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TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS
FOR THE CANADIAN RADIO-TELEVISION AND
TRANSCRIPTION DES AUDIENCES DU
CONSEIL DE LA RADIODIFFUSION
ET DES TÉLÉCOMMUNICATIONS CANADIENNES
SUBJECT / SUJET:
VARIOUS BROADCASTING APPLICATIONS FOR BROADCASTING LICENCES TO CARRY ON RADIO PROGRAMMING UNDERTAKINGS TO SERVE EDMONTON, ALBERTA, PUBLIC NOTICE CRTC 2002-29 AND RED DEER, ALBERTA, PUBLIC NOTICE CRTC 2002-75
PLUSIEURS DEMANDES EN RADIODIFFUSION VISANT L'EXPLOITATION D'ENTREPRISES DE PROGRAMMATION DE RADIO POUR DESSERVIR EDMONTON (ALBERTA), AVIS PUBLIC CRTC 2003-29 ET RED DEER (ALBERTA), AVIS PUBLIC CRTC 2003-75
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Shaw Conference Centre Shaw Conference Centre
Salon 8 Salon 8
9797 Jasper Avenue 9797, avenue Jasper
Edmonton, Alberta Edmonton (Alberta)
June 24, 2003 Le 24 juin 2003
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 BROADCASTING APPLICATIONS /
PLUSIEURS DEMANDES EN RADIODIFFUSION
BEFORE / DEVANT:
Andrée Wylie Chairperson / Présidente
Barbara Cram Commissioner / Conseillère
Andrew Cardozo Commissioner / Conseiller
Stuart Langford Commissioner / Conseiller
Ronald Williams Commissioner / Conseiller
ALSO PRESENT / AUSSI PRÉSENTS:
Peter McCallum Legal Counsel /
Steve Parker Hearing Coordinator /
Coordonnateur de l'audience
Pierre LeBel Secretary / Secrétaire
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Shaw Conference Centre Shaw Conference Centre
Salon 8 Salon 8
9797 Jasper Avenue 9797, avenue Jasper
Edmonton, Alberta Edmonton (Alberta)
June 24, 2003 Le 24 juin 2003
TABLE OF CONTENTS / TABLE DES MATIÈRES
PAGE / PARA
INTERVENTION BY / INTERVENTION PAR:
Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc. 1176 / 7124
Global Communications Limited 1177 / 7140
CHUM Limited/Milestone Media Broadcasting Ltd. 1184 / 7188
INTERVENTION BY / INTERVENTION PAR:
Marc Vasey/Chris Andrew/Sheri Somerville 1192 / 7249
Shawn Ahmad/Charlene Hay (Northern Alberta Alliance
on Race Relations)/Mohamed Habib/Jeff Hendrick 1206 / 7325
George Rogers (Mayor - City of Leduc) 1228 / 7455
Imho Austin/Sharlene Thomas/Messerret
Tessera/Steve Kottowitz 1235 / 7500
Jeari Czapla 1254 / 7598
Bonita Anderson (Alberta College
Conservatory of Music) 1263 / 7661
Zeno Ioannides/Harvey Cohen/Gerald Stoll 1269 / 7696
Bobby Curtola/Jacquie Hammond (Canadian School
of Modern Broadcasting)/Gene Geroly (Show
Stopping Entertainment) 1286 / 7782
Andy Kwak (The Salvation Army)/Salam Jones/
Michael Burke/Jack Cooper/Mike Letto 1304 / 7861
Michelle Cameron-Coulter/Neil Edwards 1320 / 7939
Kim Ziervogel (AJAC) 1329 / 7982
TABLE OF CONTENTS / TABLE DES MATIÈRES
PAGE / PARA
REPLY BY / RÉPLIQUE PAR:
CKMW Radio Ltd. 1338 / 8037
Harvard Broadcasting Inc. 1339 / 8046
CHUM Limited/Milestone Media Broadcasting Ltd. 1345 / 8073
Edmonton Radio Ltd. 1361 / 8162
Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc. 1369 / 8242
Edmonton Alberta / Edmonton (Alberta)
--- Upon resuming on Tuesday, June 24, 2003
at 0900 / L'audience reprend le mardi
24 juin 2003 à 0900
6727 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning, bonjour and welcome back to our hearing.
6728 Mr. Secretary, Commissioner Cram will now do the questioning.
6729 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Good morning.
6730 Thank you for the War Party. I really appreciated that.
6731 I wanted to talk first, Mr. Bagshaw, about what you were saying yesterday in your opening statement about Edmonton being the second or third biggest market for -- Mr. Bagshaw isn't here today.
6732 MR. EVANOV: Okay, I will answer that.
6733 Unfortunately, Mr. Bagshaw had an important family matter this morning -- sorry. Carmela reminds me to push the microphone away -- and could not be with us this morning.
6734 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So maybe somebody else can answer.
6735 MR. EVANOV: I will. I will answer that.
6736 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I will just finish, though, Mr. Evanov.
6737 MR. EVANOV: Okay.
6738 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you, Commissioner Williams, for noting my oversight.
6739 There is a statement on page 6, the third last paragraph, saying:
"...Edmonton is the ... second or third biggest market for dance music..."
6740 Then on page 7, the last paragraph, talks about 96 per cent of young adults between 18 and 34 attending bars and nightclubs 25 times or more each year.
6741 I am just wondering where you got those numbers.
6742 MR. EVANOV: Okay. I think I would like to go back a bit and bring you from the beginning how we arrived at all this.
6743 This is an overview and my staff will come in and give you the specific details and walk you through because there are other very interesting numbers and facts.
6744 We commissioned NOVA Research at the beginning. They came back to us and told us that first of all urban was a missing format in the market, there was a hole in the market and that young people liked it and it was not on Edmonton radio.
6745 They also told us that although young people liked it they thought it was -- they wanted other things as well, not just exclusively urban. So therefore we felt the demo was a little too narrow.
6746 We looked at the urban stations in Toronto and Vancouver and we saw that their BBM numbers were not all that impressive, so we came to the conclusion that urban was vital for this market, but it also needed another component. We needed to have something that would give it wider appeal and we needed to pair it with something that was compatible.
6747 So first of all we looked at rock. We knew that rock would not work. It is at opposite ends of the spectrum. It is available on three stations. It would cause duplication in the market. There are no CD compilations that are rock and urban. It is all dance and urban or urban and dance.
6748 There are no clubs that are really doing, on any scale, any urban rock nights in the Edmonton market and MuchMusic that launched, I think it is LOUD and VIBE, two music channels, didn't combine the format, they put the rock on one, I think it is LOUD, and they put the urban on VIBE. So there were two separate, separate music channels. It would not work.
6749 So we came to Edmonton. When we came to Edmonton we came in for about two weeks. It was the summertime, the weather was beautiful and it didn't rain one day. We went around and we met with the DJs at all the clubs. We met with the club owners. We met with retailers. We met with kids on the street.
6750 We went down to White Street. We saw the cars -- if you are familiar with White Street in the summertime, the cars are bumper-to-bumper, bumper-to-bumper, and they are all playing great music. Some are playing urban and some are playing dance. So we would stop them and say "What are you listening to?" They would say "We are listening to CDs." "Why not radio?" They said "No radio program is urban or no radio program is dance music."
6751 Then we spoke with the labels and they told us -- the labels are the ones who told us that Edmonton sells more urban than Calgary, and they also told us that Edmonton was the number two or number three, depending on the CD, dance music market of Canada. In other words, Toronto number one, Edmonton number two, or Toronto and Montreal number one and two and Edmonton number three. Not Vancouver, not any other centre.
6752 We listened to the stations, we looked at the BDS reports. We came to one conclusion: We program urban, we know urban and we do it well; we program dance, we know it well, we program it, and therefore the most logical conclusion was to play urban and dance, or combine the two.
6753 I will ask Scott to explain just how we do it and why it fits together.
6754 COMMISSIONER CRAM: We will get there.
6755 MR. EVANOV: Okay.
6756 COMMISSIONER CRAM: The question was: Where do you get the statistics and how are they calculated that Edmonton is the second or third biggest market for dance music and that 96 per cent of the 250,000 young adults aged 18 to 34 attend bars and nightclubs 25 times or more each year.
6757 That is what I wanted to know.
6758 MR. EVANOV: I will first ask Carmela to answer one and then Ky will answer the other.
6759 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
6760 MS LAURIGNANO: Actually, I can probably answer both of them.
6761 The 96 per cent figure comes from BBM. As part of the measurement that they do in the ballot they ask some lifestyle questions for the radio ballot. So that calculation is published by them.
6762 With regards to the dance music sales, there is an organization called SoundScan. They keep track of record sales and that is where we got our information from.
6763 As to specifically how the calculation is done, I'm not sure, but I know that it is on volume, some sort of formula for volume and sales of course. That is where we got it.
6764 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I'm sorry?
6765 MS LAURIGNANO: So it would be on the sales volume figure. That is how it is calculated.
6766 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So we really don't have any statistics. I mean record sales. It is not the ones that are theoretically borrowed off the Internet that we would know about.
6767 MS LAURIGNANO: These are actual record sales, disc sales.
6768 MR. EVANOV: Ky, I think, wanted to just add something to the 96 per cent figure.
6769 MS JOSEPH: Commissioner Cram, just to be more specific, the information was gathered from the Edmonton central market based on micro BBM, spring 2003 qualitative data.
6770 COMMISSIONER CRAM: They are self-reported?
6771 MS JOSEPH: I'm sorry?
6772 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes, they are self-reported.
6773 MS JOSEPH: Yes.
6774 COMMISSIONER CRAM: In other words, these people are saying that they go to the bar 25 times or more in a year and listen to urban music?
6775 MS JOSEPH: That's correct. What was really interesting about the finding was that more people went 25 times or more as opposed to less people going one time per year, which was really interesting to us.
6776 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Do you know any 18 year olds?
6777 MS JOSEPH: I do.
6778 COMMISSIONER CRAM: You know what they say?
6779 MS JOSEPH: I know a lot of them.
6780 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I notice that yesterday you did call your station urban/dance, and yet throughout the whole application you talked about hip-hop, rap, dance, R&B and never used the term "urban/dance".
6781 Was there a reason for that or was it just simply --
6782 MR. EVANOV: We did use dance.
6783 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes, you did.
6784 MR. EVANOV: Urban is a genre which has subcategories which would be predominantly hip-hop and R&B.
6785 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes, I hear you. I was just wondering why you hadn't used the term "urban", but it doesn't matter.
6786 Let's talk about how the two other applicants who target your demo are different from you.
6787 Can we start with CHUM and Milestone and how they are different and why you think you will be more successful?
6788 MR. EVANOV: Well, okay. I will ask my staff to really explain the difference in the music and how it compares with what we will do and the combination of the formats.
6789 But our priority in terms of running our radio stations has always been programming. I guess the biggest difference is that we are spending $1 million more than CHUM on programming and $2 million more than Harvard on programming. So for us programming is the very guts and heart and soul of the radio station, because if you have that only then can you produce CTD and every other element that exists.
6790 Scott, could you walk us through the music styles?
6791 MR. FOX: The difference between us and the other applicants, as far as I know they are both proposing to play some urban.
6792 In the case of CHUM/Milestone, they are proposing 100 per cent urban or "pure urban", as they called it yesterday. This to me would offer straight urban. That is R&B and hip-hop and that's it. Not a lot of variety.
6793 In the case of Harvard, I'm not really sure what they are doing. They want to play a bit of urban, they want to play a bit of rock, they want to mix it together. They have punk shows and things like that.
6794 As far as we are concerned, that doesn't work. We know that there needs to be a little bit of variety there. The under 25 audience doesn't want to hear urban alone. They need that little bit of variety.
6795 So the task for us was to try to find something that offers the urban that we know the under 25 market wants, but also to give them that variety so that we can keep them listening as loyal listeners.
6796 What works well with urban? Well, we considered rock, but that doesn't work. We could have done jazz, country or AC, and that doesn't work either. We had to find something that is similar to the lifestyle of the people who are listening to this music, so we looked at dance.
6797 When we looked at it and the more we looked at it, and given our experience with dance music, we know that they work very well together. They have a lot of things in common. Dance music more or less picks up where urban leaves off. Urban is a slower tempo, about 100 beats per minute is where it would max out and that is where dance music picks up. Dance music is created electronically and that is part of the reason that this younger electronic generation appreciates the music.
6798 They are not getting this music on the radio now so they have gone to the Internet and they have gone to the dance clubs. As we have told you, there is a huge dance club scene here in Edmonton. It is called substitute radio. They have to go somewhere else to get the music that radio isn't giving them.
6799 DJ Spence Diamonds, who is on our panel, he tours across Canada and really around the world with a Canadian artist called Choclair. He has been to the dance scene here in Edmonton and he could speak to exactly how big this genre is and why people are going to clubs to hear it.
6800 MR. DIAMONDS: Thank you, Scott.
6801 Dance and urban are a natural fit. They are both club-driven, they are both beat-driven. There is a synergy there.
6802 If you look at -- it's like if you go back in past history you can look at it as urban, hip-hop and R&B is pretty much the Motown of today, while dance is the disco of today. They both have similar ethics, they both have the same similar type of production. Instead of guitars and rock drums, they are replaced with a little more of a booming sound. It is a club-driven thing and this is what we are focusing on, DJ-driven music.
6803 As you see, as we said earlier, clubs tend to program their nights more based on dance music and urban music than programming it with rock music. This is basically because the lifestyles and the cultures are very similar.
6804 You could look at it this way, the rock artists and pop artists, they remix their records so that they can get records played in these dance clubs. They strip down the beats, they add a more booming drum. You could look at artists like David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Céline Dion. Even Corey Hart re-sung his vocals to get onto a dance record so he had something that could play in this lucrative and ever expanding format.
6805 MR. FOX: You don't have to go very far to see why this younger generation is influenced by this music, whether it be urban or dance. From the dance scene, Jennifer Lopez has her own perfume line. DJ Sammy's Heaven was an international number one hit. If you have seen a commercial for Mitsubishi, Dirty Vegas and Telepopmusic are selling cars for this international car manufacturer. Lasgo, Milk Inc., Silver, they are filling European soccer stadiums. This is big.
6806 Then when it comes to urban music, Will Smith and LL Cool J have TV shows, or had TV shows. Pop artists today are going to urban producers to get their music remixed so that they can have that appeal with the urban audience.
6807 People know these urban stars and, you know what, as this --
6808 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Mr. Fox, the question was how you differed from the others, so thank you.
6809 MR. FOX: I think we answered that then.
6810 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes, you did.
6811 MR. FOX: Thanks.
6812 COMMISSIONER CRAM: You also used a term that fits into the classical musician in me and it is beats per minute. I can see the metronome now.
6813 Can you tell me in terms of that, is modern rock different in terms of the beats per minute kind of issue? Because you talked about urban being -- what did you say, 100-120 and moving into dance. What is modern rock in terms of the beat concept?
6814 MR. FOX: The BPMs on urban music and dance music, they have something in common in that it is a constant beat and it is looped over and over and over again. It is something steady that you can dance to.
6815 Modern rock comes in a few different forms and a few different genres but it is louder. It has that guitar element. It has the louder vocals.
6816 Spence Diamonds, again our DJ, could probably speak a little bit more to the difference between the rock and the urban and the dance.
6817 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So there is no BPM difference. Is that what you are saying?
6818 MR. FOX: It varies. In fact, it can change in the middle of one song. It comes in and goes down.
6819 COMMISSIONER CRAM: There are some other Edmonton stations that are around right now that are programming hip-hop, rap, dance and R&B, and that is CKNG and CKRA.
6820 How will you differ from them?
6821 MR. FOX: If you look at Chart 7 that came with our opening presentation package, and it is on the screen right there, what we did was we looked at BDS. We picked any week, a recent one. We looked at June 11th to the 17th. This is what the radio audience in Edmonton would have heard between June 11th and 17th on the existing stations.
6822 CFBR, The Bear; CIRK, KROC, CKRA 96X, the hit music alternative; CFMG Easy Rock; CKNG Power 92.
6823 As you can see, three of those stations played exclusively rock. Easy Rock, played 18 per cent rock. Power 92 played 37 per cent rock. The Beat will not play any rock music.
6824 Pop music, there was a lot played on Easy Rock, on Power 92.
6825 But when it comes to R&B, hip-hop and dance, the categories that affect what the Beat would play, between June 11th and 17th Power 92 played only 17 per cent urban. The Beat plays 30.
6826 Hip-hop, only 9 per cent on Power 82. The Beat plays 30.
6827 Dance music, only 1 per cent. The beat plays 40.
6828 I would like to point out that the spins on Power 92, how many times they play the same song over and over, are in excess of 65 to 70 spins a week. So really that is not a lot of variety. That is one or two songs that are spun over and over and over again to get the statistics that high. They really don't even begin to scratch the surface of the R&B, dance or hop-hop genres.
6829 COMMISSIONER CRAM: This schedule very well leads into my next question about which will predominate on your programming.
6830 It looks like you are looking at about 40 per cent dance, 30 hip-hop and 30 R&B?
6831 MR. FOX: About that. Forty per cent urban -- sorry, 60 per cent urban, 30 per cent R&B, 30 per cent hip-hop.
6832 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay. So R&B and hip-hop may not be exactly 50/50 --
6833 MR. FOX: It's possible.
6834 COMMISSIONER CRAM: -- out of the 60 per cent.
6835 MR. FOX: It's possible. It is 60 per cent urban music.
6836 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Are they going to be blended throughout the day parts or are you going to be sort of differentiating between the day parts and how you program them?
6837 MR. FOX: It is always blended. These people appreciate both types of music, the people who like urban and dance music. So it will be blended throughout the day.
6838 There will be a little bit of day-parting. For example, in the morning drive we might play a little bit more R&B, or in the midday, when people may be at work or at school, something a little bit more mellow. But as the day goes on, as we get closer to the weekend, the music gets a little bit faster and then it's party time. This is upbeat, fun party music.
6839 COMMISSIONER CRAM: What is the difference in terms of music and the way you are going to be programming this station and what is happening on CIDC, the Orangeville station?
6840 MR. FOX: CIDC is a CHR station. CIDC draws its music from rock, dance, R&B, hip-hop, it also plays some Spanish music, it plays Latino music, it plays a whole variety of things. Basically it is a top 40 station. We play a lot of pop music also on CIDC. It is top 40, lots of requests, a lot of interaction with the listeners, but we don't focus on these two specific genres. Dance is predominant on CIDC though.
6841 COMMISSIONER CRAM: But you said you had rock on it.
6842 MR. FOX: Yes, we do play some rock on CIDC.
6843 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I thought you just said before that rock doesn't fit with dance or urban.
6844 MR. FOX: In the context of a CHR format, people who listen to CHR music can handle a bit of variety. We are also very clever at the way that we mix it.
6845 But yes, a CHR station does draw from all genres. They play the hits over and over and over again,
6846 Like you can see on Power 92 there, who does a very similar thing. The difference being that we play a little bit more dance and urban on CIDC.
6847 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Are you planning on any kind of shared programming between this station and CIDC?
6848 MS LAURIGNANO: No, we are not.
6849 COMMISSIONER CRAM: If I have it right, you plan on getting from this genre, this format, a share of about nine. Is that what you were talking about?
6850 Now I am right at my BBMs and I see the format proposed by OK Radio having a proven BBM share 12-24 of over 20 per cent.
6851 So the question is -- and I realize everybody can change formats, but in terms of a business plan and looking at the viability of a business plan, why wouldn't we look at these BBMs and say business-wise this would be a better decision to make for this market?
6852 MR. EVANOV: I will let Carmela answer that.
6853 MS LAURIGNANO: Thank you.
6854 Well, we all have to look at the BBMs. That is one of the considerations that we looked at very, very seriously. It is one of the factors that led us to decide on the format and make us feel comfortable that the business plan was right on target, that it could thrive and grow and that seven years from now we would be doing the same format and being in this market without having to abandon the format or be unable to deliver on any of the promises.
6855 In terms of the business plan, when we looked at things like BBM we had to look at urban models alone to see how they came into the market, how they performed, what the trends were.
6856 What it told us is that as a standalone format or a pure format the position that they have garnered in the market is very standard at best. In some cases, I think the exception is in Calgary when the numbers went up, but that is possibly by default because one of the formats abandoned it. We looked, for example, at the FLOW in Toronto to see how that is doing.
6857 So that became a very major concern for us when we were designing the business plan, that although we need the urban music to bring this demo back to radio, to keep them tuned longer, it necessarily was not going to be possible for this plan to sustain itself over the long term.
6858 We then looked at what we knew in terms of the holes in the market. We determined through, not just the third party research but the record sales, the experts, we walked up and down the street. We talked to people. We talked to the club owners. You have Mike Yasinski here from two of the biggest clubs here, the dance clubs. So there was definitely a revenue stream that is untapped, that is new that nobody is getting, nobody is going after.
6859 We coupled that with the experience that we have with CIDC-FM, and that is that the dance part of our programming and revenue has sustained our business plan and has allowed us to keep the format, to stay alive and to fight some of the bigger players in the market who actually came head-to-head with us in terms of a CHR element in the programming and getting the demo.
6860 So it is a market we know. We know the revenue is there. We know where it is. We did a calculated spot-by-spot feature sales. Ky and the retail sales manager, they know exactly where ever dollar is going to come from, how many live broadcasts, that kind of stuff.
6861 COMMISSIONER CRAM: The question is, from our perspective -- and we recognize the concern and you have raised it too -- adults 12 to 24, their listening share has declined, as you say, a whopping 28 per cent.
6862 MS LAURIGNANO: Right.
6863 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So if I am looking at you proposing having a nine share -- and that is proposing, not proven -- and I'm looking at the format that OK is proposing already having been proven in the market at over 20 per cent of 12 to 24, that missing demographic, the demographic that is going missing, please tell me why we wouldn't therefore say: OK has proven it has a much higher share than you say you will get, why should we then say notwithstanding that you should have the licence?
6864 It is from our perspective. I understand you are good business people. I understand that very well. But we are sitting here saying we have proven numbers -- I am sitting here. I can't speak for my colleagues at all.
6865 It is just that I want to understand, given that, why we would then say you should have the licence.
6866 MR. EVANOV: I will start and then pass it on to Ky.
6867 We looked at a rock format. You mentioned a very large share in Victoria. I don't know the circumstances. I don't know if it had three or four rock stations in the market or not, but I do know in this market a rock station is going to have a very uphill battle in terms of surviving or establishing itself. We don't believe it is going to do one thing extra to increase hours tuned.
6868 Those hours tuned have declined by 28 per cent and it is young people between the ages of 12 and 24. Their first preference of music they cannot get on radio is urban. That is their first choice.
6869 All the surveys show that when you interview people a bunch of them said urban is their favourite music, others said rock. That doesn't mean you put them together. Because there is rock in this format, but urban is absolutely the missing format for the 12 to 24 demo and if you want to bring them back from the Internet or the CDs, or if they are going to all age clubs or whatever, then it is urban music that has to be on radio to bring them back, not rock music. That is why we project a nine share overall.
6870 That is 12-plus, the nine share, it is not a 12-24.
6871 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay. Moving on to your CTD --
6872 MS LAURIGNANO: I would just like to add one thing, and that is that in the landscape here as we talk in the Edmonton market, there is now a full-time modern rock station, I believe since March, which is CKRA 96X. That just changed format a couple of months ago. So there is another player, another element to consider in that the landscape is different than it is out there.
6873 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I wanted to move on to your CTD. You were referring to amounts in graduated levels over the years. In year one it was $50,000, year two $100,000, year three $125,000, year four $150,000, year five $175,000, year six $195,000, year seven $205,000.
6874 Would you agree to a COL, condition of licence, to that effect?
6875 MS LAURIGNANO: Absolutely.
6876 COMMISSIONER CRAM: In part of your CTD you were talking about a DJ Talent Search. I will call it "DJ scratching" or "DJ turntablism". There are $7,500 in cash prizes.
6877 Is that broken down? Do you have it broken down into five prizes, four, whatever?
6878 MS LAURIGNANO: It is not broken down right now because one of the things that we intend to do is to talk to the parties who are interested, including some input from experts, local DJs, other people in the industry. We will be looking to them for guidance on how best we can maximize that money.
6879 By the way, it is straight prize money for the DJs. We were able to secure a strategic partner to help us execute that. Mr. Yasinski there is going to be providing the coffee, the staging, the lighting and all that good stuff so that we can bring the value of the initiative up quite substantially and all the money go to the initiative itself for the prize money.
6880 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you.
6881 On the Beat CD you talk about spending $25,000 in year one and then $45,000 per annum after that. It is the extra $20,000 I wanted to talk about. You said it was for marketing and broadening this initiative.
6882 What does that really mean?
6883 MS LAURIGNANO: We recognize that in a lot of ways it is a young genre -- or it is a format that is going to be new to the market, that the station will have an impact and as it matures and as it brings listeners we can really help it along.
6884 In our strategy you will note that we have a graduating thing, graduating scale for that, because we intend to plant the seed and then just see it grow. We want to be able to be in a position to react to that kind of thing.
6885 I'm going to ask Mr. LaBuick just to address that, why we put those increases in after year one going through.
6886 Ed is also sort of spearheading the CD program, so he could perhaps talk about that.
6887 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Remember, the question was: Where is the extra $20,000 going?
6888 MS LAURIGNANO: Okay.
6890 MR. LaBUICK: In year two it will be available for artist travel, for the different groups who are on the album to promote it nationally across the country. It will further be available for video support. Because, frankly, once you break an act you have to do more than just get radio play, you have to produce videos and other things. So that is what those funds will be available for.
6891 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So it will really go to the artist anyway.
6892 MS LAURIGNANO: The whole package is direct to the artist.
6893 COMMISSIONER CRAM: There is an eligibility on this CD and it is for new and existing artists.
6894 I guess I'm having a problem with the eligibility being to sort of existing superstar artists.
6895 Have you decided on how you would define that eligibility?
6896 MS LAURIGNANO: Yes. It is our experience that superstar artist --
6897 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Semi-superstar.
6898 MS LAURIGNANO: They already have a record label pretty much, or they are signed. The chances there are not going to be great that we would be able to engage that.
6899 Although, there will be definitely a criteria that is going to be for new material or for new artists. That will be part of the eligibility criteria that will be developed, in conjunction again with a music committee.
6900 MR. EVANOV: Commissioner, we have a unique way of marketing the CD and I think you should hear it from Ed LaBuick. It is rather unique and most radio stations don't do this. It is part of our CTD.
6901 MR. LaBUICK: Thank you, Bill.
6902 Incidentally, my background is the record industry and has been for years, in particular dance with Master T. We have sold millions of albums so I am speaking with experience.
6903 One of the problems of many of these albums that are produced by radio stations, too often the production is good, the product is reasonably well done and, frankly, they sit on the shelf and never go anywhere.
6904 Our objective is to have CDs that we are able to take to the marketplace and sell to the consumer market and hopefully make hit artists.
6905 We start off with a music committee, consisting of myself; Master T, who was with MuchMusic for years; Stephan Zarka, who is with a record company. In addition, Bobby Curtola, one of Canada's largest artists. The music committee is there to help guide the station in terms of what they are going to record.
6906 In addition, the music committee will work with the radio station, the DJs in the marketplace, and the recording studio in picking the acts that we are going to record.
6907 When Mr. Evanov and I first got together he informed me of what budget we would have for the Edmonton market. I said "For doing CD albums it is not sufficient funds. We are going to need more money." He said "Well, we want to make money in the marketplace as well as contribute to Canadian content."
6908 Fortunately, through our connections Koch International or Koch Entertainment are Canada's largest independent distributor and have won Distributor of the Year for the last seven years. In addition, they are the largest urban distributor in America. They have come with us as a joint venture and while we are investing $25,000 in the album, they are investing $25,000 as well.
6909 So in addition, I don't think $50,000 is sufficient to do an album properly. Bill thinks you should do it for $25,000 or $20,000, but I disagree with him.
6910 To do it right, frankly, if you are going to use five or six acts and you are going to record two or three songs of each act and have that album compete on an international basis, you have to have sufficient funds to record that album and record it properly.
6911 So in addition to that, we got together with the local studios in Edmonton and they are going to participate on a profit basis as well.
6912 So, frankly, when people invest money in things generally they work it harder.
6913 So when our album does come out, it will be distributed nationally in all stores and with key features. It will be supported with radio advertising. If we find a hit two or three, we believe from there then you have to do video to support it, et cetera.
6914 So our spirit is different. We are producing CDs that are going to sell. When you make them sell you develop hit artists. When you have a record company that has promotion, the whole thing works together. So that is where our system is different.
6915 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you, Mr. LaBuick.
6916 MS LAURIGNANO: If I might just add, Commissioner Cram, some correspondence with the third party strategic partners is already filed, but we will also be in a position to file with you later on today a Memorandum of Agreement between the parties that Mr. LaBuick has talked about.
