it out. Therefore, Members of the Commission, there have to be resources in place and a healthy vibrant newsroom is the way to get that done.
7311 I applaud this application for its undertaking to do exactly that.
7312 I understand, as well, that there is an undertaking to provide an unparalleled, in my view and in my experience, partnership with broadcast education in this application before you.
7313 Of course, I welcome that. The idea of hiring fresh from colleges, and not just my institution but other institutions, young graduates of broadcast education to be news reporters, to be on‑air, to be involved in production, is something I have never encountered.
7314 While I have intervened on paper before, I did not and have not until now asked for permission to appear in front of you. I do so because I feel very strongly about this promise of performance, this undertaking.
7315 I wish to urge Members of the Commission to know this: that even if that promise were not there, if there were no mention whatsoever of a potential partnership, I would still be before you today in support of this application because it offers the best hope for increased public information, news and spoken word programming in our city.
7316 We need to know more about each other as Canadians. For Heaven's sake, in my province, Calgarians and Edmontonians rarely speak to each other, except on the playing field. We lack communication. The way to increase communication is to understand and know more about each other.
7317 With a large healthy FM radio newsroom, I suggest to you, Members of the Commission, that becomes more possible.
7318 I began my career in this city by working for CBC. A very serendipitous alignment of the planets allowed me to graduate from the institution I now teach at and to work in current affairs, radio current affairs and news at CBC.
7319 On the first day on the job my news supervisor said, "Of course, you will want to change your name." And I said, "Of course, I will not change my name. It was good enough for my father to carry into the Second World War in defence of this country. I will keep my name. Thank you very much."
7320 I am very proud to say that things have changed dramatically in Calgary and yes, even in Alberta. Nobody asks that people change their names any more.
7321 I want to extend to the FM community, to the FM listening audiences of this city, a radio news service that provides diversity, provides tolerance, provides respect, and above all provides information that I believe Calgarians desperately need, not just from the drive‑in period of 6:00 to 9:00, but also not just from 4:00 to 6:00 when they drive home; all throughout the day. And, moreover, an hour each day at noon to provide that information in a way that currently isn't happening on the FM dial.
7322 So I am very proud to lend my name in support of this application. I know that your task is not easy. How can it be easy? You have a lot of conflicting criteria, demands placed upon you.
7323 I urge you, as I am sure you do, to think not only of the demands and needs of the Calgary audience of today but also the Calgary audience ten years from now.
7324 I strongly support this application, and I thank you very much for your time.
7325 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Chikinda.
7326 I will ask Mr. Langford to ask his questions.
7327 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
7328 When I worked for CBC, they wanted me to change my voice.
7329 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: I wasn't prepared to undergo the required operation, so I went into another line of work.
7330 My question actually is to you, Mr. Libin. Is that right?
7331 MR. LIBIN: Yes.
7332 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: You don't have to change your name. I just have to learn how to pronounce it.
7333 I am interested in picking your sort of unique perspective on what we are doing here. I don't want you to pick any other winners for us, or losers, but I would like you to kind of give me an idea of where there are other market holes.
7334 You are saying there is a big demographic that needs to be served by advertisers over 45 and I certainly got that message. Are there any other holes there?
7335 We are hearing from the applicants before us, and certainly from the economic surveys that we have done, it looks like Calgary can absorb more than one licensee.
7336 Let's assume for a moment that you get your wish and that, if not specifically what you are asking for but the wish in the sense of the demographic you want served is getting served.
7337 Is there another demographic that is highly underserved in this area?
7338 MR. LIBIN: I think we have addressed the two biggest ones, which is news content on the FM dial. Right now in this market, QR77, which is an AM property of course, really has the lock on that market. Whether you like Mr. Rutherford in the mornings or not, you don't have a lot of choice. You get what they give you.
7339 I think that spoken word, from an advertising standpoint ‑‑ you have spoken about CBC. If I could buy advertising on CBC, I would do that in a heartbeat. But that is a discussion for another day.
7340 So spoken word is certainly the biggest one.
7341 That upper age limit, I think if you wanted to extend that demographic 45 and even go 65‑plus, there is certainly a void there.
7342 One of our largest clients is the Royal Canadian Legion, which obviously skews to an older demographic. I think there is a real big void. The further up the age spectrum you go, I think the void continues to grow there.
7343 Equally, if you wanted to argue ‑‑ although from an advertising standpoint we haven't been tasked with it yet, but that is simply because we haven't gone after that business.
7344 If you went to the opposite end of the spectrum, whereas on TV, for example, you have properties like Treehouse and YTV that are catering to that very younger demographic kids programming, whether it was a discovery type of a format or kids programming.
7345 So I think it is those outer brackets where there really is a void.
7346 I think if you take the sort of catch‑all demographic of 25‑54, there is lots of stuff there.
7347 Then when you get into diversity types of issues, which I know you are hearing currently, as the previous intervenor said, our market is becoming more and more and more diverse daily. The more we can mirror that ethnic and cultural diversity ‑‑ and diversity comes in so many different forms.
7348 The more we can mirror the make‑up of our population base as it evolves very quickly and we are struggling to keep up with it, the better off you will be.
7349 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Thank you very much. That is a very complete answer, and I am grateful for it.
7350 MR. LIBIN: Thank you.
7351 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Those are my questions, Mr. Chair.
7352 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
7353 Mrs. del Val.
7354 COMMISSIONER del VAL: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
7355 Mr. Chikinda, I don't know whether you were in the room and whether you had the chance to hear the exchange between Mr. Langford and the AVR group.
7356 MR. CHIKINDA: This morning, yes, I was here.
7357 COMMISSIONER del VAL: I was wondering, since you are an academic ‑‑
7358 MR. CHIKINDA: It is alleged.
7359 COMMISSIONER del VAL: I was interested in hearing your views on the whole issue of assessing the application, the merits of the application, and then the benefits package, and the role that the benefits package should play in the final decision.
7360 Are you comfortable sharing your views on that?
7361 MR. CHIKINDA: That's a delicious question and you are asking me to walk into the hypothetical. And I will not comment on other interventions, either for or against.
7362 I know that the factors that this body has to consider are many, splendoured and varied and some will necessarily carry more weight than others. So any answer I would give you might be considered to be political in the sense that I might be trying to find the area that you are probing for that would give the greatest strength to this application.
7363 Rather than do that, I would say this.
7364 I think you need very much to take into consideration ‑‑ and pardon the arrogance of me telling you what your job should be. But take into consideration, if you please, the incredible change that we have in this city in terms of its population, its dynamism ‑‑ perhaps you have experienced that since you have been here throughout the week, despite the weather ‑‑ that it has a need for information that certainly, in my view, on the FM dial is not being met; that what are the best ways of providing increased access to a diverse group of individuals, peoples, cultural associations through the airwaves.
7365 Is it to undertake hope and trust or is it to look to real partnerships that provide people in situ, in place, to provide news and information to go out to those communities?
7366 Which application will serve this community the best, I think needs to be considered in terms of which application seeks to go out to those communities and seeks to put in place the resources in order for that to happen.
7367 COMMISSIONER del VAL: Thank you.
7368 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Libin. Thank you, Chikinda.
7369 Madam Secretary.
7370 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
7371 I would like to indicate for the record that the two following intervenors that were to appear will not be here this morning.
7372 It is intervention No. 485, Leah Chevalier, and Marion Schroeder, which is the next one, intervention 486.
7373 I would now call on Lari Carter and Michele McDonald to come to the front, please.
7374 THE SECRETARY: I would ask you to please identify yourselves. You will then have ten minutes for your presentation.
7375 MR. CARTER: My name is Lari Carter. I have spent 23 years working in the Canadian radio industry, the last 21 years working right here in the Calgary market.
7376 First, I would like to thank the Commission for their tireless dedication and promotion of this vital component of Canadian culture and for their focus indeed this week in the hearings for the CRTC to assess a new radio licence for the city of Calgary.
7377 I appear before the Commission today on behalf of the Evanov Radio Group and for their application for the FM commercial radio station to be known as The Jewel 92.9.
7378 If I may, I would like to indulge the Commission with a little personal background and observation from my 21 years of working in the Calgary market in radio and things I have learned about the dynamic of the city.
7379 In January of 1981 I began working at CHSC and CHRE in St. Catherines, Ontario. In June of that year I graduated from a three‑year radio‑television communication arts program at Niagara College of Applied Arts in Welland, Ontario.
7380 A year later, in October of 1982, I was asked to be a part of the company's newly licensed FM station in Calgary at the time. Redmond Communications was getting a licence for an FM Country music station in Calgary and I was asked to come out.
7381 Since I had gotten into the business to perhaps see the best part of the country, I thought this was a great opportunity to check out the western frontier. So I jumped at the opportunity.
7382 I was asked on a Thursday morning and I was on board a plane Saturday morning, so I didn't have time to check out the who, what, where, when and why of what was all ahead. But I did get a couple of common threads from some people who seemingly had some advice about western Canada.
7383 I was told to make sure that I had some thermal underwear because it's cold all the time, and to tread carefully with the people in Calgary at the time because there was a state of somewhat manic depression. They were going through somewhat of an economic downturn at the time.
7384 So I took that with a grain of salt, but they were both dismissed rather quickly once I had spent some time in the city.
7385 I had signed off an 11 o'clock newscast on a Thursday evening about a week before Christmas. It was minus 27 degrees. By the time I had cleaned up the newsroom and found my way back to my hotel and ordered my late night pizza, it was plus 13 degrees ‑‑ a change of 40 degrees inside a couple of hours. I had no idea what was going on. I thought I was getting sick.
