Remembered for your contributions to the broadcasting industry
Bob Moir, 87, Dec. 18 at Humber River Hospital. Moir spent four decades with CBC Sports as an executive producer and commentator. Hailing from Winnipeg, Moir began his career with CBC in 1952, calling the Grey Cup in 1958. He went on to serve as a commentator at the network’s first Olympics in Tokyo in 1964. During the 1972 Olympics, Moir was in Munich when terrorists took members of the Israeli Olympic team hostage and 11 were later killed. He and late CBC commentator Don Wittman snuck into the Olympic Village, posing as doctors, to report live. Moir went on to executive produce CBC’s coverage of the Summer Olympics in Montreal in 1976, Seoul in 1988 and the 1992 Winter Games in Albertville, France. He closed out his career as executive producer of the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria, for which he won multiple Gemini Awards. Over his more than 40 years with the network, Bob recruited and promoted many well-known commentators and analysts and was a mentor to many production and technical staff. He earned induction into the CFL Hall of Fame in 1985 and was also an inductee of the CBC Sports Hall of Fame.
Raymond Mostoway, aka Dan Roman, 75, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Dec. 21 at his home in New Brunswick. Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Dan was 16 years old and still in high school when he began his radio career at CKSW-AM Swift Current. He soon joined his brother Duff Roman on-air in Toronto at CKEY-AM and CHUM-AM. The brothers also co-founded Roman Records, with their label producing David Clayton Thomas (Blood Sweat and Tears), The Paupers, and Levon and The Hawks who later became The Band behind Bob Dylan. Dan went on to work at CJCH-AM Halifax in the 1970s and became program director at 960 AM CHNS before relocating to New Brunswick. While station manager at CKCW-FM Moncton, Dan met the love of his life Bernice Comeau, a volunteer for charity promotions. They later put down roots in Quispamsis, NB where Dan was General Manager at K100 (CIOK-FM) Saint John until his retirement.
Jeffrey Newfield, aka Scruff Connors, 64, on Dec. 18. One of the original Canadian shock jocks, Connors’ legacy is the well-remembered stunts he embarked on at numerous stations. His most prominent work was with Q107 in Toronto, where he became morning host in 1980. After broadcasting in other cities, he returned to Q107 in the early 1990s to join the “The Q Morning Zoo.” In between, he did stints at WYSP-FM Philadelphia, CHTZ-FM St. Catharine’s and CFBR-FM Edmonton. He also spent time at CFSL-AM Weyburn, CJKR-FM Winnipeg, and MOJO (CFMJ-AM) Toronto. His stunts ranged from confining himself in the Q107 studio and repeatedly airing Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven, to a 1995 contest he announced in Winnipeg where selected listeners could watch Super Bowl XXIX in Miami. Thirty fans were chosen to meet Connors at the airport where they boarded a bus that took them to watch the game on a monochrome television at a lounge in the tiny community of Miami, Manitoba. Scruff also used his popularity for good, responding in 1980 after Terry Fox was forced to abandon his Marathon of Hope. Connors raised $72,000 for cancer research by hosting a 36-hour “Scruff-a-thon” on Q107. Following his layoff from MOJO Toronto in 1995, Connors underwent quadruple bypass surgery and later battled bladder cancer, retiring to Osoyoos, BC.
Beverley “Bev” Wakeman Edwards, 87, on Dec. 7, following a brief illness. Raised in Muskoka, Wakeman is best remembered for producing the “Wally Crouter Show” at CFRB Toronto where he worked for 38 years. Edwards and his wife Bernice were retired to the Skeleton Lake area.
Eileen Olive Forbom, 86, in Sudbury. Born in Oshawa, ON, Eileen grew up in Scotland and moved to Sudbury at the age of 17. She joined CKSO-AM Sudbury in 1948, and worked there for 38 years, retiring as the first female general manager. She also helped start Canadore College.
Gordie Tapp, 94, passed away peacefully in Burlington, ON on Dec. 18. The legendary Canadian entertainer started out in the golden age of radio in Guelph, quickly getting pulled to CHML-AM Hamilton to develop an evening show called What’s On Tapp?. CHML’s Main Street Jamboree put Gordie on the map, airing on both radio and television in the 1950s. He then moved on to CBC’s Country Hoedown from 1956-1965. That’s where the hayseed character Cousin Clem was borne, which he would later take south of the border to the long-running CBS variety show Hee Haw. Tapp was a member of the Order of Canada and was the first inductee into the Burlington Performing Arts Centre Hall of Fame, the city he lived in for nearly six decades.
Jack Lowe, 82, passed away on Jan. 2. Jack immigrated to Canada from Barbados when he was in his teens, graduating from Toronto’s Central Tech High School. He started working as an engineer for Foster Hewitt’s radio station CKFH-AM 1430 in 1959 where he spent many a hockey game lugging 1940s equipment up to the ‘gondula’ in Maple Leaf Gardens to broadcast Leafs games with Hewitt. He remained with the station through three ownership changes and one frequency change, moving into semi-retirement in 2002.
Greg Barnsley, 83, on Jan. 2 after a short illness. Barnsley was one of the first employees at CFQC-TV (CTV Saskatoon) when the station went to air in 1954. A familiar face in Saskatoon media and beloved weatherman, Barnsley retired in 1992. The CTV Saskatoon studio was upgraded and renamed after Barnsley in 2014. His son Jim continues to work at CTV Saskatoon as a camera operator.
Kelly Duncan, 84, Dec. 19 at Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver. Born in New Zealand, Duncan arrived in Vancouver in 1955 and was a pioneer in the film and video industry. The longtime resident of West Vancouver was a cameraman and cinematographer, spending many years at CBC Vancouver. In the 1960s, he was a cinematographer on the CBC television series Cariboo Country. An award-winning “storyteller on film,” Kelly worked on hundreds of productions for international clients, often travelling worldwide. He was a longtime member of the Canadian Society of Cinematographers and won ‘Bessie’ awards from the Television Bureau of Canada for Best Achievement in Commercials Cinematography in both 1970 and 1973.
Dick Trotter, 79, Dec. 27 in Port Perry, ON after a brief illness. Trotter spent most of his early career in sports. In the 1960s he did play-by-play for the OHL’s Oshawa Generals, which led to a stint calling games for the Detroit Red Wings short-lived minor league affiliate in Virginia. From there he found his way to Peterborough and worked in local radio and television, building a reputation as one of the best race callers in standardbred horse racing. By 1965, Trotter was general manager at CKLB-FM/CKQS-FM Oshawa, leaving in 1968 for CHIN-FM Toronto. In the early 1980s, Dick was hired by CKWS-TV Kingston to read the sports on the six o’clock news and to be the track announcer at Kingston Park Raceway. He became the permanent evening news anchor after anchor David Green, who was in his 30s, passed away suddenly of a massive heart attack. Trotter retired in 1993 and made an attempt at resurrecting Kingston Park Raceway.
Stuart Hamilton, 87, on Jan. 1 after a 10-year battle with prostate cancer. Born in Regina, SK, Hamilton was a legendary vocal coach, broadcaster, pianist, artistic director and producer. In 1974, he founded Opera in Concert and was its Artistic Director until 1994. In 1982, CBC producer Robert Cooper invited Hamilton to become Quiz Master of the CBC’s Saturday Afternoon at the Opera, a post he held until his retirement in 2007. He also appeared regularly as a panelist and occasional guest Quiz Master on the Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts from New York City at Lincoln Center. His knowledge of repertoire, voices and style made him an “in demand” lecturer and adjudicator. He was made a member of the Order of Canada in 1984, won the Toronto Arts Award in 1989, received the Governor General’s Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of Confederation in 1992, the first Ruby Award from Opera Canada in 2000 and the Beckmesser Award from the Los Angeles Opera in 2004. He received an honorary doctorate from Dalhousie University in 2008 and most recently was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. His book Opening Windows: Confessions of a Canadian Vocal Coach is an engaging account of his life in music.
Thomas William Harpur, 87, Jan. 2 in Lion’s Head, ON. The Reverend “Tom” Harpur was an author, broadcaster, columnist, theologian and ordained Anglican priest. Born in Toronto’s east end, Harpur worked as a journalist at the Toronto Star for 30 years, 12 as the newspaper’s religion editor and then as a regular columnist. The Rhodes Scholar wrote numerous books on religion and theology, 10 of which became Canadian bestsellers and two of which were made into TV series for VisionTV. He hosted his own television show Harpur’s Heaven and Hell and a variety of radio and TV programs on the topic of religion. He also appeared as a frequent commentator on religious news events on CBC and other Canadian networks. In 1996, his bestseller Life After Death on near-death experiences was turned into a 10-episode TV series hosted by Harpur himself, which aired on VisionTV, CityTV and The Learning Channel. Harpur’s 2004 book The Pagan Christ was named the Canadian non-fiction bestseller of the year by the Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail. The 2008 CBC documentary of the same name, based on Harpur’s book, won the Platinum Remi Award at the Houston International Film Festival and the Gold Camera Award at the U.S. International Film and Video Festival.
Don Lindsay, 68, on Jan. 6, in Grande Prairie, after a short battle with cancer. Lindsay started in radio as a DJ almost right out of high school in the late 1960s at CFGP-FM. With a passion for rock n’ roll from the 1950s and 60s, he helped bring acts to the Grande Prairie area including Bobby Curtola and Anne Murray. He eventually moved into sales, establishing himself as a well-respected rep for CJDC-AM and CJDC-TV Dawson Creek where he worked for nearly 20 years until his retirement two years ago. Don was well-known for his community involvement, including his dedication to local theatre.
