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Please note that the Official Languages Act requires that government publications be available in both official languages.
In order to meet some of the requirements under this Act, the Commission's transcripts will therefore be bilingual as to their covers, the listing of CRTC members and staff attending the hearings, and the table of contents.
However, the aforementioned publication is the recorded verbatim transcript and, as such, is transcribed in either of the official languages, depending on the language spoken by the participant at the hearing.
TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS BEFORE
THE CANADIAN RADIO‑TELEVISION AND
TRANSCRIPTION DES AUDIENCES DEVANT
LE CONSEIL DE LA RADIODIFFUSION
ET DES TÉLÉCOMMUNICATIONS CANADIENNES
SUBJECT / SUJET:
Various broadcasting applications /
Diverses demandes de radiodiffusion
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Quartz Ballroom Quartz Ballroom
Matrix Hotel Matrix Hôtel
10001-107th Street 10001-107th Street
Edmonton, Alberta Edmonton (Alberta)
June 5, 2008 Le 5 juin 2008
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 /
Diverses demandes de radiodiffusion
BEFORE / DEVANT:
Elizabeth Duncan Chairperson / Présidente
Rita Cugini Commissioner / Conseillère
Candice Molnar Commissioner / Conseillère
ALSO PRESENT / AUSSI PRÉSENTS:
Cindy Ventura Secretary / Sécretaire
Lyne Cape Hearing Manager /
Gérante de l'audience
Véronique Lehoux Legal Counsel
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Quartz Ballroom Quartz Ballroom
Matrix Hotel Matrix Hôtel
10001-107th Street 10001-107th Street
Edmonton, Alberta Edmonton (Alberta)
June 5, 2008 Le 5 juin 2008
- iv -
TABLE DES MATIÈRES / TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE / PARA
PHASE III (Cont'd)
INTERVENTION BY / INTERVENTION PAR:
ArtStart/E4C 1873 /12105
Slowburn, Blues Band 1877 /12124
Harpdog Brown and the Bloodhounds 1880 /12140
Barrypatch Records 1901 /12281
Sarah Pocklington 1905 /12307
Nestor Pistor Productions Ltd. 1913 /12349
CKUA Radio Network 1930 /12469
Community Radio Fund 1945 /12550
Byron Christopher 1954 /12588
Edmonton Public Schools 1961 /12630
UrbanDNA Events 1973 /12714
Jonny Chung 1980 /12756
Q99 FM 1983 /12773
Peter Kossowan 1986 /12791
Aboriginal Voices Radio 2002 /12910
Laura Vinson 2011 /12949
Canadian Rocky Mountain Festival 2014 /12967
Western Canadian Music Alliance 2020 /12997
Gateway Entertainment 2042 /13131
- v -
TABLE DES MATIÈRES / TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE / PARA
PHASE III (Cont'd)
INTERVENTION BY / INTERVENTION PAR:
Hipjoint Music Group 2046 /13152
Shiloh Schramm 2053 /13187
Community Radio Fund / 2064 /13248
Fonds canadien de la radio communautaire
The Amber Affair 2077 /13338
CIRPA 2091 /13414
Department of Family Medicine, 2099 /13451
University of Alberta
Christian Hansen 2116 /13569
Stew Kirkwood 2121 /13593
Katie Perman 2126 /13617
Sandro Dominelli 2131 /13640
REPLY BY / RÉPLIQUE PAR:
Rawlco Radio Ltd. 2150 /13743
Evanov Communications Inc. (OBCI) 2151 /13749
Harvard Broadcasting Inc. 2152 /13757
CTV Limited 2153 /13766
Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Limited Partnership 2159 /13795
- vi -
TABLE DES MATIÈRES / TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE / PARA
PHASE IV (Cont'd)
REPLY BY / RÉPLIQUE PAR:
John Charles Yerxa (OBCI) 2161 /13809
Rogers Broadcasting Limited 2165 /13831
Don Kay (OBCI) 2183 /13940
Aboriginal Multi-Media Society of Alberta 2189 /13974
Black Gold Broadcasting Inc. (OBCI) 2190 /13983
Frank Torres (OBCI) 2191 /13994
Multicultural Broadcasting Corporation Inc. 2198 /14029
Guldasta Broadcasting Inc. 2200 /14037
Edmonton, Alberta / Edmonton (Alberta)
‑‑‑ Upon commencing on Thursday, June 5, 2008 à 0905
L'audience débute le jeudi 5 juin 2008 à 0905
12097 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
12098 Just before we start we wanted to make an announcement that today we will break for an extended lunch hour, probably about two hours, so we are looking at around 12:30, depending on the timing of the interventions, just to give you a little advance notice.
12099 Thank you.
12100 THE SECRETARY: Good morning.
12101 Before we begin, for the record, Aboriginal Multimedia Society of Alberta, AMSA, has filed in response to undertakings a list of the locations of all transmitter sites operated by AMSA. This document has been added to the public record and copies are available in the public examination room.
12102 I would now call ArtStart/E4C; Slowburn, Blues Band and Harpdog Brown and the Bloodhounds to appear as a panel and present their interventions.
12103 We will start with ArtStart/E4C. Please introduce yourself, after which you have ten minutes for your presentation.
12104 Thank you.
12105 MS KONOPAKI: Thank you.
12106 My name is Cadence Konopaki and I have been the Program Coordinator for E4C's ArtStart program over the past year and a half. I came to ArtStart after several years of working in the health charity field. I loved working with organizations that promoted community development and contributed to quality of life in our society. However, I missed the arts in my life.
12107 I grew up in a household filled with the arts, as my father was a formerly professional drummer. He is now a visual artist at Emily Carr. My mom is a professional actress. Galleries, concerts, live theatre and more constantly enriched my life. I wished I could work in a position where I was able to combine my passions for community development and the arts and luckily I found ArtStart.
12108 Thousands of children in Edmonton have no access to the arts. We believe that every child deserves the opportunity to be exposed to and mentored in the arts. Research shows that the arts aid social and cognitive development, as well as motivates, engages students in learning and builds competence. These are clearly benefits that children from low income families deserve to receive as much as any other child.
12109 In fact, children and youth involved in the arts use up to 50 per cent less social, justice and health services throughout their lifetimes. Therefore, the arts provide a proactive tool to involve children and youth in healthy individual and community development.
12110 With this in mind, ArtStart was created to provide high‑quality lessons, field trips and performance opportunities for children aged 6 to 14 who come from low income families. We are multidisciplinary programs so our classes, field trips and performances are all within visual art, drama, dance, music and creative writing.
12111 In September 2007 we experienced a 300 per cent growth increase due to demand of parents, social service workers, teachers and others to have their children involved in healthy and enriching activities outside of school.
12112 The ArtStart goals are to reach students who are often ignored or forgotten in ways and with methods not always used to teach children to work together building healthy group identity and strong friendships, provide challenges to students at all levels and reignite their level of learning, teach students to take instruction and use it in a self‑directed manner and, last but not least, create lifelong patrons of the arts.
12113 Both myself and ArtStart as a whole are very excited to support the application of DAWG‑FM to receive licensing to create the first Blues radio station in Edmonton.
12114 First, Blues is an amazing form of music that crosses all social demographics in its fan base. Anyone who knows anything about music loves the Blues and are clearly missing the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the genre through radio play.
12115 Second, radio stations are becoming more and more generic. It is hard to find a station that does not play Easy Rock, Alternative Rock or Top 40 music. This severely limits the growth of new artists. Without being within one of those categories, most musicians do not receive radio play. Without radio play they will not attract as many new fans, thus limiting their success on a whole.
12116 As an individual, I strongly support the independent arts and would like to see artists have the opportunity to attract a larger fan base.
12117 As an ArtStart representative, I would like to say that the arts do not come in one form, nor are they for one demographic, nor are they created by one type of person. By diversifying the music on the radio, DAWG‑FM will not only be promoting Blues music but independent artists and the diversity of arts and culture in our society.
12118 Last, ArtStart wants to support DAWG‑FM because they are committed to supporting us in our mission. Through their financial support we will be using the money to support our children in the ArtStart Music Program. These students learn drums, guitar, piano, violin, to name just a few, and this money will be used to obtain better instruments, recruit more instructors, provide food to our students who may not have adequate nutrition at home and much more.
12119 We will also be working with DAWG‑FM to hopefully create somewhat of a Blues specific focus. This may mean providing scholarships to students to work with Blues musicians within the community or perhaps for students to attend Blues concerts.
12120 In conclusion, I would like to say that I hope the CRTC will recognize the need for this new station. You will not only be supporting musicians and arts and culture, but also hundreds of children in Edmonton who would otherwise have no access to the arts.
12121 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
12122 We will now proceed with Mr. Phil Wilson‑Birks from Slowburn, Blues Band.
12123 You have ten minutes for your presentation.
12124 MR. WILSON‑BIRKS: My name is Phil. I guess I'm here to let you know that the Blues in Edmonton is alive and doing very well.
12125 My background, I just retired about five years ago as a teacher. I taught for 25 years and decided that it was time to really get involved in my passion and my passion was Blues. I formed the band at that time.
12126 Today we are proud to say ‑‑ and I quoting Bruce Stovel, the late Bruce Stovel from CJSR radio ‑‑ we are proud to be the busiest and hardest working Blues band in Alberta.
12127 We perform on average over 100 shows a year, 98 per cent of which are in Alberta, probably 70 per cent of those in the Edmonton area. We play every weekend. That's our goal. We love to play.
12128 When I heard about this radio station possibly coming online, a Blues radio station, myself and the rest of the band, we just about jumped for joy. We have been waiting for something like this for a long time and I think there is a real place for it in Edmonton.
12129 There is a good, solid base of fans, as well as musicians in this community, well enough to support a radio station of this nature.
12130 We are presently in the process right now as a band of putting together our second CD for release in July. Of course we are independently produced, putting the money up ourselves. The problem that we have had in the past and we are still having is getting radio play. Being a local band, trying to get your songs heard on the local airwaves, there is very little opportunity.
12131 We do have some exposure. We have been played on other radio stations, at best very minimally because obviously we don't have 24‑hour a day Blues in this community yet. So we are getting airplay, but once a week, twice a week. If you are lucky to turn the radio on at a specific time in the week on a specific day, you might be fortunate enough to turn it on to a Blues program on one of the other radio stations and hear our song, but the odds are very slim.
12132 As a listener myself, I kind of view the radio as a smorgasbord. I am always changing channels trying to find the songs that appeal to me.
12133 The Blues programs that are available in town right now are very specific in their times. We gig every weekend, Friday, Saturday, sometimes Sunday, sometimes Monday nights, and those are when the Blues programs happen to be on so we don't even get a chance to hear. We hear that we are played on the radio because fans come to our shows and say well, we heard you on Friday night. They played one of your songs. They were just fortunate enough to have the radio on that particular station at that particular time.
12134 I really believe that this radio station could be a huge success in this community. At present we have three Blues festivals in this province. As a band that works every weekend, live music is alive and it is out there.
12135 The genre of music, we play at clubs that feature all genres of music, all ages of music. This music spans ages 5 years to 90 years. It has a broad appeal and we really believe that it could be a very big success.
12136 Thank you.
12137 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
12138 We will now proceed with Harpdog Brown and the Bloodhounds.
12139 You will have ten minutes for your presentation.
12140 MR. BROWN: Thank you.
12141 I'm Harpdog Brown and I have been that for about 20 years now I think. 1989 is when the name was thrown upon me, so I predate Snoop Dogg and all the other dogs.
12142 I guess to start things off, I am really nervous. You know, I don't usually have to stand ‑‑ although I'm used to looking at 20,000 people, but it's different when I'm just performing.
12143 THE CHAIRPERSON: Don't be nervous.
12144 MR. BROWN: Well, you know, okay. Okay, I won't.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
12145 MR. BROWN: I have to say, the last few nights I didn't do much sleeping either because I was racking my brain on what to say and how to say it and not to say too much, you know, like to go on and on and on, because I have been known to do so.
12146 Just a little bit of information.
12147 I am an adopted child and I think thousands of adopted ‑‑ millions of adopted children on this planet have one thing in common: we don't really feel like we belong. Loved by all and owned by none is kind of how I felt.
12148 You know, I was raised here in Edmonton, born in Edmonton, and although I had all this love I never really felt like I belonged anywhere. I tell you, I got into the music business primarily because I didn't want to become another one of these people that I was seeing as robots working in welding shops. We figured that music would be the only way to actually not have to conform to that mindless drivel of going to work and just waiting for the 20‑minute call to play some cards and then your personality goes back in your back pocket when you go back to work to grind welds.
12149 So we figured music would be the way out. I was 18 at the time.
12150 Now, a few years later I found the Blues. I stumbled upon the Blues and that was the first time in my life I really felt like I belonged. I found a place that would ‑‑ undeniably a place that I belonged that would never fail me.
12151 This comes back to ‑‑ this goes into the need of Blues in the society, in the schools. In this day and age we have so many broken families and people, adults, dropping the ball on the children, letting them down, not being there for them.
12152 Well, the Blues has never let me down. People do, but Blues never does. And that is why I have been really wanting to get Blues in schools and in the youth because, you see, I think it really saved my life. It gave me something to stand up for, something to believe in and something that would not fail me.
12153 The one thing made by man that is not made to fail, that is Blues music.
12154 Music, all music from western Canada or the western world is really Blues, because Blues defined like this, somebody reporting life as they see it. Now, when we report life as we see it, it is not always good. But when we hear that I'm not the only one that life is picking on, that he even has it a little worse than me, then all of a sudden I don't feel like it is not so bad because the weight of the world is not on my shoulders; it is on all our shoulders.
12155 Another thing is when I get on the stage and I sing and I play harmonica and I choose the songs that I perform, it is the message. It is not because I know you are going to like the song. I do it because it is my therapy. The thing is, I am very fortunate that my therapy also is therapeutic to others.
12156 So when they hear what I'm speaking or singing about, they realize that hey, we are all in this together. That is why the Blues is the foundation of all Western music.
12157 The Blues are the baby and they called it Rock 'n Roll, said Muddy Waters, and I've got to admit that that is really the whole root of it all.
12158 I think it was Count Basie when he was asked what kind of music you listen to, he said don't you know there is only two kinds of music, good and bad.
12159 I thought about that too, yes. Good music is the performance. It is not the genre so much; it is the performance. I would rather hear a good song ‑‑ or a bad song sung well as opposed to a good song sung bad, you know.
12160 So, I don't know, to me I was racking my brain all night for the last two nights, so I'm thinking, you know, this is really a no‑brainer, for me anyhow. I understand the CRTC and all the regulations and the rules and stuff, but this is something that needs to be done. This is something that Canada needs, that the world needs.
12161 I have known for Edmonton, Edmonton has always been on the cutting edge of arts and culture. We are the City of Festivals. There is no other city in Canada that has more festivals than we do. That's fabulous. Not just music festivals, that's comedy festivals, and so on.
12162 Our Citadel Theatre is globally known.
12163 It just makes sense and it makes me proud that we could be ‑‑ Edmonton could be the first Canadian city to actually stand up and say yes, Blues 24/7. I think that is very positive.
12164 Now, in the music business as well, yes, I have recorded three CDs. I have recorded in America. I have won awards in America. I have played from Alaska to San Francisco, all across Canada and the Pacific Northwest. And I got into music to travel. I love to travel. I still live out of a suitcase. I love it that way.
12165 But Edmonton is really my home and for me to be able to say that Edmonton is the first city ‑‑ it was the first city to have American Blues coming to Canada, or western Canada, The Ambassador Hotel two blocks away. The King Eddy in Calgary picked up on the slack from what Edmonton was bringing up to western Canada.
12166 Edmonton has always been the starter and I think it is just a no‑brainer. This really is what Edmonton should be doing. Then of course all of Canada will follow suit, I'm sure.
12167 But that will also help with distribution of getting the word out, you know. I can only play at one place at one time, but the beauty of radio, that allows you to be heard across the whole country.
12168 And I do get my airplay, you know Hogart on CBC plays me. I was talking to a guy I was working for out on the coast driving a truck last summer and he said, you know, it's funny, I turned on the radio and I thought that sounded like you. Then the DJ comes on and says it was Harpdog Brown. He said well, isn't that cool.
12169 You know, he didn't know what station it was because, once again, he is on the search dial to, right.
12170 So, I don't know, all I can say is that this is really good for society. It is good for humanity. Blues music is a healing power and I think we really need to heal society.
12171 You know, we have problems with drugs, we have problems with all kinds of things in our social structure these days and, you know, I feel the war on drugs is a moot idea. What we have to do is heal our society. If we can heal humanity, we will eliminate the need to erase what we call, you know, reality, and then we can start embracing reality instead of trying to erase it by gambling or drugs or alcohol, you know.
12172 The thing is that all comes from understanding and healing. So we have to heal ourselves and I think this is the start.
12173 Do I get more time?
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
12174 THE SECRETARY: Two minutes.
12175 MR. BROWN: Two minutes? See, I call my own two‑minute warning.
12176 So you know, the live industry, I mean the live music industry has really kind of, you know, been kicked in the teeth and that is all live music.
12177 Well, now we are really clamping down on drinking, all right. Winnipeg went down to .05. Even though .08 is the legal, well they went no, that's not good enough; they went .05. Well, the live music in Winnipeg is really hurting because of that.
12178 The smoking bylaws are hurting the live music industry.
12179 So, you know, it is eliminating us to actually get out there and do what we do, which is spread the word of life.
12180 Now, with a 24‑hour Blues programming station, that allows us to be heard. That's really all it is.
12181 We have churches on every block, but if you don't listen, the same thing. If you go to school and you don't listen, you don't learn. You have to pay attention.
12182 So here is a chance. We have 24 hours. People want to pay attention and learn about life and maybe heal a little bit.
12183 Thank you.
12184 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
12185 Commissioner Molnar...?
12186 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you and welcome. I am pleased all of you came and you are all obviously very, very passionate about what Blues can bring to Edmonton, so I understand that.
12187 I am hopeful I'm going to say your name right, Ms Konopaki. Is that what you said?
12188 MS KONOPAKI: Just Cadence is fine.
12189 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Cadence?
12190 MS KONOPAKI: Yes.
12191 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay.
12192 Cadence, I had initially read your letter of support that you sent in and was wondering as to how you would possibly use this to make it Blues specific. I think you said but maybe you could just tell me again how you would propose to take this and focus it upon the Blues.
12193 MS KONOPAKI: Yes. Well, all the money will be directly to our music program, so some of the money will be allocated to things like new instruments, so violin. You know, you can't guarantee that it is going to ‑‑ or guitar. It may be used for other music.
12194 But then what we hope to do is also do some specific Blues focus within that program such as we may do workshops with Blues musicians that we otherwise wouldn't be able to work with.
12195 We also hope to take our kids ‑‑ we always take our kids on field trips and we want to take them on more always, and it would be nice to take them to some Blues concerts.
12196 Again supporting live music and the arts, we want to pay for those tickets. So this gives us the opportunity to pay for more tickets to go to more shows.
12197 So those would be two ways that we would try to do it.
12198 But the most important thing I think is getting the musicians to work with the kids directly. Although it may be nice to go to a concert once or twice a year, all the kids wouldn't be able to get that opportunity and the impact that comes from our instructors and from the artist is really the one‑on‑one work or the one‑on‑three or whatever it is, that work of where their passions come from and the talent and skills that they can pass on.
12199 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you.
12200 Are there any Blues artists within the city who do work with your group today?
12201 MS KONOPAKI: No.
12202 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: No. Okay. Thank you very much.
12203 I'm going to turn my questions to ‑‑ is it Mr. Wilson‑Birks or Mr. Birks?
12204 MR. WILSON‑BIRKS: Phil would be good.
12205 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Phil.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
12206 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: And I'm just going assume it's Harpdog and not Mr. Brown.
‑‑‑ Laugher / Rires
12207 MR. BROWN: Yes. My friends call me Dog.
12208 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Dog?
12209 MR. BROWN: Sure enough, yes. Harp is my instrument, Blues harp, right.
12210 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Oh, I see.
12211 MR. BROWN: Harmonica.
12212 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay. I'm going to open this question to both of you to try to help me understand.
12213 I understand your passion for the music and many, many of us enjoy going to Blues festivals. What I am trying to understand, and maybe you can help me with, is the scope, the extent to which the audience ‑‑ like who is the audience?
12214 How large is the audience for Blues here in Edmonton?
12215 MR. BROWN: Here in Edmonton or globally? Because you know I find ‑‑
12216 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Well, let's talk about Edmonton ‑‑
12217 MR. BROWN: Okay.
12218 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: ‑‑ because that is of course where we are looking to bring in this 24/7 station.
12219 MR. BROWN: Yes, sure. No doubt. No doubt.
12220 If you have been to any festivals you will see even in the Folk Festival there is Blues arts, you know, Blues artists there.
12221 All festivals that I have ever played have children as well as adults, you know, children of all ages. So I have found that there really is ‑‑ the requirements to love Blues is have one good ear and a little bit of heart.
12222 So children of all ages really stand up and take note and be touched by and moved by the Blues.
12223 You can play restaurants. I mean we both talked about this, a little joint on White Avenue called Murireta's, a great little restaurant, and they have Blues bands on Fridays and Saturday nights. The beauty there is ‑‑ I have an 11‑year‑old son and opportunity, restaurant, no smoking, he comes in on a Friday or Saturday, you know, to watch dad work.
12224 But I have seen babies, you know like actual babies in little carry‑in cases, you know, that are sitting on the floor in their little carriers, right.
12225 So children of all ages, big and old, you know, young and old, really do find a draw to the honesty and the truth of what Blues is.
12226 See, that's the thing, is it is really ‑‑ it is all about honesty and truth and we are all drawn to that.
12227 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Phil, you have said that you have operated here, you work every weekend, 25 years and now you are doing this fulltime, I understand.
12228 MR. WILSON‑BIRKS: Yes.
12229 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Do you have loyal listeners? Do you have people that follow you or are you playing to new audiences every time?
12230 MR. WILSON‑BIRKS: I would have to say both, hopefully picking up new fans everywhere we do play. And I think everywhere we play we do pick up new fans.
12231 But my experience ‑‑ and I can only speak for the last five years in this particular band that I'm in right now ‑‑ I think we are about 450 shows, so every weekend and then some in midweek. So we play everywhere.
12232 We see people of all ages. We don't play just Blues clubs because really there aren't that many Blues specific clubs. It is hard to support live music to have music seven nights a week in any genre of music.
12233 But I can tell you that we see ages, like I said before, young kids to older people. We play festivals and it doesn't matter what the age is. Just the love of the music, what it does to you, what it makes you feel, how it gets you moving.
12234 I don't think you can say that about every genre of music over all those age ranges.
12235 But we do have a following, people do follow us around. Of course, we can't expect people to come to every gig that we play every weekend. That would be a big much. Even my family has quit doing that after 400 shows. We will see them once every little while.
12236 The radio station really is a bonus in that it gets your music out to that audience on a larger scale.
12237 We have had radio play locally and it is a thrill when somebody comes to the show and they have had the fortunate happenstance to be listening to the radio at a specific time in the week where your song came on.
12238 I have only experienced that once myself, driving home and turn it on and here Slowburn comes on and it is just the biggest thrill you can imagine, but I think it should happen more than that.
12239 This is a great band that we have going here. This is music that should be heard by a lot of people, but it is just not getting out to as many. You know, every weekend a few people is fine, but the potential for a radio station to draw people to your shows, which in turn sells your CDs, and the more CDs you sell the more chance as a local band struggling to make it, the more chance you will sign a record deal.
12240 At this present time we are selling our CDs but basically at the gigs that we play at and anywhere we can. It is hard to get a record deal based on that kind of sales.
12241 Throw in the mix of the radio play and that just opens up a whole new world of possibilities.
12242 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: I just have one more question.
12243 Once again I will let you both have an opportunity, but it sounds like you have been in the situation. You worked 25 years and now have the pleasure of dedicating yourself to your music.
12244 It sounds, Harpdog, that you have had the opportunity to have music your career.
12245 MR. BROWN: Oh, yes.
12246 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Is that right?
12247 MR. BROWN: Yes. I mean I have dabbled in a lot of other angles. I have driven truck, I have welded, I have done a lot of things, but I have only committed to ‑‑ you know, in the course of the 28 years I have been in this racket, I have really consciously tried to get away from the Blues and the life and stuff, you know.
12248 For the love of a woman when I was younger and I thought I didn't really need Blues. Well, it turned out I did.
12249 When I became a father I consciously took 10 years off. You know, he is 11 now so I'm kind of getting back in the swing of things again.
12250 But yes, it was a conscious effort of ‑‑ well, it's a life, right, and in order to live it you have to actually put all your eggs in one basket and go for it. Now, luckily I was born this gypsy, never really belonged anywhere, so I'm comfortable living out of a suitcase and from motel to motel in town to town.
12251 So you know, it worked for me and it still works for me. I'm still planning on global domination, you know, but that is going to help. The radio station and stuff like this will help that.
12252 I have sold a lot of CDs, thousands of CDs. You know, I have won awards in America. I was up for Juno in 95 with an American release. I signed ‑‑ a little label in Portland, Oregon, signed me. I was the first Canadian to play their 20,000 seated festival for two years, 1992 and 1994.
12253 So I have had a lot of opportunity and I have really done a lot of ‑‑ I have a lot of fan base and it seems to be getting bigger and bigger all the time. As there is Internet and everything, the world is getting smaller.
12254 You know, I almost gave up on this ‑‑ six years ago I was getting tired, I was like man, I can't even get arrested in this town but I will get a gig, you know. But then I ask myself, well, I'm treating the three main people in this city who are booking live entertainment the same way as I treat everybody in Ontario or British Columbia and America. So I thought okay, it's not me, it's them.