7386 When I inquired what was going on, the person at the front desk merely shrugged and said "chinook", that wonderful energy of Calgary that blows over the Rockie mountains: another source of energy that this city is built on.
7387 That was my first lesson about the expanse of the unique energy in the city, things that I learned very quickly about what to expect in Calgary.
7388 And despite that crushing impact from the National Energy Program at the time, there was a source of personal energy that I had not witnessed anywhere else. There was a positive flow of forward thinking, entrepreneurial spirit that was at least 50 percent higher than in good times in other places in Canada that I had experienced.
7389 The oil patch service companies were liquidating at the time. The oil and gas industry was shutting down and gearing down business to a great degree. But as quickly as the oil patch was falling, Calgary's other natural resource was souring at the time: that progressive entrepreneurial spirit.
7390 What affectionately became known at the time as Calgary's native bird, the construction crane, was busy taking over. They were refurbishing and expanding Calgary's skyline in this economic downturn.
7391 At the same time there were three Calgary licences that were finding their way and riding the new wave of economic building in the city again.
7392 Calgary's population in 1982 was just over 500,000 and before we exit the 2006 calendar year we will top one million people in this city. Recent Statistics Canada figures show that four of the ten fastest growing communities in Canada are around Calgary's border right now.
7393 Those three new radio stations at the time flourished and became industry leaders all within their own individual timeframe, so the airwaves were buzzing and building along with Calgary's reviving economic growth again.
7394 With lessons learned from Calgary's oil patch, it was still the economic engine of the time. But they had now supplemented the much more diverse economy, fuelled by a young progressive population, a population that I believe is pretty well served by the current variety of radio formatting in Calgary.
7395 But that earlier generation, the builders of this city, of the economic and that impressive business, social and cultural model that they built in Calgary, is not being served. There is very little choice and variety for the 45‑plus demographic in this city. What I believe the city needs is to reflect that quiet confidence of success of the past and that pioneering generation that builds and continues to support this vibrant city.
7396 A radio format for the 45‑plus demographic is long overdue. The deficiency is going to be addressed by the Evanov Radio Group. That is their plan.
7397 Is The Jewel FM an adult contemporary, easy listening music with class format, indeed programming for an easy living demographic in our city? In my humble opinion, The Jewel promises to be a breath of fresh air for this radio market.
7398 A radio format that will not only entertain the 45‑plus demographic, it will inform and enhance the lifestyle of the long forgotten portion of the population. But even more important, a format that will allow a listener to engage The Jewel without constantly punching the dial and without looking for some alternative, that something disturbing just came on the dial; a new sense of being able to listen to your radio at home for extended periods of time as most program formatting in the market right now is geared toward that 15‑minute hook only.
7399 In my brief association, I have discovered that the Evanov Radio Group displays a type of determination and passion that will allow them to become a solid leading corporate citizen, especially given their mandate to support local talent.
7400 There is a lot of local talent that is not getting addressed, especially in this demographic in this part of the country.
7401 Community endeavours as well and charitable agencies will be addressed in their application.
7402 I look forward in the very near future to the shining new Jewel on Calgary's frontier.
7403 I would like to thank the Commission again for their leadership in addressing the community needs when considering their new licence and again thank them for their time today.
7404 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Carter.
7405 Madam Secretary.
7406 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
7407 We would now call as a panel the following four intervenors: CADME, Mr. Kevin Willms from CADME; Keystone Music; Blaskin & Lane Tires; and The Beach Audio.
7408 Could you please come to the front.
7409 THE SECRETARY: I would now call on Mr. Blaskin to begin his presentation.
7410 You will have ten minutes for your presentation.
7411 MR. BLASKIN: Thank you.
7412 Good morning, Mr. Chairman, Commissioners. I feel a little out of place. There is a lot of expert radio people in this room today. I am coming from a little different side.
7413 I am a retailer. We buy airtime versus trying to sell it, so a little bit of background about myself.
7414 I basically spent 16 years in the corporation and decided I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I then spent 25 years in that market. We have some retail tire stores and wholesale tire stores. I also have some restaurants.
7415 So we do buy a lot of airtime. Probably the radio at this point in time in our budget is certainly largely on radio. That is more or less what I will be speaking about today in support of obviously Star‑FM here in Calgary.
7416 I have enjoyed the corporate structure when I was working in it, but I felt that I wanted to get into an entrepreneurial position. I did that because I had that desire to be that way, as well this city is definitely created for that marketplace. It is a very vital city and it enjoys working in an entrepreneurial atmosphere.
7417 I would also like to talk about three of the principals of Star‑FM: Rick Meaney, Vince Tripathy, Jim Bagshaw.
7418 I have known those gentlemen for approximately 20 years in my business career. I find these businessmen to be morally and ethically correct, good businessmen, supportive to my business as well. They have always been very supportive in regard to helping us do our business, enlightening us as to what is going on in the marketplace, even to the point of what our competition is doing and what we should be doing to help and move forward in our business in our marketplace.
7419 So I speak very highly of these three gentlemen.
7420 I know there are other principals in the company. I don't know them as well. But my experience with those three has been very helpful for myself and my business in the past.
7421 We always challenge our people that come into our business to find out what they know about our business, and that is something that we have challenged any radio people or newspaper people that come to our place of business to see what they can do to help us.
7422 Again, I just want to emphasize the importance of what we do. What we need is an entrepreneur to have people come in and give us new ideas and be more creative. We would get creative meetings from these gentlemen in the past to help us find a better way of marketing our product.
7423 As an entrepreneur in this city, there is a lot of involvement in the charity community. We do a great deal of that ourselves. We also turn to our suppliers ‑‑ i.e., the radio marketplace. And again we have had great support in this marketplace from these gentlemen. I am looking forward to getting even more support from them with a new station coming on.
7424 We have always enjoyed working with the entrepreneurial radio stations because we find them to be more flexible, more willing to work with us, give us more of their time.
7425 We also find that it is more helpful, being a small entrepreneur in the marketplace, that we are not competing as much with the nationals that are buying up prime airtime. We find it is much more flexible to allow us to get better exposure on their station as well.
7426 Again, I would like to speak in favour of the supporting of an independent radio station in this marketplace for the independent entrepreneurs in this market.
7427 I will keep my speech short. I think that's about it.
7428 I certainly welcome any questions, and I thank you for the opportunity to be here.
7429 I do apologize. I do have to leave shortly. I have another session I have to go to as well.
7430 Thank you very much for allowing me to speak to you today.
7431 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Blaskin. I have one question.
7432 You are in the retail business, and you are buying airtime for your various organizations, restaurants, you said, and retail stores selling tires.
7433 When you are buying advertising, what are you aiming at? Are you aiming at a certain demographic? Are you aiming at a certain type of service or a certain music format?
7434 What has been your experience?
7435 MR. BLASKIN: Fortunately, in some respects we are very fortunate that we have the opportunity to service most people over the age of 18, and even some of the younger ones as well. But basically anybody that drives a vehicle or eats out is our client, which makes it sometimes advantageous and sometimes a disadvantage. It is a very wide market and perhaps to reach everybody, it is difficult to do that.
7436 We will sometimes focus on a particular station who works with us, as I said earlier, in a creative way of going to market and allowing us to have opportunities so we can get there with maybe less cost to what we might be spending on larger stations, et cetera.
7437 We find the independent stations are more willing to work with us on putting promotions together, whether it be on added value through the station itself or helping us support community charities in the marketplace.
7438 So we look for something outside the box in regard to what they can do for us.
7439 The audience, yes, our demographics we like to go from 18 to 55, but we are open to the younger generation as well. We understand that that is the growth of our company, so if we can work with the younger people who eventually will be coming into the marketplace, buying tires or eating at restaurants.
7440 THE CHAIRPERSON: Star‑FM, as you are aware, is aiming at an older demographic, which is 45‑plus. With the type of service they are looking at, they will really be delivering to that type of an audience.
7441 Are there still opportunities for you in that population segment?
7442 MR. BLASKIN: Absolutely. There is a lot of us ‑‑ and I am certainly over that age group. I still do a lot of driving and eating out a lot, but it is also that we do a lot of branding. That is certainly one of the ways we go to market very aggressively.
7443 The fact that we can have the older generation, one, coming to us and then referring their experience to their sons, daughters, nephews, family members, of who and what we are.
7444 So it is a branding. We do a lot of branding as well as traffic‑driven, but mostly branding.
7445 So we will focus more so on we believe everybody out there is our audience. We just need to find a way to get to them as an entrepreneur, as reasonably priced as we possibly can.
7446 That is what we find is a real asset to us as well, and we find independents are much flexible for us to do that.
7447 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Blaskin.
7448 Mrs. del Val.
7449 COMMISSIONER del VAL: Mr. Blaskin, would you advertise in Airdrie?
7450 MR. BLASKIN: Would I advertise in Airdrie?
7451 COMMISSIONER del VAL: Yes.
7452 MR. BLASKIN: Absolutely.
7453 COMMISSIONER del VAL: Thank you.
7454 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
7455 MR. BLASKIN: Thank you very much, and I apologize that I have to leave early.
7456 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Secretary.
