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1922-49: The Golden Age of Radio

 1922

  Although the Vancouver Sun claimed to be the first radio broadcaster in Vancouver, it was officially the Province.  The Vancouver Sun claims it was running tests for a week before the March 15 date launch date.  Full details are available in the links below and the articles from each of the newspapers is featured at the bottom of the "Pioneer Years" page. 

March 13: The Vancouver Province starts testing its new radio service with a newscast at 8:30 pm.  The original signal was heard as far away as High River, Alta.  The station was called "station FE."  It became known as CKCD in 1923. Freq: 410 meters. Power: 2000 watts.  More information about this station which was on the air until February, 1940 click here.
March 15: The Vancouver Sun launches its own radio station.  The first night's programs featured a "Digest of the world's news" at 8 pm followed by music from 8:30-9:30 pm.  This station was shut down in 1923.   Its call letters were CJCE. Freq: 420 meters. This station was operated in conjunction with Sprott-Shaw School (see April 10).  More info. 

March 23: The Vancouver Daily World newspaper launches its new radio station at 2 pm with news and stock market reports.  There was some music played after the news bulletins at 2, 3, 5 & 8 pm.  Sign off was at 10 pm.  It broadcast on a 360-metre wave length.  Its call letters were CFYC.  It was shut down in March, 1928.  More info.

April 10: Sprott-Shaw Schools of Commerce & Wireless Telegraphy and Radio Specialties Ltd started CJCE on AM 750 with 5 watts of power. C-FUN history.

April 20: Radio Specialties Ltd opened CFCQ using 40 watts of power on 450 meters.

 CFVC signs on the air in Courtenay at 450 meters with 250 watts.

1923

April 1: CJVI Victoria (known as CFCL) went on the air. Its first program was the Easter Sunday sunrise service from on top of Mt. Tolmie.  It carried only religious programs until 1925.   Freq: 410 meters.  Power: 500 watts.   More information about the early years of Victoria's first radio station click here.

 The same day CKWX known as CFDC in Nanaimo went on the air with 10 watts of power. Power was increased to 50 watts later in the year.  CKWX history.  More information about the early years of CFDC Nanaimo/CKWX Vancouver click here.

CHCD operated for only a few months with a 5 watt transmitter in Victoria.

CHCL licensed for 440 meters with 2000 watts to the Vancouver Merchants Exchange.  There is no record that the station went on the air.

1924


Sept. 7: CKFC began broadcasting from First Congregational Church. More information about Vancouver's second religious station which broadcast from the same church as CFYC is available by clicking here.

1925

 In 1925, radio frequencies starting changing from being measured in meters to kilohertz. 

The Canadian National Railways set up a network of stations coast-to-coast mostly for the benefit of their train passengers.  This network would eventually become the CBC.  The call letters were CNR with the first letter of the city as it’s last call letter.  CNRV started at AM 1100.  The station signed-on on Aug. 1 with a power of 500 watts  on Tuesday and Friday evenings only from the C.N.R. station precided over by Mr. F.B.C. Hilton.   More on CNR Radio.

 CFXC 1030 started broadcasting out of New Westminster lasted until 1926 and increased power to 20 watts. More information about the start of the radio station in New Westminster and its move to Vancouver click here.

CFCL 910 Victoria changed its call letters to CFCT. CJVI history.

CKCD moves to AM 730.

1926

  July: CJOR signed on and shared the same frequency (730 AM) with CKCD and CKFC. One station would sign on at 7 am, sign off at 9, the next one would sign on at 9 am, sign off at noon, the third station would sign on at noon, sign off at 2 pm etc. This lasted until 1933 when each station was assigned it’s own frequencies.

1927

 Nov. 15: KVOS 1200 Bellingham signs on the air with 100 watts owned by Rogan Jones.

CJOR 730 moves to AM 1030. CJOR history.

June 27:  CHWK 1210 signed on the air in Chilliwack for 2 hours a day from noon-1 pm & 6-7 pm. Power: 5 watts.   The station would move to 665, 780, 1340 and 1270, then in 2001 to FM 98.3.  For information about the Fraser Valley's first radio station click here.


CFDC Nanaimo shuts down when there is no money to run the station. A new licence and call letters were granted and the 100 watt transmitter moved to Vancouver to become CKWX.  CKWX officially signs on the air in Vancouver Aug. 1 at 6 pm.

1928
CKWX 730 shared airtime with CKCD and CFCQ.   CKWX moved its studios to the top floor of the Hotel Georgia.  Power was 100 watts.

June 28 9:30 am: CFCQ became CKMO with 50 watts of power. 
 
CFCT 910 Victoria moves to 630 AM still with 500 watts of power. 

 CFYC signed off the air.

1929
  CKMO 730 moved to the Bekins Building, 815 W. Hastings.
 Dec. 19 7 PM: CNRV was linked to the rest of the CNR Radio Network.

1930
CJOR 1030 moves to AM 1210. Its studios were above the Alexandra Ballroom and in 1931 moved the Grosvenor Hotel at 840 Howe St. Power increased to 500 watts. 