Larry Langley, 83, on Jan. 10. The former Edmonton city councillor and longtime CBC broadcaster was born in Saskatoon, SK, and worked as a teacher before starting his broadcasting career in 1956. Larry joined CFQC-TV Saskatoon as an announcer, moving on to WHTV and CBC Whitehorse, CHEK-TV in Victoria and CFCN TV and radio in Calgary. He moved to Edmonton in 1965 to continue his career with CBC Edmonton as a host, anchor and weatherman. Langley worked in both radio and television there for 28 years before retiring in 1993. He successfully ran for Edmonton city council two years later, representing Ward 5 for nine years. After his retirement from council in 2004, Langley continued to sit on various city boards.
Russ Thompson, 82, Jan. 16 of cancer. Born in Montreal, Russ had a 40-year career in Toronto radio and was a well-known TV spokesperson. Over the years, Russ worked for CKEY-AM, CBC Radio Toronto and CKFM-FM, wrapping up his career at Easy 97 (CJEZ-FM) in 1992. Throughout his career, Russ also represented brands as a commercial spokesperson for GM, Timex, CN/CP, Belvedere and Proctor and Gamble, among others.
Greg Hinton, 54, Jan. 24, peacefully in his sleep at his home on Howe Island, ON, after a two-year battle with cancer. Hinton started working in broadcasting in 1986 and started a nearly 30-year career with CHUM Radio (now Bell Media Radio) in 1988. For the past 13 years, he served as vice-president and general manager of Bell Media’s two Brockville radio stations 104.9 JRfm (CFJR-FM), 103.7 BOB FM (CJPT-FM) and Kingston stations 98.3 Fly FM (CFLY-FM), 98.9 The Drive (CKLC-FM). He was responsible for helping transform 98.3 FLY FM into a perennial #1 radio station in Kingston and for overseeing the launch of 98.9 The Drive, Kingston’s Essential Alternative in 2007. Hinton’s earlier career highlights included time as an on-air personality for various formats and as a program director, music director, promotions director and station manager. A graduate of both the University of Windsor and the radio broadcasting program at Fanshawe College, Hinton was heavily involved in the Kingston, Brockville and 1000 Islands communities, including the Algonquin College Radio Advisory Committee, the Loyalist College Radio Advisory Committee, the Greater Brockville and Area Ad & Sales Club and the Brockville Chamber of Commerce, among many other organizations.
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.
Keith Maskell, Jan. 18, after an unexpected illness. Hailing from Saskatchewan, Keith was a university lecturer in French language and literature before joining CBC Edmonton, primarily as a reporter for French-language television. Maskell worked with the public broadcaster from 1992 to 1999, before becoming a staff rep for the Canadian Media Guild. He was with the CMG for more than 16 years, remembered as a dedicated and supportive voice for those working in the Canadian media sector.
Ritchie Yorke, 73, Feb. 6, of complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The colourful Australian music journalist was the chief music writer for the Sunday Mail for two decades, but also well-known in Canada as a former Canadian editor of Rolling Stone and Billboard and a contributor to the Globe & Mail. Yorke lived in Canada from the late 1960s through the mid-1980s, becoming a vocal advocate for Canadian music. He was one of the proponents involved in the introduction of Canadian Content regulations in 1971 and also helped organize the ambitious Maple Music Junket in June 1972, that saw 130 international journalists flown to Canada to spend a week listening to and writing about the top Canadian acts of the day. He made many friends along the way, including John Lennon. His book Christ You Know It Ain’t Easy: John and Yoko’s Battle For Peace came out last year with Yoko Ono writing the foreword. Yorke also wrote Led Zeppelin: The Definitive Biography, with Robert Plant calling him “one of us.”
Stuart McLean, 68, Feb. 15, after battling melanoma. The humorist, best-selling author, journalist and long-running host of The Vinyl Cafe was born in Montreal to Australian immigrant parents. McLean’s radio career began in the 1970s when he started with CBC as a researcher on Cross Country Checkup. In 1978, he started producing documentaries for CBC Radio program Sunday Morning and from 1982 until 1984, also acted as the show’s executive producer. During the 1980s and 90s he was a frequent guest and fill-in host on Morningside with Peter Gzowski. McLean created The Vinyl Cafe in 1994 as a summer replacement show and by 1997, it was airing every Sunday. Featuring a mix of storytelling, essays and musical performances, stories from The Vinyl Cafe were spun-off into a series of books, which won the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour three times. The show also became a touring production, visiting communities in both Canada and the U.S. McLean announced in December he was suspending the program to focus on treatment for melanoma, which he was diagnosed with in late 2015. McLean was an officer of the Order of Canada and a professor emeritus at Ryerson University in Toronto. CBC says a public tribute will be announced at a later date.
Rudy Hartman, 99, Feb. 9 in Victoria, after respiratory complications. Hartman’s radio career started in the 1930’s at CJAT-AM in Trail, BC. After enlisting in WWII, he worked with the BBC and Canadian Forces radio stations in Europe during the war. When WWII ended, he returned to radio at CJVI-AM Victoria, moving on to manage Victoria’s first FM station, CFMS-FM. He later helped launch CKLG-FM Vancouver as program director and host of Symphony Hall. Hartman’s career continued into the 1980s at CHQM-FM and multicultural station CJVB-AM, where he was also PD.
Charles Mudrack, 82, Feb. 1 at Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria. Mudrack started working at CJDC in Dawson Creek in the early 1960s as a young sports announcer and also voiced “Hospital Bulletins” over each supper hour. In some phoneless, rural communities, the bulletins were the hospital’s only means of communication with patients’ relatives. The bulletins would involve messages like “Ralph, your wife is ready for discharge and can be picked up tomorrow.” Charles or “Chuck” as he was often known on-air moved on to CKDA Victoria by 1963, before ending his radio career at CFAX Victoria in the mid-1970s. He later retired from the provincial postal branch.
Jack Pollard, 88, Feb. 18, at Kamloops Seniors Village. Pollard began his broadcasting career at CKCK-AM radio in his hometown of Regina, moving on to CJIB-AM in Vernon, BC before landing in Kamloops in 1961. Pollard started as operations manager of CFCR-TV, later CFJC-TV, as well as CFJC-AM and CIFM-FM. He eventually became a co-owner and managing partner, retiring in 1987. The stations were later sold to Jimmy Pattison. Known for his love of jazz and big band music, Jack hosted “Swing Session” on CFJC radio and in later years revived his radio career at CFBX-FM radio on the Thompson Rivers University campus.
Bill Kelly, 71, Feb. 15, after a long battle with heart disease. The Newfoundland & Labrador journalist hosted CBC’s Land & Sea for eight seasons in the 1980s and 90s and fought to save the show from cancellation in 1990. After spearheading rallies and petitions, Land & Sea was given a reprieve less than two months after its cancellation and made into a national network program. Heart disease forced Kelly into an early retirement from the public broadcaster, but he reinvented himself as an outspoken community activist, often taking on St. John’s councillors and former mayor Andy Wells on various issues. Prior to his years at CBC, Kelly was a reporter for The Evening Telegram.
Paul Nicholls, Feb. 23, suddenly while on vacation. Nicholls was well-known in the community of Georgina, ON as a former town councillor and Rogers TV personality. He was most recently known for hosting the current affairs program Politically Speaking after serving as a town councillor from 1994 to 1997 and sitting on the board of directors for both the Georgina Public Libraries and Georgina Cares organizations. In addition to his extensive volunteer work, Paul was a distinguished toastmaster and actor, starring in local productions and short films. Former mayor Rob Grossi hosted a special edition of Politically Speaking on Rogers TV on Tuesday to celebrate Nicholls life.
Jack Gray, 90, on Feb. 23. One of the driving forces behind the creation of The Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) in 1991, Gray committed 25 years of his life to working on behalf of Canadian screenwriters. He was the first writer-president of ACTRA, serving two terms from 1978-81 and was the last chair of the ACTRA National Writers Council. Believing strongly that screenwriters needed to be represented by a writer-driven organization, Gray organized his fellow screenwriters into leaving ACTRA and forming the WGC. In 2002, Gray was given the WGC’s “Writers Block Award for Service to Canadian Screenwriters.”
Pierre Pascau, 78, on Feb. 28. Born in Mauritius, the well-known Montreal talk show host and reporter, joined the Mauritius Broadcasting Service at the age of 19 and was subsequently awarded a three-year scholarship to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. During his time at Guildhall, Pierre worked as a freelance reporter for the British Home Office. In 1965, Pascau moved to Montreal, working as a reporter for CBC Radio’s Cross Country Checkup and CBC Television’s Hourglass. He later moved to CFCF-TV Montreal, establishing himself as an investigative reporter. While at CKLM-AM during the October Crisis, Pasco was contacted by the Front de liberation du Quebec responsible for kidnapping British diplomat James Cross and served as an intermediary between the FLQ and the government. Pascau went on to have a short-lived run as co-host of Canada AM in 1974, moving on to CKAC-AM where he hosted L’Informateur. He left the station in 1990 for CKVL-AM where he began hosting Le Point du Jour. Pascau retired in 1997 and relocated to Paris in recent years.
Tom Young, 75, on March 6 following complications after knee surgery. Young’s 50-year career in broadcasting began in 1961 while stationed in West Germany with the Canadian Armed Forces. He was best known as the host of the long-running show ‘Talk of the Town’ on CFBC-AM Saint John, NB. In 2005, Young joined the Rogers Radio network in the Maritimes as host of ‘The Afternoon News’ heard on News 88.9 (CHNI-FM) Saint John, News 91.9 (CKNI-FM) Moncton, and News 95.7 (CJNI-FM) Halifax. He went on to host the program for nearly seven years. Young’s lifelong interest in politics also led him to spend time in municipal government, serving as the mayor of Renforth, NB from 1989 to 1992. He also served several terms as a Rothesay, NB town councillor. Young moved to St. John’s, NL with his wife after signing off from Rogers in 2011 to be closer to their grandchildren.
