General + Regulatory + Telecom + Media NewsShushma Datt named BCAB Broadcaster of the Year

Shushma Datt named BCAB Broadcaster of the Year

Multicultural radio trailblazer Shushma Datt has been named the B.C. Association of Broadcasters (BCAB) Broadcaster of the Year.

Datt worked at The Times of India and the BBC before moving to Canada in 1972. Facing significant racism from mainstream outlets because of her Indian accent, by 1984 she started her own radio station, Radio Rim Jhim, which carried South Asian content and broadcast on a sub-carrier frequency. The first Indo-Canadian woman to be granted a CRTC licence, in 2005 she launched Sp!ce Radio (CJRJ-AM) Burnaby. Over the years, Datt has also produced and hosted television programming for Shaw and OMNI, including “Women In Focus.”

A BCAB Director, Datt was surprised with the award by 980 CKNW Vancouver morning show host Simi Sara, who introduced her as “a pioneer and a visionary.”

“The BCAB Broadcaster of the Year’s impact transcends frequencies and airwaves. She is a beacon of inspiration, she has broken barriers for women everywhere, especially in non-traditional roles and I, like many others, thank her for that,” said Sara.

Jon McComb and BCAB President Rob Brimacombe

Datt was also inducted as a member of BCAB’s Half Century Club, marking 50 years in broadcasting, alongside former 980 CKNW talk show host Jon McComb.

Dan Williams, the creative director at CFJC-TV in Kamloops, who had also worked at CFTK Terrace, and A Channel and CFRN in Edmonton, among other stops, was this year’s lone Quarter Century Club inductee.

The Broadcast Performer of the Year award went to longtime The Zone (CJZN-FM) Victoria morning show duo of Jason Lamb and Dylan Willows. Willows, who had been with Pattison Media for 19 years, stepped away from the station in March following a stage 4 uveal melanoma diagnosis he revealed in December – a recurrence of a rare ocular cancer he battled 20 years ago.

“Huge ratings, a huge following…consistently I think 10 rating books in a row #1 with Adults 18-44. Last book they even knocked off the mighty Q! [CKKQ-FM] among Adults 25-54,” Pattison’s Vancouver Island General Manager Rob Bye told attendees. “And they’ve done so much for the community…just seeing that outpouring of connection with the community and that two-way street that when it really works, really comes alive and these guys have certainly personified that for a long time.”

Tchadas Leo of CHEK News, who hosts the station’s first-ever podcast Our Native Land, was named the Broadcast Performer of Tomorrow.

Shushma Datt was a guest on Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast. Listen to that episode here:

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Connie Thiessen
Connie Thiessen
Connie has worked coast-to-coast as a reporter, editor, anchor and host at CKNW and News 1130 in Vancouver, News 95.7 and CBC in Halifax, and CFCW Edmonton, among other stations. With a passion for music, film and community service, she led News 95.7 to a 2013 Atlantic Journalism Award and regional RTDNA award for Best Radio Newscast. More recently, she was nominated for Music Journalist of the Year at Canadian Music Week 2019. To report a typo or error please email -

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