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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.
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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:
Sussex Ballroom Salle Sussex
Future Inns Cambridge Future Inns Cambridge
700 Hespeler Road 700, chemin Hespeler
Cambridge, Ontario Cambridge (Ontario)
October 23, 2008 Le 23 octobre 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:
Michel Arpin Chairperson / Président
Rita Cugini Commissioner / Conseillère
Elizabeth Duncan Commissioner / Conseillère
Peter Menzies Commissioner / Conseiller
Stephen Simpson Commissioner / Conseiller
ALSO PRESENT / AUSSI PRÉSENTS:
Cindy Ventura Secretary / Sécretaire
Joe Aguiar Hearing Manager /
Gérant de l'audience
Anthony McIntyre Legal Counsel
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Sussex Ballroom Salle Sussex
Future Inns Cambridge Future Inns Cambridge
700 Hespeler Road 700, chemin Hespeler
Cambridge, Ontario Cambridge (Ontario)
October 23, 2008 Le 23 octobre 2008
- iv -
TABLE DES MATIÈRES / TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE / PARA
INTERVENTION BY / INTERVENTION PAR:
Flaming Cheese Productions Inc. 916 / 5393
Grand River Blues Society 924 / 5423
Cheryl Lescom 929 / 5444
Erin Community Radio 943 / 5518
Guelph Arts Council 953 / 5570
International Plowing Match 2008 956 / 5585
Hanover and District Hospital Foundation 961 / 5613
REPLY BY / RÉPLIQUE PAR:
Guelph Broadcasting Corporation 969 / 5660
591989 B.C. Ltd. 972 / 5678
Blackburn Radio Inc. 979 / 5723
Frank Torres (OBCI) 984 / 5755
Cambridge, Ontario / Cambridge (Ontario)
‑‑‑ Upon resuming on Thursday, October 23, 2008 at
0900 / L'audience reprend le jeudi 23 octobre 2008
5387 THE CHAIRPERSON: Order, please.
5388 Madam Secretary...?
5389 ASSISTANT SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
5390 We will now proceed to Phase III in which intervenors appear in the order set out in the agenda to present their interventions.
5391 We will now call flamingcheese Productions, Grand River Blues Society and Cheryl Lescom to appear as a panel and present their intervention.
5392 We will start with flamingcheese Productions Ltd. Please introduce yourself to the panel for the record and then you will have 10 minutes to make your presentation.
5393 MR. GRAHAM: Good morning.
5394 My name is Dan Graham from flamingcheese Records. I have been a promoter who organizes blues festivals, concerts, shows and also runs a small record label here based in Kitchener, Ontario called flamingcheese Records.
5395 Our Canadian‑based label has such acts as Cheryl Lescom, Sean Kellerman, Loco Zydeco, The Tucson Choir Boys, as well as the Mighty Revelators from Los Angeles and a group from Budapest, Hungary called Someday Baby.
5396 We are currently working on our eighth CD for the label and it's getting harder and harder to get sales in Canadian CDs. A big reason for that is the lack of radio airplay.
5397 Our CDs are actually selling better in the United States than they are in Canada due to the radio airplay that we get there.
5398 We do have distribution in Canada and in the United States and our product is available online through our website and through CD Baby, which is a worldwide sales organization. We also are available on 44 different paid download sites where we can sell our music.
5399 Our reason for being here today to ask you to grant this licence for DAWG‑FM is in Canadian blues ‑‑ again, right now we have no airplay in this country other than a few college radio stations that play blues and some community stations that have blues shows.
5400 The problem with this is, these shows are on ‑‑ for instance at the University of Waterloo there is a great radio show on Monday nights between 9:00 and 10:30 on a Monday. Again, the problem with that is, if you are not listening during that hour and a half you are not hearing blues.
5401 Our artists work very hard and are trying to make a full‑time living from being a musician and it's very difficult without CD sales and without live performances obviously to make a living.
5402 A radio station such as DAWG‑FM would give our artists more exposure which would help them sell more product, get more visibility, get more bookings and then, of course, bring people out to the bookings that they do get. And of course when they bring bigger crowds to the venues that they play, this will then increase that venues' revenue and they will continue to book blues acts and book blues acts more often.
5403 Really important for our acts is to pay more money so again these full‑time musicians can make a living so they don't have to have day jobs, which really cuts down on when you are trying to organize a tour in a country like Canada, you know, when we do have requests from somebody in Halifax to come out and do a blues festival there and then we get ‑‑ we have had requests from festivals out in Vancouver and on the Island and unfortunately when you have people in the groups that aren't full‑time musicians it's hard to schedule a tour like that. So that's why it is really, really critical.
5404 Everything starts with radio play. If you think of how you know all the favourite songs that you know and listen to, where you hear those songs? On the radio, while you are driving.
5405 The satellite radio has been great to the extent that there are blue stations and I believe they are very popular. Even CBC has launched a ‑‑ you know, in Galaxie they have a blues station which is popular, but again that's not accessible to everybody. That's a paid service, unlike a radio where you can just turn on the dial and get that.
5406 The reason why I think a blues format is extremely important is for six years I ran a blues festival based in Kitchener, Ontario called Blues Brews and BBQs. And over that six years we grew this festival from 1,500 people the first year to 45,000 people in the sixth year that I ran that festival. Last year was the eighth year and they had over 50,000 people at this festival, showing that there is a strong base in this area for people that like blues.
5407 During that time I started a program called Blues in the School and, as you know, our school systems, now they teach everything in school in the music program, they teach about hip‑hop, heavy metal, punk, jazz, classical music, they teach every form of music in school except blues. The reason for that, if you remember, is back in the '40s and '50s when blues was thought to be the devil's music blues was kind of left out of school curriculums. Jazz was taught, classical of course.
5408 Then, because blues wasn't a music at the forefront at the time, again being the devil's music, it's kind of slid under the radar and escaped the education programs.
5409 The problem with leaving blues out of that is blues is the base of all the music ‑‑ all the popular music that our culture listens to now. Rock 'n roll came out of blues, the Rolling Stones and the Beatles. You know, you can listen to any interview with any of those types of artists, Eric Clapton, the Yardbirds, everything came from they started listening to Americana music, the blues.
5410 R&B and hip‑hop, again the roots of that music is blues.
5411 Even the metal music, groups like Black Sabbath that are popular in that audience, they started out playing blues.
5412 And you will notice that a lot of these bands are now coming back and doing blues records. In the last couple of years some of the top 10 albums on Billboard have been blues‑based records, Eric Clapton, Aerosmith has come back and done blues records. Robert Plant just did one with Alison Krauss. So there is that base for blues that is the foundation of the popular music that we all listen to.
5413 Through the Blues in the Schools program that we ran we were really surprised and encouraged by the number of young people that were not only interested in blues music but were interested in playing blues music. We have great youth talent.
5414 This is the other great thing about blues as a genre, it's not age‑specific, it's not gender specific and it's not income specific as to who likes the music. Our blues Festival had everybody from the dockworkers and, you know, guys working in the shipping departments and factory workers and lawyers and doctors and city workers and politicians. All kinds of people came to this blues festival at all income levels came to this blues Festival.
5415 Young kids are into it. Women are into it. Men are into it. It's a totally inclusive music. And again, it's really the base of everything that our modern music is based on.
5416 The last thing I would like to say is, again right now we have no outlet on radio for blues, and I'm speaking primarily for Canadian blues. Again, it is a sad situation when we get more radio play and are charted in more radio stations in the U.S. If you care to e‑mail me I have all the charts that we appear on and I will tell you, we get a lot of play in the blues radio stations and that really does ‑‑ that really does result in us selling more CDs and getting more bookings in those areas.
5417 So in closing I would just like to please ask you to grant these licences for these blues stations. Again, it's the foundation of what all the ‑‑ the current popular music is based on and it is a very popular form of music in blues festivals.
