Radio-Quebec was created to produce educational and government programs.
Distribution of Radio-Quebec programming via cable television began in the fall - first in Montreal and Quebec City.
Cable companies in Sherbrooke and Hull began to carry Radio-Quebec programming.
On April 4, Office de Radio-Telediffusion du Quebec (Quebec Broadcasting Bureau) was licensed to operate a French educational television network (to be known as Reseau Radio-Quebec) with transmitters at Montreal and Quebec City.
On November 19, the Bureau was authorized to make technical changes for its channel 15 Quebec City transmitter. Effective radiated power would increase and a new transmitter site would be used.
The Radio-Québec network signed on the air on January 19. Similar to the Ontario Educational Communications Authority, Radio-Quebec was a government-owned French-language educational network. Radio-Quebec's flagship station was CIVM-TV Channel 17 Montreal. The "VM" in the call sign: Ville de Montréal. The Quebec City transmitter had the call sign of CIVQ-TV. CIVM-TV Montreal used an RCA transmitter and shared the city's crowded Mount-Royal TV and FM transmitter site. CIVQ-TV in Quebec City also had an RCA transmitter. It's antenna was located atop a government office building.
For areas of the province where Radio-Quebec had no local signal, the organization developed a free dubbing service where programs could be carried on cable on a one week delay. As R-Q added more transmitters, more cable systems would carry the network "live".
Radio-Quebec received approval to take over the facilities of the darkened commercial station, CFVO-TV in Hull. R-Q purchased the facilities in April for $540,000. Radio-Quebec already operated stations in Montreal and Quebec City, and had plans for a province-wide network of 54 transmitters. Radio-Quebec would broadcast over channel 30 in Hull with an effective radiated video power of 727,000 watts. Radio-Quebec received approval for the Hull licence on June 30 and CIVO-TV signed on the air on August 15. CIVO-TV had an RCA transmitter and the antenna was at Camp Fortune, shared with Radio Nord's CHOT-TV.
On December 14, the Government of Quebec passed an Order in Council designating Radio-Quebec as an educational broadcasting authority.
On July 6, new transmitters were approved for Mont-Laurier (channel 21 with effective radiated power of 9,600 watts) and Chapeau (channel 23 with ERP of 3,120 watts). A decision for transmitters at Rouyn-Noranda (channel 13 with 203,100 watts) and Lithium Mines (channel 10, 230,500 watts) was put on hold to a later date. Radio-Quebec competed with Radio Nord for the same channels at Rouyn-Noranda and Lithium Mines.
Approval in principle was granted October 2 for CIVO-TV Hull to decrease effective radiated power from 727,000 to 715,300 watts.
Radio-Québec was off the air for much of the year due to a lockout of employees.
On January 18, two transmitters were added to serve the Abitibi region - CIVN-TV channel 8 at Rouyn-Noranda, and CIVA-TV channel 12 at Val d'Or.
CIVM-TV was given approval for retransmitters at Trois-Rivieres (channel 45 with ERP of 1,188,500 watts), Rimouski (channel 22 with 1,472,300 watts) and Sherbrooke (channel 14 with 1,318,000 watts).
Radio-Quebec applied for transmitters at Baie-Trinite (62,000 watts on channel 12) and Sept-Iles (96,300 watts on channel 9). The applications were approved.
CIVC-TV Trois-Rivieres (channel 45) began transmissions on October 6. It shared the 1000' CKIM-TV tower which also hosted a CBC rebroadcaster and three FM stations. A Comark 55 kw transmitter was used by CIVC-TV.
CIVR-TV Rimouski (channel 22) was opened on November 3. It also used a Comark 55 kw UHF transmitter and was co-sited.
CIVS-TV Sherbrooke (channel 14) was opened early in the year. It was co-sited and used a Comark 55 kw UHF transmitter.
Radio-Quebec applied for transmitters at Anse-aux-Gascons (ERP of 108,200 watts on channel 8), Carleton (428,200 watts on channel 15), Chicoutimi (143,700 watts on channel 8), Gaspe (2,600 watts on channel 35), Perce (2,170 watts on channel 40), and Riviere-du-Loup (channel 2 with 25,100 watts).
CIVS-TV Sherbrooke was authorized to move to channel 24 and use an effective radiated power of 475,000 watts.
