A Moncton artist is now working against the clock to film the Radio-Canada International shortwave towers in her latest film project.
Budget cuts at CBC announced last week mean the towers, near Sackville, N.B., will soon be shut down, but it’s not known exactly what will happen to the towers themselves.
Amanda Dawn Christie said she remembers coming and going from Moncton and the towers signifying that she was almost home.
“Whenever I would drive in, I would just be filled with this exhilaration and I don’t know if it’s the high voltage. Like, some people get headaches and nauseous; I would get exhilarated,” she said. “So I don’t know if it was my interest or if it was the high voltage, but I definitely had this sense of ‘wow.'”
She said she’s heard similar stories as she’s started interviewing people for her feature film.
Christie’s been studying the towers for years.
She even created a sculpture on the marsh near the towers — a kitchen sink designed to catch radio waves — a phenomenon often reported by locals.
Now she’s collecting stories of people who call the towers their landmark, or a tightrope school because of the wires, or the connection to Africa or the Arctic.
Christie said she’s particularly fond of the sight at dawn and dusk.
“The sky’s kind of pink and blue, and the lights are on but you can still see all the towers and the wires. It’s very magical,” she said. “If you don’t know what it is, you’re filled with wonder. And the thing is, if you do know what it is, you’re still filled with wonder.”
Instead of the shortwave towers, RCI will broadcast internationally online.
In truth, even when RCI’s Sackville, NB site is decommissioned, I doubt the towers will be brought down immediately. It’s actually quite an engineering feat to dismantle these. I would hope RCI offers other broadcasters the opportunity to dismantle and use them. VOA (or the IBB) had success doing this at their Greenville, NC transmission site (Site A).