5418 I know you have heard from many blues societies and these people are loyal and they do want to support blues and especially Canadian blues. You know, I love the Canadian content, I am a big fan of that. I am a member of CARAS, Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, have been involved in the Junos, was a juror in the blues category for a number of years until I started my own record company and made myself ineligible to vote on a category I was applying in. I have also been a songwriter and a member of SOCAN as a writer and as a publisher. I also have a publishing company, flamingcheese Music and we publish primarily again music written by blues that we try to sell and to get into films and make money for the artist that way.
5419 So again, it would be great to have a local blues radio station where people can hear the CDs that we put out. Without crying a river, you know that the music business is tough and it's hard to make money in CDs. I actually make a living and working in event management and working as an emcee to pay the bills because, as I have told you now, we are working on our eighth CD. The seven CDs that we currently have out, we haven't made money on one of them.
5420 That would lead you to probably ask well, why are you doing an eighth. Because I believe in this music and I think there really is a future for Canadian blues. People like myself and other small Canadian record companies will be encouraged by your forward thinking to grant this licence and would appreciate it and our artists would appreciate it. We are not big conglomerates, we are small Canadian companies and it would be great to have an outlet for our music.
5421 ASSISTANT SECRETARY: Thank you.
5422 Grand River Blues Society, please introduce yourself for the record and you will have 10 minutes for your presentation.
5423 MR. CUOMO: Hi. Good morning.
5424 My name is Dennis Cuomo and I am a Director with the Grand River Blues Society and I am here this morning to speak in support of the application for a blues format radio station DAWG‑FM in Guelph.
5425 I will just introduce a little bit the background behind the Grand River Blues Society. We are a nonprofit organization and we have a mandate to support local blues. We support local musicians in local venues and we try and promote awareness and interest in blues music.
5426 The Society has been around for approximately six years. We are a volunteer board of just interested blues fans. We currently have a paid membership of over 200 people from the Grand River watershed area. That basically extends from Dundalk, sort of the headwaters of the Grand River, all the way down to Dunnville. Those include areas like Fergus, Elora, Guelph, Cambridge, Brantford, Paris, those sorts of centres.
5427 We mainly operate, as I say, as a volunteer organization. Our 200 members pay a small fee and we try and squeeze as much as we can out of those dollars to help promote various events to showcase blues musicians and to try and get our members and other people out to local venues to hear live music and to purchase and support ‑‑ purchase CDs and promote and support local musicians.
5428 Some of the activities that we have been involved in, just to give you an idea of the blues scene here in the area, is we have undertaken a number of blues tribute shows and we have had shows in tribute of Mississippi John Hurt, Muddy Waters, Ray Charles, Son House.
5429 We put together a compilation CD that we put out two years ago which was a collection of original blues music produced and written by local musicians. The CD was put out, we circulated it out to North American radio stations to try and help promote our local artists here in the Grand River area, received a rather good review in Blues Review magazine, which is one of the foremost industry publications.
5430 You heard Dan Graham talk about the Blues, Brews and BBQs which is now renamed Kitchener Blues Festival. We have collaborated with that festival over a number of years to help support something called the Youth Legacy Competition. As a Blues Society we have helped try to run that for the last number of years.
5431 With that competition we have young artists, young bands under 21 that compete for an opportunity to play at the Kitchener Blues Festival, get an opportunity to put an original song on that CD compilation that they put out each year.
5432 That just goes to show you, each year we have had at least six to eight bands enter into that competition and it's usually quite highly contested in terms of the quality and professionalism in the young artists.
5433 We have also partnered with the Kitchener Blues Festival to help them run the Blues in the Schools program. Last year we reached out to 3,200 students in Kitchener‑Waterloo‑Paris‑Hawkesville areas and in November another thousand students will get the benefit of a blues program in their schools.
5434 This past summer we had some assistance from the Waterloo Region Arts Council and we ran our first ever Grand River Blues Camp. This was a one‑week camp for students and kids from 12 to 18 years old. We brought 16 of them together with four local blues musicians and they practised and worked for a week to put together a 10‑song set and they performed at the Kitchener Blues Festival as part of their sort of culminating performance.
5435 The response that we got to that particular blues camp from both the parents from the blues festival and just musicians in general has been quite substantial.
5436 So I guess from that point of view I guess what I'm trying to demonstrate is that we haven't undertaken these sort of activities in a vacuum, there is a very hot and thriving blues scene in the Grand River area and it's very much alive and we see it as something that a radio station can really reflect, that interest in this whole genre.
5437 We see a need to help expose those local musicians to a wider audience as opposed to, as Dan mentioned, the smaller local weak radio stations which only reach a small group of people for one or two hours a day. We would see that many of the venues that offer live music could be sort of much better promoted if people could during the day on their way to work, at work, at home, in their cars be able to listen to blues music and have that opportunity to hear what local musicians are putting out, what Canadian artists are putting out, and then hopefully translate that into getting to the venues that support it.
5438 There are a couple of examples of those kinds of stations around and one that I often listen to which is available on the internet, it's WWOZ in New Orleans. It's an interesting station which features local North American and world music. It focuses on blues, jazz, gospel, all of those things that blues has really helped to form.
5439 This proposal by DAWG‑FM to broadcast out of Guelph I could see serving that same purpose in the whole Grand River watershed area and it would provide that opportunity for people to hear the local artists, to hear interviews with them, to listen to documentaries about the blues and really help to support that mandate that the Grand River Blues Society has.
5440 So I guess to wrap up I would just like to again encourage you to give very serious consideration to this application for a licence for a blues format radio station in Guelph.
5441 Thank you.
5442 ASSISTANT SECRETARY: Thank you.
5443 Ms Lescom, please introduce yourself and you have 10 minutes.
5444 MS LESCOM: My name is Cheryl Lescom and I am a musician.
5445 I have been a full‑time singer since 1974 and I would like to be able to make a living in Canada without always having to tour the U.S. Over the last 30 years I have recorded four CDs and I have worked with Ronnie Hawkins, Long John Beaudry, Dutch Mason, Jeff Healey, Downchild Blues Band, Jack De Keyzer and many more. I have headlined blues festivals, played concert halls, clubs, corporate shows and coffeehouses.
5446 I am working on my fifth CD with my acoustic trio the Tucson Choir Boys. I am now working as a trio because I was not able to support my five to 10‑piece touring band for my last CD High Heeled Blues as it was too expensive for small clubs and the cost of travelling on the festival circuit is not feasible without tour support.
5447 It is getting harder and harder to sell Canadian blues music because we don't get radio play outside of the odd blues show on the college campus.
5448 DAWG‑FM in Guelph would give me a chance to have my music heard and then purchased by Ontarians. The radio station would help me remain in Canada and be able to make a living.
5449 I wish to address the importance of having a radio station that will play Canadian blues artists so more people will hear my music and therefore will be able to sell more CDs and get more work in Ontario where I live and love to stay.
5450 For the past three years I have been a member of a very successful group called the Motor City Women who are based out of Detroit. I am able to make good money as a member of the Motor City Women, but I do not wish to relocate in the U.S. A blues FM station in Guelph like DAWG‑FM would give artists like me a chance to have our music heard, which would help us sell more CDs, get more bookings and popularize blues to make the blues venues that hire me more successful so that they can continue to book live blues, more music and do a wider audience.
5451 The blues is at the roots of all of our popular music and it's almost an education that needs to be had as far as my take on this. The blues artists trying to get radio play in the regular format of radio stations is impossible. They have a very strict criteria and I'm not quite sure what it is, but I have been trying for over 35 years and it's not working. So it would be very, very nice to have something that was specific to my genre of music and to the art that is the underlying format of all music.
5452 The blues societies. I have travelled across Canada and Ontario a lot doing a lot of festivals and there are many blues societies. They popped up all over the place in the last five years and there is more support with blues than I have ever seen in my 35 years of being in this business.
5453 Also, these people are loyal, loyal people. They buy your records, they come to see you perform, they are part of your internet experience. They are loyal and I think that it would be a very positive step for us to broaden our horizons a little bit and the blues is definitely part of that.
5454 I would love to see this happen for DAWG‑FM.
5455 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Lescom.
5456 MS LESCOM: Thank you.
5457 THE CHAIRPERSON: I will ask Commissioner Duncan to ask the first questions.
5458 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Good morning and thank you for coming.
5459 I certainly am impressed with the enthusiasm. I guess I'm struck by the fact that you are not able to get airplay so I would be interested to know what your own personal experiences are in trying to approach the local radio stations.
5460 I'm also interested to know, Mr. Cuomo, you referred to having a compilation CD that received airplay locally, nationally and internationally and I'm interested to know what the results were from those.
5461 But at the basis of all my thinking is what's the business case. In your experience, do you believe that the advertisers ‑‑ because that's what's going to make the business profitable ‑‑ do you believe the advertisers in the Guelph market are there to support the station?
5462 Everybody? Anybody? Whichever order you want to go in is good.
5464 MR. GRAHAM: Well, that's ‑‑ you're right, that's the root of it and that's absolutely a great question.
5465 For one, I can tell you that I would advertise. So if you are asking me are there advertisers out there ‑‑
5466 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Are there sufficient advertisers?
5467 MR. GRAHAM: Well, let me get there.
5468 First of all I want to let you know that yes, that's something that I would support. So as you can imagine, if I'm willing to advertise on that, then it's something that I believe is going to be sustainable.
5469 Again, without making money on our first seven CDs why would I invest more money, because I believe in this and I know this is going to happen and this is a great avenue for it to happen.
5470 In regards to other advertisers, here is what I can tell you from my experience with the blues festival that Dennis and I both mentioned. It's now called the Kitchener Blues Festival.
5471 When I was involved with founding that festival we called it Blues, Brews and BBQs and here is how it happened. We were sitting around in a blues bar in Kitchener ‑‑ which by the way no longer exists because without the radio play ‑‑ and I hate to keep coming back to this but it's a fact ‑‑ without people hearing the music who is going to pay even a $5.00 cover charge to come into a blues bar and see a blues band that you don't know about when you can go into a bar and hear a disc jockey play for free. And of course they are not playing blues in those bars. You will pay $5.00 if you know who ‑‑ if you have heard Cheryl's CDs, you will pay five dollars to come and see her play. But if you haven't heard her what's going to take you to that bar? So that bar no longer exists.
5472 But we were sitting around drinking a beverage and enjoying some fine Canadian chicken wings and we thought jeez, you know, wouldn't it be great to have a little outside blues Festival. So we talked to the people at the City of Kitchener, put a little blues festival on on their square, we had about 12 or 1,500 people, it was a one‑day little event, and we had a couple of sponsors get involved and there was interest for the next year.
5473 You know, that first year we did that whole festival for $11,000 and I will tell you, I raised every penny of that $11,000 and that was a tough sell and that was in the year 2001. That was a tough sell. My last year in the festival, which was 2006, our budget for that festival was $385,000.
5474 This is a free festival by the way, nobody pays an admission. So as you can imagine, where did we get that money? From sponsorship. We did get some grants from Heritage Canada and from Trillium, but the majority of that was sponsors.
5475 And I can tell you, companies like the Yellow Pages, Bell, Rogers, Pillars, Schneiders, Molsons, Domino's Pizza, and many local businesses. We had a local law firm step up and give us $10,000. This is a local law firm who helped with this. So we were able to raise in our small community of Kitchener, Ontario for a three day ‑‑ this is for three days of exposure, we got corporations to invest $385,000 and that was in 2006. This is 2008, the festival is still going and is still continuing to grow.
5476 Again, we started that with an 11,000 budget that we had to fight like hell for, but now that blues festival is so successful people don't care who the acts are. People don't say oh, who's playing. They go oh, Kitchener Blues Festival, it's on my calendar, I'm going. They enjoy it. So again, this is how blues is spreading.
5477 You know what it's like for corporations these days to spend money in sponsorship. I mean advertising is one thing, explaining to a company an advertising program, you know, spend $10,000 get this, that's one thing. Try to sell a sponsorship which is less than tangible. At least when you are selling advertising you are getting a defined something and you are seeing hits per dollar. When you are selling sponsorship, that's a really, really tough sell.
5478 And I believe that on a part‑time basis through the year if we could raise that kind of a budget for a blues festival in Kitchener an FM station doing blues would have no problem.
5479 And again, let's look at the demographics of the blues, it's exactly where radio wants to be. You know, you have all the radio playing, the alternative music and the hip‑hop and stuff like that, that's great for advertising to a younger crowd, but for furniture store ‑‑ I was a disc jockey on CHIME back when it was an AM station hundreds of years ago when we actually played records and I remember back in those days when our advertisers were waterbed stores and furniture stores and car dealerships and stuff like that. Well, those people still have an advertising budget, they want to spend money on advertising, but where do they spend it? They are not going to try to sell furniture to a station playing, you know, alternative music or hip‑hop or something, because those kids are worried about trying to pay for university not trying to buy a car or furnish a house.
5480 You know, this blues gives you the perfect demographic for what advertisers are looking for. And again, all you need to do ‑‑ the biggest festival in Canada, the Ottawa Blues Festival. Look at their corporate sponsorship. You know, there are corporations out there and ‑‑ Peter I see the smile and I know I'm getting a bit passionate here, but I'm telling you as sure as I'm sitting here there are people that will advertise on this and it's really down to you folks to make that decision to give those people the opportunity to spend their money.
5481 MS LESCOM: There has been no options. There has been no options before. You listen to the radio stations out there, I mean there is nothing for the demographic that we are talking about.
5482 But even my kids, I have a 16 and an 18‑year‑old, and their kids are listening to roots music and blues its roots music. They have to download stuff off the computer and they have to listen to radio stations that are coming out of the States. There is nothing. There is nothing in Canada, there is nothing in this area. And I really do think for the demographic that we are looking at, which is, you know, our baby boom sort of demographic and their children, there are all sorts of advertisers that have never had the opportunity to advertise their products on something that is a more tangible station like that. I mean you have hip‑hop stations, you have jazz lite, you have country, you have pop, you have ‑‑ there is no competition here and there really should be.
5483 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Thank you.
5484 Mr. Cuomo did you want to add?
5485 I have some more questions, but I will wait.
5486 MR. CUOMO: Yes. You had asked about our CD.
5487 That compilation CD that we put out, we sold about 600 copies of that CD. We did send it out to radio stations throughout North America and Europe. We are not quite sure how much radio play it got. We do know it got a good review on Blues Review magazine, it was considered to be a really good showcase of new blues music.
5488 Certainly I would just echo what the others have said, I think that the demographic of people that we have that are members of The Blues Society are those people that a lot of sponsors are going to be wanting to try and reach.
5489 You know, it's not just the ability to be able to listen to the music on the station, but I think it's promoting the whole genre and making sure that it's exposed so that those sponsors that do put their dollars out for the Blues Festival once a year will be there I would think all year trying to reach those same people and I can't see that advertising would be an issue at all.
5490 MR. GRAHAM: Just to add to what Dennis said about the CD, your question about radio play, I can tell you, because again I get all the radio charts, and that CD did get radio play in Canada, again on those college stations.
5491 I know they sent it to the local radio stations here in Kitchener. I can also tell you that none of those radio stations played it. None of the Toronto radio stations played it.
5492 But I can tell you that a local Kitchener artist Douglas Watson was in the ‑‑ a song from that Grand River Blues CD was in the top 10 of one of the blues stations down in Texas for about three weeks. That was off of the Grand River Blues CD.
5493 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Well, all your enthusiasm is undeniable, I see all the microphones are lit up.
5494 I just wonder, it's interesting because you mentioned that Rogers sponsored the Kitchener event.
5495 MR. GRAHAM: Yes.
5496 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: So I'm really wondering, because the radio stations are free to change their format unless they have a specialty licence, why do you think they don't play your music?
5497 MS LESCOM: They are not independently owned, they are owned by, you know, conglomerates and they are told what to play, and they are told what to play usually by record companies and by people that support them. It's not a free will sort of thing. You can't freely go ahead and change your format.
5498 I'm not exactly sure how radio stations work, but I know one thing that I have been trying to get radio play for years and years and because I don't have managing, because I don't have a record deal and because I don't have the string of criteria that has to be ‑‑ that has to go along with it, it's just impossible for an independent artist to get radio play. Nobody looks at you seriously.
5499 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Do you get in the door? Like do you ‑‑
5500 MS LESCOM: No, no.
5501 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Do you try that?
5502 MS LESCOM: No. I have tried everything. I have sent CDs, I have gone personally, I know some people in the radio business, I do a lot of volunteer work with people in the radio business and they have said, you know, our hands are tied. We have a playlist and we are told by head office what to play and that's the end of that story.
5503 And that's basically what most radio stations are across Canada, I would say 90 per cent of them, and the rest of them are, you know, little independent stations just trying to struggle along. Some of them are just, you know, way off base.
5504 But this is something that is media friendly I think, the blues, it's not something that's just, you know, way out there, it's something that everybody can relate to.
5505 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Well, thank you all.
5506 MR. GRAHAM: Just to answer your question on the programming...?
5507 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Okay.
5508 MR. GRAHAM: I'm sure you know the way the big stations ‑‑ I mean even 25 years ago when I worked at CHIME I could play my own records now and again and nowadays I know people that work at Q107 in Toronto and those playlists, as you all know, all the playlists for probably 90 per cent of the Canadian commercial radio stations come out of a company in Atlanta where the programming is put on a disk and sent out, including the Cancon, you know.
5509 That's why when you listen to stations of the same genre you hear the same songs over and over. It's because those playlists are generated. And you ask why don't they get into something like blues? They would have to invest the money in some kind of R&D to get that up and running and they kind of on the market now so why would they change. Let somebody new like DAWG‑FM get a chance to show what this can do.
5510 COMMISSIONER DUNCAN: Thank you very much. I think your message got across loud and clear.
5511 I don't know if my fellow Commissioners ‑‑ Mr. Chairman, those are my questions.
5512 Thank you.
5513 THE CHAIRPERSON: Ms Lescom, Mr. Cuomo and Mr. Graham, thank you very much for your presentation this morning.
5514 We will move to the next intervenor.
5515 ASSISTANT SECRETARY: Thank you.
5516 I will now call Erin Community Radio to come to the presentation table, please.
5517 ASSISTANT SECRETARY: When you are ready, sir, please introduce yourself for the record and you have 10 minutes.
5518 MR. MOWAT: Thank you very much.
5519 Good morning, Mr. Vice Chair and Members of the Commission and Commission staff. Thank you for allowing me to speak to you today.
5520 My name is Jay Mowat. I am a retired broadcast journalist with over 30 years of experience in television and radio. I am also one of the founding directors of Erin Community Radio. I have been asked to speak to you today on its behalf to address the applications before you for the use of the frequency of 101.5 FM.
5521 Before I begin I would like to note that as a result of discussions with the three Guelph commercial applicants, Erin Radio is no longer intervening against Guelph Broadcasting Corporation, Blackburn Radio and Frank Torres and wishes instead to make neutral comments regarding those applications at this time.
5522 Erin Radio is a small, low‑powered unprotected community radio station. It has been on the air for just over two years. We are a nonprofit corporation run by a volunteer Board of Directors, volunteer programming staff and one paid Station Manager.
5523 We broadcast a full range of locally produced programming, including over four hours of local music and 20 hours of spoken word content each week.
5524 In addition, we run over 50 per cent Canadian content and have several programs that focus on Canadian music.
5525 In our two short years we have become an important member of the community. We regularly broadcasts live remote programs from community events. We just finished 36 hours of live remote broadcast over four days from the Erin Fall Fair, staffed in large part by volunteers.
5526 We are the official emergency broadcaster for the town of Erin and are included in their emergency measures plan.
5527 We have trained over 100 community members in radio production skills at no charge.
5528 We are a training ground for high school co‑op students from both Erin and Georgetown who want to go on to post secondary education in media.
5529 We clearly understood that at 50 W Erin Radio 101.5 FM was unprotected. We knew our frequency could be taken away. Therefore, in the spring of 2008 we started work on the documents required to request a power increase to protected status. We received a grant of $2,500 from the Town of Erin Council to help fund the required technical reports. We were planning to begin a major fund‑raising campaign in September of 2008.
5530 But last August 21, a scant 35 days before the close of interventions for this current round of applications, we learned that all we had built was in jeopardy. Three applications for our frequency had been made in the previous eight months and according to Industry Canada if one of those applications was successful we would have to move to another frequency because of the technical interference.
5531 According to our engineer this was not possible. In the crowded spectrum around Erin there were no available open frequencies, all were within the protected contours of other stations.
5532 Within a few short weeks we did what we could to keep ourselves on the air. The Town of Erin Council passed a resolution in our favour. Dozens of support letters were submitted to the CRTC, including ones from our County Councillor, our MPP, our MP, the Board of the Waterloo‑Wellington Community Futures Fund, the National Campus and Community Radio Association, other community radio stations and hundreds of local residents and listeners.
5533 Over 850 residents of the Town of Erin signed form letters by the deadline date. I have another 150 that came in after the deadline, if you care to see them.
5534 The thrust of the letters and our intervention was basically the same, if Erin radio were bumped from 101.5 FM and could not find a home on another frequency, a valuable community organization would disappear and the Town of Erin would lose its only community radio voice.
5535 As you know, the Broadcasting Act states, and I quote:
"...the Canadian broadcasting system, operating primarily in the English and French languages and comprising public, private and community elements, makes use of radio frequencies that are public property and provides, through its programming, a public service essential to the maintenance and enhancement of national identity and cultural sovereignty;"
5536 It was clear to us that the required community element in the airwaves of Erin, Ontario was in jeopardy.
5537 In our intervention we thought it vital to go beyond a simple negative intervention and provide possible solutions. We offered the only two we could think of, a power increase that would protect our signal from overriding interference or a move to the AM band.
5538 As it turns out, the first solution wasn't technically sound, and our engineer now says that it isn't a practical solution.
5539 A move to AM would have cost over $100,000, an amount impossible to raise for a community organization with a total annual budget of $70,000.
5540 To our pleasant surprise, soon after we filed our intervention, the applicants proposed another solution. Frequency 88.1 FM might be available if the permission of a number of other broadcasters, notably, Canwest Global, could be secured and certain technical refinements, such as a directional antenna, could be purchased to provide protection for other stations on the same frequency.
5541 We did not suggest this solution ourselves. Based on previous experience, we did not believe that we had sufficient influence to secure the cooperation of Canwest Global without the assistance of the Guelph applicants.
5542 Two of the Guelph market applicants, Blackburn Radio and Guelph Broadcasting, agreed to explore securing the required permissions and researching the technical requirements. In an amazing short period of time, the required permissions were achieved.
5543 All three applicants ‑‑ Guelph Broadcasting, Blackburn Radio, and Frank Torres ‑‑ have agreed, in writing, to assist our move to 88.1 FM, with a higher powered and, again, protected status. They have agreed to guarantee the permissions of the other stations, arrange to complete the required technical reports for Industry Canada, pay for the equipment required, and underwrite any direct costs that Erin Radio may incur in publicizing the change to a new frequency, and changing materials, such as logos and signs.
5544 We think that this is a reasonable proposal and are willing to support it.
5545 Erin Radio has agreed to withdraw its intervention against Guelph Broadcasting, Blackburn Radio, and Frank Torres. We wish them well, and are confident that the Commission will make the appropriate decision.
5546 We encourage the Commission to examine the offers concerning Erin Radio submitted by the applicants. We would further request that the Commission include a statement in the decision strongly encouraging the successful applicant to follow through on the promise of technical and financial support.
5547 We also request that the Commission provide assistance, when we submit our applications for a frequency change and a power increase, to help us ensure continued, uninterrupted service to the Erin community.
5548 The Broadcasting Act, as noted earlier, states that community radio stations play a valuable and essential role in Canadian cultural life.
5549 The CRTC has supported community radio in many of its decisions, but community radio faces serious challenges, such as spectrum scarcity, particularly near large urban centres, such as Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. If underfunded community stations have to compete in the same arena with commercial applicants without strong CRTC support, community radio will certainly face marginalization, and, in our case, possible disappearance.
