Crowd greets CBC staff as bureau goes on air

'When you listen to it (the CBC), it connects you nationally, it connects you provincially, and it connects you to your community'

Listeners who tune in to 94.1 on the FM dial today will hear all the news, sports and human-interest stories fans would expect from a CBC bureau in Kamloops.

The broadcast that aired at 6 a.m. Tuesday was a celebration of the hard work, worry and anticipation that went into bringing the bureau and its flagship Daybreak Kamloops program to the air.

"I have been so nervous leading up to today. There's obviously a lot of stress that led up to this," Daybreak host Shelley Joyce said once the inaugural broadcast was complete.

"But I felt so calm and peaceful coming in this morning. I couldn't wait to get started."

A lineup of people greeted Joyce, news anchor Doug Herbert, associate producer Josh PagÉ and producer Rob Polson outside the station at Second Avenue and Victoria Street.

And the crowd grew throughout the morning as CBC stars like B.C. Almanac's Mark Forsythe, Bob McDonald of Quirks and Quarks and Graham Wardle of CBC TV's Heartland joined the celebration.

For listeners, and the Crown corporation, the day was a long time coming. Johnny Michel, the CBC's managing director for B.C., told the dozens of people who crammed into the tiny station for a ribbon cutting that everyone with the broadcaster wanted the bureau to become a reality.

Doubt was cast on the idea earlier this year when the federal Conservatives slashed the CBC's funding. But Michel said the corporation has a mandate to provide community content and Kamloops needed to be a part of that.

"When you listen to it (the CBC), it connects you nationally, it connects you provincially, and it connects you to your community," he said. "Today Kamloops can claim its place, and space, in this national conversation."

Mayor Peter Milobar presented Michel with a City proclamation declaring Oct. 9, 2012, as CBC Day in Kamloops.

Milobar was excited to listen to Daybreak Kamloops on the radio Tuesday morning and hear enthusiastic cheers in the background, he said.

The CBC clearly has fans in Kamloops, and those people will be well served by the local news and stories the broadcaster will generate, said Milobar.

"It's great to have that local touch here," he said.

Many people spent the morning mingling outside the station. Rick Albert and Sue Huddart, a couple of long-time listeners, compared notes on who has the best CBC name.

Albert likesDzintars Cers and Hubbart is a fan of Piya Chattopadhyay. Both agree Vik Adhopia is an excellent name.

Louanne Jessome and Magie Buhler have listened to the CBC for as long as they can remember. And they intend to keep listening now that there's a local perspective.

Buhler enjoyed watching Joyce and Herbert bring the morning show to life and listening to live music by Andrew Allen and Tiller's Folly.

"It's fun," she said.

Forsythe hosted B.C. Almanac from Kamloops on Tuesday. Before going on the air, he told The Daily News that Kamloops is a big news town and the CBC bureau will do a fine job of representing the city and region.

"This only enhances the profile of Kamloops and the area, and for good reason. We need to be here," said Forsythe, adding Monday's episode focused on the proposed Ajax mine.

Joyce promised future broadcasts will cover the news of the day and provide an in-depth look at the issues in the region, she said.

Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod and Tk'emlups Indian Band chief Shane Gottfriedson also attended the event.

© Copyright 2018 Kamloops Daily News