Radio Canada International at 75 years

(Source: via David Iurescia)

Today is an auspicious day for RCI. It was February 25, 1945 that the CBC International Service began shortwave broadcasting to Europe. It was designed at the time to provide accurate news to occupied areas in

English French and German, and to provide news from home for the huge contingent of Canadian military personnel serving and fighting in the Second World War.

Since then the “IS” has gone through a variety of changes, including the name which was changed to Radio Canada International in 1970. It has been through several moves, from its first location in a former brothel, to the converted Ford Hotel a few years later, to rented office tower space, to the main headquarters of the French service, Radio-Canada.

It has also gone through a number of language-service changes, from 14 languages during the cold war broadcasting to formerly free countries then under the control of Moscow, to its current five languages, Mandarin, Spanish, Arabic, English and French.

Other changes include the drastic cuts of 2012 which saw some 80 per cent of staff cut and the cessation of shortwave to become its current online operation.

Throughout it all RCI continues to inform on Canadian issues including political, scientific, cultural and societal and provide Canadian viewpoints and positions on world affairs.

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3 thoughts on “Radio Canada International at 75 years

  1. Keith Perron

    I seriously doubt they have any listeners. They stream The Link live on YouTube, with average views of 20 to 30 per video, which I suspect is all in house. Why even bother? Very simple people like Marc Montgomery are nothing more than old CBC staffers just clinging on to what they can get before they retire. They know there prospects to find work at other outlets is very low to nil.

    There once was a saying within the CBC and Radio-Canada. RCI is the place to send people the CBC and Radio-Canada don’t want.

    How can they produce content with so low views? Simple they really don’t care. RCI is a patient in a hospital. who has been brain dead for years. And is only being kept alive by machines. Time to pull the plug.

  2. Richard Langley

    As posted to the World of Radio IO Group:
    Thanks for posting this, Mike [Terry]. Many of us fondly recall RCI and the CBC International Service before that. Some of us (I do) may still have our Radio-Canada Shortwave Club membership cards. My first QSL card from the CBC IS was also from 1964. I’m wondering how Marc Montgomery determined that the scan of the one he used for his article (taken from the SWLing Post) was from 1964? It’s not mentioned there. Could be they have one in the RCI archives? I had sent a scan of mine to Victor Nerenberg when he was still working for RCI when I was helping him with an item for “The Link” entitled “Navigating Our Way Around Solar Flares” about the impact of ionospheric irregularities on GPS, which was broadcast on 27 January 2012. That episode is no longer on the RCI website but I’ve archived a copy of the ionosphere story here:
    I’d also like to mention that in the article, Marc Montgomery says “we no longer … broadcast on shortwave.” While technically true, RCI does not themselves broadcast on shortwave, Shortwaveservice (written that way in “Germanesque” by the station owners although in English we often write it as Shortwave Service) broadcasts “The Link” from 1 kW transmitters at Kall-Krekel, Germany. The current schedule has them on 6005 kHz on Saturdays and Sundays at 11:30 UTC and on 3985 kHz on Sundays at 18:30 UTC. RCI’s French program “Tam-Tam Canada” is also broadcast. I haven’t listened to them recently, but here is an archived recording of one of the first episodes of “The Link” that was broadcast by Shortwaveservice:
    And that’s not all. While not shortwave, “The Link” is also transmitted by radio via VHF, DAB+ to be precise, through World Radio Paris (, an English-language station broadcasting from Paris and in test mode now from Monaco serving the French Riviera. Scheduled on Fridays at 00:00 and 10:00 CET. They offer a live stream of their programming (including programs from several other stations besides RCI) from their website.


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