12255 Now, I was going to just hang her up, you know, and say well, I'm 40 years old back then and maybe I should look at another career.
12256 And then the Internet came into my hands and Napster came into my hands. My first download ‑‑ my first search on Napster was Harpdog Brown. Lo and behold, I found me. My first download was a song I wrote.
12257 My first Internet conversation was with a guy down in San Diego that I was taking my songs out of his hard drive, and then he told me, man, I know fans of yours all around the globe.
12258 So that actually saved my ‑‑ he changed my whole perspective. I said well, maybe I shouldn't give up yet. Maybe life was just beginning, you know. Maybe there is more out there. Maybe just because I ‑‑ because at that time I felt like I couldn't get arrested in this city, well, everybody else wanted me. So with the world, it's my oyster, right.
12259 So it's a matter of just keep on keeping on.
12260 The fact of the matter is we are only here to do what we are here to do, right. If you are here to spread the word, if you are a teacher, well than you have to have somebody to listen to your thoughts, right. And I kind of feel that in actual fact it is a teaching experience. Being on the stage, choosing what works and what messages you lay out to the people is really all what it is ‑‑ that's what it's all about.
12261 So that is why I have people coming to hear me. It is not because I play the songs that they want to hear, because they don't know they want to hear them until they hear them. It takes somebody to kind of cut it out a little bit differently and say, no, no, no, yeah, you heard that before. Let me give you something you haven't heard.
12262 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you. I just wondered which of your models is the more frequent, if you will, or the most usual model for a Blues musician here in the local community, somebody who has to work fulltime and do it once they are financially secure or is it that you can make a lifestyle playing Blues here in the west?
12263 MR. WILSON‑BIRKS: From my perspective ‑‑
12264 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Or is it just both?
12265 MR. WILSON‑BIRKS: Yes, it is both. For the 25 years as a teacher the music was always there, just not as often.
12266 At some point in your life ‑‑ I loved doing the teaching experience, this whole concept of bringing Blues into the schools, that is my ultimate fantasy. Sign up Slowburn for that, you know. To be able to go into the schools and bring the Blues into the schools, back as a teacher that way, that would be just unbelievable.
12267 But I was always performing but not quite as often and now the opportunity ‑‑ my kids are grown up and to be able to do that. I would say at this point I am probably making half my living at playing and performing every weekend, but I would have to say it is a real mix of musicians out there. A lot of musicians, just like actors or any of the arts professions, you need a day job to supplement because you don't have the record deals, you're not getting the play.
12268 I think that kind of thing would open up a lot of people's possibilities with the advent of a radio station that can promote your music, not only in one station in Edmonton, but the possibility in other provinces, in sister stations, you know, spreading the word across the country and getting out that way.
12269 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: I would like the thank you all for coming. Those are my questions and thank you again for coming here today.
12270 MR. BROWN: It is a pleasure.
12271 MR. WILSON‑BIRKS: Thank you very much.
12272 THE CHAIRPERSON: I will just add to the thanks. It is a pleasure to meet the three of you. You certainly have added some insight into our deliberations and we appreciate it.
12273 Thank you very much.
12274 MR. BROWN: Thank you.
12275 MR. WILSON‑BIRKS: You're welcome.
12276 THE SECRETARY: I now recall the Community Radio for Beaumont to come forward to the presentation table.
12277 THE SECRETARY: It appears that Community Radio for Beaumont is not in the room so we will now proceed with the next one.
12278 I would now call Barrypatch Records, Sarah Pocklington and Nestor Pistor Productions Ltd. to come to the presentation table to appear as a panel and present their interventions.
12279 THE SECRETARY: We will start with Barrypatch Records.
12280 Please introduce yourselves and you will have ten minutes for your presentation.
12281 MR. POWIS: Thank you.
12282 My name is Barry Powis. I own and operate a small independent record label in Edmonton.
12283 First of all I want to thank you for the opportunity to speak before you.
12284 How I got into the music industry, by the way, is first of all I am a music fan. When I moved here from Calgary in 1990 I would hang out at all the local venues and be continually blown away by the bands that I would see. I mean, I had not seen talent like this anywhere.
12285 When I would see a band that would blow me away, on the Monday or the Tuesday after I had recovered I would call the radio station and ask about this band, where I can find more music and why I'm not hearing them on the radio.
12286 One example I can tell you is I saw a band called The Rockin' Highliners at the Sidetrack Cafe. I called the radio station asking where I can get music from these guys. They didn't know who they were and I thought there is something wrong here. This is a Juno nominated band and the radio station for that genre did not know who they were.
12287 So I kind of realized that there was something wrong in the industry.
12288 Excuse me, I am a little nervous here. I'm not used to public speaking.
12289 Some of the other bands that I would see ‑‑ this was before the Internet was around so I couldn't research them afterwards ‑‑ I would call the radio stations to try to find again where to find them. They didn't know. I would go to the record stores. They didn't know.
12290 One particular band I saw, it was at the Sidetrack, I was just so impressed with them. They were so original, so dynamic, so energetic that I thought, you know what, there is such a problem in this industry and I want other people to hear this band. So I formed the record company.
12291 When I did that, I took a course at Grant MacEwan, Record Label Management. I spoke to a number of friends in the industry, and I thought I did everything right. I brought the band into Homestead Recorders with Barry Allen, you know, may as well get the best ear in the industry to work on him, and we did everything right.
12292 We sent our 200 copies across Canada to all radio stations and we just couldn't get played.
12293 The reason why we couldn't get played is that couldn't be pigeonholed. We were different. We didn't sound like every other band on the radio.
12294 So other bands would come up and ask me, you know, how can I get on your label and can you do anything for me? The only advice I could give them is, if you want to make it in this genre in Edmonton, either change your genre or move away, because you are not going to get played here.
12295 So when I heard that The Planet 107 with Don Kay was applying for a licence, I thought this is finally the opportunity we have been looking for.
12296 In doing some research I found out what they are doing to the industry as far as giving back, i.e. money to the Edmonton Folk Festival, the various schools, you know, just supporting the various genres out there. There is so much good music out there that is falling through the cracks and no one is playing it because, again, the band doesn't sound like somebody or ‑‑ I don't know what the cases.
12297 I saw the band The Smalls in Edmonton quite a while ago and this band again, I was completely blown away by them. The lead guy, Corb Lund, in order to get heard, had to change his genre to get his music heard.
12298 There is just again something wrong with the industry in Edmonton if this kind of talent has to go away from its roots to get heard. I don't get it.
12299 So anyway, as you can tell, I am very frustrated with the radio in Edmonton.
12300 My band has, you know, they are a Rock band with bagpipes, not your normal thing. Out of the 200 copies we sent to radio across Canada, we have been played on an AM Country station here in Edmonton, we have been played on CKUA in Edmonton and we have been played in Colorado, if you can believe it, and satellite radio.
12301 We can't get played on the radio stations that are close, the closest match to our genre. I don't think it is for lack of talent. The people I talk to in the industry just love the band.
12302 We now have five albums out that nobody will hear unless the check out or website and again, my advice to them now is rather than put a new album out, either change your genre or move away because, you know, if you don't sound like somebody else, you are not going to get played.
12303 So anyway, because of this and for all the other bands out there that continually blow me away in these live venues that will never be heard, I really ask you to consider strongly the application by Don Kay and The Planet 107.
12304 Thank you.
12305 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
12306 We will now proceed with Sarah Pocklington. You have ten minutes for your presentation.
12307 MS POCKLINGTON: Thank you. I am really delighted to have the opportunity to be here.
12308 As you have mentioned, my name is Sarah Pocklington, no relation, for anybody who is a hockey fan.
12309 I have spent the majority of my life living in Edmonton but I've had the good fortune not only to live in various cities across Canada but also internationally.
12310 I am a graduate of the Vocal Performance Program at Grant MacEwan. I have taken courses on percussion, theatre and dance and I have been singing professionally since I was 15 years old.
12311 I guess I like school. I have an Honours B.A., a Masters in Native Studies and I'm currently working on my Ph.D. focusing on Contemporary Aboriginal Music in Canada.
12312 I have been teaching at the post secondary level for almost 20 years, most of that as an Adjunct Professor for the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta.
12313 I have co‑developed what I have been told by the University is the first course offered by a Canadian university on contemporary aboriginal music.
12314 I am Cree‑Métis and actually had ‑‑ when I first met Don, I would say that was several weeks ago, I found out that Don is also Métis and I think that stands Don in good stead. He obviously knows a lot about his heritage, which makes him a person that really understands the needs of community and what community is about.
12315 I am also a member of the aboriginal women's trio Asani, and Asani in the Cree language means rock.
12316 Our music is really distinct. We carry with us the traditional influences of First Nations and Métis music accompanied by drums and rattles, and more recently World Beat rhythms, and we combined that with our own blend of traditional vocals infused with the sounds of Jazz, Folk and Blues. We also sing a high percentage of our songs in indigenous languages, predominantly Cree.
12317 Asani's debut CD Rattle and Drum ‑‑ and yes, it is a play on U2's Rattle and Hum ‑‑ was released in 2005.
12318 The thing I found very interesting about this was we had a lot of people asking us to make a CD and we really didn't know very much about that. We ended up receiving a $3,000 grant from the Alberta Foundation from the Arts and that is what we used to make our CD. That is all the money we had.
12319 We ended up recording our CD in one day live from the floor at Convocation Hall at the University of Alberta. I had the help of a terrific producer and an engineer who believed in us enough to help us.
12320 I have to say, initially to our dismay and great delight, this CD has been nominated for 11 music awards across North America, including a 2006 Juno for best aboriginal recording of the year.
12321 We were the recipients of the Canadian Aboriginal Music Award for best female traditional cultural roots album of 2005.
12322 We are currently in the process of recording our second CD and ‑‑ and this has been mentioned several times here ‑‑ we are in a position where we are struggling to complete this CD because of lack of funds.
12323 However, we are very fortunate to be working with Barry Allen from Homestead Recorders, who has been mentioned here and has also presented. I have to say that everybody knows that Barry is a renowned producer‑engineer. He has received many, many awards. But what is astounding about Barry is his passion and support for aboriginal and Alberta artists and, I have to say, he has an incredible ear.
12324 So Asani, like so many artists, especially those who are working in the area of specialized music, is trying to find funding for our CD. Our music is so different that I think it often falls between the cracks even within funding institutions.
12325 Asani has performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City, the Kennedy Center, as well as the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival in Washington, D.C., Talent du Sud at Medan, France.
12326 We have performed at festivals across Canada, U.S., Finland, Africa. We composed the music for the opening section of the opening ceremonies of the World Champions in Athletics in Edmonton in 2001, and we have been featured artists at Canada Day celebrations in both Montréal and on Parliament Hill where we have our own version of O Canada that has gotten really strong support. We sing that in three languages, including Cree.
12327 We also received the prestigious Fleck Fellowship from the Banff Centre in 2003.
12328 I have to say it can be very discouraging. Asani has never been invited to perform at any major festival in Edmonton or in Alberta.
12329 Edmonton needs a radio station that will play music by Edmonton, Alberta and Canadian artists whose music doesn't fit the format of many of the other commercial radio stations out there.
12330 As has been mentioned, there are many great musicians and bands around Edmonton and other parts of the province that fall through the cracks. Even if their music is fabulous, it isn't heard on the air. Obviously, if artists' music isn't heard they don't get offered those opportunities that are out there to perform at amazing venues. They struggle.
12331 So not only are the artists missing out, but the public is missing out, too, because the public is not having access to this great music.
12332 The Planet's commitment to playing diverse music styles means there is a greater variety of artists that will have their music played and I think that is hugely important, especially for groups that are like Asani.
12333 The Planet and Don Kay have made a commitment to highlight the music of these artists on their station. That is a huge bonus for this city and for the artists.
12334 But further to this, I have to say I didn't know Don Kay prior to three weeks ago and the fact that Don Kay took it upon himself to find an artist like myself who creates and performs this specialized music, and I also happen to be Cree‑Métis, and then offer me the opportunity to speak here to you today really highlights his and The Planet's commitment to actually follow through with their mandate to include these diverse music styles and this greater variety of artists in their programming.
12335 The fact that The Planet would be actually located in Edmonton and operated by people who live here rather than 1,000 miles away, how can you beat that? It gives a voice to Edmontonians. It celebrates all that Edmonton is.
12336 It offers a real and meaningful way to support the vibrant music and the arts scene, as well as the artists in and around Edmonton, Alberta, a place where local artists' music is not just played on the air, but where we have the opportunity to get to know, in a real sense, the people who are operating the station, a place where our music, our voices and our opinions can be heard not just through a telephone call, but through real relationships with real people that have the opportunity and the authority to make decisions about how this station operates.
12337 The fact that the decisions are made right here in Edmonton, that there is no checking with the head office some place in the eastern part of Canada is a powerful thing.
12338 Under these circumstances there is a strong likelihood that the decisions that are made by this radio station will be made in favour of what is in the interests of Edmonton and Alberta and the artists that live here. I think that is hugely important.
12339 The Planet's commitment to Alberta's independent artists is backed up with meaningful financial support, festivals, special programs, sessions that offer emerging artists information required to build their music career, beginning on how to access funds through institutions like FACTOR.
12340 This program that they would have where artists can compete for $10,000 at the beginning of their music career to make CDs and then have that ramped up for three different artists or groups so that they have enough money not just to make the CD, but to actually do promotion and marketing, that is where independent artists really struggle.
12341 So from my perspective that is just huge.
12342 On a personal note, I have to say that Don and I have had several discussions about The Planet's commitments to get involved with musicians here and help them make things happen. I can't say enough, quite honestly, about how I am so impressed with his passion, his dedication and his ability to pull together the team that you saw present a few days ago.
12343 That speaks a great deal about his character, his knowledge and his track record, in my opinion.
12344 I hope that you will support The Planet's application. I think that The Planet will become so much more than just a radio station. I think that The Planet can become a viable component of the fabric of what makes Edmonton and Alberta a great place to be.
12345 Thank you.
12346 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
12347 We will now precede with Nestor Pistor Productions Ltd.
12348 Please introduce yourself, after which you will have ten minutes to make your presentation.
12349 MR. AST: Good morning and welcome to Alberta. My name is Don Ast. I am also known as Nestor Pistor.
12350 I sit on ACTRA's board as the national representative for Alberta. I have five Juno nominations, five gold records, two platinum records and this all didn't happen by circumstance.
12351 When I first put out the record of Winestone Plowboy ‑‑ which is a parody on Rhinestone Cowboy ‑‑ we needed a vehicle. The vehicle naturally was radio. I am going back a few years now when radio was really radio, when radio gave the personalities or the DJs on the air licence to communicate with people.
12352 This doesn't happen any more. They are tightly scripted and it has just taken the personage out of radio. But I did get airplay.
12353 I did get airplay and when my third record came out January 6th, 1976 there was an unprecedented sale of 78,000 albums on the first day of release. This was because radio gave me the opportunity of going on the air, talking to DJs, having fun and letting people know who you are, what you are.
12354 It was a marvellous trip, and it still is in certain circumstances, because there are still radio stations that will say, "Oh, Nestor is in town. Let's give him a call and see if we can get him on the air."
12355 That's a plus to any artist, because once they know you are in town the phones start ringing at the venues that you are in and all of a sudden you have SOR on your door. But without that, you don't get that opportunity to do so. You don't get the opportunity of reaching people and having them hear you.
12356 Radio is a communication device and I don't know how many people in the world sit at home alone and the only people that they can talk to or talk with is the guy on the radio. I do it myself. I do it myself.
12357 It is a communication device and with what Planet has in mind it is going to give every artist of every genre a chance to be heard, to be played, and to make something of themselves.
12358 It has to happen. It is a commitment made. And knowing Don, and being on his radio stations where he welcomed every artist with open arms to sit down and talk for almost as long as they wanted to, I know that his resolve is going to hold through right up until the end.
12359 But I have to say something as my alter ego, Nestor Pistor.
12360 Now Nestor is an old country guy that speaks with a dialect. I don't know if you people are familiar with Nestor Pistor or if you have ever heard of Nestor Pistor, but there are two languages that Nestor Pistor speaks at home. One is English and one is broken English.
12361 So I am going to relate to you a story about my uncle Tom Pratchuk(ph) who was live over here to Harry Hill, Alberta. It is very true.
12362 One day he was kind of puttering around the yard, you know, feeding the chickens, throwing the horse over the fence some hay. Pretty soon a guy drive up in a nice automobile and say, "You Tom Pratchuk?" He say, "Yeah, that's me." He say, "You live in Rural Route 3, Harry Hill?" "Yes, that's me, Rural Route 3." He says, "Well, listen, I got to do something over here to your land. I'm a Commissioner, you know. I want to go around your land because I have to find what water levels are and what everything is about, and I need access to every place of your entire farm." He said, "Mister, you go do whatever you want, but whatever you do, whatever you do, don't go to that field over there." He said, "And why can't I go there? I'm Commissioner. You see this piece of paper here?" He say, "Yes." He say, "Well, that's licence. That's licence give me every opportunity to go where I want to go, to do what I want to do and to see everything and you can't stop me. You understand that?" He says, "Sure, but I got to say, please, be my guest, go wherever the hell you want. You know, what can I say. You got the licence. You do whatever you want."
12363 So that Commissioner, the first thing he go to that field. Oh‑oh. Now my uncle, he putter around, do some raking, water the plants. All of a sudden he hears, "Help me! Help me! Please, Tom, help me!" He looked and he ran to the field and there is this Commissioner running as fast as he can and uncle big bull with horns like that chasing him. Every step he take, every step that bull get closer. He says, "Help me! Please help me! This bull is going to kill me." My uncle look at him and he say, "Ha, you smart in the pants Commissioner, show him your licence."
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
12364 MR. AST: Well, kind of a two‑way street here because when you people hear all the wonderful things The Planet has for all the great artists, Alberta artists, Edmonton artists, what they could do for them, they need one thing. They need you to give them that licence because without that licence, none of this great stuff is going to happen.
12365 So I ask you humbly and with respect, please, Edmonton needs the station. Give them that licence.
12366 Thank you.
12367 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: (Off microphone)
12368 THE CHAIRPERSON: You should at least use your microphone.
12369 Commissioner Molnar...?
12370 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you. I'm a bit afraid.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
12371 MR. AST: Don't be afraid, I don't bite.
12372 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: No. I will tell you that my parents were very big fans of yours and there were many times they were laughing about Nestor Pistor.
12373 And I come from a farm, so you are not going to catch me in a field without looking for a bull.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
12374 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: I understand you have had a long experience with ‑‑ I'm sorry, now I have lost his name with this ‑‑ with Mr. Kay, and that it has been a very positive experience, but you are an established artist and I wonder if you can tell me, is this something that is truly unique?
12375 There is a lot of radio available across Canada and even here in Edmonton. You come here representing Mr. Kay specifically, and I wondered if there was something specific that you have found through your relationship with him, through your experience with him, that is in fact unique?
12376 MR. AST: Yes, I do, Candice. It's his openness and willingness and unselfishness to artists. He is not a man that says we have a radio station here and we have a formula or we have a format that we have to follow, and if we don't follow it to the precise thing it is going to kind of throw everything up in the air.
12377 That is neither here nor there with Don.
12378 Ever since I have known him, ever since he has been a manager of many radio stations and you walk in there or he tries to get a hold of you, he is a gentleman that you don't have to really attempt to contact. He is a gentleman that attempts to contact you if he knows that you are in town, if he knows that you are in a venue.
12379 This speaks well of him because this gives me the knowledge within myself that this man is not going to shirk on what he says he is going to do.
12380 I think it is a true commitment, I think it is a noble commitment and I know for a fact that he will follow through with everything that he says he is going to do. That is a big plus for Edmonton and Alberta.
12381 I hope that's what you wanted to hear.
12382 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Yes, thank you. And thank you for coming here today.
12383 MR. AST: It's my pleasure. Thank you.
12384 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: I would like the ask Mr. Powis ‑‑ if that is correct ‑‑ you are talking about your Alternative band and I guess being frustrated with the inability to get on existing stations.
12385 Are you speaking particularly of Edmonton?
12386 MR. POWIS: Yes, pretty much. We did send packages Canada‑wide, but I am speaking specifically about Edmonton.
12387 I think the problem is that it seems like radio stations' programming is all done out of eastern Canada and therefore the Edmonton stations just don't know what is here and what they have.
12388 Yes, so I was speaking specifically Edmonton.
12389 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Let me ask about when you are with this band, one of the other things I wondered is, there are a number ‑‑ and we have heard through this week our applicants come forward with a number of different packages to support Canadian Talent Development, Canadian Content Development, and one of the established funds that are available is called FACTOR.
12390 Is that something that you ‑‑
12391 MR. POWIS: That we have applied for?
12392 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Yes, would have applied for?
12393 MR. POWIS: Yes. Yes, we did apply for the last album with FACTOR. We actually achieved an Alberta Foundation for the Arts grant for the last album.
12394 We applied for the last two and got the last one. FACTOR, we applied for both and were turned down on both.
12395 I think it wasn't ‑‑ they're musicians. They don't really know how to fill out the application properly and I think we learned from our mistakes. I think if we were to apply to FACTOR again for a grant, I think we would get it.
12396 I guess the point I'm trying to make is I think we were turned down because our application wasn't strong, not because the music wasn't strong.
12397 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay. Fair enough, because we have heard that there is not a lot of Albertan, frankly western ‑‑ I am from Saskatchewan and it is the same; that the artists are not getting a significant amount of the money out of FACTOR. It is not landing was artists within these prairie western provinces and have had discussions that it is not ‑‑ you know, it is not the organization. It is just how do the artists know about it and how are they able to successfully, as you mentioned here, even fill out the forms to get access to those sorts of funds?
12398 MR. POWIS: Right. I think that is all improving now. There are instructions on the Internet now and there are people who will coach bands on how to fill them out correctly.
12399 I think the bottom line is I don't think the bands out there are looking for any handouts. They just need to be heard. You can throw as much money as you want at our band. It doesn't matter. They just want people to hear them.
12400 They want to make it on their own merits and their own laurels. They are not looking for handouts.
12401 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Yes. Fair enough.
12402 Thank you and thank you for coming here today.
12403 MR. POWIS: Thank you.
12404 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Ms Pocklington, you have really given us some compelling reasons to listen. Obviously you are passionate about this and your band sounds truly ‑‑ it is kind of an interesting story to hear how successful you have become and yet, as you say, somehow falling through the cracks here in Edmonton and perhaps across Canada to some extent.
12405 MS POCKLINGTON: Yes.
12406 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: You, too, mentioned FACTOR. Is that something that has been available to your band?
12407 MS POCKLINGTON: We have applied for FACTOR. We have never received a FACTOR grant and we do know how to fill out grants.
12408 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: I can't imagine you can't fill out the form.
12409 MS POCKLINGTON: No, we know how to fill out the grants. We have received ‑‑ for the CD that we are working on now we received a Canada Council grant as well as an Alberta Foundation For the Arts grant,
12410 But the Alberta Foundation for the Arts grant ‑‑ and I mean we understand this is the way things go. But the Alberta Foundation for the Arts grant was very small.
12411 In fact, I have sat on several juries and it was very interesting to me that the grant that we received from Alberta Foundation for the Arts was less than 50 per cent of what we asked for, which is very rare.
12412 So I will leave that with you.
12413 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Yes.
12414 Just following up on what Mr. Powis said, "it is not the money, we are not looking for handouts, we are looking for airplay", would that be what you feel would be most effective to help your music as well?
12415 MS POCKLINGTON: Absolutely.
12416 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Is it the airplay that is in need?
12417 MS POCKLINGTON: No. It's absolutely airplay and I will say this. We have had just extraordinary situations where people are like okay, you know, whoever, who are these women? And then we perform and we have had so many people say, "Oh my God, this music is fabulous. You know, where do we find you? We have never heard you anywhere. Why aren't we hearing you?"
12418 So yes, I think that airplay for Asani would be huge.
12419 We are played occasionally on CBC and occasionally on CKUA. I have never heard Asani played on any other radio station.
12420 If what people are telling us everywhere we go ‑‑ so it is not just across Canada but other places ‑‑ if what people are telling us is true, then people are interested in our music. They just need to hear it to know that we exist.
12421 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Yes.
12422 Well, thank you very much. As I said, you were very eloquent and very passionate as you brought it forward. So thank you for coming in, all of you for coming.
12423 Those are my questions.
12424 THE CHAIRPERSON: Just two quick questions.
12425 Mr. Powis, I may have missed your comment there and I'm just wondering, you said that the reason you didn't get the money from FACTOR was more related to your application than the quality of the music.
12426 I'm just wondering what that was, because I did ask yesterday one of the applicants if it was an involved process to apply to FACTOR and I understood it was not.
12427 MR. POWIS: Our first application was two pages long, and I spoke to another band that had received a grant and they showed me their application and it was 45 pages long.
12428 There seemed to be a little bit of a problem there filling out the application.
12429 THE CHAIRPERSON: I thought it was a form. It's not a form then?
12430 MR. POWIS: Well, you have to make a lot of attachments.
12431 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh, I see.
12432 MR. POWIS: Basically what we found out later, you can't just say you are going to send it out to 200 radio stations in Canada. You have to provide addresses and a contact person to every radio station.
12433 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh, I see.
