Ici Radio-Canada Première

Ici Radio-Canada Première
Type Radio network
Country Canada
Availability AM/FM: Canada; SiriusXM: Canada/United States
Slogan Écoutez pour voir (Listen, to see)
Owner Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Launch date
1937 (CBF)
Former names
Radio de Radio-Canada (1937–1997)
Première Chaîne (1997-2013)
Official website
Ici Radio-Canada Première

Ici Radio-Canada Première (formerly Première Chaîne) is a Canadian French-language radio network, the news and information service of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (known as Société Radio-Canada in French), the public broadcaster of Canada. It is the French counterpart of CBC Radio One, the CBC's similar English-language radio network.

The service is available across Canada, although not as widely as CBC Radio One. Only the provinces of Quebec and Ontario are served by more than one Première originating station. In all other provinces, the whole province is served by a single station with multiple transmitters. The network does, however, reach 90 per cent of all Canadian francophones.

Each originating station outside of Montreal airs a national schedule, taken from flagship station CBF-FM, complete with opted-out local/regional shows at peak times, depending on each market. News bulletins are aired live, irrespective of location.

The network may broadcast on either the AM or FM bands, depending on the market. A national version is available across North America on Sirius XM Canada channel 170.[1] Première was available in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East live via the Hot Bird satellite.[2] The satellite service closed in June 2012 as part of the budget measures affecting Radio Canada International.[3]


Logo as Première Chaîne, used until August 2013.

Some French-language programming had aired on the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission's CRCM since 1933, but the French network was formally created on December 11, 1937, with the launch of CBF in Montreal.

In 1938, the station was expanded into a fledgling network with the launch of CBV in Quebec City and CBJ in Chicoutimi. Also that year, the long-running soap opera La Pension Velder, which ran until 1942 and was then revived in the 1950s as a television series, aired for the first time. The following year, the even more successful and influential Un Homme et son péché was launched.

For the first month of World War II, Radio-Canada aired 24 hours a day, broadcasting war news from Europe. Also that year, the network broadcast its first Montreal Canadiens hockey game.

In 1940, another popular radio soap, Jeunesse dorée, made its debut. In 1941, the network — which had previously relied on Canadian Press reporters — launched its own news division. Also that year, the network launched two shortwave radio stations in Montreal to serve francophones outside of Quebec. Throughout the 1940s, however, the network's expansion in Quebec was accomplished primarily through private affiliate stations.

In 1942, the network controversially refused to give airtime to the "No" side in the Conscription Plebiscite. Nonetheless, 72.9 per cent of Quebec voters were opposed.

In 1945, the International Service was launched. In 1946, the network launched an experimental FM station in Montreal (which would become CBFX), and expanded outside of Quebec for the first time with the launch of CKSB as a private affiliate in St. Boniface, Manitoba, near Winnipeg.

The network also had seven privately owned affiliates:

In 1948, the influential children's series Tante Lucille and Gérard Pelletier's public affairs program Les Idées en marche debuted. Also that year, three studios in Montreal's King's Hall building were destroyed in an explosion, leading Radio-Canada to centralize its operations in a new building on boulevard Dorchester.

In 1952, the network became autonomous from the CBC head office in Toronto. Previously, all programming decisions had to be reviewed by the Toronto staff in advance.

Through the 1960s, the network began to expand across Canada, taking over Toronto's CJBC in October 1964, and launching Ottawa's CBOF in 1964 and Vancouver's CBUF in 1967. As well, influential broadcaster Lise Payette launched her first program, Place aux femmes, in 1965.

The network eliminated tobacco advertising in 1969, and eventually dropped all commercial advertising in 1974, except for Montreal Canadiens hockey games (which would move to the Radiomédia network in 1997). The Maison Radio-Canada, which remains the flagship facility for all of Radio-Canada's broadcast services, was officially opened by Pierre Trudeau in 1973, and Radio-Canada's FM network was launched in 1974. Through the remainder of the 1970s, the network began to directly acquire many of its private affiliate stations, including CHFA in Edmonton, CFRG in Gravelbourg and CFNS in Saskatoon, although with the CBC's financial difficulties in the 1980s, this process was slowed down considerably.

