This Thanksgiving weekend, CBC TV quietly launched new one hour current affairs programs across Canada: Our Calgary, Our Edmonton, Our Montreal, Our Ottawa, Our Toronto, and Our Vancouver. The show is an hour-long current program, hosted in Calgary by Holly Preston and in Edmonton by Adrienne Lamb. The programs debut on Saturday, Saturday, October 12 at 6am in every major market across Canada and repeated at 11am on Sunday and 11am on Monday.
The initiatives are the response to promises the CBC made to the CRTC during its last licence renewal hearing. As a condition of their licence, CBC committed to increasing the amount of local programming on its stations in major markets across Canada to 14 hours a week to be consistent with private stations in major markets. Instead of adding more newscasts, CBC committed that at least one hour a week would be non-news local programming.
It seems to have taken more time to put the programs together than planned to come together. Even after the new licence came into effect on September 1, CBC had yet to announce the program’s name or hosts, only confirmation in a media release that the new current affairs program would be an hour a week repeated twice over the weekend.
According to the release, the programs will be about “the stories that made headlines and had everyone talking … weekly highlights plus a look behind the headlines on the issues everyone’s been buzzing about … the week’s top news stories plus timely features on books, health, one-on-one interviews and an interactive web column.”
True to its promise, Our Edmonton, reports Adrienne, “will be shot on-location around Edmonton” with a particular focus on Winston Churchill Square, a location she reminds us that CBC Edmonton moved to 10 years ago and now its “front yard”. Perhaps CBC Edmonton had this program in mind all along?
Adrienne would know, she’s been a stalwart reporter for CBC in Edmonton for fifteen years propelled with a degree in Anthropology and a Master’s degree in Journalism when she’s not running marathons or being a wife and mother of two. In addition to hosting Our Edmonton, she will continue to report for Edmonton AM.
In Calgary, Holly plans to take a different approach. Instead of on-location stories, she plans to re-present some of CBC’s stories as features and delve a little deeper into interesting events and issues, not just in Calgary but in southern Alberta “stories that viewers might have missed.” For example, they decided to feature the Canadian Hot Air Balloon Competition that took place in High River on September 27, as a way to lift the spirits of the many people who were impacted by the devastating floods.
Like her counterpart in Edmonton, Holly has a long and distinguished career with CBC. She began her career as the host of CBC Radio’s The Food Show. She moved to CBC Television, anchoring the CBC Saskatchewan supper hour newscast for nearly a decade and was Senior Producer for Newsworld Calgary for many years, also producing television specials for the network. She will continue to host Alberta @ Noon.
Launching a new hour long local current affairs program in Calgary and Edmonton and across Canada on Thanksgiving weekend is a welcome way for CBC to remain connected to and representative of local communities. Kudos to CBC for choosing two seasoned journalists with strong pedigrees and lengthy commitments to their communities to host these two new local current affairs programs.
Our Calgary, hosted by Holly Preston
Our Edmonton, hosted by Adrienne Lamb
Our Vancouver, hosted by Gloria Macarenko
Our Montreal, hosted by Sonali Karnick
Our Ottawa, hosted by Lucy van Oldenbarneveld
Our Toronto, hosted by Marivel Taruc