Sign Offs

Landscape with single tree with frost in winter, Millet, Alberta. (Image Credit: Alamy)

Hélène Tanguay

Hélène Tanguay, 70, on Jan. 7. A longtime employee of the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and an animation champion, Tanguay first joined the NFB’s Festivals unit in 1970, at the age of 17. In 1979, she began volunteering for ASIFA, the International Animated Film Association, working with the organization’s Canadian and international bodies. In 1984, she was named Marketing Manager for the NFB’s English Program Animation Studio in Montreal. She retired in 2007 after almost 40 years of service bringing the work of NFB creators to a wider audience. Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis’ award-winning 2022 animated short, The Flying Sailor, which was recently shortlisted for an Oscar, is dedicated to Tanguay.

Jack Carpenter

Jack Carpenter, 96, on Jan. 5. Born in Wiltshire, England, Carpenter became involved at a young age with acts heard on BBC radio during wartime Britain in the 1940s. It was through performing that he met his wife Joyce and the two started performing, while he also worked as a draftsman for an airplane company. The couple moved to Acton, ON in 1956 when Carpenter was assigned to work on the AVRO Arrow project in Malton. Following its cancellation, he found work at CJOY-AM Guelph, and then as a film reporter for CKCO-TV, going on to host his own Sunday night variety show on CFCA-FM, called “Music Hall” for more than 25 years. An avid “community booster,” over the years Carpenter staged many events including the “Lighten Up, Canada – Wear a Red Nose” initiative in the early ‘90s, aimed at getting Canadians through the dreary month of February. He also spearheaded the launch of local Rotary Club event, the Acton Trunk Sale, which continues as an annual tradition. He was recognized as Citizen of the Year in 1995.

Irv Shore

Irv Shore, 94, on Jan. 5. Born and raised in Medicine Hat, AB, Shore attended the Lorne Greene Academy of Radio Arts in Toronto following high school. He returned to Medicine Hat in 1949 and began his radio career at CHAT as a staff announcer. In 1953, he moved to Edmonton spending the next 20 years at CFRN as the host of popular morning show “Shore’s Early.” He went on to join CHQT-AM in 1973 as the host of the mid-morning show for 17 years. Over the course of his career, Shore interviewed many celebrities with his personal highlights including Jack Benny, Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Liberace, Chuck Connors and Lou Ferrigno. Following his broadcast career, he moved into sales and promotional advertising.

Lisa Akizuki

Lisa Akizuki, 57, on Jan. 1, following a battle with cancer. Akizuki joined Bohn & Associates as a consultant in the early 1990s, going on to become Program Director at easy listening station, 96.5 SUN FM (CIEZ-FM) in Bedford, NS, one of Bohn & Associates’ clients. In 1997, she moved to Winnipeg to take up the role of VP of Programming at Craig Broadcasting Hot AC station, Hot 103 (CKMM-FM). She left the industry in 2001 and had been living in Vancouver for the last two decades as the owner of a successful dog walking business.

Todd Brian

Todd Brian, 59, on Dec. 28, after a brief battle with ALS. Following time in the Film Studies program at Ryerson and Centennial College’s Independent Producer’s Program, Brian started his career with Barna-Alper Productions as a Business Affairs Assistant and Development Coordinator. He went on to do a residency with the Canadian Film Centre in the Prime Time Television Writing Program. That led to writing stints with Breakthrough Animation, Corus Entertainment, Entertainment One, DHX Media, and CBC Television. His credits included 2004 series “Show Me Yours” and “Majority Rules!” (2009-10). He moved into the role of Production Executive at Corus Kids in 2016, where he oversaw 2016 YA series “Ride” and 2017 “Bruno & Boots” TV movies “The Wizzle War” and “This Can’t Be Happening at McDonald Hall,” in addition to “Anne of Green Fables: Fire and Dew.” He went on to join marblemedia as a Development Executive, followed by Alibi Entertainment. Since 2019, he’d served as Director of Development, Animation for DHX/WildBrain.

Sean Vedell

Sean Vedell, 60, unexpectedly on Dec. 28. After graduating from Mohawk College in 1984, Vedell joined 820 CHAM Hamilton as an on-air announcer, in addition to time at CKOC. In 2000, he moved on to a new career in IT with the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board where he held various roles, including Project Coordinator, for nearly 23 years. His death came just weeks after losing his daughter to cancer.