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Friendly Giant Faces Firing Squad

From the Canadian Broadcast Foundation Museum:

TORONTO, ON (May 2, 2018) — Thousands of episodes of home-grown CBC television shows that captured life in Canada are about to be systematically destroyed.

Gone in a flash will be childhood icons like The Friendly Giant and Mr. Dressup as well as episodes of Canadian television classics such as Wayne & Shuster, King of Kensington, The Tommy Hunter Show and The Beachcombers.

CBC has decided betacam versions of these and hundreds of other iconic Canadian TV shows are no longer relevant so a destruction order for 26,163 recordings will be carried out this week. These vintage recordings will be ground up into small pieces, then shipped for incineration to New York where the steam generated will feed energy into the state’s power grid.

This is a precursor to the mass digitization program CBC plans to launch this summer during which close to one million English-language original program ‘carriers’ will be destroyed after being transferred to the latest digital media formats.

This controversial plan flies in the face of international archival protocols that, because of the instability and insecurity of present-day digital media (think how frequently we are warned of ‘hacking threats’) requires the preservation of original content.

“The CBC’s digitization plan will be underway for five years”, said Kealy Wilkinson, Executive Director of the Canadian Broadcast Museum Foundation. “Until we can gauge the reliability of the outcome, it would be foolhardy to destroy early generation copies like betacam – or original programs.

It is up to the CBC and the Department of Canadian Heritage to halt any destruction.

Doing less risks the extinction of Canada’s national audiovisual history.”

The Canadian Broadcast Museum Foundation (CBMF) is a not-for-profit charitable foundation working in the public interest to preserve and provide public access to Canada’s history, culture and broadcasting heritage.

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Media contact: Kealy Wilkinson, Executive Director, Canadian Broadcast Museum Foundation, Email: cbmf0fmcr@gmail.com, Phone: 416-367-4772.


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