6917 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Homestead and --
6918 MS LAURIGNANO: It would be just outlining that they are prepared to invest in the projects.
6919 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
6920 You have described how you are going to expend $515,000 over the next seven years, but the rest, the $485,000, are not described.
6921 Maybe you better tell us why.
6922 MS LAURIGNANO: I would be very happy to.
6923 When we looked at the CTD we approach it as we approach a lot of things, and that is in the non-conventional sort of way. Quite frankly, it would have been a lot easier for us to write a couple of cheques a year, two or three cheques a year and then get on with other things in the next seven years, but it is not the way we do business normally and it is not the way we are going to approach this nor is it the way we did approach it.
6924 Our feeling is that there are going to be a lot of market conditions that are going to change with the introduction of a new service. We believe that this station, the Beat, if licensed, will have an impact and will have residual effects as well as begin to stir things in the market and develop things. So we want to be in a position to be able to react to those conditions.
6925 We want to be able to do -- as we have done with the CD and the DJ Talent Search initiative, we want to be in a position to leverage those funds. Although you will note that we are not claiming them as contribution from there, we do believe that there is a tremendous benefit to that, that we can take our substantial million dollar investment and turn it into something that is worthwhile.
6926 We would be looking to the industry, to expert. There are a lot of people in the community who will have some input into it, our listeners will. Of course, over time we would keep you abreast of our intentions for spending, but the commitment is very solid in terms of minimum spending there.
6927 However, I might add too that none of those funds would be used for any of the initiatives that we have identified. In other words, we wouldn't be pulling from those to execute the ones that we did. Anything there would be above and beyond what is already outlined, which is the four initiatives.
6928 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So your proposal would be that those monies wouldn't be for the projects that are already delineated?
6929 MS LAURIGNANO: Exactly. That money is above and beyond any shortfall, any backstopping. Anything that has to be met with those projects that we have identified would be above and beyond the funds that are set aside.
6930 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So our conundrum is, normally we look at the CTD that you proposed and that is part of our evaluation of your application. Especially we are looking at the, I guess effectiveness of the CTD and it builds into what we think -- because it is public airwaves and you have to show that there is some contribution to it.
6931 So how do we compare your application with the others, given that we are sitting with, I think it is something like -- I can't remember, but it is $485,000 that aren't described.
6932 How can we deal with that?
6933 MS LAURIGNANO: I think that you can look at a couple of things. One is that there is a rationale why we did that. I say again that if it is just a matter of picking existing initiatives right now and jumping onboard and for the next seven years committing that, which is a substantial amount of money, we could have easily done that. We didn't do that because those -- and besides, those initiatives are always there.
6934 We are strongly considering things such as area, we are looking at the Prairie Music Week, we are looking at producing a talent showcase as we have done for our CHR dance station elsewhere.
6935 So there are a lot of projects that we are considering, but we just felt that we would serve CTD best if we stepped back and said: Let's put the service in the market, see what happens, and then really go where the need is. Because we don't know where the need is. There is no urban station right now. There is no dance/urban station in the city.
6936 We have identified, for example, almost 200 hip-hop artists across the country, 13 in Alberta, six in Edmonton here, who are aspiring hip-hop artists. They may come to us. We may see an opportunity there to dedicate some of those funds. So that is one thing.
6937 The other thing is, I think that we as broadcasters have a fairly good record in the CTD commitment.
6938 We have a licence before you now, a licence renewal now, for CIDC-FM in Orangeville where we have voluntarily offered to increase our CAB contribution plan by nine times the amount because it is our way of paying back, to some degree, for some of the concessions that we have been allowed, such as a technical amendment, approval that some of the Commissioners who were on the panel heard. So we take it very seriously.
6939 Thirdly, one of the other applicants we note has done the same thing. Harvard I believe has set aside $40,000 a year over five years for $200,000. So we are not alone in this thinking. Maybe the amounts are not the same, but we don't feel along in that regard.
6940 MR. EVANOV: Also, Commissioner, if I can add, we could have taken the extra $2 million in programming and moved it to CTD, but we really believe that the soul of a radio station is its programming. There won't be any CTD, there won't be anything unless you program properly and have someone listen to you.
6941 A lot of our programming expenses were very borderline in terms of do you call them CTD or do you call them programming because they are there simply to promote the Canadian talent.
6942 I will give you just two quick examples.
6943 One is, we have an open door policy. We have said that many times, but it is very true. We have recording artists, we have young groups, we have record labels coming into the station at all times. It occupies two or three days a week. We work with them through their music, we listen to their music together, we have staff that is allocated to do this. They do this where these kids can't get into most radio stations in this country because they have become too corporate.
6944 This is a programming expense, okay, but it is really promoting Canadian talent, to sift through all this stuff, to give them advice and tell them where to do, how to do this, how to do that. We will be doing a lot of this in Edmonton.
6945 The other thing too, we mentioned substitute radio. What happened is, the hours tuned went down and 10 per cent left totally from listening to radio in Edmonton. They went to what we call substitute radio, which is the Internet, yes, but it is also all the various dance clubs, it is elsewhere.
6946 What happens, when the record labels come into Edmonton now, the independent ones, they rarely go to the radio stations. They now go to the record pools. They give their music there. The record pools have meetings with all the DJ spinners, they distribute all these new releases -- I'm talking Canadian now, urban and dance.
6947 The DJs then take back all this music to the clubs, to the clubs that people like Mike own, large big dance clubs in the city, and they play the music. So the kids will hear this music for the first time ever in this market at a dance club. Then they will go to the Internet, they will find them, they will download them as well, that type of thing.
6948 So what we want to do is, we are hiring the DJs that are introducing new music to people at the clubs. We are bringing them on radio 10 times a week where they will spin live. They will bring this new music. Instead of being just at the club and hidden underground, it will now come back to radio. It is urban music and it is dance music. Ten times a week we hire these DJs from the clubs, the DJ spinners, to come on-air to produce these programs and spin this music.
6949 So it promotes Canadian talent. It promotes Canadian DJs, a whole new art form in this country.
6950 But we have called it programming. So even though our programming commitment might be a little bit less than the other fellow's, we are not trying to buy a licence, we are trying to promote Canadian talent.
6951 We think it is very substantial. With our leveraging we think we are going to probably -- and our commitment is $1 million. We are not trying to fool anybody -- but with the leveraging we could be well over $2 million on that end.
6952 But we are still $2 million plus on the programming end ahead of Harvard and $1 million ahead of CHUM. That is what we believe in. That is our priority, programming.
6953 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So you would agree to a COL for the $1 million on CTD.
6954 I have a hard time looking at a half a million. I envisage this blank cheque for $485,000.
6955 Would you agree to some limits on the CTD that it would either be genre-specific or Edmonton-specific or Northern Alberta-specific?
6956 Is there anything that would at least give us some comfort?
6957 MS LAURIGNANO: Yes, sure. There would be, for example, if there was some comfort in allocating 50 per cent of that to Edmonton local initiatives, we would certainly be willing to commit to that because that is our intent.
6958 As we have done with the recording portion of the CD initiative, we chose a local recording studio here. So definitely we would agree to something like that because that is what we are going to do anyway basically. We just don't know exactly -- we know more or less where it could go.
6959 If it was a matter of just producing a list, I could just say it verbally right now. We didn't take that approach.
6960 One of the major reasons, again, is the leveraging. If you look at what we have done with -- we have been able to take a $320,000 investment for the CD, for example, which we could produce, deliver, we probably could have inflated that and make it look like it was going to cost "X" amount, or we could have gotten higher quotes or got better production maybe or something, I don't know, but we could have come up with a higher figure. We didn't.
6961 We just took that money and we went to somewhere else. We got $175,000 in value from two other partners. Quite frankly, it is a lot easier to leverage money if you have money in hand than not.
6962 So the partners feel like a part of it, they see the benefit, they become involved and that makes the initiative grow. That really was probably -- not probably, was for sure the major consideration in why those funds were -- they are definitely committed and the funds are allocated year-per-year as a minimum expenditure, it is just that the initiatives are not identified at this particular time.
6963 But definitely, as I said, we would agree to 50 per cent Edmonton for example.
6964 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So then I am down to about $240,000, the blank cheque. Any sort of fences on that that you could give?
6965 MR. LaBUICK: It is intended, Madam, if I may, the music committee is going to work with the station with those funds. At times Mr. Evanov and Carmela are -- I am speaking from an outsider as a record company.
6966 One of the things that will happen in this marketplace is Summer Rush. In Toronto they have been doing it for the last seven years. Ten to 15,000 people appear at that Summer Rush and it is all Canadian talent that they bring to that event.
6967 In Edmonton, within this same complex, Paula and I, while involved in Quality Music, had an event here where we had 6,500 people. It is intended to do that as well. But we don't bring in a big American act to do that, we bring in Canadian acts. We promote very heavy on the air to promote that talent.
6968 So in terms of that fund, we will support the Prairie Awards and other things. We will be good community citizens. Those funds are unallocated, but if you give us a licence we can assure you we can even leverage that up to a higher amount.
6969 MR. EVANOV: Thank you, Ed.
6970 We will commit 50 per cent to Edmonton and the other 50 per cent definitely to western Canada.
6971 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Moving on to Canadian content, you have agreed to 40 per cent. I am back at turntablism, DJ scratching. We know that it is not Cancon, the same as in Kitchener.
6972 MS LAURIGNANO: Yes, we are aware of that decision as well, the public notice on that. That is not part of the factor, the calculation.
6973 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So that won't hinder your ability to achieve the 40 per cent in your programs like Canadian Spotlight, Live-to-Air or overall?
6974 MS LAURIGNANO: That is correct.
6975 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you.
6976 You talk about spoken word being 28.5 per cent. As I was writing my notes for this, all of these percentages, do they include commercials?
6977 MR. EVANOV: Yes, they do, as the chart will show. The bottom line is commercials, public service announcements, station promotion announcements, which in total would be about almost 15 per cent -- 12 per cent.
6978 COMMISSIONER CRAM: In terms of the news and other kind of spoken word, how is it going to be interspersed in this format?
6979 MR. EVANOV: I will ask Carmela and Scott to walk you through it.
6980 MR. FOX: Okay, 4.6 hours a week of news comes in the form of five-minute traditional news updates. These are full news packages with news, weather, sports. We also have two-minute updates that will run in -- let me just say that those traditional news packages run in the morning and afternoon drive, with a hit at noon hour as well.
6981 Throughout the midday and in the evenings we have what we call news updates. These are two-minute updates. These are the headlines. This is what is happening. We think that will keep people informed and it would be good incentive for them to tune back in during our drive times to hear the rest of the news.
6982 In addition, .6 hours of community news in the form of a community calendar. This is all local events and events that are happening in and around town, the clinics, the workshops, the festivals, all will be included in that.
6983 A half an hour of entertainment-based news will also air throughout the day.
6984 MS LAURIGNANO: The total news is 5.7 hours per week.
6985 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Is there other, what is called the informal sort of talk throughout the day and how is that interspersed?
6986 MR. FOX: Jock-talk. We really need our announcers and we expect them to be able to relate to our listeners. They are going to talk about what is of interest.
6987 Let me give you an example of a typical hour. For example, in the morning drive, 7:00 a.m., you are going to get that five-minute traditional newscast, the local, national and international news.
6988 After that, our announcer is going to come on and he is going to talk about "Did you see The Hulk over the weekend? Well, it was the number one movie at the box office. What did you think?" Encourage some feedback and some interaction. He is going to give a little bit of entertainment news. Are J.Lo and Ben Affleck still getting married? Stuff that is of interest to them. He might talk about the fact that today new DVD and video releases come out, new video game releases hit shelves as well, all stuff that is relevant to that 12-24 audience.
6989 It is going to be fun and interactive jock-talk.
6990 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Then do people call in or do they just use the Web site or what?
6991 MR. FOX: Well, the Web site is a fantastic means of them being able to interact with our announce who is on the air, but yes, there will be the ability for people to call in and communicate with our announcer and share their views with the rest of the audience. They are interested in knowing what each other has to say.
6992 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Is this the same kind of thing that you do in Orangeville with CIDC?
6993 MR. FOX: Yes. We do a similar interaction in the morning show on CIDC.
6994 THE CHAIRPERSON: Perhaps you can push away from your microphone. It creates a boom.
6995 MR. FOX: I'm sorry.
6996 THE CHAIRPERSON: Push away quite a distance.
6997 COMMISSIONER CRAM: We are not in the production room right now.
6998 THE CHAIRPERSON: Way more. Push your microphone away.
6999 MS LAURIGNANO: And to think we are in the radio business.
7000 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
7001 MR. ROMAN: Really.
7002 THE CHAIRPERSON: It is kind of disturbing. It happens a lot.
7003 Thank you.
7004 MR. FOX: Did you need me to repeat any of that?
--- Laughter / Rires
7005 THE CHAIRPERSON: Why not.
7006 COMMISSIONER CRAM: He is still learning towards the microphone. This is a worrisome thing.
7007 In Orangeville do you have the same sort of call-in/Web site kind of concept, that they interact on the Web site and by phone?
7008 MR. FOX: You have to be able to interact with your listeners. That is one of the reasons they know that we are accessible to them and we are listening to them.
7009 We have a very street-oriented approach in that we honestly do take a lot of feedback from our listeners in what we do and the music we play. That is one of the reasons that we stay relevant and we are top-of-mind awareness, because we do have that interaction with our listeners.
7010 COMMISSIONER CRAM: (a) how does that influence the programming? Or does it influence the programming?
7011 MS LAURIGNANO: It influences the programming a lot. I think you have heard about the Internet being the big bad wolf that stole radio from our hands. Well, we view the Internet as our friend and not a dark wolf. I think if we recognize what the potential is, we can go to it and use that as a tool to bring people to radio and drive traffic to radio.
7012 It is not the Internet who took radio listeners away, it is we, the broadcasters, who gave it to them. That is really our approach.
7013 The Internet is a huge part of marketing plans because we can find the people there. You can keep them visiting the Web site because you put content there that is relevant to them. You have the audio component so they can have the radio on while they are doing other things, including visiting the station Web site.
7014 Then, if they like it, which we think they will, in our case anyway, they will take that radio with them. So if they are in their car or they are somewhere else, this is a great extension.
7015 It is also a way for them to become interactive. The Web site is a way that people can make their choice for the countdowns that we are talking about because the new music will be tested. The listeners are in fact program directors. They can cast their vote on whether they like something or not. It drives them to listen to new music specific features. It promotes upcoming shows that are coming.
7016 So it is a great, great, great tool. It helps our CTD initiatives as well, because we can post what is happening.
7017 For example, one of the programs that we described, Canadian Spotlight, that is going to be produced by Tony Young, we designed it with the Web in mind.
7018 I think I am going to ask Tony just for one second to share with you how the interactivity will work.
7019 MR. YOUNG: Thanks, Carmela.
7020 Good morning, Commissioner Cram.
7021 I have been involved in the music industry for about 15 years. I worked for MuchMusic for around 12 years and one thing I always believed in at MuchMusic was what I called Canadian product. It was really believing in Canadian artists. I am really pleased to say that to be involved in a show that is called the Beat's Canadian Spotlight" which would feature Canadian artists --
7022 As well, one of the things that would happen with anybody in this industry is where young cats, young aspiring musicians would come up to you and say "Can you hook me up?" One of the things I think they are trying to say by hooking them us is actually giving them insight, giving them some education about the industry. That is one of the things that we would do through the Beat's Canadian Spotlight.
7023 We would feature artists, interviews and how they create their sounds. We would also discuss artists touring. We would also discuss the process of recording, how to copyright their music, how to approach a record company, how to organize a tour, how to find and book studio time, how to get distribution.
7024 So this show would be primarily based every Saturday from 2:00 p.m. -- it would re-air again on Mondays at 11:00 p.m. -- but it would be really focused on sharing information and letting young people really interact and understand, truly understand what the record industry is really all about.
7025 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you.
7026 Live programming. How much will be live-to-air, how much will be automated, voicetracked, pre-taped?
7027 MR. EVANOV: All programming in the broadcast day will be live. We will do some live-to-airs a few nights a week from maybe some of the clubs, but that is still a live program except you basically have moved your studio to another location. So it is 100 per cent.
7028 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So all live from 6:00 a.m. to midnight?
7029 MR. EVANOV: All live 6:00 a.m. to midnight.
7030 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Voicetracked midnight to 6:00?
7031 MR. EVANOV: I'm sorry?
7032 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Voicetracked midnight to 6:00?
7033 MR. EVANOV: We may consider voicetrack. We want our options open. We know if live-to-airs go late into the night then we may stay there. We want to leave it open-ended right now.
7034 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
7035 MS LAURIGNANO: We also use that time to train interns and that kind of stuff there. So not necessarily.
7036 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
7037 I looked at your research by NOVA. On page 16 we were looking at the profile of the audience.
7038 Do you have that?
7039 I guess when I look at this -- and I recognize this is the whole demographic, this is not a particularly well-off demographic, or is it? We have 8 per cent earning 125 or more, 3 per cent 100 to 125. Is this a normal demographic for this age group? I suppose for the age group it is, but how do you make money from this demographic?
7040 MS LAURIGNANO: Their parents.
7041 MR. EVANOV: We will start with our researcher.
7042 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Some of them don't pay rent I acknowledge. Commissioner Langford was telling me.
7043 MR. EVANOV: I think we all know how the young people make their money.
7044 MR. SUART: Commissioner Cram, this is all about young adults. Obviously, as you heard yesterday in that youth culture survey, lots of young adults have disposable income.
7045 In this case, you can see primarily from this page that 67 per cent of the people we surveyed are 15 to 24. Most of those are in school. Therefore, when you look over at the income on the far right-hand side there at the bottom, that is why the numbers in terms of income levels are relatively low. However, the income that they do have is generally disposable and they use it quite a bit.
7046 Probably Ky could talk more to what is happening in Toronto or other areas where they sell to young adults.
7047 MS JOSEPH: Thank you, Glen.
7048 One of the interesting things about this format that we are proposing with the urban and dance is that, as we mentioned before and as all our studies showed, the younger demographic really gravitates towards the urban music.
7049 The interesting thing about dance is it broadens the demo. So where an urban station would target the 12 to 24 year olds, the dance would kind of really target the 18 to 34 year olds.
7050 If you are asking how can you make money with a format like this, the fact is that the 25 to 34 year old demographic, it opens up an entirely new stream of categories.
7051 These people are first-time home buyers, new homes, new condos, their are more engaged people, meaning engaged to be married, between the ages of 18 to 34 than any other demographic. So yes, they are buying the diamond rings, they are shopping for other household items, having their families, buying new cars. We have testimonial letters from local car dealers stating that this is a demographic that we really, really want to target.
7052 So in terms of opening up an entirely new revenue stream, yes, it is viable.
7053 MS LAURIGNANO: You also have to place the individual in the household. The average listener who was measured from 15-plus, the sample at least was drawn from the 15 years of age and over.
7054 I don't have the statistics with me, but I'm sure you have heard before from qualified researchers who have told you that teens have a terrific influence in buying decision in the homes. So there is a lot of hooks to bring the money in.
7055 COMMISSIONER CRAM: In terms of your audience, what percentage of it do you think will come from the repatriated substitute radio listeners?
7056 MR. EVANOV: I will ask Carmela to get into that.
7057 We are looking at building hours tuned. That is the key thing. We will repatriate some who have left radio totally because they can't get urban or they can't get dance, but the entire effort here is to bring back hours tuned to radio. So someone may tune out from a particular radio station and come to us for a few hours, where before they were going elsewhere for that music.
7058 Glen, I don't know if you can speak to that.
7059 MR. SUART: I would just add that obviously we are trying to get the per capita tuning on Chart 3 there back up to a reasonable level. Obviously it has declined dramatically in the Edmonton market, more so than other markets across the country. In other markets where they have youth-oriented programming the drop has not been as significant.
7060 So we are anticipating that a youth-oriented format of a similar nature could possibly increased the hours tuned or at least hold it stable.
7061 In addition, I think Mr. Evanov mentioned earlier, about 10 per cent of the adults 12-24 in this market do not listen to radio whatsoever. Theoretically, a portion of those people could come back to radio because now they have an alternative in their market playing the kind of music they would like. But we haven't estimated exactly how much that would be.
7062 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you.
7063 I am down to the cleanup questions.
7064 Do you think Edmonton market could handle more than one station, if you and another station were licensed, if it was in a different format?
7065 MR. EVANOV: If an urban/dance format were licensed, I think it would be a little bit difficult if a rock format or another young demo format was licensed. It would not just cause a duplication there, but it would affect all the radio stations that we showed on the chart.
7066 However, our position is, if we were granted a licence we feel very confident, strong enough. We know where the money is. We know where the audience is and we are not that concerned about anyone else you may want to license.
7067 COMMISSIONER CRAM: In terms of frequencies, you applied for 91.7 and your second choice was 89.3 MHz. If neither one is available, would you be willing to take another FM frequency?
7068 MR. EVANOV: The answer is yes, we would.
7069 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Would there be any financial implications to taking another frequency other than that which you have applied for?
7070 MR. EVANOV: No, there would not be any financial problems or change of plans.
7071 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you very much.
7072 Madam Chair.
7073 THE CHAIRPERSON: Counsel.
7074 MR. McCALLUM: Could you just clarify for the record, when you are talking about Canadian Talent Development commitments you made a distinction between new artists and established artists.
7075 Could you explain what is meant by "established artists"?
7076 MS LAURIGNANO: Established artists would be those who have recording contracts, engagement contracts with record labels or record companies. In other words, who are assigned, I guess would be another way of putting it, in terms of being assigned to a label.
7077 MR. McCALLUM: Thank you.
7078 I believe you said that you would not be sharing any music between the Orangeville station and the projected station in Edmonton, but could you indicate if there would be any shared spoken word programming between the two stations?
7079 MR. EVANOV: No, there would not be.
7080 MS LAURIGNANO: Actually, there is no share of spoken word programming whatsoever. We were addressing the fact that in a lot of ways it is similar, the way it is delivered because of the demographic.
7081 The answer to the sharing of music is actually yes, because the Orangeville, CIDC-FM is a CHR/dance format. The CHR plays top 40 which come from various genres. For example, there would be music duplication.
7082 Actually, we would love nothing more than to share music. For example, if we came across an urban artist or a dance artist locally here, we would be very happy to share it with our sister station because that is good for the artist.
7083 So in terms of sharing music knowledge, definitely we would do that. The way the music is formatted, we wouldn't be able to produce something in one place and export it in any way, either from here to there or vice versa.
7084 MR. McCALLUM: So basically for sharing music, if there were a CD track that you developed here, for example, you would make it available to the Orangeville station and vice versa. Is that the idea?
7085 MS LAURIGNANO: Number one priority, absolutely. We would put it on the express delivery.
7086 MR. McCALLUM: Thank you.
7087 Could you please give an indication of the staffing that you would have at the station?
7088 MS LAURIGNANO: Yes, I will.
7089 I will ask Peter Gregg, our Operations Manager, just to do a quick run.
7090 MR. GREGG: Thank you, Carmela.
7091 The Beat radio would be comprised of approximately 30 staff members and the breakdown is as follows: general manager, operations manager, music director, news director, news reader, two news stringers, two morning show hosts, a drive home show host, an evening host, midday host, two announcer swing production, one production, creative director, junior creative, production assistant, sales manager, sales secretary, four sales staff, promotions manager, two accounting positions, receptionist, Canadian talent coordinator and Webmaster. That brings the total to 30.
7092 MR. McCALLUM: Thank you, Madam Chair.
7093 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Evanov and your colleagues.
7094 You now have five minutes to tell us why you should be granted a frequency in Edmonton.
7095 MR. EVANOV: Thank you very much.
7096 We would like to be granted this frequency. We believe we can be successful at it.
7097 Let me list a number of items here.
7098 First of all, we would bring a popular, unduplicated music style to Edmonton, urban and dance. It will add musical diversity to a market overflowing with rock stations.
7099 We will fill a void by serving the 12-34 demo, which will increase hours tuned to radio by a young demo and repatriate young people to radio from the clubs, from the DJ record pools and from in-car CDs and the Internet.
7100 We will introduce a new, independent voice into Edmonton radio.
7101 Of the three competing applicants, we spend the most on programming. As we mentioned before, $1 million more than CHUM, $2 million more than Harvard. This is the heartbeat of the radio station.
7102 We offer $1 million CTD commitment, plus we will leverage additional money to make that a very successful campaign.
7103 While others boast regional broadcasting, we offer Edmonton ownership and management.
7104 Urban and dance has less impact on existing stations than some of the other formats proposed at these hearings in terms of listeners and in terms of impact on advertising revenue.
7105 We will program 40 per cent Canadian content and, in doing so, provide first radio airplay to many local and Canadian artists.
7106 Approval of our application would strengthen the independent radio sector.
7107 Very important, we would heighten the level of competition in a city dominated by corporate giants. We have competed directly with five corporate broadcast signals with similar formats in the Toronto CMA market and we can compete here in Edmonton.
7108 In seven years we are the one applicant that will still be here doing exactly what we promised to do.
7109 Thank you.
7110 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Evanov and your colleagues.
7111 We will see you again, no doubt, in the following phases.
7112 We will take a break now to allow for a change in panels. We will be back at 10:30.
--- Upon recessing at 1015 / Suspension à 1015
--- Upon resuming at 1030 / A la reprise à 1030
7113 THE CHAIRPERSON: Order, please.
7114 Mr. Secretary, please.
7115 MR. LeBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
7116 We have now reached Phase II in which applicants are provided with an opportunity to intervene on other applications. They will appear in the same order as the applications were heard.
7117 The first group to appear will be Rogers Broadcasting Limited.
7118 You have ten minutes to intervene.
7119 MR. MILES: Madam Chair, Members of the Commission, we have no interventions at this time. Thank you.
7120 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Miles.
7121 Mr. Secretary, please.
7122 MR. LeBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
7123 The next group will be Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc.
7124 MR. MacLEOD: Good morning. I am Mark MacLeod, the Director of Licensing and Development with Aboriginal Voices Radio.
7125 I just want to draw the Commission's attention to the letter filed by Rawlco on April 25th about Rawlco's intention to appear non-competitive with AVR. I understand process-wise there is some difficulty with that. I would otherwise be here commenting about the Rawlco application.
7126 I just want to make sure that that is noted for the record, that AVR is the only applicant that is still intent on I believe it is 89.3.
7127 Thank you very much.
7128 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. MacLeod.
7129 Mr. Secretary, please.
7130 MR. LeBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
7131 The next applicant is OK Radio Group Ltd.
7132 MR. CHAREST: Madam Chair, we wish to not participate in the intervention process. We are very happy with the way the hearing has gone, and we will leave it to you. Thank you.
7133 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Charest.
7134 Today we could say "Charest". It is the 24th of June.
7135 Mr. Secretary, please.
7136 MR. LeBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
7137 I will now ask Global Communications Limited to intervene at this point.
7138 THE CHAIRPERSON: Welcome back, Ms Bell and your colleagues.
7139 Go ahead.
7140 MS BELL: Thank you, Madam Vice-Chair.
7141 Good morning, Madam Vice-Chair, Commissioners and Commission staff. For the record, my name is Charlotte Bell. I am joined today by Ross Porter and Chris McGinley.
7142 We do not wish to provide any comments in the second phase of the hearing, but we are here to provide the follow-up information requested by the Commission during Phase I of the hearing.
7143 In this regard, we have filed a revised letter from FACTOR confirming the incrementality of our $100,000 per year contribution. You have copies of that letter.
7144 We were also asked to provide information concerning the number of Aboriginal people employed at the Edmonton Journal, and we did make an undertaking to provide this information to you. Unfortunately, this information is not available as the Edmonton Journal, as a non-regulated entity, is not required to report on employment equity through HRDC.
7145 Consequently, the Journal has never compiled such information, nor has it ever asked or required employees to submit such information for their records. We would, however, like to provide a clarification concerning the employees at our Edmonton television station.
7146 Commissioner Cram, last Friday you asked how many employees were from the four designated groups. In our response I believe we inadvertently gave you only the number for visible minorities.
7147 For clarification purposes, we are confirming that of a staff complement of 164 people, 65 employees are women, eight employees are from visible minority groups, one person is of Aboriginal descent and three employees are persons with disabilities.
7148 These numbers include one employee from the visible minority group who chose not to self-identify. This happens.
7149 I would also like to confirm my numbers for on-air staff for the record.
7150 Of a total of 20 employees on air, three are visible minorities, representing 15 per cent of our on-air staff. Further, 12 out of 20 on-air staff, or 60 per cent, are women.
7151 Finally, Madam Vice-Chair, you asked us to comment on the cross-media code currently imposed on Quebecor and TVA as per Decision 2001-384. In particular, you suggested that this code may have been the subject of discussions with Global during our recent appearance in Montreal concerning a proposal for a new radio station in that market.