7457 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
7458 I would now call on Mr. Willms of CADME to make his presentation.
7459 You will have ten minutes for your presentation.
7460 MR. WILLMS: Good morning and thank you for this opportunity.
7461 I will be speaking on behalf of the strength of the Canadian Talent Development component of this application.
7462 A little bit of background about myself.
7463 I am a high school music teacher. I teach in a large high school music program in the city of Calgary, a vibrant performance‑based program. I am also the Vice‑President of the Alberta International Band Festival. I am also the artistic director for a community music organization called Westwinds and I am the President of CADME.
7464 So what is CADME?
7465 CADME is a not‑for‑profit society, registered under the Societies Act in the province of Alberta. Our charity status with the federal government is pending, but the papers have been filed.
7466 This organization was created three years ago by a collective of junior and senior high school music teachers with the express purpose of supporting school music programs in a number of ways.
7467 As per the Societies Act, our entire board of seven are elected annually by our members, most of whom are music teachers in the Calgary region. When I say "Calgary region", we are basically Olds to High River and Cochrane to Strathmore is where most of our members come from. So it is not exclusively the city of Calgary; it is the Calgary area.
7468 Our board members are elected and none of us receive any kind of remuneration for this work.
7469 We support or music programs in a number of ways.
7470 We provide a mentoring program for young teachers. We advocate for school music programs and important relevant issues that affect them. We work on projects and partnerships with other organizations, such as the Alberta Band Association, Alberta Choral Federation. We are in partnership with the Cantos Music Foundation in Calgary, and numerous others.
7471 We operate currently a program called The Jazz in Schools Program with support from California 103, formerly The Breeze operated by Newcap in Calgary.
7472 Over the last number of years CADME has established itself as a leader in music education in Calgary. A great example is the Jazz in Schools Program we spoke of, which really has had a profound impact in almost all the high schools in the city, literally transforming a number of these programs.
7473 It has been our intent, in conjunction with Star‑FM, to create a new program which would be specific to the support of our concert band and choir programs in schools within the city of Calgary.
7474 Star‑FM will be committing about a quarter of a million dollars over the next seven years to this endeavour.
7475 With our experience we have developed a process in order to maximize the effective use of those funds. It is basically on how we run the Jazz in Schools Program. Through that process we do have an application component that allows for teachers to identify needs very specific to their program and apply for project funding to assist in meeting those needs.
7476 We have criteria for applicants to define what is acceptable and what is not.
7477 We have developed an objective method for deciding which applications to approve and which to deny.
7478 We have a system in place to assist teachers who need help in preparing their applications and also in executing their plans.
7479 We have a monitoring and reporting process that ensures that all funds are spent responsibly and in accordance with the approved project. And we maintain those records permanently.
7480 Our structure as an organization from its inception has required us to direct 100 percent of any funds received from either corporate, private or any other kind of donor sponsor to the direct benefit of music programs and the students enrolled in them.
7481 Any and all administrative costs that we incur as a society are covered through our membership fees. In fact, those fees also generate extra funds that we put into our programming and to support of schools.
7482 In order to make maximum use of funds that are available, we regularly partner with other organizations in collaborative ventures. We work, as I said before, with the ABA. We have worked with the Calgary Jazz Society and a number of others in order to make the dollars that we have access to go furthest.
7483 Included in that, some of our criteria for funding include incentives and encouragement for collaborative efforts between multiple schools and programs, as well as funding from other sources.
7484 In addition to the obvious benefit to the school programs of another program to support their in‑class endeavours, the format of this station also includes a Sunday kids' program that will also be a great venue to showcase what is going on in our school programs and to raise the profile of those programs through better awareness in our community.
7485 For those reasons, I fully support the application for Star‑FM. And that's it.
7486 Thank you very much. I appreciate your time.
7487 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
7488 Madam Secretary.
7489 THE SECRETARY: I would now call on the next intervenor, which is Keystone Music.
7490 Could you please identify yourself and spell your name for the court reporter so that we have your proper name on the transcript.
7491 Thank you.
7492 MR. ROVERS: Thank you.
7493 Good morning, Mr. Chairman and Commissioners. My name is Mark Rovers, M‑a‑r‑k R‑o‑v‑e‑r‑s. I am the Director of Finance of Keystone Music.
7494 This is Mr. Bryan Taylor, B‑r‑y‑a‑n T‑a‑y‑l‑o‑r. He is the Director of Events and Programming for Keystone Music.
7495 I will give a very brief overview as to who and what we are and then I will turn the floor over to Bryan to outline why we support the Star‑FM application.
7496 Very briefly, Keystone Music is a Calgary‑based, Calgary‑owned concert promotion company. We promote live music events primarily in Calgary, more secondarily in Alberta, western Canada, and nationally.
7497 Calgary is our core market and in that core market we offer different types of concerts, primarily to an age 30‑and‑over crowd. We have an acoustic series, which is run in a downtown based church that seats about 800 people, and again very tailored to a Soft Rock type format or soft listener type format.
7498 We have a dance party series, which is essentially large dinner‑dance type environments seating up to 1,600 people.
7499 We run a series of concerts at the major concert venues, the 2,500‑seat venues.
7500 We do a multitude of corporate events, private corporate events and outdoor events.
7501 In addition, many of our events are linked to the charity component. For instance, we have a very large dance party happening next month here in Calgary and a couple of dollars from each ticket is being donated to music therapy.
7502 We are strong believers in being obviously financially viable, as we are a private corporation, in providing entertainment value to our customers and in giving back to the community.
7503 These are values you see very strongly associated with Star‑FM as well.
7504 As far as artists, we promote a lot of Canadian talent. Canadian talent ranges from small local bands that we would use as openers in our larger concerts to larger Canadian names such as Colin Linden and k.d.lang.
7505 We also have a lot of other popular artists, such as Lyle Lovett, and we do a fair amount of ethnic programming as well.
7506 That is a very brief overview as to who we are. Obviously as concert promoters, we partner extensively with various media, including the radio stations. We do a lot of advertising and try to really find and create unique types of events, to really be a difference to attract the consumer's spending dollar.
7507 With that very brief overview, I am going to turn the floor over to Bryan Taylor to explain why we support this particular application.
7508 MR. TAYLOR: Good morning, Mr. Chairman and Commissioners. Welcome to Calgary.
7509 As Mark said, we are a Calgary‑based company. We are the biggest promoter of original music performed by solo artists and musical groups in the Calgary market and the Alberta market.
7510 We focus a major part of our efforts on Alberta and Canadian talent, and quite frankly our type of music is underserved as far as the radio format to work with in the Alberta market, and especially Calgary.
7511 We do k.d.lang shows. We have been working with her for years. We will be doing her next tour. Right now in the Calgary market, if I was to walk out and call all the radio stations in Calgary, I can't find a station in this market that plays her regularly and significantly.
7512 She has a new album coming out in April and the next tour will be in the fall. So as a promoter we are already trying to figure out ways to publicize this wonderful Canadian artist without dollars at radio, because right now there isn't a format that plays her on a regular basis.
7513 As music promoters and part of my background is in artist management. I lived in Nashville for five years and managed Emmylou Harris. One of the most exciting parts of what I see with this Star‑FM application are the funds and the commitments they are looking to make to local and Canadian talent.
7514 I find it very exciting that they are actually going to spend hard dollars to help develop talent. It is a part of our industry that always needs help and support.
7515 I look at this list of what they are spending money on. The Aboriginal Scholarship Program to me is very exciting as one of the artists I managed in years past was an Aboriginal artist named Laura Vinson. I can tell you again from experience there is not a commercial radio station in Alberta that consistently plays aboriginal music.
7516 It is a large part of our culture. You have the Aboriginal Achievement Awards that I believe CBC broadcasts every year. And I find it rather odd and unfortunate that no commercial radio station in this market significantly plays aboriginal artists. It is something that should be happening.
7517 I also find it very exciting that Star‑FM is going to be writing actual cheques to artists to come and perform Calgary‑based events and festivals. That way the money goes right into the artist's pocket.
7518 I am so tied to artists, and have been all my career, that seeing the money go directly to artists so that they can use that money to develop their careers to me is very significant.
7519 To me a very important part of what the Star‑FM application is, as well, is all of these gentlemen live in the market. As a promoter I get to see many music chains or radio chains operate in this market. Quite frankly, a lot of the decisions are made in other areas of the country on what they do. I find them very slow and not very responsive to local marketing and programming needs.
7520 In conclusion, I would just like to say that from what I have heard here today so far and from what my research has led me to believe and understand from all these other applications, the Star‑FM far and away has the strongest commitment to local and Canadian‑based talent in terms of programming and in terms of hard dollars.
7521 Thank you very much.
7522 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
7523 Madam Secretary.
7524 THE SECRETARY: I would now call on Mr. Williamson to present his intervention.
7525 You have ten minutes for your presentation.
7526 MR. WILLIAMSON: Thank you very much.
7527 My name is Lanny Williamson. I am an old time radio guy and now I'm a crusty old music guy. I am here to support the talent part, which to me is really important.
7528 I started out in radio in the late 1950s at CHUC Radio in Cobourg, moved on to CHUM in Toronto, then to CHFI. After that I spent a few years in London, England, working with EMI, Phillips, places like that. I opened up my own studio in Toronto, called Chelsea Sound. In 1972 I moved to the United States, working in New York, Nashville, Miami and 14 years in Los Angeles building a studio called CanAm Recorders.
7529 Some of my clients were Burt Reynolds, Clint Eastwood, Toto, Fleetwood Mac. I worked on "Apocalypse Now" for two and a half years; Oscar Peterson, Black Sabbath.