Radio-Quebec had a staff of 650, an annual budget of over $40 million, and broadcast up to twelve hours of programming daily. By the end of the 1980's, Radio-Quebec proposed to have 15 main transmitters and 45 rebroadcasters, reaching over 96% of Quebec's six-million-plus population. Most of the network's programming originated at this time from its two 3-camera studios in Montreal. R-Q also had a 5-camera mobile unit, two 2-camera mobiles, and two ENG units.
Claude Robert was director of engineering. Jacques St-Pierre was director of network operations. St-Pierre joined Radio-Quebec in 1968, shortly after its inception.
Both the Rouyn-Noranda and Val d'Or operations had Harris 25 kw VHF transmitters, co-sited with Radio-Nord television stations. At Val d'Or, channels 7, 10 and 12 were triplexed, believed to be the only triplexed site in North America. The Chapeau rebroadcaster in the Ottawa Valley, had an Acrodyne 1 kw transmitter and was co-sited on a CBC tower.
Three more main stations were to go on the air in the fall. General Electric transmitters would be used at CIVF-TV (channel 12) Baie Trinite (lower St. Lawrence region) and CIVG-TV (channel 9) Sept-Iles (north shore) - to be co-sited with CFER-TV.
CKRS-TV (Jonquiere) and Radio-Quebec's CIVV-TV (channel 8, Chicoutimi) began sharing the same antenna at Mont-Valin, even though each station had a different directional pattern. The stations antenna was on a 750 foot tower atop the 3,000 foot Mont-Valin. Both CKRS-TV and CIVV-TV used 25 kw Thomson-CSF transmitters.
CIVV-TV Chicoutimi was authorized to decrease effective radiated power from 143,700 watts to 141,800 watts.
Radio-Quebec received approval to use channel 32 with an effective radiated power of 446.4 kw for Anse-aux-Gascous.
On January 25, the CRTC renewed the licence for the following Société de radio-télévision du Québec transmitters, until February 28, 1985 (the term would enable the Commission to consider the renewal of this licence at a Public Hearing scheduled to be held next fall): CIVA-TV Abitibi-Témiscamingue (Val d'Or), CIVA-TV-1 Abitibi-Témiscamingue (Rouyn-Noranda), CIVB-TV Rimouski, CIVC-TV Trois-Rivières, CIVF-TV Baie-Trinité, CIVG-TV Sept-Iles, CIVL-TV Mont-Laurier, CIVM-TV Montréal, CIVO-TV Hull, CIVP-TV Chapeau, CIVQ-TV Québec and CIVS-TV Estrie.
CIVB-TV-1 Grand Forks (Riviere-du-Loup) was given approval for new technical parameters: channel 31 with effective radiated power of 25,950 watts.
On January 1, Radio-Québec began using two channels of the Anik C-3 satellite to feed its transmitters from Montreal, thus making the signal available for cable distribution (via satellite). Two channels were used, one for the province-wide TV network, the other for occasional service to specific regions of the province. A Telesat uplink was installed atop the R-Q headquarters at 800 Fullum in Montreal.
By this time, Radio-Québec had 12 transmitting and 5 rebroadcasting stations, and was available to more than 90% of the population with an over-the-air signal. The network of transmitters consited of: CIVM-TV Montreal, CIVQ-TV Quebec City, CIVO-TV Hull, CIVP-TV Chapeau, CIVA-TV and CIVA-TV-1 Abitibi-Témiscamingue (Val d'Or and Rouyn), CIVB-TV Rimouski, CIVC-TV Trois-Rivières, CIVS-TV Eastern Townships (Sherbrooke), CIVF-TV Baie-Trinité and CIVG-TV Sept-Iles.
Radio-Québec and TV Ontario had a program exchange agreement by this time. RQ broadcast some TVO English-language programs and TV Ontario broadcast some French-language RQ programs.
Francoise Bertrand was named director-general of Radio-Quebec.
Engineering director Jacques St-Pierre, who oversaw the expansion of Radio-Quebec to all parts of the province, retired at the end of the year.
Radio-Quebec announced plans to add two new studios to its Montreal facilities by the fall of 1992. The expansion would include new studios of 6,000 square feet and 3,500 square feet, and new equipment, mostly for production and control room use. The new facilities would allow the educational broadcasters to do elaborate productions now taped in rented private-sector studios scattered across Montreal.
Jean Fortier became president of Radio-Quebec.
Jean Fortier admitted that Radio-Quebec was virtually bankrupt. He added that an advisory committed had called for a return to strictly educational programming. More than 150 of the 700+ staff had been laid off in the spring, and plans now called for a further reduction of staff to less than 300. Most in-house production would be transferred to independent producers by the fall of 1996. It was also decided that RQ be renamed Tele-Quebec. At this time, RQ was receiving about $55 million a year in government grants.
