Monday August 28, 2017

Under every radio tower in Canada lives a 'Tower Keeper'

(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Listen 5:46

Broadcasting the programs of CBC Radio One to your radio each week is no easy task, it requires an intricate network of technologies all working in harmony. Take, for instance, the radio transmission tower -  without these specs on the horizon radio would not be possible.

And beneath each of the 280 towers that dot the country, in a tiny house, lives the lone Tower Keeper. It's their job to make sure the signal is perfectly calibrated to reach its final destination.

"It's lonely work," says Keeper Gary Shepard, "but there is a great pride to what I do. If I wasn't here ensuring the signal is strong how would kids ever know if school is cancelled or if Q has a new host?"

For over 80 years this fellowship of Tower Keepers have not only united frequencies but they've united our country. In his feature length audio documentary, Peter Oldring tells their story.