Though CKUA has had to relinquish its claim as having the first live
play-by-play sports broadcast in Canada in 1928 - that honour instead goes
to Radio Queen's University, which beat CKUA to the punch by five years -
there have been plenty of other firsts for the station. Here is just a
selection, ranging from technological advances to initiatives in
In 1996, CKUA became the first
radio station in Canada to go online, broadcasting live on the Internet
via RealAudio. By November 2001,
CKUA.com would broadcast online to more
than 60 countries.
The peak limiter, a common tool
for modulation control in the radio broadcaster's arsenal, was invented by
Edmonton radio engineer Edward Jordan, who got his start as CKUA's first
control room operator.
In 1959, CKUA became one of the
first stations in the country and the first in Edmonton to broadcast in
CKUA was a pioneer in national
on-location broadcasting in the '30s when a choral concert from the
Edmonton studios was piped into the parlour cars of the Canadian National
CKUA would become the first
broadcaster in the world to provide coverage of a legislature's Question
Period in a daily hour-long show of the same name hosted by Warren Graves.
Popular performers destined for
stardom - such as Robert Goulet, k.d. lang and Jann Arden - would receive
their first broadcast exposure on CKUA.
Edmonton polka king Gaby Haas
would host Continental Musicale, the world's longest-running show with the
same host and producer. The European music show began broadcasting in
1946, and won its longevity title after its 2,081st episode on Sept. 21,
On the programming side, CKUA has continually gained national and
international recognition for its shows.
In 2001, for instance,
Travel Treasures host Lisa Robinson was honoured
with the Tourism Media Award at the inaugural Alberta Tourism Awards, for
excellence in Travel Journalism. The program, which began as a 16-week
summer series in 2000, is broadcast Thursdays and Fridays (and
re-broadcast Saturdays and Sundays). It now has more than 100 episodes.
won the Emerald Award for Environmental Excellence in
Communications, Media and the Arts in 1996. But the station's productions
-- including the Alberta School Broadcasts -- had been attracting notice
years before these latest additions.
A look at its work during the '80s, for instance, shows a deft hand at
drawing both listeners and plaudits. In 1983, 1984 and 1986, there would
be four ACRTA nominations for shows covering history, and Western Canadian
poetry. One program from the life science series, Listen to the Prairies,
won the prestigious Minister of Education Prize for Radio in the 13th
Japan Prize International Educational Program Contest. Other competitions
throughout the '80s would honour shows in history, life science and public
Not even the CKUA website has
escaped critical evaluation. As far back as 1998, just two years after the
site went online, CKUA.com was selected for the Links2Go Key Resource
And in 2001, it won The
National Post's Design Exchange Silver Award in Interactive/New Media
Category. As the newspaper declared in its evaluation: "The CKUA.com site
is a marvel of Web interactivity and a triumph of new communications
technology. Contained within the Piet Mondrian-like site layout is an
impressive arsenal of communication possibilities, including archived
files that can be downloaded...The most significant feature may be real
audio transmission that delivers CKUA programming to listeners worldwide."
As a station, CKUA has been the recipient of numerous awards including:
the Prairie Music Industry Awards'
Radio, Television and Print Media Outlet of the Year in 1999, 2000 and
the Alberta Recording Industry
Associations Award for Alberta's Best Radio Station in 1995, 1996 and
and in 1998, the University of
Alberta named CKUA Radio the recipient of the Builders of Alberta Award;
also in 1998, CKUA Radio and its
longtime radio educational partner
Athabasca University receive the Award
for Excellence in Partnership at the 14th Annual Conference of the
Canadian Association for Distance Education.