The network was rebranded as Première Chaîne in 1997, concurrently with the rebranding of all of the CBC's radio networks.

In 1999, Radio-Canada applied to the CRTC for a license to launch a third all-news station in Montreal, on the 690 AM frequency CBF had surrendered in 1997 when it moved to FM. The application was rejected. Radio-Canada filed an appeal of the decision with the Federal Court of Appeal, which denied the request in October of that year.

In 2002, two of the network's last three remaining private affiliate stations, CKVM in Ville-Marie and CFLM in La Tuque, disaffiliated from the network, and the final private affiliate, CHLM in Rouyn-Noranda, was directly acquired by the network in 2004. The network now directly owns all of the stations that broadcast its programming.

On June 5, 2013, it was announced that Première Chaîne would be re-branded as Ici Première on August 9, 2013 as part of a wider re-branding of the CBC's French-language outlets. Following highly publicized complaints surrounding the new "Ici" name (which primarily centered around the removal of the historic "Radio-Canada" brand), the new name was changed to Ici Radio-Canada Première instead.[5][6][7][8]



Première's flagship 60-minute news program is L'heure du monde, a national news and discussion program similar to CBC Radio One's The World at Six and As It Happens; it is broadcast weeknights at 18:00. Its 90-minute afternoon news and discussion program, Midi Info, is heard weekdays at 11:30.

A news bulletin, about 6 minutes in length, is read at the top of every hour. Ten-minute national newscasts, under the title Radiojournal, air live from Montreal (in Quebec and Ontario provinces) at 6:00, 7:00, 8:00, 12:00 and 17:00 on weekdays, at 9:00, 12:00 and 18:00 on weekends; local newscasts air throughout the morning and afternoon seven days a-week, both as part of regional programming and at the top of each hour. Overnight 6-minute newscasts airs live from Montreal.

From Christmas Eve to New Year's Day, Midi Info is trimmed back to 60 minutes, while L'heure du monde is preempted entirely; Radiojournal updates and L'heure du monde are replaced with short 6-minute news updates.

The brief National Research Council Time Signal airs daily at 12:00 ET in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes provinces.

Regional differences

There are various regional adjustments to the national schedule. In the Atlantic provinces the national schedule airs live, with programme trailers announcing the broadcast time as one hour later (for example- "neuf heures, Maritimes dix heures"). Due to the time difference, local programming airs one hour earlier to schedule, with Le réveil starting at 6:00 AM AT, 6:30 AM NT. An hour-long filler program, Format libre, airs weekdays at 9:00 AM AT (rerun at Midnight AT), with regional Saturday morning programs running through 12 Noon AT. Also, the Radiojournal airs live from Montreal in each time zone west of Ontario, for the 6:00, 7:00, 8:00 and 12:00 bulletins on weekdays only. Weekends, the 9:00 and 12:00 national news are cover-up by the local staff in each province west of Ontario. In the Maritimes, Radiojournal airs lives from Montreal at 7:00, 8:00, 9:00 and 13:00 AT weekdays and 10:00, 13:00 and 19:00 AT on the weekends.

All Première outlets produce a regional program in the morning (Monday to Friday) from their respective studios. For afternoon programs, in some provinces or regions, a program may originate from a studio in the largest station in their area and broadcast to all stations in a given region; for example: stations in Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and St. John's broadcasts the program produced in Moncton and CBEF Windsor broadcast the show produced in Toronto at CJBC.

In summer, the morning show produced in Moncton is broadcast throughout the Maritimes provinces, the afternoon program produced by CJBC Toronto is heard provincewide in Ontario except for Ottawa and the afternoon program of the Rimouski, Matane and Sept-Îles stations is produced alternately in each of the stations and broadcast on these three stations.

For Saturday morning shows, they are produced respectively in Moncton (for the Maritimes), Montreal (for the province of Quebec, except the Outaouais region), Ottawa (for Eastern Ontario and the Outaouais region), Sudbury (for Ontario, except Ottawa and Kenora), and Winnipeg (for the Western provinces, as well as Kenora, Ontario).

