Picture Vancouver in 1979: a little shopping district called Granville Island is born, the Vancouver Whitecaps win the North American Soccer League championship, the last scheduled passenger train leaves the old CPR station on Cordova Street, and ethnic television comes to the Lower Mainland with the creation of “The Multicultural Channel”.
Shaw Multicultural Channel (SMC) is embarking on a celebration of 25 years of unique ethnic television this fall with a bold new on-air look and a great line-up of programming in 25 different languages.
SMC has been a part of Greater Vancouver since 1979. The channel was launched on October 19 that year and began with eight local producers providing twelve languages of programming for the larger ethnic communities in the region: Chinese, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Scandinavian and South Asian. The channel was shared with another service, and was aired only in the evenings and on weekends.
After the first decade of operation, additional languages of programming were added as interest from local communities increased and the regions cultural communities began to grow. By 1992, there was sufficient programming to develop into a full channel schedule.
Today, Shaw Multicultural Channel offers a striking variety of linguistic and cross-cultural programming in 25 languages, with shows produced around the world and right here at home. SMC features international daily and weekly news in 11 languages, engaging serial dramas in seven languages, international concert series and local music video shows, 26 local magazine series in 17 different languages, weekly cooking series, entertainment news and documentary shows.
“Shaw Multicultural Channel just keeps getting better and better,” said Peter Bissonnette, President, Shaw Communications Inc. “The channel really speaks to what Vancouver is all about, because the shows are produced and acquired by the people who live here in our community. That means that we can be very responsive to viewer requests and the communities are totally connected to the programming.”
Celebrations for the anniversary include a new on-air look that captures the vitality of the Lower Mainland, and a fantastic contest for all viewers with a grand prize of a trip for two to Tokyo, Japan. The SMC Anniversary Contest launches November 1, and contestants are invited to submit a picture of what they would like to do, see, wear or eat in Tokyo.
Entries can be sent by mail or by e-mail, the contest runs for the month of November, and the final draw will be made on Wednesday, December 15. In addition to the grand prize, there are 25 additional prizes including Cable and Internet packages from Shaw and gift certificates to local ethnic restaurants. Full contest details are available at http://vancouver.shawtv.com.
Shaw Communications Inc. is a diversified Canadian communications company whose core business is providing broadband cable television, Internet and satellite direct-to-home (“DTH”) services to approximately 3.0 million customers. Shaw is traded on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges (Symbol: TSX – SJR.B, NYSE – SJR).