Posted in Montreal, My articles, TV

Canada AM broadcasts from Montreal on Thursday

Canada AM block party

Ever wanted to travel downtown at 5am on a weekday so you can see the hosts of a national morning show, watch a performance from 98 Degrees and maybe have people spot you in a crowd? No? Well, you’ll get a chance to do it anyway as Canada AM broadcasts from the esplanade of Place des Arts on Thursday morning.

Canada AM takes over the esplanade of Place des Arts

Canada AM takes over the esplanade of Place des Arts as they setup for Thursday’s broadcast on Wednesday afternoon

To mark the beginning of the festival season, the show and its three hosts will set up in Montreal for one day (weather/sports/Internet video presenter Jeff Hutcheson will stay an extra day, doing Friday’s show from Place Jacques Cartier). The lineup is here in the press release.

As I point out in this Gazette story, none of the three hosts worked in Montreal, though they all have visited many times and their executive producer Lis Travers spent most of her career here. That’s not a bad thing, I hear people from Ontario are nice. I just thought it was interesting. So many people I talk to in Toronto media have worked in Montreal at some point in their careers (and trumpet that fact when I talk to them).

The show will be quite a production, requiring a crew of 30, split between people borrowed from CTV Montreal and those being brought in from Toronto.

Some of the crew putting together the Canada AM broadcast gather for a meeting on Wednesday afternoon

Some of the crew putting together the Canada AM broadcast gather for a meeting on Wednesday afternoon

Admission is free, and they’re even giving out a car to one of the people who shows up and fills out a ballot.

Chevrolet Spark. This car (or one like it in a different colour) will be given out in a draw to one of the fans who shows up for the broadcast.

Chevrolet Spark. This car (or one like it in a different colour) will be given out in a draw to one of the fans who shows up for the broadcast.

The show runs from 6am to 9am, but people are being asked to come early to ensure they get in.

The broadcast will be controlled through this truck, parked out of sight near Salle Wilfrid Pelletier.

The broadcast will be controlled through this truck, parked out of sight near Salle Wilfrid Pelletier.

I visited the setup on Wednesday afternoon. The cameras and stage are near Ste-Catherine Street, but the real technology is up the stairs. Parked near Salle Wilfrid Pelletier is a rental truck with a control room built inside. The camera feeds are sent here through cables on the ground. From here, the show is fed to Toronto via a fibre-optic link (there’s a satellite truck as a backup if it’s necessary), and the people in Toronto will handle things like on-screen graphics.

If all else fails, I’m told there’s a news reader in Toronto who can fill airtime. But the plan is for that not to be necessary.

In the same truck, wires everywhere.

In the same truck, wires everywhere.

Some of the equipment trucked to Place des Arts to make this three-hour broadcast happen

Some of the equipment trucked to Place des Arts to make this three-hour broadcast happen. (Well, actually, these are just the boxes. The equipment is setup inside the truck.)

Rundown of the opening of Thursday's Canada AM

Rundown of the opening of Thursday’s Canada AM

14 thoughts on “Canada AM broadcasts from Montreal on Thursday

  1. Lorne

    No wonder there are so many that were once in Montreal, with our political situation they all left for Ontario, like many people in general.

    Reply
  2. Steve W

    So did Tourism Montreal have to pay Canada AM tv program for Montreal to be featured in next two days? Just curious.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      So did Tourism Montreal have to pay Canada AM tv program for Montreal to be featured in next two days? Just curious.

      I don’t know if “have to pay” is a correct way to describe it, but it appears Tourism Montreal made some contribution toward this. I don’t know the details.

      Reply
      1. Carole

        As the Gazette’s de-facto entertainment business “reporter” shouldn’t you track down those elusive details? Hasn’t Postmedia’s “copyboy” stuff been outsourced to China? You have the time.

        Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          Hasn’t Postmedia’s “copyboy” stuff been outsourced to China? You have the time.

          Wow, that’s pretty insulting. I’m definitely going to do you favours now.

          Reply
    1. Dilbert

      It seems really odd not to have a standard mobile truck. For that matter, it’s pretty weird that CTV doesn’t have a single mobile truck capable of doing this sort of a remote. This whole setup seems a little, well, half-assed. Bell never seems to want to invest in anything.

      Reply
      1. Fagstein Post author

        It seems really odd not to have a standard mobile truck. For that matter, it’s pretty weird that CTV doesn’t have a single mobile truck capable of doing this sort of a remote.

        I’m not sure what “standard mobile truck” means to you. They had a remote truck there, but the key was that they needed an actual control room on site because they were running a multi-camera operation.