5550 We hope you will take this into account in future policy discussions pertaining to application procedures and frequency protection for low‑power stations.
5551 We also hope that you will consider ensuring that low‑power stations are notified much earlier that their use of a frequency is in jeopardy. Community stations have insufficient resources to mobilize effectively, if we are only given 35 days prior to the close of interventions. More time would have allowed us to negotiate, plan, consider options, assess support, and ensure the continued operation of our station without the panic and stress that Erin Radio has experienced.
5552 I would like to add a note to this presentation, which is in addition to what you have in front of you. We learned two days ago that Frank Torres, in an appendix added to his FM application for St. Thomas and London, has included Erin Radio as a possible recipient of CCD funds. We appreciate the move and look forward to working with him, should his application be successful.
5553 We hope that you understand and appreciate our concerns. Thank you for the opportunity to appear at the hearing today. I am open to taking questions.
5554 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Mowat.
5555 First of all, as you are probably aware ‑‑ and if you are not, I am telling you and your group ‑‑ the Commission will be holding public hearings on community broadcasting during the year 2009, and some of the suggestions you are making here should be repeated at that time, in order to benefit all community broadcasters.
5556 I appreciate those suggestions in the context of this public hearing, but if you want them to be included as policy, I think it would be better if that were done when the Commission has policy hearings.
5557 What you are saying, essentially, is that the three applicants for Frequency 101.5 have reached a written agreement with you regarding the possibility, if the Commission were to grant one licence, for you to relocate to Frequency 88.1.
5558 Do you have a written agreement with Canwest?
5559 MR. MOWAT: I believe that at least two of the applicants have a written agreement with Canwest, with the condition that, if there are any problems with their Channel 6 broadcast, the applicants would fix it via some technical filter, or some other arrangement.
5560 THE CHAIRPERSON: Although it is not a unique situation, there are many Channel 6s across North America, obviously, and there are also many radio stations that are broadcasting in frequencies between 87.9 and 92.
5561 So there are some technical solutions that could be applied.
5562 However, as Industry Canada and your engineer have told you, Canwest has the benefit of the prior usage of the band and has the absolute right to make sure there is no interference of its signal by a newcomer.
5563 As long as you are pleased with the undertaking made by the three applicants, and you have all of the necessary assurances that Canwest agrees ‑‑ and you seem to say that, at least, two of the three already have written agreements ‑‑ I am sure that during Phase IV of this proceeding they will be able to tell us if they do have the undertaking from Canwest.
5564 I only wish you good luck, Mr. Mowat. I appreciate you coming and telling us, for the record, that you have finally found a solution.
5565 MR. MOWAT: Thank you very much.
5566 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. We will now move to the third intervention.
5567 THE SECRETARY: I would now call the Guelph Arts Council, International Plowing Match 2008, and the Hanover and District Hospital Foundation to appear as a panel.
5568 We will start with the Guelph Arts Council.
5569 Please introduce yourself. You will have 10 minutes.
5570 MR. VOLLANS: Thank you. My name is Richard Vollans, and I am with the Guelph Arts Council. I am speaking in support of the application of Blackburn Radio.
5571 As a volunteer organization in the City of Guelph, representing and responsible for facilitating and developing the arts scene in Guelph and area, we are very proud of the recent growth of the arts, and of being part of a community that is recognized as a hotbed for arts and culture, and we are proud of our role as the hub of arts and culture in developing that growth.
5572 With nearly 500 members, we represent a broad cross‑section of artists, arts workers and organizations. Together we work hard to encourage the development of opportunities for youth in the arts.
5573 We realize that all of the flowers of all of our tomorrows are born from the seeds of today, and those seeds are our youth.
5574 Today's youth are critical to where tomorrow goes, and their development needs to include the arts.
5575 Reports from youth organizations have clearly indicated the value and importance of the arts in developing an engaged and committed youth audience.
5576 On a personal note with regards to youth, I have had the opportunity to work with a group of high school students for a number of summers now, where they have sought out an opportunity to express themselves in a safe and supported environment. Through a partnership with the Guelph Arts Council, they would be able to develop and meet that goal through the funds proposed by Blackburn Radio, with their CCD support with the Guelph Arts Council and youth initiatives.
5577 These funds would be welcomed by our community, where they would continue to cultivate and enhance existing youth opportunities.
5578 They would also allow for the development of new opportunities for youth through the engagement of additional, new partnerships.
5579 There are many references to Blackburn's longstanding commitment to the communities in which they operate. They have a well‑established tradition of community support and integration that aligns with our current community philosophies, partnerships and synergies.
5580 I would also like to speak to a personal story of our Executive Director, Sally Rizmer, who, unfortunately, because of knee surgery, wasn't able to be here today. She related to me the story of her history and personal acquaintance with the Blackburn family during her university days in London, Ontario, as well as her knowledge, and that of her friends and students colleagues, that the Blackburn's London Free Press and CFPL holdings were known as outstanding and reliable in their delivery of local, regional, provincial and national news.
5581 She has very fond memories of those London days, and is convinced that the continued quality involvement of the Blackburn family in radio in southwestern Ontario stands as a strong recommendation for approval of the current Blackburn FM radio application for Guelph. We would strongly endorse that application going forward.
5582 Thank you for your time.
5583 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
5584 International Plowing Match 2008. Please introduce yourself. You will have 10 minutes.
5585 MR. HAMMELL: Good morning, my name is Bob Hammell. I am here today as an executive member of the International Plowing Match Committee. My role is as a director linking our local committee with the Ontario Plowmen's Association. With this organization, the OPA, I am also actively involved as an executive member.
5586 The IPM spokesperson, Cheryl Leifso, submitted a letter of support for Blackburn Radio, CKNX, to own and operate The Duke, a radio station serving the Guelph area.
5587 I am pleased today to be here to expand on these comments.
5588 I, like Cheryl, was part of a big team that organized and presented the 2008 International Plowing Match. Our group consisted of more than 2,000 volunteers, and a number of sponsors, who, together, produced a five‑day farm show, in the middle of the country, on farmers' fields, with an attendance of almost 95,000 people.
5589 In support of the application to own and operate The Duke FM, I would be happy to expand on the involvement of Blackburn Radio in my local community, and, in particular, directly with the International Plowing Match, also called the IPM.
5590 As my personal choice when listening to the radio, it is obvious that CKNX Radio has always had a special appreciation for agriculture and the local community. Those two aspects are the very foundation of my interests, and they also blend well with the objectives of the event recently hosted, called the International Plowing Match, or IPM.
5591 CKNX Radio came on board as a "Pride of Bruce" sponsor early in our planning stages in 2005. Their total contribution was valued at more than $100,000 of in kind promotion and advertising, which was a major part of our overall event and marketing success.
5592 The "Pride of Bruce" category is unique to the Bruce County IPM. In the history of the IPM, no local community sponsor has ever contributed an amount of that significance.
5593 From the very beginning, CKNX Radio has promoted the IPM, along with its fundraising events and activities to midwestern Ontario, helping us produce a branded image with their listeners, and also helping us at individual events with door prices, event emcees, and on‑air promotion, which led to increased attendance and revenue for events, where tickets and souvenir items were sold.
5594 With their constant support and promotion of the IPM, CKNX was able to help us develop relationships with the farm and business communities that we would need to draw on for volunteers and sponsorships toward other areas of presenting the IPM.
5595 As part of their commitment to our event, CKNX provided expanded news coverage leading up to the IPM, with feature reports and program highlight segments, a very generous radio advertising campaign, live traffic reports from an airplane to help visitors access the site, updated reports, and live broadcasting from the site, with everything from weather reports to special events and news‑related coverage, plus more.
5596 CKNX arranged to have a building constructed for the display area, which included a large stage. Talk shows, music performances, and other special guests were featured, both on the stage at the IPM in their town, and also broadcast live on the air for all of their listeners to enjoy.
5597 They also shared our own main stage for a second stage performance.
5598 Many Canadian entertainers, including well‑established professionals, along with new and upcoming artists, were part of the special schedule of entertainment.
