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.