7152 We wish to confirm for the record that the Quebecor cross-media code was not discussed with Global at that hearing, although it was discussed with TVA in the context of its acquisition of radio stations from Télémédia. That occurred during another phase of that hearing.
7153 We further believe that many of the provisions contained in that code, including the complete separation of news-gathering functions and strict prohibition against discussing or sharing any information, would severely restrict our ability to continue to provide high-quality in-depth news programming to our audiences, both at the local and national levels.
7154 As we have said, each of our entities has its own separate news management, its own news-gathering and presentation structures. Each entity and each medium is different and unique in its approach to news, including the level of depth with which stories are covered, as well as how they are presented.
7155 At the same time, there are instances where collaboration between print, broadcast and the Internet has provided opportunities for the public to be exposed to more information, opposing views and healthy debate on issues so they can make informed decisions on matters of public concern.
7156 To name but two, these include special joint reports on the Kyoto Accord and, more recently, on super hospitals in Quebec. In each case we have solicited input from the public on our Web sites, our newspapers have run series of articles exposing both sides of these issues, and one-hour TV specials were produced and involved expert panel members from opposing sides.
7157 We have also tackled many important social issues in this manner, including gang violence, bullying, the effect of SARS on the Chinese community, the West Nile virus and many, many more.
7158 In each case we have received overwhelming positive response from the public and community groups following these special reports. Depending on the issue, we are routinely asked to provide free copies of these broadcasts to schools to be used for instructional tools, police departments, health care organizations and municipal governments.
7159 Commissioners, these initiatives are entirely consistent with the provisions of the Broadcasting Act that require the public to be exposed on differing views on issues of public concern. These initiatives would simply not be possible under the Quebecor code and, in our view, this would not be in the public interest.
7160 At this time, I would be pleased to confirm our undertaking concerning cross-media ownership at the Montreal hearing in February of this year.
7161 If I may refer you back to the transcripts of that proceeding, paragraphs 2343 to 2360, during my exchange with Commissioner Pennefather I was asked to confirm whether we would commit to the same condition of licence concerning the independence of our newsrooms for radio and television as we did in Winnipeg. I confirmed that we would accept the same condition of licence.
7162 Commissioner Pennefather went on to ask whether we would expect that the proposed CBSC industry code under consideration by the Commission would also extend to radio licences. This proposed code is consistent with the Statement of Principles laid out in our most recent group licence renewal decision for our television stations.
7163 That is Decision 2001-458.
7164 I confirmed that we would expect the principles of the code to extend to our radio operations.
7165 I further stated that our acceptance of the code was subject to its contents remaining as filed by the CBSC last fall.
7166 This concludes our comments. We are here to answer any questions you may have.
7167 THE CHAIRPERSON: The only comment I have, Ms Bell, is I think that the transcript will show that it was Commissioner Cram who suggested you had discussed that in Montreal, not I.
7168 MS BELL: My apology.
7169 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
7170 We will see you again, no doubt, at Phase IV.
7171 Mr. Secretary, please.
7172 MR. LeBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
7173 The next applicant will be Edmonton Radio Ltd.
7174 MR. FUSTUKIAN: Good morning. Bonjour. I am Bryan Fustukian, Edmonton Radio Ltd. We have no interventions to make at this juncture.
7175 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Bonjour to you, too.
7176 M. FUSTUKIAN: Merci.
7177 THE CHAIRPERSON: And thank you.
7178 Mr. Secretary, please.
7179 MR. LeBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
7180 I will now ask Rawlco (Edmonton) Ltd. to intervene at this time.
7181 MS LEYLAND: Good morning, Madam Chair, Members of the Commission.
7182 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning.
7183 MS LEYLAND: We have no intervention at this time; thank you.
7184 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Leyland and Mr. Rawlinson.
7185 Mr. Secretary, please.
7186 MR. LeBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
7187 I will not ask CHUM Limited/Milestone Media Broadcasting Ltd. to intervene at this point.
7188 MR. SKI: Madam Chair, Commissioners, given our view that the Edmonton market is robust enough to sustain the entry of more than one new commercial radio licence, we will not comment on applications that do not include the urban genre.
7189 In respect of the competing urban oriented applications, we do however wish to comment on issue of the format proposed by Harvard. Quite frankly, after hearing Harvard's presentation of yesterday, we are more mystified than ever as to precisely what type of station they are proposing.
7190 Harvard's proposed format was variously described as, on the one hand, a blend of urban and modern rock; and on the other as progressive modern and urban contemporary, all kinds of music, putting it all together, what's on the street, or like MuchMusic or MTV.
7191 Either way, we think the Commission has to seriously question what the application is actually proposing. If the format descriptor -- i.e., a blend of urban and modern rock -- is correct, we respectfully suggest that such a combination raises serious issues of both viability and sustainability.
7192 One, such a format does not appear to currently exist on any radio station in North America. There is no precedent for it and no evidence that it would work as a radio format.
7193 Two, contrary to testimony from Harvard, evidence suggests that urban and modern rock tend to appeal to very different youth listeners. For example, our SRG research found that among modern rock fans only 25 per cent are also hip hop fans and even fewer, 18 per cent, are R&B fans.
7194 BBM numbers in markets where urban and modern rock stations co-exist reveal even less crossover. In Toronto, among the 12-to-24 demo of FLOW's audience, only 14 per cent tune into modern rock, primarily Edge 102.
7195 In Vancouver among 12-to-34 of The Beat's audience, only 24 per cent tune into the modern rock format there, which Xfm.
7196 An examination of urban versus modern rock charts reveal virtually no crossover of artists. The most recent billboard charts we have provided show that between modern rock and hot R&B there is no duplication.
7197 On radio and records, another industry trade chart, between urban and alternative -- they are equivalent classifications -- again there is no duplication.
7198 Number three, the fact is that urban and modern alternative rock are very different musical genres appealing to very different types of young people, perhaps as different from each other for young people as country is from classical for us.
7199 The fact that some young people might like both doesn't mean they want them together. I am sure we could do a poll demonstrating that 80 per cent of young people like mustard and 90 per cent like ice cream. But that doesn't mean that mixing them together would be a good idea.
7200 THE CHAIRPERSON: Unless you're pregnant.
--- Laughter / Rires
7201 MR. SKI: I have a new baby boy, and I know my wife never mixed those together.
7202 If on the other hand the all things to all young people approach is now the more appropriate description of Harvard's proposal and proposed format, the issue for the Commission must be whether such an approach will offer true diversity from current offerings in Edmonton and minimal overlap.
7203 We note in this regard:
7204 First, many of the artists mentioned by Harvard as typical of their playlist, artists like 50 Cent, Rasco, Jay-Z, Swollen Members, Sean Paul, Sum 41, are artists currently on the playlist of Power 92.
7205 Second, a MuchMusic format in radio, in essence Top 40 for a younger demo, is hardly an original idea. Yes, you can rest assured that if we had thought it would work and offer sufficient diversity in the market to warrant licensing, we would have proposed it.
7206 Our conclusion from this analysis is basically this: Should you approve the Harvard application, it is not clear at the end of the day what you and young Edmontonians would end up with. The split personality of urban/modern rock would almost inevitably resolve itself in one direction or the other. Instead of you making that choice, Harvard would.
7207 Either that or the market would have another Top 40-like station and little diversity from, and greater impact on, incumbent stations.
7208 Madam Chair, Commissioners, thank you for this opportunity to present our views. This completes our intervention.
7209 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Ski, and your colleagues.
7211 MR. McCALLUM: Yesterday I asked a question about the concerts that would be broadcast outside Canadian talent development from clubs. In answering, I believe you stated that in the clubs some of the DJs would be engaged in turntable-ism. I just wish to follow up with that.
7212 I think you are probably aware that the Commission does not recognize turntablists as artists as such for the purpose of the MAPL definition of Canadian selections, but it does in some circumstances recognize montage as qualifying.
7213 Are you aware of that?
7214 MR. SKI: Yes, we are.
7215 MR. McCALLUM: My question relates only to the commitment or the condition of licence that you would be able to broadcast 40 per cent Canadian content. I just wanted to confirm your understanding that there would not be any difficulty in meeting that commitment.
7216 MR. SKI: We do understand that, and we would not have any difficulty meeting that commitment.
7217 MR. McCALLUM: Therefore, I take it you would be using some montage in order to qualify some of that as Canadian content.
7218 Is that the idea?
7219 MR. FLEX: Yes. By means of clarification, we have actually adhered to those conditions at FLOW. I wasn't quite fully understanding of what you meant yesterday, but I am certainly clear on it now.
7220 The montage process and how we can effectively achieve 40 per cent Cancon is fully understood.
7221 MR. McCALLUM: Thank you.
7222 Thank you, Madam Chair.
7223 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Ski, and your colleagues. We will see you at Phase IV no doubt.
7224 MR. SKI: Thank you very much.
7225 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary, please.
7226 MR. LeBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
7227 I will now ask Harvard Broadcasting Inc. to intervene at this point.
7228 MR. COWIE: Good morning, Madam Chair and Commissioners.
7229 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Bonjour, monsieur Cowie.
7230 M. COWIE: Bonjour to you.
7231 We have no intention to intervene at this time. We did file an extensive intervention earlier with the Commission. But we do look forward very much to Phase IV. Thank you.
7232 THE CHAIRPERSON: I guess you intend to keep us awake.
7233 Mr. Secretary, please.
7234 MR. LeBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
7235 I will now ask CKMW Radio Ltd. to intervene at this point.
7236 THE CHAIRPERSON: Welcome back, Mr. Evanov.
7237 MR. B. EVANOV: Thank you.
7238 We think that all the applicants did a splendid job, including the three urban applicants, and we have no intervention at this point in time.
7239 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Evanov.
7240 Mr. Secretary, please.
7241 MR. LeBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
7242 This completes Phase II. We will now start Phase III, in which other parties will be invited to present their interventions. We will proceed more or less in the agenda order.
7243 I would like to point out that some names were added to the list that is in the agenda, and I may call some intervenors as panels.
7244 So we will hear as a panel intervenors Nos. 1 through 5 in the agenda: Mr. Marc Vasey, Jasiek Poznanski, Chris Andrew, Sheri Somerville and Michael Lent.
7245 MR. LeBEL: Madam Chair, I am advised that Jasiek Poznanski and Mr. Michael Lent are not available to appear today. So their intervention will remain on the file as non-appearing interventions.
7246 Please identify yourselves before you speak. You have ten minutes to make your intervention. Thank you.
7247 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning to all three of you: Mr. Vasey, Mr. Andrew and Ms Somerville.
7248 Go ahead.
7249 MR. VASEY: Good morning. My name is Marc Vasey.
7250 I am a musician. I have been a professional musician for almost 40 years here. I produce the Jazz Festivals in Edmonton and Calgary. I have been involved in broadcasting with CKUA Radio in Edmonton for 25 years and with the CBC as a music producer over the past few years.
7251 My position with this application is that it has the potential to transform this community musically, not just in the narrow version of jazz or smooth jazz, as it is described in the application, but totally musically.
7252 The support that the Rawlco Company is putting forward as part of this application over the seven years of the licence I think will totally transform the way the community presents itself to the rest of the country in terms of the support for the CD productions. The players are already talking about it in a very, very positive way.
7253 It is something, as we were speaking earlier, that will help the community return to the music situation that was in Canada when the CBC was in its heyday in terms of producing live music regionally. We don't have that in Alberta any more.
7254 We are very much on the fringe of the CBC now, and this application is going to help bring that situation back. It would be very, very positive for the community.
7255 MR. ANDREW: My name is Chris Andrew. I am a professional musician in the city of Edmonton. I graduated from Grant MacEwan College about 12 years ago. I have been in the scene since then.
7256 Obviously, I can't work a microphone.
7257 I have been in the scene for 12 years since I graduated. Since then I have been involved in various projects with various musicians throughout the years. I have seen the scene since I have gotten out decline because of lack of funding, lack of support through the media, through radio stations, through everything.
7258 I also remember hearing about the heydays with Tommy Banks, guys like that that got the chance to work in the heyday with CBC. A lot of the older players in the scene, the respected players, got to develop in that.
7259 A lot of the youth today in the scene, either playing-wise, writing-wise, production-wise, they don't have that opportunity to do such a thing because there isn't the support.
7260 What this proposal does is it gives that support back to the musicians, the studios, the players, the writers, gives them an opportunity to develop their talents and their skills, which hasn't been seen, like I said, for many years.
7261 It won't just affect the players. It will transcend into the clubs, the live venues, because the clubs will believe okay, there's a product in Edmonton, a local Edmonton artist that has a CD that we can support. They don't see that right now because -- well, why do we want to hire you? Why do we want to support you if you don't have a CD?
7262 With that kind of product, we are going to get that opportunity a lot more. The clubs are going to see that Edmonton has amazing talent here. There is an amazing opportunity to produce and promote that in this city.
7263 I think it would be an amazing thing. And it is a gold mine. A company like this is going to give $10,000 to 20 artists over seven years. You are going to see the effect of that for many years after that, just like we saw the effect of it when CBC -- even though that stuff dried up, we saw the effect of the players that came out of that era that have moved on to other cities or are still here. They have passed on a lot of great information and great product to us.
7264 Thank you.
7265 MS SOMERVILLE: Sorry, how many minutes do I have?
7266 MR. LeBEL: You have, total, ten minutes.
7267 MS SOMERVILLE: I have organized some of my thoughts on paper so I don't ramble.
7268 I would like to say that I am delighted to be speaking here today on behalf of myself and my musical community.
7269 My name is Sheri Somerville, and I am a vocalist living in Edmonton. I thought it might be helpful if I gave you a brief summary of what I do and why I am here today.
7270 I was born and raised in Alberta, and when I was 17 I moved to Toronto where I spent 13 years pursuing work in the club scene. In 1981 I put my first show together featuring a mix of fairly familiar old standards and very obscure songs written by classic song writers of the jazz and musical theatre genre.
7271 At that time punk rock ruled the live music scene, and I was a bit of an oddity traipsing about peddling my idea of a little show featuring me and these great old tunes. Despite multiple warnings from several club owners that there was no audience for that style of music any more, I remained undaunted in my belief that great songs had no expiration date and set out to find work.
7272 That proved to be the smartest thing I ever did. Not only did I get a club gig, but that same gig ended up lasting 11 months, six nights a week, and parleyed itself into an invitation for me to go and open a new jazz club at the top of the brand new Sheraton Hong Kong in Kowloon, Hong Kong.
7273 Six months later I was gigging at the St. James and Albany Hotel in Paris, France, and since that time I have not had to have a day job and have been lucky enough to tour all over this country and abroad.
7274 This past year I returned from a five-week tour of Scotland, a three-week tour across the maritimes, six days in Saskatchewan, five days in L.A., a week in Palo Alto, California, and of course lots and lots of Alberta gigs in halls all across this province.
7275 I will start a new tour next January in Sydney, Australia, and end up in Ontario by March. Pretty good for not being a household name.
7276 But I am a Canadian working musician, and I consider myself lucky.
7277 However, I could be luckier, and so could some of the other hard-working jazz musicians in my community, which brings me to the issue I am here to address.
7278 I am here in support of Rawlco Radio group's effort to acquire a licence for a smooth jazz radio station based in Edmonton. Their intention is, as you know, to fund 20 artists a year to produce enough high-quality radio friendly music to suit their station's format needs.
7279 When they first approached me, they asked me if I thought that was a realistic goal, if there was enough talent in this city to support that. And my answer, without hesitation, was absolutely. I could give them 40 names off the top of my head.
7280 Edmonton is home to some of the finest and most accomplished musicians that we will find anywhere in this country, many of whom are more familiar than me: Senator Tommy Banks; Juno Award winning sax player P.J. Perry; former local boy now made good in New York City jazz scene, John Stech; local guitar wizard Bobby Cairns; trumpeter Bob Tildesley; jazz vocalist Judy Singh; wonder boy on the piano Mr. Chris Andrew; and of course Andrew Glover.
7281 And unfortunately he is not here today but bass player, producer, song writer, Mr. Mike Lent.
7282 Edmonton is a spirited musical town. Audiences are loyal, curious and demonstrative. When they like you, they let you know and they remain faithful and supportive. Perhaps that is why we have been able to cultivate such brilliant talent here.
7283 All of these people I just mentioned are world-class. Some tour nationally, some internationally, and some struggle to find enough work around town. But all of them deserve to reach the broadest audience possible.
7284 The best way to do that is to be on the radio. That is the way music has always worked, and that is the dream of every disciplined great musician.
7285 The economic benefits of implementing a plan like the 10k20 is that for every individual artist they award $10,000 to, at least four other artists will be employed, along with a producer, an engineer, the studio, the graphic artist.
7286 No one will be taking extended holidays or buying RRSPs.
7287 The nationally renowned jazz program at Grant MacEwan College, which boasts a most impressive teaching staff of well-known jazz players, will absolutely reap the benefits of an invigorated jazz scene. Imagine being a young player knowing that there is a station that not only has a huge Canadian content quota to fill but wants to use local talent. That is plenty of inspiration for the next generation of players to want to be the best they can be in order to compete in this exciting new market.
7288 The local club scene, which has struggled for the last decade, could see a surge of new interest due largely to the fact that the names they book would actually be recognizable by local people because they were on the radio.
7289 This kind of innovative thinking in the arts is largely unheard of in the west as Toronto has been the focus of cultural development for so long. Well, they are well on their way, and I think it is time the rest of Canada gets a shot.
7290 In fact, another western success story that springs to mind is the clever brave team that decided to take a chance on a group of comedians and actors a number of years ago and formed the now infamous SCTV which was filmed and knew its success out of Edmonton.
7291 We have a history of successful entertainers.
7292 The practicality of funding 20 artists a year to self-produce albums is so good I can hardly believe it took this long. All of the musicians I have referred to and many of the stunning young talents coming out of the Grant MacEwan program have vasts amounts of music to share with the public: some new freshly minted tunes, some revivals of classic tunes spoken with a new voice.
7293 We create stories with their voices on our guitars. We sing songs with the saxophones and on pianos. Audiences would have a chance to make discoveries of new talent and follow these careers over a period of years. The rest of Canada would benefit too, as some of these records would make their way onto the national market and perhaps be the start of something bigger.
7294 Somebody took a chance on Diana Krall and I bet they are happy today.
7295 One of the great obstacles when one sets out to have a life in music is to realize that despite obvious talent, continued hard work and unwavering commitment to your craft, you may never have the great privilege of making an archival record of your work.
7296 It is true that recording has become relatively inexpensive. However, the average jazz musician has much more basic financial concerns to deal with than setting aside an extra $10,000 for a project.
7297 I funded my own CD, and I am in the process of paying my local CIBC back for that honour.
7298 Smooth jazz is of course the mainstream or popish version of jazz. Jazz has many faces and therefore it attracts a wide and diverse audience, both in age and in demographics. Smooth jazz narrows the field a bit.
7299 It is a bit more mass appeal kind of sound. It can be folksy like Norah Jones, or funky like Holly Cole. It still embodies the most compelling elements of jazz in that it has a sexy, rhythmic feel, but it does not always include music that challenges the musical framework of the average listener.
7300 I credit smooth or mainstream jazz for drawing massive new audiences toward the general direction of jazz and encouraging them to explore live music in general.
7301 Diana Krall is a shining example of the appetite the public has for smooth jazz. Audiences continue to love music that speaks clearly to them about the human condition, music that does not send them into sensory overload, music that keeps them company and music that allows them a chance to just pause and listen.
7302 This audience is not getting smaller. Quite the contrary. And Rawlco Radio aren't philanthropists or altruistic do-gooders. They are experienced radio businessmen who happen to have what is, in my humble opinion, their finger on the right pulse at the right time.
7303 One of the greatest gifts given to all Canadian musicians in the past few decades was when your very organization imposed the rules of Canadian content on the radio industry. There was much whining and predictions of doom for all, but look what happened. We have become major players internationally. Turn on any radio station in any format, and you hear great Canadian talent.
7304 Well, it's time to take that a step further. Allow the west to stand up and be counted. Allow Edmonton to be held up with respect and recognition. Allow Rhonda Withnell, Anna Beaumont, Jim Head, Dave Babcock, Mike Rud all to demonstrate to their province and to their country what they are capable of, and the people of Alberta will turn on their radios and have more opportunities to be delighted, moved, soothed, inspired, seduced and proud.
7305 Those same people that come out to see artists like me in Forestburg, Cold Lake, Westlock, Red Deer, Drayton Valley, and High River, they are waiting to tune in, and when they do they will be thankful for it.
7306 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
7307 Mr. Andrew, are you aware that Ms Somerville in her written intervention described you as "gifted and brilliant"?
7308 MR. ANDREW: Yes. I don't take offence to that.
7309 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Cram.
7310 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Mr. Vasey, you were talking about the impact of a radio station on the industry of the particular genre and particular jazz and talking about CBC. Has the jazz community here felt any impact from the jazz station that is licensed in Calgary?
7311 MR. VASEY: No, not really. I think that station is streamed now to Edmonton somehow. But no, there hasn't been an impact so far, yet. Of course, that situation with The Breeze radio station in Calgary, there was no commitment of this kind at all. The commitment was more with just broadcasting the available music. There was nothing there for any incentive to produce new local music.
7312 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I am expecting that you know something about your colleagues in Calgary.
7313 Did the fact of the station have an impact on them, or is there something needed like this 10k20 that is needed to have an impact?
7314 Maybe there is an impact but it is on a scale of one to ten. Maybe you can tell me.
7315 MR. VASEY: Yes to both questions. I do know something about that situation. The local community is working with that station to try to implement something like this program.
7316 There has been a lot of discussion. Even though we have only been working with Rawlco for a few weeks now, there has been a lot of discussion in the community about the potential of its project. There are certainly enough musicians and musical talent in the community, and enough of an audience, I think, for a station like this.
7317 Alberta has a history of very aggressive marketing for very specific radio, CKUA being the example there and the two university stations. They are very unique focused broadcasters that deliver a certain aspect of music to the community.
7318 What they are both missing and what this community is missing in a big way is some diverse broadcasters. I will leave it at that.
7319 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you very much.
7320 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Vasey, Mr. Andrew and Ms Somerville. We appreciate the time you took to come and participate in our proceeding.
7321 Mr. Secretary, please.
7322 MR. LeBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
7323 The next four intervenors will appear as a panel: Mr. Shawn Ahmad, Charlene Hay, Mohamed Habib and Jeff Hendrick.
7324 MR. LeBEL: Please identify yourself before speaking. You have ten minutes to make your intervention. Thank you.
7325 MR. AHMAD: Hello. My name is Shawn Ahmad.
7326 Good morning, Madam Chair --
7327 THE CHAIRPERSON: Excuse me for a minute. Would you try to keep the door closed, please, when there are people chatting here. Thank you.
7328 Go ahead.
7329 MR. AHMAD: Good morning, Madam Chair and Members of the Commission. I am pleased to be granted the opportunity to speak at today's hearing. I am an Edmontonian, first generation born and raised, and a local stakeholder in the evolution of Canadian urban culture.
7330 My name is Shawn Ahmad, and I want to start by telling you that urban culture has been a primary device in moving my life in a positive direction and has helped shape me into the person that I am today.
7331 My exposure to the lifestyle was initially through my community of peers, as well as on television through MuchMusic's pioneering show "Rap City".
7332 Through the music my peers and I learned to share ourselves with each other and thereby growing uniquely as individuals.
7333 Eight years ago in my first year at the University of Alberta I began helping to shape urban music culture in my own community. To be specific, I was employed by Warner Music Canada as Edmonton's first urban music representative to promote artists at a retail level, part of a nationwide street team initiative.
7334 Around the same time myself and two of my friends, also University of Alberta students, began to put together an urban youth culture student group on the University of Alberta campus and, through events on campus, bringing in Canadian and international DJs and artists for special events.
7335 Those events grew in their size and were moved to larger clubs and venues, bringing more urban talent to Edmonton.
7336 Our group was the first to bring Canadian talent such as the Rascos and Kardinal Offishal to the Edmonton market to major shows.
7337 We also developed weekly club nights to give Edmonton's local artist community another outlet for exposure. That promotions effort has since evolved into become Urban Metropolis Entertainment, holding down the largest urban club night, special events and concerts in Edmonton today.
7338 It is now run by Harmon B, who incidentally holds the only weekly hip hop show on mainstream radio in Edmonton every Saturday night from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m. on Power 92.
7339 Edmonton has been left out in the cold far too long in terms of urban music programming on the radio. The phenomenon is clearly having an effect on how our community and artists are perceived by other urban centres.
7340 After my university days and a year of travelling, I came back to Edmonton to start a company with four other individuals -- two, incidentally, that I started the promotions group with. I am one of the owners of Synth Inc., a successful IT company located in Edmonton's downtown core in one of the oldest office buildings in Edmonton, called the Empire Building.
7341 Synth Inc. specializes in visual communications, new media, Web application development and interactive branding strategies. The company now employs 14 people and services high-end clients such as TELUS, Economic Development Edmonton, University of Alberta, Stantech and a number of super start NHL players, as well as a few Hollywood actresses and studios.
7342 Our tightly knit ownership group has also ventured into a new initiative of building a licensed vocational college teaching multimedia and digital arts. We started that from scratch. Guru Digital Arts College, also located in the Empire Building, took its first intake of students in March of 2003.
7343 We are now looking to grow the next generation of digital media producers. Urban and digital culture go hand in hand, as we are all early adopters and trendsetters of our generation.
7344 When Farley Flex approached me to contribute to the effort of bringing VIBE 91.7 to Edmonton, I naturally wanted to know if this was a positive initiative for me to be involved with long term.
7345 Being an Edmontonian first and foremost required me to do my due diligence on the players venturing into our local market. It didn't take much to see that this group was coming from a place of strength in developing urban radio in Edmonton.
7346 As I said earlier, I am part of that MuchMusic generation and have great respect for the light that CHUM has brought to Canadian culture on many levels.
7347 FLOW is the first urban radio format in Canada so naturally deserves respect also.
7348 The local individuals working on this initiative including, but not limited to, Phil Fraser and Charlene Tonis, have excellent reputations in our community as strong builders for the right cause.
7349 It was very important for me to see that this group was interested in developing the local talent and have made commitments that exceed anything that exists today or anything I have seen through these proceedings.
7350 Furthermore, the artist development seminars and open houses that FLOW currently conducts in Toronto will be a welcome addition to the artist community in understanding the business of music.
7351 The greater opportunity for these artists to be developed and eventually showcased on an already well-established MuchMusic and MuchVIBE audience is also of great importance to making my decision supporting this application.
7352 As the lead development co-ordinator for this application, my job was to show that Edmonton urban demographics supported the application for VIBE 91.7. In three weeks our community managed over 5,000 signatures and letters in support of VIBE 91.7.
7353 What is more significant is where these letters came from. The team attended MC battles, DMC championships, club nights, concerts, mainstream clubs. We visited small urban boutiques and mall retailers alike. We went to high schools, colleges, universities, spoke with B-boys, DJs, visual artists, the MCs themselves and the patrons. We naturally received support for a pure urban format.
7354 We received letters and signatures from a wide range of individuals in Edmonton's urban community supporting this application.
7355 As you can clearly see, we have not left too many stones unturned to understand whether Edmonton's urban community supports 591.7. The answer is simple. It's a yes.
7356 In conclusion, I have seen the demand for urban culture rise in Edmonton first-hand. We sit at an important juncture in allowing urban culture to flourish in Edmonton. I am deeply concerned an unproven hybrid format is not pure to the lifestyle itself. Urban music is the single-most important emerging genre in the music for Edmonton's youth, and it is very important that we take this decision seriously.
7357 I clearly understand it to be crucial that the right players be allowed to participate at this time. In my humble opinion, in drawing on my personal business background, I would venture to say that the Milestone/CHUM application for urban licence is an example of enlightening Canadian business.
7358 I strongly urge you to consider this application seriously.
7359 Madam Chair and Members of the Commission, I thank you for your time today. For all those visiting our beautiful city, I have noticed some of you guys gazing out of the conference windows and looking at our beautiful river valley. I urge you guys to take some time out there and go check it out. I take a lot of pride. I care deeply for this city, and I hope you do too. Thank you for listening to me today.
7360 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Ahmad.
7361 MR. HENDRICK: Good morning, Madam Chair. It is my great pleasure to be here to speak on behalf of the CHUM/Milestone bid.
7362 I have had the great fortune for myself here to replace Mr. Marah who was supposed to be here today. My name is Jeff Hendrick. I am a singer and saxophonist here in Edmonton, long-time musician; been on the scene for over 15 years.