7530 That's the crusty part.
7531 I guess the real reason I am here is because of the fact that Star has really gone the distance in allowing somebody from the industry to decide or to create a method of spending the $2 million that they have, and that is the big difference.
7532 In my experience over the years, most radio stations have had a lot of money to spend on Canadian talent and promotion and it tended to go into promoting and marketing the station as opposed to going into the artists themselves.
7533 Battle of the Bands contests only made the stations look better. The guy that won the free guitar from winning the Battle of the Bands might never be in the business.
7534 We are seeing a whole different approach from Star‑FM to administrating this money and being sure that it goes the right way to the right people.
7535 Vince brought me onboard because his vision for the station really was very strong. The music style has been totally abandoned in this marketplace and the way that they are going to be handling putting the money back into the market is so much more intelligent.
7536 The radio industry feeds on the talent but seldom replenishes that feeding frenzy. This station is going to be the one that actually does something with the return to the industry.
7537 If we can through the next seven years find another k.d.lang or Phil Collins or somebody in the marketplace that would be bringing back more focus to us, that would be a winning situation for all of us.
7538 I would be glad to take questions from anybody. This is my expertise.
7539 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Langford.
7540 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: I do have a question for you.
7541 I wonder ‑‑ and I think we have played with this issue over the last few days.
7542 Depending on how you look at the market, there is either an opportunity or a bad history and maybe you can help us with it.
7543 Obviously if you just walk in and you look at it out of context, you say to yourself there is an opportunity here. There is this whole demographic you have just been speaking about and they are not being served. They have lots of money and they've got needs. So let's serve them.
7544 The other side of the coin may be why did all these people abandon this demographic? Maybe you just can't make a buck at it.
7545 Can you give me some guidance as to how we should be looking at the phenomena of all this format change in Calgary?
7546 MR. WILLIAMSON: I don't think it is much different than my side of the business when we are working with various other recording acts. It seems to be more sensible to run after the most popular thing at the time.
7547 In the case of music, it's Hip Hop and it's Rock and Roll and it's Heavy Metal. Those are the things that people kind of screen towards. In the meantime, there has been a huge precedent set. There is 50, 60 years of music that has a strong foundation and that music is kind of pushed aside over this time.
7548 Unfortunately, our music, the music that has been so successful in the past, is not at the forefront. And developing new artists like Diana Krall and Michael Buble might seem to be not a big deal, but they sell a lot of records. They entertain a lot of people and they make a lot of people happy.
7549 I don't think there is anything wrong with working with a market that isn't so popular. It's big. It's appreciated. And it has tremendous merit.
7550 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: So the opportunity is there. It is just that somebody has to mine it.
7551 MR. WILLIAMSON: Nobody does it.
7552 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Yes.
7553 Can I ask a question ‑‑ and I've lost total control of the agenda here ‑‑ to the two gentlemen in the middle who do event planning.
7554 Give me a name. Taylor, isn't it?
7555 What about the market for Folk music here in Calgary? You have this huge Folk Festival. We have a number of applicants who seem to be nibbling. Some want to take a big bite and some want to take small bites.
7556 There seems to be interest in Folk.
7557 From your experience as event planners, I guess I could categorize you ‑‑
7558 MR. TAYLOR: Concert promoters.
7559 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Thank you.
7560 Is that market there or is it just a kind of market that kind of exists underground with a kind of happy bunch of fans and kind of goes under its own steam?
7561 MR. TAYLOR: It's a very good market. It might be a bit of a narrow market, but the fans are very committed.
7562 The concert series that Mr. Rovers referred to we run at Knox United Church, which is just a couple of blocks from here, is geared right at the Folk market.
7563 A large segment of the Folk music audience are females over 30, 35 years old, which I believe is the target market for this application.
7564 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Thank you very much.
7565 Those are my questions, Mr. Chair.
7566 THE CHAIRPERSON: Gentlemen, thank you very much.
7567 We will take a 15‑minute break. So we will be back at a quarter to 11:00.
‑‑‑ Upon recessing at 1030 / Suspension à 1030
‑‑‑ Upon resuming at 1100 / Reprise à 1100
7568 THE CHAIRPERSON: Order, please.
7569 Madam Secretary.
7570 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
7571 We would now call on the next three appearing intervenors.
7572 For the record, I would like to indicate that Mr. Eric Friedenberg, which is intervention 741, will not be appearing.
7573 Therefore, I would call on Mr. Willie Connell, Dave Jones and Colin Jackson.
7574 Starting with Mr. Willie Connell, you will have ten minutes for your presentation.
7575 MR. NIKEL: David Jones is not here. It is John Nikel.
7576 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
7577 MR. CONNELL: Good morning.
7578 Mr. Chairman, Members of the Commission, thank you for allowing me to speak before you.
7579 My name is Willie Connell. I am the Executive Director of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Festival.
7580 I have been in music and music education all my life. I am a third generation music teacher. I taught for 12 years at the high school music level and I was a music supervisor for five years.
7581 During my education tenure, I was seconded by the Department of Education in Manitoba to help implement and develop the new music curriculum for the junior high and high school music programs.
7582 I have been involved in the retail music industry. I have been involved in the wholesale music industry.
7583 I am here to support the Pattison application for an FM licence.
7584 I would like to start on a personal note, and that is that I support the Soft Vocal format.
7585 Although I don't live right in the city of Calgary any more, I do listen to the Calgary radio stations. As I have sat here and I have listened to comments about the stats and all that of radio, I'm sorry, I know nothing about radio other than listening to it.
7586 I would love to turn on my radio ‑‑ I think this microphone is causing problems, is it not?
7587 Maybe I will stay back a little further.
7588 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: You could certainly move over to another chair, if you like.
7589 MR. CONNELL: All right.
7590 I would love to be able to turn on my radio and hear melodies that I could sing along to. I would love to be able to turn on my radio and hear lyrics that I understood and that made sense. I would love to turn on my radio and hear music, not just rhythm.
7591 I support this format because I think that is the kind of music that people my age want to hear, and I would strongly suggest that people in Calgary ‑‑ because we are a large part of the demographics of this city, people around my age ‑‑ this is the kind of music we want to hear on the radio.
7592 Although I support this format, the main reason for my appearance before you this morning is to emphasize the importance of the Save the Music Foundation, which is an integral part of this application.
7593 Let us be quite clear. This is not just a project that satisfies the requirements of this application. This foundation, which will develop Canadian talent, goes far and beyond that.
7594 The Save the Music Foundation has the potential to change music and music education in our provinces. By supporting music education, you will improve the quality and the volume of Canadian talent. But as you also hear, improving music programs will do much more.
7595 The purpose of this foundation is not to provide funds to operate music programs. That is the responsibility of our provincial governments. Hopefully, they will see fit to increase funding to education in our provinces.
7596 The Save the Music Foundation will enhance and enrich music programs by supporting new initiatives for teachers and students, by developing new learning and performance programs and by instituting new performance opportunities to help develop Canadian talent.
7597 All of these initiatives will of course meet the Commission's criteria for the development of Canadian talent.
7598 The Save the Music Foundation will operate at arm's length from the Pattison Broadcast Group, with a board of directors in conjunction with the Canadian Rocky Mountain Festival. This board of directors will at all times be cognizant of the Commission's criteria to operate the foundation within the rules of the CRTC.
7599 The Canadian Rocky Mountain Festival, now in its 15th year, takes place annually in Banff. This festival is one of the most respected and prestigious festivals in Canada. The festival will be an integral part of the Save the Music Foundation and will give the foundation instant credibility and acceptance by music programs across western Canada.
7600 The foundation will utilize and enhance many of the programs presently offered by the festival, programs such as "TPDP", which is a mentoring program; clinics and performance programs for students; and unique concert opportunities for performing groups.
7601 The financial support of the foundation will enable us to expand these programs right across both provinces, as well as add new initiatives for travel, performance and new programs, such as The Best of the West.
7602 The Canadian Rocky Mountain Festival has a proven track record. Students who have attended the festival have gone on to a variety of performance careers, from performing with Maynard Ferguson's big band to Stella Salido, who performed on Broadway in the production of "Les Miserables" for two years; from Linda Brown, who is a local permanent member of the Calgary Philharmonic; to Russ Broom, who is Jan Arden's guitar player; from Pat Beliveau touring with the Dorsey Big Band; to the Cherko Brothers touring with Shania Twain.
7603 If you are serious about developing Canadian talent long term, you must get to the grassroots. You must get to music programs. You must get to the kids.
7604 The Save the Music Foundation, in conjunction with the Canadian Rocky Mountain Festival, already has a lot of these components in place. We have the administration. We have the programs. We have the philosophy. We have the contacts.
7605 The foundation can hit the road running, so to speak. Right away we can start helping programs. We can start to develop Canadian talent right across western Canada.
7606 The point I would like to stress is how encompassing this foundation will be.
7607 The foundation has the potential of working with 300,000 music students. If you want to develop Canadian talent, I can think of no better way to do it than working with 300,000 music kids.
7608 Also, the foundation will be supporting all forms of music, both vocal and instrumental. Every genre of music will be affected, from Pop to Rock, from Jazz to Classical, from Folk to Country.
7609 Even though this application is for a Soft Vocal format, the Save the Music Foundation will be supporting all styles of music, which is in fact I think essential to the survival of this industry.
7610 The importance of music education is now well documented. We know music students achieve higher SAT scores than non‑music students. We know music students receive more academic awards than non‑music students.
