Remembered for your contributions to the broadcasting industry
Jim Shaw, 60, on Jan. 3, after a brief illness. A colourful, Harley-riding maverick who avoided wearing business suits, Shaw initially resisted joining the family business, dropping out of university and trying several small business ventures before joining Shaw Communications in 1982. He started out installing set-top boxes, rising through the ranks to eventually become CEO in 1998. Under his tenure, Shaw acquired various cable competitors including Moffatt Communications, launched internet-based phone service, and led a hostile takeover of WIC (Western International Communications), which resulted in Shaw acquiring a number of radio and television properties that eventually became Corus Entertainment. Shaw went on to acquire the broadcast assets of bankrupt Canwest-Global Communications in 2010. He stepped down as CEO in 2010, making way for younger brother Brad to take over. Among the numerous boards Shaw served on over the years, he chaired the Canadian Cable Television Association for six years.
Donnelly Rhodes, 80, on Jan. 8, of cancer. Born in Winnipeg, Rhodes joined the Royal Canadian Air Force as an airman-mechanic, before starting his career as an actor. He studied at the Manitoba Theatre Centre and graduated from the National Theatre School of Canada. He made his professional stage debut at Stratford as Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire before becoming a contract player for Universal in the U.S. where he appeared on Bonanza, The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., Cheers, Golden Girls, and the Young and the Restless, as well as ABC spoof Soap. Rhodes was best known to Canadian audiences for roles on Sidestreet, Street Legal, Battlestar Galactica and as Grant “Doc” Roberts in Danger Bay. He earned a Gemini award for playing detective Leo Shannon in Da Vinci’s Inquest in 2002 and a Gemini Earle Grey Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2006. Rhodes was also recognized by the B.C. Entertainment Hall of Fame with a star on Vancouver’s Granville Street Star Walk.
Vern Traill, 92, on Jan. 3, in Moose Jaw. Traill, who earned the nickname “The Cowboy,” started his career with CHAB Moose Jaw, moving to Edmonton in 1980 to take on general manager duties at CHED. He returned to Moose Jaw to manage CHAB in 1988. For a number of years, Traill also served as chairman of the Radio Bureau of Canada. Notorious for his love of good fun, he leaves a legacy of stories from filling the swimming pool at Moose Jaw’s Heritage Inn with lake water and trout for a charity fishing derby, to the time he moved the vacationing CHAB sales manager’s home from its foundation after he complained about the area he lived in. Read more on Edmonton Sun contributor Cam Tait’s blog here.
Alan Bleviss, 76, on Dec. 30 after a long battle with lung cancer. Edmonton-born Bleviss took theatrical training at the University of Alberta drama school and the National Theatre School of Canada, before starting an unexpected career as a voiceover artist when his agent sent him to an audition for a Canada Dry commercial. That led to more TV spots and trailers for Hollywood movies like Scarface, Dirty Dancing and Flashdance. He eventually became the voice of Enterprise Rental Cars, AT&T, American Express Gold and the Democratic Party during the Bill Clinton, Joe Biden and Michael Dukakis campaigns. His success in the U.S. led him to move to New York City in 1976. In 1992, Bleviss developed chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, which left him with partial paralysis and damage to his voice. Therapy eventually allowed him to work again. Bleviss earned six Clio awards during his career and was honoured by the Cannes Film Festival in 1985. He funded the Bleviss Laboratory Theatre at the University of Alberta and the Bleviss Family Library at the National Theatre School of Canada, where he also sat on the board of directors.
Murray Johns, 63, on Jan. 4, following a lengthy illness. Johns’ radio career spanned 30 years with among his senior positions, retail sales manager at CFRB-AM Toronto, general sales manager at Q107 (CILQ-FM) and director of sales for Corus Radio Toronto.
Paola Melania Italia Simonetto, 56, on Dec. 25, of pancreatic cancer. Simonetto was head of development and talent recruitment for Musiqueplus and MusiMax from 1998 to 2004 and served as senior producer between 1998 and 2001, championing the careers of many Quebec musicians along the way, including her partner – musician and producer Aldo Nova. In 2015, she joined Montreal firm CMJ Productions II where she was part of a development team creating HD documentaries, moving on to boutique marketing and firm LGG Inc. In 2016, Simonetto launched online boutique Femme Fatale Glamour, focused on retro Hollywood fashion. She was developing another site geared toward a younger market when she died.
Bill McCambly, 84, on Dec. 17 in Calgary. McCambly served in the Royal Canadian Navy for six years and was a veteran of the Korean War, before starting a career as a broadcasting engineer at CJLH-TV Lethbridge. He later moved to CFAC-TV Calgary, which became Global Television. McCambly retired in 1996 after 41 years in broadcasting.
Ron Wray, 80, on Dec. 17 in Owen Sound. Wray started with CFOS-AM Owen Sound in Jan. 1957, after coming to town with the intention of joining the RCMP. The office was closed and when it started to rain, he went into the radio station across the street, never having stepped foot in one. Wray went in, applied for a job, had an audition and started work the following Monday. He stayed with the station for 42 years in a variety of roles, from on-air work to running the station’s creative department. Listen to a 2010 interview with Wray here.
Hugh Wilson, 74, on Jan. 14. Wilson was the creator and executive producer of the “WKRP in Cincinnati” sitcom, which chronicled life at a struggling radio station. Airing for four seasons on CBS from 1978-82, Wilson loosely based the sitcom on real life events, using WQXI-AM Atlanta as his inspiration. The infamous “Turkeys Away” Thanksgiving-stunt episode was inspired by a turkey giveaway WQXI general manager Jerry Blum conjured up in the late 1950s in Dallas when he dropped turkeys off a pickup truck. The series was nominated for an Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy three times, losing twice to Taxi and once to Barney Miller. Nearly a decade after the show ended, Wilson created “The New WKRP in Cincinnati,” which aired briefly in syndication in 1991. Wilson also wrote and directed a number of feature films, including Stroker Ace and 1984’s Police Academy.
Antonio Biamonte, in late December, in Edmonton. Tony started his radio and television career in 1949 as an announcer for CKUA-AM Edmonton. He moved on to CKXL-AM Calgary, and later CFRN-TV and radio in Edmonton, where he worked for over 20 years. One of his career highlights was hosting one of the first television shows to air across the country, “Cross-Canada Barndance” with Gaby Haas, where he also appeared as a sometime vocalist. After retiring from broadcasting in 1973, Biamonte spent 15 years teaching for the Radio and Television Arts program at NAIT, until his second retirement in 1990.
Peter Kaczmarek, 88, on Jan. 20. Kaczmarek immigrated to Manitoba from Poland in 1951. Despite no formal education, the natural artist landed a job as a set designer for CBC Winnipeg in 1955. Building sets for TV and game shows, Kaczmarek had to keep pace with evolving technology that allowed cameras to film in higher quality. Outside his 30-year career with the CBC, he also designed sets for Winnipeg’s Hollow Mug Dinner Theatre, Rainbow Stage, the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Manitoba Opera and Royal Winnipeg Ballet.
Jay Switzer, 61, on Jan. 29, of brain cancer. Born into a life of television, Switzer was raised by journalist mother Phyllis, who covered the Canadian broadcasting industry, and dad Israel – a pioneer in Canadian cable. When Phyllis went on to co-found Citytv in 1972, Switzer’s first full-time job was working the station’s switchboard. That was followed by a gig as floor director for Saturday “Fight Night” broadcasts. After getting his MBA from the University of Western Ontario, Jay returned to Citytv as program manager and went on to help launch specialty channels MuchMusic, Bravo!, CP24, Space, and many other CHUM channels. He was appointed CEO in 2002. A champion of Canadian content, CHUM produced over 200 Canadian feature films during his tenure. In 2010, he co-founded cable portfolio Hollywood Suite, where he served as chair of the Board of Directors. Switzer has been recognized with awards including the Friend of Women in Film and Television (Toronto) Award (1994), the Queen’s Jubilee Medal (2002), and the Human Relations Award (2005) from the Canadian Centre for Diversity. He was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in December. He’ll be posthumously awarded the Academy Board of Director’s Tribute at the Canadian Screen Awards this March.
Tommy Banks, 81, on Jan. 25. Banks made his professional jazz piano debut in 1950 in the touring band of saxophonist Don (D.T.) Thompson and went on to tour North America, Europe, Japan and southeast Asia. His foray into broadcasting started in 1968 as host of “The Tommy Banks Show” which ran on CBC until 1983, “Somewhere There’s Music”, “What’s My Name”, “ Love and Mr. Smith”, “Celebrity Revue”, “Symphony of a Thousand”, “Tommy Banks Jazz”, and numerous other programs. He provided musical direction for Expo ‘86, the XV Olympic Winter Games, and served as a guest conductor for numerous symphony orchestras. Before being appointed to the Senate in 2000, Banks was a founding chairman of the Alberta Foundation for the Performing Arts; chair of the Music Programme at Grant MacEwan; and a member of the board of the CKUA Radio Network Foundation. Among his many awards and honours, he was made an officer of the Order of Canada, won the 1979 Juno Award for Best Jazz Album and the 1992 Gemini Award for Best Performance in a Variety Program.
George Kelso, Jan. 25, on Vancouver Island. Kelso started his broadcasting career at UBC Radio in the late 1950s and went on to work at CFJC Kamloops, and CHQM and CKLG Vancouver as the host of shows like “Jukebox Saturday Night” and “Lunchtime Oldies,” sometimes under the handle “Jockey G,” before landing at CFRN Edmonton in 1964. Kelso worked both in front of the camera and in management until his retirement in 1992.
Laura Foster, 98, on Jan. 13. Born in Hartland, NB, Foster was initially a school teacher and assistant director of the Canadian Red Cross in New Brunswick, before she was offered a job in 1961 by CHSJ-TV Saint John to produce and host the program “Magazine” and other programs like “You and the Law.” Over her 15 years on-air, Foster conducted over 20,000 interviews. In addition to her television work, she promoted the interests of Maritime businesses, founded the Women’s Atlantic Council and the NB Kindness Club, and became the first female director of the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council. In retirement, she obtained an interior design diploma, and wrote poetry and essays, published in the Atlantic Advocate, Maclean’s, and the Telegraph Journal.
Jacques Languirand, 86, on Jan. 26, of Alzheimer’s disease. Known for his radio show Par 4 chemins, which was broadcast for more than four decades on Radio-Canada, Languirand also worked as a playwright, writer, television presenter, actor, director, and teacher. Born in Montreal, his career in broadcasting started after he was drawn to Paris and landed a job at RDF (Radiodiffusion française) as a columnist. In 1953, he joined the international service of Radio-Canada and over the years worked on both radio and television, as a host, public affairs reporter or on theatrical adaptations, before entering a 12-year career as a professor and lecturer at the National Theatre School and McGill University. Languirand returned to Radio-Canada in 1971 when Par 4 chemins debuted and quickly earned a following.
Dave Barrett, 87, on Feb. 2, in Victoria, after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s. Barrett is best known for leading British Columbia’s first NDP government from Sept. 1972 to Dec. 1975. Under Barrett, the province’s Agricultural Land Reserve, public auto insurer ICBC, a provincial ambulance system, Pharmacare, and French immersion in B.C. schools were all instituted. After just three years forming government, Barrett called a snap election and the Social Credit party swept back into power. The flamboyant and wise-cracking Barrett went on to take a turn as host of the CJOR-AM Vancouver morning talk show from 1984-87, before re-entering politics as the MP for Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca in 1988. He held the riding until 1993, then took up leadership of the commission investigating Vancouver’s leaky condo issue. Barrett was made an officer of the Order of Canada in 2005 and a member of the Order of B.C. in 2012.