7363 MR. HENDRICK: There you go; further back. See, I am a singer.
7364 THE CHAIRPERSON: Push it more, because we get interference and it is more difficult to understand you.
7365 MR. HENDRICK: Is this all right?
7366 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
7367 MR. HENDRICK: Carrying on, I am happy to be here representing the artist's perspective in terms of this bid.
7368 To start out, I wanted you to know that Mr. Marah felt that this station and this bid was very important, especially on the aspect of youth culture, which has very much not been given the voice that it deserves here in the city of Edmonton. Currently, as we have heard from many people related to this bid, youth culture today massively involves the urban music, not only the music but the lifestyle.
7369 Mr. Marah is an educator and is concerned about youth. As someone with a degree from McGill University -- I have a jazz degree from there -- I couldn't agree with him more in terms of the importance of youth and its need in the city of Edmonton to have a greater voice. Urban music and lifestyle is a channel for that voice.
7370 I will go on to my own perspective because I have a very unique one.
7371 My relationship in knowing the people at CHUM/Milestone is very unique. Yesterday it was talked about Web sites. I had the privilege of listening in on some of the discussion yesterday.
7372 I am a musician who has a diverse background. I have performed with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Senator Tommy Banks and hip hop and urban groups like the Rascos, Glen Lewis, The Philosopher Kings, and the list goes on and on.
7373 I pride myself in representing this city in Los Angeles, New York, Paris and other cities -- not only this city but this province.
7374 I work very hard at what I do. I scour the Internet. Opportunities in this city do not come to you; you have to find them. That is precisely what I did.
7375 I heard that Toronto had an urban station, so I went and did my research and I found the Web site to FLOW 93.5. And not only that, I found the urban FLOWcase Web site, which was excellently presented and was an immense documentation of showcases, competitions and workshops, things that this genre has desperately needed for so long.
7376 I found out about the Soulsearch competition. It was only open to residents of Ontario. I was dismayed, but I kept searching and then I found Calgary's Web site for VIBE 98.5. On that I had the fortune of finding out that they had an Alberta-wide contest for an unsigned urban-related artist.
7377 I had recently released my CD and I had the fortune of being chosen to be flown to Toronto to perform with the elites of the Canadian urban music scene, including the Rascos, Julie Black, Nasri, an up and coming artist from Toronto -- again, the cream of the crop. I was very privileged to have that opportunity.
7378 I was also given an opportunity to take part in Canadian Music Week. At Canadian Music Week, in a blind ANR session, my CD was picked out of a box and one of my singles was played without anyone knowing who I was. The first commentator was from FLOW 93.5, Mr. Wayne Williams, program director. The first question asked was: "Do you think this song works on your format? Would you play it?" Wayne Williams' comment was: "This song is excellent. It would work on the format. I would have no hesitation playing it."
7379 Within three days an Edmonton artist that they had never heard of was getting 20 to 30 spins a week on one of Canada's premier urban stations.
7380 I need to add that that opportunity has not been afforded to me here at home. Sometimes I feel we might have a concern about a station coming from another area. I have to go with the mandate that the doors for urban artists in this particular region have been very tightly closed. It has been pushed underground, and it desperately needs attention. If a station like this is willing to take a chance on me blindly from Edmonton, in their own market, imagine what they are going to do in the market with a local base.
7381 The fact that they do have a symmetry with the national television outlet is crucial. Alberta artists in this genre in any commercial music desperately need a national voice. We do not have Alberta artists present nationally and we need that.
7382 Many of us have exhausted the local route and we now are very much craving an opportunity to go national.
7383 So it is really important to me, because of the way I see this bid looking at the local scene. I know they are committed to Edmonton. I have no fears that they will implement any mandate from a centralized location. They believe in Edmonton.
7384 I really want to stress the youth and diversity aspect as well. I got to know people at the station in Toronto, and all I saw was a kaleidoscope of colour, of race, religion and musical tastes. It was one of the most exciting things to see.
7385 That is what Edmonton is all about, and that is why I know that this bid is going to elevate that aspect of things.
7386 Above all, I really need to stress that these people love the genre. We are talking about Edmonton and the music. These people love the music. They are about the music. We as urban lovers here in Edmonton desperately need that to happen. If the wrong bid gets in -- first of all, if the bid doesn't get in at all, Edmonton and Alberta are going to be losing out. We are already behind the times in terms of diversity of radio play here.
7387 Second, if the right bid doesn't get in, we could lose it in six months and then the rest of us are hung out to dry. I just want to say again that these people know what they are doing. The proof is in the pudding. You can go on the Web site. You can see the showcases. These things are desperately needed. They do not exist currently for us here in Edmonton. I think that this bid would be absolutely the best thing for the urban community in Edmonton.
7388 Thank you.
7389 THE CHAIRPERSON: Could I ask you to repeat your name, please.
7390 MR. HENDRICK: Mr. Jeff Hendrick.
7391 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
7392 Go ahead.
7393 MR. HABIB: Good morning, Madam Chair and Commission Members. My name is Mohamed Habib.
7394 I was going to spend a little bit of time talking about myself, but this is not about me right now. It is more about getting an urban station in the Edmonton area.
7395 First of all, the one thing I will touch on is I was fortunate enough to do my internship at FLOW while I was living in Toronto. While working there, I met an amazing group of people
7396 First of all, I will mention the late Carl Redhead, Isha Wikham, Farley Flex, Sylvia Serlis. The list goes on. And of course Denham Jolly.
7397 All I can say is I don't think you will find another group that is more dedicated to having urban as a premier format in Canada.
7398 Coming out west, the only thing I actually regret is that we tend to be a little bit behind the times. We wait for other things to actually evolve. Then we seem to want to jump on the bandwagon.
7399 When I came out here, I would have loved to have gotten back into the radio industry. But the only problem is for me as a black man in this city I refused to refer to myself as a visible minority, and I don't think any other blacks in this city refer to themselves as visible minorities.
7400 What ends up happening is that we end up being second class over here, and I have a problem with that. You have radio stations that are willing to play our music, but they are not willing to acknowledge us on a fulltime basis.
7401 Right now I respect Harmen for the show he has on Power 92 from 8:00 to 11 o'clock, but the problem is the urban community doesn't only exist in Edmonton at Saturday night from 8:00 until 11 o'clock. We exist here fulltime. So we need something that represents us.
7402 I refuse to be a stereotype if I go back into the music industry or back into radio. We have educated people over here, and I won't be a "yo this, yo that" person in order to keep a job.
7403 What I would like to do is see a radio station over here that is willing to educate and not just play music and reap the rewards of that.
7404 A good friend of mine from Toronto, one of the people who actually brought me into the station, Michelle Price, said something that I truly believe in. You have CHR stations that are currently playing urban music, so essentially what they are doing is they are educating the public on what urban music is. Now you have to take it a step further and go with the format that is a dedicated urban format and is willing to educate the public the rest of the way. That is something that they are not willing to do.
7405 That is all I have to say. Thank you very much.
7406 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Habib.
7407 MS HAY: Good morning and bonjour. I am Charlene Hay from the Northern Alberta Alliance on Race Relations, or NAAR. I will use NAAR because the rest of it is too long to say all at once.
7408 I am not an expert in urban music. In fact, I have learned a great deal today.
7409 I am here to represent my organization. We are a ten-year-old organization that focuses on research and education in the area of race relations. I represent about 70 members of the community and about half of those are organizations; organizations such as immigrant serving agencies, Aboriginal agencies, interfaith, schools and cultural groups.
7410 Our focus is youth, schools and education. We do some special activities, educational activities, but we only are able to get a certain part of the community to come out to our activities. In general terms, those are mainly the people who already recognize that racism is a problem in our society. They come and get more educated and more enthused.
7411 One of our major issues is that we are not able to reach the general population very well, and that is the reason that I am here to support the application for this radio station in Edmonton.
7412 We do research in the community, and one of our big problems is that we have difficulty in getting I won't say all but most local media to recognize the issue of racism and to discuss it over the media.
7413 My reason for being here is that the demographic that this station proposes to focus on is youth, and they have also said to me that they are willing to have an editorial voice in the community; a culturally diverse editorial voice. That is what we very much support.
7414 I want to refer to a research project that we did two years ago, post 9/11, post September 11, 2001, where we did community consultation with a few hundred people in Edmonton. We were trying to describe the parameters of the backlash, the racist backlash toward certain groups in our community.
7415 One thing that came across very clearly in this research project was intense anger at the media. These people felt that the media was perpetuating stereotypes and adding fuel to people's fear of people who were different; that the media was making a bad situation worse.
7416 It affected the Arabic and Muslim community, but it really expanded to all non-white people in the community of Edmonton because of the lack of understanding of what difference is, what different differences are and what they mean.
7417 By supporting this radio station, we expect more co-operation in covering the reality that there is racism in Edmonton. We are fourth or fifth, I think, in culturally diverse population. We have a long way to go as far as educating people.
7418 This station would help us to reach people that we otherwise couldn't reach, and those can be people who are recipients of discrimination, bystanders. A lot of times it is the bystanders who have the power in a situation to do something. Or it can be people who are perhaps unintentionally discriminatory and just by getting it out there and discussing it is a way that our society can change.
7419 I have read reports that in approximately 20 years the population of Edmonton will probably be half white/half non-white. We need to do the education and the preventative work now.
7420 That is all I have to say. Thank you.
7421 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Hay.
7422 Commissioner Cardozo.
7423 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you, Madam Chair.
7424 Mr. Ahmad, I have a question for you.
7425 You had mentioned that urban and digital culture go hand in hand. There has been a lot of talk about substitute radio and alternative radio, meaning the Internet and MP3 and other forms of downloading music.
7426 Do you see an urban station that caters to that young demographic, the technology savvy demographic, as changing their habits at all in terms of downloading music rather than buying it legitimately, and so forth?
7427 Or are they just too involved in digital technology that that will just carry on?
7428 MR. AHMAD: I believe that there needs to be a centralized point in each community for urban music, and it must be localized.
7429 Although the Internet is worldwide, a lot of times it is mainly used for finding things in your own back yard. A localized brand that centralizes urban music in Edmonton is very important.
7430 I will reference BBC Radio One and 1 Xtra in the U.K. They have managed to centralize their brand and keep people listening to the radio and offer other properties right off the Internet alone. People still stay loyal to that BBC brand and perhaps use that as their listening time than going on the Internet and finding music.
7431 It is very important for a local radio station to be describing the local culture and for that community to involve themselves with it.
7432 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: In a sense, if you have a radio station here, it is analog radio. It is not using these other forms of transmission. Perhaps urban culture isn't interested in radio; it is more interested in the Internet.
7433 MR. AHMAD: There are a number of places where the Internet still currently -- even though our society is highly wired, there are still a number of places where people can't access the Internet for such large file sizes, those types of things. For that reason the radio is still a very important medium for this culture.
7434 I myself would not be involved in an initiative such as this if I didn't feel that radio was an important cornerstone to getting those listeners to a centralized place.
7435 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Are you saying that the digital part of it becomes the secondary aspect, with radio being the central focus?
7436 MR. AHMAD: Absolutely. But I think actually the brand is more important than the central focus, and that is having people ascribe to their own community in their own local -- you know, the talent that is in their local area. Where do you access that brand?
7437 One of the mediums is absolutely radio still.
7438 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: It is an interesting point, because we are dealing with the onslaught of a very new medium. Perhaps in the formats we are looking at here, urban and modern rock, which are youth focused, we really do face the question of whether these formats can play a major role in saving radio or whether the digital aspects will just surpass radio and do their own thing.
7439 MR. AHMAD: Well, I can only speak based on what I have seen, what I have seen with my counterparts, other promoters in other cities. They value the radio station immensely because they are still able to get on there and promote the local culture.
7440 With the Internet it becomes a lot more centralized in terms of you could have one brand dominator that is very good and very international, and that is where the people go for the Internet radio. Whereas with local radio, they are going to it for local events, local news, local artists, local music, mainly local flavour.
7441 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thanks.
7442 Ms Hay, the study that you did on media, not necessarily related to this hearing but at some point could you send us a copy of that? We are certainly interested in knowing what people are thinking in terms of broadcast media and diversity issues.
7443 MS HAY: Absolutely.
7444 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you.
7445 Thank you, Madam Chair.
7446 THE CHAIRPERSON: Counsel?
7447 MR. McCALLUM: Ms Hay, I think you said that Edmonton is fourth or fifth in terms of cultural diversity. I just wondered what you meant by that statement and what you are basing yourself on to make it.
7448 MS HAY: I was -- what I meant was the proportion of the population of Edmonton who belonged to non-mainstream communities as opposed to the mainstream community. That proportion is highest in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.
7449 I am using the 1996 statistics. I think Edmonton was fourth. So I am saying fourth or fifth because we are probably tying with Calgary, as we do on most things.
7450 MR. McCALLUM: Thank you very much.
7451 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Hay, Mr. Habib, Mr. Hendrick and Mr. Ahmad. We thank you for participating in our proceeding. The best of luck to you artists.
7452 Mr. Secretary, please.
7453 MR. LeBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
7454 The next appearing intervenor will be Mayor George Rogers.
7455 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning, Mr. Rogers.
7456 MR. ROGERS: Good morning, Madam Chairman. Bonjour, Members of the Commission.
7457 My name is George Rogers. I am the Mayor of the City of Leduc and also the President of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association. I am very proud to be a black man raising a family in the province of Alberta.
7458 I am very pleased to be here this morning to provide a statement. My words will be a lot less technical than the group before me.
7459 In support of the application by Milestone Broadcasting and CHUM Ltd. for VIBE 91.5 FM, a new urban format station for the Edmonton region.
7460 Madam Chairman, Members of the Committee, I emphasize region because the Edmonton region is made up of 22 communities, including the City of Leduc, the city of Edmonton and a number of other surrounding communities. We are a population of approximately a million people in this area.
7461 I have been a resident of this area since 1975, and I have found that the only real what I would call hint of this format of music can be found partly on CJSR, which is a university radio station, which of course on their radio station they try to reflect as much of the diversity of the entire university population as possible.
7462 So this particular format receives probably two to three hours late at night, on a weekend, not dissimilar to what one of the earlier presenters mentioned, another local radio station that has three hours on a Saturday night.
7463 I would agree with that presenter as well, Madam Chairman, that certainly the thirst for this type of genre does not only exist for a few hours on a Saturday night. I would say that we are certainly lacking in this format in the Edmonton region.
7464 The commitment by the applicant to invest some $4 million for the length of the licence in local talent I believe also will contribute greatly to the enhancement of local talent. I am also very impressed with their commitment to provide 40 per cent Canadian content, which I an not completely up on what the percentage is, Madam Chairman, but I think that is certainly quite significant. It is beyond the requirement, as I understand it.
7465 I grew up in this area and certainly in terms of the culture and the cultural value of this application, Madam Chair, I have certainly experienced in my growing up in this area a severe lack of this representation of black culture and diversity.
7466 I have watched many young people, many friends of my family, move away from the Edmonton area after they finish high school or certainly after university, and mostly they are heading to Toronto or the U.S. basically because we are starved for this type of culture in the Edmonton area.
7467 My oldest daughter, who just graduated from high school and is also an amateur musician, starts university in September and it is my hope that she will stay in the province of Alberta to give something back to this great province, because it certainly has been very good to my family.
7468 Having a broadcaster that will provide an environment to highlight and strengthen our culture will go a long way, I believe, in helping achieve what is my dream.
7469 I believe that CHUM and Milestone have demonstrated by their existing productions in other Canadian cities that they deliver both the content and also what I believe is very important, Madam Chairman and Members of the Commission, the on-air make-up to reflect the cultural diversity in our cities.
7470 I have to tell you that whenever I travel to Toronto on business and I rent a car, the first thing that I search for on my dial when I get in the car is FLOW-FM because certainly I hear nothing like that out here. I am very much looking forward to having that opportunity in the Edmonton region as well, not only for myself but for my three young children.
7471 Lest we forget, this will also be a very positive economic injection into the capital region in terms of investment. Also, the investment in local talent will be I believe a major catalyst to keeping aspiring local artists in the region.
7472 This, ladies and gentlemen, I believe is a win-win for the Edmonton region and indeed for Canada. I would strongly encourage you to grant this licence to CHUM/Milestone Ltd. because of their demonstrated ability and their commitment to deliver an exceptional product to the Edmonton region.
7473 Thank you very much.
7474 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Rogers, is it your understanding that this station's coverage would extend to Leduc?
7475 MR. ROGERS: Absolutely. In terms of geography, Madam Chairman, when you flew into the Edmonton airport you flew right over my house. Leduc is adjacent to the Edmonton airport, as Mississauga would be to Toronto.
7476 So the coverage would be pretty much the Edmonton region, which would be approximately a million people, which includes a number of smaller centres: St. Albert, Sherwood Park, Leduc, et cetera.
7477 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
7478 Commissioner Langford.
7479 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Welcome, sir.
7480 I want to draw on the both sides of your brain today, if I can. I want you to use your experience in politics to be as objective as possible, which is something you must have to do almost fulltime: set aside your personal preferences. We know what your personal preferences are; you were very clear on that.
7481 And having put yourself in this objective mode, I want you to answer a couple of musical format questions for me, if you could, or maybe just one.
7482 We have had a lot of talk about urban music here over the last week or so, and some of the applicants have suggested that it would be preferable, instead of playing pure urban, to mix it with something else. Some applicants want to mix it with modern rock. Others want to mix it with dance.
7483 So being objective, and setting aside your own preferences and thinking of all of those people you know who like different formats, how do you think that would play?
7484 MR. ROGERS: Well, Mr. Commissioner, I think the best way I can answer that is again drawing on my own experience -- and I do listen to the radio a fair bit. I am in my car. I travel a lot. I do a number of things. I am also a realtor when I'm not holding down my political job. So I am in and out of my car a lot, and I am always listening to music.
7485 I can tell you that this market I think is very much -- I don't know if saturated is the right term, but I think it is saturated with a lot of Top 40, a lot of classic rock, a lot of some of the heavier rock.
7486 I think what this market needs, based on as a listener and someone -- sometimes my kids tell me I should grow up, because I listen to a lot of the same music as they do.
7487 I know that if we had a format that played mostly urban with, I suspect, the nature -- and from what I have heard on FLOW the times I have been to Toronto, we probably would have a little bit of the Caribbean and that type of influence as well.
7488 I think we will serve this market extremely well.
7489 I used the term "starved" in my earlier remarks. I think this market is extremely starved for this type of music, and I would suggest to you that that is exactly what we need; not something that is interspersed with a little bit of everything else, because we have that right now.
7490 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Thank you very much.
7491 Those are my questions, Madam Chair.
7492 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Mayor, for appearing before us during what I suspect is a busy day.
7493 MR. ROGERS: Thank you, Madam Chairman, and good luck in your deliberations.
7494 THE CHAIRPERSON: Have a good trip back to Leduc.
7495 MR. ROGERS: Thank you.
7496 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary, please.
7497 MR. LeBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
7498 The next four appearing intervenors will appear in a panel: Imho Austin, Sharlene Thomas, Messerret Tessera and Steve Kottowitz.
7499 MR. LeBEL: Please identify yourself before speaking. You have ten minutes to make your intervention.
7500 MR. AUSTIN: Good afternoon, Madam Chair and Commission Members.
7501 My name is Imho Austin. I am a third year education student at the University of Alberta, a part-time tutor, part-time DJ and fulltime lover of urban music.
7502 When I was first approached by CHUM and I was told to speak about how an urban music station would affect my world and how it would change my daily life, the answers were simple and they came quickly, and the opportunities that such a prospect would provide seemed endless.
7503 As a DJ, the urban station would provide more recognition for myself and the music that I love. As a tutor, the station would provide a voice for the children that I coach, a voice that they could listen to and connect with. As a student, it really would just give me another reason to procrastinate.
7504 However, when I looked at the issue more closely, I realized that how the urban station would affect me is almost secondary.
7505 For me, an urban radio station would allow me to hear the music I love 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I would hear a culture that I have lived every day for as long as I can remember finally given the attention it truly deserves.
7506 It opened up doors for me that were not quite there previously. Perhaps I could promote urban festivals or bring on urban artists with the aid of the radio station.
7507 For myself, an individual who is so attached to the urban community, I can honestly say that the radio station would have the potential to transform every second of my day while offering me limitless opportunities.
7508 However, I still find myself of secondary importance. The minds that would most greatly be affected and the areas that should have the opportunity to have an urban station in their city is that of the mainstream audience.
7509 Over the years urban music has grown from a small blip on the outskirts of mainstream media's radar to mainstain on many Top 40 radio stations. Artist such as 50 Cent, Sean Paul and Nelly, though strange phenomena to some of you in this room, have crossed musical boundaries and connected with an audience who had for so long neglected the urban sound.
7510 Artists such as these have exploded in terms of record sales, TV time and rotation on the airwaves in other cities that have these stations.
7511 Although urban music has blasted onto the airwaves, only a fraction of the culture's true variety is played and exposed to a mainstream audience. It is for this reason that Edmonton is in desperate need for an urban radio station.
7512 Though this city is so rich in cultural diversity, the airwaves do not always reflect this variety in culture. Top 40, rock and country rule the airwaves, finding domains in Power 92, The Bear and CISN, respectively.
7513 However, the urban sound has no airwave to call its own. What would rock be without Metallica or the antics of Finger Eleven. Even worse, where would rock music be without radio stations such as The Bear that provide an outlet for such artists to be heard?
7514 Where would the fans of that genre go to find an alternative?
7515 If you have never heard artists such as Common or Black Eyed Peas, quite frankly without an urban radio station you probably never will. These are artists that lyrically portray the trials of youth growing up in less fortunate circumstances, artists that take political stands and give back to the communities in which they were raised.
7516 However, these are also artists who neglect to have catch hooks that a pop top 40 sound requires and therefore will never be heard on mainstream airwaves.
7517 An urban radio station would allow a voice for such artists to be heard. More importantly it would provide an opportunity for urban music to display the true richness and diversity which the culture holds. It would provide a sound that can be appreciated by the hip hop lover, the DJ, the man of secondary importance, as well as the mainstream admirer who is waiting for the opportunity to feel and learn the urban experience.
7518 Yes, Vancouver has a few and so do Calgary and Toronto, and perhaps I could argue for that. Although mimicry should never be the base on which any decision should be made, repetition can be a signal. Perhaps it is telling us that all cultures should be heard and heard to their true potential. Perhaps it is telling us the time is now.
7519 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Austin.
7520 MS THOMAS: Madam Chair and Members of the Commission. It is a privilege to speak at these hearings.
7521 Before addressing why I firmly support the CHUM/Milestone Media application to bring VIBE 91.7 FM radio to Edmonton, I would like to tell you a little about myself, as my background and experiences definitely shape my opinions.
7522 I am an Edmonton-based motivational speaker, event producer and artistic director/choreographer of a dance company. I have lived in Edmonton for 26 years and over the years have been involved in a wide range of activities which celebrate diversity and multiculturalism, including producing the Cariwest Festival, which is western Canada's answer to Toronto's Caribana; producing the Black Achievements Awards of Alberta; assisting with the production of two Miss Universe Pageants for CBS; and working with the National Black Coalition of a variety of productions.
7523 I have been recognized as a Global TV Woman of Vision and have been fortunate to receive local, national and international recognition for my activities in the field of arts, promotion of multiculturalism and leadership.
7524 Close to my heart is my extensive work with youth as a mentor, role model and a motivator. I lecture in schools here, the U.S. and particularly in Africa and the Caribbean. My message is: Stay in school, strive for success and be the best you can be.
7525 It is so interesting to truly hear what the youth are saying. Regardless of the country or the city I speak in, their message is still the same consistently. They want to be heard.
7526 They want to be heard by their parents, by their communities, and they want their messages relayed, their language understood.
7527 I believe VIBE will be the medium to have their voices heard. To understand youth, it is critical to not only listen but to understand what they are trying to communicate. Regardless of background or experiences, they need a way to express themselves and their individualities.
7528 Music has the ability to cut across economic, social and ethnic lines as demonstrated by the popularity of urban music and the diverse range of followers and fans in Edmonton, Toronto and Canada, and indeed across the world.
7529 Today's youth express themselves through their music, the clothes they wear and the lifestyle they aspire to. More and more youth now identify with the urban culture. It is indeed a lifestyle.
7530 However, while urban culture has evolved into the mainstream, there is no true medium to reflect its popularity in Edmonton. An urban radio station in Edmonton will be a valuable outlet for expression and the growth of the urban lifestyle.
7531 I have an 18-year-old daughter who is very much influenced by urban music. Although we have an excellent relationship, there have been instances where I did not always understand why she acted in a certain way or related to certain things. At times here choice of music was a puzzle to me. However, one day she encouraged me to truly listen to some of here favourite artists.
7532 I found myself listening to a diverse range of musicians who do not currently receive airplay in Edmonton. Although I was not comfortable with all the songs she played, I could appreciate what was being expressed because it gave me a sense of reality. The messages are as relevant today as they were in my time or, as my daughter calls it, "back in the days".
7533 I look back in humour to the way my mother objected to my taste in music when I was my daughter's age. It also gave me a better understanding of my daughter, since artists can often give voice to things that people cannot properly express.
7534 I support the CHUM/Milestone Media's bid to bring VIBE to Edmonton. Their track record and their commitment to developing emerging artists and promoting the urban culture speaks for itself.
7535 Over the years Black music has evolved from its roots in jazz, soul and funk to its current popularity with hip hop, rap and R&B. CHUM has already proven that they can successfully delivered varied interesting programming in the urban format, and we have witnessed the success of FLOW 93.5 FM in Toronto for undeniable proof.
7536 While reviewing the proposal submitted by CHUM to the CRTC, I was struck by how committed they were with promoting emerging artists and their willingness to actually fund that development. As interest in urban culture grows, more and more people are going to be inspired to become involved by becoming musicians, performers, producers, et cetera, and CHUM/Milestone will help them to consider possible careers in the media. They will support this evolution.
7537 CHUM/Milestone has already outlined the type of programming it wishes to deliver to Edmonton. It goes beyond simply playing song after song, with commercials played at intervals. VIBE will actually broadcast and support the clubs and live music venues which are the heart of the local urban music scene.
7538 It is one thing to hear an artist on a static CD but another experience entirely to get into the pulse of scene and feel it from within, as I did once I listed to FLOW 93.5. I feel the strength of the CHUM/Milestone Media proposal has the potential to connect the Edmonton audience in a very tangible way.
7539 Urban music is a reflection of a dynamic, increasingly popular lifestyle. VIBE 91.7 FM will expose Edmonton to a more diverse range of musical styles while giving our youth an outlet for expression.
7540 In keeping with my mantra, I believe that they will capture the attention of youth through music on VIBE, and we can ultimately use the radio airwaves to educate, to challenge and, most of all, to inspire.
7541 Thanks for the opportunity to share my heart and the thoughts of the so many young people that I have spoken with.
7542 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Tessera(sic).
7543 MS TESSERA: Madam Chair and Members of the Commission, my name is Messerret Tessera. I was originally born in Ethiopia but have lived in Canada for almost all my life. When my family came here in 1972 we were the first Ethiopian family to settle in Edmonton.
7544 My parents, along with a few fellow Ethiopians, helped to establish and Ethiopian Community Association in Edmonton, a non-profit service organization focusing on the preservation of our culture. The association is active in helping newcomers to come to Canada and settle in this wonderful place of Edmonton.
7545 We also raise funds for a variety of humanitarian causes, such as the current Ethiopian famine, AIDS in Africa and working to help protect international human rights.
7546 I, myself, have held a position on the Executive Committee for the association as the Director of Public Relations and Humanitarian Causes. Over the past year the association has managed to raise over $50,000 to help fight the spread of AIDS and famine in Ethiopia.
7547 I am a very proud Edmontonian and have also been active as a volunteer for a broad base of organizations. I am a founding member and past president of Movements Afro-Caribbean Dance Ensemble. I have volunteered for the Children's Health Foundation, Edmonton Heritage Days Festival, HIV Edmonton, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the 2001 IAAF Championships in Athletics and for the past eight years have been very involved with the Edmonton Folk Music Festival.
7548 As you can see, I am strong supporter of arts in our community. Edmonton is dynamic and a wonderful place to live.
7549 That being said, let me tell you why I think this city needs a new urban radio station.
7550 When I first heard that Edmonton could possibly have its own urban radio station, I was ecstatic. Having grown up here in Edmonton, I longed to have a station that would play my kind of music. Urban music is something that I can relate to.
7551 I know that it is one of the most popular genres of music out there, yet we don't have a station dedicated to playing this type of music.
7552 In my current position, I am a Marketing and Promotions Manager for one of the leading hotels in the country. In my job that means I do all the media buying. I work closely with many of the local radio stations in Edmonton and know for a fact that none of them are playing enough of the music that many of our Edmonton youth are craving to hear -- and that is urban music.
7553 Despite its absence from our local radiowaves, urban music record sales are very strong in this city. Why? Considering that it receives minimal airplay on our radio stations, how does it continue to thrive?
