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Canada - Radio

As a very large country, Canada has many radio stations. There are several which broadcast on a national level and hundreds more which focus on local broadcasting. The national broadcasting network is known as the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation). In addition to the television channels which are broadcast by the network there are also a number of national radio stations. The company will also produce several radio programmes for broadcasting at a local level. CBC radio stations do not feature commercials but they do advertise local events. The programmes range from the expected music programmes to documentaries and current affairs. Stations may broadcast on AM or FM bandwidths, and occasionally a station may use both to ensure that they reach a wider audience.

All regions have a number of commercial radio stations. These are often specific to one genre of music with many rock stations, jazz, contemporary music and several stations which are dedicated to music from one particular era. In addition there are talk stations, sports stations and those which are broadcast in French and other languages.

CBC Radio One is a cultural station broadcasting national news and current affairs and will feature several programmes each week which are broadcast on a national basis. Other programmes are specific to local events. CBC Radio Two is an arts station which features classical music, jazz and some opera broadcasts. CBC Radio Three features a variety of live and pre-recorded shows and presenters are a mix of regulars and guest hosts. The station has a variety of music shows and often has bands performing live in the studio. Premiere Chaine is a national channel which broadcasts in French. Both Quebec and Ontario have several stations which broadcast on this network. The station broadcasts a variety of news and cultural programmes, featuring both local and national information.

Canada’s radio network also has several stations for the indigenous peoples of the country. Aboriginal Voices Radio offers an eclectic range of music which includes American, European and Canadian as well as indigenous music. Some programmes are pre-recorded but most are live and at weekends there are a number of programmes which focus on the culture of the indigenous peoples.

CBUX is a similar station to CBC Radio Two which broadcasts in French and much of the music is in French too. Red FM (also known as CKYE) is a station which broadcasts in Hindi and Punjabi, with Indian music and talk programmes which include world news. Red-FM also broadcasts occasional programmes in English, Hungarian and Polish. CHKG broadcasts mainly in Chinese but does feature programmes for other cultures. CBUF is a French language station which broadcasts news and information programmes.

Radio Canada broadcasts in a number of languages besides English and French including Russian, Spanish, Arabic and Portuguese and there is an international arm to this network which operates stations in other countries.

It is possible to get a number of radio stations via a satellite network in Canada. One of these is Sirius Canada. This is a privately run company and broadcasts a number of established radio stations via satellite. The stations include the main CBC radio stations, French language stations including Bande a Part and Premiere Plus and Espace Musique. These are available on a subscription service, usually as part of a satellite television service and will incur a small fee each month. However, receiving the stations in this way will mean that some listeners can have access to stations that they might not be able to receive otherwise.

In some areas of Canada it is fairly easy to pick up broadcasts of US stations, which offer very similar content to stations broadcasting in Canada.

DAB digital radio was launched a number of years ago in Canada but it has not been a great success. As a result, many transmitters for digital signals have now been shut down and those stations that had not begun working in a digital format will not do so now.

Most radio stations in Canada can be streamed via the internet and programmes can be downloaded as individual podcasts. It is also possible for expats living in Canada to listen to radio stations from their home country in this way.

Read more about this country

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