Manfred Joehnck, 64, on Feb. 5, in North Battleford. Joehnck was a Saskatchewan news veteran, working over the years as the longtime news director at CKRM-AM Regina and as a news anchor on CTV Regina from 2001 to 2011. He had been with MBC (Missinipi Broadcasting Corporation) since 2012, where he served as the network’s legislative correspondent and covered current affairs. Joehnck died suddenly while covering the murder trial of Gerald Stanley in the Battlefords.
John Valorzi, 65, on Feb. 6. Valorzi joined The Canadian Press in 1980 as a temporary reporter-editor but was hired on full-time later that year. He moved to the business department in 1981. In 1987, he became CP’s Washington correspondent and went on to roles as Ontario news editor in 1991, Halifax bureau chief in 1993 and Toronto business editor from 1996 until retirement in 2012.
Tina Louise Bomberry, 52, on Feb. 10. The Six Nations actress was best known for her role on CBC TV series North of 60. Bomberry played Rosie Deela on the seriesfor six seasons from 1992-97. Trained at the Centre for Indigenous Theatre and Ryerson University, Bomberry’s career began with a walk-on role in the 1989 movie Where the Spirit Lives. Other screen credits included TV movies Medicine River, Song of Hiawatha, crime drama Blue Murder and the 2005 TV movie Shania, A Life in Eight Albums.
Bruce Pearson, 86, on Feb. 23 in Orillia. The former chairman of the Blackburn Group in London, On, Pearson oversaw the family-owned media group through the divestiture of its extensive assets in the 1990s, following the unexpected death in 1992 of chairperson Martha Blackburn. The London Free Press was sold in 1997, while the company’s three London radio stations were purchased by Corus Entertainment in 1999. Pearson is remembered as a leader with integrity who ran the media group with the transparency of a publicly-traded company.
Arthur Black, 74, on Feb. 21 of pancreatic cancer. The humorist and media personality got his start with the CBC in Thunder Bay in 1972 as a farm market reporter, eventually coming to host Basic Black, the long-running Saturday morning show that aired on CBC Radio One for 19 years. The show was one of the network’s most popular variety programs and was heard by 600,000 listeners every week. Black signed off from the program when he retired in June 2002, but was still heard on CBC Victoria’s All Points West program with a segment called Planet Salt Spring. Black’s other projects included 19 books, as well as a weekly humour column that at its peak was syndicated to more than 50 newspapers. Black also took a turn as television host in the 1990s, writing and hosting Weird Homes and Weird Wheels on the Life Network.
Laurie Artiss, 86, on Jan. 23 at Nanaimo Hospital. Artiss began his media career in his hometown of Winnipeg in 1948 in the Winnipeg Tribune sports department. He moved on to the Brandon Sun and then the Regina Leader-Post as sports editor, which led to a weekly show with CKCK-TV. In the early 70s, he left broadcasting to start Artiss Ltd., a curling equipment distribution company. Artiss was an inductee of the Manitoba Sportswriters and Sportscasters Media Roll of Honor, the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame, and the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame.
Don Seel, 76, on Jan. 26. Seel was a 50-year veteran of TV and radio news, reporting in both Saskatchewan and Alberta. He began his broadcasting career at CJGX-AM Yorkton and then CHAB-AM Moose Jaw. In 1972, Don joined CFCN-AM and CFCN-TV Calgary, as assignment editor, later going to the CFAC-AM and its sister television station. In 1984, Seel joined 66 CFR (CFFR-AM) as a sportscaster where he went on to cover the Calgary Flames for the next two decades. Another of Seel’s career highlights was the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary.
Ronnie Prophet, 80, on Mar. 2, following a heart attack. Prophet made his debut on CFRA Ottawa country music program The Happy Wanderers, after performing at area clubs as a youth. He appeared at Montreal nightclubs in the 1960s, before moving to Nashville in 1969. Prophet went on to host Canadian television shows The Ronnie Prophet Show, Grand Ole Country, Rocky Mountain Inn and Ronnie ‘N The Browns. He won Juno Awards in 1978 and ‘79 for country male vocalist of the year. Over the years, five of his singles reached the Billboard country charts. In more recent years, he was based in Branson, Missouri.
Franklin Delaney, 77, on Mar. 1. Born on the Island of Havre-aux-Maisons in the Magdalen Islands, Delaney left at age 13 to pursue studies at Bathurst College, then obtained his law degree from the University of Ottawa, and was admitted to the Quebec Bar in 1968. Delaney held the positions of assistant secretary and secretary at the CRTC, before becoming the owner of a group of regional radio stations in Quebec, starting in 1971. In the early 1980s, he joined the CBC as an advisor to the president, becoming vice-president of French television in 1986 and then founding president of TV5 Québec-Canada and member of the board of TV5 Europe. His contribution to the promotion of Francophone culture through the development of the TV network earned him the honor of the insignia of Chevalier and Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters. La France. Since 2000, he had been chair of the Board of Directors of the Quebecor Foundation. In 2012, he received the Order of Canada for his role in the development of the telecommunications industry and his community involvement in the Magdalen Islands.
Prowse Jerrett, 92, on Mar. 2, in Sault Ste. Marie, ON. Jerrett was one of the earliest employees of CBYT Corner Brook, NL, CBC’s first full time operation in the province, joining the staff in 1960. He worked as an announcer/operator hosting various radio programs, the midday television news and interviews with local, national and international celebrities. He is best remembered for his work at the weather board on the suppertime “Here and Now” program, until his retirement in 1985. Jerrett moved to Sault Ste. Marie in 2000 to be closer to family.
Neil Colin, 84, on Feb. 28. Known as “the Mouth of the Peel,” Colin was a legendary Tetlit Gwich’in storyteller. The Fort McPherson elder contributed to CBQM-AM radio in Fort McPherson, as well as CBC Radio’s Northwind. In recent years, he’d been living in Yellowknife after being diagnosed with dementia.
John Baglieri, 35, on Mar. 8 in Toronto, of cancer. After graduating from Seneca College in Toronto, Baglieri started as a reporter with CTV Prince Albert in 2010 where he also anchored the noon newscast. He joined CTV Saskatoon the next year. Baglieri’s instincts and appetite for chasing a story and his interest in investigative journalism was inherited in part from his grandfather John, who owned weekly newspaper The Sarnia Gazette in Sarnia, ON. He had been battling cancer the last two years.
Larry Gavin, Mar. 3 at Kingston General Hospital. With an interest in radio from a young age, Gavin started building crystal sets as a boy and then got a part-time job on weekends with a TV repairman. He went on to attend DeVry Technical Institute at the age of 16 and ended up as an assistant to the disc jockeys at CKOC Hamilton, sorting and filing music. He eventually moved up to overnight DJ and then into news. From there, he took full-time reporting jobs at stations in Niagara Falls, Barrie and Calgary. In 1969, he made the leap to Sudbury where he got his feet wet in television as news director at CKSO Radio & TV and eventually MCTV. In 1988, he took up the regional manager’s role at CHRO Ottawa, which he retired from in 1995. Following his retirement from broadcasting, he founded and grew closed captioning business Closed Caption Services, which has served nearly all of the major Canadian networks. A celebration of life will take place on Sat., May 19 at the Gan Inn in Gananoque, ON. If you have any memories to share with the family, please contact email@example.com.
Mike MacDonald, 62, on Mar. 17 from heart complications. A veteran of Canadian stand up, MacDonald was a regular on the Just for Laughs stage, starring in his own CBC/Showtime specials Mike MacDonald, On Target, My House! My Rules and Happy As I Can Be. MacDonald hosted both the Gemini Awards and the Just For Laughs 10th Anniversary Special for the CBC. He also starred in short-lived CBC sitcom Mosquito Lake in 1989-90. Over the years, he also made appearances on the Late Show with David Letterman and Arsenio Hall. Diagnosed with Hepatitis C in 2011, MacDonald moved back to Ottawa from Glendale, CA, where he underwent a successful liver transplant. Despite struggling with memory loss and depression following the surgery, he went on to perform several hundred stand up shows.
Barrie Clark, 86, on Mar. 16, after a short battle with cancer. Clark got his start in broadcasting at CKOV Kelowna in 1949. From there he did stints at CHEX Peterborough, CJOR Vancouver, Reuters News Agency in London and then hosted various talk and television programming at CKLG, CKWX, CHAN-TV and CBUT Vancouver throughout the 1950s and early 60s. In 1963, he was elected as the city councillor for North Vancouver and three years later to the B.C. legislature, serving in the ministry of the Attorney General as the province’s first Rentalsman from 1973-76. Clark returned to talk radio in the late 70s, as a host on CKNW from 1977-86 and then at CJOR Vancouver and CKOV Kelowna. He re-entered politics in 1999, holding a city council seat in Kelowna until 2008.
Leslie John Fuller, 94, on Mar. 9. Fuller trained with the J. Arthur Rank organization in England prior to moving to Canada and joining CBC Vancouver in the 1950s. Fuller’s career with the public broadcaster as a film editor lasted nearly 30 years.
Bev Munro, 89, on Apr. 4. Munro’s career started at CKX Brandon, MB as a country music disc jockey. He eventually landed at CFCW-AM Camrose where he spent 30 years behind the microphone. As morning host, he started the popular Mystery Artist Request Line and his famous knee-slapper jokes. In 1959, Munro was named Mr. DJ USA, along with Ralph Emery at WSM Nashville, an honour that no other Canadian DJ has earned. In his spare time, Munro played local dances and shows with his band, eventually scoring a recording contract with Capitol Records. His first hit was Hello Operator, followed by other popular songs for R. Harlan Smith, Chris Nielsen, Hank Smith and Bill Hersh. Munro also spent a lot of time on the road with the road over the years as an MC with the Alberta Country Music Legends.
Tyler Bieber, 29, and Brody Hinz, 18, on Apr. 6, near Tisdale, SK. Tyler Bieber joined Golden West Broadcasting in his hometown of Humboldt in 2015. This was his first season as the play-by-play voice for Humboldt Broncos broadcasts on 107.5 Bolt FM (CHBO-FM). Accomplished for an amateur sports journalist with no formal training, Bieber was also a contributor to CFL.ca and ran his own website over the years – cfldaily.ca and @CFLDaily on Twitter.
A passionate volunteer, he was also vice-president of the Humboldt touch football league, involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters as a mentor and gave his time as a local basketball and football coach. Aspiring radio assistant, Brody Hinz, 18, who had recently joined Golden West and was being mentored by Bieber, acted as statistician and colour commentator for the team. Both were traveling with the Broncos on Apr. 6 en route to Nipawin and were among 15 people killed in the tragedy.
Jim Nielsen, 79, on Apr. 4 in New Westminster, BC. Nielsen’s broadcasting career started as a staff announcer at CJVI Victoria in 1959. A year later, he joined CJOR Vancouver reading mornings news with stints to follow as a talk show host and news director at CFUN Vancouver and CFAX Victoria. In 1975, he was elected as the MLA for Richmond and won two successive elections, serving as Minister of the Environment, Minister of Consumer & Corporate Affairs, Minister of Health, Minister of Social Services and Chairman of the Workers’ Compensation Board of BC. Following his political career, he was a public speaker, newspaper columnist and eventually returned to talk radio at CKST Vancouver. He spent his later years living in Langley.
Ray Renning, 82, on Mar. 28 in Maple Ridge, BC. Renning was CBC Vancouver’s senior electronics maintenance technician for many years. He eventually started his own electronics/television design company and was also a video electronics design engineer for Viscount Video Systems.