7554 It thrives because it speaks to a generation of youth that relates to the beats and the lyrics of its music.
7555 For advertisers VIBE will be a new outlet in which to get the message out about their products. The target audience for this station is multicultural and many of them have been largely ignored as consumers.
7556 VIBE is promising to spend $4 million to promote local and Canadian talent, and I think that is fantastic.
7557 A couple of months ago I was watching television, and there was a documentary story about a Native rap artist group from Hobbema Reserve which is just outside of our city. The group's name was War Party and this documentary talked about the struggles that these kids -- actually young adults now -- had through getting their music heard and how difficult it was to establish funding and support.
7558 It was sad to see how hard these individuals were working without the support of their own community and our community here in Edmonton. If a radio station such as VIBE had been around, then maybe this Native rap group would have had some airplay in Edmonton and financial support to realize their dream of making it big.
7559 I use War Party as an example, because I want to illustrate that urban music is not just Black music any more. We are seeing more and more artists from a variety of socioeconomic and racial backgrounds as this music moves even more mainstream. The listenership is multicultural and the voices that represent the station should reflect that as well.
7560 I look forward to seeing and hearing more people of colour in advertising and in the media here in Edmonton. I feel it is very important for the youth of my community to be able to relate to the people in the media.
7561 Seeing visual minorities in key positions will cultivate a culture whose byproduct will be role models which youth can relate to. Right now many young Black professionals and artists are leaving Edmonton and going to Toronto and other centres, because they don't see the same opportunities for them here.
7562 We are suffering a brain drain and that needs to stop.
7563 VIBE in its news and talk programming will be more than just about white Canadians. It will be more representative of a multicultural Canada, the Canada that I love. I hope to see this station as an outlet that organizations such as the ones I have worked with -- the Ethiopian Association in its fund-raising efforts could have used a station like VIBE, and who knows how much money we could have collected over the last year.
7564 I hope that we can use this station to get our message out whether it be through PSAs or through the news. Had a station like VIBE been around when I was growing up, who knows, maybe I myself would have been in broadcasting.
7565 Seeing what Milestone Media and CHUM have been able to do in Toronto and nationally makes me excited, and I look forward to tuning in to VIBE 91.7 and seeing a bright future in the media landscape of Edmonton.
7566 Thank you.
7567 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Tessera.
7568 My apologies, Ms Thomas. I mixed your names. I apologize.
7569 MR. KOTTOWITZ: Good afternoon, Madam Chair and Members of the Commission.
7570 My name is Steve Kottowitz. I am a recent resident of Edmonton, born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and subsequently moved to Los Angeles.
7571 You might wonder why a white person over 45 is here in support of this application, but it is really based on my life experience of what radio means to the community and the youth at large and how it can help promote the arts.
7572 My background is I am currently a sports agent, representing over 50 hockey players in the NHL, many of whom completely connect to this music, even though the majority of them are white.
7573 We represent players from western Canada, Sweden, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. I happen to be fortunate enough to represent four players on the Oilers, in Georges Laraque, Tommy Salo, Radek Dvorak and Mike Comrie.
7574 Prior to being a sports agent, I worked for a large talent agency in Beverly Hills for nine and a half years, was an executive at Paramount Pictures before that.
7575 What my experience has shown is that having an urban radio station locally will not only promote that genre of music, which is clearly the heart and soul of the youth at this particular moment in time, but will also serve as an outlet for other rock forms, and I also think will provide further opportunity for the development of commerce in this city.
7576 It will attract various artists to the city to help promote the music, and from that other artists will be attracted.
7577 For example, in this week's Fortune Magazine the cover article is the power of stars in Hollywood, and the number two person -- I believe it is number two -- is Eminem who maybe five years ago wasn't even known, who is a white artist out of Detroit who last year made $35 million. Where he is promoting, he is giving back to his community in Detroit, I believe the same could hold true for local artists here in Edmonton once they are successful. They in turn can help promote this city and give back to its community and inspire the youth here in Edmonton to fulfil their dreams and follow through on something that they are passionate about.
7578 As a recent resident to Edmonton, what strikes me is their passion for festivals in the summer. They are the festival city, if you will, during the summertime. What is lacking, though, is an urban festival. I believe if there was a station here that could reach the urban community, that would in turn lead to further promoting that area, as I have mentioned, and draw upon the various artists of that genre, be it in music, painting, poetry. It would give a local outlet for the local talent here.
7579 I think it is critical that that void is filled.
7580 I look at Robert Johnson, who started Rock Entertainment Television in America, who is now a current owner of a basketball team there, and I think to myself: Is it possible for a black man or black woman, or just an urban outlet, if you will, owning a local hockey team? Is that possible ten years from now? I would like to think it is possible.
7581 I would like to think it is possible, because when people are successful they tend to be focused on where they came from and wanting to support their community. I believe that this radio station would serve as a stepping stone, if you will, to future success.
7582 I think it is important, too, that when looking at the kind of music that one might play on a radio station, it is important to know your audience. And you can't be too broad.
7583 I was recently reading the New York Times where the President of ABC Television was saying how he lost a bit of his audience by trying to be a bit too much like NBC. Where "Roseanne" ten years ago was their centre, their anchor, if you will, for future programming and then they tried to duplicate the "Friends" shows on ABC and how they lost their audience.
7584 Now Jim Belushi is sort of their anchor now. He is their Roseanne of the new millennium, if you will. That is why I believe it is important that a station narrowly focus, if you will, for this genre and not try and be too much to too many, because then I believe you will lose your audience.
7585 I guess for me what I believe this station will ultimately do is create opportunity, create opportunity for young artists here. Based on my conversations with those that are on a daily basis participating in this art form, they tell me about the void that is missing here. I think it would be a great opportunity for the people of Edmonton to connect with their youth and for the people of the youth to feel that they have an outlet where they can promote their arts.
7586 Frankly, that is all I have to say.
7587 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Kottowitz.
7588 Thank you very much, Mr. Austin, Ms Thomas, Ms Tessera and Mr. Kottowitz. We thank you for participating in our proceedings.
7589 Mr. Secretary, please.
7590 MR. LeBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
7591 For the record, I would like to indicate that those other intervenors listed for CHUM/Milestone will not be appearing today. These interventions will remain on record as non-appearing.
7592 I will now ask Mr. Jeari Czapla to intervene at this time.
7593 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Mr. Secretary, could you give me that name again, please.
7594 MR. LeBEL: The name is Mr. Jeari Czapla. It is an intervention I distributed this morning.
7595 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Can you give me a number on the intervention list?
7596 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning.
7597 MR. LeBEL: Mr. Czapla, you have ten minutes to make your intervention.
7598 MR. CZAPLA: I am here to speak for Global, on their behalf, for their Northern Light application.
7599 Currently I am a jazz musician, local. I have a CD on the market that is being aired approximately more than 60 stations worldwide. Domestically, I have a great number of stations in my own home town here, and it would be nice to have another outlet so I can actually have my music on another station, much like other independent artists in the city of Edmonton. There is currently one outlet here, and having another jazz, smooth jazz, outlet would be beneficial for all of us.
7600 I understand that there are going to be certain funds allocated to the development and presentation of independent artists. That excites me to know that I am actually going to get some help as an independent artist by one of the media that would help my career, or any other individual in my situation.
7601 I am Aboriginal. Currently, to date, I understand, to the best of my knowledge, I am the only Aboriginal jazz musician with a nominated CD, three times nominated, in Canada currently, which puts me in a certain niche, if you want to say it that way, than any other independent artist.
7602 I also understand Northern Light is looking to have portions of their programming and portions of their moneys allocated to Aboriginal. This interests me and mostly perks my interest because I am Aboriginal.
7603 Are there any questions I can answer at this point before I continue?
7604 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: You said you were nominated three times, but you didn't say for what.
7605 MR. CZAPLA: I have nominee status at the 2002 Juno Awards for a contemporary jazz album. I have nominations at the Prairie Music Awards for outstanding jazz recording.
7606 Being at the Aboriginal sector of Canada's music didn't have a jazz category at their national awards ceremony, my album is responsible for having a category with them now, being that any other Aboriginal jazz musician who comes after me now has a category to submit their music in.
7607 Therefore, I pioneered an entire category within the award ceremony.
7608 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Thank you. Carry on.
7609 MR. CZAPLA: Did you want me to continue on?
7610 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, go ahead.
7611 MR. CZAPLA: It is important for the Edmonton community, being it's so north and so large. It is about to become what they call a super city or a mega city in the years to follow. They expect roughly 12,000 new residents to arrive throughout this year coming.
7612 It is important that our community have another smooth jazz station that we can actually listen to.
7613 Most of the people in Edmonton -- we currently have three stations of a rock and roll nature, and it is important bioassay we have Tommy Banks, Senator Banks, and a few other headline musicians, that we actually have something in our own hometown.
7614 I had not really worked up an entire speech, so I am kind of flying by the seat of my pants, which is what most jazz musicians do when it comes to improvisation.
7615 THE CHAIRPERSON: You are not quite as brisk as your brothers of last night. We were entertained by the War Party. They had no loss for words at quite a clip.
7616 MR. CZAPLA: Yes, I can imagine. Those boys are well put together.
7617 THE CHAIRPERSON: There was a lady as well.
7618 MR. CZAPLA: My apologies.
7619 With the moneys allocated to Aboriginal interest and cross-media promotions, one, I think it is important that Aboriginal people are now brought to the forefront with whatever genre of music they choose to be. Given that this is a jazz station that we are talking about and they are going to allocate money for Aboriginal people, I think that is important, number one.
7620 Number two, that we use cross-media promotions, for example, newspapers, television. Myself as an entertainer has had to -- not had, but I wanted to resort to those different media so I could attack as many people and inform as many people of my going-ons in my local community as I can.
7621 The fact that Global wants to do that for independent artists excites me.
7622 Currently in the city there is nobody that offers that. If you are an independent artist in this city it is extremely difficult to get any radio airplay in your own hometown. To get on any of the other stations, whether it is TV or radio, it is extremely difficult to get in there if you are independent.
7623 Given the financial support that Global is going to give to the independent artists -- i.e., I believe, if I am not misunderstanding, $5,000 will be allocated per band, roughly $20,000 concerts and independent promotions over the next seven years.
7624 I can't say for certainty but I am fairly certain nobody in the city is doing that for independent artists, let alone Aboriginal people. That is a big step for me to know that as an independent jazz musician I have somewhere to turn to, someone that is actually going to give me a hand, a leg-up, if you want to say that.
7625 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Czapla.
7626 Commissioner Cram has a question.
7627 MR. CZAPLA: "Zapla". Drop the "C".
7628 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
7629 MR. CZAPLA: You're welcome.
7630 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Mr. Czapla, you say you played at over 60 stations and currently 41 Canadian radio stations. Is one of those stations the Global station in Winnipeg?
7631 MR. CZAPLA: Actually, no, it is not. CBC has currently accepted my disk and is airing it on as many stations as they can, as well as other university stations. Most of my work is out of Toronto and Winnipeg, where I am originally from.
7632 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Did you know Global has a jazz station in Winnipeg?
7633 MR. CZAPLA: Not until about -- I do now, but not until about a week ago did I realize. I had heard it but I didn't make the connection.
7634 COMMISSIONER CRAM: What is more important for a musician -- I am going to call you established.
7635 MR. CZAPLA: Okay.
7636 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Is that fair to say? What is more important for an established artist? I guess it has to be airplay?
7637 MR. CZAPLA: Airplay?
7638 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes.
7639 MR. CZAPLA: What is the most important thing, I believe, is recognition at this time. Monetary or financial at any point does become -- I make my living, and I try the best I can to feed a family of five and hold a mortgage. That becomes very important.
7640 Is radio airplay important? Sure, it is because they log that over to SOCAN and SOCAN pays me. If that is enough just to pay the Epcor bill in our situation here, then I am happy because that helps me.
7641 So absolutely airplay is very important to an independent artist just getting going. There are established artists out there who no longer have to worry about that, who are getting pay cheques from certain people and they don't have to worry about mortgages and stuff. They don't have to have two or three jobs just to be a musician.
7642 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you.
7643 Mr. Porter is the program director of the Global station in Winnipeg. So you might want to talk to him.
7644 MR. CZAPLA: Thanks. I appreciate that.
7645 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Czapla. We thank you even if your delivery was not quite as rapid as that of the War Party.
7646 MR. CZAPLA: As I said, I brought my children with me too, so I was a bit frazzled trying to keep them quiet so they didn't disturb the proceedings, et cetera.
7647 THE CHAIRPERSON: I hope they are impressed.
7648 MR. CZAPLA: My children?
7649 THE CHAIRPERSON: By the proceeding.
7650 MR. CZAPLA: They are three years old and one year old. I'm impressed that they were quiet.
7651 THE CHAIRPERSON: That is usually just about the time when people stop being impressed by us.
--- Laughter / Rires
7652 MR. CZAPLA: Thank you.
7653 THE CHAIRPERSON: We will now take a break for an hour and a half. We will be back at 2 o'clock. Thank you.
--- Upon recessing at 1230 / Suspension à 1230
--- Upon resuming at 1400 / Reprise à 1400
7654 THE CHAIRPERSON: Order, please.
7655 Mr. Secretary, please.
7656 MR. LeBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
7657 The next appearing intervention will be presented by Mrs. Bonita Anderson on behalf of the Alberta College Conservatory of Music.
7658 You have ten minutes to make your presentation.
7659 Thank you.
7660 THE CHAIRPERSON: Welcome, Mrs. Anderson.
7661 MS ANDERSON: Thank you, Madam Chair, Commissioners.
7662 Grant MacEwan College is pleased to support Global Communications' application for Northern Light, a new easy listening FM station in Edmonton. We strongly believe that the proposal being put forward by Global to establish a new FM radio station in our region would benefit our community, as well as the Canadian broadcasting system.
7663 At Grant MacEwan College we have students studying a variety of genres and styles of music supported by two large program areas. Credit studies in the two-year jazz relation diploma program, involving 144 full load equivalent. That means that there will be significantly more heads than 144 participating in those opportunities. They also have a number of non-credit studies in their outreach program.
7664 The Conservatory of Music is newly assigned to Grant MacEwan in this past year. We are an entity that has been on the river valley here for the last hundred years, and we are now merged with Grant MacEwan College. That is the Conservatory of Music which I represent and which I will speak to in some detail.
7665 Alberta College Conservatory of Music is now part of Grant MacEwan College. It is Alberta's second-largest conservatory of music, with over 2,000 students attending our campus for their music lessons each week.
7666 The scope and range of the programming includes private instruction lessons for close to 1,500 students, early childhood music and movement classes, Schola Cantorum choral program, fall and winter workshops, musicianship theory classes, ensembles, master classes and performances, summer programs, arts and technology camps, string orchestra workshops, band camps, collaborative voice, all of those kinds of opportunities; the fall music festival. And we also have an articulated agreement for 22 courses with the university here at the U of A.
7667 Edmonton's finest performers/teachers instruct these students in a studio setting, and their expertise and mentorship of the young people is producing some of Canada's best young artists.
7668 Performance plays a key role in these studies. Music needs to be heard and shared. As a community, we need to provide musical experiences and promote a musical environment beyond the weekly music lesson.
7669 Global's Canadian talent development plan proposal will help support and promote Canadian talent through funding and recording opportunities and airtime for these emerging artists, embracing all genres of music. It is the kind of support that doesn't go out of fashion with the kind of popular music of the day.
7670 Northern Light's pledge of financial support and enrichment opportunity for the youth in our community supports both scholarship and access to educational activities in our institution; the scholarship and access to enhanced performance opportunities, as outlined in their proposal; and increased exposure to appreciative audiences, which will celebrate the accomplishments of our young artists as they prepare for the next creative steps in their careers.
7671 Bursary support for the youth in our community facing economic barriers to music education continues to be a challenge in an area of dwindling arts funding. A great deal of music education occurs as one-on-one instruction initially, making music lessons an expensive proposition for many families. You don't graduate from grade 12 and post secondary instruction or opportunities as a performing artist without that early exposure to music.
7672 This financial burden perhaps places the opportunity out of reach for many individuals showing promise.
7673 As outlined in this proposal, support in the form of bursaries will create an opportunity for these deserving students to explore their talents. As funding restraints affect the arts sector, it becomes important to seek collaborative partnerships that build programming opportunities for our institution within the business community. I think this opportunity is an example of such.
7674 The active support, as described in the plan, is needed and greatly appreciated.
7675 Increased exposure of arts activity in our community will bring enhanced appreciation and understanding of the performing arts in our community. Also, what it brings to the collective culture of our community is extremely important.
7676 Edmonton is home to some of Canada's best emerging artists, and initiatives like Northern Light will keep the arts alive and well, front and centre in our community, helping to nurture, develop and promote Canadian artists in our community.
7677 A radio station with vision and a mandate to embrace the community in this manner would be an asset to the city of Edmonton. For these reasons, I strongly urge the Commission to license Northern Light.
7678 Thank you.
7679 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mrs. Anderson.
7680 Commissioner Cram.
7681 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Mrs. Anderson, I'm not sure I understood. There is the Conservatory of Music that has just joined Grant MacEwan, and then before that Grant MacEwan had the two-year jazz based program. Is that right?
7682 MS ANDERSON: Grant MacEwan College has a jazz program. Grant MacEwan has been around for 30 years, and it has a jazz based musical theatre kind of diploma program, credit programming. The Conservatory of Music, Alberta College was a private institution and in the past year we became part of the public post secondary education system, as of July of last year.
7683 So now we have two programs that broadly encompass musical and training and opportunity within Edmonton.
7684 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Still, though, the two-year diploma program is separate from the conservatory, which has the 2,000 students, which could go anywhere from grade 1 to grade 10 in terms of lessons. Is that it?
7685 MS ANDERSON: That is correct. We have approximately 144 full load equivalent positions in the credit program in the music program at Grant MacEwan.
7686 So, yes, there two: there is the music umbrella, and then there are two departmental program areas.
7687 COMMISSIONER CRAM: The conservatory with the 2,000 students, is it all kinds of music? The diploma is jazz based, or whatever it is called. What does the conservatory do?
7688 MS ANDERSON: We have instruction in all genres of music, in applied music, so in the applied music lesson, as well as theoretical and musicianship kinds of opportunities to support that kind of learning.
7689 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I see. Thank you.
7690 Thank you, Madam Chair.
7691 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mrs. Anderson, for participating in our proceeding.
7692 Mr. Secretary, please.
7693 MR. LeBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
7694 The next panel of appearing intervenors will comprise Zeno Ioannides, Harvey Cohen and Gerald Stoll.
7695 Please identify yourself as you speak. You have ten minutes to make your intervention.
7696 MR. COHEN: Good afternoon, Madam Chairperson and Commissioners.
7697 My name is Harvey Cohen, and I am here on behalf of Union Concerts because I fully support the efforts of Gary McGowan, John Donnelly and especially Harvard Broadcasting to launch a new radio stations which plays both hip hop, modern rock and rhythmic contemporary.
7698 Our company is the largest independent concert promoter in western Canada, promoting shows and events across the four western provinces. My experiences working with the youth markets have been extensive and continue to grow.
7699 I believe the JAM-FM's proposal will deliver a great new radio format as it will appeal to a large segment of our diverse population here in Edmonton. JAM-FM is committed to a minimum of $2.2 million to help provide support for local Alberta performers. In addition to the cash funding, they have also offered to provide valuable on-air advertising and support.
7700 Having produced many tours, I am particularly impressed by their plans to create a music industry travel assistance program. In our business touring is the single most important element which can take a performer from unknown local artist to emerging regional artist to established national artist. But this takes money, and money is very hard to come by when you are young and trying to break into modern rock and urban worlds.
7701 Harvard has developed a very strong Canadian talent development program, and it contains ideas which will work. For example, they are providing recording sessions, manufacturing CDs for artists, booking showcase gigs, helping artists get airplay and helping them go on tour as well. This is a really well thought out plan that will work and can make a big difference for local bands that haven't received this amount of media support in Edmonton ever before.
7702 I work with local artists every day and witness the hardships they go through just to try and catch a break, let alone to get ahead on a national level. Trying to stand out amongst a crowd of new artists is very difficult if you don't have the tools to get ahead.
7703 I feel that JAM-FM will provide these tools to up and coming Canadian artists.
7704 A new radio station that plays modern rock, urban and rhythmic contemporary will be good for Edmonton. It will provide healthy competition to keep our industry vibrant. It is extremely important to have radio stations that support live music in Edmonton.
7705 Radio provides the fundamental first contact between artists and fans. The next step in this relationship is getting the bands out on the road and providing music fans the experience that only live music can generate. Without this face-to-face contact a lot of Canadian artists would have never gotten their careers off the ground. That is why Harvard's travel assistance program for artists is so important.
7706 This morning while listening to the intervention by CHUM I made several observations. They state that the majority of today's youth do not listen to a blended format. I wholeheartedly disagree.
7707 Over the past several years we have seen a transformation on the music front. This has translated into a shift in the live music world as well. We have seen that the most successful concert tours of the new millennium have been made up of artists from mixed genres. These include the hugely successful Godsmack tour of several years ago where urban artist Kardinal Offishal played alongside the rock act. That tour ended up selling venues across this country out.
7708 Another example of blended concerts include next month's Stage 13 Festival that is being held just outside Edmonton. On the same stage you are going to see modern rock acts like TroubleCharger and Everclear playing alongside urban act Swollen Members.
7709 One of the most popular tours of the last decade or so has been the Family Values Tour which tours North America every year. It combines modern rock with acts like Limp Bizkit and Corn with urban artists like Eminem and D12.
7710 To complete the assessment of whether blended formats work, you can look at two of the longest running touring music festivals. The Vans Warp Tour and Lalapolusa have both successfully exposed urban artists the likes of Cypress Hill, Jurassic Five, Black Eyed Peas and Kool Keith to the fans of Pennywise, No Effect and Bad Religion.
7711 Blended format tours like this year's Red Hot Chili Peppers Tour with Snoop Dogg will be able to work hand in hand with a station like JAM-FM. They can promote directly to their target audience instead of one artist getting more media response than the other.
7712 CHUM's assertion that no station plays a format even close to that which Harvard Broadcasting is proposing is not true. The best example of this is KROQ in Los Angeles. They play a wide ranging format that includes urban, modern rock, punk rock and even some heavy metal.
7713 This station is perfectly suited to promote a show like The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Snoop Dogg Tour, because they play both of these artists on their station instead of mainly focusing on one act that they would play on their station and giving little exposure to the other.
7714 One of the most successful tours in Canada this year was made up of Avril Lavigne, Swollen Members and Gob. This show brought together widely different formats and resulted in sold out arenas across the country.
7715 You cannot duplicate the excitement of seeing a young person leaving their first concert with stars in their eyes and grand visions of being the next Neil Young, Avril Lavigne or Getty Lee. The relationship between live music and radio is symbiotic. Without the support of radio stations like JAM-FM, Canadian artists would have difficulty getting recognition for their talents.
7716 As a live music promoter, I look forward to working with JAM-FM in our pursuit to develop fresh new talent that is just waiting to be discovered.
7717 Harvard Broadcasting has put together a solid application. They will bring a new voice and new ownership into this market. On behalf of the Union Concert group, I am pleased to provide our endorsement of the Harvard Broadcasting application for JAM-FM.
7718 I have 100 per cent confident in Gary McGowan and John Donnelly's abilities and look forward to working closely with them in the near future. I trust that they can put this plan into action and bring their goals to fruition.
7719 Thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak, and I welcome any questions you have.
7720 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Cohen.
7721 MR. IOANNIDES: Madam Chair and Commissioners, my name is Zeno Ioannides. I am a managing partner of The Roxy, which is a nightclub here in Edmonton. I am the entertainment director of Reds since its conception in 1996, which is a 1,600-seat premier family entertainment venue in West Edmonton Mall. For the last ten years I have worked extensively in the music business, and I have been a fulltime promoter, buying talent, creating packages of artists and selling tickets to concerts. I have promoted shows in modern rock, country, alternative, urban and dance genres.
7722 I am here to speak on behalf of the Harvard Broadcasting application for the new FM licence called JAM-FM.
7723 I was initially contacted last summer when Harvard was preparing their application for this FM licence. I was invited to work on some of their concepts to be considered for the conclusion of their application, such as the Urban Expo and Showcase Concert series.
7724 In the process of developing these events, I became acquainted with some of the members of the Harvard group. It was a wonderful learning experience. It was nice to find out and have insight on the way the company worked and who the key players were.
7725 I believe they have assembled a great team of talented staff, and they will do a world-class job, given the opportunity. I have known Gary McGowan and John Donnelly both for many years, and I believe they are two people who have been supporters of music and arts across Canada and are very well-known as honest and hard-working individuals in this industry.
7726 I believe they also have a great new concept for a radio station here in Edmonton. I believe this concept will work in Edmonton as well as the rest of Canada. It combines rock and urban. I am convinced modern rock and rhythmic sound will work in the Edmonton market and that it will thrive.
7727 I have been an Edmonton resident all my life, and I have had many years of experience in dealing with radio stations here in this market. Edmonton has always had a strong live scene. There have been many ups and downs, yet most of the artists I have worked with have always done well here.
7728 I work regularly with national promoters like House of Blues and Clear Channel Entertainment. I have developed strong relationships with local artists. My overall experience and knowledge of the Canadian music industry and in particular my association with some of the Edmonton artists gave me this current situation.
7729 There is a large enthusiastic audience of modern rock and urban, rhythmic contemporary music across this country which has proven the strength grown by many multi festivals in our major cities.
7730 There is no radio service in Edmonton which is serving the needs of the young 12-to-24 audience. Current urban programming in Edmonton is limited to only a few hours a week and only on campus radio stations. While there is modern rock programming in the market with 96X and The Bear, both stations playing very little from local artists. These stations don't come anywhere near reaching the current potential listening audience of the modern rock targeted at 12-to-24 years old.
7731 A new FM station playing modern rock, urban and rhythmic will have tremendous positive benefits for the music community and the city of Edmonton, as it will provide a new focal point for Edmonton youth.
7732 Therefore, I am pleased to provide my full support of Harvard Broadcasting for their application for the following reasons.
7733 They have come up with a strong Canadian talent development plan which is directly targeted at supporting local artists, which will in fact help me with shows here in Edmonton. As a music promoter myself, I really appreciate their dedication and support for the local music community.
7734 Their strong support for local musicians in terms of workshops, concert series, compilation CDs and air promotion plans will help make a real difference.
7735 Their strong commitment to programming both modern rock and urban all day long. As a member of the Edmonton music scene, I believe JAM-FM will do a great addition to the city's airwaves.
7736 I also know that the key players on their team, John Donnelly and Gary McGowan, are both very dedicated and hard-working individuals who will do a great job given the chance.
7737 I know that JAM-FM will serve this community well, and I am pleased to lend my full support.
7738 Thank you. I would be pleased to answer any questions you may have.
7739 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Ioannides.
7740 Mr. Stoll.
7741 MR. STOLL: Good afternoon, Madam Chairperson, Commissioners. My name is Gerry Stoll. I am the entertainment and booking manager for Northlands Park, which includes the Skyreach Centre, an arena of 16,000 seats; the AgriCom at Northlands Park, a 4,500 seat capacity, and a venue of other meeting spaces, one of which is Edmonton's largest venue, the Commonwealth Stadium.
7742 I have been involved in the music industry fulltime for over 33 years and presented now over 2,000 shows in my career, from local shows at a club in college level, right up to Bruce Springsteen or Elton John or Shania Twain, Dixie Chicks, AC/DC. I have been involved in almost every aspect of the music community, as a manager of artists, as a promoter, as a theatre manager.
7743 For 16 years I was the entertainment manager at the University of Alberta. I managed the Horowitz Theatre there and Dinwoodie Lounge and presented over 1,500 artists. Many of those are Canadian. Most of them are recognizable. Most Canadian acts you would hear today I have worked with, like Sarah McLaughlin, Blue Rodeo or The Hip.
7744 I am intervening today on behalf of the Harvard Broadcasting application for JAM-FM proposing a new format for radio for Edmonton, which combines modern rock, urban and rhythmic contemporary. I believe this will be an excellent new format. It is currently not available on the airwaves today, and yet we have a very young, unique and diverse growing community here in Edmonton.
7745 JAM-FM is committed to supporting the music community, Canadian artists, local artists and supports many new and established events here in Edmonton.
7746 My exposure and involvement in the music business has taken me to many great cities around the world and gives me a great understanding of the needs of our community. Edmonton needs a good new radio station. We need a station which is committed to supporting our local artists and events so these artists may develop here, so that they may learn the ropes, they may learn the industry and establish a fan base.
7747 One of the things I like best about this application is that it will bring together these different styles of music, and it brings together people from many different cultures. It crosses many boundaries, and Edmonton is a city full of multiculturalism and fantastic arts.
7748 I understand that the Commission has probably not seen an application like this one which combines urban, modern rock and rhythmic contemporary onto one channel, but I attest that this combination of music is viable in Edmonton.
