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CBC is regarded as one of the most prominent and influential cultural institutions in Canada. After establishing itself as a platform dedicated to producing and delivering Canadian content from coast to coast, CBC has maintained itself as a protector of Canadian culture, artistry, and values. Their broadcasts and programs are a huge part of our country’s history and future, binding together our citizens through a sense of community and belonging. CBC/Radio-Canada’s commitment to inclusivity is demonstrated through the extensive reach of their broadcasting, offering programming in both of Canada’s official languages (French and English) as well as many native languages for the country’s listeners in the North and closed captioning for the deaf. Through their fierce ethical and moral compass, CBC-Radio/Canada has acted as an adhesive for our nation’s citizens and their diverse backgrounds and beliefs, guiding us through the tumultuous and politically wrought decades of the nineteenth century including wars, the Great Depression, and various other transformative social climates. CBC Radio/Canada was not always the cultural force it is today; its success story is one of epic proportions and humble beginnings.

 

With Canada’s national culture just in its infancy in the early decades of the nineteenth century and therefore vulnerable to the already well established and booming American culture industry, the Canadian government stepped in, establishing a royal commission to advise the future of broadcasting in Canada in 1928. Under Royal Commission on Radio Broadcasting’s recommendations for a nationally owned company to regulate and protect Canadian content and the emerging and delicate culture that generated it, the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission was established. The CRBC encountered many challenges, which can be generalized by a lack of organization and underfunding.

 

 

In 1936, the new Canadian Broadcasting Act brought the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)/Radio-Canada into the world. CBC was better prepared for the demands of delivering national news and content to such a large and diverse region. The CBC absorbed all rights and responsibilities of the CRBC, and they also presided over sixteen privately owned affiliate stations. The following years were spent fighting for adequate infrastructure to allow greater access to Canadians, securing new transmitters in major cities to combat interruptions from American stations as well as greater reach to Northern communities.

 

CBC/Radio-Canada quickly developed a reputation for integrity, authenticity, and neutrality.

As the crown corporation took its first steps, it launched various informative programs, but it really found its groove in the 40s, when their news division emerged. Also during this decade, Canada put the world’s first national domestic satellite into orbit in 1962, making waves in history and allowing their programs to be aired in the Canadian North—for the very first time. During this time, Canadian regulatory authorities began establishing quotas and rules for Canadian broadcasters, putting in place the 60% Canadian Content requirement.

 

 

This period of productivity was followed by the decade of the television, which brought uncertainty to CBC. Mounting pressure to compete with an American entertainment industry that had already introduced television to their public, the Canadian government was concerned about the costliness of the new medium as well as the rapid pace with which the technology seemed to be evolving. After only a brief pause, funds to support televised programming were allocated through an excise tax on television sets purchased. Television’s popularity took off at record pace, but CBC was well prepared, trailing in second place to America in live television programming. CBC hosted the first telecast of the opening of parliament in 1955 followed by a wealth of other political event coverage. During Expo ’67 in Montreal, CBC/Radio-Canada took on the role of host broadcaster, doing the same for the Pan Am Games in Winnipeg that same year. The following year, they co-produced the country’s first political debate with CTV.

 

 

Of course, the allocation of resources to televised programming came at the expense of radio programming. Radio listeners dropped dramatically and its content teetered into the category of obsolescence. It was clear that a serious shift in priorities was necessary to secure the longevity of the station, and in the late 70’s, CBC did just that. After an extensive radio study, CBC devised substantial changes in their program scheduling and created new segments that helped re-insert themselves into relevance. However, this was a precarious task as well, because this meant an increasing reliance on American content and programming, often leaving the corporation vulnerable to accusations of failing to meet its Canadian content mandate of 60%. Globalization and the increasing availability of alternative content once again put Canadian cultural material in jeopardy, but CBC eventually found their balance, securing an exclusively Canadian prime-time schedule by 1996 and boasting 99% Canadian content on its radio programming in present day, cementing their commitment to the production and distribution of Canadian culture.

 

 

 

The enduring and increasing prevalence of digital media has forced CBC to become an agent of change and resilience, allowing them to adapt in whatever way necessary to ensure their content is available to Canadians whenever and wherever they need it. Their commitment to identifying and celebrating Canadian storytellers and fostering the development of these voices has been a driving force in our cultural economy; they are strong supporters of indigenous communities and are active agents in improving quality of life to impoverished youth and other marginalized groups.

 

CBC has been and continues to be a staple in the Canadian cultural industry; their various platforms are crucial instruments in establishing, maintaining, and celebrating Canadian voices, from music and literature to politics and current events. CBC has steadfastly promoted values central to the collective national consciousness, and, incidentally, have been instrumental in shaping those values.

 

 

We, as Canadians, are lucky to have such a colourful institution to deliver the information and art we rely on as members of the workforce, as parents, as friends, as Canadian citizens, and as humans. We are proud to offer merchandise that celebrates one of Canada’s primary cultural generators, especially considering the impact their support for the creative community has had on Canadian businesses and artistic endeavours. Envy is proud to offer these Tee-shirts in celebration of CBC/Radio- Canada and all their contributions to our country.

