The CBC’s new digs on Victoria Street means hosts can interview guests without a wall of glass between them, and connect to CBC stations across the country.
And the much larger new location means no more coffee mug pileups, says producer Deborah Irvine.
“We have a kitchen, so there will no longer be fights over dirty coffee cups,” she said. “And we have our own washroom.”
At the CBC’s old location on 5th Avenue, the five full-time staff and one part-timer had to line up to share a bathroom with the other tenants of the building.
But beyond the conveniences – and the access to sunshine through south-facing windows – the move to the new location also means out with the old and in with the new.
“We only brought half of our equipment over,” Irvine said Monday as technicians worked to wire two studios -the old location had one -and prepare the site for its first on-air broadcast next Monday. “Now we have the very best that exists at this time.”
The new studio space will allow staff to conduct story meetings over an intercom with their colleagues in Prince Rupert without having to share microphones or chairs, allow host Peter Evans to conduct interviews in the same room as his guests, and connect with CBC across the country.
That means CBC colleagues in eastern Canada will be able to conduct interviews with guests in northern British Columbia in the studio with high-quality sound.
And because Evans is a solo host, he used to have to sit in the control room to be able to work the controls while his guest sat in the studio. There is now enough space – decorated in the CBC’s red and blue – and desks to allow for freelancers, Irvine said, and enough room for her to move hers out of the studio.
“Whenever someone was interviewed, I was kicked out,” she said. “A freelancer or an intern can have their own desk, instead of playing musical chairs.”
The station will host a 12-hour open house from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 4 for the public to see the new studios and enjoy the making of live radio as it happens.
From 6 to 8:30 a.m., visitors can enjoy free Tim Hortons coffee and watch Daybreak with Evans and Prince Rupert host Russell Bowers, who usually co-host from different stations. From noon to 2 p.m., Mark Forsythe hosts BC Almanac live from the studio, and from 4 to 6 p.m., Jo-Ann Roberts and All Points West takes over the studio.
On March 5, Sheryl MacKay and North By Northwest go on the air from 6 to 9 a.m. to profile local artists.
Visitors can enter a draw for a return trip for a family of four on Via Rail to Jasper, plus two nights’ accommodations at the Jasper Park Lodge.