7749 We have seen many examples of rock and urban combined on our concert stages, most recently Avril Lavigne, one of Canada's newest brightest stars. She recently performed in Edmonton at the Skyreach Centre, selling out her concert, and her show featured modern rock, urban and rhythmic artists on the same stage. This audience was over 15,000 people. About 90 per cent were between the ages of 12 and 20, and I understand this is the target audience of JAM-FM.
7750 The audience was equally supportive of all three music genres. They aren't narrow minded or narrow focused about today's music choices.
7751 I think JAM-FM is a great idea to program a radio station which is not narrow in its format but rather provides a true variety and a diversity.
7752 Another innovative program idea which will actually benefit the local music industry is their music industry travel assistance program. JAM-FM has committed to a minimum of $75,000 per year to help kickstart this great new support mechanism for local performers in our province. The idea is to create a funding program to which artists may apply for support, which will be administered by area.
7753 This is the Alberta Music Industry Association or Alberta Recording Industry Association. I am a member of this organization and represent them on a number of organizations.
7754 Touring is crucial today, crucial in building any artist's career. It develops new artists, crucial for our business. I believe this program will provide a great leg-up, not only for the artists but also for the venues they perform at. This program will have a few interesting effects.
7755 FACTOR has a small touring program, as does the Canada Council. However, their funds are limited and, in the highest case, they will pay for 50 per cent of artists' touring costs.
7756 With this program JAM-FM can deliver our best local talent to national and even international festivals and stages.
7757 Another program JAM-FM has offered to support which is near and dear to my heart -- I don't know if I mentioned earlier, but I also serve on the board of directors of the Canadian Country Music Association, the Western Canada Music Alliance, which is an amalgamation of music industry associations from Yukon, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. This was a recent merger between Prairie Music Week and West Coast Music Awards.
7758 I also am a board member of Global Country and also served for years trying to get the 2004 Juno Awards to Edmonton, under the guidance of our mayor. It is no news to many here that the Juno Awards will be here in Edmonton next April, April 4.
7759 This program that is dear to my heart is the Western Canada Music Awards. As I said, I am the Alberta rep. We, like others on that, have given up many hours to develop this organization as a way of something to give back to the community, to the young artists. After 33 years, I feel I owe it to them.
7760 I was especially pleased to see that they recognize the importance of providing funding to the Western Canada Alliance. That is JAM.
7761 The Alliance is further committed to our music community and makes a difference for our artists. By my calculation, Harvard has committed to these goals and about three quarters of a million in support to these two organizations, who are non-profit groups, over the next seven years.
7762 Edmonton desperately could use a new bright radio station. We need to open our doors to a new format, which embraces a variety of styles and is not narrow in its focus to the inclusion of complete musical styles.
7763 Harvard has put together a great application. They bring a new voice and new ideas into this market. I am pleased to provide my support to the Harvard Broadcasting application for JAM-FM. Thank you.
7764 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, gentlemen.
7765 Commissioner Cardozo, please.
7766 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you, Madam Chair.
7767 Mr. Ioannides, you mentioned that there was a large enthusiastic audience for these two genres of music, modern rock and urban. What is your sense of where they are getting their music from now?
7768 MR. IOANNIDES: I think a lot of them are getting it just word of mouth from friends. Also, I find that they are listening to the university radio stations to find some of this music that isn't being played on the local radio stations here in Edmonton.
7769 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Are they downloading a lot of music off the Internet?
7770 MR. IOANNIDES: I think most music now is downloaded.
7771 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: What does a radio station do then? Will they just carry on doing that or are they going to try to --
7772 MR. IOANNIDES: I think they are going to be able to open up this music to a lot of other people.
7773 If you go through my CDs that I have made, a lot of them are mixed CDs. I will have a rock song and then it will be a hip hop or a dance song, or something like that. It is the music I want to hear right then. It is either the energy of the music, depending on what disc I have in there.
7774 I find a lot of people are making assorted CDs that are a mix of different types of music that you would not hear on a radio station, not on the same station. You would have to flip through stations to hear this type.
7775 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you.
7776 Thank you, Madam Chair.
7777 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Harvey, Mr. Ioannides and Mr. Stoll, for your participation in our process.
7778 Before we proceed to the next intervenor, I want to advise that we will finish the proceeding today. So we will hear Phase IV, that is the applicants in reply, after we finish our list of Phase III intervenors, just so you are advised ahead of time.
7779 Mr. Secretary, please.
7780 MR. LeBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
7781 The next panel of intervenors will comprise Mr. Bobby Curtola, Jacquie Hammond and Gene Geroly.
7782 MR. CURTOLA: Good afternoon, Madam Chairperson and Commissioners. My name is Bobby Curtola, and I am very pleased to be here in support of CKMW Radio's application for a licence.
7783 I am really excited about what I am hearing today, going back as far as I do in the radio business. I have to be honest with you. The broadcasters represented today have done a lot for our country and artists.
7784 In my early days of entertainment and travelling with those hit records, it was always a challenge to get played. What inspires me about Bill and Ed and the crew over at CKMW Radio's application is their support to the street, to the edge of what is happening. In those early days for us, the music business, rock and roll then was what you would call hip hop and the mosaic of urban today, with the dance involved.
7785 What they are proposing to do for the talent is really inspiring. I see a great opportunity for what happened in those early days happening again. It is like old radio access. And access is only a part of the great opportunity this new talent needs. Besides access naturally airplay. With airplay comes the opportunity to create records and product for people who might like your style of music.
7786 With Ed's background, with Mr. LaBuick's background of being part of the radio station, he has a history of selling records. He knows what it takes. In a lot of cases people do go to studios and make records, and there they sit on the shelves without the rest of those people you need around you to inspire you to take that thing you have, that intangible thing called talent to the streets, to the retail markets.
7787 What is being proposed here from the talent perspective is an incredible opportunity for the talent in this region. To all of the wonderful Members of the Commission, Edmonton, because of the likes of Tommy Banks, if you do the research here and you look at what has happened with The Citadel, the music mosaic in this town is incredible. The talent here is just waiting to burst. It is like the bottom part of an iceberg just waiting to happen.
7788 The opportunity that this station and this format, this mix of urban and dance, what it would bring to this community is incredible. You are all aware of the needs. You just have to go to the nightclubs in this town to see what they are playing.
7789 My son is involved in a restaurant called Dante's. It is a nightclub restaurant. It is a very large one. If you go on any given night, that is the music they are playing. They are playing the mix of urban and dance.
7790 When you look back to the era of my time and the music business, if the kids didn't dance to your music, you didn't have a record. And it has never really changed. You have to have that interaction with the music. This new kind of music that is happening today is the voice of the kids. That's really what they want.
7791 Some references have been made to going underground because it is not available to them in this purest form. I really think that the format concept of urban, combined with dance, is the right one. In the market we have some incredible radio stations who have worked very hard at the rock aspect of the airplay. They have captured that audience very well, and they have loyal listeners.
7792 What I like about this is this concept is not taking away from anyone. But the big opportunity is for the talent in this city.
7793 Like any business, and for some reason in the music business everyone of late has this concept that it has to be a national perspective with some regional support. So they ask artists to come with everything prepared. Have your video. Have everything done. Come and present it to the record company, and we will try to find a breakout area for you.
7794 In any other business, why would anyone try to start a national business without some local or regional success?
7795 What we are talking about here is local/regional success for artists and talent who in most cases are trying to establish themselves in a market that really has no window as of yet, that this station and this group of people would give them. They are also going to give them some opportunity for packaging. And more than just recording, they are going to be hands on involved in the recording and the aspect of selling that commercial product.
7796 What happens is that when any artist has any kind of success, consider it to be a painter. A lot of painters copy Picasso as in the music business many of us starting out copy the people we like. From that we learn our craft.
7797 The story is so true that if you copy Picasso enough, you can paint an original Picasso. The opportunity that is here in front of us with this concept of urban and dance and for the commitment they are going to make to the talent in this community is that they will support that talent in not only making their records and giving them a voice in the community, but they will also help market that talent.
7798 It is very possible that from this regional perspective from this city of Edmonton, we could have some substantial breakout for talent in North America for this specific genre of music. It is really a very good possibility this could happen. All of the people that have presented their case to you from CKMW Radio have done this before. This isn't a concept they are proposing could work. They have had every aspect of this work in their lives.
7799 It is unique in this proposal here in Edmonton for this licence that they came together this way. I think they could hit the ball out of the ballpark. I think they could give these wonderful aspiring new young faces that the world is about to meet a tremendous opportunity to show who they are and to support them in all of the challenge you have with growth being an artist. Who helps you put the record out? Who is the producer? All of those other elements.
7800 What will happen locally, because of the DJ spinners -- you have to remember that when I started in the record business, the DJs were bigger stars than we were in those local communities. And they literally introduced us to their fans. The difference was we were the common denominators across the country.
7801 DJs were a very important part of radio. It was personality radio. These DJ spinners are stars in their own right wherever they are performing, whether it be nightclubs or the dances. So them presenting the music and getting the feedback from the street, it is going to be real because they want to keep that audience they have. And they can only do that by being good at what they do.
7802 In response to that, if there is some new talent that sounds and fits the bill, they will slide it in.
7803 So it means that this new talent is going to get the exposure. It means that this community will get a kind of music done the way it should be done for them. They are not presently getting this at all. All of the surveys you have looked at today from all of the stations have supported the fact that urban isn't really being presented properly, and the mix of dance with it in this community, because of where we are and who we are, would support that whole concept.
7804 I see some tremendous events in town because of this. I see some interaction from young people. I see them partaking in more than just visiting the mall and listening to the radio and going to nightclubs. Because of the talk on the radio, it gives great opportunity to not only present some of the extreme things that happen in this world we live in, but some of the positive ones.
7805 I would appreciate that you consider what is before you with this tremendous group of individuals that really are committed to this new kind of radio. It really isn't happening much in our country any more. It is the way the radio business started, with stars that were DJs, that listened to and picked the music. And when artists like myself came to town and knocked on the door, even at 8 o'clock at night, they played the record.
7806 That responsive talking and being interviewed on the radio created more interest, and the rest is history when you've got it right, when you really have what people want.
7807 I am repeating myself, but I really think this could happen again. It inspires me. That is one of the reasons why I was so dedicated to the Canadian content law. In those early years I supported some of my early bands, The Guess Who and Little Caesar and the Consuls who were having trouble, not only saving enough money to make a record but to get it promoted.
7808 In particular, with "Shaking All Over", I walked that record into every radio station in western Canada and The Guess Who were born. I was very proud of that fact, because we did a lot of touring together.
7809 This can happen again, and it needs to. It needs to have that kind of access. The kids will tell you what they want. There needs to be naturally some control as to all of what you are doing. You just can't let what people think is right happen.
7810 You heard Bill say how many times that he is putting all of this money into programming. Programming needs the support system for this concept, for this style of music and for this interactive participation that he is talking to you about.
7811 I think it is a winning combination. It is unto itself. It is not like anything else you have heard today from anyone. I believe because of the size of who they are that they are like a dog with a bone: they are not going to give it up until they make it work. I know that they will find all of those other elements. The research proves that it is all here. I think it is going to be a huge success.
7812 I would appreciate so much if you would consider them for the licence for Alberta. Thank you very much.
7813 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Curtola.
7814 MS HAMMOND: Hi, there. My name is Jacquie Hammond, owner/operator of the Canadian School of Modern Broadcasting since its inception in 1999.
7815 We are a registered, certified, licensed private vocational school under Alberta Learning. As such, we have a well-rounded program, not only for students interested in their development within the radio broadcasting industry but more importantly for spinners, those nightclub jocks that become the end result of why someone will return to a nightclub, dance or otherwise.
7816 Some of our courses that we cover, not just in the spinner's program but under the broadcasting program include something that I teach, which is law and ethics. I also teach about the CRTC so students have a well-rounded idea.
7817 We have everything from performance, which allows students the ability to learn everything from production to control; being on air and being in a nightclub, including production, which is basically the development of what you might hear on radio -- obviously you know that; in addition to audio tech, which is the technical aspect of it; broadcast writing; job strategies.
7818 So basically when they graduate they have a well-rounded program and they graduate with a diploma, as do the spinners. The spinners are the background of the dance and urban format.
7819 What I see really here is more so than anything what makes a radio station work is a lot of the fiscal responsibility involved in that. Being a business owner, I see tremendous potential for future careers of our graduates, especially of the direct relationship that The Beat's format with urban and dance will have with the Canadian School of Modern Broadcasting. It is something that is truly exciting, and it offers tremendous potential for our graduates. They will now have somewhere to go.
7820 Right now we are the only spinning school in all of Canada. That means that people throughout Canada are now coming to Edmonton, which is exactly where this radio station plans on its inception, which is wonderful because again students will no longer have to leave.
7821 Right now we have students from Nanaimo to Prince Edward Island. Why? There is nowhere else to go. They can't stay in Edmonton.
7822 The youth, which is what our students are, 18 to usually about 28, are interested in this type of format. That is all they listen to, is urban and dance. It has been at trend for a long time, and nobody has actually taken the time though to listen to them in terms of what they are looking for.
7823 Most of these students pursue a career within the nightclub industry. Growing up in Edmonton and spending many, many years as not only a patron of the nightclubs but also working in the nightclubs, I am quite familiar with the trend and with the music being played, which is again dance, hip hop.
7824 Also what The Beat is planning to do is take the students that we have trained, who are now working in the nightclubs, and putting them on the air so they have a chance to actually spin on the air. They are planning on doing this more than ten times a week.
7825 What an awesome opportunity for people to actually show off their talent and brag a little bit about what they have learned. This is what they actually do for a living.
7826 The Beat is finally giving an outlet for these individuals to do so.
7827 The fact that we are the only school in Canada means that we are nationally recognized, and it also means huge economic growth for these students and the city because of the type of format. Eighteen-plus is the future of our city. They are the ones who actually listen and make the decisions in terms of what they want to listen to and which station they want to listen to. Right now they are punching from one station to the next, trying to find hip hop, urban and then dance. They have no direct outlet to just punch a station and listen to it and get exactly what they are looking for.
7828 It is my understanding that currently their programming is, I believe, 40 per cent dance, 60 per cent urban. There couldn't be a better format for these guys. I am quite familiar with them. I deal with them every single day. I have to listen to it every single day. And I am also in the clubs basically because we have to go and check on our spinners, check on our students. We want to make sure that they are actually applying what they have learned.
7829 The reason for this development of the Canadian School of Modern Broadcasting is because of the demand. There is such an incredible demand, and we have nothing to actually meet it. As a result, I plan on getting rich and live happily ever after because of this type of a demand. There is nowhere else in Canada, nothing from east to west.
7830 So dance being the predominant feature in the clubs, they also in turn play the same type of format as what The Beat plans on doing, again a direct result of the demand.
7831 The fact that The Beat is actually going to work closely with us gives us a tremendous opportunity to show off our talent and for the talent to show off itself, not just from the clubs going on to the station but graduates going directly into the nightclubs, spinning and then having a direct outlet to become recognized and well-known in terms of The Beat actually putting them on the air.
7832 The excitement really is twofold for me. As the only school again in Canada to provide this type of an industry to future stations, I am extremely excited and sincerely hope that you can seriously consider this application. I think it would be a wealth of opportunity for Edmonton, both economically and for its future students and hopefully breadwinners.
7833 In closing, again as a broadcasting school and nightclub, the two are synonymous. I would like to take the time to thank you very much for listening and hopefully you will definitely decide on The Beat.
7834 Thank you very much.
7835 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Hammond.
7836 MR. GEROLY: Good afternoon. My name is Gene Geroly.
7837 I would like to start off by thanking you for having me here today to speak on behalf of CKMW Radio Ltd.'s application for a dance and urban music station in Edmonton.
7838 I was very excited to be selected to speak here today as this application is very important to me as a Canadian-owned business in the Canadian music industry.
7839 With respect to my background, I have been involved in the music industry for almost ten years, working at both major and independent record labels, creating over a dozen gold, platinum and multi platinum records, such as Frosh, House Mix and Reggae Hits, as well as working on numerous successful artists' albums in a variety of genres.
7840 I have recently created my own company, Show Stopping Entertainment, that is a Canadian record label and consulting firm that produces dance and urban music CDs for sale here in Canada.
7841 My company's success, like many other Canadian companies, relies upon dance and urban music being heard by the Canadian public in the clubs and, more important, on the radio. Within these last ten years I have been fortunate to travel all around Canada and work with many DJs and radio stations, which has given me a good understanding of the Canadian market, Canadian radio and the needs for both the Canadian market and Canadian radio.
7842 Dance and urban music are extremely popular forms of music within Canada, and the sales success of my artists and CDs proves this. And the city of Edmonton is certainly no exception.
7843 Even though Edmonton's population accounts for only about 3 per cent of Canada's total population, sales for dance and urban music can account for up to 10 per cent of total Canadian sales. This demonstrates to me that Edmonton is a major market for this music. However, radio support for dance and urban music is almost non-existent in Edmonton, even though the residents clearly enjoy it.
7844 If a station in Edmonton were playing dance and urban music, it would benefit not only the residents but also Canadian companies like mine that rely upon selling music in order to survive.
7845 I am very pleased that CKMW is applying for a dance and urban music station in Edmonton, not only because it will fill the much needed void here in Edmonton radio but also because they are one of the most professional and accessible stations I have dealt with.
7846 As I mentioned in my support letter, they have always treated me with respect and professionalism, whether I was calling from a major label or an independent label, and it has always been a welcome experienced to deal with them.
7847 In regard to programming, there have been numerous times that CKMW station CIDC 103.5 FM was the first station in Canada to play artists on the radio that went on to become major hits at radio right across Canada. Groups include such as the VangaBoys, Alice DJ and DJ Sandy.
7848 Songs from these artists were sent to all the Canadian stations at the same time but only added once they debuted on the American charts often many months after they were first released here in Canada. However, once they were added on to those stations, those artists did become major hits and top requests on those stations. Clearly the residents in all cities in Canada did like the music.
7849 On the other hand, CKMW added the songs immediately to their playlist, not waiting for them to appear on any chart. They added them because the songs were good and that they knew that their listenership would like them.
7850 My experience in the music industry has also allowed me to work with many radio stations across Canada, and I have come to realize that many of their playlists are dictated by what is being played on American radio charts. Canada isn't New York or Los Angeles, and the radio shouldn't be either.
7851 CKMW has always been different and played music that Canadians like, regardless of whether it is on American charts or charts anywhere else. In fact, at the New Music West Industry Showcase last year, Chad Kruger from Nickleback said radio stations in Canada tend to program very conservatively and only play something which has been proven elsewhere, especially south of the border.
7852 Beyond radio play, CKMW has also been very supportive of the artists I have worked with, allowing for interviews on the station, as well as holding concerts, that has given the artists additional exposure to increase their fan base and their record sales.
7853 I have also worked with CKMW on three successful CD compilations, the Hit Mix One and Two and Street Mix, that have all been huge sales successes. By adding these other components to the Edmonton market, it would be a great boost to Canadian artists and music companies like mine.
7854 I would like to conclude by thanking you again for allowing me to speak on a market and a format that is very important to me. Edmonton needs a radio station that programs what the community wants, and I believe CKMW are the ones to do it.
7855 Thank you.
7856 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Hammond, Mr. Curtola and Mr. Geroly, for participating in our proceeding.
7857 Mr. Secretary, please.
7858 MR. LeBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
7859 The next panel will consist of Mr. Andy Kwak, Salam Jones, Michael Burke, Jack Cooper and Mike Letto.
7860 Please identify yourself as you speak. You have ten minutes to make your intervention.
7861 MR. COOPER: Madam Chairperson, Members of the CRTC. My name is Jack Cooper. I was a teacher for 34 years, 24 years in the Northwest Territories. On the side I directed musical theatre for 19 years and received the Lescarbeau Award for my work from the Honourable Minister Ethel Blondin.
7862 I think part of the reason I received it was because I taught her. That gives you an idea of what my age might be.
7863 For the last seven months my brother and I have been asked by the Northwest Territories to work in the villages, settlements, towns to bring about a pop music program and also introducing choreography to many, many small settlements. We have enjoyed it very much.
7864 I am now doing something that I have always wanted to do, and that is to work with talent, especially young talent. With my brother Jan, we run a vocal career and artist development school both here and in Vancouver.
7865 My brother Jan is considered one of Canada's top pop vocal coaches and has worked with such celebrities as Lisa Brokop, Patricia Conroy, Matthew Good, and right now he is working with Phil Collins' son Simon Collins.
7866 I would first like to make sure you understand that I am a vocal coach and not an agent or manager. We develop both recreational singers and singers who wish to become professionals. Right now I am very proud to say that two of our young singers, because we belong to an international organization called FIDOF, which is the Federation of Independent Festivals, will be representing Canada in August, an 11-year-old and a 12-year-old, in Baton Rouge. They will be competing against children from all over the world.
7867 Two years ago one of our young ones was also chosen to represent Canada in Cairo, Egypt.
7868 Part of our work consists of helping find new music for our artists, get it recorded and then help them promote it. Of course, one of the ways of getting recognition for these vocalists is to try and have local radio stations play their music.
7869 I also realize quality of the CD production is very important.
7870 As far as Edmonton goes, I have given up trying to get the main radio stations to play my artists even once. I would like to give you several examples of why I stopped approaching the mainline radio stations in Edmonton.
7871 About two years ago one of my young artists had just recorded her first CD. We could not get it played here except by CKER. Interesting enough. Z99 in Red Deer gave it several spins. Power 107 in Calgary played it once, but its sister station in Edmonton would not play it.
7872 Ironically, it was also played in Scotland, England, Belgium, Germany and Australia. A few months ago our artist was having a CD release show at Red's at West Edmonton Mall. I phoned a station to see if they would announce her show. "Are we playing her CD?" The answer was no. Then we cannot put the announcement on. Catch 22.
7873 And yet this same singer is good enough to open for Tom Jackson, a very well-known Canadian actor and singer.
7874 As you might well be aware, our new young Canadian artists use many ways for trying to raise money so they can move on, and I feel it is too bad when local radio stations are so worried about points and money they can't lend a helping hand.
7875 I find the smaller or independent stations are much more approachable and helpful. This same artist had her CD played at Mix-100 in Yellowknife for four months. CKVR, Meford, Saskatchewan, gave it some play time. But not Edmonton -- except for CKER.
7876 A few years ago a young country artist of ours won the CISN Vocal Competition at Big Valley Jamboree. Many of those working for CISN at the time thought she was great, thought her new song was wonderful, indicated that they might put the CD on radio, and for a few weeks seemed very positive. And then I stated to a certain member of the station: "You are not going to put it on." And finally I received my answer: No.
7877 I find it interesting that local TV takes a different approach. Global and A-Channel many times over many years have been willing to put on local artists, and these two TV stations are still in business.
7878 In Edmonton I found one radio station that was constantly willing to listen to a new artist's CDs and in many cases invite the artist to the station to be interviewed, to have their song played, made for a short time to feel important and yes, even announce their future shows. That station was CKER.
7879 I and my young Canadian/Albertan artists can't thank them enough for their understanding and co-operation in giving these singers a small kickstart, something the big conglomerates wouldn't or don't want to do.
7880 I would personally like to thank Janna Lapelle and Juan Karoka from CKER for their help. Edmonton needs to have a radio station where our new artists can be judged by their peers and the public and not just a committee of one, two or three.
7881 The idea of Canadian content is important. But how hard is it to pick Shania, Celine, Avril, et cetera? What if we had a radio station that could pick Shila, Rachelle, Tom and, yes, Dick and Harry?
7882 I came to this hearing not for myself but for many new Albertan artists who need a platform where they might be heard at least once. That is why I wish to appear before the public hearing concerning the formation of the new radio station as presented by OK Radio Group Ltd.
7883 Just to reiterate: This radio station can provide an outlet for new artists and bands in Edmonton and surrounding area.
7884 I would like to thank the Commission for giving me this chance to speak to them.
7885 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Cooper.
7886 MR. KWAK: Hi. My name is Andy Kwak. I am with the Salvation Army Community and Family Services.
7887 Over the last 15 years I have had the experience of working the OK Radio Group, CKER, in promoting the Toys for Tots Program here in Edmonton. It is a vital program here in Edmonton providing toys for the needy in the Edmonton area.
7888 The Salvation Army has been very grateful in being able to work with CKER Radio. This application would mean a broader audience that we would be able to reach out to in the community, a much needed thing that we are really looking forward to with the Salvation Army and working with the community.
7889 OK Radio has proven to be a very good partner in the community, helping us throughout the year with different events and promoting the community and the Salvation Army in this area. I look forward to this application being accepted. Thank you.
7890 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Kwak.
7891 MS JONES: Bonjour. My name is Salam Jones.
7892 I am an Edmonton-based Canadian independent recording artist. The rock project I work with is called Jones. I support OK Radio Group's application to license 102.9FM based on my personal experience with The Q, a Victoria station that they also own. I will impart that experience interspersed with other observations throughout this short statement.
7893 About a year ago we released our first album. Understanding that radio is made by corporate artists to sell advertising, we recognized that our options for potential airplay in our hometown were astoundingly limited.
7894 Thankfully there were CKUA and CJSR -- and I should have gone to to CKER, I think, now that I hear what you had to say. These stations are open-minded and strongly diverse. We remain grateful for that strength.
7895 Ironically, though, such vast diversity in programming becomes a weakness where independent artists are concerned as it narrows airplay for any artist or any genre. Consequently, an artist can't gain the amount of exposure required to serve the raising of a profile to the level of survival.
7896 One overzealous fan did, of her own accord, submit our CD to one of the other local stations. Much to her frustration and indignation, she quickly learned that their hands are tied and programming is not done locally, nor does it have any kind of local focus.
7897 In my regular contact with music fans, I find that while many still don't realize that there are thousands of recording artists that they can't access through radio, more and more are learning this. As awareness of this fact increases, these people, especially women, tell me they are eager for something else, and they are often very explicit about what they want and what they don't want. In fact, many of them say they seek change through Internet radio which usually takes them far, far from home, so to speak.
7898 While I definitely celebrate freedom of musical choice, especially in rock as that genre has stretched so many ways, I am also very disturbed by this, because where does it leave our local heroes -- those known or those unknown, be it broadcaster or musician? Access to local heroes is required for a community, region, province and a country to grow and maintain a strong and uplifted sense of identity. Anyone with the public's ear has the potential to serve that purpose. But speaking of heroes, I'll return to my experience with The Q.
7899 It came to our attention that B.C. had something Alberta didn't: a rock station that was very willing to explore Canadian independent music and offer a portion of that huge missing link in radio -- the solid middle ground where artist and listener can grow together. So we sent them our record. Not only did they play it, they did so with gusto, giving us an inordinate amount of correspondence that ranged from positive feedback, to constructive criticism, and even to potential venues for live performance. We were stunned. The amount of unsurpassed support and nurturing we received was oxygen -- highly, highly motivating. In fact it is one of things that has helped us maintain vision as we work our way through recording our second CD.
7900 OK Radio Group says that theirs is a philosophy of integrity in broadcasting which includes a strong supportive focus on Canadian music. I have found this to be true. Within that, they say that they will operate 102.9FM from a mandate to provide a large and consistent platform for local and regional independent artists. Based on my experience with their level of integrity, I trust that to be true as well.
7901 If they receive this licence and they run this station in the same manner as The Q, with that promised additional support to local artists, the people of Edmonton are in for a rare, rock, radio experience. Listeners, artists and even advertisers alike, may actually become local heroes. Since that is how national and international heroes begin, not only do I wish for the success of this application, but I sincerely hope that the Commission sees the wisdom in licensing more stations that uphold such a philosophy, throughout our entire country.
7902 Thank you for your time.
7903 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Jones.
7904 MR. LETTO: Good afternoon to the Commission and Madam Chair. My name is Mike Letto. I am the lead singer and marketing manager for the band Sinclair.
7905 I am here today to intervene on behalf of the OK Radio Group's bid for an independent rock station in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
7906 Being an independent musician myself, it must be obvious why I am sitting here today, but there are other reasons.
7907 The other band members and myself not only consider music our career but our livelihood. We have prepared ourselves formally, educating ourselves in both music performance and business.
7908 It is very difficult to get independent music heard by the key people in the music industry and even harder without local radio support. If you are not signed to a major record label, most mainstream radio stations will not give you the opportunity. Some of these radio stations do contribute to the independent music scene through advertising and other specials for independent bands, but it is simply not enough.
7909 Independent music is making a strong charge to becoming the choice of many music listeners. According to SOCAN, which is the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada, musicians who take the independent route in their music venture are making a better choice than choosing the ever-crumbling major label.
7910 As a result, more and more independent musicians will be breaking out of this declining trend and will need a reliable and effective medium to spread their music.