Grant Ullyot, 81 on March 3 after a brief illness. Ullyot’s radio career started in 1957, while serving in the military and stationed in Germany, He was recruited as a volunteer and did play-by-play for the RCAF Flyers Europe hockey team. Upon his return to Canada, he was posted to Edmonton where his first commercial broadcasting job after leaving the military was with CHCA-TV in Red Deer where he anchored the evening news and sports. Ullyot went on to work at radio and television stations in Saskatoon, Melfort and Prince Albert, SK before he was hired as news director at 1270 CHWK-AM in Chilliwack, BC. He remained at the station for 27 years, and was the play-by-play voice of the Chilliwack Bruins among other on-air duties. After his retirement, Grant wrote for The Westcoast Farmer for the Chilliwack Progress. He passed away one week shy of his 82nd birthday.
Jon Holland, 50, suddenly on Feb. 19. Holland attended the radio broadcasting course at Loyalist College from 1986 to 1988 and went on to work at CHUC-AM in Cobourg as well as The New Classical 103.1 FM (CFMX-FM). Most recently, he was an on-air host at Northumberland 89.7 (CFWN-FM). Holland was an enthusiastic volunteer and tireless champion of local causes.
Gary Lawrence Miles, 77, after a brief bout with cancer. In a career spanning over five decades, Miles began in radio as an announcer and then moved into sales. He worked his way up the ranks to become GM at several stations. Later, he served as VP at Selkirk Radio and then VP for Rogers Radio stations in Western Canada. Miles was promoted to CEO of the Rogers Radio Division and served in that capacity from 2002 to 2007, overseeing 46 stations, and was also a director of Vista Radio over recent years. He served on many boards and associations including as president of the Radio Bureau of Canada where he introduced the first standardized radio sales training program. He was also a past chair and board member of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters, Western Association of Broadcasters, Manitoba Association of Broadcasters and Numeris (formerly, the Bureau of Broadcast Measurement). Gary Miles retired in 2008 to consult internationally for the Canadian Traffic Network, Global Traffic Network, Golden West Broadcasting, JACK fm brand, SparkNet Communications, and media outlets in France, Singapore, India, Germany, Peru, the U.S. and the UK. He was inducted into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2006.
Patrice Lemée, the senior manager of transmission projects with CBC/Radio-Canada from 1999 to 2008 before starting Quebec-based CommSpec Canada Inc.. specializing in small and large-scale radio and television project management.
Denis Grondin, 66, of an apparent heart attack hours after recording his weekly show for Radio VM. Grondin, a 47-year radio veteran, began his career in 1970 at CKVL-FM Montreal, moving on to stints at CHOM-AM, CKOI-FM and CHMP-FMl. Grondin worked on-air and in programming over the years, a rare position for a Francophone to hold on an English-speaking station.
Betty Kennedy, 91, famed for her work on CBC-TV’s long-running quiz show, Front Page Challenge, and her 27 years at CFRB Toronto. Kennedy’s work earned her spots in both the Canadian Broadcasting Hall of Fame and the Canadian News Hall of Fame. In 1982, she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Bob Elsden, 90, in London. His radio career began in 1950 in the sales department at CFPL London. Three years later, he transferred to the new CFPL-TV and worked his way up. Elsden stayed with the Blackburn-owned property for 42 years, retiring as president. He also was chairman of the board for the Television Bureau of Canada in 1982-83 and first chairman of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters television board from 1985 to 1986. Elsden was named Broadcaster of the Year by the Central Canada Broadcasters’ Association in 1989.
Reg Sellner in Kitchener after a lengthy illness. He was one of the first on-air personalities at CKCO-TV Kitchener when the station signed on in 1954. Over the years he was a news anchor, morning show host, game show host and one of the hosts of Canadian Bandstand, a take-off of American Bandstand. Sellner eventually became promotions manager for the TV station and its local radio stations, CFCA-FM and CKKW.
Bob Robertson, 71, in Nanaimo. Robertson worked in programming, production and on-air at CKXL-AM Calgary, CKDA-AM Victoria and CFAX-AM Victoria before joining the Frosty Forst morning show at CKNW NewsTalk 980 Vancouver in the mid-1980s. Later, he and wife Linda Cullen created the CBC Radio series Double Exposure. In recent years, they produced a podcast called Double Exposure Radio. Robertson also did fill-in hosting for Rafe Mair at CKBD Vancouver.
Jim Weir, 70, at home in Woodstock, Ont. after a sudden illness. His 30-year on-air career began in the 1960s at CFPL London. His last gig was a morning host at CHOK Sarnia.
Kerry Gray, 50, of brain cancer. The American radio man was PD at HTZ-FM (CHTZ-FM) St. Catharines in 1999 and was working at 105.9 FM (KWNG-FM) Red Wing, Minn., while being treated at the nearby Mayo Clinic when he died. Gray and Ben McVie worked on-air together at HTZ, then took their show to Dave FM Kitchener and JACK FM Toronto before moving to Y108 Hamilton/Burlington where they did the Ben and Kerry morning show from June 2008 to July 2013. McVie still does the Y108 morning show.
Peter Jackson, 81, in Victoria. He began his career as a DJ in 1957 at CFUN Vancouver, then moved to CKY Winnipeg where he gained notoriety as PJ the DJ. In 1963, he moved to CKLG Vancouver and then to CKXL-AM Calgary. In the late ‘60s, he joined the sales department at CKWX Vancouver.
John Cummings, 68, in New Westminster from an aneurysm. His radio career began at CHTK Prince Rupert in 1973. Later, he made moves to CKOK Penticton, CJCA Edmonton, CJVI Victoria, CKXR Salmon Arm, CKXM Edmonton and CHQT Edmonton. He signed-on CJJR-FM Vancouver when the station launched July 1, 1986. Cummings left the station in 1989 for CISL Richmond, retiring from broadcasting in 1991. He became a special education assistant at the Richmond School Board, a position from which he retired eight years ago.
William (Bill) Malcolm, 60, in Thunder Bay of cancer. His radio career began in Southern Ontario before moving to CJLB-AM Thunder Bay. In 1995, he moved to Dougall Media as program director and on-air personality at KIXX (CKTG-FM), CKPR (where he oversaw the switch from AM to FM), Energy 103.5 (CKED) 104 (CFQK) and CFNO-FM Marathon.
Janine Sutto, 95, in Montreal. She had a successful film, television and stage career but is best known for appearing in the iconic Quebec television series, Les belles histoires des pays d’en haut from 1956 to 1969. Sutto was made a companion to the Order of Canada in 1991 and named to the National Order of Quebec in 1998. In 2014, she was given a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for lifetime artistic achievement. Sutto continued to perform in the theatre until she was 92.
Denis McGrath, 48, in Toronto of pancreatic cancer. His career began at TVOntario in Toronto as a producer. Later, he worked at then-Citytv Toronto, also as a producer. In 1997, McGrath signed on as the first producer for Space, where he also hosted the show’s late-night movie show. In 2000, he became an executive producer in residence at the Canadian Film Centre’s Prime Time TV program. He was a regular contributor to CBC Radio program q and was elected to the Writers Guild Governing Council in 2008.
Neil Macrae, 65, Mar. 30, of cancer, at his home in Palm Springs. Macrae started out in radio in 1969 working nights at CJVI-AM Victoria, moving on to sports and hosting stints at CHWK-FM Chilliwack, CKWX-AM Vancouver and CJOR-AM Vancouver before landing at CKNW NewsTalk 980 in 1983. Macrae became legendary as part of the Frosty Forst morning show with his biting editorials and wasn’t afraid to play the role of radio villain. Along the way there were high profile on-air battles with Vancouver Canucks general manager Brian Burke and the team’s current owner Francesco Aquilini, among others. Macrae continued as a sports presence on CKNW until 2012, ending his radio career in 2013 with the cancellation of his sports comment on Rock 101 (CFMI-FM). Married to Laurie Rix, the couple also ran The Rix Family Foundation, donating to charities and universities across Canada.
Bill Gibson, Mar. 16. Hailing from Granville Ferry, NS, Gibson was in sales with the CHUM Group in Halifax in the 1970s. He went on to work in broadcasting in other Canadian markets, becoming a motivational speaker and trainer working out of Johannesburg, South Africa.
Harold Hamilton, 88, Mar. 23 in Victoria after a brief illness. Hamilton was known as the Voice of the Great Prairie West during his 24 years as a news anchor at CKCK-AM radio and television in Regina. He retired to B.C. in 1990.
Dave McCormick, Mar. 29, following a lengthy illness. Big Daddy, as he was known on-air, got his start in radio in Hamilton at age 14. He made the move to CFUN-AM Vancouver in 1957 as a DJ, music director and assistant program director. From there, radio took McCormick to KYNO-AM Fresno, KOL (KKOL-AM) Seattle and KMEN-AM San Bernardino. He returned to Vancouver in the early 1970s, first at CKNW-AM and then at sister station CFMI-FM where he created the long-running Discumentary program, which ran from 1971-86. He later hosted afternoon drive at CJJR-FM Vancouver from 1986-98 and then middays at sister station CKBD-AM until 2008. He spent the last few years of his career as a host at CISL-AM Vancouver. McCormick’s accolades included BC Broadcaster of the Year and four-time winner of the BC Country Music Association’s Country Broadcaster of the Year. He was inducted into the BC Country Music Association Hall of Fame in 1998.
Evelyn Harper, 97, Mar. 21. Harper was a longtime CBC Vancouver employee, starting out in 1939 as a stenographer in the Farms & Fisheries Department. She worked her way up the ranks to production assistant and in 1970 became a program commentator with Agriculture and Resources.
Mario Loreto, 82, on Apr. 3 after a long journey with Alzheimer’s disease. Loreto was an avid salesperson with CKGB-FM Timmins, ON, starting with the station in 1967 and staying through various ownership changes until his retirement in 1996. Always upbeat, Mario is well-remembered locally for stepping into the role of Santa on the station every year on the Talk To Santa show, which aired for 15 minutes every day leading up to Christmas.
