Tag Archives: Radio Canada International Sackville New Brunswick

CBC News picks up story about sale of RCI’s WWII era transmitter

After posting a story last week about finding a home for the old RCA transmitter at the former RCI Sackville site, I was approached by CBC reporter, Tori Weldon, who recently put together this piece:

(Source: CBC News)

‘It’s like Frankenstein’s lab’: Massive 78-year-old transmitter for sale

Mi’kmaq group hopes it finds ‘a good home’

A piece of radio history could be yours for $5,000.

A 1940 RCA 50 kW shortwave transmitter, located at the decommissioned Radio Canada International Site in Sackville, is up for sale.

The transmitter is a small room, about five metres long by two-and-a-half metres wide, and it’s filled with lever, buttons, glass tubes and wires.

The property was bought in February 2017 by Mi’gmawe’l Tplu’taqnn Incorporated (MTI), a group of Mi’Kmaq First Nations. Jesse John Simon, the group’s executive director, said workers are still taking electronic components apart and removing old equipment that won’t be needed now that property is no longer a broadcast site.

The old transmitter doesn’t work anymore, said Marc Goldstein, an electrical engineer helping to take out equipment no longer needed, adding it was decommissioned in the 1970s.
“It took three men to operate this radio,” he said.
“We’re trying to find a home for it.”[…]

Click here to read the full story at CBC News.

Want a gorgeous 1940 RCA 50 kW shortwave transmitter from the RCI Sackville station?

Many thanks to Amanda Dawn Christie who contacted me this morning regarding a message she received from Marc Goldstein, who is seeking a home for a beautiful piece of international broadcasting history. Marc writes:

We have been dismantling equipment at Radio Canada in Sackville, New Brunswick since July of last year. Most of the contents have been removed.

The original 1940 RCA 50 KW transmitter is still intact. First Nation’s–the current owner of the site–is looking for a home for this piece of history. […] I am hoping you may know someone, or an organization who may help preserve the radio. First Nations has requested $5,000 Canadian for the radio, and will remove and ready it for shipping at their expense.

Thanks for passing this information along, Amanda!

I actually snapped photos of this very transmitter when I visited the Sackville site in 2012–a few months before the site shut down. It’s an elegant piece:

I have no idea if this RCA transmitter is serviceable, but I did contact WBCQ with details just in case (if you recall, they’re in need of a 50 kW transmitter).

If you’re interested in purchasing this transmitter, contact me and I’ll put you in touch with Marc Goldstein.

New Brunswick town “haunted by the radio”

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I’m very happy to see that the CBC has reported on the premier of Amanda Dawn Christie’s film, Spectres of Shortwave.

(Source: CBC)

For seven decades, a mysterious site on the Trans-Canada highway marked Sackville, New Brunswick. Where the hills and trees faded just past the Nova Scotia border, 13 120-metre towers rose up from the town’s Tantramar Marsh. They encompassed CBC’s Radio-Canada International (RCI) shortwave broadcasting site, built during the Second World War to send broadcasts worldwide.

Like others in the area, artist and filmmaker Amanda Dawn Christie was fascinated by the site — which not only transmitted Canadian content around the world in various languages, but also relayed Radio Free Europe broadcasts during the Cold War. This week, she’s premieringSpectres of Shortwave, her experimental documentary film on the site, at the Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax. It’s a project seven years in the making.

“[The transmission site’s] purpose wasn’t for the locals,” Christie says. “So my interest was in what its relationship was to the local people who lived around it.” That relationship was more than just landscape: the transmission site affected the appliances, homes and even dreams of local residents.[…]

Click here to continue reading the full story.

Correction: World Premiere Spectres of Shortwave/Ombres des ondes courtes

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Richard Langley, who noticed an error in the original announcement about the Spectres of Shortwave Premiere.

Richard has confirmed with Amanda Dawn Christie that the simulcast is at 7:15 p.m. ADT (not 7:15 AST) as it will still be Daylight Savings Time. This means it will be 6:15 p.m. EDT or 22:15 UTC.

I’ve corrected this in the original announcement below:


unnamedI’m very pleased to share this press release from filmmaker Amanda Dawn Christie:

WORLD PREMIERE :

Thursday, Sept. 22, 7:15 pm ADT (22:15 UTC)
Spectres of Shortwave / Ombres des ondes courtes
A film about radio waves, relationships, landscape, and loss.
============================================

Exciting news! Spectres of Shortwave is finally finished!

After seven long years, it’s finally time to share this film and the radio doc with the public! The final corrections to subtitles and credits were completed two weeks ago, and the DCP shipped out last week! The world premiere screening takes place at the Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax next Thursday, September 22, at 7:15 pm.

This documentary about the Radio Canada International shortwave towers is both a film and a radio documentary, and while viewers watch the film in one part of the world, listeners can simultaneously listen to the radio doc in other parts of the world.

The film will be premiering in Canada at the Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax, while the radio documentary simultaneously makes it’s premiere on Wave Farm Radio out of New York.

=================================================

About the film:

Long before the internet, there was shortwave. A mysterious web of international shortwave radio towers once dominated the Tantramar marshscape. Meanwhile, local residents heard radio broadcasts emanate unexpectedly from their household appliances.

The Radio Canada International shortwave relay site was built during World War 2, to broadcast to Europe and Africa. It continued to broadcast around the world during the Cold War and beyond, not only for Canada, but also relaying transmissions for Radio Free Europe, Voice of Vietnam, Radio Korea, Radio Japan, and Radio China, among others. Located in Sackville, New Brunswick, it was perfectly positioned to transmit across the Atlantic Ocean, and covered most of the globe with its transmissions.

