It was 64 years ago today that CHEK began broadcasting — making history as B.C.’s first private television station and only the second TV station in the province.
And this past year has shown the community needs us now, more than ever.
“People need to know they have a place they can trust to get their information, that they know is reliable, and CHEK is also a place that can bring people together, bring Vancouver Islanders together,” CHEK’s general manager, Rob Germain says.
It all started in 1956, with a state-of-the-art station built on Epsom Drive in Saanich from the ground up.
CHEK founder Dave Armstrong originally applied for the call letters CKTV but co-founder Charlie White had a different idea.
“You had to have CH, CJ or CK and I thought CHEK had a great promotional opportunity,” White said in an interview for CHEK’s 50th anniversary special.
Throughout the years, CHEK’s made local programming a priority.
But after saving the station from closure in 2009, we’ve increased our local news broadcasts and our community commitment even more with segments like Pet CHEK, Vital People, This Week in History and Order Up.
And since COVID hit, we’ve taken it to a whole new level.
“We’ve really tried to step up with things like The Upside and numerous virtual events — everything from Western Speedway Canada 200 to the Victoria Symphony,” Germain explains. “It’s important that we meet the moment and are there for the community.”
Like Rock for Relief, which raised more than $700,000 for Islanders in need.
More than half a million people tuned in for the virtual concert, which was edited from home by CHEK’s longest-serving employee.
“I think it’s brilliant,” says Jim Sprague, who started working at CHEK in 1979. “I think CHEK’s the only station that does that stuff, anywhere else in Canada the stations are all the same.”
CHEK’s longest-running advertiser couldn’t agree more.
“I think CHEK 6 has been a really big part of the community, it’s really helped us building our brand and also a really big supporter of the community,” says Love Dodd of Dodd’s Furniture.
Stay tuned for what’s next!