5599 The idea to engage the listener was evident. By inviting the general public to ask questions of on‑air guests, opportunities to meet and greet with their station staff and personalities, or take a break by sitting down to enjoy a performance by a musical group or act, showed that Blackburn Radio, CKNX, was part of the event themselves, and not a group to sit on the sidelines and simply promote what was going on.
5600 The week of the IPM, CKNX remained flexible and available to help, as on the weekend prior to opening, weather conditions deteriorated, causing uncontrollable delays into the IPM RV park, expecting approximately 2,000 RVs, and more than 650 exhibitors, who had large displays of equipment and supplies to assemble, who were waiting on local roadways to enter the site.
5601 CKNX was always quick to update the area with the latest news and instructions, providing signage across the entire listening area promoting the service.
5602 Another example was when a special break in programming was made to welcome the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Mr. David C. Onley, to the CKNX display. He was interviewed by AM 920 talk show host Bryan Allen.
5603 The CKNX staff were quick to accommodate the ever‑changing schedules and to highlight IPM's special guests and activities.
5604 The International Plowing Match changes location each year. Bruce County hosted the event this past September, after last hosting the plowing match in 1993.
5605 CKNX was involved when the IPM was held in our region, in 2005 in Perth County, in 2004 in Grey County, in 2000 in Wellington County, and in 1999 in Huron County.
5606 I can also speak to their involvement with smaller organizations. Being part of the local chapter of the Bruce County Plowmen's Association, which hosts a much smaller event every year throughout the county, the same attention to detail and involvement for promotion was available to our organization.
5607 I would expect that CKNX would bring the same resources to the Guelph area and its business community.
5608 We are pleased to be able to support CKNX Radio and the Blackburn Radio group in this expansion.
5609 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Hammell.
5610 Madam Secretary.
5611 THE SECRETARY: Thank you. Hanover and District Hospital Foundation.
5612 Please introduce yourself. You will have 10 minutes.
5613 MS PATTERSON: Good morning. My name is Sue Patterson, and I am the coordinator for the Hanover and District Hospital Foundation.
5614 Vice‑Chair and members of the Commission, first, let me thank you for the opportunity to speak on behalf of Blackburn Radio. I am not a polished speaker compared to all of the radio personalities, hosts and staff in this room, but I do speak from the heart.
5615 I want to speak about CKNX Radio and its community support, and what it has accomplished for health care in midwestern Ontario, specifically with the CKNX "Health Care Heroes" radiothon.
5616 I have been part of the radiothon since its inception. I am honoured to say that I was Chair of the radiothon for two years. It was a pleasure to chair this event, and a very rewarding experience.
5617 The vision of the CKNX "Health Care Heroes" radiothon began in 2001, when volunteers from the community approached CKNX Radio with the idea to host this innovative fundraiser for a few hospitals. This idea evolved, and the invitation was extended to hospitals in midwestern Ontario.
5618 Eight hospital foundations participated in the first radiothon and raised $330,000. Seven radiothons later, a total of $4.2 million has been raised for local health care. In fact, last weekend, during the seventh annual radiothon, $703,000 was raised for 15 hospitals, with an expected $200,000 to still flow in ‑‑ a truly impressive amount for 15 rural hospitals, which range in size from 17 to 54 hospital beds.
5619 Our radiothon is unique, in that every hospital in the CKNX listening area is a participant.
5620 Foundations are the fundraising arms of hospitals, and work in partnership with their respective hospitals to assist in providing the best possible care.
5621 The primary goal of hospital foundations is to invite the community to donate funds that will enable foundations to purchase capital equipment. Funds have been raised for items such as ultrasound equipment, a CT scanner, cardiac and vital signs monitors, neonatal equipment, emergency room and operating equipment, and a regional dialysis centre.
5622 I am sure you will agree with me that all of this equipment is vital in the quest to provide quality health care.
5623 For each foundation, the radiothon has become their biggest yearly fundraising event. Prior to the day of the radiothon, foundations organized individual events and media opportunities in their respective communities. The initiatives that are made by each of the foundations are aimed at generating interest, creating awareness, and cultivating donor commitment.
5624 On the day of the radiothon, throughout the day, every hour, for eight straight hours, the great folks at AM 920 and FM 101.7, The One, chat on‑air with doctors and nurses, former patients of the hospital, as well as with friends and supporters from the community.
5625 Volunteers answer the phones, taking pledges and challenges, and update radio listeners as the donations grow throughout the day.
5626 While the big event is happening at the studio in Wingham, many of the foundations celebrate the radiothon by hosting community events in their town. To name a few, you can enjoy a pancake breakfast in Durham, a chili cook‑off in Markdale, a family fun day in Hanover, a Hawaiian luau in Clinton, a come‑and‑go luncheon in Listowel, and, if you are lucky, you may see Elvis in Seaforth.
5627 CKNX roving reporters attend every event, so the celebrations are reported to all listeners during the radiothon.
5628 At the heart of the radiothon is CKNX. They play the most significant part in the radiothon process. The dedication of CKNX to the radiothon is an extreme gesture and contribution to midwestern Ontario, and the 15 health care communities that we serve.
5629 CKNX has helped hospital foundations find creative and innovative ways to support health care. Their interactivity with our communities supports our efforts to make our ideas, and ultimately our goals, a reality. They have helped people invest in their hospitals and in their communities.
5630 CKNX willingly shares skills and resources, and together we have built an ongoing relationship. The radiothon is an example of one of the special things that CKNX delivers to audiences, and from the perspective of the 15 participating foundations that I am here to represent, we believe that the contribution of CKNX to our cause is truly inspiring.
5631 CKNX has set a very high standard for all media organizations through their capable and compassionate contribution.
5632 CKNX Radio is a community leader that truly cares about people and the health care of our communities. It is their giving and sharing with communities that would be of great value to Guelph, should you approve their application.
5633 I am proud to have a strong relationship with CKNX, and enthusiastically support their bid to establish a new local radio station.
5634 On behalf of the 15 hospital foundations, I want to say that it has been an honour to speak on behalf of our friends and wonderful community citizens at CKNX. Thank you.
5635 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Ms Patterson.
5636 I would ask Commissioner Cugini to start the questioning.
5637 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Good morning, and I thank all three of you for being here this morning.
5638 Quite frankly, I really don't have a lot of questions. I am, as always, overwhelmed to hear how supportive radio broadcasters, in particular, are of their community, and the gist of what I am getting, obviously, from all three of you, is that, no matter what city Blackburn Radio is licensed to serve, you are confident that it is going to show the kind of support that it has shown your various organizations over the years to this community, as well.
5639 Have I got that correct?
5640 MS PATTERSON: Very much so.
5641 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Mr. Hammell, one of the things that I wish we could do whenever we are hosting hearings across the country is find out what is going on in the community, because I think I would have loved to have come to your plowing match. I have never been to one, and it sounds like a riot.
5642 MR. HAMMELL: It was.
5643 This is one of our posters that promoted our match. It definitely shows a lot of pride in the community where you live, and it brings in a lot of volunteers.
5644 As I say, CKNX was there with us right from the start. Everything was great.
5645 I would like to tell you that the show opened on Tuesday, and on Sunday night we had four inches of rain. You can imagine, tents in a farmer's field.
5646 On Tuesday morning we opened. We had a political parade on Tuesday morning, and by Thursday the dust was flying. We had super land, super everything.
5647 If you ever get a chance, try to go. It moves around. Next year it is in Timiskaming. The year after it is in Elgin County, down at St. Thomas, and then Prescott‑Russell, which is quite a ways East from here.
5648 So it does change, and it would be quite a show.
5649 COMMISSIONER CUGINI: Thank you very much for your participation here this morning. My colleagues may have questions for you, but you were all very eloquent.
5650 Ms Patterson, don't let anybody ever tell you that you are not a polished speaker.
‑‑‑ Laughter / Rires
5651 MS PATTERSON: Thank you.
5652 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Ms Patterson, Mr. Hammell and Mr. Vollans, for your presentations this morning.