Radio-Québec changed its name to Télé-Québec on September 12.
An agreement was reached between the province's two public television broadcasters for an exchange of their cultural and children's programming, as well as old movies. Radio-Canada and Tele-Quebec would put programs into an inventory after their initial broadcast, making them available for repeats on either network.
Robert Normand was named head of Tele-Quebec, effective September 3. He succeeded Michael Page, who had taken over on an interim basis following the death of Jean Fortier. Normand's number one goal was to continue the transition of Radio-Quebec to Tele-Quebec.
By this time, Télé-Québec operated the following transmitters: CIVM-TV Montréal and its transmitters CIVP-TV Chapeau, CIVA-TV Val-d'Or, CIVA-TV-1 Rouyn, CIVB-TV-1 Grand-Portage, CIVF-TV Baie-Trinité, CIVK-TV Carleton, CIVK-TV-1 Anse-aux-Gascons, CIVK-TV-2 Percé, CIVK-TV-3 Gaspé, CIVQ-TV Québec, CIVO-TV Hull, CIVC-TV Trois-Rivières, CIVS-TV Sherbrooke, CIVV-TV Chicoutimi, CIVB-TV Rimouski and CIVG-TV Sept-Îles.
On July 28, CIVM-TV was given approval to operate a transitional digital television undertaking at Montreal, operating from the CIVM-TV tower on channel 27C with an effective radiated power of 15,000 watts.
On November 14, Société de télédiffusion du Québec received approval to decrease effective radiated power for CIVQ-TV Québec from 1,455,000 watts video & 145,000 watts audio to 970,000 watts video & 97,000 watts audio.
On June 12, 2008, Télé-Québec launched Télé-Québec HD in Montreal to simulcast CIVM-TV. It operated on channel 27 (virtual channel 17.1).
On September 25, Société de télédiffusion du Québec was authorized to amend the licence for the transitional digital television programming undertaking CIVM-DT Montréal, in order to operate a transmitter in Québec. The new transmitter would broadcast CIVQ-TV Québec's programming in order to better serve the population of Québec. The new transmitter would operate on channel 25C with an average effective radiated power of 8,210 watts.
CIVM-DT received approval to decrease average effective radiated power from 15,000 watts to 9,270 watts. Maximum ERP would remain at 15,000 watts. A directional antenna would now be used and antenna height would decrease from 200 metres to 170.6 metres. There would also be a change of transmitter site.
CIVM-DT began broadcasting from Olympic Stadium in January.
CIVQ-DT began broadcasting from Edifice Marie-Guyart in downtown Quebec City in August. It operated on channel 25 (virtual channel 15.1).
On May 9, the CRTC approved the application by Société de télédiffusion du Québec to amend the licence for CIVM-TV to add a post-transition digital transmitter to serve the population of Trois-Rivières. The new post-transition digital transmitter, CIVC-DT, would operate on channel 45 with an average effective radiated power of 126,600 watts (maximum ERP of 290,000 watts with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 398.1 metres).
The CRTC approved an amendment to the licence for CIVM-TV Montréal, in order to add new post-transition digital television transmitters at Montreal, Québec, Gatineau, Val d'Or, Rouyn-Noranda and Saguenay. CIVM-DT would broadcast on channel 26 (from 17) with a maximum effective radiated power of 269,000 watts (average of 160,600 watts), with directional antenna. Effective height above average terrain would be 219.6 metres. A new antenna site would be used (Olympic Stadium vs the CBC site for analog broadcasting) and
programming would be received via fibre optic. CIVA-DT would broadcast on channel 12 with maximum ERP of 22,000 watts (average 13,880 watts), use a directional antenna with EHAAT of 398.1 metres from the existing analog site. Programming would be received via satellite. CIVA-DT-1 would operate on channel 8 with maximum ERP of 19,000 watts (average 9,096 watts), directional antenna, EHAAT of 219.6 metres, from the existing site. Programming would be received via satellite. CIVO-DT would broadcast on channel 30 with maximum ERP of 300,200 watts (average of 116,800 watts), directional antenna, EHAAT of 358.1 metres, using the existing analog site. Programming would be received via satellite. CIVQ-DT would broadcast on channel 15 with maximum ERP of 194,000 watts (average of 182,300 watts), directional antenna, EHAAT of 191.4 metres, using the existing analog site. Programming would be received via satellite. CIVV-DT would operate on channel 8 with maximum ERP of 84,900 watts (average 35,600 watts), directional antenna, EHAAT of 593.8 metres, using the existing analog site. Programming would be received via satellite.
