Milestone Celebration on July 1st to Recognize the Historic Significance and Legacy of the Trans-Canada Microwave System
On Canada Day 2022, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Engineering Institute of Canada (EIC), and the Canadian National Committee of the International Union of Radio Science (CNC-URSI) will partner with Bell Canada, TELUS, and SaskTel to recognize one of the greatest engineering achievements in Canadian history – the completion of the Trans-Canada Microwave System in 1958 – and the immense impact that it had on both Canadian society and the Canadian economy.
Officially opened on 1 July 1958, the Trans-Canada Microwave System introduced live network television and direct-dialled long distance telephone service to Canadians from coast to coast. Comprising 139 relay towers spanning more than 6275 kilometres from Victoria, BC to Sydney, NS, it was, when completed, the world’s longest microwave network. Extended and upgraded several times during its four decades of operation, it set the stage for most of the telecommunication infrastructure that we rely upon today.
Bell Canada, TELUS, and SaskTel are partnering with IEEE and EIC to mount bronze plaques in both official languages at nineteen locations along the route taken by the Trans-Canada Microwave System. The plaques will serve as reminders of the people and places that contributed to and benefited from this tremendous engineering achievement. The recognition will also kick off the Trans Canada Microwave System History Project, an effort to reach out to the many Canadian engineers with recollections and memorabilia of the system and preserve these in a digital archive to be jointly administered by IEEE Canada and the Canadian National Committee of the International Union of Radio Science. A webinar featuring some of this material together with commentary by key individuals from IEEE, EIC, CNC-URSI, Bell Canada, TELUS, and SaskTel, will be presented this fall. For more information, please contact the IEEE Canada Historian, Prof. Dave Michelson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check the Vancouver Section website in mid-June for news regarding the dedication event for Vancouver’s plaque. For more information, please contact the Vancouver Section Chair, Matthew Wilder at email@example.com.