The New Calgary Corus Centre

 

17th Ave and 33rd St. SW in the Shaganappi area of Calgary

 

By Greg Landgraf

Director of Engineering
Western Region – Corus Radio
Based in Calgary

CorusEntertainmentLogo

November the 5th, 2015

Corus Radio Calgary’s long road to a new home started July 11, 2012 at 1:12 in the afternoon. This was the date and time that Shaw Court in Calgary experienced an electrical transformer explosion and resultant fire. The building was evacuated as fire suppression systems doused the 13 story building with thousands of gallons of water. This fire and evacuation affected Corus Radio Calgary in a most profound way, as the offices and studios of AM770, Country105 and Q107 Calgary were located in this now crippled building.

Following a flurry of technical activities to return the three stations to air, we went to work by first establishing temporary programming remotely, immediately after the incident; and second building temporary facilities, in downtown Calgary at Eau Claire Market, to remain on the air and in business. We ended up calling Eau Claire Market our home for almost three years… much longer than first anticipated.

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During the first year of our stay at Eau Claire, one thing became clear. We were not moving back to Shaw Court due to the fact their restoration plans did not include space for us. At this point we set out to find a new permanent home. During our search, which included very specific criteria; we came across a new building under construction. It was located at the corner of 17th Ave and 33rd St. SW in the Shaganappi area of Calgary. With criteria met and lease details worked out, which included naming rights of the building; we secured a location to build our new state of the art radio facility.

 

With our heads full of what we needed and what we would like to see in our new digs, we engaged KARo Group Inc. as our Designer and Architect. To the delight of everyone involved and after months of detail oriented and painstaking design and re-design, a plan was developed for our new home. An important piece of that plan was establishing a name for the building, and with a handful of options on the table “Corus Centre” stood out as the obvious choice.

Welcome to Corus Calgary Centre Reception

The design of the facility incorporates two levels. There is a main floor (street) level that includes the reception area, a boardroom, a teleconference room and staircase to the second level; it also features a street front studio, bookable by any of the three station brands.

 

The stairwell to the 2nd floor where all the action takes place…

 

The second level is home to the broadcast technical areas, on-air, production, news, programming and administrative activities.

Entrance to second floor…

 

The on-air, production and recording control rooms and studios are traditional room within room design for acoustic isolation. These rooms also incorporate non-parallel wall and angled glass construction, with careful design considerations to provide the desired acoustic properties and performance.

Production Studio

Construction of Corus Radio Calgary’s new space commenced on January 15, 2015, with Cougar Contractors Ltd. as the general contractor. We had worked with Cougar in the past (Shaw Court studios and offices) and were impressed with their work and understanding of radio studio design and construction.

The Rack Room

 

Rack Room

On the technical side of things, Corus Centre is an AoIP (Audio over IP) facility, with a fully digital main air chain and analog backup. The Wheatstone Wheatnet AoIP system was chosen due to its incredible power, redundancy and scalability. Control surfaces in the main MCRs and street front studio are Wheatstone LX series. Production and general purpose studios are either Wheatstone L-12 or L-8 control surfaces, and the newsroom is populated with Wheatstone 4 channel Sideboards, at all workstations. Automation is MediaTouch, phone call editing is VoxPro, news workstations are Burli, production is ProTools and broadcast phones are Telos VX. KVM duties are handled by a large Adder Infinity system, that makes it possible to control any broadcast computer or control surface, from anywhere in the studio block, central rack room or via off site remote control. Feeds to transmitter sites are accomplished with traditional microwave STL systems and are backed by satellite and IP audio redundancy, on all stations. A 230 kW generator is in place to ensure uninterrupted power during electrical utility failures.

Rack Room

Technical integration services were provided by GS Broadcast Technical Services Ltd. and others involved on the technical side were Ron Paley Broadcast, RVA Canada Ltd., Oakwood Broadcast, Wheatstone Corporation, The Telos Alliance, and TaylorMade Radio.

 

Office view of second floor

The office side of this floor is configured as an open office concept, and with that in mind a number of meeting and private “phone booth” type rooms were integrated into the design.

 

 

AM 770 Master Control

 

AM 770 Interview Studio

 

Roger Kingkade and Rob Breakenridge of the ‘Kingkade & Breakenridge Show’

 

Roger Kingkade and Rob Breakenridge on air

 

We moved into the new space the weekend of September 12th and 13th, 2015, with all three stations handing off programming from the Eau Claire Market studios to our new Corus Centre studios on Sunday September 13th. The move was seamless, both technically and from an administrative perspective, due to careful planning and attention to detail.

 

Q 107 Master Control

Corus Radio Calgary was open to the public, at Corus Centre, with regular office hours starting at 9:00 am on Monday, September 14, 2015.
new home.

 

 

Country 105 Master Control

 

Country 105 Studio

 

 

and not to forget the lunch room…

It is great to have a permanent home once again, and it feels fantastic that it turned out so well. I can safely and without hesitation say that the staff of Corus Radio Calgary feels excited and inspired to be in this tremendous new home.

 

The New Calgary Corus Centre

article by Greg Landgraf

 

Photos by:
Andrew Harte
Project Manager
New Media – Corus Radio
Based in Calgary

and Interloq and Karo

 

Published on December 22, 2019 at 2:13 pm by Voice Over

Comments

November 5, 2015 - 6:55 pm

Joe

Very impressive, and no doubt Corus has done an excellent job in restoring faith and confidence within the staff in particular in the Calgary operation
Now to restore confidence and credibility within the market again. This is a great start… Good on you Corus! You’ve restored my faith, somewhat 🙂


November 6, 2015 - 10:02 am

Brian

Lovely studios. Thanks for sharing


November 6, 2015 - 10:07 am

Bert Searle

Congratulations Garry and the entire crew at Corus Calgary. Most Impressive!


November 6, 2015 - 10:13 am

Karen

Wow, I’d love to work in that building. Good on you Corus!


November 6, 2015 - 11:34 am

Brian

Isn’t this the same area where 960 CFAC / CHFM 95.9 were at one point?


November 6, 2015 - 12:12 pm

Voice Over

Brian, I sent an email to GM Garry McKenzie a few minutes ago about your question, and he just responded and I quote

Yes the same location but a brand new building. One of the reasons we chose it was the great site lines for transmission. Regards GM


November 8, 2015 - 2:34 pm

The Real Deal

Oh, I remember Calgary, well, and specifically, the ghosts of 17th Avenue, back in the 1980’s,

It was always a historic location for local radio stations.

CFAC Radio had, for many years. its electronic bill board along 17th Avenue. Of course, they moved to new headquarters where the new Corus studios is located now.

I have actually visited both buildings where CFAC Radio 960 was once located.

My first job interview in radio took place at the old CFAC building on 17th Avenue.

The late Eugene Lehto was the News Director, back then.

Eric Bishop did sports.

The late, legendary Ed Whelan did commentaries.

What a character Ed Whalen was ! I was to meet Mister Whelan three times, later, the last time as the best man of my own wedding !

I got to meet all of these gentleman during “my tour of the building” with Lehto.

Jeff Palmer, later CKWX, and now a West Vancouver cop, did the overnight news for CFAC.

Jeff started his radio career in Lethbridge.

(Hope you’re recovering well, Jeff !)

I later visited the newer CFAC studios, also, along 17th Avenue, and met Gene Lehto, a second time.

What beautiful studios they had, complete with Neumann U 87 mikes and state of the art studios and an atrium, below.

Back in those days, the top salesmen at CFAC (like Jim Kunkel ?) made in excess of 200K a year ! and it was money to burn back then !

Of course, down the street was the legendary CKXL/CHFM building.

Back then, the legendary AM 1140 XL Radio had a cume of 1,000,000 listeners per week and nobody could touch them. The sister station was CHFM and it had listeners galore.

Those were the stations once owned by the Moffat Family, and they ruled the west, for sure !

The legendary “late” Norm Edwards was the XL morning, man, following by Gentleman Jim Jackson, Ray Grover, and Doctor Dan Gavin, the long time overnight jock.

In the news department, Ron Wood was News Director, followed by Bob Brown, Hal Gardiner, Kelly Christiansen, Tony King and the late, Bill Powers, the Sports Director who was later tragically stabbed to death by his own step son !

At CHFM, a “who’s who of radio” talent, including Wayne Bryant, Jacqui Donaldson, Colleen Troy, Marilyn Denis, David Brindle, the News Director along,

I was introduced to commercial radio by David, and did my school practicum there.

Ah, the ghosts of Calgary’s 17th Avenue… Was there ever a finer moment in Alberta radio history ?


November 13, 2015 - 4:34 am

RadioGuy_ca

Beautiful facilities…but a 24 channel board in each of 3 main control rooms? They see a need to mix 24 channels at the same time on the air? Sure shows the change in technology to see the production suite the exact opposite with an 8 channel board.

In an era where the big boys are cutting costs/staff like crazy…you need 24 channel boards? NASA has smaller control surfaces.


February 17, 2016 - 8:10 am

Chris Lehto

Fond memories- Big Gene Lehto was my dad and is sorely missed. I remember them moving into the new building up 17th Ave in the very early 80’s- stations had tons of cash, Boats, Ski teams complete with all the gear. That all came to a screeching halt when the market crashed in the latter part of the decade, but it was glorious times with BIG characters. Fearless pioneers of new “computerized” technology, all being introduced by classic on air gladiators with booming voices. Cheers all.


December 31, 2019 - 7:09 pm

Don Crabbe

Fortunate enough was I to work at three of the locations, the new “digs” look superb! I’d love to have been able to work that master control board and, to read overnight news from it. Congratulations, all, on your new home.


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