Christopher Cunnington, 42, on Mar. 23. After graduating from the Journalism program at BCIT, Cunnington worked with CKVU-TV, CTV Vancouver and News 1130 (CKWX-AM). In 2016, he suffered a devastating stroke which he never fully recovered from.
Art Bell, 72, on Apr. 13, at his home in Pahrump, NV. Bell served in the U.S. Air Force as a medic during the Vietnam War, operating a pirate radio station at Amarillo Air Force Base in his free time. After leaving military service, he worked as a disc jockey at KSBK, the only non-military English-language station in Japan. While there, he set a Guinness World Record by staying on-air for 116 hours and 15 minutes, raising funds in the process to charter a plane to Vietnam and rescue 130 orphans stranded in Saigon at the war’s end. After returning to the U.S., Bell worked for KIDD-AM Monterey, KMST-TV, and KDWN Las Vegas where he was offered an overnight time slot in 1978. The show, which initially focused on politics, was renamed Coast to Coast AM and moved to Bell’s home studio in Pahrump in 1988. The five-hour marathon featuring all things conspiracy theory, paranormal and life beyond planet earth, peaked in the 1990s when the show reached as many as 15 million listeners a week, and was heard on more than 500 stations. Bell semi-retired in 2003, continuing to host Coast to Coast on weekends and as a guest host through 2010. He also hosted classic episodes of the program, heard on some stations under the name Somewhere in Time. While he briefly returned with a new online offering called Midnight in the Desert in 2015, he formally retired later that year citing security concerns at his home.
Ed Ylanen, 55, on Apr. 9 in Toronto after a brief illness. Born in Vancouver, Ylanen worked at radio stations across the country and was part of the senior management teams at multi-ethnic stations CJVB-AM Vancouver and CHIN Radio Toronto. He ended his career with Giant FM (CIXL-FM) and Country 89 (CKYY-FM) in Welland, ON.
Caroline Bakuska, 84, on Apr. 6. Bakuska spent most of her career in the accounting department with CKY Winnipeg, starting at CKY Radio in 1960 before moving over to the television side in 1962. In a senior accounting position, Bakuska generously shared her wealth of experience with management, staff and especially new accounting team members. After working with CKY for 49 years, she retired in 1999, regularly visiting the station until her health declined.
Audrey Nelson, 83, on Apr. 16, of complications from COPD. Nelson is remembered as the longtime engineering secretary for CFRN Edmonton for several decades. She retired in the late 1990s.
Cyril Hunt, 93, on Apr. 3. Hunt started his career with CBC Alberta’s engineering department in 1954 at CBX-AM Lacombe, the CBC’s first 50 KW regional transmitter in the province. In 1964, he moved to CBX Edmonton, working over the years with CBXT-TV, French signal CBXFT-TV which signed on in 1970, CHFA-AM (when the station was bought by the CBC in 1974), and CBX-FM when it signed on in 1978. He also took care of all the LPRTs (40 watt AM transmitters in remote communities) that were fed from CBX-AM. Hunt eventually became supervisor of the Edmonton Transmitter Group. He retired in 1985.
Keven Drews, 45, on May 2, after a 15-year fight with multiple myeloma. Before joining the Vancouver bureau of the Canadian Press in 2011, Drews worked at Vancouver Island community newspapers the Tofino-Ucluelet Westerly News, Alberni Valley Times and Nanaimo Daily News, eventually starting his own online news outlet, The Westcoaster, which built a reputation for breaking stories. Drews was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2003 and underwent a stem cell transplant as well as multiple rounds of radiation and chemotherapy. Through those treatments, he continued to report and completed an MFA in creative non-fiction at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington.
Liz Hughes, 67, on May 4, of complications due to breast cancer. Hailing from the small, rural town of Ormstown, Quebec, Hughes moved west at 19 and started working as a print reporter, first in Campbell River and then Victoria, before she was recruited by CBC Vancouver. Hughes played an instrumental role in helping bring shows like Canada Now to life and acted as executive producer on current affairs programs Pacific Report and Monitor. One of the first internal consultants at the CBC, she was involved in helping implement mobile first strategy at the public broadcaster before her retirement in 2014. After retirement, Hughes served as a board member with Farm Radio International, a non-profit that works to deliver radio to Africa.
Wayne J. McLean, 73, on Apr. 30. McLean was just 15 when he started broadcasting to anyone who would listen from atop the A & W drive-in in Windsor-Walkerville using a homemade transmitter. He started operating the Sunday ethnic programs on CJSP Leamington and worked on-air for a year at CFOS Owen Sound, before returning to CJSP as an afternoon jock. He went on to make a name for himself, mostly in talk radio, at stations including CFPL London, CFRB Toronto, CKWW and AM 800 (CKLW-AM) Windsor, among others in Sarnia, Ottawa, Kitchener and Hamilton. Few of his radio fans knew that McLean was also an ordained Baptist minister. With his wife Sandra, he formed The Gospel Meeting, which operated in Windsor from 1972-77. McLean applied all of the principles of Top 40 radio to produce Sunday School sessions that attracted school buses full of young people to each gathering. He went on to take his talk show skills with him to a cable TV program in Kitchener. He also taught Communications at the University of Windsor and Film Studies at Walkerville Collegiate and Windsor Library. In the final 10 years of his life, he operated a global film script consultancy with clients all over the world.
Margot Kidder, 69, on May 13. Born in Yellowknife, Kidder made her film debut in 1968 in short film The Best Damn Fiddler from Calabogie to Kaladar. Her first major feature was in 1969 comedy Gaily, Gaily, starring Beau Bridges. She appeared on a number of CBC TV drama series including guest appearances on Wojeck, Adventures in Rainbow Country and McQueen, going on to co-star in James Garner western Nichols on NBC in 1971-72. She eventually relocated to Los Angeles and was cast opposite Gene Wilder in Quackser Fortune Has a Cousin in the Bronx (1970); Brian De Palma’s Sisters (1973); slasher film Black Christmas (1974), for which she won a Canadian Film Award for Best Actress; The Gravy Train (1974); A Quiet Day in Belfast (1974); The Great Waldo Pepper (1975); The Reincarnation of Peter Proud and 92 in the Shade (1975). In 1978, she was cast as Lois Lane in Superman, which would become her most-famous role. In recent years, she appeared on Robson Arms, Brothers & Sisters, and Smallville, among other TV and film credits. Her final film was 2017’s The Neighborhood, a Canadian drama written and directed by Frank D’Angelo.
Kevin Tierney, 67, on May 12, after a three-year battle with cancer. Tierney is best-known for his 2006 bilingual hit Bon Cop, Bad Cop, a comical exploration of the relationship between French and English-speaking Canadians. The film stands as the top-grossing Canadian movie of all time. As a producer, screenwriter, and director, the Montrealer’s credits also included the Gemini-nominated Choice: The Henry Morgentaler Story, Gemini Award-winning One Dead Indian, The Trotsky, and French Immersion. Tierney also served as head of the Cinémathèque québécoise’s board of directors, as vice-chair of cinema for the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, and received a producer’s award from the Canadian Film and Television Production Association in 2009.
Nick Michaels, 67, on May 26 of a sudden heart attack. Michaels started in radio while still in high school. After copywriting for AdGroup International in Montreal, he moved to Toronto in 1973 and became a sought-after voiceover actor. His national accounts included Molson’s, Kodak, Texaco, Kellogg’s, P&G and Toyota. When he moved to New York City in 1977, those campaigns expanded to Coca-Cola, General Motors, Coppertone, Maybelline and others. As a narrator, he appeared on a dozen episodes of National Geographic Explorer and Bud Greenspan TV documentary Barcelona ‘92: Sixteen Days Of Glory. He was the co-creator and original voiceover host of NBC show Friday Night Videos from 1983-86. In 1992, he became the voice of topical promotion for CNN television worldwide as well as TV stations WBBM-TV Chicago, WCBS-TV New York and WCCO-TV Minneapolis. His own company, American Voice Corporation, produced and syndicated his national radio program The Deep End with Nick Michaels and its spin-off Stories From The Deep End in the U.S. and New Zealand. Michaels had been based in Miami since the early 80s.
Rick Everett Baverstock, 52, on May 24. Born in Beausejour, MB, Baverstock’s interest in rock music started at a young age. He began playing music and DJ’ing on the family C.B. Radio, which prompted a few visits from government officials. He went on to pursue Broadcasting: Radio and TV Arts at Confederation College in Thunder Bay, working at CKPR-AM under the name of Rick Everett (The Doctor of Rock). From there, he worked as an on-air personality at CKX-AM Brandon, CHAB-AM Moose Jaw, CITI-FM Winnipeg, 100.3 The Q (CKKQ-FM) Victoria (where he was also PD), 92.9 KICK-FM (CKIC-FM) Winnipeg, and FAB 94.3 (CHIQ-FM) Winnipeg. In 2012, he became the senior producer and music director at NCI-FM (Native Communications Inc.) and Now Country FM (CIUR-FM).
David Longfield, 82, suddenly on May 21. Longfield worked in radio for 59 years, 54 of those years with the Corus Radio London stations as an account manager. Longfield’s passion for radio was reflected in the fact that he’s remembered as being the first one in the office every morning and servicing more active accounts than any other rep. He was also a great supporter of the London Knights OHL team.
Arvi Liimatainen, 68, on May 19 of cancer. With a career spanning over four decades, Liimatainen held numerous roles over the years from studio tech to story editor, actor, broadcaster, producer and director. He’s best known for producing TV series Da Vinci’s Inquest, Da Vinci’s City Hall, and Intelligence with Haddock Entertainment with more recent credits on The Romeo Section, Hiccups and Gracepoint. He also produced Anne Wheeler-directed films Bye Bye Blues and Cowboys Don’t Cry. His directing work included episodes of The Beachcombers, Jake and the Kid and Breaker High, in addition to CFRN-TV Edmonton productions 3 Blondes and a Brownie, Into The Fields and Down Came The Rain. He had multiple Gemini and Leo Awards to his name, in addition to a 2014 Canadian Screen Award for his directing work on TV movie Borealis. Liimatainen was a past chair of the Banff World Media Festival and honorary lifetime director, was on board of the Alberta Media Production Industries Association, and was former director of the National Screen Institute.
John Ashbridge, 71, on June 5. “Ash” as he was known by colleagues, got his start in broadcasting at the age of 13, when he began hanging around radio station CJVI Victoria and became an unpaid operator. He was hired part-time in 1962 and then moved over to CFAX while he finished high school. In 1964, he was hired in the news department at CJOR Vancouver and then CKNW a year later where he was put to work as relief for the DJs, and handling remotes and news. With the exception of three years as news director at CJCI Prince George and an 18-month stint working in radio in Australia, Ashbridge was an on-air staple at CKNW up until his retirement in 2005. In addition to radio, Ashbridge started as the public address announcer for the Vancouver Canucks in 1987, and joined the Western Hockey League’s Vancouver Giants in the same capacity in 2004, up until recently. He also served as PA announcer for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games at Canada Hockey Place. Ashbridge was honoured with the NHL Alumni Association’s “7th Man Award” in 2000. He received the RTDNA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.
John Skelly, 89, peacefully on June 8. Skelly spent several years in the family farming business with the Skelly Tomato Cannery in Kamloops before taking a job as an all-night Saturday DJ, in addition to sales, at CJCA Edmonton in 1957. In 1959 he bought CKYL Peace River, then CKNL Fort St. John. He went on to found Radio NL (CHNL-AM) Kamloops and served as its president and GM from 1970 to 1982. Skelly’s Sunday Showcase radio show allowed him to indulge in his love of jazz, swing and big band music and play homage to his idol Frank Sinatra. Before retirement in the late 90s, Skelly spent eight years in real estate sales and served as an alderman on Kamloops City Council from 1984-88. Among the accomplishments he was proud of while on council was helping bring Sunday shopping to Kamloops.
