Thanks, Jason! Yes, you might have heard about Spectres of Shortwave here as I’ve been posting updates on the SWLing Post since 2013! I’m very happy to see the film nearing completion. Since my wife has worked in film production, I’m well aware of the enormous amount of time and effort it takes to produce a documentary on a shoestring budget.
Amanda Dawn Christie launching documentary about demise of RCI towers
Documentary ‘Spectres of Shortwave’ to be finished in time for possible premiere at Toronto’s Hot Docs
Moncton artist Amanda Dawn Christie says after six years, her documentary Spectres of Shortwave, about the demise of the Radio-Canada International towers in Sackville, is nearly complete.
“A project like this is very hard,” Christie said in an interview on Information Morning Moncton. “When I went into this project they weren’t supposed to be tearing the towers down.”
After budget cuts in 2012, CBC announced the shortwave service would end after 67 years of broadcasting around the world.
Christie calls that decision a loss for the international community.
“Shortwave communication is something that will always get through. Even though technology advances and people rely on the internet — not everyone can afford a computer or digital receiver … Canada was known for more objective, non-biased broadcasting.”
The transmitter building of Radio Canada International, Sackville, NB (June, 2012).
We recently noted that Radio Canada International (RCI) celebrated its 70th year anniversary. While it was certainly an amazing milestone–dating back to WWII–it was a bittersweet celebration for some. Check out this article on the RCI Action blog:
“The flood of wonderful memories, fueled by the old and not so old photos of Radio Canada International’s 70 years, is now, as I write this, suddenly mixed with regret, lost opportunities, and missing colleagues.
In a way I dreaded this anniversary, not knowing how to deal with this important milestone.
RCI has survived all these years since its first broadcast on February 25, 1945, as Canada’s Voice to the World. But now, almost three years after an 80% budget cut that took us off shortwave radio, cutting us off from our listeners, how do you celebrate? How do you not look with some exasperation, regretfully, wistfully, at how little people, even colleagues, know about RCI’s proud achievements, and its path-breaking innovations?
The contradictions of how some viewed us and the reality is almost too much to bear. People say we used outdated technology, weren’t moving with the times, and no longer needed to explain Canada to the world.
An excellent development in Canada: Senator Hugh Segal’s motion for a special committee enquiry into the CBC decision to slash the Radio Canada International budget by 80 per cent has received a unanimous vote in the Senate. Committee hearings will begin as early as February.
Below is the full press release I received from Senator Segal:
(Source: Office of Senator Segal)
Senator Hugh Segal has issued this statement on the unanimous vote in the Senate to have a special committee enquiry into the CBC decision to slash the RCI budget by 80 per cent.
“I am delighted that, in a non partisan way, the Senate voted to have the RCI matter go to a full review of the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications. My motion was amended by Senator Champagne to go to a full committee hearing rather than a one day appearance before bar of the Senate.
That a ten percent cut to the CBC budget produced an 80 percent slash and burn of Radio Canada International reflects an internal CBC management decision which needs to be better understood. CBC management may well believe that if they let people go and dismantle transmitters, the problem will go away.
The importance of Canada’s voice to the rest of the world is not a detail of no consequence. The chance to call witnesses, pursue how other enlightened countries have expanded their short wave capacity, among other facts, will be a constructive step ahead in strengthening Canada’s international voice.”
Committee hearings on this matter may start as early as February2013.