12434 MR. POWIS: Basically making it your marketing plan. We found out after the fact.
12435 THE CHAIRPERSON: So once you learned that, did you apply again and still not successful?
12436 MR. POWIS: No, but we will for our next album.
12437 By the way, one thing I didn't mention is our newest album, we have actually changed our genre a little bit. We have made it much more commercial, radio friendly, again just to get it heard on the radio.
12438 I don't necessarily like that idea, going away from your roots, but again, that is the state of the industry here.
12439 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you play in the band or are you ‑‑
12440 MR. POWIS: No.
12441 THE CHAIRPERSON: You represent them.
12442 MR. POWIS: No, just a fan that has lost an awful lot of money.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
12443 THE CHAIRPERSON: Ms Pocklington, I just wanted to know how you spell Asani, because I is soon you have a website.
12444 MS POCKLINGTON: We do have a website.
12445 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you? How do you spell that?
12446 MS POCKLINGTON: I am delighted that you want to look.
12447 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
12448 MS POCKLINGTON: It is A‑S, as in Sarah, A‑N‑I.
12449 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. It is a good thing I asked. Thank you.
12450 I was just curious, do you have a video? Would I see you on APTN, for example?
12451 MS POCKLINGTON: Yes. We are on APTN probably quite a bit, yes.
12452 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. I will watch for you.
12453 Thank you.
12454 MS POCKLINGTON: Thank you.
12455 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you all for your comments. We appreciate you coming. Thanks very much.
12456 THE SECRETARY: I would now call CKUA Radio Network to come forward to the presentation table.
12457 THE SECRETARY: Please introduce yourself. You will then have ten minutes to make your presentation.
12458 THE CHAIRPERSON: Excuse me, if I could. There seems to be something wrong with the copies we have. We are not starting with paragraph 1 or is that paragraph removed?
12459 Are we supposed to start at 8?
12460 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, it's not there actually.
12461 MR. REGAN: My apologies. That's the photocopier.
12462 THE CHAIRPERSON: Maybe what we could do ‑‑ is it possible to fix that? We could just take a break now and then we will start again in about 20 minutes.
12463 MR. REGAN: Sure.
12464 THE CHAIRPERSON: Would that be all right? Would that give you enough time?
‑‑‑ Off record discussion / Discussion officieuse
12465 THE CHAIRPERSON: So that would make it 10:40.
12466 Thanks very much.
‑‑‑ Upon recessing at 1015 / Suspension à 1015
‑‑‑ Upon resuming at 1045 / Reprise à 1045
12467 THE SECRETARY: Please be seated. We will now resume.
12468 We will resume with the presentation by CKUA Radio Network. Please introduce yourself and you will then have ten minutes to make your presentation.
12469 MR. REGAN: Thank you very much.
12470 My name is Ken Regan. I am the General Manager at the CKUA Radio Network. I apologize for the disruption. It is one of the reasons why I am protective of CKUA. We need more money so that we can afford a photocopier, a better photocopier.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
12471 MR. REGAN: Madam Chair and Commissioners, thank you for the opportunity to speak to these important deliberations.
12472 Appreciating that my time is limited I would like, for the record, to provide a bit of history about CKUA, some background.
12473 CKUA is one of this country's great broadcasting institutions and pioneers. Founded in 1927 at the University of Alberta, CKUA was created for the express purpose of using the medium of radio to serve the community.
12474 One of the things I am most proud of today is that after 80 years of history, CKUA remains true to that founding principle.
12475 Over its 80‑year history, CKUA has established many firsts for Canadian radio: Canada's first educational broadcaster; Canada's first public broadcaster, predating the CBC by almost a decade. CKUA was also the first radio station in the British Commonwealth to broadcast as a public service the proceedings of a Legislative Assembly. In 1995‑96 CKUA was the first radio station in Canada to stream its signal via the Internet while the Internet was in its infancy.
12476 Following the deadly Edmonton tornado of 1987, it was CKUA engineers who, with the encouragement and support from the Alberta government, developed and today continue to maintain as a public service Alberta's Emergency Public Warning System. It is the only province‑wide public alerting system in Canada, and it is a system considered by jurisdictions worldwide to be one of the finest anywhere.
12477 Today CKUA broadcasts via a network of one AM and 16 FM transmitters which cover 95 per cent of Alberta's populated regions from Fort McMurray and the Peace country in the north to Lethbridge and Medicine Hat in the south, from Banff, Canmore, Valley in the west to Lloydminster in the east.
12478 CKUA's product consists of some of the most eclectic, intelligent and informed Alternative music programming to be found anywhere. It is made up of Jazz, Blues, Classical, Country, Celtic, Contemporary, Folk, Roots, R&B and World Music and, I am proud to say, including the music of fantastic musicians like Harpdog Brown and Asani.
12479 I think, if I may suggest, during the course of your deliberations when you have heard oblique references from artists about getting some airplay on radio in Alberta, that more often than not they are probably speaking of CKUA, perhaps Campus Radio, but more than likely they are talking about CKUA.
12480 It is what we do. Support for local, regional and Canadian artists is our chosen mandate.
12481 This music programming is backed up by immensely dedicated, knowledgeable and experienced programmers, many of whom are accomplished or professional musicians themselves, and by one of the largest most diverse music collections in North America, consisting of more than 1.5 million selections.
12482 I think this number is particularly relevant, given that when you consider that the Encyclopedia of Life, which is an internationally recognized online repository of information on every known species on the planet, has 1.8 million entries.
12483 The CKUA music library is a national treasure and I think if you ask any working musician who knows about it, they will tell you that visiting this collection is akin to completing a pilgrimage.
12484 But CKUA is about much more than music. It is also a place where listeners can hear outstanding information programs. I will just mention a few.
12485 Inspiring Leadership, a series produced in conjunction with the acclaimed Leadership Development Program of The Banff Center, which examines the essence of leadership and its relevance, increasing relevance, in society.
12486 Similarly, an earlier series entitled The Folkways Collection, which told the story of Moses Asch, the founder of Folkways Records, and which was produced in collaboration with the prestigious Smithsonian Institute. It is now a very popular podcast on iTunes music platform, and during the first two weeks that the series was available on iTunes it was downloaded 50,000 times.
12487 Madam Chair, this unique content and the intelligent, informed and respectful way it is offered are why people in Alberta, across Canada and around the world support CKUA, to the tune of roughly $3 million annually, a fact even more remarkable when you consider that these are voluntary contributions for a product that can be acquired for free.
12488 This support has made CKUA without question the most successful community‑based broadcaster in this country.
12489 But inherent in this success is CKUA's vulnerability, because it is this unique programming and CKUA's history of serving niche markets that will forever relegate CKUA to having to survive with the support of a loyal but relatively small audience. Implicit in that equation, then, is the fact that any potential erosion of an existing small audience that is so crucial to our existence, particularly one that voluntarily funds our operations, can have a disproportionately negative impact on CKUA's viability and sustainability.
12490 The situation is really no different for any community‑based broadcaster serving its community, I believe.
12491 But it is specifically because of this particular vulnerability that it is incumbent upon CKUA to defend its audience position fiercely. To not do so would be an abrogation of responsibility.
12492 Which brings me to our intervention against DAWG‑FM.
12493 Madam Chair, even though CKUA has intervened against DAWG, I have tremendous respect for Mr. Torres and his desire to support the Blues community of Edmonton. CKUA has its own history of supporting Blues music in this province.
12494 Our intervention, though it referenced several issues we feel are relevant, was largely borne out of concern that a broadcaster seeking to commercially develop a niche music format, particularly one that has been a mainstay of CKUA for 50 years, does represent a potential threat of audience erosion.
12495 That being said, I will say that subsequent to our intervention and Mr. Torres' vigorous defence, I have had opportunity to meet with and discuss my concerns with Mr. Torres and I'm happy to inform the Commission that we have agreed that should Mr. Torres' application be successful on its own merits, we will work collaboratively to address the concerns specific to CKUA.
12496 In truth, CKUA's biggest concerns are not specific to Mr. Torres or any one application or company. I am excited by what I have seen and heard at these hearings because it speaks directly to the passion, the dedication and the ongoing entrepreneurial spirit that are the hallmarks of this industry.
12497 It is the nature of the business that we will all have occasional differences, but I have been around the business a while and the Canadian broadcasting industry is one of the most collegially competitive enterprises I have ever seen. Differences will crop up, but behind the competition is the foundation of respect and friendship.
12498 Because of this kinship, I wish that CKUA never had to intervene or challenge anyone's applications, but the vulnerability is real to CKUA, and I might suggest to all community broadcasters.
12499 The broadcasting industry today is staggeringly dynamic and challenging. CKUA and other community broadcasters face exactly the same challenges and threats as our private and public sector colleagues: technological change, rising costs, audience fragmentation and increased competition.
12500 The difference for CKUA and other community broadcasters is that the resources needed to face these challenges are extremely limited, our margin for error is minuscule and our sector is, frankly, handicapped by a patently unfair playing field.
12501 As much as CKUA may have concerns with individual applicants from time to time, our primary concern is with the systemic inequities that exists within the Canadian broadcasting system. On one hand, unlike our friends in the private sector, CKUA is not allowed to compete on an equal footing for advertising. We cannot simply sell more or charge more to improve our bottom line.
12502 Unlike the CBC, CKUA receives absolutely no tax subsidy to fall back on. Unlike the public broadcaster, we have no choice but to earn our keep. That's fine, because in fact we don't want government handouts.
12503 While it may not be specifically germane to these discussions, I have to tell you that it causes me great concern and intense frustration when the tax funded public broadcaster uses our own money to revamp its entire network schedule to, in effect, emulate if not copy CKUA programming models to create, at the very least, a serious potential to erode our audience.
12504 I am more than willing to put CKUA's product up against any other stations in the country, but I cannot compete with private radio's immense marketing machinery or the guaranteed tax funded CBC resources which allow them to leverage a place on SIRIUS, XM, on most if not all telco mobility services, and which allows them to dominate the broadcasting Internet platform in Canada.
12505 CKUA and other community broadcasters have made and are making very important contributions to our respective communities. We all know we could do much more and we want to contribute more. Like any other broadcaster, we have a right to not only exist but to thrive. Any other suggestion would be pure paternalism and is, frankly, unacceptable.
12506 The problem is not a lack of will, Madam Chair. The problem is our sector's ability to survive, let alone thrive. The problem is the absence of an appropriate funding framework of support and systemic inequities that preclude us from competing fairly in the marketplace on the basis of our product.
12507 I am happy that Mr. Torres and I have found common ground to resolve our specific issues, but CKUA's greatest concerns are not with Mr. Torres alone, or with Rawlco Radio or any of the fine applicants who have appeared before you in these past weeks. Our greatest concern is with these inherent and systemic inequities in our system and their potential for significant negative impact on CKUA and the entire community broadcasting sector.
12508 I thank you for this opportunity.
12509 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
12510 Commissioner Cugini will do the questioning. Thanks.
12511 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: This is going haunt you, Madam Chair.
12512 I'm just saying, if you weren't here, Mr. Regan, she ‑‑ to say mispronounced my last name on a day of the hearing would be an understatement.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
12513 MR. REGAN: That's why I have stuck with a simple one like Regan.
12514 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you for your intervention here today. Believe me when I say that the Commission understands and appreciates the special role that CKUA plays in the Canadian broadcasting system.
12515 I am going to start with the end of your presentation and I can't help but think that it is a preview of a submission urging us to review the Community Radio Policy.
12516 MR. REGAN: I think that's fair to say. It may also may be a preview of a submission that we plan to make with respect to broadcasting in the new media as well, because there are issues specific to that particular component of the industry that are crucial in the underlying case that I'm trying to make.
12517 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: I would suggest that that is probably your best route, in the sense that the Commission will continue to license commercial radio stations if the market so warrants, and I think that you raise some very valid points that the Commission must keep top of mind in those decisions, as I said, the role that community radio plays and the potential impact and that perhaps a bigger form is also something that needs to be added to your schedule.
12518 Now, your written intervention did focus on the Torres application in particular.
12519 MR. REGAN: Correct.
12520 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: I think it is great that you and Mr. Torres were able to reach an agreement to collaborate, so you know I am going to ask you if you can provide us with more details as to what shape that collaboration will take.
12521 MR. REGAN: Well, it's not in writing as yet ‑‑
12522 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: I understand.
12523 MR. REGAN: ‑‑ but I can say that Mr. Torres has offered to assist CKUA in providing free air time to promote our fundraising activities, for example.
12524 We conduct two fundraisers a year to try to raise operating revenue from the audience. We have been very successful, but certainly any support that we can achieve around that is helpful.
12525 He has also offered to purchase advertising on CKUA ‑‑ we have a limited advertising, restricted advertising licence ‑‑ not to promote his station so much but to promote community‑based activities that his station may be engaged in and we can ‑‑ when I talk about working collaboratively, I think it is a good thing, a way that we can also assist the work that they're trying to do in the community by promoting those things within our Blues programming on CKUA as well.
12526 So those were couple of things that we have spoken about specifically.
12527 We intend to get together and talk further about other things that we may be able to do, but those are a couple of specific examples.
12528 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: How much Blues music do you currently broadcast?
12529 MR. REGAN: We broadcast three hours on Friday evenings, from 9:00 to midnight, and we broadcast two hours on Saturday afternoons, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Those are Blues specific programs, block programs if you wish.
12530 It may sound like odd times within the schedule, but it is not to ghettoize those things at all. In fact, those programs have garnered significant audiences in those timeslots, so we are reluctant to move them around because we don't want to be upsetting or alienating the audiences that they have developed.
12531 Natural Blues, which is the program produced by Holger Petersen on Saturday afternoons, is the longest‑running Blues program in this country on radio. So our history in supporting the music and the artists and the industry is well established.
12532 As I say, it is unfortunate that the systemic issues require us to intervene from time to time and our arguments, the points that we made in our intervention, we feel are appropriate. But it is not a personal thing and we don't wish any ill will to anyone.
12533 As I say, we feel significant vulnerability because we are a small player in a very big and very competitive market. We have been fortunate to achieve the success that we have, thanks to the generosity of listeners who appreciate what we do, but we know without doubt that we are riding a very strong economic wave at the moment and increased competition, whatever form it may take, audience fragmentation, however it evolves, are serious issues for all of us in broadcasting. We feel a particular vulnerability because of our reliance and the capricious nature of listener funded radio.
12534 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And your position is that the deleterious effect of licensing more commercial radio stations is that it takes away audience from you, because it doesn't take away advertisers, being a non‑commercial.
12535 MR. REGAN: No, that is correct. That is correct.
12536 There is only one audience at the end of the day and we are all trying to carve out a piece of that audience, so the more players there are it stands to reason that the smaller the piece is going to be for somebody.
12537 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: As far as interventions are concerned, we all know that for the most part broadcasters are grown‑ups. The great thing about your intervention is that you were able to strike at least a conversation with the Torres Group.
12538 MR. REGAN: Absolutely. As I say, you know, CKUA has a tremendous relationship with everyone in the industry, particularly I would say with the private sector broadcasters who I think really not only appreciate the niche that CKUA serves, and not only appreciate the fact that we are survivors and the success that we have been able to achieve, they appreciate the fact that we earn our way; that just like them, we make our way on our own product, if you like, the fact that we are not subsidized in any way.
12539 Again, I worked at the CBC and I believe in public broadcasting. So my issue is not with public broadcasting. But it causes me grave concern, as I said, to see our money being used to essentially mimic or replicate a lot of what we do in this market and I can't compete with their resources. I can't compete with the wage scale that has already lured many valuable CKUA employees away from us because we can't compete with their wage scale.
12540 I can't compete with the honorariums that they pay to musicians. CKUA insists on paying artists who perform at CKUA. We insist on paying them a stipend, but when CBC can offer them three or four times as much as we can afford, that is problematic for us. I don't blame an artist for preferring to go to CBC.
12541 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Well, Mr. Regan, thank you very much for your intervention here today. It was quite useful.
12542 MR. REGAN: I appreciate the opportunity.
12543 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you, Madam Chair.
12544 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr. Regan.
12545 MR. REGAN: Thank you.
12546 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
12547 I would now call Community Radio Fund and CRA/ANREC, ARC du Canada, ARCQ; Byron Christopher and Edmonton Public Schools to come to the presentation table and present as a panel their interventions.
12548 THE SECRETARY: We will start with Community Radio Fund.
12549 Please introduce yourself and you will then have ten minutes to make your presentation.
12550 MS KAESTNER: Thank you.
12551 Good morning, everyone. My name is Melissa Kaestner and I am the development consultant for the newly formed Community Radio Fund of Canada, La Fond Canadien de la Radio Communautaire. I have worked in radio for 15 years and was most recently the National Coordinator for the National Campus and Community Radio Association.
12552 We are here today on behalf of not only the Fund, but also for its three founding associations.
12553 MR. HANNLEY: Hello. My name is Jay Hannley. I am the Program Manager at CJSR Radio here in Edmonton, Alberta. It is a campus and community radio station.
12554 I was the Music Director there for five years and I just recently got to the position as Program Manager.
12555 MS KAESTNER: The Community Radio Fund of Canada is a national fund established to support the development of local community radio. It is our goal to help these broadcasters reach their collective potential as a well resourced, independent, diverse, vibrant and accessible media sector.
12556 The activities of the Fund will reflect the commitment of the sector to principles of localism and access, respect for and promotion of the official languages of Canada, diversity and multiculturalism, social justice and high quality programming and innovation.
12557 We are here today to talk about how approving the licence for Rogers Broadcasting will contribute to community radio broadcasting across the country. We will talk about the details of the program and provide examples of projects that stations could receive funding for, but first we will give an overview of the Fund itself.
12558 The Fund was created by Canada's largest community radio associations, the National Campus and Community Radio Association, l'Alliance des radio communautaires du Canada and l'Association de radiodiffuseurs communautaires du Québec.
12559 Since the fall of 2004 they have worked together to build this arm's length not‑for‑profit organization, from initial discussions and research to creating bylaws and policies, to meeting the CRTC staff and Commissioners and to making our case to Canadian Heritage, Senators and MPs. The Associations have contributed considerable financial, staff and volunteer resources.
12560 The result is a transparent and accountable funding body that will have a meaningful and significant impact.
12561 The Fund is open to all non‑commercial community and community based licensed broadcasters in Canada and their associations. It will ensure that financial support is well targeted and used efficiently. Applications for funding will be judged on a combination of need and merit for projects and activities under the following program areas: sustainability and capacity building; dealing with emerging broadcast distribution technologies; local news and spoken word programming; and, finally, Canadian Talent Development.
12562 In terms of structure, the Fund is member driven, its membership comprised of the stations and associations it has been created to serve. These members will elect an independent board with no directors having any affiliation with potential recipients, meaning they will not be board members, officers, staff people or active volunteers at recipient stations.
12563 Additionally, each founding association will have an ex officio representative to act as an advisor but will not have a board vote or participate in funding decisions.
12564 In the future, we may add ex officio positions to represent our long‑term funding agencies or sectors, which would help achieve our goal of ensuring transparent management of the funding we receive.
12565 While we intend to diversify our revenue sources in the future, we are currently focusing on soliciting contributions from the private broadcasting sector and the federal government, including the Department of Canadian Heritage.
12566 With regard to private broadcasters, we have already made significant progress toward achieving our funding goals. Last month we publicly launched the Fund by announcing our partnership with Astral Media Radio, resulting in a $1.4 million contribution over seven years. This will see the Fund distributing grants as early as this fall through two programs, the Astral Media Radio Artist Development Assistance Program and the Astral Media Youth Internship Program.
12567 Now that the Fund has been officially certified by the CRTC, we are able to develop new funding partnerships with other broadcasters as well.
12568 One such partnership is with Rogers Broadcasting. After indicating in their application they wanted to support campus and community broadcasters, they learned of the existence of the Fund from CRTC staff. Rogers then approached us to discuss possible news oriented grants for our stations.
12569 The result is our proposal to manage the Rogers News Access Program. This program would provide funding to assist eligible stations in Alberta and across the country to develop and increase local news and public affairs programming.
12570 MR. HANNLEY: One of the primary functions of community media is to provide people with a voice that reflects what is happening in the community around them. With so many people turning to digital forms of media, terrestrial analog radio now competes with a wide range of music, news and other content from around the globe. But no matter how much choice they have, people still need to know about the events and issues in their home communities, where they live, work, learn, pay taxes, raise children and socialize.
12571 Local news orientated programming not only keeps people informed and offers in‑depth analysis and relevant local issues, it can also help hold local decision‑makers accountable, encourage dialogue and participatory decision‑making and contribute to sustainable community development. Increasing the capacity for not‑for‑profit community stations to carry this out provides community members with a unique opportunity to actively participate in researching and broadcasting their own news orientated programs as an alternative to passing consumption of news.
12572 It will play a key role in ensuring that the not‑for‑profit community media remains relevant in the future.
12573 Having consistent on air news programming is a common goal of stations in our sector. Most stations offer at least some programming geared towards news and public affairs. For the most part this occurs through weekly programming focused on specific issues.
12574 For example Terra Informa, an environmental news program on CJSR in Edmonton, Dynamic Health on CFRO in Vancouver Co‑op Radio, Aboriginal Connections on CKUW in Winnipeg and Critical Thinking, a municipal politics program on CFRC in Kingston.
12575 There are a few stations that have the resources to produce daily news programming such as CKDU in Halifax, CKUT in Montreal and CHRY in Toronto, but this is rare.
12576 The key challenges the stations face in realizing regular local news oriented programming can be attributed to a lack of resources, which leaves them with insufficient staff, equipment and inadequate training to produce frequent, thorough and reliable news.
12577 Through the Rogers News Access Program stations will be eligible to apply for grants to help with the infrastructure, training and production. Half of these grants would be given to stations in Alberta and the remaining half to stations in other parts of the country.
12578 In the area of training, stations could receive grants to strengthen the presence and improve the quality of news oriented programming to serve their local communities.
12579 For example, a station could bring in experienced researchers, journalists, reporters and other news producers to conduct workshops and training sessions so that new and experienced volunteers and staff can learn skills relevant to high‑quality news broadcasting.
12580 In the area of production, grants could be available for stations to purchase portable recording equipment. It can also enable stations to develop custom software to facilitate digital editing and enable stations and their volunteers to share news and information locally and nationally across the community radio sector.
12581 In the area of infrastructure, stations could receive grants to hire consultants to help establish a sustainable news department or develop news and editorial policies and style guides. They could also hire short‑term interns or producers to develop story ideas, conduct research and recruit local volunteers to help create news oriented programming.
12582 MS KAESTNER: Rogers Broadcasting's contribution to the Fund will increase the capacity of stations in the community radio sector to produce news and strengthen the presence and quality of the news and public affairs programming they provide. It will also foster increased opportunities for community members to participate in newsmaking, thereby increasing the diversity of voices and perspectives on the airwaves.
12583 We ask the Commission to consider this impact when awarding licences for the Edmonton market.
12584 Thank you. We welcome your questions.
12585 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
12586 We will now proceed with Mr. Byron Christopher.
12587 You have ten minutes to make your presentation.
12588 MR. CHRISTOPHER: Thank you very much and good morning, Madam Chair and Commissioners.
12589 Right off the bat, a very belated warm welcome to Edmonton and to Alberta. I think I have new respect to the CRTC after watching you in operation for about a week and a half. You certainly have an awful lot of information to go through and I do not envy your job. There have been very good presentations here.
12590 I am a little bit like Harpdog in that I'm kind of nervous talking to the group. It is not the microphone. I feel like I am appearing before the Broadcasting Supreme Court. There is a lot at stake here.
12591 I would like to thank Cindy Ventura for her help. She has been an excellent traffic cop. I have been badgering her to find out when I am appearing and she has been very patient with me.
12592 Yes, I am here on behalf of the Rogers application for an all news operation here in Edmonton. I support that fully and with my heart.
12593 Another news operation here is desperately needed. The key word is desperate. It is like we need it like a slow steady rain after a long drought. The fact is Edmontonians have been suffering through an information drought for about two decades.
12594 Radio news rooms here have been decimated. I know you have heard this probably from one end of Canada to the other, but you are going to hear it again.
12595 I don't think there is one FM operation here in the city that has a dedicated reporter, not one. That is a huge change from the time I got into the business 30 years ago. The proof is over here.
12596 I mean, you have a media table set up and I haven't seen too many reporters here. But if this was the early 1980s, there would have been quite a few reporters.
12597 So for a long time now there has been no real competition.
12598 I notice that with all the speakers here ‑‑ and I include myself ‑‑ we speak with passion. We have different interests and certainly with a lot of passion. I too have a lot of passion for the news business.
12599 I was asked at an employee evaluation just a few years ago how would I rate my loyalty to the company? It is a bit loaded. I said it comes in second. My loyalty is to the audience and it always will be.
12600 Whether I work for one company or Al Jazeera or CBC, it doesn't really matter. My loyalty has always been to the audience.
12601 To give you an example of a lack of media coverage, about 2002 or so I was reading news on one of the AM stations in Edmonton on the weekend ‑‑ I was also the reporter ‑‑ and I forgot to check my faxes. Five hours later I checked them and found an important fax: a news release from the Edmonton Police Department about a homicide. I quickly got it on the air and the remarkable thing was we broke the story.
12602 That illustrates the drought here. That would not have happened in the 70s, there was such competition here.
12603 I'm sure ‑‑ and I hate to say this to a panel of three women, but I have to use a sports analogy.
12604 I'm sure you have watched hockey teams where teams have been playing with two players short. Edmontonians have been watching a game here where their team has been four players short. That accounts for a lot of smoke and mirrors in the industry, a lot of plagiarism. I hate to say it, but it goes on.
