The evening of May 20, 1920, Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada gathered at from Ottawa Chateau Laurel hotel for an event that would launch Canada in the age of radio. They listened to a soprano performance Dorothee Luton, broadcast live on XWA (Experimental Wireless Apparatus) – the first station Canada to receive an experimental radio license. Although the groundbreaking broadcast was carried by the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company from from Canada workshop-factory in Montreal at the Naval Radio Service in Ottawa, a reception station and a large amplifier had been set up for the occasion in the hotel’s ballroom.
Later in 1920, XWA changed its call letters to CFCF – for from Canada First of all, from Canada The best. In 1922, the station began commercial broadcasting. That year, Montreal’s CKAC also became the first radio station licensed to North America to offer programming in French. While the first enthusiasts were mostly amateurs who built their own equipment, radio quickly caught on with mainstream listeners. Within two years of from Canada historic first broadcast, 34 radio stations were operating across the country. By the end of the decade, Canadians were listening to over 300,000 radio stations.
Designed by Soapbox Design, illustrated by Olivier Burton and printed by Lowe-Martin, the issue’s se-tenant pair of stamps – two stamp designs attached – feature a selection of stamps from the early 20and broadcasting equipment and receiving devices from the last century. Booklets of 10 permanent stamps at the domestic rate (five of each type) are available, as well as an official first day cover.
Stamps and collectibles are available at canadapost.ca.
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