Don Cameron, 82, on June 7 after a brief illness. Best known as the longtime voice of the Kitchener Rangers, Cameron was born to a family of 17 in Summerside, P.E.I. He got his start covering local senior hockey team the Summerside Aces for CJRW in 1956. He then moved to CKTB St. Catharines, where he covered the Jr. A Teepees. Cameron arrived in Kitchener in 1958 as sports director for CKCR and later CKKW, covering the Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen. The Ontario Hockey League Rangers franchise landed in Kitchener in 1963 and Cameron went on to call 4,000 games and two Memorial Cup titles on 570 News (CKGL-AM), before he retired in 2015 after half a century in the press box. Referred to as “The Legend” or “Cammy” by fans, he continued to return for the odd game. His final call was last season’s 4-3 overtime win for the Rangers against Sault Ste. Marie in Game 6 of the OHL’s western conference final.
Menno H. Friesen, 72, on June 9. Friesen worked for Golden West Broadcasting, based out of Altona, MB, for nearly 30 years and played a vital role in the company’s growth. He retired in 2010 as VP of Sales and Marketing. Friesen was involved in many community causes, including the local sports scene. He was part of the Altona Maroons organization of the South Eastern Manitoba Hockey League as a both a player and member of the team executive. He was also involved in fundraising for seniors housing and one of the driving forces behind the construction of a new community ball park.
James Macdonald, 87, on May 29. After working briefly at the Shell Oil Company, Macdonald was hired by CHWK Radio Chilliwack, writing commercials and playing piano “live” at noon. He worked his way into the newsroom and got a scoop in Dec. 1956, when acting on a tip, he reported that fuselage wreckage from the Trans-Canada Air Lines crash had been discovered by a mountaineer on Mt. Slesse, near Chilliwack. He was promptly hired away by CKWX-AM. After covering the crime beat and working as a city hall reporter, Macdonald became a talk show host and interviewer known for his ability to use the pregnant pause to get his guests to open up. He went on to become a familiar face on Channel 8. Macdonald eventually returned to Chilliwack and co- founded the Answer Cabaret with Bill Wosk. After selling the business, he became a food and beverage executive with the Harrison Hot Springs Hotel for 14 years. Later, he was manager of the Lougheed Hotel in Vancouver and opened the Suites at Conference Plaza. Macdonald had been retired to Ladner, BC since 2000.
Victor Hayes, 70, on May 23. Hayes was a veteran journalist who worked as a wire service editor with the Canadian Press and Broadcast News from 1978-88. He went on to teach public relations at Humber and Seneca Colleges after working as the director of public affairs for the Canada Chinese Business Council.
Gary Bell, on June 4 after a battle with cancer. Bell aka “Spaceman” was the longtime host of “A View From Space,” his long-running Saturday night conspiracy show that aired on Talk Radio AM 640 (CFMJ-AM) Toronto. Corus Entertainment pulled the show in November after Bell delved into material that Corus deemed anti-semitic. Bell’s show ran Saturday nights from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. during the NHL season, and from 8 p.m. to midnight in the off-season. He was also known for his on-air work at CFTR-AM Toronto where he worked as a late night jock from the late 1970s to the early 90s. Prior to CFTR, Bell was at CKGM-AM Montreal.
Walter Hartwig, 88, on June 7 in Kelowna. Hartwig was the longtime director of photography at CFRN-TV Edmonton, dating back to the darkroom era. He joined CFRN in the late 1950s.
Ellie Tevan, on June 12. Tevan, wife of late Montreal radio sports host Ted Tevan, was one of the first women to do sports editorials on radio and in her early career was the only woman in North America covering major league baseball on a regular basis. Featured in a June 1973 article in The Jewish Post and Opinion, Ellie was working at CFOX Montreal when she explained to the paper that women were not allowed on the playing field, even as working reporters. “They’re banned from the press box by a ruling of the all-male Baseball Writers’ Association, and are forced to sit in the stands with the paying customers. I think it’s archaic, but I haven’t made any fuss about it. I probably should, but I haven’t the strength to fight it. The players are very nice to deal with, for one thing. I never have any problems getting interviews, no matter who the players are. So even without the dressing room, I do all right, especially as I’m usually doing a human interest rather than a hard news story.” Ellie and Ted Tevan were married for 52 years, up until his death in 2011.
John Anthony Hello, 64, on June 10. Hello spent many years working in radio with his career culminating at CJFX Antigonish as news and sports director. Hello went on to return to his hometown of Campbellton, NB where he served as a city councillor from 2001-04 and deputy mayor from 2004-08. He eventually retired to Point Michaud, Cape Breton, where he continued to pursue music and photography.
Rodney “Rod” French, 73, suddenly on June 18 at his home in Mount Pearl, NL. French was a news reporter and hockey broadcaster with VOCM Newfoundland in the 1970s and 80s. He’s also remembered for his involvement in the Newfoundland & Labrador music scene as a member of both The Bellaires and The Ravens. The Ravens were a pioneering 1960s rhythm and blues group and the first Newfoundland band to appear on national television on CBC-TV Halifax’s Frank’s Bandstand in 1965. They were also among the first to cut and release a single on Arc Records, a subsidiary of London Records. The foursome was regularly featured on CJON-TV’s biweekly Dance Party and CBC-TV’s High Teens.
Agnes Gould, 62, on June 20, at Cape Breton Regional Hospital. Gould, aka “Aggie Baby,” began her radio career at 94.1 FM (CICU-FM) Eskasoni, NS before establishing herself as a local icon as host of Membertou Morning on C99 FM (CJIJ-FM) Membertou. Gould was dedicated to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) movement and just last fall spoke at the MMIWG inquiry about her sister Virginia Pictou, who went missing in Maine in 1993.
Les Carpenter, 61, on July 3, after a brief illness. Carpenter started his broadcasting career with the CBC in Inuvik where he hosted many of the North’s most popular programs and earned him the nickname “Mr. Saturday Night.” Carpenter left broadcasting In 1984 and over the next 16 years took on a variety of roles from becoming the first mayor of Sachs Harbour to founding chair of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation. He was also a member of the UN Special Task Force on Aboriginal Peoples and special advisor to Australia’s Aboriginal Peoples and the Prime Minister’s Office. In 2000, Carpenter was asked by Northern Native Broadcasting in Whitehorse to step back into his former career as director of radio. In the fall of 2009, Carpenter took over as CEO of Yellowknife-based Native Communications Society, which owns CKLB-FM, which broadcasts in five languages to 30 communities in the N.W.T. and northern Alberta.
Larry Lamb, 83, on June 29 in Peterborough. Lamb had a distinguished career in radio advertising, concluding his career as president of Major Market Broadcasters. Founded by a group of senior sales executives that left Stephens & Towndrow Broadcast Reps in 1966, the company opened offices in Montreal and Toronto with CHUM as its only client. CFPL London and the Moffatt stations were eventually partners. The successor company became known as CHUM Radio Sales after CHUM purchased all of the outstanding shares in the late 1990s. Lamb is remembered as a mentor to younger media buyers, and one of the nicest guys in the business.
Denis Akiyama, 66 on June 28. Akiyama was an actor and voice actor, best known as the voice of the Iceman/Bobby Drake, Silver Samurai and Sunfire characters in the X-Men Animated Series. He also provided the voice of Malachite/Kunzite in the original English version of Sailor Moon. The Toronto-born actor also appeared in Johnny Mnemonic, 2015 action adventure film Pixels, and was a frequent guest star on Canadian TV series Katts and Dog.
Daniel Pilon, 77, on June 26, of cancer. Montreal-born Pilon got his first movie role in Quebec director Gilles Carle’s 1968 drama Le Viol d’une Jeune Fille Douce, which also starred his older brother Donald Pilon. He went on to appear in 1969 British war film Play Dirty, alongside Michael Caine and Nigel Davenport. Pilon is best known for portraying portraying villain Renaldo “Naldo” Marchetta on Dallas and Gavin Newirth on Days of Our Lives, among other roles on daytime soaps Ryan’s Hope and Guiding Light. He also had credits on Hart to Hart, Cagney & Lacey, and Murder, She Wrote.
Robert Asgeirsson, 74, on June 12, following a nine-year battle with prostate cancer. The Vancouver-based cinematographer began his career at CJAY-TV Winnipeg in the 1960s, before moving to Vancouver in 1969 where he worked at BCTV as a documentary and current affairs cameraman. Throughout the 1970s and 80, Asgeirsson worked as both a freelance and staff shooter for CBC Vancouver, Global TV and other clients. His work was nominated for a Gemini Award in 1989. Asgeirsson was also curator of the Icelandic Archives of BC which now reside in the UBC Library Special Collections department, collecting and printing hundreds of still photographs for the “Nordic Spirit” collection.
Harry Gulkin, 90, on July 23 of pneumonia. The Montreal film and theatre producer, arts director and project manager was best known for producing 1975 drama Lies My Father Told Me, which was nominated for an Oscar for Best Screenplay and won a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film. After a stint in the merchant marines during WWII, he worked for communist weekly the Canadian Tribune and then in marketing for the Steinberg supermarket chain, before deciding on a career in film. He went on to produce Two Solitudes (1978), Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang (1978) and Bayo (1985). From 1983-87, he was director of the Saidye Bronfman Centre for the Arts, followed by 20 years as a project manager with Quebec film funding agency Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC). He also served as president and chair of the Canadian Film Institute and vice-president of Cinémathèque québécoise. In 2008, the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television presented Gulkin with a special Genie Award recognizing his work to build a stronger and more vibrant film community. The National Film Board produced a documentary on his life Harry Gulkin: Red Dawn on Main Street (2004). Gulkin was revealed as the biological father of actress/filmmaker Sarah Polley in her 2012 documentary Stories We Tell.
Dane Gibson, 49, on July 15, of cancer. Gibson started covering northern First Nations communities in 2001, producing a daily newscast for CKLB-FM Yellowknife and creating the program Ends of the Earth. In 2005, he became executive director of the Native Communications Society which operates the non-profit station. Gibson left the north in 2011 and moved to Gabriola Island, BC with his family. Most recently, he’d been working in communications with Vancouver Island University.
John Dukelow, 75, on July 14. Known to friends, family and co-workers as ”The Duke,” Dukelow’s broadcasting career spanned several decades. In 1980, he and Evanov president Bill Evanov became shareholders in and took over management of FM 108 (CING-FM) Hamilton. Initially they launched a 50s and 60s format, later rebranding in 1991 as “Canada’s First Dance Music Station.” Dukelow was GSM at CING-FM up until 1995 when Evanov purchased Z103.5 (CIDC-FM) Orangeville, and he joined the Sales and Marketing team there. Dukelow remained active with the company right up until his passing.
Michael Dorn, 60, unexpectedly on July 5. Dorn worked for more than three decades at CBC-TV Toronto as a video producer and editor, remembered for bringing equal passion to documentaries and breaking news alike. He devoted much of his spare time to working on his own film and photography projects. Dorn’s late father was CBC Toronto designer and artist Rudi Dorn.
Fred Hodson, 76, on July 5. Hodson worked for more than 20 years at CFRN-TV Edmonton as a producer/director on both in-house programming and commercials. He left the station in 1977 and went on to found post-production facility Video Pack, which was eventually acquired by ITV (now Global Edmonton) and became part of the Studio Post and Transfer operation. Hodson also served as the original webmaster for the Edmonton Broadcasters Club. A celebration of life is planned for Aug. 12 in Agassiz, BC.