Guy O’Sullivan, 49, on Apr. 9. The president and founder of Proper Television, O’Sullivan was executive producer of many hit original Canadian series for CTV and Discovery. O’Sullivan began his career as a print journalist in his native Britain, following his passion for television to BBC as a producer and director. He immigrated to Canada in the late 1990s, founding his production company Proper TV in 2004, which was responsible for many of Bell Media’s original Canadian hit programs over the last several years. His credits included current series Masterchef Canada, Canada’s Worst Driver, Last Stop Garage, Tougher Than It Looks? and Vegas Rat Rods. O’Sullivan had just started work on bringing The Great British Bake Off to Canada, developing a new one-hour series, The Great Canadian Baking Show, for the CBC.
Richard Robinson, 62, on Apr. 6 of cancer. Richard was an integral member of the Easy 101 (CKOT-FM) and Country 107.3 (CJDL-FM) Tillsonburg, ON news team. Originally from Manitoulin Island, he joined the stations in 2011 with more than a decade of broadcast experience in radio in Brantford and Sudbury. Highly regarded by his peers, Robinson was also dedicated to numerous community organizations, including the radio station’s involvement with Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids Sake.
Jatinder (Jett) Bassi, 39, Apr. 14, of cancer. Born and raised in Edmonton, Bassi began his career as a producer with MOJO Sports Radio (CHMJ-AM) Vancouver as a producer after graduating from the radio broadcasting program at Columbia Academy. He went on to work with OMNI BC as an editor where he continued pursuing his passion for sports journalism. He was promoted to sports reporter, camera operator and editor for OMNI News: Punjabi Edition in 2008, covering everything from hockey to kabaddi. Bassi was an integral part of the OMNI BC team covering both the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games as well as the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, where he handled play-by-play for the Punjabi Olympic hockey broadcasts. Bassi joined CTV Vancouver Island in 2012, moving his family to Nanaimo, where he served the mid-island region as a news reporter and videographer.
Tony Wade, 68, of throat cancer in St. Leonards-on-Sea, England. Known as a trailblazer during his time with CBC TV in Vancouver in the 1970s and 80s, Wade was executive producer of newsmagazine program Pacific Report. In 1980, a report on the seizure of indigenous children and their placement with white families led to new laws in B.C. on the fostering of First Nations kids and won a B’nai Brith Media Human Rights Award. The show also notably landed guests like Michael J. Fox, who at the time was a major television star. Over the years, Wade produced three documentaries on Vancouver’s Georgia Straight newspaper including The Last Streetfighter: The History of the Georgia Straight on its 30th anniversary. The doc, which included an interview with humanitarian Bob Geldof, who was the paper’s music editor in the 1970s, won two CANPRO Canadian television awards and a certificate of merit from the Jack Webster Foundation. Wade was also the recipient of two Anik Awards, a New York Film and Television Festival bronze medal, and an AMTEC Award of Merit for documentaries about artist Bill Reid, children’s entertainer Charlotte Diamond, and historian Barry Broadfoot.
Rex Loring, 91, Apr. 21. Loring arrived in Canada in 1947 after serving as a glider pilot for the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. He worked in private radio from 1949 to 1955 before becoming a fixture on CBC Television, working on shows including Mr. Fix-It, Close-up, Graphic and Tabloid. He went on to become the founding host of CBC Radio’s World Report and remained with the show for two decades, retiring in 1990. Both of Loring’s daughters pursued careers in broadcasting, Elaine in news at CFTR-AM and CFRB-AM before moving to Global TV, while Carrie Loring was the co-host of long-running children’s program The Polka Dot Door.
Barbara Cram, 66, Apr. 10. Born in Indian Head, SK, Barbara obtained her BA (History) from the University of Saskatchewan, and her BLS (Library Science) from the University of Alberta, then joined the Canadian diplomatic corps as an immigration officer, spending time in Canada, then Yugoslavia, prior to a two-year posting to New Delhi, India. She resigned from the diplomatic corps and pursued more education, graduating from the University of Saskatchewan with her LLB (law) degree, then entered into practice in rural Saskatchewan before practicing in Regina for a decade. While in Regina, Barb was appointed to the CRTC for three years, and later re-appointed twice, as the Regional Commissioner for Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Barb enjoyed her time with the CRTC, which afforded her the opportunity to travel across Canada and use three or four of the languages she spoke.
Armand Baril, 87, Apr. 14 after a brief illness. Baril’s broadcasting career began in the 1940s at CKUA-AM Edmonton and concluded after 36 years with CBC in Toronto, Winnipeg and Edmonton. He is best remembered for his work at CBC Edmonton on shows including Reach for the Top, Keynotes, and numerous music shows including Music In Miniature, CBC Young Performers, the Gala Tri-Bach Concert, the Opening of the Calgary Centre for the Performing Arts and Tommy Banks Live. He was an accomplished pianist and studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. His passion for music led to a stint in the chorus of the Canadian Opera Company and to major roles with the Edmonton Civic Opera and Edmonton Opera. Later, he sang in Da Camera Singers and the Richard Eaton Singers and for 11 years was choir director at St. Joseph’s Basilica. He played bass clarinet with the Cosmopolitan Band for 25 years and in 1985, formed the Cosmopolitan Chorus, acting as its conductor until 1995. In 2000, he became music director of the Edmonton Schoolboys’ Alumni Band and remained in that position until 2013.
Burt Decaire, 76, Mar. 24 in Cranbrook. Decaire’s radio career began at CJAT-AM Trail in the 1960s. He joined the staff at EK Radio in Cranbrook in the early 1970s as sports director. While Decaire did a regular DJ shift, hundreds of on-location broadcasts and voiced thousands of commercials, he’s best remembered as a long-time voice for the Western International Hockey League, doing play-by-play and colour for hundreds of games for the Cranbrook Royals and Kimberley Dynamiters, as well as the KIJHL’s Cranbrook Colts. In the 1970s, Burt was also the author of a popular sports column in the Kootenay Advertiser entitled “Dak’s Diggings,” a nickname used by his close friends. His passion for sports led him to form and manage the Media Maulers fastball team, originally a combination of radio and newspaper employees, who played in the Cranbrook Men’s Bush League. Decaire retired from radio in 2002.
James Scott Curran, 65, May 7 in Oshawa, ON after a long battle with colorectal cancer. Curran spent the last 10 years as a marketing consultant and account executive with Durham Radio’s Oshawa-based stations KX96 (CJKX-FM), 94.9 The Rock (CKGE-FM) and CKDO. Originally from Guelph, Scott started in radio sales/marketing in 1997 in Drumheller, AB with Q91 (CKDQ-AM). He also spent time at Corus Radio Cambridge, the Larche Communications stations in Waterloo, ON, and Blackburn Radio Wingham.
Andy Michaelson, May 10, in St. Albert, AB. Michaelson started his career as a radio announcer and reporter in the 1960s at CHED-AM Edmonton, followed by CKYL-AM Peace River and CJCA-AM Edmonton. He moved to Vancouver in the 1970s where he was heard on-air over the next two decades as Andy Michaels on CISL-AM, CKNW-AM and as morning show co-host on CJOR-AM. Michaelson later worked as a communications consultant in Vancouver and Edmonton. He eventually found his calling as a writer and poet in St. Albert, AB devoting many hours as a teacher and mentor to both children and adults, encouraging them to write and perform their poetry. He was a co-founder of Poets’ Ink, a local writing group and regularly performed at poetry readings. In 2009, Andy received a St. Albert Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts Award for Arts Promotion and in 2011, a St. Albert Community Recognition Award for Arts and Culture.
Trevor Kidd, 76, on May 20 in Vancouver. Kidd was well-known on the Ottawa airwaves in the 1970s and 80s at 580 CFRA-AM and CFMO-FM, where he was a popular morning man. An easily-recognizable voice in the market, Kidd was known for his quick wit and humour during his 37-year career in broadcasting.
Alonzo “Lonnie” Townsend, 74, on May 22. Townsend started his media career as a photographer with the Coast Guard newspaper in Shelburne, NS and moved up to editor before making the leap to radio in the late 1970s, joining the CKBW Bridgewater news department, primarily as Shelburne bureau chief, for 20 years. His love of news and politics led him to represent Lockeport as a town councillor for over 15 years and he was deputy mayor until his death. A graduate of the Zion Bible Institute in Rhode Island, Townsend was also a Pentecostal Pastor for many years.
Clint Nickerson, 66, in Victoria of lung cancer. Nickerson got his start in broadcasting in the early 1970s at CJVI-AM Victoria. He moved on to CKDA-AM Victoria and CFUN-AM Vancouver before heading to Toronto in the mid-70s where he anchored news at CFTR-AM and then moved into television. He returned to CFTR to produce weekly public affairs show Sunday Sunday, then CJCL-AM, before going back to CityTV where he was the longtime senior news producer of City Pulse. In 2000, he left to become news director at CIVI-TV Victoria.
Fred Engel, 85, on May 23. Engel was a longtime CBC Vancouver staple, starting as a film editor and promoted to manager, Film Services, then TV production manager and producer. He retired from CBC in 1984.
Joe Gaughan, 38, May 29 of lung cancer. Gaughan, originally from Windsor, ON, made his way to North Bay in 2012 where he worked as a remote technician, board operator, Battalion OHL analyst and evening and weekend swing announcer for Rogers Radio. Most recently, Gaughan had been hosting a show Thursday and Friday nights for Rogers’ rock stations in North Bay, Sudbury and Timmins.
Jeremy McGoran, 35, took his own life in Penticton June 9. McGoran hosted afternoons on EZ Rock 1240 (CJOR-AM) Osoyoos and EZ Rock 800 (CKOR-AM) Penticton for a decade, up until last year, after going public with his struggle with anxiety and depression. McGoran leaves behind his wife, Mare McHale, and their six-year-old son, Thomas. The couple met in 2005 at Vista Radio in Prince George, where they both worked, and married in 2009 in Penticton where Mare hosted the Sun FM (CJMG-FM) morning show. Both left the radio business last year to start a communications consulting company. An online fundraiser has been set up for McGoran’s family.
Dave ‘The Maz’ Mazmanian, died June 17, at Toronto Western Hospital, following a stroke. Mazmanian started his broadcasting career in Chicago in the late 1960s, including WCFL-AM, before coming to Canada in 1970 where he was hired by Alan Waters at 1050 CHUM-AM Toronto. He went on to work for Capital-EMI, Harry Hinde Productions and Daffodil Records, before returning to radio and helping launch Q107 (CILQ-FM) Toronto.
Sean Westphal, 42, passed away suddenly in Edmonton on June 24. Westphal was creative director at Harvard Broadcasting Edmonton, Hot 107 (CJNW-FM) and 95.7 CRUZ FM (CKEA-FM), from CKEA-FM’s launch in 2010. Originally from Surrey, BC, Sean attended Vancouver’s Columbia Academy of Radio, Television and Recording Arts and went on to work for the Alberta Radio Group (Newcap Edmonton), Power 104 (CKLZ-FM) Kelowna, The Bounce (CHBN-FM) Edmonton, and Wired 96.3 (CFWD-FM) Saskatoon, among other stations.
Mike Reid, 57, on June 28 after battling cancer. Reid was an imaging and commercial producer at 680 CFTR-AM Toronto during the 1980s, followed by 23 years as an audio/video producer at Toronto’s Echo Advertising. From there, he formed independent production house Mr. Flyer Productions, working on radio and television commercials for clients including President’s Choice Financial, Hitachi, and the Toronto Raptors, among others.
Tom Rowe, 62, died on July 2 at Gambier Island. Rowe was principal of Vancouver-based Reunion Pictures, formed in 2004. Previous to his role as executive VP, Creative Affairs at Sextant Entertainment, he co-founded Pacific Motion Pictures with Matthew O’Connor in 1989. Rowe’s list of movie and television credits includes films Bird on a Wire (1990); The Journey of Natty Gann (1985); Who’s Harry Crumb? (1989); Floating Away (1998) and TV series A Letter to Three Wives (1985-86); Memories of Murder (1989-90); This Can’t Be Love (1993-94); In Cold Blood (1996-97), which garnered him an Emmy nomination; Masters of Horror (2005-06); Flash Gordon (2007-08); High Moon (2014-15) and Continuum (2012-15). Over the years, Rowe served as co-chair of the Canadian Feature Film Fund Advisory Group, chair of the BC Producers branch of the Canadian Film and Television Production Association and as a member of the Emily Carr University Foundation Board. Rowe is survived by his wife, CBC and CTV Vancouver broadcaster, Vicki Gabereau.
Finley (Fin) J. H. Anthony, 87, died on July 16. After a brief teaching career, Anthony began working in radio at CKMO-AM 900 Victoria in 1951. He was a news announcer, co-host of the “Kiddie’s Show,” play-by-play football broadcaster and a late-night disc jockey. He later worked in sales and as an announcer at CKNW-AM, then became an advertising director at the Vancouver News Herald and a partner in Foster, Young, Ross, Anthony and Associates. He also did sales and announcing stints at CFUN-AM Vancouver, CKLG-AM Vancouver, and CHAN-TV. He was well-known as the voice of Woodward’s Department Store from 1963 to 1987, and his Food Floor ads. With a passion for fishing, he hosted television show ‘Fishing with Fin’ on KVOS-TV Bellingham, and became president of the Save Our Salmon Society, Save the Fish Foundation, and the Pacific Salmon Society. He also wrote a book, entitled “Fins,” based on his unique fishing experiences in British Columbia.
Doug Anderson, 64, on July 24. Anderson had a radio career spanning 35 years. He was most recently program director at Country 101.1 (CKBY-FM) and 92.3 Jack FM (CJET-FM), until his retirement from Rogers Radio in 2012. Anderson was inducted into the Ottawa Valley Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010.
Kenneth “Ken” Markham Ogden, 75, died Aug. 3 at Saint John Regional Hospital. Ken spent more than 40 years working as a producer at CHSJ radio and television in Saint John, including directing several award-winning commercials. Ogden started at CHSJ-AM after high school in 1960 as an operator and worked his way into commercial script writing and production. Later, he added TV commercial production to his resume and went on to produce shows as well. He was part of the new MITV, which went to air in 1988 and was later sold to Canwest and rebranded Global Maritimes. Ogden retired in 2006. He was also an artist, musician and writer and was a member of several bands, including Saint John’s own “Beetles.”
Robert MacLaren, 82, on July 6, at home in Bridgewater, NS. MacLaren joined CKBW-AM Bridgewater in 1952. Starting out as a DJ, he moved up the ranks to sports director, news director, program director and eventually became general manager and part owner of Acadia Broadcasting Company Limited. On-air at CKBW, Bob will be remembered for his strong, distinctive news voice and for co-hosting the TELEFUN program with the late Ginny Flemming. The show ran for 13 years and two cookbooks of original local recipes resulted. As an extension of his broadcast career, Bob was president of the Atlantic Association of Broadcasters and named an Honorary Life Member in 1995. In 1996, Bob was inducted into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
David Milliken, 72, on Aug. 3 in Minden, ON. Milliken was a reporter and editor for the Renfrew Mercury, the Ottawa Journal, Calgary Sun and Calgary Herald, before joining Canada Newswire (CNW) in 1982. Initially hired as director of Client Services, coordinating business development, Milliken stayed with CNW for 32 years in operations, product management and sales, including a position on the company’s board of directors, before retiring from a senior VP role in 2013. In 2011, he penned a history of CNW, From Wire to Web. Milliken was a member of numerous professional organizations, including the National Press Club, Toronto Press Club, Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF), and the RTDNA. He also served as chair of the development committee for the Bachelor of Public Relations Program at Humber College, and on the advisory committee for the journalism programs at the University of Western Ontario and Algonquin College. Milliken was twice nominated for Ontario’s Premier’s Award, winning it in 1995.
Rina Steuerman, 70, on Aug. 17 in Toronto. For many years, Steuerman was the manager of satellite services at Broadcast News, before retiring in 2004. Steuerman was the principal person who looked after satellite distribution for many of the broadcasters and as consultant Jean-Marie Heimrath shares with Broadcast Dialogue: “She was able to pull rabbits out of her hat many times when everyone said it wasn’t possible.”
Larry Broadley, 67, at South Huron Hospital in Exeter, ON, after a brief illness. Broadley was a DJ, news and special events broadcaster in the 1970s with CJOE-AM and CJBK-AM London, before leaving the industry. Broadley went on to become regional manager for Sifton Properties, owned and operated the Grapevine Bar in Grand Bend, and was also Grand Bend Harbour Master, eventually delving into real estate.
Arnold Amber, 77, on Sept. 4, of cancer in Toronto. Prior to a lengthy career with CBC, Amber was an international correspondent for Reuters in Africa and Europe. Amber went on to become director of TNG Canada from its inception in 1995 until he retired in 2011, leading the union through its evolution into CWA Canada, the country’s only all-media union. Amber served as president of the CBC branch of the Canadian Media Guild (CWA Canada Local 30213) through significant periods, including the creation of a single bargaining unit for English-language employees in 2004 and a 50-day lockout the following year. Over the course of his career, Amber was recognized with three Gemini awards for executive producing CBC news specials. In 2014, he became the first person to receive a lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom, in recognition of his work helping journalists around the world. He was one of the founding members of Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, serving as its president for two decades, and helped create the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX), which speaks out for media workers. In 2013, he was awarded the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Social Sciences Outstanding Alumni Award.
Bill Phillips, 83, Aug. 24, in Oliver, BC. Phillips was born and raised in Vernon, BC where he began his broadcasting career at CJIB radio in the 1950s. He went on to anchor news and host at CBC Radio and TV in Vancouver from 1958 to 1960, in addition to stints as a program host, commentator and anchor at CHAN-TV, CHQM-AM/FM and CJAZ-FM Vancouver. Phillips retired to the Okanagan in the mid-1990s where he worked as a relief anchor at CIGV-FM Penticton and was a freelance writer for the Penticton Herald. He continued writing, blogging and doing freelance voice work right into 2017, including acting as the familiar voice of BC Tel in the 1980s and 90s.
Skip Prokop, 74, on Aug. 30 of congestive heart failure. Best known as the drummer for 1970s Canadian rock band Lighthouse, Prokop was also a salesman and radio host at CFNY-FM Toronto in the 1980s. Prokop hosted “Between a Rock and a Hard Place,” a Sunday night Christian rock show required under FM regulations of the day, which allocated for specialty programming outside the format. Prokop went on to found audio production house Skip Prokop Music and Japicta Publishing.
Gretta Chambers, 90, on Sept. 9. The first female chancellor of McGill University and a regular contributor to news programs and newspapers in Montreal in both official languages, Chambers started as a researcher and host on CBC Radio program The Province In Print from 1966 to 1980, a weekly program about Quebec events. She also wrote a weekly column for the Montreal Gazette from the late 1970s until 2002, and was host of weekly public affairs show The Editors on CFCF 12 from 1977 to 1980. She served as Chancellor of McGill from 1991 to 1999. Chambers was named a Member of the Order of Canada in 1994, a Companion of the Order of Canada in 2000, and an Officer of the Ordre National du Québec in 1993.
