Canadian Music Week

10404517_813725658679908_4787489178306961401_nI received a phone call from an old friend a few months ago advising me that I had been chosen for a life time achievement award at Canadian Music Week.

While awkward and humbling, I am naturally full of gratitude for all who made this possible. I did my best to thank everyone that took the time to help me along the way in a few interviews and at CMW this past week.

Acknowledgments (from my CMW Speech)

I am honored to be this year’s recipient of the Allan Waters Lifetime Achievement Award. Allan was a great broadcaster and humanitarian and I am grateful to the CHUM organization, the Waters family and everyone at Canadian Music Week to allow me to share this stage with so many good friends, mentors and colleagues.

With me today are my wife and partner Yvonne Evans, my daughter Paisley & her husband James, my son Evan – my son Heath with his son Oliver – my daughter Ally – my sister Khris and Tracey Friesen who is our Director of Programming at Roundhouse Radio. Unfortunately my daughter Shalon and my step daughter Monique, were unable to attend today along with my daughter in law Sarah, granddaughter Esther and my nephew Ben and his family.

I’d like to think Shalon is here in spirit.

Having just celebrated 50 years in broadcasting I am indebted to a handful of owners & managers who had the faith and vision to turn their radio & television stations over to me. I am as grateful for the talented teams I was allowed to work with and for their patience and understanding as I learned my craft.

There are many people to thank as it’s been many years since listening to the magic of that little box late at night growing up in Pittsburgh. I mentioned some by name in a recent FYI interview but there just isn’t time to thank everyone in every chair at every station, all the passionate music people, promoters, artists, advertisers and good friends that I have met across the country.

There were some lost years learning more about my craft and myself. Leaving the states and traveling across Canada has taken it toll and I will forever be humbled by the love, understanding and most importantly – forgiveness of my family and close friends for those darker times.

I would be remiss not to acknowledge those who have seen me through some of those darker times; Yvonne, Gary Slaight, Bill Varecha, Nancy Brown-Dacko, Rob Parkin, Eric Rothschild, David Marsden, Jim McLaughlin, Nancy Brown Dacko, Gail & Cliff Goldman, Neil Dixon, John Parikhal, Shelley Zavitz, Frank Gigliotti,John Honderich, Roy Hennessey, Ray Daniels, