CBC Digital Archives

'Betty Shakespeare'

What do women want? In 1945, CBC broadcasters were asking that question — at least in terms of radio and television programming. As the Second World War ended and Canada's postwar boom began, happy homemakers heard Kate Aitken's cold remedy or tips on how to make a pizza pie. But as the cheery '50s got on, women listeners requested more intelligent programming. They began to learn about setting up a theatre company and hear frank discussion about what going through a divorce was really like.

"Let's imagine that you are burning to act," says Betty Keller in this radio clip of CBC's Trans-Canada Matinee. As the guest host in 1961 on a program for the modern housewife, Keller encourages Canadian women to start a community theatre group. Her advice is practical and intelligent: Start small with play readings and fundraisers. Look into script royalties. Elect an executive and hire a director. But go big with your first play, she advises, making sure it's a good number.
. In 1966 Trans-Canada Matinee changed its name to Matinee.
. In 1969, after 17 years on the air, Matinee hosted an interview segment with women in the arts, like singer Maureen Forrester and censored art dealer Dorothy Cameron. The topics became more cutting-edge; for example, marriage as a beleaguered institution, the erotic sense of touch and second careers for women.

. In 1969 the show's hosts were Pat Patterson, Ed Reid, Helen Hutchinson and Dan Finkelman. The CBC said they hired them because they were "lively, talkative, interesting people involved with widely-assorted projects."
. By 1971 ads for Matinee said the show was a magazine program for contemporary Canadians interested in current affairs, people problems, celebrities and the arts. Originally, the show had been billed as a women's program.
Medium: Radio
Program: Trans Canada Matinee
Broadcast Date: Oct. 16, 1961
Guest(s): Betty Keller
Duration: 8:05

Last updated: January 31, 2012

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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