James “Jim” Wallace, 77, on July 4 at Leduc Community Hospital. Wallace began his more than 50-year career in television in his hometown of Regina at CKCK-TV. He went on to be hired as head of the lighting department at ITV Edmonton prior to the station’s sign-on in Sept. 1974 and with his team of lighting professionals worked on the long running series of ITV concerts with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and on SCTV during the years it was produced in Edmonton. His career also included stops at CFCN Calgary and BCTV Vancouver. Following his retirement, he continued to provide lighting expertise on commercial shoots, feature film and documentary productions in Alberta and beyond.
Monsignor John Caswell, 83, on July 1. Caswell was behind the television broadcasts that brought weekly mass to thousands of Catholics across northeastern Ontario. He created, produced and directed the weekly television program Mass for Shut-Ins which aired on CTV. While Caswell retired as Pastor of Sudbury’s Christ the King Parish in 2006, he remained part of the television program up until 2012.
J.J. Richards, 88, on June 30 in Rancho Mirage, CA. Richards began his career as a teenage disc jockey in Brandon, MB in 1948 before moving on to CKUA Edmonton, CBC and CHUM Toronto, and later CKDA/CFMS-FM Victoria, CFUN (CFTE-AM) Vancouver and CHQM-FM Vancouver. He worked as a news reader, foreign correspondent, news director and talk show host up until his retirement in 2000. Retiring to Rancho Mirage, CA, Richards hosted and produced Palm Springs Street Talk for nine years. Richards received the RTDNA Distinguished Service Award in 1993 and the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004.
Rex Tasker, 85, on July 24, at his home in Musquodoboit Harbour, NS. A student of the London Film School, Tasker arrived in Canada in 1958 to work with the National Film Board, based in Montreal. For the first 12 years, he was a picture editor, researcher, writer, director and producer, earning multiple honours for his work, including an Oscar nomination for “Helicopter Canada” in addition to awards for “Fields of Sacrifice,” “Steeltown,” “The White Ship” and “The Oshawa Kid.” He also worked on the Challenge for Change project in Thunder Bay to establish community video production, and taught film at Stanford University, New York University, the University of Toledo, and Florida State University. In 1973, he moved to Nova Scotia to set up the NFB’s Atlantic Centre with nearly 100 films produced under his tenure as head of the studio. Tasker retired from the NFB in 1992. Of his many accolades, he was awarded the John Grierson Genie Award for “contribution to Canadian Film in the spirit and tradition of John Grierson” in 1980. In 1982, the Atlantic Film Festival dubbed its best documentary film award, the “Rex Tasker Award.” In retirement, Tasker worked on small, one-man productions tackling subjects like a successful fishing cooperative in Belize, and the history of Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore, where he lived for more than 40 years.
Gary Dalliday, 76, on Aug. 10, of cancer. Dalliday was sports director at CHEX TV and Radio in Peterborough for nearly 35 years, until his retirement in 2009. A booster of local sports and causes, Dalliday was inducted into the Peterborough & District Sports Hall of Fame as an athlete and builder in 2001 and elected to Peterborough’s Pathway of Fame in 2017. More recently, the Peterborough Petes renamed a room after him at the Peterborough Memorial Centre. Dalliday called over 1,000 Pete’s games for the OHL club over 15 years, with his son Pete by his side doing play-by-play.
Andrew “Hobby” Hunter, 60, on Aug. 9. Also known on-air as DJ Goulash, Hunter was host of The End of the World News and various overnight shows on University of British Columbia campus station 101.9 CITR-FM Vancouver.
Gordon Whitehead, 77, on Aug. 4. Whitehead received his Honours BA in Journalism at the University of Western Ontario in 1965. He went on to become news director of CFPL-AM London and host of The Medical Monitoring radio show, then managing editor at CFRB 1010 Toronto. He eventually moved into print media, reporting for papers including the Parkhill Gazette and Exeter Lakeshore Times Advance. He wrote his final article from his hospital bed, published in the Times Advance on July 25. Whitehead was also a former president of the RTDNA and former president of the University of Western Ontario Alumni Association, where he helped establish a fundraising foundation for the school.
Sheila Skelley, 88, on Aug. 4 in Pembroke, ON. Born in Ste. Anne de Beaupre, Quebec, Skelley moved with her family to Pembroke during the depression and spent a year at the University of Toronto before heading west to begin her career with the CBC. She started as a production assistant in Public Affairs with CBC Vancouver, moving on to various roles including assistant BBC representative in Toronto, program organizer in Washington, liaison officer for foreign broadcasters during Expo ‘67 and later Overseas and Foreign Relations officer in Ottawa and London, England.
Meech Kean, 27, on Aug. 18. After graduating from the University of King’s College in Halifax, Kean joined the VOCM St. John’s, NL news team three years ago as a reporter and soon became the station’s legislative reporter. Former VOCM news director Fred Hutton, who hired Kean, paid tribute to the young journalist on Facebook calling him a “news person through and through.” “Despite his size and presence, he disarmed people with his wide smile and sense of humour. He was direct, but fair. Firm, but compassionate. He was respectful, but still did his own thing. I liked all that about him,” Hutton wrote. VOCM Open Line host Paddy Daly took to the airwaves Tuesday, saying Kean’s unexpected death is an opportunity to open conversation around mental health in the workplace. “Meech died by suicide. It’s a shock, needless to say, to everyone here in this building and we’re deeply saddened by it.”
Jodi Taylor Orr, 53, suddenly on Aug. 18. Known as Jodi Taylor on-air, Orr had been doing fill-in swing and news at Bell Media London stations BX93 (CJBX-FM) and CJBK-AM for the last two and a half years. From 2001 to 2014, she was the midday host at 102.3 BOB FM (CHST-FM) London, and prior to that was marketing and promotions director at CFPL-AM 980. Over the years, Orr served on several boards, including as chair of the Southwestern Ontario chapter of Women in Communications (2009-13) and the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southwestern Ontario (2010-17).
Sandra Carusi, Aug. 13, from cancer. The longtime Corus Toronto sales rep and host of Inside Jokes on AM 640 (CFMJ-AM) lost her battle to breast cancer on Apr. 13, following a 2014 diagnosis of triple-negative breast cancer. Carusi joined Corus Toronto in 1999 as an account executive for Q107 (CILQ-FM), 102.1 The Edge (CFNY-FM), 95.3 Fresh Radio (CING-FM), and AM640. It was while Carusi, a stand-up performer herself, was undergoing cancer treatment that she came up with the idea of hosting a talk show on the world of comedy and in 2015 became executive producer and host of Sunday evening show Inside Jokes on 640, as well as a comedy correspondent for the stations. Over the show’s run, Carusi welcomed guests like Russell Peters, Trevor Noah, Sugar Sammy, Jessica Holmes and Scott Thompson. Inside Jokes eventually led to Carusi producing two other shows for AM640, The Parenting Show with mommy blogger Pina Crispo, and The Dating & Relationship Show, hosted by matchmaker and relationship coach Laura Billota. Read more here.
Bryan Ellis, on Aug. 7. Ellis held the title of general manager at both CHEX-TV Peterborough and CHCH-TV Hamilton before 13 years with Corus Entertainment. Working closely with CEO John Cassaday as a member of his senior executive team, Ellis was involved in corporate development, conventional TV and radio, regulatory, Nelvana, and a wide variety of special projects. His experience and keen interest in technology and operations made him a vital part of the planning ahead of the opening of the new Corus Quay in early 2011 on the Toronto waterfront. His responsibilities included information technology planning and management, broadcast operations, and leadership on the overall media management strategy that would underpin the operation of the new broadcast facility. As part of the shared services group, he also managed the digital storage of content broadcast across Corus channels. As a testament to his hard work, planning, and strategizing – the media management teams operated without major incident and Corus’ waterfront broadcast facility continues to deliver more than 40 channels to Canadian viewers. After a successful career in broadcast and technology, Ellis retired to Mulmur, ON in 2013 where he put the same focus and attention to detail into the Dawn Brook Lavender Farm which he ran with wife, daughters and son-in-law.
Marc Charbonneau, 61, on Aug. 4 of cancer. Charbonneau was a host and station manager of CHOD 92.1 FM EST ONTARIEN for the last 15 years, which is licensed to Cornwall, but has its studios in Casselman, ON. His broadcasting career started at the former CFML-AM Cornwall and then CJRC-AM (now CKOF-FM) and the now-defunct CKCH-AM in Hull. From there, he worked as a reporter for The Canadian Press in Sherbrooke and Montréal, then returned to Hull to work at CIMF, better known as Rouge FM. Charbonneau also did a stint in radio and TV with Radio-Canada before joining CHOD in 2003. During his time as manager, the station marked a return to financial stability.
Don LeBlanc, 92, on July 25 in Halifax. The longtime program director of CJOY-AM/CKLA-FM Guelph, LeBlanc’s interest in radio started early. LeBlanc grew up next door to CJLS-FM Yarmouth, NS and was able to look out his bedroom window to watch the announcers while listening to them on his crystal radio set. In 1945, he enrolled in Lorne Greene’s Academy of Radio Arts in Toronto and landed a job in 1948 as PD of new radio station CJOY Guelph, owned by future cable pioneer Fred Metcalf. LeBlanc worked alongside Gordie Tapp, Lloyd Robertson and Bob McAdorey, among others, then moved to CFRB-AM Toronto in 1966, where his colleagues included broadcast legends Pierre Berton, Charles Templeton, Gordon Sinclair, Betty Kennedy and Wally Crouter. He returned to Guelph in 1972 and retired as PD of CKLA-FM in 1991.
Pat MacPherson, 89, on Aug. 28 in Burnaby. MacPherson was the traffic manager at CKNW-AM Vancouver for more than two decades. She had been working part-time at a local car dealership, but newly-widowed, was looking for full-time work when NW salesman George Garrett (better known for his time as a reporter with the station) told her about a job opening. MacPherson was with the station from 1968, up until her retirement in 1994. She succumbed to cancer just three days before her 90th birthday.
Denis (Dee) Murphy, 83, on Sept. 6. Murphy covered every level of hockey in his home province of Newfoundland for 50 years. He was a sports editor and writer with the Daily News, the Newfoundland Herald and the Telegram, a TV color commentator with CJON (NTV) and Cable Atlantic, and a sports announcer on CJON radio. Spending his entire life working and volunteering for sport, Murphy was inducted into numerous halls of fame including the Canadian, Provincial and St. John’s Softball Halls of Fame, Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame, Provincial Hockey Hall of Fame, Royal St. John’s Regatta Hall of Fame, Provincial Bowling Hall of Fame, Athletics Hall of Fame, Bell Island Sports Hall of Fame, and the Provincial Soccer Hall of Fame. He played an important role in the establishment of intermediate hockey in NL. He was the first chairman of the St. John’s Minor Hockey Association, and served as president of the St. John’s Mercantile Hockey League for 16 years. He also chaired the St. John’s Athlete of the Year Committee for 29 years, coached ladies’ softball and soccer teams for 25 years, and served on the National Advisory Council for Fitness and Amateur Sport. As a goalkeeper, he played St. John’s High School, junior and senior hockey and was a member of the St. Bon’s team that won the 1955-1956 St. John’s Junior Hockey Championship.
Lise Payette, 87, on Sept. 5. Born in Verdun, Quebec, Payette started her broadcasting career at CKTR-AM Trois-Rivières in 1954. She held various jobs, including editor of the weekly Frontier Rouyn-Noranda and host of the show “La Femme dans le monde” on CKRN-DT (branded on-air as Radio-Canada Télévision CKRN) Rouyn-Noranda. She later lived in Paris and wrote for Petit Journal at the Patrie, New Journal and Châtelaine. Upon her return to Montreal, she worked on TV program “Interdit aux hommes” for Radio-Canada and on a series of animated television programs for the CBC French and English networks. From 1972-75, Payette was host of TV series “Appelez-moi Lise” (Call Me Lise) and “Lise Lib.” She entered provincial politics in 1976, representing the now-defunct riding of Dorion for the Parti Quebecois under Rene Levesque. Her portfolios included Minister for Consumer Affairs, Cooperatives and Financial Institutions; Minister of State for the Status of Women; and Minister of State for Social Development. Among Payette’s accomplishments during her time in office was getting the phrase “Je me souviens” (“I remember”) on Quebec license plates. She was also instrumental in founding Quebec public auto insurer SAAQ, and updates to the Civil Code of Quebec, allowing married women to keep their maiden names. Payette left political life in 1981 and returned to television, founding production company Focus, and writing and producing several documentary and fiction series.
Gerald (Jerry) MacLeod, 76, on June 24. MacLeod’s 43-year broadcasting career began in July 1958, at CFQC-TV (now CTV Saskatoon). He became production manager in 1974, then operations manager. In 1989, he was appointed VP of Operations for CFQC-TV and then served as general manager from 1995 until his retirement in 2001. MacLeod was involved in many community events over the years including serving on the board of the Saskatoon Prairieland Exhibition.
Bill Gable, 69, suddenly on Sept. 18, of complications from chronic pulmonary obstructive disorder (COPD). Gable was best known as “Brother Bill” during his early years in broadcasting at CKLW-AM Windsor. Gable worked at some of the biggest stations on both sides of the border including KHJ Los Angeles, CFTR and CHFI Toronto, WLW Cincinnati and WOCL and WMMO Orlando, among others. He spent the final six years of a 46-year broadcasting career at Zoomer Radio (CFZM-AM) Toronto as host of The Happy Gang morning show, and retired in 2014. Listen to a 1974 “Brother Bill” CKLW aircheck here.
Maurice Boucher, 52, on Sept. 12. Boucher was the Canada Media Fund’s director of marketing and communications, starting in Jan. 2012. Boucher was instrumental in developing strategies to elevate the profile of Canadian content and promote CMF programs and initiatives. He was very proud of the development of Eye on Canada, celebrating Canadian audiovisual content, and the success of the Encore+ YouTube channel. Prior to CMF, Boucher was chief of public and media relations for Télé-Québec, in addition to a variety of other marketing and communications roles. He held various senior positions in some of Montreal’s most prestigious organizations, including the Canadian Centre for Architecture and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. He was also the first general manager of Destination centre-ville, the downtown Montreal commercial development association. Boucher was the recipient of the Canadian Public Relations Society Award of Excellence.
Peter Donat, 90, on Sept. 10 of complications from diabetes. Born in Kentville, NS, Donat emigrated to the U.S. in 1950 to study drama at Yale University, following in the footsteps of his uncle, British film and stage actor Robert Donat (The 39 Steps, Goodbye Mr. Chips). In 1961, Donat was featured in The Canvas Barricade, the first Canadian play to be performed at the Stratford Festival. His first television role came in 1965 when he was cast on Moment of Truth, a Canadian serial also broadcast in the U.S. He went on to guest star on shows like Mission: Impossible, Banacek, Mannix, Hawaii Five-O, Charlie’s Angels, Lou Grant, Hart to Hart, Hill Street Blues, Simon & Simon and Murder, She Wrote, among others. Donat also had a recurring role on The X-Files as Agent Mulder’s adoptive father. His film credits include The China Syndrome (1979), The War of the Roses (1989), Skin Deep (1989) and The Game (1997). Donat’s brother Richard is also an actor known for his roles on the TV series Haven and Emily of New Moon.
Richard Coleman, 74, on Sept. 25. Coleman started at CFCN-TV Calgary in Dec. 1965 and retired as VP of Engineering for CTV Alberta, 43 years later in Dec. 2008. Respected for his knowledge, passion and devotion to the broadcast industry, Coleman was honoured with the Western Association of Broadcast Engineers (WABE) Bob Lamp Award for Engineering Excellence in 2007.
Terry Moore, 82, on Sept. 24, following a short battle with cancer. Moore had a 62-year broadcasting career that started in 1956 at CKUA Edmonton. He moved on to CFCN Calgary, and then CKFH and CFRB Toronto. A stint doing mornings and holding down APD duties followed at WTFM-FM New York, while Moore studied opera and acting. He relocated to the West Coast in the 1970s where he hosted talk on CJOR Vancouver, then CKWX Vancouver and CKNW from 1980 to 1992. In 1992 he returned to Calgary and CHQR-AM, also anchoring evening news on CICT-TV (now Global). He eventually returned to Vancouver Island and hosted various programs over the years on CFAX 1070 Victoria, including Wine Talk. While he retired in 2016, he was a regular fill-in host on the station up until recently. Moore’s talents outside radio extended to a role in feature films “My American Cousin” and sequel “My American Boyfriend.” He also authored 1987 Canadian best seller “Toothpaste and Peanut Butter,” a how-to collection of household hints. Upon news of his passing, CFAX broke format on Monday and opened the lines to remember the broadcaster. Watch CTV Vancouver Island’s tribute here.
George Grant, 76, on Sept. 17 of complications from prostate cancer. Grant spent 50 years in the broadcast industry as a host, sales manager, programmer, and operations executive. He started in radio in 1964 at CKAR-AM Huntsville, ON as both morning show host and salesman. A stint at VOCM-AM in St. John’s, NL followed where he assumed program director duties. Upon returning to Toronto, he joined Rogers Broadcasting and CHFI-FM in a sales role, and acted as the station’s helicopter traffic reporter. Grant quickly moved up to VP of Sales and general manager. During those years, he also produced “On the Slopes” – a skiing show that aired on Citytv and a number of Ontario radio stations. In 1979, Grant branched out on his own, acquiring CKQT-FM and CKAR-AM Oshawa. He grew and operated the stations up until 1990 when he sold them to Power Broadcasting. He then took a break from broadcasting and moved into sports ownership, becoming a founding partner of the Ottawa Senators in 1992 and investing in the Hamilton Tiger-Cats a year later, as part of a Limited Partnership formed to rescue the team. He subsequently was co-owner of the Ti-Cats from 1995-2003, with the team winning the Grey Cup Championship in 1999. In 2004, Grant rekindled his relationship with Moses Znaimer becoming the founding president and CEO of MZ Media, ZoomerMedia’s radio division where he helped orchestrate the purchase of The New Classical 96.3 (CFMZ-FM) Toronto. Grant retired in 2013, but continued to work on new projects. Most recently he had been involved in helping launch APTN’s new Indigenous radio stations in Ottawa and Toronto.
Frank Babich, 74, on Sept. 14. Babich started out as one of youngest salesman in the Toronto office for CHCH-TV before relocating to Vancouver and becoming the VP of sales for BCTV Vancouver and CHEK-TV Victoria. He served in the role for 19 years up until his retirement in June 1997. Babich then joined the BC Lions and Vancouver 86ers Soccer Club in the roles of vice-president & director of sales, responsible for all non-league-generated revenue acquired by the club, including corporate sales, ticket sales, merchandising and hospitality suites. Babich was an inductee of the British Columbia Association of Broadcasters’ Quarter Century Club. He was also a past board member of the Television Bureau (TVB), the first collective sales and marketing team for the Canadian television industry.
Edward (Ted) Marshall, 73, on Sept. 8. Marshall worked with the CBC as a recording engineer for 30 years, starting in 1966. He played an integral role in the development of the CBC’s SM5000 recording catalog. Following his work with the public broadcaster, Marshall then grew his own company, Marshall Arts Productions. At the forefront of classical music recording for over 50 years, he recorded hundreds of solo artists, orchestras, bands, choral and chamber ensembles, in Canada, the U.S. and Europe. Retired CBC host Howard Dyck interviewed Marshall earlier this year for the Toronto section of the Audio Engineering Society (AES). Listen here.
Walter Unger, 81, on Aug. 25. Unger was born in 1936 in Saskatchewan to a Mennonite farming family. Following studies at the University of Winnipeg and the University of Edinburgh, he went on to a 37-year career at the CBC. He held roles in Winnipeg, Toronto and Ottawa from announcer and reporter to executive producer and senior network manager. Following his retirement, Unger and his wife Marina founded the Mennonite Heritage Cruises. From 1995 – 2010, they hosted over 3,000 Mennonites returning to their home villages in Ukraine. He also supported archival research through the Transnational Mennonite Studies program at the University of Winnipeg.
Don Goodwin, 88, on Aug. 21. Goodwin’s broadcasting career started following a short stint in the army with the Black Watch Regiment that brought him to Nova Scotia. Veteran broadcaster Senator Finlay Macdonald recruited him for his radio station CJCH Halifax. He joined CBC Halifax in the 1950s as a television sportscaster. Working on some of the first live sports telecasts originating from the Maritimes, he was eventually asked to assist with CBC’s Olympic, Pan Am, Commonwealth and Canada Games coverage. Goodwin rose to become head of CBC Sports. Among his career highlights was serving as the announcer for the opening and closing ceremonies for the Atlanta Olympics. In addition to his broadcasting career, Goodwin was heavily involved in the promotion of amateur sport. He served as deputy Chef de Mission for the Canadian team, alongside Dick Pound, at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, and led the team for the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck. Together with George Gross, Goodwin also created Sports Media Canada and the annual SMC Awards recognizing excellence in sports media excellence. Their legacy, the Sports Media Canada Achievement Awards Luncheon, launched in 1996.
Bruce Ward, 76, on Sept. 27. Ward was born in Saint John, NB with his first radio job at CFBC-AM while he was in Grade 12, in 1960 at Saint John High School. It was in the days when the station went off the air at midnight, so Ward was given the job of getting the station up and running at 6 a.m. Ward attended the University of New Brunswick from 1960-1964 and was heavily involved with Radio UNB. Following graduation, he returned to 93 CFBC and helped launch CFBC-FM. He went on to become the station’s news director up until 1970. Ward then entered the ministry, serving as an Anglican priest at Christ Church Parish in Dartmouth, NS for many years. He returned to broadcasting in 2003, volunteering his time at community station 105.9 Seaside-FM (CFEP-FM) Eastern Passage. Ward hosted popular Friday afternoon program “Bruce’s Choice” and Wednesday night show “You And The Night And The Music.” He also anchored several of the station’s election night broadcasts. Ward’s final broadcast on the station was on June 1, joined by many other members of the Seaside-FM station family. Ward enjoyed being an integral part of the growth of the community station and loved meeting listeners along the way.
Karl Scherer, 87, on Sept. 16. Scherer was born in Leoben, Austria in 1931 and emigrated to Canada in 1958, settling in Toronto. His broadcasting career started at the CBC as a sound technician. He joined IATSE Local 873 in 1964, a proud affiliation that provided him with meaningful work and professional relationships that lasted a lifetime. Often with his wife and his two sons in tow, he traveled the world recording sound on commercials and motion pictures. His work won him much recognition, including a Genie Award for The Changeling in 1980.
William (Bill) Coward, 72, on Sept. 18. Coward enjoyed a long career in telecommunications starting at CKY-AM Winnipeg and then spending 30 years at CBC Radio One Winnipeg in Master Control. Coward also worked for Winnipeg Enterprises, starting in 1975, in the audio/video departments at Winnipeg Stadium, Winnipeg Arena and was a part of the transition to new venues Bell MTS Place (MTS Centre) and Investors Group Field. “Uncle Bill the cable guy” as he was nicknamed, enjoyed working with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Winnipeg Jets, Manitoba Moose, Winnipeg Goldeyes, and other amateur sport groups who used the facilities.
