The memories of Charles Tisseyre in the large tower of Radio-Canada

Journalist Charles Tisseyre joined Radio-Canada in June 1974, a few months after the inauguration of the large brown tower in Montreal. “My career is about the age of Maison de Radio-Canada,” he laughs. On the eve of the move of all of Radio-Canada’s Montreal staff to the new offices, Charles Tisseyre recalls some memories of his years spent in the tower.

This day in June 1974 is still fresh in the memory of the journalist: I remember it like it was yesterday, he says. I was 24, I had put on my best suit, my only suit, in fact.

When television arrived at the end of the 1950s, Radio-Canada had to increase its installations. In the 1960s, the activities of the national public broadcaster in Montreal were spread over 22 buildings, hence its idea to raze an entire neighborhood to build a tower that would consolidate all its production operations.

The building was built to last, as Charles Tisseyre explains. Made of reinforced concrete, its studios are, for the most part, located underground, in order to ensure maximum insulation.

For several decades, Radio-Canada’s production activities in Montreal were centralized. We made sets and costumes inside the tower itself, which allowed Charles Tisseyre, one day, to appear on the show. Discovery disguised as Batman.

Jeannita Richard and Charles Tisseyre disguised as Batman

Photo: Charles Tisseyre (Personal photo)

The most vivid memory in the memory of the journalist, however, remains the explosion of the Challenger shuttle in 1986. Charles Tisseyre was, at the time, regional affectator. He had been covering science for quite some time now, but had made very few on-air live appearances.

Claude St-Laurent, who was editor in chief of the newsroom, was walking past me when we saw the Challenger shuttle explode, he recalls. He patted me on the shoulder and said: Charles, shave, you’re going on air.

Charles Tisseyre considers this moment to be one of his greatest experiences, the one that propelled his career.

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