12605 I think the big losers ‑‑ I listened to these corporations, the suits talk here about their fear of competition, but really the big losers are the people of Edmonton. They are not given a choice in information. They are not given a choice in many stations, to start with.
12606 It is the equivalent of asking the people of Edmonton to buy their cars at one dealership, essentially a General Motors car. If there are two dealerships, it is owned by the same company. It is not a level playing field, not even close to it.
12607 So not only do Edmontonians need more information, they need different kinds of information, different outlooks, not the same editorial voice. That won't work. It works fine in North Korea or Cuba, but not here.
12608 I know the buzzword that I have been hearing here is diversity of voices. That simply means we need more voices.
12609 I believe consumers need a choice in news, the same way you need a choice when you buy a vehicle or any product. Competition is a good thing and choice is a good thing.
12610 When the Calgary Flames made it to the NHL Stanley Cup finals a few years ago, guess which team followed them the following year to the finals? It was the Edmonton Oilers. That's competition. That's pride.
12611 If we get another great newsroom here ‑‑ and there are some here now and I don't wish to knock the other stations ‑‑ it will only make everyone better, not just the other stations, the TV stations, newspapers.
12612 There is nothing that ticks off a media company more than to get a great scoop and to have them follow it or to try to match it or to beat it. Competition is a good thing.
12613 Again I use a sports analogy here, but going back to the so‑called old days where we played AAA ball here, now it is slo‑pitch. And what is being lobbed across are news releases, news conferences, wire copy. It sure ain't journalism.
12614 Ethics. I am big on that. The broadcast industry has a Code of Ethics. It is administered by the Radio‑Television News Directors Association. The City of Edmonton also has a bylaw prohibiting littering and the old Soviet Union had a Bill of Rights. They don't really mean a lot unless it is enforced, and they are not enforced.
12615 Competition. One of the caveats I would put in my support for Rogers is that they put up a Code of Ethics right in the newsroom for everyone to read and stick it on their website so the public can read and can look over their shoulders and give them ‑‑ take them to task if they cross any lines.
12616 By the way, I am not aware of any newsroom in the city that has a posted Code of Ethics. Some brothels in Vegas do, but newsrooms don't.
12617 A good friend of mine recently turned down a job in radio in Edmonton. He was to be a reporter. I won't identify the station. But he walked out after he saw the reporter steal traffic reports from another station. There was no shame. He said no thanks.
12618 I recently interviewed the infamous paedophile Karl Toft. That story appeared front‑page news in Edmonton Sun. I offered the tape free to a radio station in Edmonton on condition that they give credit. They didn't want to run the story. Management didn't like to give credit.
12619 The voice of Karl Toft speaking was broken by a radio station in Calgary. It happened to be Rogers.
12620 One thing I liked about Rogers' management ‑‑ and it's not very often I praise suits. But a number of years ago while working at a private station here one of our reporters joined the Rogers outfit in Calgary and said, do you know what's neat, they were ordered to credit sources.
12621 I don't know who that person at Rogers was, but I would like to shake their hand.
12622 The CRTC could do its share to. I think you could do more in enforcing standards. I really believe that in some instances you are part of the problem and not the solution.
12623 Have you ever yanked a licence because of plagiarism? It's rampant.
12624 I would like to see the CRTC make newsrooms accountable to indicate the sources for stories, not necessarily names, but to indicate if you pulled that story straight from a newspaper, say so. I mean, you do that now with playlists and Canadian content. I think it is equally as important to have it done for news.
12625 I can't believe I have only talked about ethics and stopped at three minutes, because I could go on for three days.
12626 That is the end of my talk. Thank you and thank you again for coming here.
12627 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
12628 We will now proceed with Edmonton Public Schools.
12629 Please introduce yourself, after which you will have ten minutes for your presentation.
12630 MR. WRIGHT: Thank you.
12631 Good morning. My name is Stephen Wright. I work for the Edmonton public school system in a role titled Supervisor. Although that role carries a title, nobody really knows what that means.
12632 My role is to work with student transitions dealing with secondary students who are transitioning to post secondary or the world of work and to develop programming, courses and help schools in delivering things to assist students in the successful transition.
12633 One of the roles I perform is the development of the Skill Center which is going to begin pilot operation in September 2008.
12634 Edmonton Public Schools has looked at the programming we provide in our secondary school and has noticed with the recent cuts to education that we no longer provide previous courses to students because we can't provide them in the variety of school settings we have.
12635 So my job and role were to reinvent what can be done at a school, but instead of providing it to all of our high schools to relocate the students to the Skill Center for a portion of their school day.
12636 So one of the things we will be putting in is a hospital ward in order to teach health services to students. We do not have enough students in any one school to fill that classroom, so we will be busing students to and from the site from other high schools to utilize the facility and the teacher, because the teacher must have high qualifications to do that.
12637 Our original plan focused on very traditional courses. Just like the students, we thought of what roles they traditionally go to after high school and we never thought of radio. That was never on our agenda because it was just never in our mind.
12638 Through conversations with the General Manager from SONiC and World FM, we learned of the Canadian Content Development as part of this and tried to look at how this could support school systems or the K to 12 system, not only in providing instruction through the Skills Center, but also such things as a community resource database in which we identify community companies that can support education and things that can be distributed to other schools that are sort of trickle‑down from the work we do with the Skill Center.
12639 The Radio in Schools Program, as part of the Canadian content development, is a seven‑year plan that aligns very well with what we are proposing for the Skill Center, because it is a phased‑in approach that will allow us to build two sites, deliver instruction in radio and broadcast journalism that goes along with other initiatives we're working on.
12640 The money used from this Radio in Schools Program will provide the equipment, teacher learning resources and student learning resources that we currently do not receive funding from Alberta education to buy. We are funded from Alberta education on something called CEUs, which are credit enrolment units, to pay for the teachers we have. But there is no seed money to start up new programs in that.
12641 Also as part of the Canadian content development Rogers is looking at supporting the work done at NAIT and we also are partnered through an innovation grant with NAIT to develop the programming, so this is what content and courses go into that school as well, so we can leverage that money and that grant money to support the development of a radio program in the Skill Center.
12642 Why it is important for us to work with an all news station is because of the interactions of students with the media; that it maximizes the learning time for students. If you look at the curriculum we are starting for Audio 1525‑35 is the name of the course, it has the students constantly doing something and that's what we look for with the all news station.
12643 Also we look at partnering with the all news station because they will have a larger pool of professional people in the radio station to support student learning, so we would be able to tap on more people to come out and mentor the students, work with the students in doing presentations; that there is actually more human capital available.
12644 Another reason for getting involved in supporting this application is media awareness. The partnership for the 21st century skills identified the need for children to understand the myriad of messages from the broadcast medium that surround them every day. Unfortunately, that often comes with students learning to cut‑and‑paste, not citing their sources. Instead, we must have students access and analyze, so they must have the news available to them to do that. Then they must evaluate and create messages of their own to learn and have opportunities.
12645 We feel that the Radio in Schools focused on journalism will provide all four of these to occur.
12646 The third reason for getting involved is, as a previous classroom teacher, I taught math and unfortunately I think I am a good math teacher, but I don't think many kids woke up and jumped out of bed in grade 8 to come into my math class.
12647 We found not surprisingly that students are losing out on their option courses and losing relevancy of education. So they are not hopping out of bed to come to the course any more, but we are also finding we have lost the reinforcement and transferable skills.
12648 If we look at journalism, it is easy to recognize that they reinforce our language, our arts curriculum and our social studies curriculum. But when you look a little deeper, there is statistics, there is ethics, there is technical skills, career awareness, science inquiry. All of that can be reinforced in the option classes. We don't need to keep putting kids into more academic courses and wondering why they're not succeeding any longer.
12649 The one area that I am out of my element in speaking about but I want to mention is the future. This is a seven‑year plan and I don't know where radio will evolve to in seven years. I am simply a consumer of the radio system.
12650 We do know that students readily use new technologies, and often faster than our teachers, but I was fortunate to teach both teachers and students PowerPoint when it was first introduced and we found the same thing occurred in adults and kids: everybody learned very quickly how to have things fly in and the typewriter sound as words appear, but they lost the fact that there had to be a message on that screen; there had to be content.
12651 We want to teach media literacy to our students, not just how to use the equipment.
12652 So I'm pleased today to be a part of this process. It has increased my awareness. It has increased our involvement with the radio community and I am surprised that I bump into more and more people now involved with radio that I never knew before, now that I am involved with it.
12653 So thank you for the opportunity for Edmonton Public to present today.
12654 If you have any questions, I would be happy to answer them.
12655 Thank you.
12656 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, all of you, for appearing.
12657 I'm just wondering, Ms Kaestner, these funds, Astral, Rogers, these are just the start of this new funding. What other sources?
12658 I think you referred in your remarks to approaching broadcasters, I assume you meant in general, just not people applying for new licences?
12659 MS KAESTNER: That's right. We are essentially going to seek every opportunity that we can. Since the time that we incorporated the Fund last November, you know, it is promising that we already have one funder established, and we are here as part of this proceeding to speak to two other potential sources.
12660 That is barely with really getting the word out. We haven't had a lot of opportunities to really spread the word that the Fund is here and come on over and talk to us, kind of thing.
12661 So I think as time goes by and more people learn about us, I think that the opportunities will open up, whether it is through new licences or renewals or transfer of owners, those kinds of things.
12662 Then outside of the private broadcasters we are looking at contributions from the federal government, as I mentioned, such as through the Department of Canadian Heritage. That is an ongoing thing and we have been focused on that because I think, as I also mentioned in the presentation, the three founding associations have just been putting in any resources that they currently have.
12663 So now the Fund is in a position where it has a development consultant that is available to start pushing this forward little bit more.
12664 THE CHAIRPERSON: So where are you situated yourself? Where is your office?
12665 MS KAESTNER: In Ottawa.
12666 THE CHAIRPERSON: In Ottawa.
12667 MS KAESTNER: Yes.
12668 THE CHAIRPERSON: I think we have met before.
12669 But you will be approaching broadcasters, for example established broadcasters in Edmonton as well, independents?
12670 MS KAESTNER: Yes. As far as we are concerned, we are available to work with multiple broadcasters in terms of ‑‑ I don't know what the best forums or what the best methods are for that outreach, if it is just a matter of picking up the phone and calling them. We are certainly willing to do that and hopefully some people will pick up the phone and call us as well.
12671 THE CHAIRPERSON: I guess I was actually wondering if you were going to be proactive or if you were just going to wait for people like Rogers or others to come to you because they have an idea and they want to put together an acceptable plan.
12672 MS KAESTNER: Our goal is to be proactive. I just started working out of the office at the beginning of April. So getting our website ‑‑ I mean, our website isn't even up and running yet. It is currently being developed. Just getting our address ‑‑ it is actually still a temporary office.
12673 So everything is still in the development phases.
12674 So even though in these cases people have approached us with respect to the Edmonton proceeding, we definitely intend to be much more proactive, even in the coming months.
12675 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
12676 Mr. Hannley, are you also involved with the fundraising aspect of it as well?
12677 MR. HANNLEY: Well, as regard to our individual station, for sure.
12678 THE CHAIRPERSON: And your station again was what?
12679 MR. HANNLEY: It's CJSR. It is a campus and community station here in Edmonton.
12680 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh, in Edmonton.
12681 MR. HANNLEY: Yes. So we raise money in the same sort of way that CKUA does, through listener donations.
12682 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you have great success at that?
12683 MR. HANNLEY: Not as good as CKUA; but, yes.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
12684 THE CHAIRPERSON: Theirs sounded good. Thank you.
12685 Mr. Christopher, you will be happy to know that I stayed in my room last night to watch the game. I wasn't happy with the outcome, but nevertheless I did watch it. And my husband plays slo‑pitch, so I did get your analogies.
12686 MR. CHRISTOPHER: You can relate to those, yes.
12687 THE CHAIRPERSON: I understand there was a recent change in format with one of the Corus stations in the last few weeks, I gather, to add another new station.
12688 Do I have that right?
12689 MR. CHRISTOPHER: Okay. I would rather not be compromised on that. I worked for that station. I know of conversations that were said there and I would rather not bring them up.
12690 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
12691 MR. CHRISTOPHER: If you are trying to get into there, I must back away from it.
12692 THE CHAIRPERSON: I wasn't trying to get in there. I was just wondering if it was going to be sufficient to address your concern about whether there was adequate news in the market ‑‑
12693 MR. CHRISTOPHER: No, absolutely not.
12694 THE CHAIRPERSON: ‑‑ are adequate diversity of voices?
12695 MR. CHRISTOPHER: Absolutely not.
12696 THE CHAIRPERSON: Absolutely not.
12697 MR. CHRISTOPHER: There won't be a diversity of voices. It's the same news staff.
12698 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
12699 As for the Edmonton Public Schools, I was just wondering, Mr. Wright, when you had actually hoped to start your Radio in Schools aspect of your Shared Skills Center?
12700 MR. WRIGHT: The Skills Centre will begin operation this September. We are running some pilots this summer to learn from them in the healthcare field and then we will gradually phase in programs, adding them as we go along.
12701 It is a five‑year program in cooperation with NAIT, of which this was the first year in developmental phases. So we are into year two this coming year and we will be adding programs.
12702 We recently met at NAIT to decide which of the programs we will work together on and radio was one that we are working on.
12703 THE CHAIRPERSON: So will the radio one proceed with or without the Rogers money?
12704 MR. WRIGHT: Without the money, it will probably not proceed.
12705 THE CHAIRPERSON: I was curious to know, you mentioned the gentleman from The Bounce; I didn't catch the name. Did they approach you or did you approach them?
12706 MR. WRIGHT: From SONiC and World FM?
12707 THE CHAIRPERSON: SONiC, was it? Okay. Thank you.
12708 MR. WRIGHT: And they approached us.
12709 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. We appreciate you all taking the time to come. We have read your interventions and we certainly will consider them.
12710 Thank you.
12711 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
12712 I would now call UrbanDNA Events, Jonny Chung, Q99 FM and Peter Kossowan to appear as a panel and present their interventions and to approach the presentation table.
12713 THE SECRETARY: We will begin with UrbanDNA Events.
12714 MR. BAIG: Thank you.
12715 Good morning, Lady Chairman and everybody else on the Panel.
12716 I am glad to be here and show my support for NEW 107.
12717 My name is Tim Baig and I represent a small group of people called UrbanDNA Events. I am sure you would want to know who I am and what I do here in Edmonton.
12718 I am a part‑time, independent promoter here in Edmonton and we are dedicated to bringing small to medium‑sized concert events and showcases. I consider ourselves more grassroots, meaning that what we do is more trendsetting and always a step ahead of what's going on.
12719 Having said that, you know, I would like to be here today and speak on behalf of the Urban music community here in Edmonton.
12720 What makes me qualified to speak on their behalf? For several reasons.
12721 First of all, I would like to consider myself active in the community, continuously active. I work with venues, retailers, major record labels and most importantly the local artists. It is all in an effort to help build the emerging Urban music community that is happening here in Edmonton.
12722 I also DJ and have been doing so for over a decade now. You know, being a DJ you are always in the know of what's new and what's fresh and the feedback that you get from people and their ideas of the music selection that is available here in the city.
12723 Last, I have been involved with event promotions for the last five years, three years in Toronto working for one of the largest promotions companies in the country and two years here in Edmonton as an independent promoter, which has been successful thus far.
12724 So with all this experience I have been fortunate to meet all sorts of people, most importantly getting the feedback from these people, what they like, what they dislike when it comes to music that is available here in their own city.
12725 Let's just say I just try to keep an ear to the street in trying to see what people are saying.
12726 So that is why I'm here, you know, to voice that opinion of the community and say that something like NEW 107 and its format is something that is in demand and it is something that would be successful, you know, in the City of Edmonton.
12727 If you are wondering how I heard about NEW 107 and why I wanted to get involved, it was through word of mouth initially and from there I took it upon myself to do my own personal research, looking up their website, checking out their pages on Facebook, which is very popular, and I was instantly impressed. I was instantly excited.
12728 The reasons why is because I could relate to the concept and the image that they are putting out there. I related to it on a personal level because it is something that I have always wanted to see, and even on the business level what I am doing with UrbanDNA is kind of what NEW 107 is doing as well.
12729 You know, it is young, it is new, and most importantly it is local.
12730 I was also impressed with the promotional efforts that they put forth and the feedback they generated in such a short time.
12731 You know, it wasn't just me, it was the people that were getting excited and they definitely created a buzz in the city.
12732 So after all that I took it upon myself, contacting John Yerxa, showing him my support and trying to get more information about what I could do, and that's how I ended up here.
12733 So basically I know you are going to ask why do we need a station like NEW 107 here. There are various reasons.
12734 You know, as far as I know, radio stations are supposed to be a reflection of their target listeners and I'm here to say that there is a group of listeners, a large group of listeners, that aren't getting what they want from the local radio stations. More importantly, it is a station that could probably bring new listeners to radio.
12735 You know, if people want to listen to Modern Rock and Classic Rock, we have great stations like The Bear and SONiC, and for those people who want to listen to Top 40 hits, The Bounce is great for that. I mean, those stations are great at what they do, but there is a large market similar to the one that I aim after with UrbanDNA that is 15‑to‑29 years old that aren't getting what they want from radio.
12736 So where are they turning to? I mean, like everybody else that knows it is simple. They are going to their iPods, they are going to MP3 players, they are going online to the Internet and listening to music just because that is the only place they can get it.
12737 The people in this demographic are just doing it at a larger rate, you know, and it is just going to get larger and larger. So, I mean it is not a fad, it is not a phase. This is what is happening and this is the future of music.
12738 The younger people want variety and because of the accessibility today, I mean we are listening to more artists, we are listening to more songs, we are listening to more genres. Everything has just become more, more, more. So we need to make radio relevant again to young people and we need to give people a reason to reach for the radio dial again, because it is losing some appeal with the younger generation.
12739 One of the solutions is what NEW 107 is proposing, having a constant rotation of new and fresh music, which is a format that will keep these listeners coming back and introducing new listeners to radio again. That is how we can keep it more appealing.
12740 The most important reason why we need NEW 107 is because of their commitment to play Canadian content. It is a commitment I have made by always making efforts to include local artists at every one of my events, and I hope that if this station gets approved I could help build these local artists and the music community with NEW 107.
12741 So I guess one of the questions that may arise is that, you know, if NEW 107 is some form of an iPod, then why do we need it? If people can listen to what they want on an iPod, why do we need 107?
12742 For one, it is interactive where iPods and MP3 players and the Internet are kind of limited in that way. People still want to hear a voice. People still want to hear what's going on in their city and they want the information to go along with their music.
12743 Second, NEW 107 is constantly introducing new music, a constant rotation of music that people won't hear anywhere else.
12744 Then just some final notes, probably the most important ones.
12745 I would like to distinguish between an outlet and a source, meaning NEW 107 will not just be an outlet for music like other radio stations. I feel other radio stations are just outlets for music. They are just driving the chart‑based music and they are good at what they do for certain type of listener. But there is a huge demographic of listeners that isn't getting what they want.
12746 Instead, NEW 107 will be a constant source, not an outlet. It will be a source. It gives people a reason to listen. It is what we need and that is the key to the station, because I think the young people now go to the Internet, go to iTunes because it is a source rather than an outlet.
12747 You know, radio needs to catch up with what is going on, especially with the younger target market.
12748 You know, everything else is changing when it comes to the way we listen to music. We are in a generation of constant progression. Everything is bigger, everything is better, everything is faster. And the way the younger generation listens to music now, you know, like I said, it is not a phase or a fad; this is the present, this is the way the future of music is going and we need a station that reflects that.
12749 You know, I'm not saying that we need to reinvent the wheel, but we need to put some shiny new rims on it and make it more relevant to what is happening now to the younger generation.
12750 So please strongly consider NEW 107 for approval. I believe in John Yerxa. I believe in his group of people that can make this happen.
12751 Like I said, I hope that what I'm saying is taken to heart and, like I said, I am speaking on behalf of many, many people.
12752 I appreciate your time and thanks again.
12753 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
12754 We will now proceed with Jonny Chung.
12755 You have ten minutes for your presentation.
12756 MR. CHUNG: Hello. As you said, my name is Jonny Chung and I'm a full‑time student at the University of Alberta as well as an independent Urban artist here in Edmonton.
12757 First off, I would just like to say as a science student you don't really do public speaking so I am kind of nervous, if you can't tell already. I think the last time I public spoke seriously was in high school, so please just bear with me.
12758 Like I said, I am one half of a duo here in Edmonton known as The Greater Good. We are an Urban group here, and we have been making music since 2001.
12759 As a solo artist I have been able to open up for such groups as Sweatshop Union and Slum Village, which was with the help of UrbanDNA.
12760 I am here today to speak on behalf of John Yerxa and NEW 107.
12761 For the last two years we struggled kind of just to be heard on local radio. We got a couple of plays on CJSR, because they have an Urban show, which is the campus radio, but we haven't been heard on commercial radio yet.
12762 NEW 107, they launched the website which I heard through word‑of‑mouth from my peers and they actually contacted me first and were willing to support me and put me up on the website, and they threw my song up on their website and put me into the, I guess, online rotation.
12763 Yes, only after a couple of days I got some feedback from my friends who were also checking out the site and they are like wow, like you got put on the site. When is this radio station coming out, like when can we hear you on air? And I was just telling them that they are applying for it and they were all agreeing that it would be a great idea to have this kind of station in our city.
12764 As well, if they gave us this type of support online and through the website and the Facebook group, which Tim already mentioned, just imagine what kind of support they would give us if the station were to be granted here, as well as they would play us not only to the online community that is already supporting, but to the rest of the community that would hear the buzz and maybe tune in.
12765 The second point I would like to bring up his John Yerxa, he mentioned to me that they would be contributing financial backing to independent artists here in the city. One of the names that came up was FACTOR, and he said that you can go online and fill out a form to have a grant given to you that would help with financial backing. He said that they would be a large part in that, contributing financial backing to that.
12766 The last point I would like to bring up is I am also a taekwondo instructor to the urban ministry in the city here, and I teach a lot of youth. One thing that they brought up, which is similar to my peers, is they aren't just listening to one genre right now. They like every type of music, kind of like their iPods, but also when you go to the clubs DJs were playing mash‑ups, which are maybe a Rock song mixed with an Urban song.
12767 So they want to hear kind of a mixing pot of music and everything.
12768 A lot of interest has been shown. I would just like to bring that point up.
12769 Thank you.
12770 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
12771 We will now proceed with Q99 FM.
12772 Please introduce yourself and then you will have ten minutes for your presentation.
12773 MR. TRUHN: Thank you very much.
12774 My name is Ken Truhn. I am the President and General Manager of Q99 in Grande Prairie.
12775 I just wanted to thank you first. I haven't had a chance publicly to thank the Commission for giving me the opportunity to pursue my lifelong dream, which was owning a radio station in my hometown, which is Grande Prairie.
12776 I am here obviously to speak on behalf of John Yerxa's application for a new FM licence here in Edmonton.
12777 I have been in this business ever since I graduated from high school some 32 years ago. I have a great passion for it and still do, for radio and everything it represents in our community and the communities it serves across this country.
12778 One of the things that you may or may not be aware of is the huge contribution that John made to our application process when we went through it for Grande Prairie, well beyond what we hired him to do, which was initial research and consultation throughout the process.
12779 My association with John goes back a number of years to the Monarch Broadcasting days when John was initially hired to provide that company with research in various markets. Over the course of time, he and I became pretty close friends and his experience in radio as a research consultant is unequalled as far as anyone I have had the pleasure of working with in the business and a large part of that credibility I believe stems from his background in the actual operation of radio stations.
12780 The kind of support John provided us with is indicative of the association he has had with many other broadcasters across the country, including a lot of friends and associates of mine, and that is primarily why I'm here before you today.
12781 There aren't very many of us independent broadcasters left in Canada or across the country. I believe John should be given the opportunity to build a station in his hometown based on the same set of reasoning that I applied for one in my hometown. He is local. He has an extensive background in this business. He has a solid business plan in terms of format and the niche he wants to carve out in the Edmonton market.
12782 His format position is unique. When you look at the radio landscape across the country, I just believe that there must be opportunities for individuals such as myself and for John to pursue our passion for radio.
12783 I believe in circumstances such as this where you have an applicant with expertise, with the know‑how, with a great plan and an even larger passion for radio, he deserves that opportunity.
12784 I know John has many supporters throughout the radio industry. I know that lots of people are rooting for him. In his case, how unique it is to see an independent applicant with his entire family around him, not only serving as a support network but as active members of his presentation team.
12785 I just wanted to personally attest to the Commission that beyond his skills as a radio consultant, John has the passion and expertise to introduce a diverse and meaningful new format to radio listeners in Edmonton.
12786 As an independent broadcaster, I wanted you to know that he will contribute something special to this, his hometown, and to radio in general.
12787 Thank you.
12788 THE SECRETARY: Thank you very much.
12789 We will now proceed with Peter Kossowan.
12790 You have ten minutes for your presentation.
12791 MR. KOSSOWAN: Thank you.
12792 Madam Chairman, Commissioners and staff, my name is Peter Kossowan and I have been a constant promoter of Edmonton ever since I have arrived in 1950.
12793 I have had the opportunity to know the Yerxa family for a long, long time and they have a standing tradition in this community in radio and in business. As a youngster, I listened to John's father, Hal Yerxa, host the farmer's program, basically designed and directed at the youth.
12794 Then he ventured into creating his own radio station CFCW Camrose, which still serves a large part of the province. While operating that radio station they as a family helped build the community and were excellent corporate citizens.