Roy Luckow, 90, on Oct. 13. Luckow joined CBC Vancouver in 1953 and was one of the first cameraman in the new medium at CBUT. Over the next 34 years, he did a variety of studio and location cinematography work in drama, variety, current affairs and documentaries. He was director of photography on numerous episodes of The Beachcombers and The Nature of Things. Luckow retired from the CBC in 1987.
David Craig, 77, on Oct. 9. Craig was raised in Woodstock, N.B. where CJCJ-AM opened in his final year of high school. He started at the station in 1959 as a farm editor, DJ, newsman and even swept the floors. He enrolled in the Ryerson Radio and Television Arts Program and upon graduation worked in Smiths Falls, Fredericton, Saint John and Sydney where he also hosted “Saturday Dance Party,” set up the first TV newsroom at CJCB, and played trumpet and percussion in various militia bands. From there, he worked in Sault Ste. Marie and Hamilton which led him to CFRB-AM Toronto in 1967. He was the station’s Queen’s Park bureau chief for one year before settling into a 22-year stretch as the morning news editor. After CFRB, Craig took a year off to do public relations for the Anglican Church of Canada and then became morning man and news director at CKSL-AM London. He later did a stint at CJEZ-FM and went on to become the first news director at 680 News (CFTR-AM) Toronto. Over the years there were also stops at Classical 96FM, CHUC and Star FM in Cobourg. He also hosted “The Band Show” at CJRU-AM Oakville where he played big band and concert band music from his extensive collections. In the 1980s and 90s he taught Broadcast Journalism and Radio Production Theory at Ryerson University and Broadcast Internet Reporting at Seneca College. Most recently, he worked as a weekend announcer for CBC before deciding at age 68 it was time to retire. Craig’s assertion was that the attraction of news is “the constant adventure of life” it provides. He was honoured with an RTNDA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010 in the Central Region.
Bob Gilchrist, 79, on Oct. 7, suddenly of a heart attack. Gilchrist worked for several decades in television, starting at The Australian Broadcasting Co., and then the CTV network and CFTO-TV Toronto, retiring as an ENG editor at CBC Toronto. He worked freelance in the 1980s, working in the camera and electrical department on shows like Jim Henson’s Muppets, SCTV, and 20 Minute Workout, to name a few.
Tim Klassen, 56, on Oct. 23, of a heart attack. Klassen had a 30-year career in broadcasting which started at CKRD Red Deer in 1981. Over the years, Klassen held roles from imaging producer to morning show host, moving on to K-97 (CIRK-FM) Edmonton, CKIK-FM (now CFGQ-FM) Calgary, CHFM-FM Edmonton, 100.3 The Bear (CFBR-FM) Edmonton, CJFM-FM Montreal, CJMX-FM Sudbury and CKMX-AM Regina. In 2002, he left Canada for Dubai, United Arab Emirates to act as station manager and morning host at Channel 4 FM. He left the broadcaster in 2007, to form Entertainment Media Professionals, his own audio/video production company.
Fred Ennis, 71, on Oct. 21. Ennis started his career at CKLW Windsor across the border from his childhood home of Rochester, Michigan. His booming delivery took him to CHUM Toronto, news management at CHNS Halifax and then CFGO Ottawa in 1976. He was later named bureau chief for News Radio the CBS-affiliated News/Radio network. Ennis concluded his career as the Ottawa Sun’s first “Page Six” columnist, and as a commentator on CFRA Radio. He ran unsuccessfully for office twice, in the Nepean, ON mayoralty race in 1997 and for Ottawa City Council in 2010.
Kirk Ryan, 58, on Oct. 15. Ryan worked in sales and marketing at Calgary radio stations CJAY 92 and QR77 (CHQR-AM) from 1986-1998. In the late 1990s, he decided to leave broadcasting and became the owner-operator of The Bean Scene in Strathcona. Ryan ran the shop for 12 years, opening two subsequent locations (Lakeview and Princess Island). In 2013, he was diagnosed with Stage 4 glioblastoma brain cancer. Despite surgery that left Ryan with partial paralysis and limited use of his left arm and hand, he remained positive until the end.
Leslie Sole and Terri Michael, on Nov. 5, in Cabo San Lucas. Broadcasting couple Sole and Michael met in 1975 as their stars were rising. Sole started his career with CHOM-FM Montreal and went on to a 25-year career with Rogers Communications. Over his tenure, he oversaw acquisition of five Citytv stations across the country, several specialty channels and expanded OMNI’s footprint. He retired as CEO of Rogers Media Television in 2011. Michael started in radio while completing her English degree at Concordia University in Montreal, beginning her career at CHOM-FM, where the couple met, effortlessly switching between French and English during her show. Over the years, she was a host at CHFI-FM 98.1 Toronto, EZ ROCK 97.3 Toronto; CKFM-FM 99.9 Toronto; CJBK-AM 1290 London; and Q107 Toronto. She also wrote and hosted ‘Famous Faces’ on The Biography Channel for eight years, in addition to serving as the channel’s imaging voice. Most recently, she’d been hosting a weekly radio show on Cabo San Lucas station CaboMil 96.3, where the couple had been living the last three years. They celebrated their 39th wedding anniversary in October and leave behind a grown son.
Brian Sanderson, 77, on Oct. 31. Following a career with Bristol Aerospace, Sanderson started appearing as Santa Claus at Portage Place and Polo Park malls in Winnipeg, beginning in the 1990s, before being cast in several made-for-television movies and films. Sanderson’s acting credits include 2016 Hallmark movie “It’s a Wonderful Wife.” As per his wishes, Sanderson will be laid to rest Friday in his red velvet, white-trimmed Santa suit. Winnipeg’s casting community is holding a toy drive in his memory.
David Shearer, 89, on Oct. 24. Shearer had a career with CFAX-AM Victoria spanning 25 years as both an announcer and engineer.
Douglas Rain, 90, on Nov. 11. Born in Winnipeg, Rain studied acting at the Banff School of Fine Arts and the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in Bristol, England. He was a founding member of the Stratford Festival and performed in a wide variety of theatrical roles, from Henry V (including a 1966 television adaptation) to his 1972 performance in Vivat! Viat! Regina! for which he earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Supporting or Featured Actor (Dramatic). His association with Stratford continued through the late 1990s with one of his last roles playing Sir Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons (1998). Rain is best known for being cast by Stanley Kubrick as the voice of the HAL 9000 computer for the film 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and sequel 2010: The Year We Make Contact (1984). Rain went on to voice another evil computer in Woody Allen’s 1973 futuristic comedy Sleeper. He also narrated Oscar-winning documentary The Man Who Skied Everest (1975).
François Macerola, 76, on Nov. 8. Macerola, a lawyer by training, became involved in the film industry in 1976 when he was appointed director of the French Program at the National Film Board (NFB). In 1979, he was promoted to the position of Assistant Film Commissioner, and became Commissioner in 1984. In Dec. 1988, Macerola stepped down to join Lavalin Communications and later Malofilm Distribution as vice-president of its Board of Directors. From 1995 until 2001, he served as executive director of Telefilm Canada and was Chairman of the Board from 2000 to 2002. At Telefilm, Macerola helped expand the industry’s international growth and spearheaded an increase in co-production activity. Among the initiatives he established were the Canada Feature Film Fund and the first partnership between Telefilm and the private sector through the Canadian Television Fund, now the Canada Media Fund. He went on to work with Place des Arts (2004-08), the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles du Québec (2009 -2014), Cirque du Soleil (2003-2009) and most recently QuébéComm. He also served on the boards of such organizations as the Financière des entreprises culturelles (FIDEC) and the Fonds d’investissement de la culture et des communications (FICC).
Don S. Williams, 80, on Oct. 28, after a 25-year battle with Parkinson’s. Williams grew up in Stony Plain, AB, west of Edmonton where he developed a keen interest in the entertainment industry early on. He started his broadcasting career in 1957 at CKSA Lloydminster. A year later, he accepted a one-year contract at CKRM Regina and then moved on to CKX-TV Brandon where he worked as the producer and director, in addition to acting as artistic director at the Brandon New World Theatre. In 1963, Williams landed a job as a director and producer with CBC Winnipeg. He spent 15 years there, the last 10 freelance which involved travel to Vancouver where he worked on new series The Beachcombers. Williams relocated to Vancouver in 1979, where he directed actors like Bruce Greenwood and Michael J. Fox in the early stages of their careers. He started to focus on acting in the early 1990s, appearing as a guest star in shows including Wiseguy, Mom P.I., Neon Rider, and the recurring role of The First Elder on The X-Files. He also appeared in feature films The Stepfather (1987) and Reindeer Games (2000). Williams also worked behind the scenes as one of the founders of the Canadian Television Producers and Directors Association (CTPDA), acting as chief negotiator for collective bargaining agreements from 1968-78. Williams was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1993. His case received significant media attention in 2002 when documentary filmmaker Gerry Thompson featured him as one of four people who worked together at the CBC in 1979 (the most famous being Michael J. Fox) who would all go on not only to develop Parkinson’s, but to have the symptoms appear at roughly the same time.
Julio Pastora, 41, on Nov. 19. Pastora started his broadcasting career with CKNW-AM Vancouver in 2000, while still a student in the Journalism, Radio, and Television Broadcasting program at BCIT. He worked as a producer on The Bill Good Show, Moneytalks, The Agenda, The World Today and Nightline BC, among other programs. After getting caught up in the 2006 wave of layoffs at Corus Vancouver, he moved over to Global BC where he served as a news producer, working for both Global National and the affiliate newscasts. Since late 2015, Pastora had been working for the BC government as an events coordinator and most recently as an online content editor. With a keen interest in public service, he worked on several election campaigns at the local, provincial and federal levels, in addition to time with the Premier’s Office and the Ministry of International Trade.
Michel Pepin, 57, on Nov. 19 of pancreatic cancer. The son of Quebec trade unionist Marcel Pepin, Michel Pepin began his career as a journalist on community television and radio in Amqui, in the Bas-Saint-Laurent, in 1983. He made a two-year detour to serve as political attaché to Federal Min. Monique Vézina, before returning to Radio-Canada television and regional radio in Ottawa from 1988 until 2000. He also taught journalism at La Cité College. From 2000 to 2010, he worked as a journalist and radio host at Radio-Canada Montreal, before moving to the National Assembly as a political analyst and parliamentary correspondent. Pepin was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in Oct. 2015.
Randy Tieman, 64, unexpectedly on Nov. 16. Tieman had a 34-year career with CTV Montreal, up until this past June, when he was part of layoffs at Bell Media that saw the CFCF-TV sports department eliminated. Hailing from the small town of Exeter, ON, Tieman started his radio career at CKY Radio and TV in Winnipeg after attending Fanshawe College, going on to work with CFGO-AM Ottawa and then CJOH-TV. He landed at CFCF Radio in Montreal in 1983. After moving over to the television side, he served as sports director for both the Ottawa and Montreal stations. He also hosted a radio show on Team 990 (now TSN 690) between 2009 and 2012. Tieman had previously cheated death three times, surviving a quintuple bypass, Stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma and meningitis within an 18-month period in the mid-1990s. The Montreal Canadiens paid tribute to Tieman during Monday night’s game, with photos of the broadcaster shown on the jumbo screen during the first period of play.
