CKNW returns to New Westminster to celebrate a milestone

Save the Date: Thursday, Aug. 15

What’s happening?

In celebration of its 75th anniversary, 980 CKNW is having a full-day celebration at Anvil Centre on Thursday, Aug. 15 from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. CKNW hosts Jon McComb (5:30 to 10 a.m.), Simi Sara (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and Lynda Steele (2 to 6 p.m.) will be broadcasting live on-site throughout the day.

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Is it open to the public?

The free, family-friendly event allows guests to drop by Anvil Centre at any point in the day for entertainment, food sampling, and meet-and-greet sessions with former and current hosts of CKNW. Global BC will also be on-site with community reporter Michael Newman and meteorologist Kristi Gordon, who will be doing live hits from the celebration throughout the day.  

While McComb (who recently celebrated his 35th anniversary with CKNW) hits the airwaves at 5:30 a.m., doors to Anvil Centre won’t open to the public until 6:30 a.m.

Tell me more:

In addition to local vendors who will on-site showcasing their businesses to the visitors, people will get a behind-the-scenes look into the world of broadcasting.

Former CKNW hosts and reporters taking part in the on-air celebrations include: Bill Good (1988 to 2014); Christy Clark (2007 to 2010); Bryan "Frosty" Forst (1964 to 2005); and George Garrett (1956 to 1999.)

Is the city involved in the celebration?

The New Westminster Museum and Archives is hosting a lecture on the station’s history in New West – its personalities, its development and more. Top Dog: CKNW – The New Westminster Years, will take place from 2 to 3 p.m. (code 30216) and 7 to 8 p.m. (code 22973). Register for these free lectures at 604-527-4640.

Why celebrate in New West?

CKNW may have moved to downtown Vancouver in 1996, but it’s proud of its roots in the Royal City – the NW in CKNW stands for New Westminster.

CKNW began broadcasting from the former Windsor Hotel, near Columbia and Eighth streets in downtown New Westminster, on Aug. 15, 1944. In January 1969, it relocated into a larger studio space at Eighth and McBride in New Westminster.

“CKNW is an iconic news and talk radio station that continues to impress listeners with an evolving approach that both honours our storied history and incorporates compelling new content that reflects the realities of today’s world,” said Larry Gifford, national director of AM Radio, Corus Entertainment. “We are proud to celebrate 75 years in CKNW’s birthplace as we look forward to the station’s bright future.”

Was CKNW always a news station?

When CKNW officially signed on, it played both live and recorded country and western music. But right from the beginning, it ran hourly newscasts from 6 a.m. to midnight, which was unique in its day.  

How is CKNW celebrating its anniversary on air?

Starting on Monday, Aug. 12, CKNW is taking a trip down memory lane and sharing great moments in the station’s history with the listeners. In addition to a two-hour special with Lynda Steele and Red Robinson listening back to the Beatles concert at Empire Stadium in 1964, which was broadcast live on CKNW, other highlights include Bill Rea’s Open Line in 1946, CKNW’s coverage of the Miracle Mile, the first-ever Vancouver Canucks game, Expo 86, the CKNW Orphan Fund’s annual herring sale, the Man in Motion tour, as well as the undercover towing story that made George Garrett such an intrepid reporter.  

 What is the CKNW Kids’ Fund?

In December 1944, the brand-new station decided to make the holiday season a little brighter for a local orphanage by purchasing gifts for residents of The Loyal Protestant Home, which was located at Sixth Street and Eighth Avenue.  The orphanage no longer exists, but the CKNW Kids' Fund (it’s no longer called the CKNW Orphans Fund) has expanded to support vulnerable kids with physical, mental and social challenges in communities throughout B.C.

 

 

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