7611 Music students have the lowest use of drugs and alcohol of anyone in the school.
7612 Music students also have more self‑esteem than the majority of other students.
7613 Sixty‑seven percent of music majors in university go into medicine. This is by far the highest percentage of any faculty in universities.
7614 Last week I was reading an article on the Silicon Valley and a sentence just popped right out at me.
7615 I quote:
"The very best engineers and technical designers in the Silicon Valley industry are, nearly without exception, musicians."
7616 By supporting music programs, you will not only develop Canadian talent but you will help to develop a strong society. These music kids will become the leaders in every area of our future society.
7617 It is no secret why companies like Intel or IBM, Texas Instruments, Microsoft or even Nassau search out kids with a music background.
7618 If some of the most successful companies in North America who have nothing to do with music are seeking out kids with music background, doesn't that tell us something?
7619 I think it does.
7620 The Save the Music Foundation will be a living organization which will adjust and adapt to the needs of young musicians. We will develop new programs tailored to helping those young superstars. We will work in partnership with school districts, community and church organizations, parents and students.
7621 With your approval of this foundation and if we do our job, my hope is that this foundation will be around a lot longer than we will be around.
7622 When the Save the Music Foundation starts to really take effect, what you will see is a growth of strong music programs. As teachers improve, programs will become more successful, which will in turn attract more kids to music.
7623 With the help of the foundation, we may even see 400,000 or 500,000 kids involved in music in our provinces.
7624 As the pool of music students grows, so too will the volume of Canadian talent.
7625 Across North America only 3 percent of music students become professional musicians. The other 97 percent of music students may not be performers, but they will have a strong influence on this industry. It is a documented fact that music students listen to music 50 percent more than non‑music students. Not only do they listen to more music, they listen to a greater variety of music.
7626 It is these music students that will listen to the radio more than anyone else.
7627 With the support of the Save the Music Foundation, not only will you see an increase in Canadian talent but you will also see an increase in your listening public because these music students will be there.
7628 Finally, it is important to note music students listen to music for life. Music is the engine that drives the radio broadcast industry. By supporting this Pattison application and the development of this unbelievable Save the Music Foundation, you are in essence guaranteeing your future industry's survival.
7629 I have spoken about improving music programs and developing Canadian talent. They are one and the same.
7630 The Canadian Rocky Mountain Festival is proud to be involved with this foundation. We have seen over the last 15 years what happens when music programs are given that extra help. We have seen the results when talented young Canadians are given the opportunity to perform.
7631 THE SECRETARY: Excuse me, Mr. Connell. If you could wrap up, your ten minutes is up.
7632 MR. CONNELL: Yes, I will.
7633 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
7634 MR. CONNELL: I guess in wrapping up I get a little excited here, and I apologize.
7635 I have been in music all my life. I have seen initiatives come and go. I have never seen an initiative like this.
7636 I would like to explain, but I guess I don't have time.
7637 This will work because it has long‑term goals. It has long‑term programs. It is supported by a company that truly believes in improving music education and developing Canadian talent.
7638 For the first time in my 35 years that I have been in the business, a serious program has come from a major Canadian company. Finally, someone has come up to bat.
7639 As the old song says, "I think things are going to get bigger."
7640 I just can't say how much I am excited and how ‑‑ I just don't have the word for it; that the potential is immense for what this program can do. This has never happened before.
7641 Please don't let this slip by.
7642 Thank you.
7643 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Connell.
7644 We will hear the next intervention.
7645 THE SECRETARY: The next intervention would be for Mr. Colin Jackson.
7646 Either Mr. Jackson or Mr. Nikel. Please identify yourself, whichever one is going to go first.
7647 Mr. Nikel? Thank you. You have ten minutes for your presentation.
7648 MR. NIKEL: My name is John Nikel and I am the President of the Alberta International Band Festivals. I have brought you a program because presently our festival is running at the University of Calgary, and we have over 8,000 young students participating, high school students and university students.
7649 If you would like to have a look at what music education does, I would gladly take you to the university, if you have time, and to show you what is happening in the trenches.
7650 I have been the Yamaha distributor. I have been a retailer all my life, but I have been the Yamaha distributor for band instruments in Alberta. One thing, when I took on the product line 40 years ago, that Yamaha taught me is that if you wish that your customers play your instruments, you must teach them how to use them. This is the secret and this is, I don't have to tell you, Yamaha's secret around the world: education comes first.
7651 The festival that I represent has a festival of 7,000 students in Edmonton, so we are over 15,000 to 16,000 of us. The Edmonton festival will start in the middle of March.
7652 And the participation is still growing.
7653 I am speaking in support of application No. 6, the Pattison Broadcast Group, of course.
7654 Why support music education? Students learn some basic fundamentals. Really basic has to be understood. They get together with other band members. A band starts together and a band finishes together. They learn discipline. They watch other players. They learn how to listen. And they become usually much better math students, because they have to count.
7655 Those are the basics that have to be understood why the primary music education is so important.
7656 The second part is if we want symphonies, theatres, music productions, concerts and so on to have an audience, you have to educate the audience. You have to help and we have to. Then they know why they buy concert tickets and why they go to a concert: because they have learned and they know who the composers are, who the musicians are, who the artists are.
7657 The school boards unfortunately, although we cannot take away, will provide for every school that desires a building, a teacher and some instruments. But what they don't do is what a music program, every small or large, requires, which is they need performance venues, festivals like this, festivals like the Rocky Mountain Festival.
7658 They have to exchange with other bands. They have to go from one province to the other and see what is happening in the other provinces. They have to travel.
7659 And of course some instruments. But the instruments ‑‑ this is all secondary, because if we do the first thing and start teaching, the parents and everybody else comes in and helps.
7660 We also notice in our festival ‑‑ there is a whole page of it ‑‑ that adults are starting to play more and more. Adults are buying more instruments and adults come into community bands. Saturday and Sundays, always our community Sunday, and we have community bands from British Columbia, from the United States. They sometimes travel hours and hours on a bus just to come to the festival to play because they want a performing venue.
7661 I interject a little story because you might be interested in it.
7662 For three years we had a young lady come to our festival from Consort, Alberta, and her name was Kathy Lang. She performed right here in Calgary at our festival at least three times. After the third year, now Senator Tommy Bangs, who was my jazz adjudicator at that time, said, "This will be a star."
7663 He took her under his wings and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts cut her first record. And today we have a star.
7664 But funds are required to finance these educational activities. Therefore, I welcome so much the Pattison Broadcast proposal to assist monetary in B.C. and Alberta with the financing of some of the primary musical education.
7665 You see, writing a cheque is not always the issue. If you as a sponsor and a radio station write a cheque and then you say "that's it, I have done my share", you only have done half of it. You have to involve your own people. You have to involve your own staff. You have to volunteer your announcers for concerts, to be master of ceremonies, and to interact.
7666 I have noticed ‑‑ and there are some limited stations that do it. I'm not saying that all stations don't. But it is a very, very small percentage.
7667 I could never understand why the broadcast industry did not support, and today does not support, more that primary music education we are speaking about. The product that they sell is music, and I as a retailer, that is what I sell. So the radio station sells music.
7668 Well, how do you think music is being created? By education and by buying some instruments and having some good instruments played. Otherwise, nothing happens.
7669 Therefore, I believe that the Save the Music Education is a very, very timely proposal and should be supported.
7670 This proposal will help to produce and play more Canadian music, and we must support the Pattison Group and the proposal for Save the Music Foundation.
7671 Furthermore, I believe that the commitment of the Pattison Group is very honest and the group has the finances to back such a program over the next few years.
7672 Many young Canadians will be very grateful to you if you approve the Pattison application, and this could become the formula and example for other broadcasters to join and help Canada's youth.
7673 Thank you.
7674 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
7675 Madam Secretary.
7676 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
7677 I would now call on Mr. Colin Jackson to make his presentation.
7678 You have ten minutes to do so. Thank you.
7679 MR. JACKSON: Mr. Chairman and Commissioners, my name is Colin Jackson.
7680 I am the President of the EPCOR Centre for the Performing Arts here in Calgary, and in that role I am deeply involved and passionate about the development of the creative capacity within all Calgarians, all southern Albertans, all Albertans.
7681 I am not going to comment on the format because Willie pled with you that you give him a format in which there are lyrics along with which he could sing. It is beyond your power to give me a format with lyrics along with which I could sing. That would depend upon divine intervention. I know the Commission is very powerful and very important but, with respect, I would suggest that turning me into a singer is beyond even your capacity. So I won't go there.
7682 I will go to four points, one of them that has been touched upon ‑‑ not touched upon but spoken to with great eloquence by my colleagues, which is how remarkably thoughtful the community contribution is that the Pattison Group is proposing.
7683 They are talking about working in a long horizon with organizations whose passion ‑‑ and my goodness, you can hear the passion. These guys are just goofy for music and for education, and it's true, I am here to testify. I am not part of their organization. I observe their organization and they are true hearts and true spirits. They've got rhythm and they can sing. But anyway...
7684 The thoughtfulness is that they are working with organizations of this kind who are deeply involved in the up in students becoming ever more skilled and those with the capability to be professional, becoming professional. But they are also interested in the out in getting ever more young people involved in the making of music, in learning that divine gift that everybody has ‑‑ except perhaps me ‑‑ of being able to express themselves through those languages, through rhythm and form.