In Northern Canada, CFWY-FM in Whitehorse, Yukon rebroadcasts the programs of CBUF-FM Vancouver. This station is not owned by the CBC, but by the Franco-Yukon Association. Conversely, Ici Nord Québec, anchored by CBFG-FM Chisasibi and transmitted to nine other First Nations communities in the Nord-du-Québec region via FM repeater transmitters, airs the same schedule as CBF-FM, but with four hours of regional programming inserted on weekdays, three of these in the Cree language.[9]

The feed for Sirius XM Canada airs live across North America and simulcasted from CBF-FM in Montreal, meaning programmes are broadcast using the Eastern Time Zone. The entire schedule is aired as of 2016.[10]

Listeners in Europe, Middle East and North Africa were able to receive direct programming from CBF-FM Montreal, with RCI's own shows inserted into the schedule in the morning and evening. This ceased in June 2012.

Holiday programming

During certain holidays, a single program may be heard on a provincewide or a regionwide basis. In Quebec, stations outside of Montreal, Quebec City and Outaouais airs a morning program and an afternoon show produced by different outlets in turn. The CBON-FM network in Northern Ontario still produce a morning show, but simulcasts CJBC Toronto's afternoon show on holidays. And all Première outlets in Western Canada present special pan-regional programming on holidays replacing local programs - Les matins de l'Ouest and Le monde chez nous.

On Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day, all stations nationwide carry the same schedule from Montreal, live or taped, depending on location. Also, on the weeks of Christmas and New Year's, regional morning shows begin at 6:00 in all areas, including Ottawa, Quebec City and Montreal.

Schedule (as of Fall 2016)

From 2013, overnight programming consists of repeats of programmes aired earlier in the main schedule.[11]

Previously, the overnight block was given over to programming from the European members of Les Radios Francophones Publiques (RFP): Radio France, RTBF Belgium and RTS Switzerland,[12] not unlike a similar arrangement used for CBC Radio One's CBC Radio Overnight.[note 1]

Unless specified, all programs originate from CBF-FM's studios at Maison Radio-Canada in Montreal and aired live across Quebec, Ontario and the Atlantic provinces. In the Western provinces, programmes are delayed according to the respective local time zone, with local programming aired live. Programming for Ontario excludes areas served by CBOF-FM Ottawa, as well as transmitters within the Kenora and Rainy River Districts, which simulcasts Winnipeg's CKSB-10-FM.

The network's base schedule is noted here, and applies only to ICI Radio-Canada Première's regional outlets. Bolded programs are original broadcast.

  Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
0:00 La soirée est (encore) jeune (Rerun) Médium large (Rerun)
(Starts at 22:00)
0:30 On dira ce qu'on voudra (Rerun)
1:00 Plus on est de fous, plus on lit! (Rerun)
2:00 La route des 20 (Rerun) On n'est pas sorti de l'auberge (Rerun)
3:00 Les grands entretiens (Rerun)
4:00 Les années lumière (Rerun) C'est fou (Rerun) Les éclaireurs (Rerun) Parasol et gobelets (Rerun)
5:00 L'heure du monde - Moments choisis (Highlights of the past week) L'heure du monde (Rerun) Les grands entretiens (Reruns)
6:00 Dessine-moi un dimanche

Radiojournal at 9:00 (Maritimes, Quebec and Ontario)

Local morning shows

Radiojournal at 6:00, 7:00 and 8:00

Pas banale, la vie (Reruns)
7:00 Local morning shows

Radiojournal at 9:00 (Maritimes, Quebec and Ontario)

9:00 Médium Large
10:00 Désautels le dimanche
11:00 À la semaine prochaine
11:30 Midi info
National Research Council Time Signal (12:00 ET / 13:00 AT)
12:00 Les années lumière

Radiojournal at 12:00 (Maritimes, Quebec and Ontario)

Midi info

Radiojournal at 12:00

Faut pas croire tout ce qu'on dit

Radiojournal at 12:00 (Maritimes, Quebec and Ontario)

13:00 Plus on est de fous, plus on lit! La Sphère
14:00 Culture club On n'est pas sorti de l'auberge
15:00 Aujourd'hui l'histoire
15:30 On dira ce qu'on voudra
16:00 À la semaine prochaine (Rerun) Local afternoon programs