CHWK 1210 Chilliwack to moves AM 665.  Power increased to 100 watts. 

1932
March 10: List of Vancouver Radio stations: 
CHLS, CKCD, CKFC, CKMO and CKWX all share AM 730 with 100 watts.
CNRV        AM 1030   500 watts
CJOR         AM 1210   500 watts

1933
March 1: The Canadian Broadcasting Radio Commission bought the CNR Radio Network. The Commission acted not only as the forerunner of the CBC, but was also the regulator.

 April 16: CNRV became CRCV 1100.

May 1: CKMO 730 moves to AM 1410. 
CKWX 730 moves to AM 1010 with a power of 100 watts. 

Oct. 1: CJOR 1210 moved to AM 600.

CFCT 630 Victoria moves to AM 1430.   Power was reduced to 50 watts.


1935
CFCT 1430 Victoria moves to AM 1450.

1936
Nov. 2: The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is formed and local CRCV at 1100 AM broadcasts it’s first night’s programs from 5-10:45 pm. CBC Radio history.
CBC history from CBC-Radio Canada.

1937
  Feb. 16:  CRCV moves into its new studios in the Hotel Vancouver. A special 6-hour nation-wide broadcast was aired from 6 pm-midnight.  Power increased from 500 watts to 10,000 watts. 

Oct. 1: The new CBC radio station officially changes call letters from CRCV to CBR still at AM 1100. Its broadcast day extends from 8 am-11 pm daily.  CBC Radio Vancouver history.


1938
June 25: CKWX 1010 moves to AM 950 and increases its power to 1000 watts

1939
Jan. 11 7 pm: CFCT 1450 Victoria expands its power to 500 watts in official ceremonies performed by Nellie McClung and the Mayor Andrew McGavin.  CFCT was known as "The Voice of the Island."

1940
March 31: CKCD and CKFC were ordered shut down, because the broadcast regulators thought Vancouver had too many radio stations. CKCD's last program ended at 9 pm.

 In the first move to expand CBC Radio service to B.C.'s interior CBC Radio opened its first low power relay transmitter (LPRT) in Revelstoke at AM 840 with a power of 20 watts.

1941
March 29: CKWX 950 moves to AM 980. CFCT 1450 Victoria becomes CJVI 1480. CBR 1100 moves to AM 1130. This is a result of the new Havana Radio Treaty which governs which radio frequencies are available to which country throughout the Caribbean and North America.  Over 2000 radio stations throughout North America made the frequency switch at 3 am ET/ midnight Pacific time.

  CKMO 1410 increased its power from 100 to 1000 watts.

  CJOR 600 increased its power to 1000 watts.

1944
 Jan. 2:
CBC Radio starts the Dominion Network with CJOR Vancouver, CJVI Victoria and CHWK Chilliwack as the local affiliates.

Aug. 16: CKNW goes on the air at 1230 kcs. from New Westminster.  Unlike other radio stations CKNW got no publicity in Vancouver’s daily papers or published it’s program listings for at least 6 months. CKNW’s focus is on news and information and it hasn’t changed   Its official sign-on date was Sept. 1 with William Rea, Jr saying: "This is the International Broadcasting Company."  CKNW Radio history.

1945
May 15: CJVI 1480 moves to AM 900 and increases it’s power to be heard north of Nanaimo and from Seattle to Chilliwack and up Howe Sound and the Sunshine Coast.

1946
April 1:  CJAV 1240 Pt. Alberni signs on the air with 250 watts of power day/night.  The official opening ceremony was held that evening at a local theatre featuring an on-stage presentation of Warren and Frank Eckersley of CKWX Vancouver.



1947
Nov. 21: After a brief test period, Vancouver's first FM station CBR FM 105.7 went on the air.  It was a simulcast of CBR, then CBU until 1965.  It was known as VE9FG.

 CKWX 980 increases its power to 5000 watts and joins the Mutual Broadcasting System.

 CJOR 600 increased its power to 5000 watts
.

1948
 Feb. 29: KPUG 1170 Bellingham signed on the air from its original studios on Bellingham's Sunset Drive.

Nov. 25 (U.S. Thanksgiving Day) KING TV 5 signs on in Seattle which is the first TV station north of San Francisco and west of the Mississippi.  Those with TV sets and rooftop antennas could pick up the signal in the Vancouver and Victoria areas. It signed on as KRSC TV in 1948 and changed to KING in 1949.

1949
Jan. 1: CKNW 1230 moves to AM 1320 with 250 watts of power day and night.


Jan. 22 3:30 pm: Tom Reid M.P. for New Westminster threw the switch to increase 
CKNW's power from 250 to 1000 watts.

May 24: CHUB 1570 becomes "The Hub City" of Nanaimo's first full service radio station.  On it's first day on the air it broadcast live coverage of the Empire Day Parade.  CHUB's studios were in the Malaspina Hotel.  Power was 250 watts. The station was opened by Premier Byron Johnson.  Its broadcast day was 6:25 am-11 pm daily and until midnight Saturdays. CHUB station history. 


Forward to 1950.