7685 This notion of out, of casting as broad a net as possible, of encouraging people by cross‑connecting them through festivals, by giving them the kind of expert leadership that can occur in a festival, by giving their teachers the kind of confidence that comes from seeing that they are not the only lonely soul believing in this ‑‑ there is in fact a movement; there is in fact a depth of care about music.
7686 So a very thoughtful, very interesting contribution back to the community.
7687 Three other reasons, a little more directly self‑interested.
7688 There is mention in the application of a fulltime arts and culture editor. That could be a very exciting addition to the Calgary and southern Alberta airwaves. One would expect that editor would be involved in promotion, and that's good. But it may be that that editor will also go into analysis and research. If that is the case, that would be extremely helpful: another point at which thinking is undertaken and then distributed about the growing and changing nature of arts and culture in our communities.
7689 A third point. As a western Canadian, I am very appreciative of a notion that this may be a western‑based operation. And underneath that the notion of diversity of ownership; that this is a corporation that does have some media interest but not in large markets.
7690 Therefore, there is a diversity of ownership within Calgary that would come through this application.
7691 And the fourth ‑‑ and this is a little abstract. But I kind of find it attractive that this application would be into our larger city based upon a network of existing operations in smaller cities; in Medicine Hat and other places.
7692 I don't know the inner workings of the corporation and to what extent that truth would feed this station. But it is possible that this application would allow a greater inflow of understanding, of world view, of point of view from some of those smaller centres in Alberta who now feel very much that they are the places talked to from the heights of Calgary and Edmonton as opposed to places that are in a conversation with Calgary and Edmonton.
7693 So four reasons.
7694 But to go back to the original, I have great confidence in the Rocky Mountain Music Festival. I have seen their work. They are true hearts. They are true spirits. And this is a thoughtful way for this corporation to be involved in our community.
7695 Thank you so much.
7696 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
7697 Mrs. del Val.
7698 COMMISSIONER del VAL: I just want to thank you for the intervention. I found it very helpful.
7699 And Mr. Connell, I found that the statistics that you gave were most interesting; very helpful.
7700 Thank you.
7701 THE CHAIRPERSON: Gentlemen, thank you very much. You have made very convincing interventions. We may not have questions to ask because you said it all.
7702 Thank you.
7703 MR. JACKSON: Perfect.
7704 MR. CONNELL: Thank you.
7705 MR. NIKEL: Thank you.
7706 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Secretary.
7707 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
7708 We will now proceed with the next intervenor. I would call on Mr. Ken Regan of the CKUA Radio Network, if you would please come to the front.
7709 Mr. Regan provided a copy of his presentation earlier.
7710 THE SECRETARY: Mr. Regan, you will have ten minutes for your presentation.
7711 MR. REGAN: Thank you.
7712 Mr. Chairman and Commissioners, thank you very much for this opportunity.
7713 Because CKUA has been asked to respond to both of our interventions during this segment, we would like to begin with the intervention to application 2005‑0893‑9 filed by Mr. Yadwinder Sivia.
7714 Before I begin, though, I would like to introduce the gentlemen who accompanied me here.
7715 On my right, your left, is Mr. Kodeep Singh Heer(ph), who is the President of Sur Sangam Radio.
7716 On my left, and your right, is Mr. Gursheran Singh Butar(ph) of Guldasta Broadcasting.
7717 These gentlemen are partners of CKUA Radio in our SCMO operations and this intervention.
7718 For the record, Sur Sangam Radio produces east Asian community programming in Calgary using CKUA's 93.7 FM SCMO frequency.
7719 First, CKUA and our SCMO partners were a bit surprised following the original call for application in CRTC 2005‑49, Appendix A as attached. We saw that the applicant's application for an ethnic FM licence was to be considered and we were surprised, because the original public notice did not specifically reference any call for an ethnic licence.
7720 That has frequently been the case previously; that there would be a specific all for ethnic licences.
7721 Frankly, we respectfully believe that that should have been the case.
7722 In Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2004‑55, attached there as Appendix B, the Commission issued a call for applications in Vancouver and clearly stated a call for an ethnic licence.
7723 Similarly, in Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2001‑39, Appendix C that you have there, the Commission again issued a call for applications in Toronto and again specifically referenced a call for ethnic licence applicants.
7724 We appreciate the responsibility for each of us to fully understand the nature of public notices from the Commission, but we would hope as well that the Commission can appreciate that had the specificity around calls for ethnic licences not been past practice, Radio Sur Sangam might better have anticipated an application that could have direct or potentially detrimental impact on its own existing services and might at least have considered filing application for such a licence.
7725 As it was, we were admittedly and rightly or wrongly caught somewhat off guard by the consideration of an FM ethnic broadcast licence.
7726 We would suggest that if the Commission believes that additional ethnic services might be warranted in Calgary, it would not be inappropriate to defer consideration of the current ethnic licence application and issue a separate and specific call for ethnic broadcast licences for Calgary.
7727 In fairness to the current applicant and to prevent any further expense or inconvenience on their part, we believe they should be given the option to be considered to have already submitted or to resubmit, if they choose. But at least other interested parties would have a full and clear opportunity to be considered as well.
7728 Having said that, CKUA and our partners in the SCMO undertaking known as Radio Sur Sangam do not believe that there is such a need for additional ethnic services in Calgary.
7729 Radio Sur Sangam is serving the community well, despite limitations which might exist with SCMO multiplex technology. Evidence of their service, their exemplary service, and the appreciation of it within Calgary is provided by a sampling of recent letters of support from the community and from visitors and officials who participated with Radio Sur Sangam in its efforts, in Appendix D.
7730 Further evidence of the support for Radio Sur Sangam and its services is seen in the results of Radio Sur Sangam's fund raising efforts on behalf of its community.
7731 In the past two years alone, Radio Sur Sangam has raised almost half a million dollars for humanitarian and other community causes. In five hours in November 2004, Radio Sur Sangam raised $321,000 for Alberta Children's Hospital.
7732 In January 2005, Radio Sur Sangam raised over $50,000 for Canadian Red Cross tsunami relief.
7733 In October of that year, they raised another $50,000 for victims of the Pakistani earthquake and in November of that year raised an additional $10,000 for earthquake relief.
7734 The success of these humanitarian efforts, despite the limitations of SCMO technology, speaks more eloquently than my words to the respect and appreciation which Calgary's ethnic community and its broader community have for Radio Sur Sangam.
7735 The community would not respond to such an extent or in such a manner, no matter how worthy the cause, if they did not have confidence in and respect for this service and those who represent it.
7736 In addition to that ‑‑ and I won't belabour the issue here ‑‑ Radio Sur Sangam's ownership and staff are residents of this community. They live here. Their children go to school here. They shop here. This is their community. Their interest is driven not by commercial interests solely. It is driven by community service. Undoubtedly they are trying to build a commercial success, but in doing so they are doing it in an effort to ensure viability. They live here and they are committed to this community.
7737 Another example of this is the free airtime that Radio Sur Sangam offers to promote the causes, events and activities of many non‑profit and charitable organizations in Calgary, its outstanding local community support, and is provided again because the owners and the operators of Radio Sur Sangam live in the community and have a stake in making it a better place.
7738 We would submit that, taken together, these facts illustrate the ethnic community of Calgary is being served well by Radio Sur Sangam, and we acknowledge the fine work of other existing ethnic broadcasters in this community as well.
7739 We believe that combined with these other existing services and based on the evidence and arguments presented, there is no overriding need for a commercially licensed ethnic broadcaster in Calgary, at least not at this time.
7740 In our original intervention, CKUA and our partners indicated that entry of a new FM ethnic broadcaster into Calgary would jeopardize existing ethnic services provided through SCMO technology.
7741 In response, representatives from Mr. Sivia, the applicant, pointed out that it has never been the Commission's role to protect unlicensed or unregulated entities from competition. They referenced instances in Vancouver and Surrey, British Columbia, where the Commission licensed two ethnic services despite the fact the market was being served by SCMO channels.
7742 They referenced a similar decision with respect to services in Montreal and Toronto.
7743 Because the applicant didn't indicate specifically which of the Commission's decisions were being referenced, we can't be sure which decision to respond to. But we will say this.
7744 In CRTC Decision 2005‑338 concerning an application for an AM ethnic broadcast licence in Vancouver, and in CRTC Decision 2003‑115 concerning an application for an FM ethnic broadcast licence in Toronto, licences were granted to persons who had for years operated SCMO services in those regions and on behalf of their communities.
7745 We have reference material there in Appendix F.
7746 We believe it is also noteworthy that in each of the above‑referenced decisions the Commission ultimately chose to award new ethnic licences to SCMO providers.
7747 CKUA firmly believes Calgary's ethnic community is being well served by the services currently in existence. We don't quarrel with others' opinions to the contrary; we simply differ.
7748 CKUA and our SCMO partners who serve this community believe that in these decisions, as in its past decisions, the Commission wishes to apply equanimity and fairness to the process. We believe it is possible to do that through the following.
7749 Allow Radio Sur Sangam and other existing ethnic broadcasters in Calgary time to build upon their record with and on behalf of the ethnic community before issuing any call for new ethnic licences.
7750 Second, defer any consideration or any further consideration of application 0893‑9 until a separate and specific call for ethnic broadcast licences is deemed necessary or appropriate.
7751 Mr. Chairman, that is our response on the first intervention.
7752 I hope that I can speak to the second one.
7753 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. If I may, I don't know if you were here when Newcap appeared. They did mention that they triggered the call by filing during the year 2004 for the Calgary market.