David R. Graham, 80, on Sept. 2, in Toronto. After finishing Harvard Business School, Graham applied for cable tv licenses in cities across Canada and with his partner, Jim Meekison, formed Cablecasting Limited, which became Canada’s fifth largest cable TV company serving cities in western Canada and rural Ontario. Cablecasting’s holdings included Greater Winnipeg Cablevision, Calgary Cable TV/FM, Thames Cablevision, Allview Cable Service, Graham Cable, and Lakeshore Community Television. Graham later acquired cable tv franchises for metropolitan Atlanta and Los Angeles. Graham sold his business interests to Shaw Communications Inc. in 1992. He had been living in London, England since 1980.
Katherine Kennedy Housser, 70, on Sept. 10. Originally from Port Alberni, BC, Housser landed at CBC Radio and TV in St. John’s, NL in 1975 after studying at McGill University. Housser remained with CBC as a journalist and network news producer until her retirement in 2008. She returned to school at age 60, receiving her Masters in English Language and Literature from Memorial University.
Cal George, 96, on July 23, in Penticton. George started his career at CHWK Chilliwack in 1942, moving to CKWX-AM Vancouver the same year, first as an operator and then announcer. He remained with the station until 1967, much of that time as midday host and is remembered for co-hosting the Neighbour Nina homemakers show with Nina Anthony, a popular casino giveaway show which offered cash prizes, and the Red White and Blue phone quiz weekday afternoons. George moved to CKOK-AM Penticton around 1970 when he was offered the morning show. He stayed with the station until his retirement in 1985.
Bob Wallace, 53, Sept. 17 at Toronto’s Princess Margaret Hospital. Wallace studied broadcasting at Centennial College and had begun working at CHAY-FM Barrie in 2000 as an afternoon announcer when he was introduced to his partner in life and on-air, Diana Meder. The duo went on to host in Belleville, ON before arriving at Mix 106 (CIXK-FM) Owen Sound in 2006. For the past seven years, up until Sept. 11, the pair were co-hosting mornings at 92.3 Dock Radio (CJOS-FM) Owen Sound, when Wallace was unexpectedly taken to hospital and diagnosed with leukemia. He passed away of a sudden heart attack, just as he was about to start treatments. Wallace received numerous awards over the years for community involvement and championing many causes, including an Owen Sound Police Service Chief’s Commendation, and a ‘Stand Up For Kids Award’ from the Children’s Aid Society.
Ron M. Ryan, 59, suddenly on Sept. 15 in Colorado. Ryan began his foray into broadcasting in 1999 as vice-president of sales for Newcap Newfoundland. He went on to become general manager of Newcap Radio Halifax and VP of Operations for Atlantic Canada from 2008 to 2013. Ryan later took up a director’s position with Brunswick News, based out of Saint John, NB. Known for living life to the fullest, the Newfoundland native suffered a heart attack Sept. 15, while hiking with his daughter in Colorado.
Twyla Roscovich, 38, Sept. 15 in Campbell River, BC. A BC-based, socially-conscious, independent documentary filmmaker and underwater cinematographer, Roscovich lived and worked on a 52-ft. expedition sailboat, making marine ecology films on the Pacific Northwest. After working as a director and cinematographer for the BBC Natural History Unit, A&E and Discovery Channel, she moved into writing, shooting, editing and narrating her own productions, including 2013 feature-length doc Salmon Confidential and CoastCast.ca, an educational online video series on issues affecting the BC coast.
David Skinner, 64, Sept. 13, after living with cancer for 24 years. Born in Glace Bay, Cape Breton, Skinner grew up in North Sydney and attended Sheridan College in Oakville, ON where he received a diploma in Media Arts. He became a cameraman for CBC PEI and remained with the public broadcaster for over 35 years, much of that time spent working on The National and with CBC New Brunswick.
Rev. David Mainse, 81, on Sept. 25 after a five-year battle with leukemia. Mainse was the founder of Crossroads Christian Communications Inc., which started in 1962 as a weekly black-and-white, 15-minute broadcast that aired after the nightly news on a small Pembroke, ON TV station. It was Mainse’s vision, motivated by a desire to see Christian programming in primetime, and his team’s arguments before the CRTC in the early 1980s, that led the regulator to amend the Broadcasting Act and call for applications for religious channels. Mainse subsequently founded YES TV (formerly CTS), with television stations in Burlington, Calgary and Edmonton. Crossroads went on to launch numerous spinoff ministries, including the Circle Square Ranch children’s camps. Mainse stepped down as CEO of Crossroads and host of 100 Huntley Street in the summer of 2003.
Johnny Burke, 77, Sept. 21, of cancer. Best known for his time as band leader on CTV’s Funny Farm in the late 1970s, Bourke was born in Rosaireville, N.B. and got his start playing Maritime kitchen parties. He left for Toronto as a teen in the early 1960s, playing in various bands, including the Caribou Showband, which was later named Johnny Burke and the Eastwind. They played on a variety of TV shows and went on to play for acts like Loretta Lynn, Conway Twitty, Waylon Jennings and Glen Campbell as the Funny Farm house band. Burke’s biggest hit was 1978’s Wild Honey. In 2005, he was inducted to the New Brunswick Country Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 2012.
Thelma Chalifoux, 88, on Sept. 22 in Alberta. After leaving an abusive marriage in the 1950s, Chalifoux went back to school to study sociology at Lethbridge Community College and construction estimating at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, while working to support her seven children. She began working in community development and was offered a job by the Métis Association of Alberta, later serving as chairwoman of the Métis National Council Senate and vice-president of the Aboriginal Women’s Business Development Corporation. She was the first Métis woman on the Senate of the University of Alberta. Along the way, she also became the first full-time Métis woman staff announcer, producer and host of a weekly show on CKYL Radio Peace River; and was co-producer of Our Native Heritage series on Allarcom (ITV). Chalifoux was appointed to the Canadian Senate in 1997 and served until her retirement at age 75 in 2004. Among other accolades, she received a National Aboriginal Achievement Award in 1994.
Carl Newton, Sept. 15, at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Newton founded Newton Cable in the 1960s, originally known as Willowdowns Cable, which served North Toronto. The business was sold to Rogers in 1992.
Monty Hall, 96, on Sept. 30. Born Monte Halparin in north end Winnipeg, Hall started his career at CKRC-AM Winnipeg, while he was still a student. He moved to Toronto in 1946 and started working with CHUM, where station management shortened his name. For the next decade, he hosted and produced a number of programs for stations around Toronto, including Who Am I? On CFRB, which was syndicated to stations across the country. He also had several short-lived programs on CBC Television. Hall moved to New York City in 1955, hosting and guest-hosting game shows like Bingo at Home on WABD-TV, Strike it Rich on CBS and Twenty-One on NBC. From 1956 to 1960, Hall co-hosted the Saturday night segment of the NBC Radio Network weekend program Monitor. He was also a radio analyst for the New York Rangers during the 1959-60 NHL season. After moving to California, Hall became host of Let’s Make a Deal after developing and producing the show with partner Stefan Hatos. The show aired from 1963-76, and then in syndication off and on until 1991. Hatos and Hall also produced Split Second, Chain Letter, Masquerade Party, Three for the Money, It’s Anybody’s Guess, and the Canadian-based The Joke’s on Us. Hall was named to both the Order of Manitoba and the Order of Canada, and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, as well as Canada’s Walk of Fame in Toronto.
Raymond Lebrun, 85, on Sept. 30. One of the most recognized voices associated with Radio-Canada sports, Lebrun was a veteran of NFL and Montreal Expos broadcasts on CBC Television, in addition to providing Olympic coverage for four decades. Over the years, he also served as the sports columnist for the CBF-Bonjour show in the 1980s, alongside Joel Le Bigot, Roger Laroche and Francine Grimaldi, among others.
Jan Vladimir Matejcek, 90, on Sept. 23. Matejcek became the first CEO of SOCAN after leading the merger of the two former Canadian performing rights organizations PROCAN and CAPAC (the Canadian Authors’ and Publishers’ Association of Canada) in 1990. He was recognized following his retirement in 1992, with the creation of the Jan V. Matejcek New Classical Music Award, presented annually at the SOCAN Awards. In addition to his work in the area of copyright, Matejcek spent time with the Canadian Music Centre, Ontario Federation of Symphony Orchestras and helped establish The Association of Symphony Orchestras and Ontario Choral Federation.
Rafe Mair, 85, on Oct. 9. Mair was called to the B.C. bar in 1961, practicing law in Vancouver and Kamloops before being elected as a Kamloops councilman in the early 1970s. Mair went on to win the Social Credit party nomination for Kamloops in May 1975 and held the seat until retiring from politics in 1981. After leaving government, he served as a talk show host at CJOR Vancouver, before moving over to rival station CKNW where he gained notoriety for his views on the Meech Lake and Charlottetown constitutional accords. Despite high ratings, his show was cancelled in 2003 and he was subsequently hired to host the morning show at oldies station CKBD-AM. In 2005, he became a regular guest on Omni Television current affairs program The Standard, in addition to turns as a regular panelist and political commentator. He was a columnist for online magazine The Tyee, up until his death. Mair was a recipient of the Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jack Webster Foundation and an inductee of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame. In 2009, he also received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Simon Fraser University.
Ray Turnbull, 78, on Oct. 6, of leukemia at the Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre. After winning the 1965 Brier, finishing second in the World Curling Championships, and travelling the world as a coach and an umpire, Turnbull joined the TSN curling coverage team in 1984, alongside Vic Rauter and Linda Moore. Affectionately known as “Moosie,” Turnbull retired from broadcasting at the end of the 2009-10 curling season. In 1993, he was inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame as both a curler and a builder, was inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in 2009 and into the World Curling Hall of Fame in 2015.