7911 A musician will only succeed if their music gets heard. Locally here in Edmonton the only way to promote your independent music is to play shows and hope people will come out. The unfortunate part is that people may not want to spend their hard earned money on a band they have not heard yet. This is why it is important to reach these people through the airwaves and create the desire to go out and support local music.
7912 Today's musician is not the rowdy, long-haired lazy individual that society has pigeon-holed over the years. We are now business minded, determined individuals who feel the need to succeed in our career choice.
7913 I believe with the help of OK Radio Group and their strong will to succeed, they can aid many Edmonton-based bands in being heard by their listening customers.
7914 Thank you so much.
7915 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Letto.
7916 MR. BURKE: My name is Michael Burke. I am from Victoria. I am with the Cordova Bay entertainment group, and I would like to speak in support of the OK Radio group's application.
7917 Cordova Bay is a small independent record company in this country, with distribution in Canada, the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom. We see support in various levels in various countries, and unfortunately in Canada it is fairly low.
7918 In Victoria OK Radio has been extremely supportive of independent labels, and I would like to include Cordova Bay in that.
7919 The reason for it is that OK Radio by itself is an independent operation. They don't bow to the demands of major labels, major distributors. They walk their own beat. They basically have a philosophy that good music gets played, and that is very important because Canadians put out good music.
7920 Reports indicate that in Canada approximately 2 per cent of rock radio airplay is independent. On any given week the charts from OK Radio in Victoria probably have three or four independent charting songs on a chart of top 40 or 45, substantially better than what the rest of the country is doing.
7921 They put that emphasis in support not just of local music and independent music but also from a larger community of Vancouver Island. They have programs that many other stations will probably have as well, but they really adhere to them.
7922 At the end of the month is a feature that has the musical community in Victor very, very excited. This is not just get a special mention on the radio. This is getting full rotation on a commercial radio chart; having a fully promoted and presented show at the end of the month. That is very important for building careers.
7923 A program called "Rocktoria", where four artists are featured and then presented throughout the year as feature artists, has been running for 15 years. It is not a Johnny-come-lately.
7924 Recently they have even expanded beyond programs that they themselves have introduced. An independent group has created the Empire Awards in Victoria, representing independent music. Rather than looking at this as competition to Rocktoria or Band of the Month, OK Radio got behind it. It is not even theirs. They were the main sponsor.
7925 Part of the Rocktoria and related support has generated a great surge of Canadian artists out of the Victoria area. We have had the Moffets, who have sort of come and gone and are now coming back. Everyone knows Nellie Furtado, David Gogo. Those from Ottawa might recognize the name from Nanaimo, British Columbia; Hot Hot Heat.
7926 Some of these people were actually involved with Rocktoria as Rocktoria winners.
7927 Another artist of ours, Jeffrey Sez, was Band of the Month winner last January. They are now touring and doing extremely well. At the moment they are actually touring Alberta.
7928 They are currently playing in Calgary. They did the big "Breakfast Show" there this morning. They are doing "Wired" there this evening. They are coming to do "Big Breakfast" in Edmonton tomorrow morning and then playing a club date tomorrow evening and finishing their Alberta tour with Alberta's own rock festival on the weekend.
7929 This type of support is lacking currently in most markets in Canada. Edmonton should feel very lucky that the opportunity to have these people involved is raising itself.
7930 Mr. Curtola probably would be very happy to hear a little story.
7931 Last summer we released a single by David Gogo. We took it to OK Radio where we sat in their boardroom for a listening session. These usually end with handshakes and nods and smiles, and everyone goes their own way.
7932 David and I went to the car and we were driving back to the ferry terminal, and we were discussing whether or not we thought the meeting had gone well. We turned the radio on and they were playing the single.
7933 This is rare for an independent artist. I think that the opportunity for you to make a decision to improve the independent musical community in Edmonton is very exciting, and I hope you choose to support OK Radio. Thank you.
7934 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Cooper, Mr. Kwak, Ms Jones, Mr. Letto and Mr. Burke. We thank you for participating in our proceeding.
7935 Mr. Secretary, please.
7936 MR. LeBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
7937 The next panel will be Michelle Cameron-Coulter and Neil Edwards.
7938 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon.
7939 MS CAMERON-COULTER: Good afternoon. I am Michelle Cameron-Coulter from Calgary, and I am very grateful and excited to be here today in support of Rogers Broadcasting's application.
7940 I am here and want to support them because they are consistent in their unwavering commitment that Rogers has made and continues to make in the Calgary market and community.
7941 My background is in sports. I earned a gold medal in the 1988 Olympics in synchronized swimming and pairs, and I am also very honoured to have the Order of Canada. The honour has enabled me to get involved with many community and non-profit and charitable organizations, such as the National Board of Drug Awareness, the Special Olympics, the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Missing Children's Society of Alberta, just to name a few.
7942 I have been involved at different levels with these organizations, including co-chairing boards, hosting telethons, fund-raising and executing awareness campaigns. It is through my association with such organizations that brought Rogers Broadcasting Limited and myself together.
7943 I first came into contact with Rogers Broadcasting Limited in 1989 on the national level when I became a director on the National Advisory Board. I was on the board when Rogers first began acquiring stations in western Canada. During my tenure we focused on many issues ranging from how to better improve relations with community and charitable organizations to gender equity.
7944 I am currently the chair of the Calgary Advisory Board and have held that position since 1993. During the ten years I have worked directly with the Calgary and Canmore group of radio stations. It always amazes me how much individuals in the station grow every time I have the opportunity to meet with them; the way they are constantly evolving their practices, improving their policies and never resting on their laurels.
7945 I have witnessed how Rogers consistently draws from their vast resources within their broadcasting wireless and cable organizations to support and grow. As well, I also find it fascinating how the radio stations, regardless of their diversity, always pool their resources to make a stronger product and provide a better service to their listeners, clients and customers.
7946 Rogers Broadcasting Limited Group of Radios are truly dedicated to the communities of Calgary and Canmore, and I know they will continue that level of commitment here in Edmonton.
7947 I want to share a story of some of the things that I have also seen, because I still get to be involved in the community on a number of different levels. The extent to which they are in the community is what always impresses me. Everywhere I go they seem to be there in one way or another.
7948 One example that stands out is right now one of the organizations that we are working with is Kids Cancer Care. They do a big camp every summer. One of our Morning Show group, Don, Joanne and the coach -- I don't know if any of you have heard them. They are a great crew in Calgary. They wanted to do even more. This is just an example of it. They are all raising funds and going to shave their heads for the golf tournament, and they are up over $100,000. That is something that is just beyond what you would normally think. I am thinking more for Joanne; that is the hardest one to have to shave her head.
7949 I think it shows the commitment to the community; that they go above and beyond and they embrace the community.
7950 I hope that you have an opportunity for Rogers to embrace the community in Edmonton.
7951 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
7952 MR. EDWARDS: Madam Chairman, Members of the Commission, legal counsel, thanks for having me up here this afternoon.
7953 Although this group of Commissioners is new to me, I have spent a number of meetings in front of you in the early years of K97, which is CIRK-FM -- they have another call letter at this point in time -- and CJCA-AM.
7954 For nearly 20 years I worked with a team of very dedicated and creative individuals, trailblazing some of the most exciting radio in the market or even across Canada, from the late 1970s to the early 1990s.
7955 The success came from knowing what our audiences wanted or expected from an Edmonton perspective. Over the past week and a half, you have heard various programmers and entities here through the applications supporting local talent at various levels. In my mind, Rogers Broadcasting is showing probably the strongest leadership in their proposal for community development that has been presented to the Commission during this session.
7956 Supporting new musical careers, encouraging performers and writers and showcasing these entertainers will always have a spin-off value such as more work for studios, clubs and concert venues, managers, et cetera.
7957 To the degree that Rogers Broadcasting is willing to help the festival side of Edmonton also has to be applauded. The activity of Edmonton through the summer months is second to none across this country.
7958 As you have been here for nearly two weeks, you can't go far without hearing something on Jazz Fest or The Works, which is paramount to a couple of the applications before you. This, however, is only one entity, or a couple of entities rather, that go from the end of May until mid September. And it makes Edmonton known as the festival city.
7959 Without strong support, both promotional and monetary, many of these organizations would be hard-pressed to continue at the level they enjoy today. In fact, provincial funding has been dramatically pulled back and some have had to curtail certain aspects of their game plans altogether in order to survive.
7960 Rogers Broadcasting, if successful in bringing a new radio signal to Edmonton, will help these organizations quite substantially.
7961 One of the unique areas of the proposal for community development, though, is the Indigenous Peoples Music Fund. Many other areas of Canadian music and arts have been constantly funded by community support programs through broadcast licence commitments, but there is a rich cultural heritage in this country that has seen very little in the way of recognition.
7962 I have heard a number of the applicants before you who have said they will support Aboriginal artists in their format, but no one else with the exception of Aboriginal Voice Radio has made plans for a support mechanism for indigenous music.
7963 War Party has been bantered about here at this session as one of the key local acts that would be played on any one of the young adult applications presented at this session. However, in reality, good indigenous recorded music is hard to come by, which can be substantiated by the various Aboriginal broadcasting outlets across Canada. Development, exposure and promotion of indigenous music over the years has been sporadic at best.
7964 With this new initiative by Rogers Broadcasting, many of the gaps can be bridged for the talent that abounds in the communities in and around Edmonton, northern Alberta and throughout the province.
7965 Like any other group making up the mosaic of a community, the musical will range from traditional, to country, to rap, rock, hip hop, folk, et cetera.
7966 There are also a number of stand-up comics who might also benefit from this.
7967 The Indigenous Peoples Music Fund would be used for hard costs of demo sessions, album production, live showcase productions, potentially for video or helping support production of an indigenous TV show, either for network or cable viewing.
7968 Currently, regional broadcaster CFWE and cable licensee APTN are scrambling to find good current content for their operations. The Indigenous Peoples Music Fund would go a long way in helping support these entities.
7969 Rogers Broadcasting has not stopped just with local music support, the festival scene and the Indigenous Peoples Music Fund. As mentioned in their presentation last Thursday, Rogers would help support bringing together all responsible parties within Edmonton, either through civic, provincial agencies and leaders, law enforcement agencies, community support groups, to help battle the upswing in youth and gang-related problems in Edmonton.
7970 This leans toward Aboriginals in the inner city, but it is not just focused on Aboriginals because there is becoming a major gang problem throughout all of our major urban areas.
7971 To this end a new program to Canada, Project Self-Discovery, would held recover some of these individuals to lead more productive lifestyles and prevent a great number of up and coming youths from being a burden on society, promoting alternative recreational activities. It means expression in music and arts, not just in sports.
7972 It will bring in a lot of interaction within other elements within our community, and through the program it has proven most effective in the strategy of avoiding delinquency and drug abuse.
7973 My interest in these programs outlined in Rogers Broadcasting's licence proposal comes from my professional and personal experiences dealing with young people through the community with activities such as coaching, music programs and theatre arts.
7974 More recently, I was involved with a landmark project called The Indigenous Peoples Leadership Conference here in Edmonton, where key delegates from First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities, along with business partners and government agencies, convened to share perspectives on leadership, accountability and governance. This conference was particularly pointed at the indigenous leaders of tomorrow.
7975 In early 2002 Rogers Broadcasting graciously committed support of all of their Alberta radio stations as one of the major sponsors to this IPLC conference.
7976 In my years of broadcasting in Alberta, I have never seen a more comprehensive program for community support and development as the one presented here this week by Rogers Broadcasting.
7977 Madam Chairman, Commission Members, thank you very much for listening to my presentation this afternoon.
7978 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Cameron-Coulter and Mr. Edwards. We thank you for participating in our proceeding.
7979 Mr. Secretary, please.
7980 MR. LeBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
7981 The next appearing intervention will be presented by Kim Ziervogel.
7982 MS ZIERVOGEL: Hi. My name is Kim Ziervogel, and I represent the Aboriginal Journalists Association of Canada.
7983 I have been working in the mainstream media in the Edmonton area for the past decade. Last year I founded the Aboriginal Journalists Association of Canada, otherwise known as AJAC.
7984 I first heard of Aboriginal Voices Radio a few years ago when Gary Farmer had a test broadcast of JUMP-FM in Toronto. I thought what a great idea to have an urban Aboriginal radio station.
7985 Then I heard that Aboriginal Voices Radio expanded and was going to go fulltime, and not only that but they also wanted to be a national radio station, a Native answer to the CBC. And I say "well, it's about time".
7986 We as Aboriginal people need to have our own national station. We need to have a place to showcase our community and our stories in our way and not vetted through the mainstream media.
7987 I said that I have worked in the mainstream media for the past ten years. In that time I have made it my career to bring positive Aboriginal stories to the mainstream, but that has been a long and difficult struggle.
7988 I thought that any mainstream -- and when I say "mainstream", I mean non-Aboriginal -- media outlet would be very interested in a story on a national Aboriginal radio station that already has six broadcast licences across Canada. I was wrong.
7989 As a writer, I have pitched that story to national papers, to wire services, to magazines and no one is interested in that story with the exception of CBC TV and radio, who actually did a story on AVR last week.
7990 There are about 1.6 million Aboriginal people in Canada, and we cannot get the mainstream media interested in our stories. They are interested in negative stories, stories that do a disservice to the understanding of the Aboriginal community.
7991 There is so much more to the Aboriginal people in this country, and with our own national radio station we could bring those stories to not only our own community but to all of Canada.
7992 I founded the Aboriginal Journalists Association of Canada with a mandate of increasing employment of Aboriginal people in all levels of media, from the librarian at a daily paper, to the director of programming at a television station, to the CEO of a radio group. The mainstream media does not know the pool of talent that is in the Aboriginal community.
7993 Just last week in this very room I stopped to introduce myself to a man I saw with a Broadcast News notepad, because I work at Broadcast News here in Edmonton. It turned out he was the Vice-President and General Manager of the Rawlco Radio Group in Saskatchewan. I told him about the AJAC and he was very interested in our mandates. He said that he didn't know how to find talented Aboriginal people to come and work at their stations.
7994 If Aboriginal Voices Radio were to be granted a licence here in Edmonton, it would be another step, another link, another outlet for the mainstream public to find those talented Aboriginal people.
7995 Also last week just outside this room someone asked: Why does AVR need to apply for a licence this time? Why can't they wait until the next round of hearings in a year or two? If we waited a year or two for that hearing, then we would have to wait several more months to be approved and then still another year or so before AVR actually starts broadcasting here in Edmonton.
7996 So why not wait? Because we need this now. We need our voices to be heard. We need to support our people, our musicians, our artists, our stories.
7997 Our voices were silenced many years ago, and now we are here before the Commission today to say that we want our voices back. We have our voice back. We just want a platform for that voice. We want our voices carried over the airwaves into the homes of average Canadians so that they might gain an understanding of who we are as Aboriginal people and that they will understand that we are just like them with the same hopes and dreams and goals for ourselves and our children.
7998 I find it somewhat perplexing that we come here as Aboriginal people before a largely non-Aboriginal audience to ask permission to broadcast our voice across the airwaves of this land that historically belonged to us. I understand that times change and rules change, and if we didn't understand that we wouldn't be here today. We would be at home on our ham radios, operating pirate radio stations; either that or sending smoke signals out across the prairie sky.
7999 Some might say I just played the race card, and I'm okay with that because I think I just played it too.
8000 AVR is dedicated to bringing Aboriginal music, news, culture and our stories to Canadians. They have already made a commitment to locally produced shows. I am currently working on a one-hour talk show pilot for AVR with a promise of it being turned into a regular series.
8001 That would be the "Marggo Show" you heard so much about last week, or what I liked to call "The Mile With Marggo". It showcases the successes and struggles of Aboriginal women. If we take that show daily, that's five hours of the nine hours AVR has promised the CRTC it would fulfil for this licence.
8002 I think it would be a devastating blow to the Aboriginal community here in Edmonton if AVR was not granted a licence this round. We be left out inf the cold from the rest of the cities that have already been granted their licences. And with a population of 40,000 to 50,000 Aboriginal people in the Edmonton area, and growing, it is important for this community to be a part of the Aboriginal Voices Radio Network.
8003 I urge the CRTC to grant AVR a licence in Edmonton. Let us tell our stories using our own reporters, our own musicians, our own artists, our own radio station.
8004 Thank you. N'gwich.
8005 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Ziervogel.
8006 Commissioner Cardozo, please.
8007 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you, Madam Chair.
8008 Welcome to the hearing.
8009 I want to ask you a couple of questions about the Aboriginal Journalists Association of Canada. I want to find out if you have had any contact with broadcasters on an ongoing basis. You mentioned a couple of people you have talked to here, but does the Association work with or talk to broadcasters to encourage them to hire people?
8010 MS ZIERVOGEL: Well, we just had our official launch in May in Toronto at the University Summit, which is a university and media conference. So we have basically just started putting the word out there that we are here and we want to act as a bridge and consultants for mainstream media to hire more Aboriginal people.
8011 Basically we are just starting to get the word out there that if you are looking for a journalist, and to diversify your employment levels, then you can come to the AJAC and we will help you.
8012 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Do you know how many journalists there are in the Edmonton area?
8013 MS ZIERVOGEL: In the Edmonton area, probably a dozen. Those are the ones that we have identified. Those are not the ones who are acting as grassroots journalists, maybe some who want to be journalists and don't know how to go about doing it.
8014 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Are these people working in the mainstream media or in Aboriginal media?
8015 MS ZIERVOGEL: Both mainstream and Aboriginal.
8016 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: One thing I want to leave with you is I encourage you to get in touch with the Canadian Association of Broadcasters. One of the things we have been working on with them is to work with them to get the entire broadcasting industry, especially television, more reflective of diversity.
8017 We certainly identified the Aboriginal realities being an important aspect. Often we do find just what you mentioned earlier; that people say we don't know where to find people.
8018 I think that argument is going by the wayside gradually, but having an association like yours I think makes the whole process a lot faster. So I certainly encourage your association to be in touch with the CAB and keep in touch with us too, outside the confines of this particular issue, this particular hearing.
8019 MS ZIERVOGEL: Thank you. I appreciate the suggestions.
8020 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: I think if there is an association that is active here and across the country, you can play a very vital role in identifying people who can work in the broadcast media.
8021 MS ZIERVOGEL: Right. Like I said, we are just starting out. Rawlco approached us. I have started talks with the Canadian Press Broadcast News to develop an internship program.
8022 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Good luck and thanks for coming today.
8023 MS ZIERVOGEL: Thanks.
8024 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Ziervogel. Good luck in your new endeavour as well. And thank you for participating in our proceeding.
8025 Mr. Secretary, please.
8026 MR. LeBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
8027 This completes my list of appearing intervenors. For the record, I would like to indicate that those intervenors listed that did not appear, their intervention will remain on file as a non-appearing intervention.
8028 This, Madam Chair, concludes Phase III of this public hearing.
8029 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
8030 We will take a 20-minute break and come back for Phase IV. We will give the applicants an opportunity to get their reply together.
8031 We will be back at five to 4:00.
--- Upon recessing at 1535 / Suspension à 1535
--- Upon resuming at 1355 / Reprise à 1355
8032 THE CHAIRPERSON: Order, please.
8033 Mr. Secretary, please.
8034 MR. LeBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
8035 In Phase IV applicants are provided with an opportunity to respond to all interventions submitted to their application. We will proceed in reverse order, so we will first hear from CKMW Radio Ltd.
8036 You have ten minutes to respond.
REPLY / RÉPLIQUE
8037 MS LAURIGNANO: Thank you.
8038 Thank you, Madam Chairperson, Commissioners. We feel we have had a full opportunity to present our proposal at this hearing. Our written response to the Harvard intervention is on the record. So we feel there is no need to comment further.
8039 Finally, we thank the thousands of supporters, from businesses, artists, musical groups who endorsed our application. I am including Mr. Ioannides from whom you heard before from Reds Nightclub and the Mayor of Edmonton, Mayor Bill Smith.
8040 Thank you very much. Good luck with your deliberations.
8041 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Laurignano.
8042 Mr. Secretary, please.
8043 MR. LeBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
8044 I will now ask Harvard Broadcasting Inc. to respond at this time.
8045 THE CHAIRPERSON: Welcome back, Mr. Cowie.
REPLY / RÉPLIQUE
8046 MR. COWIE: Thank you, Madam Chair.
8047 Madam Chair and Commissioners, my name is Bruce Cowie. Before beginning our presentation, please let me introduce the members of our panel.
8048 To my right is Michael Olstrom. Next to Michael is Gary McGowan. To my immediate left is Eli Klein, a radio show host at CJSR, the University of Alberta's radio station and part of our youth advisory council. And beside Eli is Rob Malcolmson.
8049 We have listened with interest to the other applications, and we think we all agree that Edmonton can support new entrants. In 2002, Edmonton FM radio revenues were $34 million and the PBIT margin was over 33 per cent, according to CRTC data. The issues remaining to be determined are which formats have the best chance of success, which demographic is most underserved, which applicant will have the least impact on existing services and finally, which ownership group will best add diversity both to the local market and to the Canadian broadcasting system overall.
8050 The other issue is how do we bring the 12-24 demographic back to radio?
8051 In Edmonton there are three stations playing, each to varying degrees, modern rock. Despite the availability of modern rock in the market, tuning in the 12-24 demographic has declined by almost 20 per cent over the last four years. Clearly, modern rock as a stand-alone format is not repatriating youth tuning. The same is true for urban. In Toronto in the 12-17 demographic tuning to Milestone's urban station has declined by 36 per cent since last fall.
8052 So what is the solution? We believe the answer is clear -- a mix of modern rock, urban and rhythmic contemporary. To appreciate how easy these genres mix, let's listen to a sample.
--- Audio clip / Clip audio
8053 MR. KLEIN: It is this mix that we are listening to on the Internet. It is this mix that is being played in Edmonton clubs and it is this mix that dominates the local concert scene. On the concert stage we are seeing Avril Lavigne with Swollen Members and Godsmack with Kardinal Offishal.
8054 Today, we are buying and listening to all genres of music and frankly, we do not get the distinctions people are trying to make. Music is important and if you want me to listen to radio, you are going to have to change how you program it. Consider it from my perspective, the listener who cares little for genre definitions but cares a lot about having access to a range of music on a single station. Urban, modern rock, and rhythmic contemporary blend seamlessly in my world. Why not give it a chance?
8055 MR. COWIE: This blending of modern rock, urban and rhythmic contemporary is also what predominates on MTV Canada's all request show, "Select", a Canadian success story. As we said in Phase I, a review of 50 weeks of Select's request lists showed that week in and week out it was modern rock and urban music that dominated the request list.
8056 To further show how the genre of modern rock, urban and rhythmic contemporary have interwoven and have been continuously on MuchMusic and MTV, we have attached to our reply a copy of this week's chart from Canada's national music industry trade magazine, Canadian Music Network. On this week's chart, MTV lists 2 rhythmic contemporary, 3 urban and 5 modern rock. MuchMusic lists 3 rhythmic contemporary, 5 urban and 12 modern rock. Clearly, mixing all three works.
8057 Finally, the desire of the 12-24 demographic for a blend of modern rock, urban and rhythmic was confirmed by the demand research presented to you by all of the applicants seeking to serve the younger demographics. Whether the sample base was only 400 or 1,000, none of the research concluded that there was a single genre that would satisfy this market. Furthermore, none of the research presented by any applicant in this proceeding, including CHUM and CKMW, showed that Urban was the most popular format.
8058 All of the studies demonstrated that the youth demographic is impossible to segment and the radio industry's continuing desire to do so has resulted in a declining use of the media, threatening its very future. Only one piece of research -- and that is Harvard's -- sufficiently sampled the market to determine tuning across the genres among 12-24 year olds and it showed that the audiences for modern rock, rhythmic contemporary and urban were one and the same.
8059 While CHUM claims that our format won't work, we would note that CHUM's own research does not support its position that pure Urban is the right format for this market. At page 11 of CHUM's research it states that "among 15-29 year olds, the five most popular genres of music are modern rock, pop rock, classic rock, dance oriented pop and contemporary R&B". And at Table 3 of CHUM's research we see that among its core 15-39 demographic urban was not identified by those surveyed as one of the most popular formats. Instead, modern rock, classic rock, and contemporary pop were the top three formats identified.
8060 In fact one applicant, CKMW, stated that it alone had remained successful in serving the younger market in Toronto while their competitors had left the demo. CKMW has said in this proceeding that urban and rock don't mix but then CKMW went on to state on the record this morning that its Orangeville Ontario station, plays modern rock and urban music.
8061 The trend will continue and if we are not awarded this licence in Edmonton, we believe that the format we created with JAM-FM will find its way onto Edmonton radio because that's what the youth demographic wants.
8062 JAM-FM's format is new and untested in radio but as we have already noted, it is a great success in other media. We want to bring this mix to radio and in doing so, fill a void that exists in the market today. New formats can emerge and succeed.
8063 We witnessed this with BOB, a Winnipeg station that is owned by none other than CHUM, and which is a resounding success. And now BOB has a little brother called JACK. Since BOB and JACK, no one doubts that mixing musical genres works.
8064 JACK, for example, offers a mix of 80's pop, alternative rock, classic rock and dance tunes. And now this new format is the envy of other broadcasters and a great success among the 25-54 demographic in the markets where it is available. It seems that it's good business for CHUM to introduce a new and innovative format but not for Harvard.
8065 Our format can and will work. And we can do it with very little impact on existing licensees. Licensing Harvard will bring diversity of voices to the Edmonton market and to the broadcasting system overall. It will allow a western Canadian broadcaster to pursue its growth strategy and in so doing strengthen Harvard's ability to contribute to the Canadian broadcasting system.
8066 We thank you for your attention and would be pleased to answer any questions you may have.
8067 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Cowie, and your colleagues.
8068 MR. COWIE: Thank you very much.
8069 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary, please.
8070 MR. LeBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
8071 I will now ask CHUM/Milestone to respond at this time.
8072 THE CHAIRPERSON: Welcome back, Mr. Ski. Go ahead when you are ready.
REPLY / RÉPLIQUE
8073 MR. SKI: Thank you, Madam Chair.
8074 Madam Chair, Members of the Commission, I would like to start by thanking the more than 5,300 Edmontonians who signed individual letters of intervention or petitions in support of our application, and to give special thanks to our appearing intervenors who today so eloquently underscored the case for a new authentic urban format station in the Edmonton region.
8075 We would like to respond to two general allegations made by other applicants who have included the Urban genre in their proposed formats.
8076 First, the allegation that VIBE will be a "cookie cutter" of FLOW 93.5 in Toronto, and that urban is too narrow and/or not a viable format over the long term.
8077 Our response to this is threefold:
8078 1. Contrary to the suggestion that Urban is a narrow genre and needs dance or modern rock to make it sustainable, we emphasized in our presentation that urban is the umbrella term for the primary sub-genres of R&B, hip hop and reggae, as well as several other sub-genres. The widespread appeal of these sub-genres is evidenced by their predominance on virtually every available radio programming monitoring system, including Billboard, Soundscan, Radio & Records, Canadian Music Network and BDS. This is also supported by the predominance of the music in nightclubs right here in Edmonton.
8079 We would also like to reemphasize that the format of The VIBE would be specifically tailored to the Edmonton market -- and as such would be broader than FLOW 93.5 in Toronto. The mass appeal of the crossover urban artists that would be included in our playlist is already evidenced by their strong presence on rhythmic formats across North America that include dance music. This means that The VIBE will in fact attract an audience that has an affinity for dance music -- without having to specifically include it in our proposed format.
8080 We should also mention that radio formats cannot be extrapolated out of TV programs and request shows. Radio is used differently.
8081 2. The suggestion that urban stations are not succeeding in the markets in which they have launched is simply false. Urban radio is alive and well in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto.
8082 While there has been some discussion in this hearing about 12-plus share, radio is a targeted medium, and what really matters is how well a station performs in its target demo.
8083 In Calgary and Vancouver, The VIBE and The Beat are ranked No. 5 in the 12-34 demographic -- suggesting broad appeal.
8084 In Toronto, FLOW 93.5, with its weak signal -- the lowest power of any of the 20 FM stations in that city -- is ranked No. 8 in the broader 12-34 demographic.
8085 If you want to look at the 12-24 youth demographic, the success of urban becomes even more clear. FLOW is the No. 4 most listened to station in Toronto and The Beat and The VIBE are ranked No. 2 in Vancouver and Calgary.
8086 It should also be noted that FLOW has had a major competitor in Toronto KISS-FM, which played exclusively urban music before leaving the format and is now targeting an older demographic. This obviously will increase FLOW's opportunity to increase its share in the youth demo.
8087 The Spring 2003 BBM saw major declines in tuning in younger demos across the country. With a few exceptions -- one of those was Victoria, where shares in the 12-34 demo increased.