5653 This will end Phase III of the proceeding. We will now move to Phase IV.
5654 Madam Secretary.
5655 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
5656 We will now proceed to Phase IV, in which applicants can reply to all interventions submitted on their application.
5657 Applicants appear in reverse order.
5658 I would ask Guelph Broadcasting Corporation to respond to the interventions that were filed to their application.
5659 Please reintroduce yourself for the record. You will have 10 minutes for this purpose.
REPLY / RÉPLIQUE
5660 MR. KIRK: Thank you.
5661 Good morning, I am Doug Kirk, representing Guelph Broadcasting Corporation.
5662 I have four points to make. The first is, what a great business we operate in, just from hearing everybody here. John and I were just enumerating the number of ways that radio touches the community, and I just wanted to say that we enjoy being in the business, because it does what it does.
5663 We want to thank all of the intervenors who have participated, both in the London and through the Guelph hearing.
5664 Specifically, Guelph Broadcasting wishes to thank the numerous local intervenors who supported our application for a new rock station to serve Guelph. We would particularly like to thank Mayor Karen Farbridge of Guelph, Peter Cartwright of the Guelph Economic Development Department, David Corks of the Downtown Guelph Economic Office, and Lloyd Longfield, CEO of the Guelph Chamber of Commerce. They have all been very helpful, supportive, and encouraging of our application.
5665 The third point is that we at Guelph Broadcasting, in the process, have enjoyed meeting J. Mowat, who spoke to you a few moments ago, and Brad Poulos of Erin Community Radio, and working with them to achieve what we think is a helpful solution for Erin Community Radio, which will permit them to enhance their service in Erin, and new applicants to enhance service in Guelph using the 101.5 frequency.
5666 I wanted to make a comment to Chairman Arpin's point. We have received assurances from the technical consultant for Canwest that Canwest would be cooperative in trying to find a solution to use 88.1 for Erin Community Radio in Erin. Canwest has two services ‑‑ two channels that cover Erin ‑‑ Channel 6 from Paris, and Channel 41 from Toronto. So there is an alternate service, which is helpful if there is any interference on Channel 6. Channel 41 could well cover it and resolve the problem, or they could go to alternate filtering solutions, and so on.
5667 I think there is a high degree of confidence that that could be worked out for Erin Community Radio, and I wanted to comment specifically on that.
5668 Finally, I would like to address Commissioner Menzies' point of a little earlier. During this hearing no new frequencies have emerged for Guelph. There is only one useful one, and I think we have scoured every pot we could find. It is a much tighter problem because of the proximity of Guelph to Kitchener, Hamilton, Toronto, and a lot of other places.
5669 There is only one useable frequency, other than Corus' specific solution, where they can work a frequency out with themselves.
5670 Regarding the new applicants, there is just one frequency available.
5671 In conclusion, on behalf of our team, the Guelph Broadcasting Team ‑‑ John Wright, Andrew Forsyth, Steve Kassay, Dean Sinclair and me ‑‑ we want to sincerely thank you, Chairman Arpin, Commissioners Cugini, Duncan, Menzies and Simpson. It has been a real pleasure.
5672 We want to thank Commission staff for being very efficient and helpful during this proceeding. It has been intense and very productive, and we thank you all very much. We look forward to your decisions, after deliberating. Thank you.
5673 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Kirk.
5674 Madam Secretary.
5675 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
5676 I will now call 591989 B.C. Ltd.
5677 I would ask you to please reintroduce yourselves for the record.
REPLY / RÉPLIQUE
5678 MR. PANDOFF: Good morning, Mr. Chair, Commissioners, and Commission staff. My name is Chris Pandoff, and I am with Corus Radio. I am the Vice‑President for Ontario Operations, and with me today is Guus Hazelaar, General Manager of Corus Radio in Guelph.
5679 Mr. Chair, we would like to begin by thanking the 30 individuals or groups that supported our application to convert CJOY to the FM band. We are grateful for their positive interventions, and we believe that this strong show of support demonstrates CJOY's excellent track record of community involvement and public service.
5680 In addition, we note that there were no opposing interventions filed in respect of our application during the written phase of this proceeding.
5681 Yesterday, Guelph Broadcasting Corporation made comments for the first time in respect of Corus' application to convert CJOY to the FM band. We do intend to respond to Guelph Broadcasting's comments. However, prior to responding to Guelph Broadcasting, we would first like to make one clarification with respect to our application, and the issue we would like to clarify is our position with regard to the application of the Radio Common Ownership Policy.
5682 We are concerned that there may have been a misunderstanding of Corus' position on the issue, based on the procedural comments made by the Chair yesterday.
5683 We want to be clear. We are not asking the Commission to amend the Common Ownership Policy. It is our position, and the only facts on record support the position, that this application, if approved, would not breach the Common Ownership Policy on its face, and the record, we believe, also supports a finding that an exception is warranted.
5684 It is Corus' understanding that it would be within the ability of this panel to determine whether or not an exception is warranted.
5685 Such exceptions have been granted by a number of previous panels of the CRTC. For example, in Decision 2000‑141, the panel approved an exception to the Common Ownership Policy by permitting NewCap Communications to acquire VOCM and VOCM‑FM in St. John's, Newfoundland, representing an exception to the policy, and leaving NewCap with ownership of four radio stations, two AM and two FM, in a market served by fewer than eight commercial stations.
5686 Another exception is the policy that occurred with CHUM's ownership in Windsor.
5687 I would now like to address the comments made by Guelph Broadcasting Corporation in Phase II of the proceeding.
5688 We can start by saying that Corus Radio has consistently taken the position that new entrants to a market should be required to maintain the format they applied for. We said this at the Policy Review Hearing, and in applications and interventions since then.
5689 In each case, the Commission has not adopted our proposal, so Guelph Broadcasting, in raising a hypothetical question that suggests we might do something other, the Commission has time and again said that it is our right to do so.
5690 The facts on the record and the policy simply do not support their allegations. The concern raised by Guelph Broadcasting could be summarized as follows.
5691 In the context of a number of recent flips ‑‑ Peterborough, Kingston and Kelowna, some involving Corus and some involving other companies ‑‑ the applicants applied on the basis of no change in format.
5692 However, when a new station launched on the FM band, they re‑launched a new format.
5693 Guelph Broadcasting claims that this undercuts a new entrant who had been approved as part of the same proceeding, since it places new entrants at the risk of having their proposed formats scooped by the incumbent, who can make a switch before the new entrant even has a chance to go to air.
5694 As a result, this concerned Guelph Broadcasting, which made recommendations in the context of the CJOY application. They proposed that the Commission adopt one or other of the following recommendations:
5695 (a) If one of the new applicants is approved for Guelph, the CJOY application should be denied or deferred until the new station goes on the air; or
5696 (b) If the CJOY flip is approved, it should be subject to a "no headstart" rule, whereby CJOY would not be allowed to launch on the FM band for a certain period of time ‑‑ for example, 90 days ‑‑ to provide an opportunity for the new entrant to get their service up and running.
5697 With respect to the Kingston conversion, which involved a Corus station, we would like to note the following.
5698 Although it is true that Corus had indicated that it would maintain its format when it converted CFFX in Kingston to the FM band, by the time the approval for the conversion was obtained from the Commission, at the end of August 2007, it was obvious from the Fall 2006 BBM and the Spring 2007 BBM results that CFFX was in steep decline over a continuous period.
5699 In these circumstances, Corus came to the conclusion that the station brand was flawed, the station had experienced its worst ratings ever, and a format change was, therefore, necessary.
5700 And the Commission has agreed with us that stations have the right to do this.
5701 In Peterborough, Corus is awaiting final approval for the use of a frequency at 100.5 MHz, for the conversion of CKRU‑AM.
5702 However, we wish to state for the record that Corus will be launching its Peterborough station in the oldies format, as our branding for that station remains strong.
5703 In Guelph, Corus also wishes to state for the record that, if approved, we will be maintaining the current format on CJOY.
5704 But, as the Commission is aware, we need not make these undertakings, because they are not in keeping with the policy adopted by the CRTC.
5705 Turning to the specific suggestions made by Guelph Broadcasting, Corus believes that these are completely inappropriate and should be denied for the following two reasons.
5706 First, the concept of delaying the conversion to the FM band of an existing station in the market doesn't make any sense. The service is already on the air, and, therefore, the conversion of CJOY to the FM band would make absolutely no change to the level of competition in the market.
5707 The idea of creating a headstart for a new entrant in a market would, with respect, also constitute a new policy direction for the Commission.
5708 Where would this leave the listening public, and how can the Commission say to listeners that they must wait for their heritage service to meet a policy perspective that doesn't exist?
5709 According to Guelph Broadcasting, it seems that the only way for a new proposed service to be successful is if the Commission actively manages the level of competition in the market. Any new applicant will need to be very mindful of the level of competition that already exists in the market.
5710 With 40 out‑of‑market stations capturing 80 percent of the tuning in Guelph, only a very robust and sound proposal would be successful, in our view.
5711 In any event, the conversion of CJOY will not materially impact a new entrant. Corus provided ample evidence of this fact during its application.
5712 Guelph Broadcasting puts nothing on the record to support their view, except a bald intervention that contradicts their position that there is room in the market for a new entrant. Well, you can't have it both ways.
5713 Corus has already said that it was prepared for more competition, but this applicant is saying that new competition is good, as long as you get rid of existing services for a while.
5714 The position defies logic. It also represents really bad policy.
5715 In summary, Corus is not seeking to change any of the CRTC policies; our application meets all of them.
5716 We would like to thank the Commission for your attention to this matter, and your patience during our presentation yesterday.
5717 That concludes our presentation.
5718 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Pandoff. Thank you, Mr. Hazelaar.
5719 Madam Secretary.
5720 THE SECRETARY: Thank you.
5721 Blackburn Radio Inc., please come forward.
5722 Please reintroduce yourself for the record. You will have 10 minutes.
REPLY / RÉPLIQUE
5723 MR. COSTLEY‑WHITE: Thank you.
5724 Good morning, Mr. Chair, members of the Commission, and Commission staff. My name is Richard Costley‑White, of Blackburn Radio Inc.
5725 With me in this phase are John Weese, the General Manager of Blackburn's Wingham‑based radio stations, Gina Lorentz, the Program Director of The One in Wingham, and Rob Enders, our Engineer in Wingham.
5726 Straight to you, John...
5727 MR. WEESE: Thank you, Richard.
5728 All of the applicants for 101.5 received a large number of opposing interventions from Radio Erin and its many, many supporters. When we entered this process and we filed our brief with Industry Canada, we certainly had no intention of pushing Erin Radio off the air. In fact, we were very surprised and concerned when we received those interventions.
5729 But we did swing into action as quickly as possible, as you have seen in our written reply and the interventions. We visited with the folks at Erin, and at the same time we asked our engineer, Jim Moltner, to look into this matter.
5730 We were facing a very difficult position: do we proceed and deny the residents of Erin a service they have come to enjoy and depend on, or do we desist and deny 125,000 residents of Guelph a new radio choice?
5731 Happily, Mr. Moltner identified a new option that would make Radio Erin whole, while allowing us to use 101.5 in Guelph.
5732 There was one possible bump on the road to the solution, and that was the possible interference to Global's Channel 6 from Paris.
5733 Once again, we were fortunate that the folks at Global generously agreed to waive that objection, subject to some guarantees from Blackburn.
5734 Now, to sum things up, here is Richard once more.
5735 MR. COSTLEY‑WHITE: First of all, I would like to thank John Weese and his team, who brought a level of dedication and passion ‑‑ and I should perhaps add volume ‑‑ to this project that is memorable.
5736 Again, John and your team, and everyone here present, thank you very much.
5737 Secondly, I want to thank the many people who took the time to write letters of support for our application. They include musicians, such as members of Helix, Bob Noxious, and Stairwell, who spoke of how the support that Blackburn Radio stations provided them opened doors for them in their careers.
5738 Social and community organizations from the communities we serve spoke of the dedication that our radio stations, with our unique community marketing departments, bring to community service.
5739 Our connections in the health field have already led to a commitment to a weekly health feature on our morning show.
5740 In all of our stations, our morning shows provide an important platform for social health and community organizations to get their messages across.
5741 I would also like to thank the intervenors who took time out of their schedules to come this morning to tell you why they support our proposal.
5742 Again, thank you to Sue Patterson of the Hanover Hospital Foundation, Bob Hammell of the International Plowing Match, and Richard Vollans of the Guelph Arts Council.
5743 We believe that Guelph offers an excellent business opportunity. The format opportunity that we have identified is a clear one, and we know how to launch this kind of station. We bring a new energy in our approach, and a wide‑based rock station, just as we do in Wingham, Sarnia and Chatham‑Windsor.
5744 We also bring a focus on news and community service that we feel is unmatched in our industry.
5745 Our regional platform, serving five communities in south and midwestern Ontario, enables us to support start‑ups. The expertise in our various branches means that we share back office functions, and, as I have said before, we have a good support system to enhance our programming.
5746 We have the financing to launch two new stations, and provide excellent service, even in a tough economy.
5747 We would like the opportunity to bring our brand of radio to Guelph.
5748 Finally, we would like to thank you, Commissioners, and your staff, for your patience and assistance this week. We really feel that we have had ample opportunity to make our case known to you for both of our applications, and we appreciate the opportunity you have given us to present and speak to you.
5749 You have heard a number of excellent applications this week, there is no question, and we are sure that you have a lot of work before you. We wish you safe home.
5750 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
5751 We will now move to the next item.
5752 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
5753 I would now call Ed Torres to come forward to the presentation table.
5754 Please reintroduce yourself for the record. You will have 10 minutes.
REPLY / RÉPLIQUE
5755 MR. E. TORRES: Good morning, Mr. Chair, Commissioners, and CRTC staff. My name is Ed Torres, and I am the President of Skywords Radio, and the Chairman of CIDG‑FM.
5756 With me, to my right, is Vice‑President of Programming for Skywords, Robyn Metcalfe. She is also my business partner in this application.
5757 I would like to start by taking this opportunity to thank the blues fans, musicians, record labels, venue owners, community leaders, and close to 600 people who supported this application.
5758 In particular, I would like to thank the supporting intervenors who took time out of their busy schedules to appear in person this morning, including Dan Graham from flamingcheese Productions, who, I think, will be our sales manager if we get this licence ‑‑ he is certainly a very passionate individual; Dennis Cuomo from the Grand River Blues Society; and Cheryl Lescom, an emerging blues artist, although she has been in blues most of her life.
5759 They are passionate about supporting our application, and we greatly appreciate their support.
5760 I appreciate, also, that Erin Radio has made its concern known to us, and I am thankful that we were able to arrive at a solution that will greatly assist them ‑‑ greatly and significantly assist them ‑‑ to continue to create community programming that we feel is an essential component to the Canadian broadcast system.
5761 In closing, on behalf of all of the employees at Skywords and CIDG and our team, thank you for hearing and considering our blues FM application for Guelph.
5762 Thank you to the staff for running this efficient process.
5763 Safe travel.
5764 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Torres and Ms Metcalfe.
5765 This completes the formal part of the hearing.
5766 Madam Secretary.
5767 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
5768 I would like to indicate for the record that the intervenors who did not appear and were listed on the agenda as appearing intervenors will remain on the public file as non‑appearing interventions.
5769 Also, there are 10 non‑appearing applications on the agenda of this Public Hearing. Interventions were received on these applications. The panel will consider these interventions, along with the applications, and decisions will be rendered at a later date.
5770 This completes the agenda of this Public Hearing.
5771 THE CHAIRPERSON: I want to thank everyone ‑‑ all of the participants at this Public Hearing, all of the applicants, and all of the intervenors who came with high‑quality applications and who followed, in a timely manner, the various procedures that we had to go through.
5772 I also want to thank the staff and my fellow Commissioners. Everyone have a safe journey.
‑‑‑ Whereupon the hearing concluded at 1030 /
La réunion se termine à 1030
Beverley Dillabough Jean Desaulniers
Sue Villeneuve Fiona Potvin
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