Milestone-Proposal:First television broadcast in Western Canada

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Docket #:2009-10</div> This is a draft proposal, that has not yet been submitted. To submit this proposal, click on "Edit with form", check the "Submit this proposal for review" box at the bottom, and save the page.

Is the achievement you are proposing more than 25 years old?

Is the achievement you are proposing within IEEE’s fields of interest? (e.g. “the theory and practice of electrical, electronics, communications and computer engineering, as well as computer science, the allied branches of engineering and the related arts and sciences” – from the IEEE Constitution)

Did the achievement provide a meaningful benefit for humanity?

Was it of at least regional importance?

Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to pay for the milestone plaque(s)?

Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to arrange the dedication ceremony?

Has the IEEE Section in which the milestone is located agreed to take responsibility for the plaque after it is dedicated?

Has the owner of the site agreed to have it designated as an Electrical Engineering Milestone? Yes

Year or range of years in which the achievement occurred:


Title of the proposed milestone:

First television broadcast in Western Canada

Plaque citation summarizing the achievement and its significance:

In what IEEE section(s) does it reside?


IEEE Organizational Unit(s) which have agreed to sponsor the Milestone:

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) paying for milestone plaque(s):

Unit: Vancouver Section
Senior Officer Name: Senior officer name masked to public

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) arranging the dedication ceremony:

Unit: Vancouver Section
Senior Officer Name: Senior officer name masked to public

Unit: Vancouver Section
Senior Officer Name: Senior officer name masked to public

IEEE section(s) monitoring the plaque(s):

IEEE Section: Vancouver Section
IEEE Section Chair name: Section chair name masked to public

Milestone proposer(s):

Proposer name: Proposer's name masked to public
Proposer email: Proposer's email masked to public

Please note: your email address and contact information will be masked on the website for privacy reasons. Only IEEE History Center Staff will be able to view the email address.

Street address(es) and GPS coordinates of the intended milestone plaque site(s):

CBC Broadcasting Site, Mount Seymour, North Vancouver, BC

Describe briefly the intended site(s) of the milestone plaque(s). The intended site(s) must have a direct connection with the achievement (e.g. where developed, invented, tested, demonstrated, installed, or operated, etc.). A museum where a device or example of the technology is displayed, or the university where the inventor studied, are not, in themselves, sufficient connection for a milestone plaque.

Please give the address(es) of the plaque site(s) (GPS coordinates if you have them). Also please give the details of the mounting, i.e. on the outside of the building, in the ground floor entrance hall, on a plinth on the grounds, etc. If visitors to the plaque site will need to go through security, or make an appointment, please give the contact information visitors will need. The plaque will be installed near the main gate of the CBC Broadcasting Site on Mount Seymour. CBC Broadcasting Site, Mount Seymour Parkway, North Vancouver, BC. Lat: 49°21′13″N Lon: 122°57′24″W The plaque will be installed on a wall near the main gate. CBC conducts frequent tours for students and the public.  All tours include a stop at this location.

Are the original buildings extant?


Details of the plaque mounting:

How is the site protected/secured, and in what ways is it accessible to the public?

The site is located on the Mount Seymour Parkway, a road which leads to the popular Mount Seymour ski resort, and is easily accessible. The broadcasting antennas and transmitter site are easily visible from the roadway and the main gate. CBC conducts frequent public tours for students and the public.  

Who is the present owner of the site(s)?

CBC Transmission

A letter in English, or with English translation, from the site owner(s) giving permission to place IEEE milestone plaque on the property:

A letter or email from the appropriate Section Chair supporting the Milestone application:

What is the historical significance of the work (its technological, scientific, or social importance)?

The CBC Broadcasting Site on Mount Seymour was both the first television broadcast transmitter in Western Canada and the first high elevation/ mountain top broadcasting site in Canada. The experience gained at the Mount Seymour site contributed to the principles and practices that guided the engineers who went on to design and oversee the over 1000 public and private television broadcasting sites that serve Western Canada today. References: a. Recollections of Dave Newbury, Senior Manager - West, CBC Transmission, Vancouver. (Dave has been a CBC employee for 40 years and knew many of the engineers and technicians who worked at the CBC Broadcast Site when it began operation.) b. Photograph collection of Dave Newbury, Senior Manager - West, CBC Transmission, Vancouver. c. Canadian Communications Foundation (Official site) at d.

What obstacles (technical, political, geographic) needed to be overcome?

Only three television broadcast stations had been established in Canada prior to CBUT in Vancouver; all were located in Eastern Canada and all were installed at relatively low elevations. For the CBC managers of the day, establishing the network’s fourth television transmitter so far West and at a high elevation was a bold and significant decision. The relatively complicated topography of the Lower Mainland of British Columbia required that considerable care be taken to choose a broadcasting site that would provide the best coverage. Predicting and evaluating the coverage of a VHF broadcast transmitter in mountainous terrain is much different from the corresponding task for the MF broadcast transmitters that had been widely installed at low-level locations in the Lower Mainland during the 1930‘s and 1940‘s. The quality of the initial site selection and engineering is underscored by the longevity of the CBC Broadcasting Site on Mount Seymour and the large number of other television and FM broadcast transmitters that are installed in the same general area today.

What features set this work apart from similar achievements?

Although many other television broadcasting sites were established in Western Canada during the 1950’s, CBUT was the first. As a result, CBUT provided an important training ground for the engineers who went on to deploy later television broadcasting sites. The CBUT broadcasting site on Mount Seymour was the first high elevation/mountain top broadcasting site in Canada. Although VHF broadcasting sites had been established in Western Canada earlier, their transmitting sites were generally located atop tall buildings in urban areas, e.g., VE9FG (later CBU-FM), a 1-kW FM broadcast station that became operational on 21 November 1947 and which was located at the Hotel Vancouver. The three television broadcasting sites that had been established in Canada previously (in Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa) were also installed at relatively low elevations.

References to establish the dates, location, and importance of the achievement: Minimum of five (5), but as many as needed to support the milestone, such as patents, contemporary newspaper articles, journal articles, or citations to pages in scholarly books. At least one of the references must be from a scholarly book or journal article.

Supporting materials (supported formats: GIF, JPEG, PNG, PDF, DOC): All supporting materials must be in English, or if not in English, accompanied by an English translation. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. For documents that are copyright-encumbered, or which you do not have rights to post, email the documents themselves to Please see the Milestone Program Guidelines for more information.