August 31 was the deadline for the conversion of analog television stations to digital in mandatory markets. CIVM-TV Montreal and many of its transmitters made the transition to digital on September 1. Many of the rebroadcast transmitters were not in mandatory markets so made the switch on a voluntary basis. CIVM-TV channel 17 was shut down and CIVM-DT moved from channel 27 to channel 26 (virtual channel 17.1). The digital signal had already been operational in Montreal since 2008. CIVA-TV Val-d'Or remained on channel 12 (12.1) as CIVA-DT. CIVA-TV-1 Rouyn remained on channel 8 (8.1) as CIVA-DT-1. CIVC-TV Trois-Rivières continued to use channel 45 (45.1) as CIVC-DT. CIVF-TV Baie-Trinité remained on channel 12 (12.1) as CIVF-DT. CIVG-TV Sept-Îles continued the use of channel 9 (9.1) as CIVG-DT. CIVK-TV Carleton remained on channel 15 (15.1) as CIVK-DT. CIVK-TV-1 Anse-aux-Gascons continued operations on channel 32 (32.1) as CIVK-DT-1. CIVK-TV-2 Percé switched from channel 4 to channel 40 (4.1) as CIVK-DT-2. CIVK-TV-3 Gaspé remained on channel 35 (35.1) as CIVK-DT-3. CIVO-TV Gatineau continued operation on channel 30 (30.1) as CIVO-DT. CIVP-TV Chapeau remained on channel 23 (23.1) as CIVP-DT. CIVQ-TV channel 15 Quebec City was shut down and CIVQ-DT moved from channel 25 to channel 15 (15.1). The digital signal had been operational since last year. CIVS-TV Sherbrooke remained on channel 24 (24.1) as CIVS-DT, but operated at reduced power until September 19. CIVV-TV Saguenay continued using channel 8 (8.1) as CIVV-DT. CIVB-TV Rimouski was scheduled to become CIVB-DT on September 7. It continued to broadcast on channel 22 (22.1). CIVB-TV-1 Grand-Fonds was to change over on September 15, continuing to operate on channel 31 (31.1).
The CRTC authorized Société de télédiffusion du Québec to amend the licence for CIVM-TV Montréal, Quebec in order to add post-transition digital transmitters in Sept-Îles, l'Anse-aux-Gascons, Sherbrooke, Grand-Fonds, and Rimouski.
The CRTC approved technical changes for a number of Société de télédiffusion du Québec (CIVM-DT) transmitters. At Chapeau, a post-transitional digital transmitter would be added. CIVP-TV would become CIVP-DT, remaining on channel 23. Maximum effective radiated power would decrease from 8,650 to 758 watts (average from 3,120 to 275 watts). A directional antenna would still be used at the same transmitter site. Effective antenna height would remain the same, at 98.6 metres. A post-transitional digital transmitter would be added at Percé. CIVK-TV-2 would become CIVK-DT-2 and continue to operate on channel 40. Maximum effective radiated power would decrease from 8,550 to 600 watts (average from 3,310 to 232 watts). A directional antenna would still be used from the same tower site. Effective antenna height would remain at 405.4 metres. Gaspé would see the addition of a post-transitional ditital transmitter, continuing to operate on channel 35. CIVK-TV-3 would become CIVK-DT-3. Maximum effective radiated power would decrease from 8,430 to 555 watts (aveage from 3,680 to 218 watts). The transmitter would still have a directional antenna (effective height of 424.5 metres) at the existing site. A post-transitional digital transmitter would be added at Baie-Trinité. CIVF-TV would become CIVF-DT and continue to broadcast over channel 12. Maximum effective radiated power would decrease from 155,000 to 46,000 watts (average from 58,900 to 17,500 watts) and a directional antenna would still be used (effective height of 148.2 metres) from the existing tower location. CIVK-TV Carleton would become CIVK-DT with the addition of a post-transitional digital transmitter which would continue to use channel 15. Maximum effective radiated power would decrease from 1,061,700 to 140,000 watts (average from 428,200 to 56,500 watts). A directional antenna would continue to be used (effective height of 454.83 metres) from the existing tower site.
Written by Bill Dulmage - Updated May, 2012