 

Envy's in-store CBC merch coupon

 

bahia
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I love to travel…but to be honest, until as of late, the most important thing about travel was the shopping. I’m not sure when it changed, but these days I’m finding myself more and more interested in sights and culture when I’m away from home – don’t get me wrong, I still shop ‘til I drop but there’s more to it these days. I took a business trip in January to St. Louis, Missouri. Admittedly, never on my list of places to visit and so it was scheduled to be a very much in, and done, and gone type of trip. Alas, Mother Nature had other plans, or maybe just the universe in general, as from the moment I hit the Winnipeg airport everything went awry. The plane was over-sold. To this day I don’t know how or why this happens, but as I travel more I see it’s very common. To me it seems pretty cut and dry, you have x number of seats on the plane and that’s a constant variable. It does not change. Therefore, airline, you should only sell x number of seats for that flight. No? Anyway, finally aboard and seated and then they had to de-ice the plane. When we finally put that bird down in Minneapolis I had 15 minutes to get from gate A to F. I’m sure it was an over 5km haul. As I briskly walked (a.k.a hauled ass) I noticed there was a tram that went between terminals so I hopped on…and the trams only travel back and forth between terminals and don’t make a circuit. So it transported me backward. Arghh. Flight missed. Thank goodness for the American Express Lounge and some other poor souls who missed their connection as my time was spent sipping cocktails and I was able to hop on the next flight and make it to St. Louis for the Blues’ puck drop.

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My companions, who reside in St. Louis, were quite worried about the impending winter storm that was expected to hit the region over night. They were expecting ‘thunder snow’ – yes, that’s real – look it up! Even with that unsettling new meteorological term under my belt I was still a little shocked to learn that in anticipation of it they had already closed schools for Monday – it was Saturday. When we left the game there were some lovely light snowflakes falling through the air. The type that melt when they land – and people were becoming alarmed. I was dropped at my hotel and turned in fairly early as I had the majority of the next day to myself, before some meetings, which I had ear marked for shopping until dropping. When I headed down to the concierge for a cab the next morning he laughed in my face. No cabs were running. “Huh? Really? It doesn’t look too bad out there? How about your shuttle?” He informed me that if anyone were crazy enough to drive me anyplace nothing would be open upon my arrival. “What about the mall?” I asked. I’m not usually a mall shopper when I travel but desperation was setting in. More laughter. I returned to my room and flipped on the news to see what was happening outside since the view from the lobby looked pretty balmy to me. Reports were that everything was closed. Churches, government offices, gas, shopping, everything. Travel was not advisable and everyone should just stay home and ration their provisions as it could be days before things were back to normal. Highways were impassable due to white out conditions and snow crews were taking their lives into their hands. I flung open the drapes to check things out and I swear I could see for a kilometer and there was about 6 inches of snow on the ground. Are these people serious?

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After the city recovered and our formal meetings were all cancelled, as only two of us made it into town, it became apparent that we weren’t going to get out of town. My flight home was cancelled…for two days! At this point a lot of things were starting to open up, although it should be noted that this was Wednesday and kids were still not back at school. I took the shuttle to downtown St. Charles which is a lovely, old neighbourhood with historic homes converted into shops and pubs and restaurants. About half were open and shoveled out and it was a lovely day.

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On Thursday I headed into downtown St. Louis to check out the Gateway Arch and broaden my knowledge of Lewis and Clark (the explorers, not Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher). I had seen The Arch while driving to the hockey game but to walk the approach of the gorgeous grounds around it and stand under it was an entirely different experience.

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Once inside and able to view an aerial diagram of the landscape design it truly brought the bucolic park to a whole new level. While reading through the history of how The Arch was designed and constructed I was pleasantly surprised to learn that it was designed by Eero Saarinen. I had no idea. I do love me a Saarinen table, one of my favourites in fact, so this was a truly exciting discovery.

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The 630 foot stainless steel monument is the world’s tallest arch. It is as high as it is wide from triangular leg to triangular leg and its form is derived from that of a weighted catenary arch; a curve created by hanging a flexible chain from its ends and letting gravity do its thing – think of the sag in telephone wires. The arch is hollow to accommodate a unique tram system that takes visitors to an observation deck at the top. It is much like a ferris wheel and as you ride up, the little cart that carries you swings over to keep you and the cart parallel as you travel up the arch (it makes all sorts of disconcerting noises that are made even more alarming when riding up solo!).

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At the top is a beautiful view of St. Louis and the Mississippi River. Standing in that observation deck and looking at a view that extends for many miles while so far from home gets one to thinking of how small we truly are in the great big world – that is until conquering the 1,200,000 square feet that is St. Louis’ Galleria Mall…then one feels much like a goddess!

bahia
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A. a penguin with a sun burn
B. a panda eating strawberries
C. a gorgeous living room we are currently working on
D. all of the above

It happens all the time. You start off looking to modernize or update your space, and after purchasing a few key pieces you suddenly arrive at a road block. Will this fit? Did I make the right choice? What do I need now? After purchasing a new white sofa, a hounds-tooth round snuggle chair and an area carpet our lovely clients S and D found themselves at that aforementioned road block. On a Saturday afternoon they wandered into our shop, and after a bit of browsing and discussion booked a one hour “brain picking session” with Kassia to come up with some paint colours and design advice. Once they had her out to their home to see their space and dole out her expertise they determined they wanted her around for the long haul. Over the past little while they have been slowly putting Kassia’s stellar ideas into motion…check out the new floor plan and all the goodies that these folks are purchasing for their stunning new space!!

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bahia
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