7754 Obviously when the Commission issued its call for application, they issued a call for commercial radio in the market. I have to say that the application filed by Yadwinder Sivia came to the Commission in response to that call.
7755 The Commission has also, as you know, received up to 16 ‑‑ not 16, but ten applications altogether.
7756 Your SCMO partners could have had filed at the same time even if there was no mention that it was for ethnic, like any French broadcaster could have done it. I didn't see any. But they could have done it on the same occasion. It is an open process.
7757 We will take into consideration the remarks that you just made, and they will be part of our deliberations.
7758 But the call for applications was as open as it can.
7759 We will now hear you for your second intervention.
7760 MR. REGAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
7761 With respect to the Rawlco Radio intervention, I have to confess that I am a little conflicted about this, so I hope you will bear with me.
7762 I am conflicted because when CKUA filed our original intervention, we intervened against Rawlco because it seemed to represent the greatest potential threat to CKUA should its licence application be approved.
7763 The Folk and Roots content, the artists' playlist, which mirrors much of CKUA's Folk and Roots playlist, and the somewhat expanded annotation format, are all elements reflective at least of CKUA Radio programming.
7764 In preparing for this opportunity to speak to you, I again realized that the fact is Rawlco is no more and no less a threat to CKUA than any of the applications before you.
7765 The real threat remains a regulatory framework that handicaps community‑based broadcasters like CKUA and really precludes us from competing on an equal footing.
7766 Audience fragmentation is a product of competition and it is a reality we all face as broadcasters.
7767 CKUA, like our colleagues in this room, tries to work harder, work smarter, provide a better, more desirable product than our competitors in order to counter the potential erosion of audience that is possible with every new licensee in a market or every new technological innovation that gives consumers an alternative option to radio.
7768 We have to remember that no matter how many different ways we slice the pie and no matter how many different names we give each piece of the pie, there is still only one pie, and we are all trying to get a piece of it.
7769 At CKUA we believe absolutely that we have a product that can compete and we are prepared to face any challenge providing the playing field is level. But it is not and here's why.
7770 At CKUA we face all of the same competitive pressures that each of my colleagues here faces: increased competition, audience fragmentation, technological change, rising costs. That is not a problem for us. We must also compete for audience, the same way my colleagues here must do so. And that is not a problem either. That's just appropriate.
7771 The problem is that while CKUA has to meet these challenges and while CKUA must compete for the same audiences as each of my colleagues here, we and other community and campus broadcasters have to do so essentially with one hand tied behind our backs.
7772 Unlike my colleagues in private radio, CKUA and other community and campus stations are restricted in how much advertising we can sell. So even if we wanted to compete head‑to‑head with private broadcasters on that basis, we could not.
7773 And I am not saying that we necessarily want to. The Commission itself has indicated that more commercial advertising is not the salvation for community broadcasting in Canada.
7774 Moreover, unlike the tax‑funded CBC, CKUA receives no government subsidy of any kind, yet we still have to compete with a CBC that increasingly makes incursions into areas of niche broadcasting that have been the mainstay and forte of community and campus radio.
7775 For example, the recent insertion of music programming into CBC Radio One's prime time daytime schedule. The programming is not unlike something that might be heard on community or campus radio and is a far cry from the traditional information programming that should be the mandate for the publicly funded but increasingly private operating broadcaster.
7776 Adding severe insult to injury is the fact that CBC now uses its national network, my tax dollars and those of my colleagues here today, as a national platform to promote its American satellite partner, a partner that is in direct competition with CKUA and all other private campus and community broadcasters in Canada.
7777 This is not only patently unfair; it is frankly outrageous.
7778 Worse still, it has the potential to erode further and in particular the audiences for campus and community radio whose niche programming product has been adopted by satellite radio, commercialized and leveraged a hundred‑fold.
7779 I want to say right now that neither I nor CKUA is seeking sympathy. What we are hoping for is understanding of the reality facing community‑based broadcasters like CKUA and we are seeking constructive change.
7780 The Broadcasting Act itself stipulates that community broadcasting is one of the fundamental components of broadcasting in this country.
7781 I hope you will forgive me for shifting the focus of the discussion a little bit from what you thought it might have been, but as I pointed out earlier the critical issue for CKUA ‑‑ and I think for other community and campus broadcasters ‑‑ is not simply Rawlco.
7782 The point here is that at one time campus and community broadcasters had market potential because they were incorporating, developing and exploiting formats and artists, traditional commercial broadcasters and the CBC astute. That is no longer the case.
7783 The fact that Rawlco is seeking a second licence to address a niche market potential, the advent of niche‑driven satellite radio, the move by CBC to add niche music programming to its prime time AM radio schedule, are evidence of the targeting of community radio's traditional markets and the further erosion and fragmentation taking place within that market.
7784 The campus and community radio sector is and should be prepared to compete with any other broadcaster in this country, or on this planet for that matter. If we are diligent, fiscally responsible, innovative and respectful and true to our audiences, we will not only compete, we can thrive.
7785 But we can't continue to be forced to compete while handicapped by the regulatory framework that exists today.
7786 The problem from CKUA's perspective is that much of the erosion today is taking place specifically at our expense. As we have pointed out to the Commission on numerous occasions, because CKUA survives on voluntary listener donations, not tax subsidy, erosion of audience represents a direct threat to our viability and our sustainability.
7787 So even though we frankly would prefer not to intervene when our friends at Rawlco or other commercial broadcasters ‑‑ for whom we have great respect ‑‑ make these applications, we have little choice because again, unlike the CBC, we receive no direct government subsidy and unlike our friends in private broadcasting, we are restricted as to how much advertising we can sell.
7788 Still, we must compete and we must preserve our audience because in most instances they are our primary source of revenue.
7789 There is a solution.
7790 CKUA would at this time request once again that the Commission give strong consideration and support to CKUA's call for establishment of a community radio fund to support non‑profit broadcasters in this country.
7791 This fund could be financed fully, not by taxpayers, but rather by diverting just some, a portion, of the current surpluses created under Part II licensing fees paid by private broadcasters. At least in this way some of those monies would be reinvested in a sector of Canada's broadcasting industry that needs it, and ideally, the remaining surpluses should appropriately be returned to the broadcasters themselves.
7792 Alternatively, BDUs (broadcast distribution undertakings) who now distribute radio signals, including CKUA's on Shaw Cable, Star Choice, satellite, now Telus, who distribute these as a value‑added incentive to their customers but pay no fee to the originating broadcaster might be encouraged by the Commission or perhaps even my colleagues here to contribute a portion of their revenues towards supporting community radio in Canada.
7793 At the very least, if American‑owned serious satellite radio is going to be supported and promoted by our public broadcaster on the public airwaves while in direct competition with both private and community broadcasters, the least they could do is support a segment of Canada's broadcast industry, which, as I say, is already disadvantaged.
7794 We are not asking for handouts. As stated in previous submissions, the community radio fund would only be accessed by non‑profit broadcasters on a matching grant basis if the formula that we propose was adopted, on a matching grant basis equivalent to what the broadcaster earned in donations from its audience. This system of funding provides for complete accountability and forces community broadcasters to be as relevant and responsible as they can be to their constituents.
7795 We believe that CKUA's proposal is not only a viable solution for the problems outlined above, it is a formula, I believe, for improving and preserving community broadcasting in Canada and I would encourage the Commission to support it because as stated previously the issue here is not Rawlco, it's not Pattison Group and it's not CHUM, the issue here is one of systemic inequity.
7796 That concludes my comments and I thank you very much for your indulgence and the opportunity to speak to you.
7797 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Regan.
7798 Mr. Langford.
7799 COMMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Mr. Regan, I have some concerns with what you said, and particularly in your last intervention, but it was clearly said and I appreciate that.
7800 You made much of the fact that you can't compete evenly in the sense of ad sales. It seems to me that not very long ago we increased the amount of advertising that Canadian Campus Radio could sell. Have you sold out your inventory? Do you need more time?
7801 MR. REGAN: No.
7802 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: No. I didn't think you would have somehow. I mean just from ‑‑ it was a good guess, I thought.
7803 MR. REGAN: Yes. And to be honest, we are not really interested in selling it out. We are restricted to 504 minutes, I think, at the moment.
7804 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Mm‑hmm.
7805 MR. REGAN: And the problem with selling more advertising is that it makes us less distinctive in the market. Our strength, I think, comes from being distinctive, and to some degree, being non‑commercial, but at the same time, even if we wanted ‑‑ at the moment, if we wanted to take that route, as, for example, CJRT in Toronto has chosen to put their money on the commercial revenue horse as opposed to CKUA where we are putting our money on betting on our audience to support us, but even CJRT is restricted as to what they can do in that regard.
7806 COMMMISSIONER LANGFORD: But at least we can feel comforted that though you have made much of the point that you are restricted in ads, in fact, there is no restriction on you right now until you get to 540 and then there is nothing to stop you from making an application to the Commission for more.
7807 MR. REGAN: Fair enough.
7808 COMMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Who owns CKUA?
7809 MR. REGAN: It is owned and operated by the CKUA Radio Foundation which is a non‑profit foundation.
7810 COMMMISSIONER LANGFORD: And who are the principals behind that?
7811 MR. REGAN: It is a volunteer board of directors who is responsible for the foundation.
7812 COMMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Does CHUM Radio have some sort of interest in CKUA?
7813 MR. REGAN: No, sir, other than we borrow Kerry David Mulligan, who does a lot of work for CHUM and some of CHUM's enterprises, but he does a program for us.