John Dunsworth, 71, on Oct. 16. Born in Bridgewater, NS, Dunsworth studied acting at the University of Guelph and after dropping out in his fourth year, started acting in numerous CBC Radio dramas, as well as stage productions at Halifax’s Neptune Theatre. In 1970, he leased an abandoned building on the Halifax waterfront and founded alternative theatre company Pier One Theatre. He went on to start Filmworks Casting. He met director Mike Clattenburg in the mid-1990s and had a small part in short film One Last Shot, eventually developing that character into alcoholic trailer park supervisor Jim Lahey for comedy series The Trailer Park Boys. Dunsworth also appeared as reporter Dave Teagues on supernatural drama series Haven. Other recent film credits include Sleepmurder (CTV), Blessing (CBS), Shattered City: Halifax Explosion for Salter Street Films and Thom Fitzgerald’s Indie film Three Needles. In 2013, Dunsworth was recognized with an ACTRA Maritimes award for his role in Canadian television series Forgive Me and received a 2005 Gemini Award, with the cast of TPB, for Best Ensemble Performance in a Comedy Program.
Joe Carbury, 88, on Oct. 17. Carbury was originally from Winnipeg, but started his sports career at CHAT Medicine Hat in 1948. Carbury was working as a salesman for Monsanto and was running some radio spots at a local station where he started talking sports with the station manager, who offered him a job. He began his on-air career as play-by-play announcer for the Medicine Hat Tigers and would call CFL games in Calgary and Edmonton, as well as boxing matches. After moving to CFAC Calgary, he started calling thoroughbred racing and famously called the chuckwagon races at Stampede Park, until his retirement in July 2008. Along the way he did play-by-play for the Calgary Centennials of the WCHL, along with curling. Carbury was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.
Ken Publicover, 60, on Oct. 6, of cancer. After graduating from Loyalist College in 1979, Publicover went to work as a cameraman at CTV Halifax, eventually shifting into the role of Control Room Director. He played a significant role in the development and launch of CTV Halifax’s Live at 5, the first walk-and-talk news broadcast in Canada. Publicover moved to CBC Halifax in 1989, where he helped launch Newsworld. Up until his death, Publicover had been with the public broadcaster for 28 years, most recently as director and switcher.
Cathy Elliott, 60, on Oct. 15. Elliott, a member of the Sipekne’katik First Nation in Nova Scotia, performed from coast to coast for 35 years, much of her work highlighting the experiences and culture of First Nations communities. The playwright, actor and composer held roles and worked on productions across the country, including The Talking Stick, an all-Indigenous musical commissioned by the Charlottetown Festival that Elliott wrote and directed. Its finale was performed for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s visit to PEI in 2011, and a concert version performed at the 2011 Halifax Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Gathering. Elliott’s screenplay for the DAREarts documentary Fill My Hollow Bones was narrated by Graham Green. Elliott appeared on the NAC Indigenous Theatre stage last season in Children of God, a musical about the children of an Oji-Cree family taken to a Northern Ontario residential school. The National Arts Centre in Ottawa flew its flags at half-staff for three days to honour Elliott.
Juliette Cavazzi, 91, on Oct. 27. Born in Winnipeg, Cavazzi started her career in entertainment at the age of 13, performing as a singer with Dal Richards’ band at the Hotel Vancouver, after moving with her family to the West Coast. She started headlining popular CBC TV musical variety program “The Juliette Show” in 1956, which enjoyed a decade of success in its time slot after Hockey Night in Canada. Performing under only her first name, she was introduced at the top of each episode as “your pet, Juliette.” Following the cancellation of the The Juliette Show, Cavazzi hosted an afternoon talk show on CBC in the 1970s. She was named to both the Order of Canada and Canada’s Walk of Fame. Cavazzi eventually retired to Vancouver.
John Calver, 72, on Oct. 30, of cancer. Calver, started his journalism career in the 1960s with CBC Radio in St. John’s, NL, moving on to newsrooms in Calgary and Saskatchewan. He returned to St. John’s as the national reporter for CBC Newfoundland and Labrador in the 1980s, covering stories that included the 1982 sinking of the Ocean Ranger drilling rig and the judicial inquiry that followed. He moved back to western Canada to be executive producer of CBC Saskatchewan and, after retiring, taught at the University of Regina’s school of journalism. He eventually returned to St. John’s, working as a tour guide with McCarthy’s Party and running his own media training and coaching business.
Peter Weissbach, Nov. 11, of cancer. Weissbach’s broadcasting career started at CJOR-AM Vancouver in the 1980s. In the late 80s, he made the move to CJCA-AM Edmonton where he stayed until 1993 when he moved into a talk show role at KBNP-AM Portland, OR. Over the years, he was also a host on KOGO San Diego, KVI AM 570 Seattle, and KIRO Seattle. From 2000-02, Weissbach hosted a nationally syndicated program from Broadcast Programming called The Quest which explored fundamental questions, such as who are we, why we are here, and where we go when we die. The show aired on a number of stations including KOMO Seattle, WHMP Springfield, KXL Portland, KXLY Spokane, KTVA Ventura, among others. Weissbach was also a favourite go-to fill-in host for a number of nationally syndicated programs. In later years, Weissbach was president of Seattle Building Maintenance, based out of Bellevue, WA.
George Vipond, 90, on Nov. 2. Vipond’s early career began in the Vancouver Sun photography department where he became a staff photographer, covering events around the Lower Mainland. He eventually found his way into television, a new medium at the time, and spent 30 years at CBC Vancouver as a supervising technician, colour coordinator and TV/quality control officer.
Roman Bittman, 76, on Nov. 7. Bittman, a trapper’s son who was born just south of the border between the Northwest Territories and Alberta, started his broadcasting career in high school as part of amateur efforts to relieve listeners in Hay River, NWT from the only radio their dial offered – Radio Moscow. Winning a scholarship, he headed to Toronto and studied at Ryerson, graduating in the mid-1960s. Bittman went on to work at CBC news and became producer of The Nature of Things. He later served as president of the Nova Scotia Film Development Corporation and designed and implemented the Nova Scotia Film Labour Tax Credit. Over the years he also worked with NFB and was an advisor in the early days of the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN). Bittman had over 100 production credits to his name, including producing and directing the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards.
Norma E. Browne, on Nov. 21. Norma and her husband Billy Browne Jr. relocated to Vancouver Island In 1959 and founded CFCP radio Ltd., which included CFPA Port Alice, CFNI Port Hardy, CFWB Campbell River, CHQB Powell River, and CFCP Comox Valley. Norma was an integral part of the business for 46 years, handling accounts and administration while her husband managed the station. Following his unexpected death in 1990, Norma took over as CEO and continued to run the business, alongside her family. In 2005, she made the decision to retire and sold the company.
Carlton Munroe, 48, on Nov. 22 of glioblastoma. Munroe spent 15 years at East Coast FM (CKEC-FM) New Glasgow, NS as an anchor, reporter, assignment editor and news director before becoming the program and events manager for the Town of New Glasgow and executive director of the Riverfront Jubilee. He was instrumental in helping grow the region’s music scene and develop Pictou County as a music destination. In 2004, Munroe created the East Coast Road Trip, a one-hour radio music magazine program spotlighting the East Coast music scene, which was nominated for the East Coast Music Association’s Broadcast of the Year Award in both 2007 and 2009. It also earned a Nova Scotia Music Award nomination in 2008, with Munroe himself nominated for Media Person of the Year. Last November, Munroe was diagnosed with glioblastoma, the same brain cancer that claimed one of his musical heroes Gord Downie.
Lloyd Colthorp, 87, Nov. 19, in North Vancouver. Colthorp started his career in radio in Medicine Hat and worked his way east, eventually landing at CHCH-TV Hamilton. In 1960, J.R. (Ray) Peters, CHCH’s commercial manager was appointed sales manager at CHAN-TV Vancouver, the city’s first independent television station. Peters brought Colthorp with him from Hamilton as the station’s new traffic manager. Colthorp went on to become BCTV’s VP of programming, until his retirement in 1987.
Gerry Doucet, 80, on Nov. 23. Doucet established CIGO-AM Port Hawkesbury, NS which went to air in Oct. 1975 and owned the owned the station until 1985. In addition to being a broadcaster and entrepreneur, Doucet was the first Acadian cabinet minister in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly as the MLA for RIchmond County from 1963 to 1974. He ran for leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Nova Scotia at the party’s 1971 leadership convention, finishing second to John Buchanan. In the 1980s and 90s, Doucet went to work as a corporate lobbyist with Ottawa consulting firm Government Consultants International (GCI). In 2004, he published his biography “Acadian Footprints.”
Chuck Chandler, 73, on Nov. 28. Chandler started his broadcasting career as a cameraman at CJDC-TV Dawson Creek, BC in 1964, moving over to radio as an evening host at CJDC-AM. From there he criss crossed the country as a DJ and program director, sometimes under the on-air name Todd Young, making stops at CJCA Edmonton, CJCH Halifax, CFOX Pointe Claire/Montreal, CFRW Winnipeg, and CKGM Montreal. One of the highlights of his career was spens ssding two dy broadcasting from the Montreal hotel room where John Lennon and Yoko Ono staged their Give Peace a Chance bed-in in May 1969. Chandler went on to become well-known as host of the Homemakers Hitline program on CHED Edmonton in the 1970s and as host of television program Disco Daze (later known as Any Way You Want It), which was syndicated to six markets from CITV-TV Edmonton. He was the announcer on the syndicated version of Let’s Make a Deal with Monty Hall from 1980-82. Over the years he also spent time at CFRN Edmonton, CKXM-FM Edmonton, CKNG-FM Edmonton, CKST Langley, CKDA Victoria, CHQT Edmonton, and CKRA-FM Edmonton. Chandler retired in 2008.
