The French-language service of the CBC is rebranding its platforms with the name "ICI," which means "here" in French, but a spokesman for the broadcaster says the longtime name Radio-Canada will not disappear.
Marc Pichette, public relations director at Radio-Canada, says ICI will be prominent across all platforms, including television, radio and online.
In a statement released in March and republished online Wednesday, the broadcaster said ICI is a term that is closely associated with Radio-Canada's history, noting that the word has served as a tagline in radio broadcasts and has been used in the title of radio and television programs.
The new brand is "not a substitute" for the corporation's name, the online statement said, but will serve instead as a "common denominator" across different platforms. For example, Espace Musique will be ICI Musique.
"Radio-Canada exists, and it will always exist," Pichette said Wednesday.
Radio-Canada's first radio broadcast was aired in 1936, and the broadcaster has long served as a source of French-language news and entertainment . The broadcaster has deep cultural roots in French Canada, as a creator of original programs and as a rare source of French-language for smaller francophone communities across the country.
"We want to remake Radio-Canada because more than ever it must be a living space, an open organization, flexible and agile," said Louis Lalande, executive vice-president of French services.
"[It'll be] just as creative as ever, but more innovative and better attuned to our audience."
The statement goes on to say that the introduction of ICI is part of a broader project aimed at making the French-language broadcaster’s services more innovative and relevant to Canadians.
Heritage Minister James Moore said in an interview with The Canadian Press that "Canadians will only tolerate these changes if CBC can explain how they're not in any way backing away from what taxpayers expect from the CBC — which is for them to be a Canadian broadcaster, very clearly, in mandate and brand."
The heritage minister also said his understanding is that the network will simply be using the common ICI identifier along with existing platform names, including Radio-Canada.
Radio-Canada hasn't said how much money is being spent on the rebranding effort, but says $400,000 was spent on external consultants while 95 per cent of the work was covered by existing communications budgets.
The broadcaster released a video online that explains the change and how it will apply across the different platforms, including a full list of rebranded names. An article posted online says the changes will be phased in starting Aug. 19.