12795 The Yerxa family put the northern Alberta area on the map operating radio station.
12796 Like his father, John Yerxa is an entrepreneur and, like his father, has special interest in youth and in business. John and his family deserve an opportunity to demonstrate and maintain the legacy established many years ago.
12797 Youth of today, as always, are in need of guidance, direction and to become responsible leaders of the future. Given this opportunity, John and his family can mould the lives of the young and ensure them a bright future.
12798 I can firmly vouch for John's integrity, his business knowledge and his drive to serve the Edmonton community.
12799 History has an opportunity to repeat itself. Should John Yerxa and his family establish a radio station of their choice, it will again be a legacy.
12800 Support of this applicant is going to further enhance Edmonton and the world of radio here. I firmly support this application, knowing it is going to make a difference.
12801 From my own personal introduction, I am the former Chairman of the Board of Governors at Grant MacEwan College, which brought the brand new college downtown and, as you are very well aware, has an arts component to it which is music.
12802 In addition to that, I brought some fame to Edmonton as the world creator of Toastmasters International. As I hear many of the young presenters here, I have a program that can suit your needs.
12803 The Toastmaster program also has a youth component to it, so I speak on behalf of the community in favour of this station.
12804 Thank you.
12805 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
12806 Commissioner Molnar...?
12807 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you and welcome, everyone.
12808 Mr. Kossowan, when you say you speak on behalf of the community, I have read your intervention and I have seen your very significant contributions to the Edmonton community. So I think you are well placed to speak on their behalf, on the community's behalf, and I would like to thank you for coming.
12809 I don't actually have questions for you. It was very clear, both in your written intervention and in what you told us here today, of your support for the local, if you will, the local presence here in Edmonton and the family's contributions to this community.
12810 So thank you for coming.
12811 Mr. Truhn, it was always very clear of your support for Mr. Yerxa on a personal level, as well as from a professional level, having worked with him also on your own application.
12812 Is that right?
12813 MR. TRUHN: Yes. He was our research consultant.
12814 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: I am relatively new to the Commission and wasn't around at the time when you would have been licensed for Grande Prairie. When did that occur?
12815 MR. TRUHN: November 15th of 2006 was when the licence was awarded.
12816 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: How many licensees are there in Grande Prairie?
12817 MR. TRUHN: Five now.
12818 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Five.
12819 MR. TRUHN: There was two.
12820 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Are you the only local independent licensee in that market?
12821 MR. TRUHN: Yes.
12822 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: How is that working?
12823 MR. TRUHN: It's working just fine.
12824 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: It's working fine?
12825 MR. TRUHN: Yes.
12826 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: So you are competing as a local independent against regional and national players?
12827 MR. TRUHN: Yes.
12828 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: What do you see to be your advantages as a local independent?
12829 MR. TRUHN: I think one of the biggest things that has helped us is that I grew up in that community. I had 20 years of experience or more in that community when I started. I went to school there and I played sports there, so I had some ins in the community, especially in the business side of things before we started. It helped. It went a long ways when we first got off the air.
12830 I think the background that I had in the radio business went a long way to helping us get off the ground as well.
12831 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you. So you think those are some similar advantages Mr. Yerxa would have here in Edmonton?
12832 MR. TRUHN: A career in the business and growing up in this area and the family's history in the business, I don't think there is any doubt that John would make it successful.
12833 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you. And thank you for coming here today.
12834 MR. TRUHN: Thank you.
12835 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Is it okay if I say Jonny instead of Mr. Chung?
12836 MR. CHUNG: Yes.
12837 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: I'm quite surprised that somebody who is a soloist and a musician would be nervous speaking in front of three old ladies, but there you go.
12838 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Speak for yourself.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
12839 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: And no need to be nervous. I think you made it clear what you saw.
12840 I'm interested in the excitement. Where did you say that you were attending school?
12841 MR. CHUNG: I am at the University of Alberta.
12842 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: So there is talk around the university about this potential launch?
12843 MR. CHUNG: Oh, yes. Like my whole group of friends, there are a lot of Rock fans but there are a lot of Hip‑Hop fans as well, and this is a station that doesn't merge them but it gives them a mix and it also throws in some new local talent that they were interested in checking out.
12844 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Such as Jonny Chung.
12845 MR. CHUNG: Yes, there is me and there are also a lot of other urban acts that I have noticed on the website.
12846 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: So when you say there is talk, how is the talk occurring? Is this like blogs and different Facebook, or how is this talk occurring?
12847 MR. CHUNG: Yes. It's on Facebook. You just go to school and it is through word‑of‑mouth. There are no big posters or bulletins, but I believe John Yerxa also has ‑‑ one of his sons goes to University of Alberta, so his group of friends are pretty interested in what he is doing and how he is helping his dad.
12848 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Right. Right.
12849 Just a little bit about your music. Have you received any airplay anywhere?
12850 MR. CHUNG: Just on CJSR a couple of times, on the Urban show there.
12851 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: You may not be aware as we went through this, but there are many applicants and there are many proposals to offer room and airplay to new and emerging artists, and particularly local Edmonton artists.
12852 So I think it is all just good news, what we heard all week here from all of the applicants and Mr. Yerxa as well was one of those. It is one of many, so I think you will see growing opportunities in your community.
12853 Mr. Baig...?
12854 MR. BAIG: That's correct.
12855 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Properly pronounced?
12856 MR. BAIG: Yes, you did.
12857 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you. It is actually my scribbling writing here. I didn't know what I had written.
12858 I am interested particularly in talking ‑‑ you talked about bringing in acts and, as a part‑time promoter, you said you are not looking at the headline acts; you are looking at the small and medium acts to bring them into Edmonton.
12859 Is that right?
12860 MR. BAIG: That's just because of the budget that I run with. I am strictly independent. All the money that comes into my promotions is strictly from my own pocket. So I'm not getting funded from any outside sources.
12861 I would love to put on larger shows and bring it larger artists, but right now that is just not feasible for me. So I have to do what is in my means.
12862 Like I said, the driving force behind what I'm doing is more for the love and more because I know that there is an opportunity to present this type of shows and events and concerts because ‑‑ I mean, I would like to think we are one of the leaders, if not the leader in what we're doing with the type of shows and concerts that we are putting on.
12863 Like I said, it has been just over two years now and it is just getting better. The turnouts have been great and the feedback has been nothing but positive. So, yes.
12864 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: So these groups and performers you are bringing in, are they groups and performers that receive airplay here in Edmonton?
12865 MR. BAIG: Some of them do. Some of them mostly get airplay at the larger markets like Toronto and Vancouver, but they do definitely get airplay.
12866 Some of them are actually Canadian. I usually catch most of these acts when they do their cross national tours. So I work with them.
12867 A couple of acts I have brought two or three times and they have got great responses. Like I said, they are small to medium. I mean, I could get anywhere between a hundred to 800 people. So I'm not filling up stadiums, but I am filling up some of the great small independent venues that are here in the city.
12868 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: I wanted to ask you ‑‑ and Mr. Chung you may also want to pipe in on this. Radio does a few things, and two important things: one is that it entertains and the other is informs. You are here speaking about obviously the music component about that and speaking about how it takes people from the iPod and maybe brings them back to radio.
12869 But how is it that from your perspective ‑‑ and I take this as a personal perspective. I am not asking you to speak for all youth or for all people within your community.
12870 How do you stay informed? If the access is through the iPod and through the web and so on, what is the source of information, you know, for you and your group?
12871 It is what radio does, right. It combines information ‑‑
12872 MR. BAIG: Right.
12873 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: ‑‑ and entertainment.
12874 MR. BAIG: Right.
12875 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: So how do folks disenfranchise from radio? The youth if they are using only the web and only MP3s and iPods and so on, what is the source for information?
12876 The web doesn't seem to me to provide a lot of local information.
12877 MR. BAIG: Well, that is one of the reasons why, like I was saying, the iPods and MP3 players are limited on what they provide. I mean, they are great for the music, but for radio format we are trying to take the selection of music that people can get online and on their iPods, transferring that to radio and adding the appeal of radio, which is being more interactive, which is being informative, because people still want that.
12878 I think if you mix the relevant information that people want with the music that they want, it is just a good mix.
12879 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: That is very fair. I maybe should explain why this question came to me ‑‑
12880 MR. BAIG: Okay.
12881 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: ‑‑ because I think you are there well, why am I speaking for all. I'm just thinking, you are bringing in these concerts ‑‑
12882 MR. BAIG: Okay.
12883 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: ‑‑ so even to promote these concerts, how do you inform?
12884 MR. BAIG: Oh, okay.
12885 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: You know, because radio to me seems like a very obvious means of hitting your target audience, to letting them know you were bringing in a new band, a new group or whatever, and yet it would sound like the groups that you normally go to are disenfranchised from radio.
12886 MR. BAIG: This is one of the points I mentioned to Mr. Yerxa especially, is that I'm in the business of promoting and a radio does seem like an obvious outlet.
12887 But the markets that they are targeting, especially The Bounce, isn't, first of all, the market that I'm going after. I mean, it might hit some of the people, but for me to spend the money on radio ads and only hit a small percentage of who I'm going after, you know, didn't really make sense to me.
12888 That is one of the reasons why NEW 107 has the same target as I do. For me to advertise on there as a promoter would make more sense and more ‑‑ you know, it would make more sense for me to spend the money to do that.
12889 Like I said, I am smaller and I do have budgets when I do have on the show, and radio promotion wasn't one of those budgets. I just never thought it would be the best promotion for me.
12890 Most of our promotions is online and that seems to be the way it was. Like I said, I have been in promotions for just over five years and when I first started we used to be very street‑level promotions. Everything was about flyering, postering, hitting the retail spots, and it's great for that time period. But in the last year or two I have slowly gone away from that type of promotion, and the promotions now have been more so online.
12891 And it has been more effective that way because the younger youth are always online, whether it is going to be on a website, on a blog site, on a discussion board, through e‑mail. People are hitting up all these places and it saves a lot of time, it saves a lot of money. And just the effectiveness of online promotions, that is the way I see everything going now.
12892 You can see that not even just through independent promotions like myself, but I work with Universal Urban, I work with Warner Urban here in the city, which are the two largest urban distributors of music in the country, and they have cut back their promotions on CDs and promotional materials and everything they do now is online.
12893 So when I ask them for promotional material, when I ask them for vinyl, when I ask them for anything to help me promote, they said, you know, we are moving towards online promotions now. We will send you JPEGs. We are going to send you MP3s and push it through online rather than pushing it on the street.
12894 So this is the trend that is happening now. I mean, it's changing even on the promotional side.
12895 I don't know if that answers your question.
12896 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: No, it definitely answers my question.
12897 MR. BAIG: Okay.
12898 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you. I think I'm trying to understand to what extent, you know, if we have this station, will it stimulate advertising from disenfranchised groups as well or is it that the target audience is really kind of pretty solid on their web and, you know, using the Internet as their primary source of information?
12899 MR. BAIG: I think it opens up new opportunities for anyone who considered radio advertising but didn't because there wasn't a proper outlet for it.
12900 You know, like I said, The Bounce is great at what they do, but for an advertiser like myself who considers radio, it wasn't the best option for me and something like this is something that I would consider now just because it works better for me.
12901 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay. Thank you very much.
12902 MR. BAIG: No problem.
12903 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank all of you for coming.
12904 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you all. Your comments are very much appreciated and will certainly be taken into consideration.
12905 We are going to break now. We have a Commission matter to deal with, as I mentioned earlier.
12906 So we will resume at 2:15. Thank you.
‑‑‑ Upon recessing at 1220 / Suspension à 1220
‑‑‑ Upon resuming at 1425 / Reprise à 1425
12907 THE SECRETARY: I would now call Aboriginal Voices Radio, Laura Vinson, Canadian Rocky Mountain Festival and Western Canadian Music Alliance to appear as a panel and present their interventions.
12908 We will start with the Aboriginal Voices Radio.
12909 Please introduce yourself and you will then have ten minutes to make your presentation.
12910 MR. CARDINAL: Good morning, Madam Chair, Members of the Commission, Commission staff and ladies and gentlemen.
12911 My name is Lewis Cardinal. I am the Chair of the Aboriginal Voices Radio Inc., AVR, Board of Directors. I live here in Edmonton and with me today is Jamie Hill, the CEO of AVR.
12912 I am attaching biographical information about Mr. Hill and myself to your copy of this presentation.
12913 Before we begin I would like to express thanks for the letters of intervention filed in support of the Pattison application on behalf of AVR by national aboriginal leaders and organizations, including: Phil Fontaine, National Chief, Assembly of First Nations; George Erasmus, CO‑Chair, Royal Commission on Aboriginal People; Vera Powis Tobobondung, President, National Association of Friendship Centres, and Beverley Jacobs, President, Native Women's Association of Canada.
12914 I would also like to acknowledge and thank local aboriginal organizations and leaders here in Edmonton for letters of interventions filed in support of the Pattison application on behalf of AVR, including: Glori Meldrum, President, Little Warriors Society, Edmonton; Dean Brown, Executive Director, Canadian Native Friendship Centre, Edmonton; George Vass, General Manager, Apeetogosan (Métis) Developments Inc.; Giuseppe Albi, General Manager, Events Edmonton; Dale Hudjik, Program Director, Guru Digital Arts College; Jared Sinclair Gibson, Executive Director, Sun and Moon; Jack White, Indigenous Elders Cultural Resource Centre; Muriel Stanley Venne, President for the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women; Adrienne Lachance, Director of Yellow Ribbon Cultural Dancers; Clayton Kootenay, Executive Director of Oteenow Employment and Training Society; and Len Mundorf, Public Relations Chair for Teen Time, Edmonton.
12915 I am now ready to begin our presentation.
12916 Aboriginal Voices Radio appreciates the opportunity to appear before you today in support of the application by Pattison for a licence to establish a new FM station here in Edmonton. Our presentation today will (a) update you on our current financial situation; (b) explain how we will utilize the Canadian Content Development Funds pledged by Pattison; and (c) touch on a few of the reasons why Pattison's funding is important to us and the Canadian broadcasting system.
12917 We have touched on many subjects in other appearances before you. We have indicated that the aboriginal community is Canada's poorest and most vulnerable community. We have emphasized the need for a national urban aboriginal service in major urban centers where the aboriginal population is growing at an unprecedented rate. And we have touched on the important role that free over the air radio can play to help a people with old traditions rejuvenate their languages, cultures and identities.
12918 But we have spent little time explaining the extent of the financial challenges we face to establish a national radio service dedicated to serving aboriginal people.
12919 Madam Chair, ladies and gentlemen of the Commission, AVR requires $10 million per annum to carry on the operation of a credible, robust, full‑service national aboriginal broadcasting transmitting undertaking with stations in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon, Kitchener, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. $10 million is not an unreasonable estimate of what it will cost to operate the network. It costs that much or more just to operate a single commercial station in Toronto.
12920 As you may know, AVR has received substantial benefits package pledges since it was awarded its first licence in 2000. One may think that this would be sufficient to cover the start‑up costs required to launch a national radio service. However, the Canadian Content Development funding is spread over a 16‑year time horizon that began in 2000 and continues through to 2015.
12921 As a result, the funds paid over the 16‑year period average only $962,000 per annum, or less than $1 million per year. That is hardly enough to sustain the operation of a national radio service with nine stations across Canada.
12922 AVR will need almost all of the $962,000 per annum just to keep our nine transmitters on the air. This is before we invest in programming.
12923 We note that CCD packages are not adjusted for inflation. As you know, $1.00 received in year seven of a benefits package is worth less, far less than $1.00 in one year. It is in fact nearly one‑third less.
12924 Moreover, because of inflation, while the money AVR receives diminishes in value each passing year, the cost to operate keeps going up. So the task of securing AVR's financial viability is a never ending battle that we have been waging for ten years. It is job one for us.
12925 AVR is currently in discussions with the Commission on ways to establish adequate stable long‑term funding. Until we find a way to achieve this elusive goal we cannot survive without CCD funding.
12926 Last Friday was a day of celebration for us because of your decision approving Pattison's application to transfer its AM station in Vancouver to the FM band. As a result of your decision, Pattison's commitment to contribute $3.0 million over seven years to assist AVR has now been confirmed.
12927 We thank you and our friends at Pattison for this timely lifeline.
12928 While we are very grateful for Pattison's proposed funding, the $428,571 per annum that we will receive will merely replace funding that expires at the end of next year from another broadcaster.
12929 Therefore, in order to advance beyond where we are, the funding proposed by Pattison in these Edmonton proceedings is crucial to us. This funding will help us to: sustain existing operations; meet the daily news and local programming requirements that come on stream for Edmonton and each of our other markets next April; and launch our stations in Regina and Saskatoon.
12930 But Pattison's funding is about much more than AVR's financial capacity to grow and develop its service. It is about access, giving aboriginal people access to the Canadian radio broadcasting system.
12931 As you know, there are no aboriginal programs on the CBC's main network in the south, few if any aboriginal programs in major urban centers on private sector commercial stations, and only a limited patchwork of aboriginal programs on campus and community stations across Canada.
12932 Lack of access is also a problem on aboriginal stations. If you listen to the overwhelming majority of aboriginal stations in Canada, you will hear very few if any songs by aboriginal artists and musicians. Instead, they play commercial Pop Rock and Country music from the American charts by non‑aboriginal artists and musicians.
12933 In addition, most aboriginal stations feature very little aboriginal enriched spoken word programming. As a result, it is often difficult to tell the difference between aboriginal stations and commercial private sector stations.
12934 By comparison, all of the music featured on AVR is by aboriginal artists and musicians. Moreover, 50 per cent of the music we play is aboriginal Canadian music by aboriginal Canadian artists and musicians.
12935 In addition, AVR is the only station in Canada with an enriched spoken word commitment of nearly 20 hours per week. Like everything else we do, all of our enriched spoken word programming is distinctly aboriginal.
12936 In the circumstances, we believe AVR is the only radio service in Canada featuring distinctly aboriginal music and spoken word programming on a dedicated 24‑hour basis 7 days a week. To our mind AVR is an important national cultural institution. It stands alone among all stations in Canada providing aboriginal people with free and unfettered access to the Canadian broadcasting system through its network of stations in major urban centers.
12937 But lack of funding constitutes a significant and ongoing challenge, forcing AVR to operate a skeleton service which lacks the financial capacity to provide aboriginal people with meaningful access.
12938 What is meaningful access? In our view, meaningful access means giving aboriginal people the quality of news and spoken word programming that they deserve. It means providing aboriginal people with the quality of programming that Canada's broadcasting system provides non‑aboriginal people.
12939 At present, AVR can only offer old and tired spoken word programming repeated over and over again because we do not have the human and financial resources to develop fresh, new and vital aboriginal programming every day.
12940 In effect, the funding proposed by Pattison in this licensing process is essential if we are to provide aboriginal people with the quality of access enjoyed by non‑aboriginal people on non‑aboriginal radio stations.
12941 In conclusion, according to financial information provided by the CRTC, there are more than 600 privately owned commercial radio stations in Canada. These stations achieve annual revenues in excess of $1.4 billion. Over the years, commercial broadcasters have built large and profitable companies through the use of scarce public frequencies. Many of the broadcasters who benefited from the profits gleaned from the use of these frequencies later sold their companies, reaping millions and in some cases billions of dollars in the process because of the asset value of radio and television frequencies.
12942 In the period between 2003 and 2006, the Commission licensed 233 new over the air radio stations, including 76 new stations in 2006 alone. We do not begrudge the use of spectrum by any broadcasters, aboriginal or non‑aboriginal, but since existing aboriginal and non‑aboriginal broadcasters feature mostly mainstream commercial programming, AVR has a critical and strategic role to play in giving aboriginal people access to Canada's radio broadcasting system.
12943 Until long‑term solutions are found to fund AVR, AVR cannot fulfil its role unless you approve interim CD funding opportunities as they come along, including the funding opportunity before you as proposed by Pattison.
12944 We therefore urge you to approve Pattison's application for one of the four frequencies available here in Edmonton.
12945 Thank you.
12946 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
12947 We will now proceed with Laura Vinson.
12948 You have ten minutes to make your presentation.
12949 MS VINSON: (Off microphone)
12950 ... a little louder there. So I'm hoping that you will be answering (Cree language spoken), which means I am fine.
12951 I am an aboriginal recording artist and singer/songwriter. I have about 30‑some years in the music business. We won't go there. But quite a few CDs, awards, nominations, that sort of thing. The ones I'm most proud of are the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal from Senator Chalifoux; a Woman of Vision Award from Leslie ‑‑ you probably know who I mean ‑‑ and the Esquio Award from Muriel Stanley Venne.
12952 I don't say that to brag about things but just to let you know what my connection is to the aboriginal community here in the city and in the musical community, as well.
12953 I was Executive Director at Ben Calf Rope Society for seven and a half years as well as my 15 years there. I can't say enough about what he has already said.
12954 I have been the recipient of FACTOR grants, also Canadian Council grants, and I have been a juror for both of those, as well as a juror for the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards. I am also a teacher.
12955 So when I got this thing from my friend Gerry Siemens from Pattison, I was absolutely ecstatic that somebody was going to put some money into emerging aboriginal artists, into things like the station, the radio station that they are proposing, that would just be such an invaluable outlet for our music.
12956 The interesting part of their input into FACTOR is that they will also be emphasizing the grants going to western Canada.
12957 As a juror on the FACTOR committees I know where a lot of the money goes, and as a juror for the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards I know where a lot of those awards go as was well, and they don't go ‑‑ they go disproportionately not to western Canada.
12958 There is so much going on down east in the aboriginal music industry, it is a real eye‑opener and the people out here don't know that. Our artists out here are not getting the kind of chance that they should.
12959 Like I say, I have been in the industry here for many, many years. Had there been this kind of opportunity for myself and the AAA station that they are also proposing, I probably wouldn't be sitting here right now. I would be touring instead of building a bed and breakfast in the mountains.
12960 I just can't say enough about the kind of input that they are going to do that will help aboriginal people particularly, but also western Canadian artists and emerging artists.
12961 Any time you put money into the Edmonton Folk Festival, hey, that's got to be great.
12962 As a teacher, I am totally blown away by the fact that they have a fund that is going to purchase musical instruments for kids in schools, because heaven knows, especially in the school like Ben Calf Rope School there is not a musical instrument in that school except for a hand drum and they are not getting the chances that they need because there isn't the money there.
12963 I don't think I can say too much more than that, but a really exciting proposal I think.
12964 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
12965 We will now proceed with Canadian Rocky Mountain Festival.
12966 Please introduce yourself and you will then have ten minutes for your presentation.
12967 MR. CONNELL: Good afternoon, Madam Chairman, Members of the Commission. Thank you for allowing me to speak before you today.
12968 Just to preface my presentation, I would just like to say that I am a little bit in awe of this whole thing; I mean, making a presentation in front of the CRTC, the broadcast industry which is a huge business in Canada. I'm just an old music teacher that believes in kids and believes in the power of music and I think that's where our talent comes from.
12969 Anyhow, I am here in support of the application by the Pattison Broadcast Group.
12970 Although I support all the initiatives in this package of Canadian Content Development put forth by this application, I am here to speak directly to the importance of the Save the Music Foundation.
12971 As a former music educator for 17 years, and someone who has been involved in music and the music industry for 39 years, I firmly believe that the development of Canadian music talent begins at the grassroots in our schools.
12972 This proposal by the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group supports Canadian Content Development on all fronts, from the Save the Music Foundation involved in the beginnings of music talent to the culmination of a musical career with The River Performance Project.
12973 When you talk to musicians of all genres or read interviews from famous musicians, it is inevitable that they speak about how they were influenced by someone when they were young. The development of talent starts when we are young and usually in our schools. By assisting the development of music programs we will be nurturing the environment that is necessary to attract students to music. The more students that are positively influenced by music, the greater that pool of Canadian talent will be, which will result eventually in more Canadian content over our radio waves.
12974 If we are serious about developing Canadian content, we need to assist our school music programs where it all begins. The Save the Music Foundation, which operates at arm's length from the Pattison broadcast Group, does exactly this.
12975 The foundation provides the needed funds to assist school music programs. Although music programs are part of our curriculum, they rarely receive enough funding. Most programs need financial assistance with instruments, with equipment, with performance projects, with travel, with almost every aspect of a music program.
12976 This is what the Foundation does. By helping to develop good music programs, the Save the Music Foundation is aiding the development of Canadian talent right where it starts in our schools.
12977 The Pattison organization believes in the importance and value of music education. They just don't give lip service to this whole idea. This is proven by the involvement they have in the Save the Music Foundation, in the Canadian Rocky Mountain Festival and projects such as the Chandos Pattison Auditorium at the Pacific Academy.
12978 To put it bluntly, the Pattison Broadcast Group put their money where their mouth is.
12979 I have come to know the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group over the past four years as a major supporter of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Festival which takes place annually at the Banff Center. Through the festival, the Jim Pattison Group has seen the power of music education in action and how it positively influences the youth of Canada.
12980 Every year over 3,000 young Canadians attend the festival in Banff and become rejuvenated and motivated by all the festival activities. All of them become better citizens because of the discipline and commitment it takes just to get to the festival. Many of these students realize how important music is to their lives because of the festival experience and end up in that pool of Canadian talent.
12981 Former festival participants are professional musicians all over the Canadian music scene: from Russ Broom, who is Jann Arden's guitar player, to Linda Brown who was a fulltime member of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra; from the Churko Brothers who perform with Shania Twain to Stella Steledo(ph) who performs on Broadway.
12982 I found it very interesting that the Junos in Calgary two months ago, when I was watching, the bands that backed up both Michael Bublé and Feist were made up of kids who had been to the Canadian Rocky Mountain Festival.
