Professor Anthony King, 82, Jan. 12. A Canadian who went to Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship and stayed, King was a leading authority on the British vote and the Westminster political system for four decades. For every UK General Election from 1983 to 2005, King served as BBC television’s analyst on their election night programming. Professor of Government at the University of Essex, he also interpreted opinion polls for the Telegraph newspapers. King started presenting Channel 4’s A Week In Politics in 1983, and shortly thereafter began his association with the Telegraph papers. From 1989 on, he became the interpreter of polling trends. He also wrote many books on politics and was co-editor of the Britain at the Polls series of essays. In 2010, he was elected as a Fellow of the British Academy. King was also a member of the Academia Europaea, a foreign honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and an honorary life Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Joy Coghill Thorne, 90, Jan. 20 at the palliative care unit at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver after suffering massive heart failure. A veteran of the Canadian stage and screen, Joy is known for her ongoing role as Portia Da Vinci in CBC drama series DaVinci’s Inquest and her portrayal of Margaret “Ma” Murray, BC’s first female newspaper publisher, in the 1983 CBC drama Ma! She appeared in numerous CBC television productions and radio plays beginning with the live production of Never Say No, starring alongside William Shatner. Born in Findlater, Saskatchewan, the family moved to Scotland where a milder climate would be kinder to her ailing father. After he died, Joy and her mother returned to Canada, settling in Vancouver where Joy attended Kitsilano High School. She starred in her first stage play in 1941 and by 1953 created Holiday Theatre, billed as Canada’s first professional children’s theatre. Coghill Thorne was the first woman to hold the position of artistic director at the Vancouver Playhouse from 1967 to ‘69. She began to pursue acting full-time in the early 1970s. She was awarded the Order of Canada in 1991, the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award, a lifetime achievement award by UBCP/ACTRA in 2016, Jessie awards for best actress and significant artistic achievement and the Herbert Whittaker Critics’ Association Award for Outstanding Contribution to Canadian Theatre. Upon retirement, Joy worked with director Jane Heyman to co-found Performing Arts Lodge (PAL) Vancouver, a building to house and support aging people in the performing arts, many of whom were surviving on less than half the income of the average Canadian senior. It opened its 111 rental units in May 2006.
Len Cochrane, 71, Jan. 24, from respiratory failure. Cochrane retired as president of Teletoon Canada in January 2014, the cable kids channel he launched in 1997 under the Astral Media umbrella. He served as the President and COO of Family Channel Inc. from November 1990 to September 2001. His career in the industry began in 1983 when he joined Canadian Satellite Communications Inc. as their Western Regional Manager. He then served as a Cable Market Services Division’s vice-president and GM in Toronto and as a director of Cabletel Communications Corp. and Concerned Children’s Advertisers (CCA). Cochrane was also a founding director of the Cable Production Fund (CPF), the Canada Television and Cable Production Fund and the Specialty and Premium Television Association (SPTV).
Arnie Celsie, 66, Jan. 28 after a short battle with cancer. Celsie started in radio in the late 1960s and was the original morning host and program director at CISL-AM 650 Vancouver in the 1980s before becoming a senior consultant at Bohn & Associates and SparkNet Communications. He also consulted with Rawlco Radio and its Saskatchewan stations. In addition to being one of the co-developers of the JACK and Playing What We Want brand, Arnie was part of the team that created and launched the NOW Radio brand in Edmonton encompassing, today’s digital technology – texting, Twitter and Facebook – and redefining the role of the DJ, to one of the biggest debuts of any format in the recent past. Arnie was known for his honest and often terse, but wise style of guidance and knowledge in programming, talent coaching and radio marketing.