Radiojournal at 17:00 (Quebec and Ontario)

Pouvez-vous répéter la question?
17:00 La soirée est (encore) jeune

Radiojournal at 18:00 (Maritimes, Quebec and Ontario)

La soirée est (encore) jeune

Radiojournal at 18:00 (Maritimes, Quebec and Ontario)

18:00 L'heure du monde
19:00 C’est fou Les éclaireurs Parasol et gobelets La route des 20
20:00 Tout le monde en parle - Simulcast of the television program on Ici Radio-Canada Télé (Ends at 22:15) Aujourd'hui l'histoire (Rerun)
20:30 On dira ce qu'on voudra (Rerun)
21:00 Les grandes entrevues La librairie francophone - Produced by Radio France in Paris. Co-production between members of the MFP consortium.
22:00 Culture club (Rerun)* Médium Large (Rerun) Pas banale, la vie (Reruns)
23:00 Faut pas croire tout ce qu'on dit (Rerun)

Other schedule notes


In addition to primary production centres listed here, most stations in the network also serve a larger region through rebroadcasters. Due to the significant number of such rebroadcast frequencies, those are listed in each individual station's article rather than here.

Frequency Call sign Location Region served
FM 88.1 CBAF-FM-15 Charlottetown Prince Edward Island
FM 90.1 CHFA-FM Edmonton Alberta
FM 92.3 CBAF-FM-5 Halifax Nova Scotia and Newfoundland
FM 102.1 CBGA-FM Matane Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine
FM 88.5 CBAF-FM Moncton New Brunswick; Aroostook County, Maine
FM 95.1 CBF-FM Montreal Greater Montreal Area, Nord-du-Québec (select communities), Upper Lake Champlain area
FM 103.5 CBFG-FM Chisasibi Nord-du-Québec (in ten First Nations communities)
FM 90.7 CBOF-FM Ottawa Eastern Ontario; Outaouais; Saint Lawrence River Valley (ON/NY); Akwesasne
FM 106.3 CBV-FM Quebec City Capitale-Nationale, Chaudière-Appalaches
FM 97.7 CBKF-FM Regina Saskatchewan
FM 89.1 CJBR-FM Rimouski Bas-Saint-Laurent
FM 90.7 CHLM-FM Rouyn-Noranda Abitibi-Témiscamingue
FM 93.7 CBJ-FM Saguenay Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean
FM 98.1 CBSI-FM Sept-Îles Côte-Nord and Labrador
FM 101.1 CBF-FM-10 Sherbrooke Estrie; Northeast Kingdom; Coös County, NH
FM 98.1 CBON-FM Sudbury Northern Ontario (except Kenora and Rainy River Districts)
AM 860 CJBC Toronto Greater Toronto Area, Central Ontario, Western New York, Northwestern Pennsylvania
FM 96.5 CBF-FM-8 Trois-Rivières Mauricie
FM 97.7 CBUF-FM Vancouver British Columbia, Yukon, Western Whatcom County, Washington
AM 1550 CBEF Windsor Southwestern Ontario, Southeast Michigan and The Thumb
FM 88.1 CKSB-10-FM Winnipeg Manitoba; Kenora and Rainy River Districts, Ontario
Sirius XM 170 Première Montreal North America

Some of the former Radio-Canada French network transmitters that once operated on the AM dial can be viewed here.[13] Historically, Première has broadcast primarily on the AM band, but many stations have moved over to FM. Over the years, a number of CBC radio transmitters with a majority of them on the AM band have either moved to FM or had shut down completely. See: List of defunct CBC radio transmitters in Canada (Première Chaîne)


  1. RFP is a consortium of Francophone public broadcasters, of which Radio-Canada is also a member. Equivalents to Ici Radio-Canada Première within the RFP consortium include France Inter, RTBF La Première and RTS La Première. In addition to distributing select programming between member broadcasters, RFP also produces L'Actualité Francophone, a 10-minute weekly summary of news from RFP-member countries; on Ici Radio-Canada Première, this replaces the last ten minutes of L'heure du monde on most Fridays.


External links

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