George Jonescu, 84, on Nov. 16. Jonescu had a nearly 70-year career in broadcasting between stations in Montreal, Sault Ste. Marie, Barrie and Toronto, spending 25 years on CJIC-AM Sault Ste. Marie. Lloyd Walton, who was in the art department at CJIC-TV during Jonescu’s time there recalls “CJIC Radio and TV personalities were regarded as “stars” in the community, and George was a star. He exuded a love and knowledge of the music he presented and when assigned news or sports commentary for both radio and television, he was authoritative. He had a passion for the music he played. He’d be in intense debates about the merits of various musicians and styles which made for entertaining and informative radio.” Jonescu took a break from radio in the late 1970s to work for the Sault Ste. Marie convention bureau before eventually returning to the medium. A lover of jazz, he hosted Big Band Saturday Night on CHAY 93.1 FM Barrie, going on to be part of the original team that launched AM 740 (CFZM-AM) on Jan. 8, 2001. He wrapped up his career as the host of Big Band Sunday Night on Zoomer Radio. His final show, which had been pre-recorded three days earlier, ran on Sunday, Nov. 18. Jonescu was also community-minded and gave his time to a number of charitable causes including mental health. Read Art Osborne’s tribute here.
Rick Meaney, 71, on Nov. 15. Meaney graduated from Loyola College with a Bachelor of Commerce in Economics in 1970, and worked at BP Oil and Revenue Canada before moving to Calgary and starting Country 105 with R.E. Redmond. The station signed on in July 1982 and was sold to Shaw in 1997, and assumed by Corus Entertainment two years later. Meaney was the station’s general manager for over 18 years and in his final two years in broadcasting was GM for Corus Radio Calgary, overseeing Country 105 (CKRY-FM), CHQR 770 and The Peak 107.1 (CFGQ-FM). After retiring from the radio business, Meaney and his wife spent much of their time in Arizona.
Bob MacDonald, 69, on Nov. 4. MacDonald’s on-air career began at CJIC-AM Sault Ste. Marie delivering news and weather. He brought his talents to Thunder Bay in 1977, where he became an announcer with 580 CKPR. He also spent several years delivering the weather on the local television news, where he was known for both his humour and dexterity, able to write temperatures on the weather board with both hands as he delivered the nightly forecast. MacDonald devoted much of his time to local charities over the years, including the Cystic Fibrosis Telethon and Easter Seals.
Fred Napoli, 82, on Nov. 9, in Nova Scotia. Napoli’s rich baritone voice was first heard in 1960 on CJOY Guelph, with his career taking him to CHML Hamilton, and then Toronto stations CBC, CKFM and CFRB, including a three-month stop at CHOW Welland along the way in 1962. While at CHML, he hosted the station’s Nightcap program, including a series called “Journey to the Unexplained,” which started Napoli’s foray into the storytelling he would become known for. While hosting the overnight show “Music Till Dawn” at CKFM, he began to include his own poems and short stories that would become the hallmark of his career. After a brief stint at CBC, he returned to CKFM in 1979 to host late-night, 90-minute talk show Toronto Tonight, then bounced back to the public broadcaster in 1981. Napoli joined CFRB in 1986 and built a strong late-night following up until 1993 when the station flipped to the Newstalk 1010 format. In addition to his work on radio, Napoli voiced more than 400 documentaries, many for TV Ontario and the National Film Board. His autobiographical book of essays “Re-Inventing Myself” was first published in 1988 and had three printings. He continued working on projects from bread commercials to narrating History Channel series “Nazi Hunters.” Napoli also composed his own music on his restored 1883 Mason & Risch piano which he rescued in parts from Hamilton’s Grand Opera House before it was demolished in 1961.
Jeffrey Fry, 92, on Nov. 6. Born in Westcliff-on-Sea in southeast England, Fry grew up during World War II where as a school child he was evacuated during ‘The Blitz’ and relocated to several locations in England and Wales. After enlisting, he moved to Bermuda in the mid-1950s where he worked as a journalist for the Royal Gazette. It was in Bermuda that he met his Canadian wife who brought Fry to Oshawa, ON in 1958. He briefly worked at the Oshawa Times before moving on to the CBC newsroom. He was recruited in 1960 to join new TV station CFTO as a journalist which later expanded into CTV where he became the first producer of W5. For a short period of time, Fry served as a producer for the National News and then became associate producer of new consumer lifestyle show ‘Live It Up,’ assisting with its successful launch.
Dan Tohill, on Oct. 27. Tohill was a key grip on The Beachcombers for many years, in addition to working as a studio production assistant at CBC Vancouver. He also worked as an assistant director and actor, known for Harsh Realm (1999), Past Perfect (1996) and Abducted II: The Reunion (1995).
Bob Hooper, 79, suddenly on Oct. 17. Hooper worked for over 40 years at CHML Hamilton, starting in 1961. During those four decades, he was the voice of early morning news, hosted talk shows, produced music shows, and eventually served as the station’s vice-president. For several years he worked on the station’s Hamilton Tiger Cat’s broadcasts as a statistician and producer, eventually becoming the play-by-play voice for the last four years of his career before retiring in 2001. He later served as the team’s media relations director for two seasons, up until 2004.
Myrtle Fowler Gallup, 97, on Oct. 31 at Sunnybrook Veterans’ Residence in Toronto. Born in Quebec’s Eastern Townships, Fowler Gallup attended McGill’s Faculty of Education and taught in a rural school in Danville, QC until the call of WWII enticed her to join the RCAF. At war’s end, she married Merrick Gallup, and started a family on their farm in Danville. Her love of writing led to book reviews and columns in the Sherbrooke Daily Record which caught the attention of CBC Radio Montreal where she was hired to do live broadcasts on Radio Noon, reporting on the challenges and pleasures of rural life, including live reports from Expo ‘67. In her late 50s, she wrote and published two children’s books and a short story collection, one of which was featured on Peter Gzowski’s radio show and included in his book “About this Country in the Morning.” In her 70s, she became an accomplished oil and watercolour artist, with successful exhibitions in Quebec and Ottawa, including at the opening vernissage of the Bombardier Museum. She moved to Toronto in her 80s and lived at the Performing Arts Lodge among her fellow artists and writers.
Dennis Murphy, 72, on Nov. 20, of congestive heart failure. Murphy played an integral role in advancing the reputation of Concordia University’s Department of Communication Studies. He was a member of the first Communication Arts graduating class at Loyola College in 1967, one of Concordia’s founding institutions. After earning his BA, Murphy headed to San Francisco State University to pursue his MA, which he completed in 1972, returning to Loyola to become a faculty member. Murphy developed the Media Ethics and Responsibility course and the Propaganda course, which he taught for four decades. He retired in 2010. His teaching influenced countless students, including Newstalk 1010 (CFRB-AM) Toronto host John Moore, CTV News Channel anchor Todd van der Heyden and Law & Order screenwriter René Balcer, among others.
Gerald Clifford, 71, on Oct. 4. Clifford’s broadcasting career began at CJET radio in Smiths Falls, ON, followed by CHOW Welland, and then Mid-Canada Communications in Sudbury where Clifford did his first stint in management. As a manager, he helmed CHRO-TV Pembroke, then returned to Sudbury and eventually landed in Sault Ste. Marie. After leaving broadcasting, Clifford joined Manitoulin Transport as their corporate trainer. He went on to become manager of five locations of Northern Academy of Transportation Training and Transport Help.
Bill McGregor, 96, on Nov. 28. McGregor started his career at CFRB Toronto in 1947 as an operator under the tutelage of Bill Baker. In 1950, he moved down the street to be the chief engineer at CKFH, Foster Hewitt’s new station. He later moved over to CBC-TV. Around that time, he met Jack Fitzgibbons, who with his brother Gene, was preparing to startup CKCO-TV Kitchener. Bill joined CKCO in 1953 as Operations Manager, which went to air Mar. 1, 1954. The licensee company was founded as Central Ontario Television Limited – a partnership of Famous Players, K-W Broadcasting (CKCR-Radio) and Carl Pollock, President of Electrohome Limited. In 1962, the company acquired CKKW-AM, and in 1965 re-established CFCA-FM. In 1980, it became CAP Productions Limited and eight years later became a division of Electrohome Limited. McGregor was promoted from Operations Manager to GM, then vice-president and general manager, and eventually president and director. In 1993, he became senior vice-president of Electrohome Limited. Active in broadcasting industry matters, Bill McGregor served as president of the Central Canada Broadcasters Association (CCBA), president of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB), chairman and director of the CTV Television Network, a director of Electrohome Limited and a director of Rogers Multi-Media Inc. McGregor was named the CAB Broadcaster of the Year in 1971 and the CCBA Howard Caine Memorial Award in 1977. In 1990, he was inducted into the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame.
Alan Rutherfurd, 76, on Nov. 27. Originally hailing from Melbourne, Australia, Rutherfurd was a mobile maintenance engineer for CFTO-TV Toronto until the late 1970s. He went on to work in engineering at Global Toronto, which he retired from. Rutherfurd also did work with Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS), the host broadcaster organization for all Olympic Games.
Tom Armour, 79, on Dec. 7. Armour began his radio career in 1959 at CJQC Quebec City, then moved to CJSS in Cornwall, ON. He returned to Montreal in the early 1960s to work at CFCF Radio, and later CJAD, remaining a staple in the Montreal market for the next five decades. According to Armour’s obituary “Attempts to lure him to television news were graciously, but consistently declined. Tom loved radio and said that was where he wanted to be.” He retired from CJAD in 2015, as the weekend morning anchor.
Lyman Potts, 102, on Dec. 9. Potts career in radio started while he was still in high school as an announcer with CHWC in 1935, which shared frequency with CKCK Regina. In 1940, he transferred to the company’s Hamilton station CKOC as production manager. He moved on to CKSL London in 1956 to manage its launch, then helped CJAD Montreal owner Arthur Dupont apply for a TV licence. He was later appointed general manager of CJAD’s sister station CJFM-FM, which he helped put on the air in Oct. 1962; Lyman eventually worked his way up to become president of Standard subsidiary Standard Broadcast Productions, an umbrella for the Canadian Talent Library, Standard Broadcast News, program syndication, and music publishing. From 1970-74, he was president of Standard Broadcasting Corp. (UK), a consultancy for applicants for commercial radio licenses. He retired from broadcasting in 1981 and formed J. Lyman Potts and Associates, a consultancy for broadcasting, recording, music services and copyright. In 1962, he convinced the Board of Broadcast Governors (BBG), which had taken over the regulation of programming from the CBC, that a station’s support of Canadian talent should be assessed on the amount used in its programs, and that money expended by a station to produce Canadian music programming, whether live or recorded, should be credited by the BBG in analyzing a station’s performance. Lyman went on to create the Canadian Talent Library, a non–profit trust supporting Canadian recording, that was eventually merged with FACTOR. By 1985, it had produced 265 albums containing 3,000 performances by Canadian musicians and singers. Lyman was named a Member of the Order of Canada in 1978, inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1976 and to the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame in 1987. He also inspired the formation of the Central Canada Broadcast Engineers Association, an idea which spread to other regions, in 1953.
Angelo Iacobucci, 60, suddenly on Dec. 15. As a reporter for four decades at Radio NL (CHNL-AM) Kamloops, Iacobucci’s unmistakeable baritone and trademark sign-off were a staple on the station’s airwaves. Known as “Bootch” to his co-workers, Iacobucci started with the station in 1979. For much of that time, he covered city hall and was known for his ability to ask tough questions in the scrum, while maintaining good relationships with politicians. In 2003, he was honoured, along with colleagues Trevor Metz, Jim Harrison and Bob Price, with the Jack Webster Award for Best News Reporting of the Year.
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