12983 The festival is a place where we create talent. I would invite Members of the Commission, anybody from the CRTC, please come out to the festival some time at the Banff Center and see the development of Canadian talent in action.
12984 So we know that by assisting school music programs through projects like the Save the Music Foundation and the Canadian Rocky Mountain Festival we are indeed helping to develop Canadian talent and therefore Canadian content for the radio stations.
12985 On a personal note, you need to know that the Pattison Broadcast Group is genuinely interested in music, which is the backbone of this industry. The Jim Pattison Broadcast Group does not support the development of Canadian talent only to achieve a radio licence. On an ongoing basis, in various ways and in many areas they support the development of Canadian talent.
12986 The package of Canadian Content Development presented in this application is simply an addition to what this company does very well and that is develop Canadian talent.
12987 My history with the Pattison Broadcast Group is not only that they do what they say they will do, but they usually go far and beyond what they say they will do. All of my dealings concerning the Pattison organization have been first class and professional. This is a breath of fresh air in a business community when, quite frankly, we have a lot of large companies that are somewhat suspect.
12988 The Pattison organization is an honest, hard‑working organization.
12989 As the Executive Director of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Festival for the last 17 years, I am honoured to be involved with the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group. Rick Arnish and Gerry Siemens from the group visited our 17th annual festival just last April. To me it was very obvious that they genuinely believe in the importance of music education and in how it develops Canadian talent.
12990 It was interesting to watch them. They actually were getting excited about some of the performances of the kids at the festival.
12991 Canadian content and the development of Canadian talent is not only an idea that this organization pulls out a few years to impress the CRTC or when applying for a licence, it is a way of life with these gentlemen and it is an important part of this company's corporate culture.
12992 The Jim Pattison Broadcast Group has proven their commitment to the development of Canadian talent with their ongoing support of projects like our festival. I therefore respectfully request that you provide them with the opportunity to continue their support and development of Canadian music talent by providing them with an FM licence here in the Edmonton area.
12993 Thank you.
12994 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
12995 We will now proceed with the Western Canadian Music Alliance.
12996 Please introduce yourself and you have ten minutes for your presentation.
12997 MR. FENTON: Good afternoon, Madam Chair and Members of the Committee. My name is Rick Fenton. I am the Executive Director of the Western Canadian Music Awards and Alliance.
12998 I started out in the business as artist in the late 70s, as a guitar player of no particular note, decided that the other side of the glass might be better for me. It turned out to be a wise decision, for all of you as well.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
12999 MR. FENTON: I worked for the CBC as a Music Producer for 18 years. I also produced about 20 to 25 albums as an independent music producer, including people like Ian Tyson and Bill Bourne, folks like that. Then I went to Winnipeg and I was the Artistic Director of the Winnipeg Folk Festival for four years and most recently, as I say, I have assumed the role as the Executive Director of the Western Canadian Music Alliance.
13000 The WCMA is the umbrella organization for the western music industry associations and includes the Manitoba Music, Sask Music, Alberta Music, Music B.C. and Music Yukon. We work closely with the industry associations and in particular this year with Alberta Music.
13001 The WCMA awards, festival and conference takes place October 16th to 19th in Edmonton this year. I hope you can all come.
13002 Artist development is one of the central pillars of the music industry associations in Alberta, across the west and of the WCMA and at the core of all the music industry associations. It is also at the heart of the Pattison Broadcast Group CCD funding proposal and, in particular, The River Performance Project, which I will speak to a bit about today.
13003 You will have to excuse me. I have the great Canadian cold, so I may have to stop every once in a while.
13004 As I'm sure you are aware, the music business is going through a huge paradigm shift at the moment. New business models are being created daily. Who knew that ten years ago a computer company was going to become one of the largest distributors of music in the world? I speak of course of iTunes.
13005 One thing that hasn't changed is the creativity and raw talent of our artists.
13006 I believe that the music industry is poised actually to expand at an amazing rate. A lot of people come up to me and say, oh, you work in the music business, poor you. I go well, that's just not true.
13007 The ability of artists and labels to place their wares these days in front of a hundred times the number of people of the old distribution models I believe will eventually reap huge economic dividends. I also believe that radio has a huge part to play in that development and in that expansion.
13008 I go back to the 70s when you looked at album rock and things like that, where radio was a huge part of the discovery and the creation of taste makers, DJs who led people to new music.
13009 I notice in my own life, my daughter is 18 years old and certainly was part of the iPod generation but now it gets to the point where she needs to be led to new music, and radio is I notice becoming a much greater part of her life and the lives of her friends.
13010 So all that being said, there is a great opportunity there, but our artists face new challenges in this new DIY landscape that has been thrust upon them: do it yourself.
13011 In our distribution, publicity, recording, tour support used to be a part of the record label machines. Record labels are changing the way they do business and that development has been left in the hands of the artists themselves. Our developing artists have had to become much more like small business owners.
13012 I know Laura has been a small business owner in her artistic career for many years.
13013 Like any small business, there is great opportunity, great risk, but support and infrastructure have never been more important.
13014 I believe that The River Performance Project as presented by the Pattison Broadcast Group addresses many of the needs of the artists of this region and will help directly in their careers by expanding their knowledge and infrastructure, not to just create stars, but to start them on their way to sustainable careers based here in Edmonton that can be marketed and exported to the rest of the country and eventually the world.
13015 The development stages of The River Performance Project allow for artists to have the chance to move forward on their successes. Every performer that participates will develop a higher skill level to assist them in their careers.
13016 It is also important to note that there is no financial caveat placed on these artists. They will retain 100 per cent ownership of their own material. This allows the artist to chart their own path when it comes to partnerships with labels, agents, managers, publishers, et cetera.
13017 The Pattison Broadcast Group has committed $17 million to Canadian Content Development as part of their Edmonton application and more than $3.5 million of that money will go to The River Performance Project, whose purpose is to assist emerging artists in Edmonton and northern Alberta.
13018 The basic career needs that the artists themselves have identified and will be brought to bear to this project include a solid financial footing obviously, marketing, airplay, tour support, solid management and an overall development plan. Introducing our artists to this proactive support will help create an environment that can breed greater further success.
13019 Another goal of the program is to promote three emerging Alberta artists annually to a national stage, including a completed professionally produced CD, tour support, coaching, airplay and more.
13020 As I mentioned earlier, I believe that all artists benefit from this program. Having three groups of performers move up to this larger stage does benefit the whole community. Success stories help to support the industry professionals within that community who will work with that next generation of artists.
13021 Again, this contributes to the long‑term sustainability of the music community of this region.
13022 The River Performance Project has six different phases. I won't go through them all now. I know that it has been put before you.
13023 There is a call for talent which identifies and promotes the best of the region's emerging talent.
13024 The River Performance Boot Camp, I love this one. This program alone is of great benefit. Twenty finalists will have access to instruction from top music professionals, and even if they don't win, their week of intense education and networking will serve them very, very well in their future careers.
13025 The River Live Performance Concert Series speaks for itself. It is an incredible step next for these artists to develop a fan base. They will be broadcast. The performance will be broadcast live and this is where they make real connections with the fans in the industry.
13026 The CD then, The River Project Compilation CD takes these five artists, five finalists as identified by the fans, which I think is important, and creates a tangible product to promote the artists. Beyond the promotional value, the knowledge gained working in a professional studio environment is invaluable to any artist. I think Laura will agree.
13027 You know, to get that opportunity, given today's economies of scale, to go in and work in that professional environment, will go through the rest of your career, as the trickle‑down theory to the producers, managers and people who will be brought to bear to this project.
13028 The Finale is the free concert featuring the top five acts that remain in the competition. The concert will be broadcast live on the radio station. Listeners will vote for their favourite, either via text message, e‑mail or telephone, and the top three winners will be identified as The River Rising Performers of the Year, with the winners announced live on the air during the final broadcast.
13029 The three River Rising Performers of the Year will share in the distribution of $250,000 in cash to be used for their career development. First place in the competition will receive $125,000, second place $75,000 and third place $50,000.
13030 Every band has a different set of needs, but the budgets will include rehearsal time, studio time, a video production, website design, tour support and promotion.
13031 I believe this is a real and tangible investment in the community. Again, success stories are what create the infrastructure necessary to create a sustainable economy in the region. Music is a growth industry with an ever expanding economic impact across Canada and initiatives like The River Performance Project help to ensure that our artists will have a seat at the table.
13032 It is important to note that the money will be administered by Alberta Music, the Alberta Music Industry Association, according to a pre‑agreed marketing plan and budget. Alberta Music is an organization made up of a membership of Alberta's top music professionals, as well as established and emerging artists. Alberta Music will ensure that all monies will be released in a timely manner, in an accountable way and directly used for the advancement of those careers.
13033 Through its membership, Alberta Music has the contacts within the music industry in Alberta to bring to the project the very best of our music industry professionals.
13034 Again, Alberta music and the WCMA, Western Canadian Music Alliance, feel that the components of the proposal by the Pattison Group tie in perfectly with our mission statements and goals. Their mission statements and goals, the core values of this program, dovetail in a wonderful, wonderful way.
13035 Prior to writing the application, the Pattison Broadcast Group met with officers from Alberta music looking for direction for their Canadian Content Development initiatives. Alberta Music participated in the development of an integrated program that would be truly relevant to the music industry and of benefit to emerging artists.
13036 The Alberta Music Industry Association has been asked to administer the project if the application is successful. Alberta Music has a great deal of experience administering programs of this sort.
13037 In summary, if this application is awarded the licence, Alberta Music, the Alberta Music Industry Association will support the initiatives and programs put forth in the application by the Pattison Group, the contribution being $3,540,000 over seven years.
13038 Again, the core values of The River Performance Project, the Save the Music Foundation and the Aboriginal Voices Program all closely parallel the values of Alberta music and the Western Canadian Music Alliance and Awards, and we wholeheartedly endorse the proposals put forward by the Pattison Broadcast Group.
13039 I would like to thank you all for allowing me the opportunity to speak to you today.
13040 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you all very much.
13041 Commissioner Cugini will lead the questioning.
13042 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Good afternoon and thank you to each of you for being here.
13043 I am going to ask you just a couple of questions each in the order in which you presented.
13044 So my first questions will be for you, Mr. Cardinal.
13045 You said in your oral presentation that the funding will help you to launch your stations in Regina and Saskatoon. Does that mean that this funding will help you launch them sooner than you had anticipated?
13046 MR. HILL: Yes. My understanding of the timeframe of the funding is that it will probably come I guess about a year from now. So that is our anticipated launch time.
13047 So I wouldn't say that it would help us to launch sooner, but it will certainly fortify our financial effort to make sure that those are going on the air.
13048 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And of course the other side of that question is if we were to not award the licence to Pattison and therefore you would not receive the funding, would it delay the launch of the stations in Regina and Saskatoon?
13049 MR. HILL: I don't want to anticipate that it will delay it. We are committed to launching those stations, but certainly it provides a bit more risk for us.
13050 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: A bit more ‑‑ I'm sorry, I can't quite hear.
13051 MR. HILL: More risk.
13052 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: If we didn't grant.
13053 MR. HILL: It's more risk if we don't get the approval.
13054 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Now, you are able to generate advertising revenues.
13055 MR. HILL: Yes, we are able to generate some advertising revenues but it is not something that we thought as we looked at it over the past couple of years would be able to sustain us, because we understand ‑‑ and we have been advised of this as well by people who are in that business of doing that ‑‑ that advertisers, you know, you are in a situation of trying to sell them to believe that they want to sell to the poorest population in the country, and that is not really what they are building their businesses on.
13056 So it is a challenge for us. We do have some revenues, but I would have to say that it is not something that we are banking on, just because we don't believe we can achieve significant revenues along the lines of, let's say, what commercial broadcasters can do.
13057 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And you find that ‑‑
13058 MR. HILL: We have similar costs, but we don't have that revenue opportunity.
13059 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And you find that barrier no matter what market you go into?
13060 MR. HILL: Pardon me, Commissioner?
13061 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: You find that barrier on the part of advertisers no matter which market you go into?
13062 MR. HILL: Yes, because I think demographically, you know, and economically with aboriginal people, it is the same across the country. So yes, that barrier exists everywhere.
13063 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: If you had to quantify your dependency on funding from whether they are new licences or other sorts of transactions, could you say you are reliant on them to what percentage?
13064 MR. HILL: Well, which ones are you referring to? Like, the packages that we have received so far?
13065 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Yes.
13066 MR. HILL: Geeze, I think we are 95 per cent reliant on them.
13067 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Okay. Thank you very much.
13068 Ms Vinson, I'm curious to know more about the aboriginal music scene in Edmonton.
13069 MS VINSON: Okay. Well, it's relatively small. We have a few international artists here besides myself, like Asani that have been relatively successful, but none of us are making any money off our record sales. We are making very ‑‑ well, no money off airplay sales, that's for sure, on our original music because there is just very little opportunity for that to be played.
13070 So the scene here is pretty limited.
13071 When I was doing ‑‑ I had an aboriginal show on CKUA for a little while and to find material for it was very difficult, and it wasn't until I started joining the Canadian Aboriginal Awards that I actually had access to the multitude of music that is coming out of the east. I was really dazzled by how many eastern aboriginal artists are able to produce and get music out there, and the actual Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards is quite an event all in itself.
13072 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Are there opportunities or venues for you to perform live in Edmonton?
13073 MS VINSON: Things like the Edmonton Folk Music Festival. I think we were the first aboriginal act on the stage and they have tried to include one every year. And other festivals.
13074 More of my work is actually done in Europe because we are a novelty there and people are very excited about the mystique of the native North American Indian. So it goes over a little better there.
13075 But as far as like sustainable work where you would actually make a living out of it, not a chance.
13076 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: I'm intrigued by that and I have the floor so I have permission to ask.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
13077 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: What countries in Europe?
13078 MS VINSON: Mostly northern Europe. Our management is in Holland and we perform there, Belgium, Denmark. Actually, they have some connections in Lithuania. We have done a country music festival there. We are considered Country music over there and those are ‑‑ I mean, that is what I did commercially for years, so there is certainly that flavour to what I write, but it is more Roots/Folk indigenous music.
13079 But we are a Country band in Lithuania, as far as they are concerned, with native sounds.
13080 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: That's fascinating to me. Thank you.
13081 Mr. Connell ‑‑ is a Connell or Connell? How do you pronounce your last name?
13082 MR. CONNELL: Connell.
13083 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Connell, thank you.
13084 You see it's these ‑‑ I'm not going to say it. We have been having trouble with names all week.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
13085 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Here, too, I would like some more information on your Save the Music Foundation. You say it is to fund the beginnings of music talent.
13086 How do you receive your funding now?
13087 MR. CONNELL: The Save the Music Foundation is run at arm's length from the Pattison organization.
13088 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Right.
13089 MR. CONNELL: They put money into it themselves and then money that comes through the CRTC, and then that money is used to help various music programs in western Canada.
13090 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And is this for elementary schools?
13091 MR. CONNELL: It's for all levels.
13092 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: And the Canadian Rocky Mountain Festival, again, is that students that have benefited from the Save the Music Foundation?
13093 MR. CONNELL: In some cases. But the festival, you know, predates the Save the Music Foundation by quite a bit. The festival is going into its 18th year so it has kind of built up its own reputation. Students basically from Ontario west attend the festival, by invitation only.
13094 I think because of the format of the festival, it is very popular. It is a non‑competitive festival; it is a totally learning festival.
13095 We just put out our registration for next year's festival, and it will be full by the end of this month.
13096 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: By invitation only. What is the criteria to receive an invitation?
13097 MR. CONNELL: Performance and the philosophy. The educational philosophy basically has to be that they want their kids to be there to learn and to improve, not to win.
13098 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Okay. Thank you. And you said it's all ages.
13099 MR. CONNELL: Yes. Mainly later junior high, high school and college.
13100 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Mr. Fenton, you said that artist development is one of the central pillars of the WCMA's mandate.
13101 What do you mean by "artist development"? What is it? What functions do you perform?
13102 MR. FENTON: It is an umbrella organization so the five music industry associations that feed into it, the core mandate of all those organizations is to certainly support our established artists, but really to keep the business going, to create, support, train, work with, you know, do information sessions with, introduce to managers, all the stages of emerging artist development.
13103 If you look at ‑‑ so the difference maybe between us and the Junos would be that the Junos is, you know, to celebrate the success stories. Our success stories are our emerging artists.
13104 We have a festival for the WCMAs which is 70‑plus artists playing in 15 venues, and 90 per cent of those are new and emerging artists of all multi genres creating careers.
13105 The conference is very much centred towards the idea of the creation of careers, the support of emerging artists.
13106 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Do you see, then, The River Performance Project as a precursor to what your associations do or does it run parallel?
13107 MR. FENTON: I think it runs very much parallel.
13108 I mean, there is a rich legacy of particularly Roots, Pop music. I mean we look at Leslie Feist, we look at Jann Arden, we look at all those folks who are now, except for Leslie, all independent artists again.
13109 Jann, Paul Brandt, all those people are running their own small businesses again.
13110 I see The River Performance Project very much running in parallel. To me the really great benefit is the infrastructure, what is left behind. I think it is great that there will be three or four winners, you know, and that those will represent us and create those new success stories, but what is in the wake of that are those managers, publicists, people who are charged and able and willing and educated in the ways of the news, particularly to bring these new technologies and new emerging opportunities forward to those artists.
13111 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you very much. Thank you to all of you.
13112 Those are all my questions, Madam Chair.
13113 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you all very much.
13114 I did want to ask Ms Vinson, I just wanted to follow up on your comments about the FACTOR funding.
13115 MS VINSON: Yes...?
13116 THE CHAIRPERSON: I understood you to say that it appeared that artists in eastern Canada were having better success.
13117 We have talked about FACTOR a fair bit during the course of the hearing. Do you attribute that to the fact of lack of awareness or what is the reason?
13118 MS VINSON: I attribute it to the fact that most of the jurying and people on the juries are from down there and so they know who they are voting for or recommending grants for.
13119 It has been the story of my life anyway, the west not having the exposure and the foundation that the eastern artists have, just what he was talking about with the managers and the record labels and stuff that have been existing down there for a long time and doing successful business. That is just kind of coming here and still isn't to the point where it should be.
13120 So the fact that they are designating and earmarking a certain amount of FACTOR money for people from the west will enable people like myself to be able to do more European touring and stuff.
13121 THE CHAIRPERSON: You will notice in the FACTOR letters they always have the qualifier that if there aren't any artists from the west, then it will go into their general fund, or they often have that.
13122 So I assume that it is going to be very important for the artists to be aware and applying for these grants.
13123 MS VINSON: Yes, it certainly would be. And I think there is a lack of awareness a bit out here of that sort of thing.
13124 THE CHAIRPERSON: We did hear a number of broadcasters say that they were going to undertake to increase awareness. Thank you very much.
13125 Thank you all very much. It was very helpful.
13126 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
13127 I would now call Gateway Entertainment, Hipjoint Music Group, Shiloh Schramm and Community Radio Fund of Canada/Le Fonds canadien de la radio communautaire to come forward to the presentation table to appear as a panel and present their interventions.
13128 THE SECRETARY: Before we begin, I would like to note for the record that Harvard Broadcasting Inc. has filed, in response to undertakings, their over and above CCD commitments. This document has been added to the public record and copies are available in the public examination room.
13129 We will start with the Gateway Entertainment.
13130 Please introduce yourself, after which you have ten minutes for your presentation.
13131 MR. KUPINA: Thank you.
13132 Good afternoon, Madam Chair, Commissioners, staff. My name is Jesse Kupina and I'm here to express my support for CHUM Radio's application to earn the next spot on Edmonton's radio dial. I am an avid media buyer and radio listener and hold a great deal of respect for 91.7 The Bounce, both as a customer and as a listener.
13133 I am a partner in an Edmonton‑bred company called Gateway Entertainment. One of my many duties in our company is marketing and media buying. I purchase, maintain, traffic things such as billboards, student newspapers, washroom ads, radio, TV, and so on.
13134 I am responsible in the maintenance of four company websites with a member database upwards of 60,000 people.
13135 Our entertainment group consists of two 1000‑seat nightclubs, the Ranch Roadhouse in Union Hall, a pub crawl company known as Edmonton Pub Crawls and an upscale Canadiana pub concept known as Hudson's. We will be happily adding our fourth location of Hudson's to the family this July in West Edmonton Mall.
13136 As a company we proudly employ over 500 people.
13137 Nightlife and the demographics are not what they used to be. People are still going out well into their 40s on a regular basis. This is extremely exciting for us, as we see the 18‑to‑34 demo predominantly at our two mega clubs. Then we graduate them into our pub concept, which is popular with the 25‑to‑44 year olds. Basically the only stage of life we are missing out would be a 65‑plus retirement nightclub, but don't count us out.
13138 To speak on why musically the essential Alternative concept is so brilliant to our city relates back to something that was mentioned in CHUM's presentation yesterday morning, about a percentage of the population that exists who resort to other means than the radio to find Alternative music.
13139 I have a packed nightclub week‑in, week‑out full of these so‑called misfits.
13140 The club scene is not unlike the dial for the most part. There are Top 40 clubs, Country clubs, Hot AC lounges, Hard Rock and live music venues.
13141 Where does someone go to hear the Alternative hits or see the Alternative videos? They come to me at Union Hall.
13142 These people who Essential is targeting are out there and extremely loyal to the music. We reluctantly took a stand after one year of opening and said yes, we are an Alternative music nightclub. We were so reluctant because at the time we didn't know how to find these people, especially through traditional means of advertising such as radio. So we took a grassroots guerrilla marketing approach and made Union Hall into a popular well‑known thriving business.
13143 Why do people love Union Hall? We play the music that no one else does, just as CHUM Radio said they would on their proposed station.
13144 Communicating to this elusive audience has been our strong point as a company. As I mentioned earlier, we have an interactive website with over 60,000 active members. We use a text messaging program called Fire Text to both stimulate and communicate our customers from all different concepts.
13145 I can speak from experience that having such interactive features such as CHUM presented is not just a bonus but a necessity to communicate to today's consumer. With this station on the dial I would confidently increase my marketing spin to include Essential 107. This would definitely be a station who speaks to my audience, both in the mega club and the pubs.
13146 Cultivating local and Canadian talent to the tune of $10 million is outstanding for our city. I have one of the most sought‑after live venues for upcoming bands, but I can't book them because no one knows them. This is the struggle for these local unsigned bands. They are stuck to playing for girlfriends and friends in smaller venues.
13147 I'm sure that there is a rich and extensive talent base at these events, but my two‑year business diploma and Guitar Hero prowess does not give me the ability to pick the next rising star.
13148 I think that the commitment to find and develop these bands will provide a ton of great synergies between the talent, the radio station, venues such as Union Hall and Hudson's and the Canadian music scene.
13149 As an experienced media buyer, I have had a chance to deal with a variety of concepts, promotions, sales reps and station staff. One of my strongest reasons in agreeing to appear today is to support the heart, creativity and professionalism in which CHUM represents, making them one of the industry leaders.
13150 Madam Chair and Commissioners, I want to thank you for your time and attention this afternoon.
13151 THE SECRETARY: You may now proceed.
13152 MR. JAMES: Madam Chair and Commissioners, staff, good afternoon.
13153 My name is Mike James and to my left is Troy Samson. We are the principals of Hipjoint Music Group. We are a Canadian owned, independent production, promotion and publishing company. We are very pleased to have been asked by CHUM Radio to administer a new initiative put forward as part of their application for Essential 107, the Start to Star initiative.
13154 I would like to begin by giving you some background on ourselves and our company, our relationship with CHUM Radio through our involvement in The Bounce Showdown and then finish by talking about the great benefits of CHUM's proposed Start to Star Program.
13155 Troy and I have been working with and developing acts since the early 1990s. We created Hipjoint in 2003 as a company dedicated to creating great music that would be both commercially viable and artistically credible. Since then we have produced a long string of radio hits for a wide variety of acts, signed and unsigned, domestic and international.
13156 Hipjoint Music Group is made up of three companies.
13157 The first is Hipjoint Productions, which has provided songwriting and production services to dozens of acts, including Kreesha Turner, Kelly Rowland and Canadian Idol.
13158 The second is Hipjoint Promotions. Over the years the Hipjoint radio promotion arm has been responsible for literally hundreds of thousands of spins on radio for a wide variety of Canadian and international acts.
13159 The third is H Songs Publishing. The H Songs Publishing catalog is administered worldwide by Network One Music, the publishing division of Network Music Group.
13160 Our companies work closely with Network One to create opportunities for the songs in our catalog and the artists that record them.
13161 From American Nicon commercials, major motion pictures and U.S. network prime time TV shows, our songs have been widely exposed.
13162 As well, we are currently in the process of signing and developing young artists and songwriters with our publishing partners at Network. Together, Troy and I have written for, produced or promoted artists, including Biff Naked, Holly McNarland, 54‑40, Canadian Idol and PopStars, Crash Test Dummies, Pam Grier and Snoop Dogg, Moka Only, soulDecision, Classified, Suzie McNeil, Marci Playground, Katie Melua, Madeleine Peyroux, Bob Sinclair and, most recently, Kelly Rowland of Destiny's Child and, of course, The Bounce Showdown winners, Kreesha Turner and Shiloh.
13163 Hipjoint Music Group also has an advisory board made up of mentors to help steer our company. Our board members are: Mark Jowett, who is the cofounder of Network Music Group; Jim Vallance, international hit songwriter and member of the Order of Canada; Jordan Thorsteinson, who is a Director of Business Development for the Vancouver Canucks Sports and Entertainment; chartered accountant Martin Carsky; and Craig Horton, who is the Director of Publishing and Licensing Administration at Network One.
