DESKTOP
TABLET (max. 1024px)
MOBILE (max. 640px)
Return to Top
Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

Great news: Canadian classical radio is alive and well and coming from Winnipeg

By John Terauds on December 6, 2013

Eric Frisen is the morning host on Winnipeg's new Classic 107.
Eric Frisen is the morning host on Winnipeg’s new Classic 107.

What a treat it was to hear the mellow tones of former CBC host Eric Friesen on the air — or, in my case, my computer — this morning. We have new Winnipeg classical radio station 107.1 FM to thank for this.

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds, the founder of Musical Toronto, is currently a Divinity student at University of Toronto and a church music director. He joined the Toronto Star in 1988, was the classical music critic from 2005 to 2012, and continues as a freelance critic for the paper. He is the co-author of Roy Thomson Hall: A Portrait, a book written with Toronto Star Colleague, William Littler.
John Terauds

The switch was officially turned on yesterday on a frequency previously used by pop station Ignite 107. This is a significant event  in a year when several classical broadcasters either closed up or reduced their forces in the United States.

And, unlike so many classical offerings that work off automated playlists — including CBC Music’s digital offerings — there are real, live hosts to introduce the music and animate on-air interviews.

Classic 107 works much like Toronto’s Classical 96. Both are privately-owned broadcasters that survive on selling commercials. Where the two differ is in the playlists.

Judging from what I heard this morning, which included choral as well as chamber music, this is good, old-fashioned, classical listening introduced by a host who knows a thing or two about the music. Besides Friesen, former Vancouver-based CBC Radio personality Bill Richardson has been recruited as Classic 107’s star host for the afternoon slot.

As on Toronto’s Classical 96, artists with current gigs make live visits to chat. This morning, Winnipeg Symphony music director Alexander Mickelethwaite spoke with Friesen about conducting his first performance of Messiah tonight.

The CRTC approved Ignite 107’s change of programming from new rock to classical in April. In August, I had a great chat with Friesen about his plans for the station known in its early days in the late-1990s under the call letters CFEQ-FM.

The veteran broadcaster was determined that this Winnipeg venture would mark a return of quality classical programming to Canada’s airwaves. Friesen told me how Elmer Hildebrand, CEO of Golden West Broadcasting (which owns Classical 107 as well as many other radio stations in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta), understood that there would be a ready market of classical listeners.

Hildebrand handed Friesen a blank slate and a set-up budget. The results are now audible for all.

People outside Classic 107’s broadcast zone can listen online here. The station’s web presence is still a work in progress. Hopefully that will get fleshed out soon.

Daytime hours are reserved for classical. After 9 p.m., programming turns to jazz.

The media landscape is in the middle of drastic change, and most traditional media outlets are finding it hard to sell advertising at a rate that makes financial sense. We can only hope that everyone involved will not just survive but prosper.

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds, the founder of Musical Toronto, is currently a Divinity student at University of Toronto and a church music director. He joined the Toronto Star in 1988, was the classical music critic from 2005 to 2012, and continues as a freelance critic for the paper. He is the co-author of Roy Thomson Hall: A Portrait, a book written with Toronto Star Colleague, William Littler.
John Terauds
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_high_590x300
comments powered by Disqus

Ludwig Van Toronto

QUIZ | What Is Your Canadian Classical Music IQ?

By Ludwig Van on September 19, 2017

Do you think you know a lot about Canadian Classical Music? Let's put you to the test.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_high_590x300

THE SCOOP | Ontario Government Injects $50M In Extra Funding For Ontario Arts Council

By Jennifer Liu on September 2, 2017

The Ontario Government is padding its existing support for the province's arts scene to the tune of $80 million in additional funding.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article

THE SCOOP | National Arts Centre CEO Peter Herrndorf Stepping Down

By Michael Vincent on September 19, 2017

The end of an era: The National Arts Centre has confirmed Peter Herrndorf will be stepping down as the National Arts Centre’s president and CEO.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_low_590x300
lv_toronto_ssb_atf_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_high_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_mid_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_low_300x300
lv_toronto_tsb_high_300x700
lv_toronto_tsb_low_300x700
lv_toronto_ssb_atf_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_high_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_mid_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_low_300x300
lv_toronto_tsb_high_300x700
lv_toronto_tsb_low_300x700

We have detected that you are using an adblocking plugin in your browser.

The revenue we earn by the advertisements is used to manage this website. Please whitelist our website in your adblocking plugin.