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Historic Sites of Manitoba: CKX Radio Building (220 Eighth Street, Brandon)

This one-storey Art Deco brick and stone building on Eighth Street in Brandon was designed by architect Gilbert C. Parfitt and built in 1941 as a home to the radio station CKX. Construction was supervised by architect Cyril William Upton Chivers. The main floor’s interior included offices, a lounge for on-air performers, two studios, a control room, and an observation room for up to 40 spectators. The larger of the two studios had room for a small orchestra or several individual performers. The smaller studio seated two or three people. A full basement contained storage space and mechanical equipment, including central air conditioning to keep the broadcasting facility cool, and a transcription and record library. Steam heat was provided by the adjacent Brandon City Hall. The first broadcasts from the new facility occurred on 26 December 1941.

In 1948, CKX was sold to Western Manitoba Broadcasters Limited, a consortium of businessmen led by John Boyd Craig. The company vacated the building in 1955 when it moved into a new television and radio broadcasting facility on Victoria Avenue. The former studio, now owned by the City of Brandon, was occupied by the Brandon Health Unit until 1971 when the former City Hall building was demolished. This building sat vacant until 1975 when a new heating plant was installed the interior was renovated to be occupied by several social agencies including Big Brothers of Brandon, Manitoba Tenants Association, Senior Citizens Incorporated, Family Planning Association, CUSO, and John Howard Society.

The building was sold into private ownership in 2007 and used by a catering business that also sold restaurant supplies and antiques. In 2020, financial challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic led the owner to retire and put the building up for sale.

Architectural drawing of the CKX Radio Building

Architectural drawing of the CKX Radio Building (1942)
Source: Manitoba Calling, Vol. 6, No. 2, February 1942

Artists Lounge in the CKX Radio Building

Artists Lounge in the CKX Radio Building (1942)
Source: Manitoba Calling, Vol. 6, No. 2, February 1942

Studio A in the CKX Radio Building

Studio A in the CKX Radio Building (1942)
Source: Manitoba Calling, Vol. 6, No. 2, February 1942

The former CKX Radio Building

The former CKX Radio Building (March 2021)
Source: George Penner

The former CKX Radio Building

The former CKX Radio Building (June 2021)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.84639, W99.94888
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Memorable Manitobans: Gilbert C. Parfitt (1886-1966)

Memorable Manitobans: Cyril William Upton Chivers (1879-1969)

Memorable Manitobans: William Francis “Billy” Seller (1893-1985)

Memorable Manitobans: John Boyd Craig (1901-1992)

Sources:

“New studios,” Manitoba Calling, Vol. 6, No. 2, February 1942.

“Brandon’s radio voice speaks louder,” Brandon Sun, 22 November 1957, page 27.

Brandon’s Art Deco gem is for sale” by Christian Cassidy, West End Dumplings, 10 July 2020.

We thank George Penner for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 4 August 2021

Historic Sites of Manitoba

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