13164 Both Craig Horton and Jim Vallance are also on the board of SOCAN.
13165 MR. SAMSON: Now, for last four years, Hipjoint has worked with CHUM Radio through its existing Edmonton radio station The Bounce. Our experience with CHUM Radio and The Bounce Showdown has been quite remarkable.
13166 To clarify, The Bounce Showdown is an annual contest staged in Edmonton by CHUM Radio's 91.7 The Bounce. It uses part of the station's CCD contribution to fund the production of masters for its winning artists. Our role is to write and produce those masters.
13167 The Showdown started from the simple thought that if a talented but unknown artist was given hit songs, top‑level production and, most importantly, ownership of their own master recordings, they would be given a significant head start in their music career. The results of The Bounce Showdown have exceeded our expectations.
13168 The 2005 Bounce Showdown winner Kreesha Turner is currently enjoying her second hit single nationally, as well as receiving international exposure as one of Virgin EMI's top priorities. Her career is now managed by one of the best managers in the music business, Chris Smith, the same man who has guided Nelly Furtado's rise to success.
13169 The 2006 Bounce Showdown winner, Shiloh, is another success story that keeps getting better and better. Along with Hipjoint, Shiloh now has a world‑class management team via Ivan Berry and Daniel Mekinda.
13170 She is also represented by Canada's number one entertainment lawyer, Chris Taylor.
13171 With them, Shiloh has recently secured a major label recording contract with Universal Music. On top of all these developments, Shiloh's songs have already been heard in the widely popular TV show Gossip Girl and in the Fox major motion picture What Happens in Vegas starring Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher.
13172 None of these developments would be anything more than very distant dreams without the initial investment of CCD funds made possible by CHUM Radio and The Bounce in Edmonton.
13173 MR. JAMES: This brings us to the proposed CHUM Radio Essential 107 Start to Star Program.
13174 Start to Star basically picks up where The Bounce Showdown leaves off. It will fund and guide the winning artist through the process of writing and recording a full album of material right through to the marketing, touring and promotion of the finished product. A few years ago this was known as artist development and was a regular part of the record label process, but currently the responsibility of artist development has shifted from the labels to the artists themselves.
13175 Start to Star will give a deserving artist the budget to access the very best in the business for a full year so that they can learn and grow and understand what it takes to succeed as a working act. We liken it to a year‑long semester at music business university with some of the best minds in the industry as the professors.
13176 An artist that is armed with this kind of knowledge and experience will have a much better chance at a sustained career in today's music business.
13177 Another notable aspect of the program is that it gives the winning artist something most label‑signed artists have never had, ownership of their own masters without a mountain of debt on their shoulders. By building on the model developed by The Bounce Showdown, and with the mentorship and guidance of this program, Start to Star winners will be better able to create business opportunities and financially benefit from them as the master owner.
13178 It is also important to note that the economic impact of the careers that Start to Star will help build will touch and strengthen all sectors of the music industry. Start to Star will have a direct and immediate positive impact on its winners in the entire music and music related industries in Canada.
13179 Throughout this process Hipjoint will be working closely with Essential 107 to ensure all the elements of the initiatives do comply with the Commission's policies on CCD initiatives. We know of no other program that comes close to offering such a complete package of service and guidance, with only the artist's promising future being the ultimate goal of all involved.
13180 Emerging from this process will be a group of artists with a deeper understanding of all aspects of what it means to have a viable career as a recording and touring musician. Approval of CHUM Radio's application and the Canadian Content Development plan it has proposed will undoubtedly provide unprecedented support for emerging Canadian artists.
13181 Start to Star is a very noble and groundbreaking vision that CHUM Radio is putting forth and Hipjoint is proud to be part of it.
13182 I would like to thank you, the whole Commission, for giving us the opportunity to speak today.
13183 Thank you.
13184 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
13185 We will now proceed with Shiloh Schramm.
13186 You have ten minutes for your presentation.
13187 MS SCHRAMM: Madam Chair, Commissioners and CRTC staff, good afternoon and thank you for this opportunity to speak before you in support of Essential 107.
13188 Two years ago ‑‑ no, that's wrong. I'm way ahead of myself, way ahead of myself.
13189 My name is Shiloh Schramm and I am from right here in Edmonton, Alberta. Sitting next to me is my manager, Daniel Mekinda.
13190 Now I can get ahead of myself.
13191 Two years ago, when I was 13 years old, I was the winner of CHUM Radio The Bounce Showdown. I would like to share with you not only my experiences leading up to the contest, but also those since.
13192 Singing has been a major part of my life since I was a little girl. My mother, who is here with me today, regularly recalls my performances from the back of the car as a young toddler. At only two years of age I would manage to unbuckle myself from my car seat and stand up tall to perform at the top of my lungs for my parents in the front seat. I knew during these years, and well into grade school, that this would be a dream I had to fulfil.
13193 Over the years I managed to win many local talent competitions, but unfortunately with very little results. I participated in school shows, country festivals and even the odd talent show across the border in the U.S. To be honest, I was never quite convinced that I would ever get the opportunity that would open a door big enough to take me to the level of those artists I looked up to.
13194 I continued to participate in these events and, thanks to those around me, especially my family, I was reassured of my talents and of my dreams coming true. In the same breath, I was also discouraged by many of my peers. Many kids in my school laughed about my ambitions and attempted to discourage me. Some days I would listen to them and temporarily second‑guess myself.
13195 I was confident in my passion and my dreams but unsure of how the small‑town girl could ever make it happen. Still, I continued to attend competition after competition with not much outcome.
13196 So then comes 2006 here in Edmonton. My mom came across an ad in the paper for The Bounce 91.7 Showdown. We agreed that, if anything, this event would be good exposure for me and likely get me in front of a few new faces. I prepared my songs, ranging from Rihanna to Mary J. Blige and headed out.
13197 Upon arrival I was impressed with the organization and the quality of the event for a change. I feel I sung quite well and, needless to say, I won. I was officially the winner of CHUM's 2006 Bounce Showdown.
13198 For the first time in my life I truly felt that realizing my dream could be a reality. Little did I know what I was in for.
13199 Part of winning this competition was the opportunity to fly to Vancouver and record two songs with Hipjoint. This was a dream come true and was an experience like no other.
13200 After recording these two songs, CHUM and 91.7 supported my new career with national airplay and on radio interviews. Having fulfilled my winning package, it was clear that CHUM believed in me and my future career.
13201 Not long after that, they went beyond the prize and sent me back to Vancouver to record two more songs. Immediately after that I was off to Toronto Showcase, a Canadian music week. I was truly touched and once again it was clear that they were going above and beyond in investing in this young girl's ability to truly break as an artist.
13202 The Showcase went well and now I had four great songs under my belt. This was way more than I expected.
13203 Come summer of last year CHUM and the guys at Hipjoint recommended pursuing a full manager and help guide my career and once again to take it to another level. My music was played for the team of Daniel Mekinda and Ivan Berry at Tanjola. They loved what they heard, or at least they told me they did, and we immediately thought we should get on the phone and all chat.
13204 The conversation lasted for about an hour and we all agreed to meet in Vancouver about a month later.
13205 In Vancouver I really felt that things were once again taking a big step. I felt that CHUM had led me to another key piece of the team and a major part of why I am sitting here before you today.
13206 That weekend we sat down with what was later to become my management company, as well as Mike and Troy from Hipjoint. We all talked about my career and the conversation started to turn to the bigger picture. That weekend we also did a photo shoot and really just spent some good time hanging with my new managers.
13207 We returned to Alberta in good spirits. My managers felt they got the Shiloh vibe and we were all excited for them to run with it. In order to shop my project, they felt they needed to record two more songs to complete the package. Once again, CHUM stepped up to the plate and supported the recording of two more songs by covering all of the costs.
13208 I returned to Vancouver and recorded them. With these six songs by managers were confident that we could push the official green button on my career. Needless to say, everything has been green since.
13209 In the last few months many things have happened for me and my career. As you all know, two days ago my manager received a phone call while here in Edmonton that Universal Music Canada had accepted the final deal points. As a result, I am now signed to a worldwide deal to the world's biggest record company, Universal Records. I am also represented by entertainment lawyer Chris Taylor, who also represents Natalie Furtado, Avril Lavigne and Sum 41.
13210 My team also includes Canada's top booking agent for live shows, S.L. Feldman.
13211 In only one month since working with them, I have already secured shows with Hedley and Theory of a Dead Man and we are in talks about tours in Australia with Simple Plan and massive national tours as a whole.
13212 I have been offered multiple publishing deals for major and independent music publishers as well. My managers, if I may say so myself, were very impressed with my songwriting ability and as a result pursued publishing offers. This will now also lead to my career as a songwriter above and beyond that of an artist.
13213 Finally, I have also been offered a television show by Cookie Jar Entertainment, one of Canada's top TV producers.
13214 There is so much more in the works, but this is just a taste of the last six months.
13215 In about two weeks time I will begin the official recording of my debut album and also shooting a video and working together with Universal to really go all out on my career. I have a big summer ahead of me and I look forward to all the new experiences.
13216 The past two years have really been a dream come true. I can 100 per cent tell you that without CHUM Radio and their phenomenal team I would not be where I am today. They single‑handedly are responsible for all the people I have met and the amazing direction my career is going in.
13217 In my short time in this industry I have already met so many people who have the amazing talent and certainly will be a part of my life for a very long time. I feel blessed and will never be able to thank them enough.
13218 When I first heard about ‑‑ waaa!
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
13219 MS SCHRAMM: I'm fine. I'm fine. I'm good.
13220 When I first heard from CHUM about the ability to support them in their plans for the new station, I was 100 per cent in. I truly wish there was more opportunities like the one I was given and I know that they should be awarded a new station.
13221 They could repeat this success tenfold.
13222 Even though this may not be the time to do so, I want to once again thank them for everything they have done and the endless help I have received from CHUM to further my career. They are surely to repeat this feat again.
13223 Thank you for your time and I would like now to have the floor over to my manager, Daniel Mekinda.
13224 MR. MEKINDA: Good job.
13225 MS SCHRAMM: Thanks.
13226 MR. MEKINDA: Thank you, Shiloh.
13227 Madam Chair, Commissioners and the CRTC staff, good afternoon and thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today.
13228 I am here in support of CTV's application for Essential 107 largely because of my positive experiences with CHUM Radio in the past, as well as my firsthand experience with their preeminent CCD initiatives through 91.7, The Bounce.
13229 I would like to provide you with a little background on myself and my company Tanjola.
13230 It is through this company, with my partner Ivan Berry, that we manage Shiloh. I myself have been in the music industry for over a decade and together with my partner have 30‑plus years' experience in our field. I have held senior positions with major record labels, BMG and Sony BMG, with Canada's largest music publisher Ole, and worked and pursued initiatives in my field from Senegal to Sweden.
13231 My partner and I run a management and publishing company and are currently involved in industry initiatives in Canada, the U.S. and the Caribbean.
13232 Back in the 90s I entered the music industry on the cusp of a very trying time. The entire dynamic of our vocation has changed over the last five years in particular and it is truly a new ballgame for artists trying to make a career of their talents.
13233 I saw firsthand the pressure foreign controlled record companies were putting on their Canadian offices to if not end local development altogether, cut back on Canadian development as a whole. I have seen many, many talented artists and bands come across my desk at a major record label with no budgets to not only develop them, but to even simply sign and release an album.
13234 Finally, I have also seen far too many artists discard the value of Canadian partners and head out of country in search of the support and marketplace in which to build their career.
13235 The reason I'm here today is to tell you I can confidently say that CHUM Radio has single‑handedly changed the dynamic in the Canadian marketplace. I have participated and been a recipient of FACTOR, VideoFACT, Starmaker and various federal and provincial grants and bursaries. None of them have had such a direct impact that I have seen with CHUM Radio's CCD initiatives through The Bounce 91.7.
13236 I have worked directly for a massive foreign talent competition, which will remain unnamed, with a lot of money and muscle behind it. In a couple of years CHUM's CCD initiatives have allowed the artists benefiting from such efforts to surpass that of the other competition and simply blow them out of the water.
13237 I have attempted to develop and break an artist in this market and have seen the number of brick walls that one hits, both from a financial perspective and from a lock of national support. CHUM Radio has solved the puzzle and found the golden key to finding, developing and breaking new talent. I have seen this all firsthand.
13238 Over the past eight months we have worked with CHUM to share our expertise in what is needed to take the CCD initiatives undertaken by The Bounce and step it up a notch via Essential 107. Their commitment to Canadian talent and supporting our superstars of tomorrow is both uplifting and unparalleled.
13239 My partner and I have never seen such passion and devotion to our market and our talent pool.
13240 So for fear of dragging this on, I would like to close by asking the Commissioner to take a serious look at Essential 107, not only fulfilling a void in the Edmonton marketplace but for what they are doing for the Canadian music industry as a whole.
13241 Cancon and the Maple system, although implemented before I was even born, is largely responsible for me being employed in the Canadian music industry today. It was a major accomplishment and we continue to benefit from it every day.
13242 By sitting here and speaking with you, I truly feel that by supporting Essential 107 and their unequalled CCD endeavours I am playing a part to an initiative potential of equal importance.
13243 Please consider this as my support for CTV's proposal for a new station in the Edmonton market as outlined in their presentation.
13244 Thank you very much.
13245 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
13246 We will now proceed with The Community Radio Fund of Canada/Le Fonds canadien de la radio communautaire.
13247 You have ten minutes for your presentation.
13248 MS KAESTNER: Thank you. Good afternoon once again.
13249 My name is Melissa Kaestner and I am the development consultant for the Community Radio Fund of Canada.
13250 As before, we are presenting today on behalf of not only the Fund, but also for its three founding associations, The National Campus and Community Radio Association, l'Alliance des radios communautaires du Canada and l'Association de radiodiffuseurs communautaires du Québec.
13251 MR. HANNLEY: Hi. My name is Jay Hannley, from CJSR in Edmonton and I had so much fun this morning I decided I would do it again.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
13252 MS KAESTNER: The Community Radio Fund of Canada is a national fund established to support the development of local community radio. It is our goal to help these broadcasters reach their collective potential as a well resourced, independent, diverse, vibrant and accessible media sector.
13253 The activities of the Fund will reflect a commitment of the sector to principles of localism in access, respect for and promotion of the official languages of Canada, diversity and multiculturalism, social justice and high quality programming and innovation.
13254 We are here today to talk about how approving the licence for CHUM Radio will contribute to our goals through the CHUM Radio Alberta Cultural Diversity Program.
13255 I am going to assume you remember all the great things we said about the Fund the last time we were here and go right into talking about the details of the program.
13256 There is something unique about this partnership. CHUM Radio is the first private broadcaster to take the initiative to approach the Fund during its planning an application process rather than waiting to be approached by us. This is an important step for the Fund and one that we hope is a trendsetter.
13257 We ask the Commission to recognize this development when making its licensing decision for the Edmonton market.
13258 In the past, the three community radio associations attempted to create funding partnerships with commercial broadcasters by approaching them after the public processes to review their applications had already begun. This worked out well for both parties with respect to the contribution from Astral, but we think being approached by CHUM Radio in advance of the public proceeding is noteworthy and deserving of recognition.
13259 If this application is approved, we propose to establish the CHUM Radio Alberta Cultural Diversity Program. This program would provide funding to assist eligible stations in Alberta to develop and increase culturally diverse programming on the air.
13260 We recognize that these stations already work with a number of cultural communities and produce many hours of third language programming each week. However, Alberta is experiencing a huge growth in population and, according to station staff, that includes growth in multicultural communities.
13261 Through this program stations will receive grants in the areas of production, infrastructure and marketing, which will lead to a greater presence in these communities, more opportunities for community members to participate in their local stations and an increased diversity of programming on the air.
13262 The generous contribution from CHUM Radio has the potential to significantly impact stations and the communities they serve. Due to the size of the contribution and the small number of community‑based stations in the province, individual stations may be eligible to receive grants as high as $10,000 per year, which would be warmly received in the not‑for‑profit broadcast sector.
13263 MR. HANNLEY: In the area of the infrastructure, grants may be awarded to help stations develop the capacity to serve a wider variety of communities. For example, a station could hire a consultant or community liaison to ensure that current station policies, procedures and practices address a variety of cultural issues that would help broadcasters meet the needs of their listening audience.
13264 Stations could also have policies and public relations materials translated into several languages, improving the level of accessibility into these communities.
13265 In the area of production, stations could apply for grants to create specialized training programs that would see experienced broadcasters providing free broadcasting training to community volunteers in relevant languages or individual producers from cultural communities could work with the stations to help create unique and educational documentaries to broadcast not only to their own markets but to share with the other stations across the country and beyond.
13266 In the areas of marketing and outreach, stations could contract consultants to help develop strategic plans to identify local communities not currently represented and present effective and meaningful communications and recruitment plans.
13267 They could also receive funding to create local events that would bring the stations out into these communities, like live to air music performances or lectures and participatory debates focused on the current community issues.
13268 These activities would also help create sustainable cultural programming at the station and provide cultural groups with the avenues to promote and communicate with their community members while also sharing their cultures with the general public.
13269 MS KAESTNER: While Alberta‑specific, CHUM Radio's contribution to the Community Radio Fund of Canada will not only increase the diversity of programming in the province but also within the national community sector as a whole. By providing resources to Alberta stations for these kinds of initiatives, stations across the country will benefit as well. Our sector has a long history of resource sharing and networking through national conferences, a national program exchange server and one‑on‑one communication.
13270 So the Commission can feel confident that by approving this application, you will also be contributing to the diversity of local community voices.
13271 Thank you and we welcome your questions.
13272 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
13273 First of all, I would like to say congratulations to Shiloh. You are very, very young and you have already accomplished a tremendous amount.
13274 MS SCHRAMM: Thank you.
13275 THE CHAIRPERSON: It's very, very credible. We are excited to meet you.
13276 What I would like to ask is CHUM described this new Essential Alternative format that they were proposing as a new format in Canada. I don't know if they went farther than Canada or not, but I think it was an entirely new format.
13277 I just would like to know your viewpoint as experienced musicians or entertainers involved with the entertainment industry how you see their format as different from what is currently available in the market.
13278 MR. JAMES: Well, after listening to the proposal yesterday and getting a great broad view of it, it was brought up that the kind of ‑‑ at least for me, this is my personal view as a musician and somebody who loves music.
13279 The kind of person who listens to this type of music, while they have nailed a demographic, it is a kind of person, you know, who covers all demographics. For a long time there has not been an outlet on radio for these bands, and over the years a lot of the great New Wave bands and Punk bands from the late 70s, early 80s, all those great songs, you know by The Clash and things like this, people know those songs, they love them.
13280 They were never on the radio, really not too much, but they have become part of the fabric of society and people want to hear those songs, you know.
13281 THE CHAIRPERSON: Would you agree with that as well?
13282 MR. KUPINA: Yes. Madam Chair, I was just sort of thinking as I was listening to what he was just saying, and I remember a time at our nightclub we had a guest DJ actually from 91.7 The Bounce kind of come in and listen to the music we were playing because of the popularity of our nightclub, and people were singing along to a song and he kind of leaned over to me and said, "How do these people know this music? "Like what is the song? Where did they hear it?" because his familiarity with the music, it has never been on the radio.
13283 I do believe it exists out there and I think that the artists that they have explained to me that are going to be on the radio station are artists we play and artists that, you know, I would listen to as a 32‑year‑old, and our clientele does listen to, and is not currently being heard or played by a radio station.
13284 THE CHAIRPERSON: As far as the age range, then, that it would appeal to, I think they have indicated 24‑to‑34. I guess you would concur with that, then?
13285 MR. JAMES: I fall into that demographic and, yes, I believe so. But I think it goes beyond that as well.
13286 I was talking with Shiloh after the session yesterday and she was, "Ah, that sounds like an awesome station. I would love to listen to that station."
13287 Again, it is a type of person, almost a lifestyle that is drawn to that kind of music. It is a swath that is cut through the entire population.
13288 So I think it would be interesting to see just how wide that audience will get and I think it is going to be pretty wide.
13289 MR. SAMSON: I would like to also say that we deal with a lot of young artists and it is amazing to me, you know, someone who listens to Tegan and Sara also know The Smiths, you know. They know The Cure, you know.
13290 I think as I was listening yesterday to the proposal, I mean if you listen to The Killers, if you know the band The Killers, you have to know The Cure. I mean, you have to know Robert Smith, you know. What a great station to educate young people and expose them to this music without being fragmented.
13291 I love listening to other stations that play like old songs, the classic songs, but Depeche Mode followed by, I don't know, Chad Kruger, it just kind of turns me off. You know, I mean it's like, wow ‑‑ because I am a 42‑year‑old 80s child, right, so I grew up in the Live Aid, everything, right. My sister had all the Duran Duran posters and everything.
13292 MR. JAMES: Troy used to wear makeup.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
13293 MR. SAMSON: I still do.
13294 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: But do you know Sisters of Mercy?
13295 MR. SAMSON: For different reasons.
13296 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: But do you know Sisters of Mercy?
13297 MR. SAMSON: Sisters Of Mercy, sure.
13298 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Okay.
13299 MR. SAMSON: You know, when we were working on Shiloh's tracks, you know, we were listening to Timebomb, you know, the group ‑‑
13300 MR. JAMES: Rancid.
13301 MR. SAMSON: Rancid. I mean, you know, I think it's just really important to expose people ‑‑ to expose the youth today to this music.
13302 It goes back to The Specials, you know. If you know No Doubt, you have to listen to The Specials. You know, this is education. This is the education that you can't ‑‑
13303 THE CHAIRPERSON: It is certainly education ‑‑
13304 MR. SAMSON: We are very passionate about it.
13305 THE CHAIRPERSON: It is certainly education for me, I would have to admit.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
13306 THE CHAIRPERSON: Shiloh, would your interest be, then, more in a station like The Bounce which I gather appeals to a younger audience, or everything?
13307 MS SCHRAMM: I don't know. My mom likes The Bounce.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
13308 MS SCHRAMM: It depends on the kind of person. It depends. Like I think you are a true music lover if you can listen to absolutely anything as long as it's a song that's good.
13309 But I mean being a teenager myself, I could say that this station ‑‑ like any one of my friends ‑‑ and I'm not just one of those weird kids that goes "Oh, I like this music because". No.
13310 But almost like all of my friends and a lot of people that I know that are around my age would listen to this station because it's the classic stuff. It is the stuff that they grew up with because their parents were playing it and it's just ‑‑ it's that ‑‑ yes, I would listen to it.
13311 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
13312 MR. MEKINDA: Can I add a little real life experience?
13313 THE CHAIRPERSON: You certainly can.
13314 MR. MEKINDA: Shiloh and I have spent a lot of time driving around over the last six months since we have met, going to record labels and meetings in Vancouver and here and it's funny, we often kind of play with the radio station dial and fight when we are in Toronto about which station to listen to and so forth.
13315 I think for one of the first times when we saw the song selection of the artists that were going to be played or would be played on Essential 107, I don't think there was an artist that we couldn't agree on that ‑‑ I'm a 31‑year‑old guy, she is a 15‑year‑old girl, straight up, it met us right in the middle and it touched us both ‑‑
13316 MS SCHRAMM: Definitely.
13317 MR. MEKINDA: ‑‑ on both levels.
13318 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
13319 MR. MEKINDA: So it was pretty special.
13320 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
13321 And thank you to the Community Fund as well. I don't have any questions for you, but maybe some of the other ‑‑ either Commissioner Cugini or Commissioner Molnar, do you have questions?
13322 Not even our music expert?
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
13323 THE CHAIRPERSON: I feel very inadequate.
13324 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Shiloh, did you use a hairbrush or a curling iron for a microphone when you were in the back seat of the car?
13325 MS SCHRAMM: Through a microphone.
13326 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: When you were little girl?
13327 MS SCHRAMM: A water bottle.
13328 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: A water bottle.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
13329 THE CHAIRPERSON: Well, thank you all very much. It has been very helpful. Thank you.
13330 THE CHAIRPERSON: We are going to take a break now for ten minutes and be back at 4:00.
13331 Thank you.
‑‑‑ Upon recessing at 1550 / Suspension à 1550
‑‑‑ Upon resuming at 1610 / Reprise à 1610
13332 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.
13333 I would just like to mention before we get started that we are intending to go through, straight through tonight, so hopefully that is convenient for everybody.
13334 I expect we would finish in advance of 7 o'clock, but at any rate we will see how it goes.
13335 Thank you.
13336 THE SECRETARY: We will proceed with The Amber Affair.
13337 Please introduce yourself and you will then have ten minutes for your presentation.
13338 MS KEATING: Okay. I thought I was presenting maybe yesterday so I had originally typed up "good afternoon". So you can just ignore the first sentence.
13339 Good afternoon. My name is Cindy Keating and I am a singer/songwriter and recording artist here in Edmonton's independent music scene. I am also the sole visionary behind The Amber Affair, which is an event that celebrates women in music and art and is now an event in planned partnership with Evanov Radio Group.
13340 So I am also here is a spokesperson in favour of Evanov's request to start a radio station in this city which targets that very same theme or demographic.
13341 I would first, however, like to take a few moments just to give a bit of background on my personal music journey so you can see how The Amber Affair came to be and why am here today.
13342 I started piano at the age of four. I studied voice, guitar and flute extensively throughout my childhood. I wrote my first song at age 10, entered and then won my first songwriting competition at age 11. Thus the foundation was laid for my musical passion and the inevitability of my career choice.