        This whole setup seems a little, well, half-assed.

        Really? What part of it is half-assed? The lighting? The audio? The set? The cameras? For a three-hour live TV presentation, it looked pretty impressive to me.

        Reply
        1. Dilbert

          Mobile truck as in a control room / production truck. It doesn’t have to be a huge full on sports production truck like those from Dome Productions or whatever, but I think it’s shocking that a company the size of Bell, the biggest National TV network, and for that matter owner of the largest sports network (TSN) doesn’t have a single mobile control and production facility.

          For half assed, running out of the back fo a couple of 5 ton rental trucks is pretty darn half assed for a company that pulled nearly a billion in profits last year. Then again, I am starting to get a feeling that you are a bit of a Bell apologist when it comes to this stuff.

          Reply
          1. Fagstein Post author

            Mobile truck as in a control room / production truck. It doesn’t have to be a huge full on sports production truck like those from Dome Productions or whatever, but I think it’s shocking that a company the size of Bell, the biggest National TV network, and for that matter owner of the largest sports network (TSN) doesn’t have a single mobile control and production facility.

            I believe TSN has at least two such trucks, which are used at hockey games. They are crazy expensive.

            For half assed, running out of the back fo a couple of 5 ton rental trucks is pretty darn half assed for a company that pulled nearly a billion in profits last year.

            Why? I mean, practically, what’s the difference between running off equipment unpacked from boxes and equipment that’s permanently installed in a truck? Did you notice a difference on air? If not, why does it matter?

            I’m not saying Bell Media couldn’t invest more in shows like this (Canada AM probably should travel more than twice a year), but you seem fixated on the nature of the truck they’re using as if that makes a huge difference.

            Reply
            1. Dilbert

              “I mean, practically, what’s the difference between running off equipment unpacked from boxes and equipment that’s permanently installed in a truck?”

              Clearly you ain’t never had to do it. A truck is a solid piece, all hooked up and ready to go – just plug in the camera and audio feeds, and away you go. Low risk, high probability of success, comfortable work environment, and so on. We won’t talk about air conditioning, equipment not liking the heat (if any) or moisture if it rains.

              Unpacking it in pieces and assembling it, getting it all to work… and then taking it all apart again is a lot of work. I know, I have done it on the audio side for years. It’s not practical to do, especially when you consider that the company (B-E-L-L!) has the trucks over at TSN, and a number of other companies who sublet. That would be roll in the night before, set it up, run, and take it down in a couple of hours and go home.

              “ou seem fixated on the nature of the truck they’re using as if that makes a huge difference”

              No, I am not fixated, I am trying to make a point that you seem determined to miss. Why would the largest Canadian network not have a single truck for reasonable remotes or remote productions? Answer: They aren’t doing any, and have little interest in doing them. Basically, Bell could have a single truck available for all of it’s stations, networks, and such to use for production, and they just don’t have it. This shouldn’t be a special “oh my god they are live once a year!” thing, they should be out there covering more, being involved in the communities they serve from time to time. After all, LOCAL TV MATTERS, right?

              Why give Bell a pass (again?) for just not stepping up to the plate and giving their stations the facilities to do the job on a regular basis. Why is this stuff so frigging special?

              Reply
  3. Media Man

    98 Degrees ?? Surely they could have gotten someone more Montreal like our Sam Roberts or Simple Plan, who both have fair-sized Canadian followings..instead of an American almost washed-up boy band who wasn’t remotely as big anyways as NKOTB or the Backstreet Boys or even N’Sync…

    I am also told by a very close source that they could have had Canada’s next female recording superstar who just released her second CD who was featured on Canada AM in 2010 and her first release went viral at that time with 37,000 hits in the first week on YouTube. Not Bad.

    So who’s in charge of programming these events at other cities..??

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      98 Degrees ?? Surely they could have gotten someone more Montreal like our Sam Roberts or Simple Plan, who both have fair-sized Canadian followings.

      98 Degrees was playing the Bell Centre that night. That’s why they were on. If it had been Sam Roberts or Simple Plan, and they were willing to do Canada AM, I’m sure they would have.

      I am also told by a very close source that they could have had Canada’s next female recording superstar who just released her second CD who was featured on Canada AM in 2010 and her first release went viral at that time with 37,000 hits in the first week on YouTube.

      Putting that description into Google, the first hit is Brittany Kwasnik. I’m sure she’s great (and as you point out, she’s already been on the show), but she’s not a big draw yet.

      So who’s in charge of programming these events at other cities?

      Canada AM visits, you mean? The show’s producers.

      Reply

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