Blue Ant

Travel and Escape

Travel TV was the name used in 2000 in the joint application by BCE Media Inc/CTV and TVA, which was approved by the CRTC, but within a year CTV had acquired 100% ownership, and the new specialty channel was launched in 2001 as CTV Travel.


In April 2006, the CRTC  granted a licence to John S. Panikkar to launch AHD, a digital HD specialty channel.

The channel launched on September 5, 2006 as Rush HD. Panikkar had licensed  access to the programming of  Rainbow Media, original owners of what had been Vroom HD Networks, who owned Rush HD in the United States.

Oasis HD

On August 2nd 2005, John S. Panikkar, on behalf of a corporation to be incorporated, received CRTC approval for a broadcasting licence to operate a new Category 2 specialty programming undertaking to be known as OasisHD. The applicant proposed to offer an HD programming service featuring urban and wild landscapes by Canadian and international cinematographers.

When the channel launched in  March 2006, it was under the ownership of High Fidelity HDTV.

BBC First (Formerly HIFI)

In August 2011, the former Treasure HD specialty channel was re branded as HIFI.  Treasure HD had been launched in March 2006, after John S. Panikkar had originally been granted a licence by the CRTC to launch ArtefactHD, a digital HD specialty channel devoted to collectors and their collections.

The rebranded channel was owned by High Fidelity HDTV, and its program service included  musical and art-based programming in the form of films, concerts and documentaries. 

Cottage Life

On November 17th 2011, the CRTC approved an application by Cottage Life Television Inc.


One of a large number of digital specialty channels licensed by the CRTC in November 2000 was called Land and Sea, originally intended to provide programming for underserved rural and coastal communities. It was 70% owned by Corus Entertainment, and the CBC held a 30% interest, in part because of what the licence decision referred to as its “expertise….in producing ‘rural’ programming.” It was later renamed Coutry Canada.


The first interactive television channel to be made available in Canada, Bite TV was targeted for a male 18-34 audience, and was licensed to provide a service “devoted entirely to short form films shot on film, video or created with computer animation”, and to “showcase Canadian and international cutting edge short form films, from 1 to 40 minutes in length”.

Aux TV

In June 2008, Glassbox Television Inc. announced a $5,000,000 private financing that involved four major industry names: former CHUM Limited CEO Jay Switzer, former Standard Radio CEO Gary Slaight, former Alliance Atlantis International Distribution head Ted Riley, and former XM satellite radio exec Stephen Tapp. Glassbox had launched cable specialty channel Bite TV (q.v.) in 2005, and the growth of this company had attracted some heavyweight investors to the Board.


This site is archived.

This website has now been archived, as of August 1st 2022, and no further information is being added beyond the last dates show in each section. Newer information will no doubt be available elsewhere on the Internet, and a list of some of the possible sources (as at August 1st 2022) is available here.

CTA Personalities

Learn more about the personalities involved in Canada's broadcasting history.

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