After writing about so much French music that I had been missing, I decided to write to the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission.
I am interested in knowing whether there is any encouragement on the part of the CRTC with respect to English-language radio licensee applicants also including French music programming, as is the case with so many French-language licensees, who also offer English music programming as part of their daily programming mix.
This is what I received from the CRTC:
Thank you for taking the time to contact the CRTC.
While I do appreciate what you are saying, broadcasters are responsible for the choice and scheduling of its programming. Not the CRTC. Our job is to make sure they’ve acted responsibly and, in cases of doubt, to hold them answerable for the programming they’ve distributed.
This is why your best course of action is to write directly to the stations concerned and let them know how you feel. Broadcasters are usually responsive to the interests of their audiences – especially if a number of people express the same concern.
So naive. All these years thinking that the lack of French music on English radio was due to a licensing restriction. Assumed that the French radio stations playing English music did so as part of CRTC-approved programming. Now told that it was all a choice. A choice to have English radio listeners hear only one part of Canadian music. Missing Jean Leloup, whom I first heard only five years or so ago. Missing Les Colocs, whom I only heard for the first time three weeks ago, after my legal colleague talked about them and showed me a video clip. Missing “Saskatchewan” , by Les Trois Accords, which I only heard a couple of years ago. I wonder whether many people in Saskatchewan have heard it. A solid band from Quebec, but Wikipedia editors wonder whether they are “notable”. I was so impressed with the song (but don’t understand the video) that I mentioned it in a Sociology class I was teaching on professional codes of ethics: “Déontologie et Professions”–the first time I had taught in French. “Good song, but old song,” was the student response. Out of time, since off the program format.
Wish more Canadian English radio stations would make the choice that is available to them and include more, or some, or any songs in French, similar to how their French radio counterparts incorporate English music. How can anyone truly appreciate Canadian music otherwise?