13343 I continued on to post secondary education where I graduated with honours and at the top of my class with the performance degree, where I majored in classical arranging and composition and minored in Jazz, Blues and Gospel. Upon graduation I fuelled my desire for performing by touring extensively across the country in coffee shops and small venues acoustically.
13344 After two years of doing that and getting to know the ins and outs of the industry, I decided to formally form a band, which consisted of three male members on drums, bass, electric guitar, acoustic guitar and piano. So together, as a four‑piece Pop Rock band, we recorded, self‑financed two full‑length CDs and toured as much as possible across the country developing a fan base and building momentum.
13345 Now, I simply tell you all of that to tell you this: No matter how hard one works or how many small venues you can play in, places you can travel, records you can produce, no matter how talented you are or what degree you have or even what placing you managed to stand in your graduating class or even how many instruments you can master, if you don't have support from the main making‑it industry, your momentum and your motivation quickly dies, as was the case for me.
13346 As for every musician out there, the industry is just that industry: the making‑it industry. So to this day if you ask any successful artist if they can remember the first time they were played on the radio, you will be met with an astounding yes. I know, because I ask everybody that.
13347 Radio is the answer for every musician's career and being played on air is the dream.
13348 So, of course and naturally, I started pounding on doors when I first started. I managed to go through all the appropriate radio channels because I know there are certain doors and certain people you talk to. I aligned myself with all the right people. I recorded with the top producer in western Canada and I even had three guys in the band, but I was still met with: "Sorry, Edmonton is more of a Nickelback market. Don't get me wrong. You have great stuff. It's just not what the station is looking for."
13349 I would be lying if I said I wasn't discouraged and discouragement kept coming quite a lot. So in an attempt to shake it off once again and to rise above, I decided I wanted to do something to help the female market. I was tired of having no opportunity. I was tired of having conversations with my fellow female musicians who were just as equally frustrated, and I was really tired of hearing that Edmonton was on the cusp of this supposed musical explosion, but I knew of five female musicians and singers who were pursuing their dreams in Montreal.
13350 So for once I wanted to do something to help that female voice be heard. I wanted to plan a fun, creative event that would help showcase the underdog and also build the female fellow musician community, and thus The Amber Affair was born.
13351 Much like Sarah McLachlan's Lilith Fair, the Amber Affair is a festival concept showcasing some of Edmonton's finest independent music. However, I also wanted to broaden that spectrum and include other forms of artistic expression besides music, and therefore I opened the event to all platforms of creativity, such as abstract and formal painters, industrial designers. There were full piece bands as well as singer/songwriters in all different genres and handmade designers. We even had an aspiring journalist who writes for Edmonton's weekly music magazine Host the Evening.
13352 The Amber Affair is now an annual event showcasing those musical performances, video presentations and displays of work from what I call Edmonton's hidden talent. It is also an evening for social interaction where the independent female community has a chance to learn from each other, grow with each other and network, and the success of the event so far has far exceeded my expectations.
13353 I was so very impressed with the way Edmonton's television and newspaper medium embraced the concept. Many TV spotlights were given to the event and it was an exciting happening in our capital city. I was even more impressed with the way the fellow musicians and artists band together to make this a sold‑out event.
13354 From the attendance to the press coverage, to the new‑found friendships, you can only imagine how excited I was to start planning the event for next year's event.
13355 However, with all things dreamy comes that realistic, practical hard to face moment of realization. I needed support. If there is one thing I have learned in all my musical endeavours, it's this: If you don't have the big guy believing in you, you have 20 times more difficulty carrying that dream to fruition.
13356 Insert Sean Moreman. He is a lawyer representing the Evanov Radio Group who found my Amber Affair website online and shared a common interest in the concept. It was a simple e‑mail explaining who he was and asking me to contact him.
13357 At first I thought it was spam and a not so funny joke by maybe one of the artists because, you know, let's face it, things like that just don't happen, at least to me anyway. But a few more e‑mails later and I paid attention. I'm not even kidding when I say his third e‑mail came just five minutes after I had verbalized "Ah, I need support". Somehow I just need that big guy to believe in me.
13358 Coincidence, fate, answer prayer, miracle, I will let you decide. But for me I called it absolute perfect timing. My phone conversation with Sean was very inspiring, to say the least. I was very impressed with Evanov's vision for Edmonton.
13359 As a female, I was very excited they were targeting the female community. As a musician, I was thrilled there was opportunity to prove that Edmonton was so much more than just Nickelback. And as a visionary, I was totally thrilled that they wanted to work with local artists.
13360 So Sean asked me questions about my long‑term vision for the event; I asked him questions back. He talked support and I listened intently to him. I probably sounded quite composed ‑‑ sorry, I didn't get that sentence out ‑‑ to which I am very proud, but inside my brain was a frantic whirlwind of ideas of the possibilities that could happen with this potential partnership.
13361 I mean, here's a radio station of all things, the one thing I had the most difficulty with, catching the same vision of what I wanted to do and what I really wanted to do now in the city.
13362 To me it was like partnership heaven.
13363 The partnership with Evanov will support three very important aspects of The Amber Affair.
13364 First, financial provisions will be used to support the talent for national and international stages right back to our local stage. I really do believe the bigger the name that headlines the event, the bigger the draw. With a bigger draw comes a greater opportunity to showcase our very own community and independent talent.
13365 I also believe that something phenomenal happens when you do combine both those levels of success. You create a learning and shared environment between artists and various styles and in all walks of life.
13366 In fact, I really believe it is something that is missing in today's survival of the fittest driven society, especially the cutthroat music business.
13367 So partial money would be spent on invitations made to those established well‑known artists, but will also be spent in paying the local talent.
13368 Second, the final contributions will go to production costs. These are not so glamorous but necessary intangibles needed to make an event of this calibre operate. Costs such as venue, stage design, lighting, sound engineering, technicians and artist displays. I want this event to continuously get bigger and better and I can only do that with these guys' help.
13369 Third, and by far the most important, are the opportunities that Evanov will provide for this community. I want Amber Affair musicians to get airplay and Evanov can achieve that.
13370 I want the event to reach a large target of females from various stages of life and whom I couldn't reach otherwise. Evanov can accomplish that.
13371 I want Amber Affair to get national recognition. Evanov can most certainly achieve that through their Toronto station which airs Top 40 music. And Toronto, to us aspiring Canadian musicians, is a major market to break through in one's musical career.
13372 I mostly want the partnership with Evanov to act as a representation of what can happen when the big guy gets behind independent creative pursuits.
13373 In the end, I just want to say thank you. It is pretty cool when you get to come to these sorts of things and get to share your passion and your vision and your heart. So as one of those starving musicians, I guess they call us, it is a huge honour to be here.
13374 So I just wanted to say thanks in closing.
13375 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Keating.
13376 Commissioner Cugini will ask the questions.
13377 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you and good afternoon. Thanks for taking the time to come.
13378 How does someone who majors in classical arranging and composition and a minor in Jazz, Blues and Gospel end up with a Pop Rock band?
13379 MS KEATING: You sound like my dad.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
13380 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Oh, don't say that to me!
13381 MS KEATING: It's okay, I love him. He's a great man.
13382 You could call me eclectic, I guess. You study certain things and it kind of evolves you and just opens your mind to other forms of writing. And when I sat down to write, and three members of the band being guys, it just evolves.
13383 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Have you recorded?
13384 MS KEATING: Yes.
13385 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Has your music received any airplay at all?
13386 MS KEATING: It received a couple of spins, I guess you could say, but here is the problem I keep hearing from them, is that I'm too Rock to be Easy Listening, but I'm too girl to be ‑‑
13387 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Rock.
13388 MS KEATING: There you go, to be Rock.
13389 I fall ‑‑ and I have heard it mentioned today, too, when I was here a little bit this morning; hence my good morning thing in the beginning.
13390 You fall between the cracks. I think a lot of female artists, that really does happen for a lot of them, because you are undefinable and therefore they don't know how to classify you.
13391 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: For how many years have you been putting on The Amber Affair?
13392 MS KEATING: This coming up will be our second year. It just started.
13393 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: It really is unfortunate that as we travel across the country we learn about great events and it is just unfortunate that they don't occur at the time that we are in the city in which they are born.
13394 Has any other radio station in Edmonton sponsored you or shown any kind of support for The Amber Affair?
13395 MS KEATING: I have great respect for all radio stations that are here obviously. I definitely don't want to dismiss any of them, but it has been by far the absolute most difficult area for my entire musical journey, not just for The Amber Affair.
13396 It wasn't even an option. It was just an astounding we are not interested, which I found quite amazing because I think I can sell something. So it was quite shocking that I couldn't convey that vision and that ‑‑ you know, that for such a festival city the doors could be shut so quickly, I guess.
13397 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Who are the sponsors for The Amber Affair currently?
13398 MS KEATING: They are all either store ‑‑ female owners are the ones that predominantly kind of jumped on board fairly quickly. There are men that have sponsored it as well. But from design, like T‑shirt design, local placement stores, to bath and body work type stores, to independent clothing stores, that sort of thing, are the ones that really rallied behind the whole artistic concept.
13399 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: One of the additional things that Evanov pointed out to us when they appeared before us is that two women will be shareholders of the Edmonton radio station if we license them.
13400 Just from your perspective, is it important that women are given the opportunity to own radio stations and what difference do you think that will make?
13401 MS KEATING: I get asked that one question all the time being in a male dominated industry. Personally, I think it is super cool. I think it is a huge plus when I see any woman on a playing field in that demographic.
13402 That's not to say that I necessarily want to hear all women roar, so to speak, but I think it is a huge form of inspiration for any younger women coming up to see that more opportunities are being opened up, such as a woman being part of a radio station like that.
13403 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you very much for taking the time to come talk to us today.
13404 MS KEATING: Thanks for having me.
13405 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Those are my questions.
13406 MS KEATING: Okay.
13407 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. It was very helpful and we appreciate you taking the time.
13408 MS KEATING: Thank you.
13409 THE CHAIRPERSON: We will certainly consider your remarks.
13410 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
13411 I would now call CIRPA and the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Alberta to come forward to the presentation table to appear as a panel and present their interventions.
13412 For the record, we have been informed that Richard C. Fraser and J. Barry Petursson listed in the agenda will not be appearing at the hearing.
13413 THE SECRETARY: We will start with CIRPA. Please introduce yourself, after which you have ten minutes for your presentation.
13414 MR. JAHNS: Thank you.
13415 Good afternoon, Madam Chair and Members of the Commission. My name is Alvin Jahns. I am a Board Member of the Canadian Independent Record Production Association, and I am here today as the CIRPA representative to support the Harvard Broadcasting application and to speak to the Canadian Blast initiative included in their application.
13416 The Canadian music industry faces an extraordinary number of challenges. After nearly a decade of declining sales, due largely to unauthorized downloading, a new generation of consumers who were eight and nine year olds when all of this started are now entering our key demographic of 18 and 19 year olds.
13417 Needless to say, these consumers, unlike any other previous generation, have a different view of the value of music than we did when we were young, at least its cash value. For many of them, too many of them, music is free; it is just there to be taken.
13418 Now, as a result the structure of the music business in Canada is experiencing radical change. Recorded music has as never before become a component of a much larger value chain that is based on the artist and his or her relationship with their market and audience.
13419 Companies who once just made and sold records are more and more diversifying their companies to include other areas of expertise. Music publishing and management, touring, promotions, merchandising, all have become part and parcel of the music company's core competencies. They have to do this to survive.
13420 Now, this is all happening in an era where somewhat ironically Canadian Independent acts or acts who were nurtured in the Canadian indie culture are more popular than ever.
13421 Canadian acts are in demand around the world and many, such as Feist, are being recognized in the conventional manner with Juno Awards in Canada and Grammy nominations in the U.S. and other international awards.
13422 Capturing and monetizing this intense interest takes imagination, skill and investment, with the latter coming from both private and public sources. The CCD contribution to Canadian Blast proposed by Harvard Broadcasting addresses this need. Our job at CIRPA is to help create the appropriate environment in which Canadian Independent music companies can succeed. Whether that means representations to broadcast and telecommunications regulators or copyright boards or organizing showcase opportunities for bands in London or Hong Kong or Austin, Texas, CIRPA provides the expertise necessary to ensure that the interests of Canadian music companies in our membership are professionally promoted.
13423 Over the past year, we have appeared at hearings, written interventions, met with ministers of government, attended trade shows and promoted concerts and festivals. We have also spent a considerable amount of time finding the funding necessary from both public and private sources to make all of the events we attend and promote possible.
13424 This upcoming year will be a milestone for the organization. With less emphasis on copyright and regulatory affairs and more on trade development, CIRPA intends to take the lead role nationally, together with ADISQ, our French‑speaking counterpart, in pursuing export market opportunities.
13425 We have found that in order for companies to ‑‑ sorry, I had this organized here. Pardon me.
13426 MR. JAHNS: I printed off a new version and I have new glasses.
13427 In any event, last year, in a dedicated mission to Japan, CIRPA members met over 200 Japanese music industry professionals and completed over 90 deals. This level of success can be repeated when the same strategy which focuses attention on Canada is followed.
13428 As an example, we are confident that repeated trips to Japan will produce huge benefits. Therefore, we are returning this year to Tokyo and continuing on to Asia.
13429 Providing opportunities to access foreign markets is one of the keys to moving forward. The Canadian market is shrinking so domestic expansion is unlikely. A larger proportion of our Canadian industries' sales are offshore. Canada is a small, scattered and expensive touring market. By comparison, Britain is densely populated and relatively cheap. The cost‑benefit ratios are easily calculated.
13430 Now, does this mean that Canadians should give up on Canada? By no means.
13431 But unlike in previous years were record sales would comprise a substantial income, acts must more and more rely on live performances to both earn a living and to sell their products. With profitable operations they can produce more and their companies can reinvest in developing new talent.
13432 The Canadian Blast initiative is one of the most important tools CIRPA has developed to address the issue of developing export market opportunities for Canadian artists and labels. Begun in 2005 as a cooperatively funded venture between the Trade Routes Division of the Department of Canadian Heritage and CIRPA, the effort has continued to this day.
13433 In March of this year eight export ready Canadian acts performed for over 2500 delegates and 250 industry professionals from around the world in Austin's Bush Square at the South by Southwest Music Conference and Festival, all under the Canadian Blast.
13434 In addition, 120 Canadian bands showcase their talents in venues in and around Austin during the festival week. Included in the Canadian Blast showcase was Cadence Weapon, an Urban artist from here in Edmonton. Cadence Weapon also appeared in last year's Canadian Blast at CMJ in New York.
13435 This is priceless exposure on a world stage for a developing act.
13436 In June of this year, six Canadian bands and 12 companies will travel to London for our inaugural appearance at London Calling, the UK's premier conference for the British and Continental European music business. The Canadian Blast Showcase will take over the Borderline music club for one night of this two‑day conference, focusing exclusively on Canada.
13437 For our musicians to appear abroad, we must invest substantial amounts of money. Sending a four‑piece group to Britain involves the usual expenses, but in addition requires appearance fees, backline support like instruments, PA, lighting, et cetera, and publicity. Our program is stretched to the limit and we often turn down applicants or find participants who are worthy but can't afford to attend.
13438 Through the Canadian Blast Program, Harvard Broadcasting's CCD initiative will direct much‑needed funding to deserving artists who otherwise could not afford the trip. The results can be startling and substantial. From touring, to licensing, to distribution deals Canadian Blast artists have often begun their international careers based on their success in these events.
13439 Every event has produced a success story and some have produced many success stories, such as the trip to Japan.
13440 Revenues generated from these initiatives are cycled back to Canada where they are reinvested in developing more high quality content for both Canadian and worldwide markets. There is an important benefit here for Canadian radio. Successful companies and artists produce revenues that are reinvested in Canadian content for domestic radio and better content as mature acts continue to succeed. This will guarantee an ongoing supply of what Canadians want: an opportunity to hear their culture on radio.
13441 As previously mentioned, Canadian music companies cannot develop and sell their artists' work based solely on the Canadian marketplace. Canadian success in music has always been dependent on the development of foreign markets.
13442 In the new world, where artists are brands and touring is essential to a successful commercialization, the costs of success are increasing. Competition from other countries with highly developed export strategies is intense. Governments in Britain, France and even Iceland have invested heavily in music export initiatives.
13443 With our artists charting worldwide, Canada must respond with a well‑funded world‑class effort. The proposed contribution will help us do that.
13444 Finally, CIRPA's board has taken the position that in order for new artists to be heard in Canada, the CRTC must define and establish benchmarks for new music played on radio so that the benefits of our development efforts are felt in local markets in Canada.
13445 CIRPA has recently suggested that 50 per cent of the Cancon requirements be devoted to new acts and that increased Cancon levels would also be welcomed to accommodate new materials.
13446 Given a definition of new acts that defines them as new for three years beyond the first time they reach Top 40 status on the appropriate chart, we estimate that this could mean as much as a three or four‑fold increase in new radio play. We would point out that in support of new material, Harvard has committed itself to levels of play which are consistent with our board's view.
13447 We commend Harvard Broadcasting for realizing this opportunity and the funding challenge it presents, and we appreciate the support and their inclusion of these initiatives in their application for a radio licence in the Edmonton market.
13448 Thank you.
13449 THE SECRETARY: We will now proceed with the Department of Family Medicine, University of Alberta.
13450 Please introduce yourself and you then have ten minutes for your presentation.
13451 DR. DOBBS: Thank you.
13452 Good afternoon, Madam Chair, fellow Members of the Commission and CRTC staff.
13453 My name is Dr. Bonnie Dobbs and I am pleased to have the opportunity to be here today in support of Harvard Broadcasting's application for JENN‑FM, a radio station that is decidedly different but very much needed in our capital region.
13454 I believe JENN‑FM is truly reflective of our capital city and speaks to people like me. I am pleased to lend my support and voice to the JENN‑FM application because in my professional and personal views, it is a solid proposal that has been developed for this community and one that I believe will be supported by the community members.
13455 Commissioners, I feel compelled to appear before you today because I believe Harvard Broadcasting and JENN‑FM are the right fit for the city and particularly for women who reside here. Women are an integral part of Edmonton's past and future. There is evidence that women think differently, act differently and aspire to different goals than our male cohorts. It also is well documented that today's woman is very different in aspirations, roles and choices than her mother and grandmother.
13456 Although I am a proud grandmother, I do not want to be prescribed music selections or talk radio that stereotypes or transports me to degradation or the past. I believe JENN‑FM offers something unique, a choice on radio that celebrates an increasingly numerous and important part of our community: the more mature woman.
13457 Let me begin by telling you a bit about myself.
13458 I am currently the Director of Research for the Division of Care of the Elderly at the University of Alberta. I also am an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychology at the U of A, an institution celebrating its 100th anniversary where many firsts have been born.
13459 I have dedicated most of my research to the effects of medical conditions on driving competence, procedures that improve the identification of medically at risk drivers and the consequences of driving cessation for medically‑impaired drivers and their families.
13460 I am an author and I have served as an expert on numerous national and international committees and working groups on the medically at risk driver and issues related to aging.
13461 I, along with my colleagues, are currently in the process of establishing a Medically at Risk Driver Center at the University of Alberta, an Edmonton first, an Alberta first, a Canada first and a first nationally and internationally. The Medically at Risk Driver Center, like JENN‑FM, will be integral ‑‑ or the partnerships that we develop with the Medically at Risk Driver Center and with the community will be integral to its success, like the partner, community partners for the JENN‑FM application.
13462 I am a long‑time resident of Edmonton and a proud resident of our province's capital city. Edmonton is known as a government town, but it also is a city rich in cultural and economic diversity. This is a city where sports are an integral piece of Edmonton's past and future and, as an avid Edmonton Oiler fan I dare say that our future will hopefully be better than the recent past.
13463 In addition to our NHL team, Edmonton is known for the strength of its spirit, a spirit that is so integral to its continued growth. Ours is a city that is growing in size, attracting both human and capital investment. We are no longer comparing ourselves to our neighbour to the south, but we are recognizing the differences between us and capitalizing on the strengths that our capital region brings to the economic and social fabric in Alberta.
13464 Edmonton is continually looking for ways to be a city of champions. JENN‑FM fits perfectly as a champion for Edmonton's radio listeners.
13465 Edmonton is a city to be proud of. It is a city that rallies around causes like the Sorrentino's Compassion House for women with breast cancer, the Mazankowski Heart Institute, the Stollery Children's Hospital and the United Way.
13466 Notably, the women in our community have played and will continue to play a key role in these initiatives. This is a group that JENN‑FM speaks to, women who are leaders and who are working to build a community here that is inclusive, respectful and culturally rich.
13467 I would like to turn now and talk briefly about JENN‑FM's format.
13468 I am not a music expert so the opinions I share on this portion of Harvard's proposal are merely those of a music fan.
13469 On paper it appears as if the people of Edmonton have a variety in radio to choose from and there is no shortage of contemporary music and news or talk. One could reasonably assume by looking at a summary chart that we want for nothing. But I sit before you as a woman and a long time resident of this market to tell you that this is not the case.
13470 First, there may be a lot of services but there is not a lot of choice in music. It is not unusual to switch between stations only to hear the same song playing. Neither is it unusual to hear the same song on the same station multiple times.
13471 Through a AAA format JENN‑FM will expand musical choices by playing artists not currently being heard, play songs from artists that have never made any charts, and play styles of music that largely can only be heard through CD collections or clubs.
13472 It is difficult to find a station playing a balance between old and new music. Currently the choice is between classic hits or current music or the alternative, frequently changing channels.
13473 But JENN changes all that. They are promising to provide a balance, new music, more music, more Canadian artists, more new artists and songs from CD and, yes, even albums that were hits when we were all a lot younger. This is a variety and this most closely mirrors the personal listening experience that many of us desire.
13474 Although music is important to me, the area of JENN‑FM's programming that I want to spend the most time discussing is the spoken word. Thus, the remainder of my time will be spent on emphasizing the power of radio as a communication tool and a means to connect to community.
13475 JENN's spoken word format will provide an integral connection between the people and events within our community. The opportunity to access information on lifestyle issues such as health, developments and preventative and diagnostic medical interventions and treatment, and issues related to aging are not currently readily available. JENN‑FM will address that deficiency.
13476 A topic that I am particularly passionate about is the medically at risk driver. There are a number of conditions that affect a person's ability to drive safely, including chronic conditions such as diabetes or dementia. The effects of surgery, such as coronary artery bypass graft surgery, and treatments such as chemotherapy also can reduce the ability to drive safely.
13477 The research that I, along with colleagues at the University of Alberta, and the translation of that research into practice is, and will continue to play a key role in addressing a preventable public health issue, the medically at risk driver.
13478 Currently there is limited opportunity to disseminate information on this issue, information that could assist in reducing the individual, the social and the economic costs associated with the medically impaired drivers. The growing population, the aging of the baby boomers means that the dissemination of information and discussions around the medically at risk driver will become increasingly important. That information needs to target individuals. It needs to target the caregivers, family members and the health care professional.
13479 Notably, JENN‑FM will provide a forum for the appropriate audience with an appropriate format. As a researcher, a connection to the community via radio like JENN proposes to be is invaluable.
13480 I also want to talk briefly about the value the spoken word format will have for me as a consumer. The selection topics proposed on JENN is of considerable service to me not only as a local consumer, but also as a general knowledge seeker. The time I spend with radio often is the time that I commute between work and home. I welcome the opportunity to have access to a radio station that provides a more sophisticated choice of topics and one with less inane banter or discussions that are relevant to a select few.
13481 JENN's format offers to me, and many of my colleagues, an opportunity to learn from and to contribute to our community in a very direct, personal manner.
13482 In conclusion, I would like to leave you with the following thoughts.
13483 Edmonton and its surrounding communities are full of vibrant women who are not represented on our airwaves. JENN‑FM will fill that void.
13484 Edmonton is a community which has an aging population that is actively involved in the community but does not have a single source of music to meet that need. JENN‑FM will fill those needs.
13485 And, finally, JENN's spoken word comment will fill an important gap through the dissemination of information that can serve to educate and enrich the lives of women. JENN‑FM is a station that I believe recognizes and will fill the diverse roles and needs of women like me.
13486 I'm excited by this proposal and I know many others like me are, as well. I ask the Members of this Commission to consider the application for JENN‑FM as a good fit for the community, a necessity for a growing demographic and the right place for a first for radio in Canada.
13487 I appreciate the opportunity to present to you today.
13488 Thank you.
13489 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Dr. Dobbs and Mr. Jahns.
13490 I don't have any questions actually for Dr. Dobbs. I had read your submission and your comments today are very thorough, and we can certainly see why and what areas in particular you are supporting in your application. We appreciate that.
13491 DR. DOBBS: Thank you.
13492 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Jahns, what I'm interested in is the artist who qualify for travelling abroad and are part of that program. Have they already achieved some success in Canada? Is that sort of a prerequisite?
13493 MR. JAHNS: Most often, yes. You know, the artists put in an application and are assessed by committee; I think it is a committee. I have to admit that I am not certain but I could get that information for you.
13494 But there is an assessment and there are a number of applications and it is assessed both on the artistic merit and their ability to make the trip. That's one of the reasons that Canadian Blast and the support for the travel is so necessary, because often the artistic ability is there but the financial support isn't there.
13495 THE CHAIRPERSON: But is the focus on new and emerging then?
13496 MR. JAHNS: Yes.
13497 THE CHAIRPERSON: It is?
13498 MR. JAHNS: Entirely, yes.
13499 THE CHAIRPERSON: What other sources of funding?
13500 The members, they pay a fee to join, to belong?
13501 MR. JAHNS: To belong to CIRPA?
13502 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.