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Radio at Home in Canada

We may forget how quiet and isolated life at home in Canada was before broadcast radio. Sounds emanating from radio sets brought worlds together and connected listeners in new ways. As Canadians welcomed radio into their homes, it changed their nation. It provided a lifeline that connected rural and urban Canadians to the country. The long Canadian winters made radio even more desirable. News, talk shows, sports broadcasts, and other local and national programs helped bring Canadians together. In the 1920s, radio was still a collection of technical components. In the decades that followed, you could buy a radio receiver in a store or order one through a catalogue. These radios became centrepieces in the average Canadian’s living room.

“Radio at Home in Canada” explores how radio entered Canadian homes, how people used it, and how it affected the nation. With documents, photos, and recordings from the collection of the Musée des ondes Emile Berliner, this exhibition explores how radio evolved and became an indispensable way for Canadians to tune into national culture from home.

Let’s tune in (click on the image to turn on the radio).

View this video with an English transcript.

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