7814 COMMMISSIONER LANGFORD: We see a lot of dossiers and it is hard to keep all the pieces together.
7815 Satellite radio. We heard representatives of CKUA and the overall umbrella organization at the satellite radio hearing, and obviously, you would argue, I would think, that we didn't hear you well enough. At the same time, I think it is worth remembering that, first of all, to get satellite radio you have to pay $10 or $12 a month, whatever the current amount is, one, and number two, they can't sell any local ads at all. I mean they are completely restricted from that and I wouldn't think that the six minutes of national ads they could sell would have very much impact on you.
7816 So it seems to me that your problem from satellite radio, if there is any problem at all but particularly in these early innings, it must be the fear of losing your niche to something more attractive, albeit more expensive. But surely, I mean the campus and community radio stations that I have had any firsthand experience with are a pretty nimble crowd. They know how to tweak a niche and they know how to attract a local audience and how to hold loyal audience members.
7817 When I think of ‑‑ I mean I live in Ottawa and the Carleton Campus station is just terrific. I mean there is nobody better in town for holding a certain demographic than those folks. So I mean how threatened are you really?
7818 MR. REGAN: It is a fair question but I think the threat is real because, as I mentioned in my comments, I think there is a trend developing toward more niche‑based commercial broadcasting. Certainly, satellite radio epitomizes that right now. I think some of the work that Rawlco is doing is very innovative in terms of commercializing a niche component of the market. All of those things represent a potential erosion of our market.
7819 You referenced, Commissioner Langford, that satellite radio ‑‑ the expense associated with satellite radio but the fact is that CKUA is different from satellite radio in that we can't turn off the service if somebody doesn't support us. With satellite radio, if you don't pay your monthly fee, you lose the service, but CKUA is in a voluntary support position, and in fact ‑‑ I don't want to say this too loudly perhaps but in fact people who support us voluntarily often do so at a cost greater than what they could receive satellite radio for. So ‑‑
7820 COMMMISSIONER LANGFORD: If they are true believers.
7821 MR. REGAN: They are indeed.
7822 COMMMISSIONER LANGFORD: There is nothing like faith. I mean it is the strongest of all moving forces.
7823 MR. REGAN: But faith can wither on occasion.
7824 COMMMISSIONER LANGFORD: It is like love dies, you know, but I mean it is up to you to put a little perfume behind your ears and keep it going.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
7825 MR. REGAN: We do it every day.
7826 COMMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Finally, on the point of being carried by BDUs without fee, well, I mean you would have a compatriot in Global Television and CTV with that argument, but it seems to me that if you did want to get out and hustle some ads, that would be a bit of a benefit to say that you have got a larger market.
7827 I mean I hear you today but I kind of hear you saying that the sky might fall and help us, and I guess my answer would be ‑‑ and I don't want to sound too hard‑nosed ‑‑ when it starts to fall, give us a call. I don't feel it is falling yet. I don't see the threat.
7828 MR. REGAN: Well, I appreciate your point of view but from where I am sitting, I do, and I am not speaking solely on CKUA's behalf. I see ‑‑ honestly, I see a threat to the community broadcast sector in this country.
7829 CKUA, as you know, is a strong service. We are supported mightily by our audience. But many community broadcasters in this country, as you know, operate on a shoestring, and you are right, we are amongst the more nimble in the group, I think. It is what fuels us, I think, and inspires us, in fact, from having to maintain some of that edge.
7830 But with each new technological innovation, with each new internet radio service, niche‑formatted internet radio service, with satellite broadcasting, with commercialization of the niche format now by mainstream terrestrial broadcasters, I see a threat. CKUA is strong today but part of my responsibility to CKUA and our existing audience and part of my obligation to CKUA ‑‑ and I think to some extent I feel an obligation to the community broadcast sector ‑‑ is to preserve CKUA well beyond today and that is my concern.
7831 Most of my effort ‑‑ we have done a good job of making CKUA strong today and I am not too worried even about tomorrow but I am worried about five years down the road and 10 years down the road because I want CKUA to be around forever.
7832 COMMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Well, so do we. Are you going to bring your message to the Radio Policy Review that is coming?
7833 MR. REGAN: Absolutely.
7834 COMMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Well, you will get another kick at the can then.
7835 MR. REGAN: Yes.
7836 COMMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Thank you very much, sir.
7837 MR. REGAN: Thank you very much.
7838 COMMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Those are my questions, Mr. Chair.
7839 THE CHAIRPERSON: I suspect that you will be raising the question of the Community Radio Fund in the framework of the radio review?
7840 MR. REGAN: Yes, sir, I will.
7841 THE CHAIRPERSON: Because I think that is the place to do it.
7842 MR. REGAN: I look forward to it.
7843 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Regan.
7844 MR. REGAN: Thank you.
7845 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mrs. Secretary.
7846 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
7847 I would now call on the next appearing intervener and that would be Fairchild Radio Group. If you would please come to the front.
7848 You have 10 minutes for your presentation. If you perhaps could identify yourself before you speak. Thank you.
7849 MS SEPHTON: Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman and members of the Commission. My name is Connie Sephton and I am the Director of Corporate Affairs of Fairchild Radio Group Ltd. and Fairchild Radio Calgary Ltd. which is the licensee of CHKF‑FM.
7850 To my left is Christine Leung, our Regional Manager, Alberta.
7851 To my right is Bonnie Lee, Assistant Station Manager of CHKF Radio.
7852 We oppose the application by Yadwinder S. Sivia for a new ethnic radio station in Calgary.
7853 According to the latest information from Statistics Canada, the Chinese and South‑Asian communities are the largest and second‑largest ethnic communities respectively in Calgary. Both ethnic communities are already well served with 82.5 hours of Chinese and over 350 hours of South‑Asian programming provided by existing local ethnic radio and SCMO services. Any new entrant proposing to provide a significant amount of programming targeting either community would have a detrimental impact on existing services.
7854 The Commission stated that the primary goal of the Ethnic Broadcasting Policy is to ensure access to ethnic programming to the extent practicable given resource limitations. It has, therefore, taken the market impact of licensing new ethnic services on existing ethnic services as its key consideration when it licensed one new ethnic commercial radio station in Toronto in 2003 and two in Vancouver last year.
7855 The Commission imposed conditions of licence on all of these new licensees to ensure the maintenance of the competitive balance in the markets and to mitigate the impact on existing ethnic radio services.
7856 As the Commission may be aware, Fairchild's ethnic radio stations currently operating in Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary have a strong focus on serving the Canadian Chinese markets. In reviewing the Sivia application, we note that the applicant does not intend to offer any Chinese programming because it agreed that the Chinese community is being well served in Calgary.
7857 We further note that in Sivia's reply to Fairchild's written intervention, it believes that Fairchild's request to impose a condition of licence forbidding the broadcast of any Chinese language by the applicant is reasonable and subsequently accepted our suggested language proposing such condition of licence.
7858 However, we are still very concerned about the negative impact that the large amount of additional South‑Asian programming proposed by the applicant would have on the financial stability of CHKF Radio.
7859 Calgary's ethnic population is much smaller than that in the Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto areas. The South‑Asian population in Calgary amounts to approximately 36,000 people. Local radio stations currently provide 356 hours of programming directed to the community each week, over half of which is provided by CHKF‑FM and its SCMO service.
7860 Compared with the Calgary Chinese community which has a population size of over 50,000 served with 82.5 hours of Chinese language radio programming, which is acknowledged by Sivia as being well served, the South‑Asian community in Calgary can hardly be regarded as underserved. It is, in fact, better served than the Chinese population.
7861 Sivia proposes to devote 45 per cent of its schedule to South‑Asian language programming. This would be a total of 56.7 hours of additional programming available to that community in Calgary. It is simply not credible to deny that squeezing in Sivia's new service in Calgary's already small ethnic market will have no impact on CHKF's financial viability.
7863 MS LEUNG: South‑Asian programming accounts for an important source of income for CHKF. The revenue generated from South‑Asian programming for the FM station alone represents 14 per cent of CHKF's overall revenue. If the SCMO service is included, that revenue amounts to almost 20 per cent of CHKF's total revenue. This is the second‑largest source of income for CHKF after its core Chinese language programming.
7864 Over the last several years, revenue from CHKF's Chinese programming has been steadily declining from 75 per cent in 2001 to 66 per cent in 2005, whereas revenue from the FM station's South‑Asian programming has been steadily increasing from 11 per cent in 2001 to 14 per cent in 2005.
7865 This is to show that increasing revenue generated from South‑Asian programming is vitally important to the financial well‑being of CHKF, particularly because CHKF suffered from losses every year from 2001 to 2004 when its PBIT margin fluctuated between ‑13 per cent and ‑3 per cent last year. We finally turned the corner to profitability reaching a PBIT margin of +0.7 per cent thanks in part to the growth in South‑Asian revenues.
7866 CHKF is very concerned that at this critical time if a new competitor enters the market with no limitation on the amount and on the scheduling of the South‑Asian programming, CHKF's revenue growth trend may easily be reversed, which will have a detrimental impact on the station.
7867 Listed revenue projections in the Sivia application further concerned us.
7868 The applicant suggests that in year one of operation it will generate just under $800,000 in revenues, none of which will come from advertising spending on existing ethnic broadcasters in the market and fully 85 per cent of which, that is, $680,000, will be new advertising dollars.