8088 Let's talk about BBM for a moment as it has been brought up several times.
8089 In my position over the past eight years as Chair of BBM's radio technical committee, we are continually challenged to improve response rates and return rates with the 12-34 demographic. They are traditionally the most difficult age group to survey. BBM is attempting to address this issue by testing electronic diaries and increased incentives to get these return rates back up. The challenge for stations targeting this demo is that the low response rates and low return rates provide somewhat unstable data.
8090 However, only 20 per cent of VIBE's sales will be directly impacted by BBM -- national sales. Local advertisers base their advertising decisions not so much on ratings, but on advertising campaigns that ring the cash register. The top three reasons that local retail advertising clients purchase radio airtime to promote their products or services have nothing to do with relative rating position and everything to do with the quality of the local sales force. That's why CHUM has invested heavily in training for our local sales teams. In fact, the CHUM selling system, which we developed, is being adopted by many broadcasters across North America.
8091 3. CHUM did not become one of Canada's top radio operators by applying a "cookie cutter" approach. CHUM's FM radio stations command the No. 1 or No. 2 position in their target demo in virtually every market in which we operate. The VIBE in Edmonton will capture a similar position in its target youth demo. We have a proven track record. Quite apart from our market research, which identifies a significant opportunity for urban radio, we know that with Milestone's experience in the urban genre and our ability to leverage our programming formats into strong market competitors, we will succeed.
8092 We would not have launched MuchVIBE, we would not have applied for this licence, if we didn't think this format was viable. And we would not have partnered with Milestone if we weren't committed to this format in Edmonton for the long term.
8093 MR. JOLLY: The second allegation that has been made by other urban applicants is that our CTD initiatives and commitment to Canadian content are somehow less than they appear. Nothing could be further from the truth.
8094 Our $4 million in CTD initiatives have been specifically designed to be consistent with, and complementary to, the CTD initiatives of other Canadian urban stations, and those of FLOW 93.5 in particular. However, all of our proposed CTD initiatives are totally new and incremental to any existing CTD programs. Moreover, they have been designed with an overriding goal -- to develop Canadian, and in particular Albertan, Urban music talent.
8095 These initiatives have been designed to build upon and to expand on what we have found worked extremely well in Toronto, with our highly successful Urban Flowcase initiative. Our CTD initiatives have assisted FLOW 93.5 to introduce more than 250 new Canadian Urban artists to commercial radio.
8096 Regarding Canadian content, unlike Harvard, we have committed to a minimum of 40 per cent Canadian content. Given that this is the level committed to by Calgary's urban station, we think the Commission should expect no less from Edmonton.
8097 And compared to CKMW, we will devote four times as much money -- a full $4 million -- to CTD initiatives that will develop the new urban Cancon. Another compilation CD will not help do this, but coordinated, well-planned CTD programs will.
8098 Our $4 million in CTD is clear and unequivocal -- not "leveraged" to other business goals, and not To Be Announced. Moreover, should any element of our CTD proposals be deemed ineligible, we will of course redirect the related funds to other eligible CTD initiatives, either on a pro rata basis, or as designated by the Commission.
8099 Finally, we would be remiss if we did not point out that our total projected station expenditures over the licence term are close to $5 million higher than those of CKMW. Any apparent difference in programming expenditures can be attributed more to differences in accounting allocations than commitment to programming.
8100 MR. SKI: Madam Chair, Members of the Commission, our application offers the greatest diversity and least impact on incumbent stations of any other applicant that includes the urban genre in its proposed format. We have a committed partnership and a commitment to this genre. We have realistic business plan, which includes a strong commitment to locally responsive programming. Our proposed Canadian content level of 40 per cent is achievable and provides unparalleled exposure for Canadian urban artists. Our $4 million in Canadian Talent Development Initiatives will contribute substantially to the promotion and development of urban musical talent in Edmonton, in Alberta and in Canada.
8101 And finally, approval of our application will bring increased diversity of programming choice, ownership, editorial voices, and local reflection to the Edmonton market.
8102 This concludes our Reply comments. Thank you very much.
8103 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
8104 Mr. Jolly, the claim was made by CKMW, I believe, that their programming expenses were higher. I believe that, at least at a quick count, when you look at the expenses over seven years that appears to be the case. You now say that it is due to some accounting differences.
8105 Perhaps you can explain what you mean.
8106 MR. MILLER: Madam Chair, what looked at is the total expenses of our station over seven years versus CKMW, and total operating expenses were $5 million higher for our station.
8107 Given the way stations allocate into various categories, given that there are variations as to where allocations are made for personnel and whatnot, we expect that that million dollar higher programming level that CKMW pointed to is somewhat illusory because there is no reason to believe that in operating the station we would be spending significantly less in that area than the other areas, given that our overall budget is actually higher.
8108 THE CHAIRPERSON: You would agree with me, though, that if you do the count using the programming line, their comment was correct.
8109 MR. MILLER: Yes.
8110 THE CHAIRPERSON: On what are you basing this accounting difference -- I'm not sure I understand -- simply because your operating expenses are that much higher.
8111 MR. MILLER: Our operating expenses are higher, and therefore it is illogical to assume that the per cent we spend on programming would be lower. We think it comes down to differences of how we, as operators, allocate the numbers.
8112 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. If you look at the programming line, which you obviously did as I did, if you take the seven years there is a bubble in the middle in their case and it does end up, after seven years, $1 million higher.
8113 Commissioner Langford, please.
8114 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Because this is our last chance to bring information back to beautiful downtown Gatineau and look at it and we have to make sure we have it all, can you give me some idea, Mr. Miller -- you don't have to be specific, because you are not an expert on their books, and you may not even be an expert on your own in some ways.
8115 At the same time, can you give me some ideas of where we could expect to find allocations, where we should look? Could you be a little more specific?
8116 For example, have they allocated studio equipment in the wrong place or something? I don't want to lead the witness here, but just give me some idea of where we should look.
8117 MR. MILLER: Again, we are not suggesting there is anything incorrect in the method of allocation --
8118 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Absolutely not, nor am I. I am just asking you for some guidance, from your experience, where we should poke and prod in an effort to see whether the contention that you and Mr. Jolly have made here today may or may not be correct.
8119 MR. MILLER: I will give you a specific example.
8120 In allocating expenses to programming expenses, one is allowed to attribute staff costs related to that. Some broadcasters merely allocate specific positions in programming. Other broadcasters allocate a percentage of time of station managers and more general specialists.
8121 For example, in that area that can make up a big difference as to how the allocations differ.
8122 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Anything else?
8123 MR. MILLER: Mr. Ski can probably give other examples, but that is the largest one that we typically come across.
8124 MR. SKI: Certainly the sales and promotion area, if you clump those two together, some will take promotion and put promotion into programming as opposed to sales. So that would possibly be another substantial area.
8125 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Just looking over at our numbers man, do we have enough to go poking and prodding with?
8126 He is nodding in the affirmative. Thank you very much.
8127 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Williams.
8128 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: You are a unique partnership that has come before us, a larger broadcaster and a smaller broadcaster. Do you think the Canadian broadcasting system should encourage small stand-alones, medium independents, or should the Commission focus on larger national players when deciding who wins licences in the larger markets, such as Edmonton?
8129 Why I ask your group is bioassay you are a combination. You are a combination of a smaller group and a larger group. So you maybe able to give us valuable insight.
8130 So maybe a Milestone and a CHUM reply would be appropriate.
8131 MR. JOLLY: Mr. Commissioner, I think everyone realizes the degree of consolidation that has taken place in the market. It is very difficult now for someone like myself, and maybe some of the other players here, to apply and start up and operate successfully a stand-alone station. I think this is an ideal way, if one can find the right partnerships. In every kind of business there are partnerships, and I think this is an ideal way to help and foster, and especially in Milestone's case where you are bringing not only financial help but you are bringing cultural diversity to a market. And especially in the area of culture and ethnic diversity, unfortunately where cultural and ethnic diversity is inherent it is very rarely found with financial excesses.
8132 So I think it is an excellent way for some of the larger broadcasters to help and foster smaller people to get started.
8133 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: I guess what you are saying is that it would be extremely difficult for a small broadcaster to operate on their own. So the solution you have picked is to have --
8134 MR. JOLLY: Yes, and to expand. One has to expand and in fact, if I could use a metaphor, run fast just to stay in one place. I think it is a great way for the broadcasting system with other initiatives to help other people.
8135 For example, CTD is a way of helping the artists, to foster the artists that might not be able to go into a recording studio and make records and then market it, and what have you. CTD is a way of doing that.
8136 I believe that this is a way that broadcasters can help smaller people in the broadcasting industry to enter and to somehow level out the playing field so that it is not all dominated by conglomerates.
8137 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: I guess my question was: So should we just focus on larger players, be they larger stand-alones or larger partnerships? Or is there a place for the smaller stand-alone player or medium player in the Canadian broadcasting system?
8138 MR. JOLLY: It is becoming more and more difficult for the smaller players to get in and compete with the larger players, as I think everyone knows.
8139 If your question is "should you try to foster partnerships", I would say yes.
8140 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: That wasn't my question, but thank you for your answer.
8141 Mr. Ski?
8142 MR. SKI: I might start and then have Peter Miller respond.
8143 I think when CHUM looks at this particular process and in particular an application for this market, what we are trying to figure out is: What would provide the most diversity in the marketplace? What would provide the best mix and expertise in order to be successful in whatever format we decide upon, based on research, et cetera?
8144 I think in this particular case, we felt that going in with someone like Milestone, who are in a unique position really to identify social trends, to identify and to be quite aware of what the urban format can bring to Edmonton, was probably our best choice.
8145 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: On the question of where our focus should be -- I guess I could clarify it a bit. Should we ignore the smaller applicants and just focus on the larger applicants of size, so to speak?
8146 When we are looking at a larger market, should we just say that only the larger players are really capable of operating in this market? Some of the smallers have said that they are willing and able.
8147 MR. SKI: No, I don't think so. I think it really gets down to what is the best application in the long run. We obviously feel that ours is the best application that is before you today.
8148 I think it should be focused on whatever provides the most diversity to the marketplace.
8149 COMMISSIONER WILLIAMS: Thank you very much, both of you.
8150 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Ski, Mr. Jolly, and your colleagues.
8151 MR. SKI: Thank you very much.
8152 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary, please.
8153 MR. LeBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
8154 I will now ask Rawlco (Edmonton) Ltd. to respond to interventions at this time.
8155 THE CHAIRPERSON: Welcome back, Mr. Rawlinson.
8156 MR. RAWLINSON: Thank you. We feel that we had a fair hearing and a thorough hearing, and we have no comments, but we would answer any questions if you have any.
8157 THE CHAIRPERSON: No questions, Mr. Rawlinson. Thank you.
8158 Mr. Secretary, please.
8159 MR. LeBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
8160 I will now ask Edmonton Radio Ltd. to respond to interventions.
8161 THE CHAIRPERSON: Welcome back, gentlemen.
REPLY / RÉPLIQUE
8162 MR. FUSTUKIAN: Thank you. Merci.
8163 Well, they say no man is an island. However, we find ourselves on an island in this application: a stand-alone format unlike any other presented at this hearing that I have been able to determine. We are a link to the past in this application. Even the easy listening formats proposed by Rawlco and Global don't address the mature demographic.
8164 It is our intent to be a voice for the community, and with that in view I would like to re-introduce Mr. Ed Bean, who will address our commitment to the community.
8165 MR. BEAN: Thank you very much, Madam Chairman and CRTC Board.
8166 It is my pleasure to speak on behalf of Edmonton Radio in regards to community leadership.
8167 Our company, Crystal Glass, has always been a leader in the community for a number of years. We have been around in business for 50 years, and we intend on being around for some time yet.
8168 I might say that one of the pet projects we have in Edmonton is called the "Crystal Kids Centre", which is an Aboriginal quarters for youngsters that have no place to go in the evening and no place to hang out. This is a very important part in our leadership in the community.
8169 I think if we had the opportunity of having a radio station, or were granted a radio station, I would say that we should be a real voice in the community.
8170 We are also a leader in the development of the city police helicopter here in Edmonton.
8171 When I look at these things, you always have to look at them in the light of saying somebody has to lead these things, and nothing happens unless somebody leads. I think if we were granted this radio station, we would be a leader in the community.
8172 I think it would be a great help for the community and ourselves that we could take and be a leader and do these things for the community, and especially for our Crystal Kids Centre, which is the Aboriginal centre that I mentioned previously.
8173 I just wanted to add those few things, because Crystal Glass has always been a leader. We have been around for 50 years in the community, and we still continue to do so.
8174 MR. FUSTUKIAN: Senator Tommy Banks, whose name was mentioned in several of the applications, was originally scheduled to appear as an intervenor on our behalf. However, his duties in Ottawa would not allow that. So of course he could not be here, but he is on the advisory board.
8175 As we mentioned in our written proposal, he is on the team as far as being in spirit is concerned.
8176 Regarding our business plan, we had some discrepancies there perhaps because we have applied for a specialty format, and it was felt that our start-up should remain conservative.
8177 Mr. Budnitsky here would like to speak to that issue.
8178 MR. BUDNITSKY: Madam Chair and Commission Members, as Bryan has mentioned, during the presentation of our application the issue of the adequacy of Edmonton Radio's budget was mentioned. Speaking on behalf of Ed Bean, we have a history of supporting business ventures we participate in beyond our formal commitment.
8179 We can't anticipate now how much additional financial support Edmonton Radio may need for its start-up. As an initial measure, we have created a contingency fund to backstop Edmonton Radio's budget during the start-up and first two years of operation.
8180 We have done this by way of agreement, and if it is appropriate, we would be pleased to leave a copy of the agreement with the Commission.
8181 THE CHAIRPERSON: I apologize. I was looking at one of your former documents.
8182 Would you repeat, please. Apparently you have a question.
8183 MR. BUDNITSKY: Yes. As I have indicated, Madam Chair, as an initial measure to backstop Edmonton Radio's budget during start-up and first two years of operation, we have created a contingency fund and we have recorded this in an agreement.
8184 As I have indicated, we would be happy to leave a copy of the agreement with the Commission if it is appropriate to do so.
8185 THE CHAIRPERSON: I will let legal counsel speak to this.
8186 You have that document with you now?
8187 MR. BUDNITSKY: I do.
8188 THE CHAIRPERSON: And it is to be added to the funds available?
8189 MR. BUDNITSKY: Yes, that is correct.
8190 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you have the document with you, that could be put on the public record.
8191 MR. BUDNITSKY: I do, yes.
8192 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Go ahead. Anything else?
8193 MR. BUDNITSKY: Madam Chair, that concludes my comments.
8194 THE CHAIRPERSON: What I was looking at was the document that you deposited with us when you first appeared, which was an intervention against CKUA --
8195 MR. FUSTUKIAN: CKUA...?
8196 THE CHAIRPERSON: About the intervention to CKUA, your reply.
8197 MR. FUSTUKIAN: Our response to CKUA.
8198 THE CHAIRPERSON: Did you file a response before the hearing?
8199 MR. FUSTUKIAN: No.
8200 THE CHAIRPERSON: So you would want us to put this on the record as part of your oral reply today.
8201 MR. FUSTUKIAN: Yes.
8202 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
8203 Counsel, comments...?
8204 MR. McCALLUM: I guess with the permission of the Panel, the document will be filed.
8205 How much of a contingency does it provide for?
8206 MR. BUDNITSKY: As indicated, we can't anticipate now exactly how much would be suitable for --
8207 MR. McCALLUM: Sorry, you have to turn on the microphone.
8208 MR. BUDNITSKY: Yes. As indicated, we can't anticipate now how much would be suitable.
8209 What we have done as an initial measure is to establish a contingency fund of $75,000.
8210 THE CHAIRPERSON: Now that you have indicated as much on the record, I think that is sufficient. It will get into the transcript as your comment on this matter.
8211 MR. BUDNITSKY: Thank you.
8212 MR. FUSTUKIAN: In closing, we have a very strong management team, as Ed has outlined, many years in business, and a strong consultant, Mr. Lew Roskin here with many, many years of experience.
8213 Our station is based on experience and knowledge in this format and this genre. We know this music very, very well and we can speak profoundly on it.
8214 I am sure Mr. Roskin would agree with that.
8215 MR. ROSKIN: Of course.
8216 MR. FUSTUKIAN: We thank you for this opportunity to again address the CRTC.
8217 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Fustukian, and your colleagues.
8218 I have your name correctly?
8219 MR. FUSTUKIAN: Yes.
8220 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
8221 Mr. Secretary, please.
8222 MR. LeBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
8223 I will now ask Global Communications Limited to respond at this time.
8224 THE CHAIRPERSON: Welcome back, Ms Bell.
8225 MS BELL: Thank you.
8226 Madam Vice-Chair, Commissioners, Commission staff, we have no comments in this phase and would like to thank you for your patience throughout this hearing.
8227 If you have any questions, I am here to answer.
8228 THE CHAIRPERSON: We have no questions, Ms Bell; thank you.
8229 MS BELL: Thank you.
8230 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Secretary, please.
8231 MR. LeBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
8232 I will now ask OK Radio Group Ltd. to respond at this time.
8233 MS MORTON: Good afternoon, Madam Chair, Members of the Commission and Commission staff.
8234 We have no comments at this time.
8235 I would like to thank His Worship Mayor Bill Smith and other elected officials for endorsing our application, and I would also like to take the time to thank the 400 intervenors who wrote to show their support, and especially those who took the time to appear on our behalf here today.
8236 Thank you for the opportunity to make our case for independent rock.
8237 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
8238 Mr. Secretary, please.
8239 MR. LeBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
8240 I will now as Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc. to respond at this point.
8241 THE CHAIRPERSON: Please proceed when you are ready, Mr. MacLeod.
REPLY / RÉPLIQUE
8242 MR. MacLEOD: Thank you, Madam Commissioner, Commission Members and Commission staff.
8243 I want to in this final phase provide some information as requested by the Commission in Phase I. There were a couple of things that the Commission was interested in that we were not able to furnish the information at the time.
8244 First, I want to provide clarification with respect to the current development of AVR programming. In particular, Commissioner Cram requested more detail about how AVR's programming development is fulfilling AVR's condition of licence for existing AVR licences.
8245 I must say that after talking about the future and what AVR was going to do when it got licences and when it finally got on the air, we are proud to come to the Commission and talk about the process of beginning to fulfil the commitments of our licence.
8246 I have attached a spreadsheet that I put together. I believe in this short period of time it is accurate as to what we are doing now. If anything, there are items that are not included on the list. So the information would be only an improvement over what I am showing here.
8247 What I wanted to point out to you is that up until the end of May, AVR's spoken word programming was perhaps 16 to 17 per cent, which reflected the fact that we were primarily a music service with not a great deal of news or other spoken word.
8248 Since that time, in just the last couple of weeks especially, our spoken word has ramped up and our summer programming schedule, which I show the detail on the spreadsheet, indicates that during the regular broadcast hours our spoken word over the summer is expected to be 29 per cent.
8249 I believe our minimum condition of licence is 25 per cent, so that would be in excess of that.
8250 In addition to what is already plugged into our summer schedule, there are a number of pilot programs. We have not decided whether we are going to air them or not. The quality has to be high enough. If all of those shows were included -- and we sure hope they all will be successful -- then our spoken word content by the end of the summer could be as high as 37 per cent. So we are quite proud of that.
8251 Besides the spoken word commitment, I think it is important to touch briefly again on the Canadian content statistics.
8252 I think I mentioned some numbers that I had not fully researched at the time of the opening presentation, but since that time I have gotten some statistics that show we are playing about 53 per cent Canadian content right now. That is the average that is going on.
8253 Just to illustrate the near total diversity of artists that are being played on AVR as opposed to the other stations in the Toronto market, I have Kim Ziervogel with me, and she is going to read the list of artists that were played at the time that we were making our presentation last Thursday.
8254 So while we were here appearing before you, these are the artists that were playing in Toronto on AVR's station.
8255 MS ZIERVOGEL: Hello. Burning Sky, Yothu Yindi, Blackfire, Art Napoleon, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Tuniit, Vern Cheechoo, Longbottom, Murray Porter, Jani Lauzon, The Band, Yodeca, Mary Younglbood, Jody Gaskin, Stoney Park, Arvil Bird, Lunar Drive, Red Bull, Northern Wind, National Braid, Brian Black Thunder, Haida, Fara, Susan Aglukark, George Leach, C Weed, Jim Beer, Caspar Loma Da Wa and Amampondo.
8256 MR. MacLEOD: My point in referencing those artists is that -- I think Commissioner Williams touched on it at the hearing -- for people in Toronto, despite the fact that a programming service is not up to the level that we would like it even now, it is seen as a tremendously valuable service. It is bringing artists, that are top quality artists, to the airwaves in Toronto and soon to other markets in Canada.
8257 We really feel that is valuable.
8258 The other measure that I think the Commission perhaps would be strongly interested in is our news, and that has been just in development now.
8259 Our total news that we have airing in the summer is about 5 per cent of our programming. Of that, right now 2 per cent is our own production. For September that will double. So approximately 4 per cent of our programming will be our own self-produced news.
8260 In addition to the programming information that I believe the Commission was interested in, I was asked about an updated list of the advisory circle membership.
8261 In contacting the office, there was only one person's name that I knew for sure was changed since the last time we provided the list. But I think it is more appropriate for me to thoroughly go through that list and add a couple of people that have indicated they want to be on that and submit that to the Commission.
8262 So if it is allowable, within 14 days we will give you a list that includes three or four new members and a few people not in it.
8263 I would like to take one last moment to thank our supporting interventions at this hearing and of course to thank you, the Commissioners, for your attention and your patience in dealing with us and the other applicants.
8264 Thank you very much.
8265 THE CHAIRPERSON: Counsel...?
8266 MR. McCALLUM: Thank you.
8267 Looking at the attachment to the document that you filed just minutes ago, where you talk about the spoken word, could you indicate for the record which of these, if any, would be non-Canadian?
8268 MR. MacLEOD: If you just give me one moment, I think I have that statistic here.
8269 MR. MacLEOD: If you look at the attachment, you will see the column with the names, and then you will see a slim column after that where there are bullet points. The ones with the bullet points are AVR-produced programming. So those are all programs that are produced 100 per cent by us.
8270 The other programs are either co-productions or else they are not produced by us at all.
8271 What I was looking for was the total statistic. I believe right now, as of this week, we are airing 16 per cent spoken word programming that is produced entirely by us. That is the current level.
8272 I think our minimum commitment of total spoken word in all, our own production or otherwise, is 25 per cent.
8273 MR. McCALLUM: Would you have any idea which ones are non-Canadian?
8274 MR. MacLEOD: I can go down the list and tell you which ones are non-Canadian now, or I can --
8275 MR. McCALLUM: Sure, if you can.
8276 MR. MacLEOD: When you go through it, under the News and Public Affairs programming, the "All Nations News", that is AVR's own news.
8277 Below that, "Native Solidarity News", "Independent native News" and "National Native News", are all non-Canadian productions.
8278 Sorry, we go by abbreviations, so when we are talking about a program we talk about INN and NNN and NSN and ANN, because we have all these different news sources.
8279 I should correct myself. The "Native Solidarity News", which is the second one, is a Canadian production out of Montreal. The next two, "Independent Native News" and "National Native News", one comes out of Alaska and the other comes out of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
8280 The last program on that list, "Native America Calling", is a co-production. We produce it in conjunction with KUMN in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is an international call-in show. It is aired on about 60 stations in the United States and only on our station in Toronto right now. But it will be aired on all of our stations as we get our programming service up.
8281 If you go down the list, I believe under No. 4, special music programs, "Earthsongs" is an American program. The "Powwow Power Hour" is a Canadian production out of Alberta, here in Alberta.
8282 I hope that is clear.
8283 MR. McCALLUM: And the pilots?
8284 MR. MacLEOD: All of the pilot programs are Canadian productions. I don't have them separated between the ones that are produced totally by us and which ones are co-productions, but I could give you that breakdown too, if you want it.
8285 MR. McCALLUM: I think that is fine.
8286 Thank you, Madam Chair.
8287 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner Cram.
8288 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I just want to be clear, Mr. MacLeod. When you talk about summer, this is what is on right now.
8289 It says "Summer 2003". I heard you say -- it sounded to me like two different things when you were talking. This list here on the attachment, this is what is on AVR right now.
8290 MR. MacLEOD: I believe there are three programs on that list that have not aired yet, that have been produced but have not aired yet. I believe they are not airing until the June 30th-July 1st weekend.
8291 COMMISSIONER CRAM: What are those?
8292 MR. MacLEOD: What I am saying is that all of the programs in that top list are either currently airing or they have been produced for airing. They are complete.
8293 The ones down below, some of those the pilot shows are complete. Some of them they are still in production. We feel hopeful that all of those programs will be added before the end of the summer.
8294 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So what ones are not on air now?
8295 MR. MacLEOD: In the News and Public Affairs, the one that is indicated as "Public Affairs" is not on. That show starts on Tuesday of next week, I believe. It has been practising for about two weeks now, and I think it is up to scratch.
8296 If you go down the list -- I am just taking a look -- in the No. 4 category the program called "Jamnation", which is a live in-studio jam session type program, that program has not aired yet. It has been produced. It's in the can, but I don't believe it has aired yet.
8297 I am not sure if they plan on stating to air that July 1st week or not. I believe that it is going to go in that schedule.
8298 COMMISSIONER CRAM: And that's it?
8299 MR. MacLEOD: I think that's it. I believe all of those other programs have started.
8300 The timing of this development was of course to centre around National Aboriginal Day, which was June 21st. That whole schedule that you see was supposed to be in place by that time, but a number of shows were not ready at that time.
8301 We aired a number of concerts, and we did a bunch of other things, and it still was an impressive time. But we are only adding some of these shows now.
8302 All of the shows do exist, is what I am saying. They do exist, and they have either begun to air or they are airing now.
8303 For the Commission, I think the important thing is that they are fully funded programs. We have the staff producing those shows in an ongoing fashion. That is the important thing.
8304 I wanted to show you, Commissioner Cram, that -- I wasn't sure. I was pretty reasonably sure that we were over 25 per cent, but I didn't think it was over by much. I thought it was right around 25. So I was surprised when I added it up.
8305 Again, I think I have covered everything here. I don't believe I have missed a program. But if I have, then it would only add to that. Certainly that is the case.
8306 COMMISSIONER CRAM: One final question. What do the asterisks mean between Total Minutes Per Week and During "Broadcast" Hours under "Public Affairs", "Native America Calling" and then the Magazine programs?
8307 MR. MacLEOD: Those are like "note to self". Note to self, to me -- that was my symbol -- that those programs do not air seven days a week. They are weekday-only shows.
8308 Most of our programs we air versions of the best of on the weekends of those programs for people who can't get them. A lot of the programs you see there are produced five days a week, and then the producers of those shows take the best of that and it is aired at some point on Saturday or Sunday for people to catch.
8309 The shows that don't have the asterisks, I believe those are all seven-day-a-week shows. Or in the case where they are just one day a week, then I haven't bothered to asterisk it.
8310 COMMISSIONER CRAM: All right. Thank you.
8311 Thank you, Madam Chair.
8312 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Ziervogel and Mr. MacLeod.
8313 Mr. Secretary, please.
8314 MR. McCALLUM: Madam Chair, could I just formalize the finalizing of the filing of the advisory circle membership list.
8315 It looks like the undertaking is to provide it within 14 days, which I calculate as the 8th of July. Would that be satisfactory to all?
8316 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
8317 Thank you, Mr. MacLeod.
8318 Mr. Secretary, please.
8319 MR. LeBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
8320 I will now ask Rogers Broadcasting Limited to respond to interventions at this point.
8321 THE CHAIRPERSON: Welcome back, Mr. Miles.
8322 MR. MILES: Madam Chair, Members of the Commission, as the final appearing part of this for the Commission a full process, I am thrilled to report that we have no comments and no interventions.
8323 We would like to thank you for your useful fair and equitable treatment and, through you, to the staff for all the courtesies they provided to our intervenors.
8324 Thank you.
8325 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Miles and Mr. Strati.
8326 Mr. Secretary, please.
8327 MR. LeBEL: Thank you, Madam Chair.
8328 This does indeed complete Phase IV of this public hearing.
8329 Before you adjourn, Madam Chair, I would like to indicate that there are four non-appearing applications on the agenda of this public hearing. The Commission will consider these applications and decisions will be rendered at a later date.
8330 Thank you, Madam Chair. This does complete the agenda of this public hearing.
8331 THE CHAIRPERSON: Before adjourning, I want to thank all the participants, the applicants and the intervenors alike, for their co-operation in making this hearing a positive one. Despite the competitiveness, the closest we came to war was to be entertained by the War Party.
8332 I also thank my colleagues for their support and the staff, of course, for their invaluable help; the stenographer for keeping our words on the page; and the technical staff for keeping our microphones open.
8333 This hearing is now adjourned. I wish you a good trip home.
--- Whereupon the hearing concluded at 1650 /
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