This experimental documentary film focuses on the flat marshland landscape accompanied by stories told by local residents and the technicians who worked at the site.

After beginning this project, the Canadian government announced that the Radio Canada International shortwave relay site would be shut down and dismantled. As such, a final chapter was added to the film, which documents the dismantling of this historic structure.

=================================================

About the Radio doc:

While the images of the film capture landscape imagery of the towers over four seasons in various weather conditions, the sound track of the film doubles as a radio documentary as stories told by local residents and the technicians who worked at the site are accompanied by field recordings from the area as well as contact microphone recordings made from the towers themselves.

In the final chapter of the documentary, the audio is comprised only of the contact microphone recordings of the towers and the sounds of their demolition. The beginning of the demolition is a rich soundscape with the drones of all thirteen towers playing together. As each tower falls and crashes to the ground, it’s voice is removed from the mix, until we are left with the single drone of the last tower standing until it falls.

=================================================

More info on the film, including video clips, photos, and press clippings can be found here:
www.spectresofshortwave.net

=================================================

World Premiere Film Screening:
Thursday, September 22, 7:15pm ADT
Atlantic Film Festival: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Cineplex Cinemas: Park Lane: Theatre 5
Ticket purchases and info: click here

=================================================

World Premiere Radio Simulcast
Thursday, September 22, 6:15pm EDT (22:15 UTC)
Wave Farm Radio: Acra, New York
Tune in and listen online here :
www.wavefarm.org/listen

fullscreen-capture-9182016-121906-pm

This film was made possible with the support of
the Canada Council for the Arts,
the New Brunswick Arts Board,
the Shaw Hot Docs Completion Fund
the Linda Joy Post Award
the National Film Board of Canda : Atlantic Centre
the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative
studio Prim, and
Wave Farm WGXC FM

World Premiere: Spectres of Shortwave/Ombres des ondes courtes

unnamedI’m very pleased to share this press release from filmmaker Amanda Dawn Christie:

WORLD PREMIERE :

Thursday, Sept. 22, 7:15 pm AST (11:15pm UTC)
Spectres of Shortwave / Ombres des ondes courtes
A film about radio waves, relationships, landscape, and loss.
============================================

Exciting news! Spectres of Shortwave is finally finished!

After seven long years, it’s finally time to share this film and the radio doc with the public! The final corrections to subtitles and credits were completed two weeks ago, and the DCP shipped out last week! The world premiere screening takes place at the Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax next Thursday, September 22, at 7:15 pm.

This documentary about the Radio Canada International shortwave towers is both a film and a radio documentary, and while viewers watch the film in one part of the world, listeners can simultaneously listen to the radio doc in other parts of the world.

The film will be premiering in Canada at the Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax, while the radio documentary simultaneously makes it’s premiere on Wave Farm Radio out of New York.

=================================================

About the film:

Long before the internet, there was shortwave. A mysterious web of international shortwave radio towers once dominated the Tantramar marshscape. Meanwhile, local residents heard radio broadcasts emanate unexpectedly from their household appliances.

The Radio Canada International shortwave relay site was built during World War 2, to broadcast to Europe and Africa. It continued to broadcast around the world during the Cold War and beyond, not only for Canada, but also relaying transmissions for Radio Free Europe, Voice of Vietnam, Radio Korea, Radio Japan, and Radio China, among others. Located in Sackville, New Brunswick, it was perfectly positioned to transmit across the Atlantic Ocean, and covered most of the globe with its transmissions.

This experimental documentary film focuses on the flat marshland landscape accompanied by stories told by local residents and the technicians who worked at the site.

After beginning this project, the Canadian government announced that the Radio Canada International shortwave relay site would be shut down and dismantled. As such, a final chapter was added to the film, which documents the dismantling of this historic structure.

=================================================

About the Radio doc:

While the images of the film capture landscape imagery of the towers over four seasons in various weather conditions, the sound track of the film doubles as a radio documentary as stories told by local residents and the technicians who worked at the site are accompanied by field recordings from the area as well as contact microphone recordings made from the towers themselves.

In the final chapter of the documentary, the audio is comprised only of the contact microphone recordings of the towers and the sounds of their demolition. The beginning of the demolition is a rich soundscape with the drones of all thirteen towers playing together. As each tower falls and crashes to the ground, it’s voice is removed from the mix, until we are left with the single drone of the last tower standing until it falls.

=================================================

More info on the film, including video clips, photos, and press clippings can be found here:
www.spectresofshortwave.net

=================================================

World Premiere Film Screening:
Thursday, September 22, 7:15pm AST
Atlantic Film Festival: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Cineplex Cinemas: Park Lane: Theatre 5
Ticket purchases and info: click here

=================================================

World Premiere Radio Simulcast
Thursday, September 22, 6:15pm EST (11:15 UTC)
Wave Farm Radio: Acra, New York
Tune in and listen online here :
www.wavefarm.org/listen

fullscreen-capture-9182016-121906-pm

This film was made possible with the support of
the Canada Council for the Arts,
the New Brunswick Arts Board,
the Shaw Hot Docs Completion Fund
the Linda Joy Post Award
the National Film Board of Canda : Atlantic Centre
the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative
studio Prim, and
Wave Farm WGXC FM