Neil O’Brien, 47, on Dec.5. O’Brien was the trusted voice of traffic reporting in Lower Mainland, B.C. for over 20 years. After studying at both Columbia Academy and BCIT, O’Brien began his broadcasting career at CIMA-AM and CKZZ-FM Vancouver, before moving to 97 KISS FM (CKKS-FM) in 1995 as a board operator for the nationally-syndicated Rhona at Night show. He joined News 1130 (CKWX-AM) in 1996, later going on to become program manager for Skywords Traffic and an anchor for the Canadian Traffic Network, where he was heard on CKNW NewsTalk 980, AM 730 (CHMJ-AM), Shore 104 (CHLG-FM), and CISL 650, among other stations. Since 2016, he had been back with Rogers Vancouver. O’Brien was known by his colleagues as much for his on-air quips and one-liners like “traffic is bowling shoe ugly,” as he was for his humour off the air. Passionate about wrestling, O’Brien also took turns over the years as a host/ring announcer for Can-Am Wrestling on KBCB-TV Bellingham, WA and was a contributing writer to Sports Vue magazine.
Fil Fraser, 85, on Dec. 3. Fraser was one of Canada’s first black broadcasters, landing a job at the age of 19 at Foster Hewitt’s CKFH Toronto in 1951. After taking a turn doing play-by-play for the Barrie Flyers and working in the news departments at CKVL Verdun and CFCF Montreal, he went on to found the Regina Weekly Mirror, known for chronicling Tommy Douglas’ fight to institute medicare. In 1965, Fraser moved to Edmonton and became senior producer at MEETA (Metropolitan Edmonton Educational Television Association). He became known for his likeable interview style on his CJCA Talk Back show, later moving to ITV television with The Fil Fraser Show, as well as a stint as co-anchor for CBC Edmonton’s supper hour news. In the 1970s, he formed his own production company focused on western stories. Later accomplishments included founding the Alberta Motion Picture Industries Association, leading the Alberta Human Rights Commision from 1989 to 1992, and helming Vision TV as its CEO. He was inducted as a Member of the Order of Canada in 1991, among his many accolades.
Grant Munro, 94, on Dec. 9. In Montreal. A filmmaking and animation pioneer, Munro attended several art schools in his hometown of Winnipeg, before earning a diploma at the Ontario College of Art where his teacher Franklin Carmichael, one of the Group of Seven painters, helped him get a job at the National Film Board (NFB). Munro was involved in the 1952 Oscar-award-winning anti-war film “Neighbours,” which used live-action shot in single frames. Munro left NFB in the late 1950s to pursue an animation career in England. He returned to the film board in 1961 after working with George Dunning, the future director of “Yellow Submarine.” Munro went on to work on two other Oscar-nominated films “My Financial Career,” a funny take on the Stephen Leacock short story, and “Christmas Cracker,” which he also starred in. Munro retired from the NFB in 1988 and was made an officer of the Order of Canada in 2008.
Kathy Conway, 67, on Dec. 1 as the result of a fall in her home. Conway worked at Unitel Communications, Cantel, Rogers, Bell Mobility, PwC and McCarthy Tetrault over the years. Active with Canadian Women in Communications and the organization’s career advancement programs, she created and launched the CWC Mentorship program. She was also involved in the development of the Career Clinic workbook and national workshops that helped women across the country find the right roles and advance.
Kenny Harris, 90, on Dec. 10 in Brandon, Suffolk. Known as “Mr. Brushes” for his jazz drumming style, the Royal Air Force veteran played with groups including the British Jazz Trio and the Ralph Sharon Sextet, in addition to working as a session player for RCA, Capital and Atlantic Records. Also a recording engineer and producer, he ran the Kneptune record label and publishing company. He started getting involved in radio production in the early 1960s, working with ZBM Bermuda, and in radio in Calgary, before becoming production director at CKNW Vancouver from 1977 through the early 1980s. Harris went on to write a biography of American jazz drummer Don Lamond and in 1998 penned Geraldo’s Navy, an account of playing on the Cunard and Canadian Pacific shipping lines under the direction of Gerald “Geraldo” Bright. His life was the subject of a Bermuda Government Treasures television program in 2009.
Ralph Noseworthy, 81, on Dec. 26, after suffering a heart attack. Born in Sydney, NS, Noseworthy was a professional diver and participated in the excavation of the historic Fortress of Louisbourg, before moving to Quebec City and becoming a journalist. He worked for the Chronicle-Telegraph, UPI news service, CJMF-FM Quebec City and CFOX-AM Montreal, before joining CFCF-12. The longtime Pulse News reporter covered Quebec’s National Assembly for nearly two decades, earning him the nickname Ralph “Newsworthy” and a reputation for never taking no for an answer. Always looking for a scoop, Noseworthy ultimately triggered early reading of Quebec’s budget in 1987 after taping together a shredded copy he found in the trash. Later in his career, he was reassigned to Montreal, where he hosted consumer affairs show Action 12.
Robert Charles (Bob) Dawson, 85, on Dec. 10. Dawson played for the Hamilton Tiger Cats from 1953-59, winning Grey Cups in 1953 and 1957, before going on to coach the Burlington Braves and McMaster Marauders from 1961-65. Following his football career, he was vice-president of sales at CHCH-TV Hamilton and then co-owner of Alexander, Pearson and Dawson National Television Sales Organization. Dawson also taught Advertising and Media at Mohawk College.
Doug Kirby, 67, on Dec. 15. Kirby graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design with a degree in Fine Arts, before starting a four-decade career with CBC Nova Scotia. In his role as a media librarian and archivist, Kirby worked on numerous programs including CBC’s Land and Sea. For the last two years, Kirby had been working on the development of a private media venture which he called 01IVE Media File Brokers.
Gary Connors, 65, on Dec. 16 of lung cancer. Connors began his career in radio as a reporter for CKJD-AM Sarnia in 1972 and then spent 14 years on CHOK-AM/FM Sarnia. Diagnosed with lung cancer in 2014, Connors continued as a DJ at The Eagle 107.7 FM (CKTI-FM) at Kettle & Stony Point First Nation, where he worked every Saturday right up until Dec. 2, 2017. The Ipperwash resident was also an avid motorcycle drag racer and musician, volunteering his time and talents for many fundraisers.
Richard (Dick) Orkin, 84, on Dec. 24. An award-winning voice actor and commercial radio producer, Orkin created the Chickenman radio series, which ran in the late 1960s through the mid-1970s. Originating from WCFL Chicago, the show was syndicated to Canadian radio stations and aired on Armed Forces Radio during the Vietnam War. Orkin was an inductee of the National Radio Hall of Fame, the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame, the Illinois Broadcasters Hall of Fame, the Pennsylvania Broadcasters Hall of Fame and the Radio Advertising Bureau Hall of Fame. Orkin wrote to the NAB in 2010 asking that his name be removed from the Hall, because he did not wish to share the honour with radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh.
Roman Stoyko, 83, on Dec. 19. While Stoyko studied plumbing and electrical courses, in his younger years he performed with the Rusalka dancers and Royal Winnipeg Ballet, including many performances at Rainbow Stage. He later joined CBC working on costume/set design and puppeteering, eventually working his way up to producer. Stoyko toured Canada with the Hymn Sing program, in addition to working on many other productions including Winnipeg Jets and Blue Bombers broadcasts.
Sarah LaLumiere, 60, Dec. 14. LaLumiere spent her early years in Ottawa, London, England, and Tanzania before embarking on a career as a television tech with CBC Ottawa. One of her professional highlights was her years spent as an editor on folksy television series On The Road Again, hosted by Wayne Rostad. LaLumiere’s editing work on CBC Ottawa’s 2013 series Fetanyl: Fatal Addiction, earned her an award from the Canadian Medical Association.
Bruce Gray, 81, on Dec. 13, of brain cancer. Born in Puerto Rico to Canadian parents, Gray graduated from the University of Toronto with a master’s degree in psychology before getting into modelling and acting, moving to Hollywood in 1980. He was best known to Canadian audiences for his portrayal of investment banker Adam Cunningham on Traders (for which he earned a Gemini Award for Best Actor), the father of the groom in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and the ghost of Joe’s father on Medium. Over the years he appeared on Beverly Hills 90210, Chicago Hope, Murphy Brown, Melrose Place, ER, Picket Fences, Queer As Folk and Murder She Wrote. On film, Gray played opposite Carol Burnett in Between Friends, For the Boys, The Peacemaker and Spy Hard. He was seen at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival in the Canadian film Don’t Talk to Irene, in which he played a reluctant nursing home resident who joins a seniors’ cheerleading troupe.
Bob Crowe, 62, on Dec. 15. Crowe was a lawyer who left a successful practice to work in the film industry. Co-owner of Angel Entertainment and Bamboo Shoots, Crowe worked on everything from feature films to TV series, commercials and live events. He and his producing partner of 17 years, Wally Start were behind series like Rabbit Fall and The Other Side. A cheerleader for Saskatchewan’s film industry, he also served on committees and the boards of industry organizations like the Canada Media Fund, SaskCulture, Canadian Media Production Association and SMPIA.
Heather Menzies-Urich, 68, on Dec. 24, in Frankford, ON of brain cancer. Menzies-Urich was best known for playing Louisa von Trapp, the third-oldest of the singing von Trapp children in the 1965 film adaptation of “The Sound of Music.” A Toronto native, Menzies-Urich also appeared in the films “Hawaii” and “Piranha.” On television, she appeared as a fugitive in “Logan’s Run” and had guest spots on “Dragnet,” “Bonanza,” “Marcus Welby, M.D.” and other series. Her husband, actor Robert Urich, died in 2002. After his death, she established the Robert Urich Foundation to raise funds for cancer research.
Len Rowcliffe, 88, on Dec. 19. A native of Montreal, Rowcliffe was one of the first helicopter traffic reporters on CJAD AM 800 Montreal in the 1960s and early 70s, a role captured in the 1972 National Film Board short Trafficopter. He went on to work at CFMS-FM Victoria during the 1980s and then CFAX-AM Victoria in the 1990s where he hosted nostalgia music program Sentimental Journey weeknights, as well as a Sunday morning call-in garden show.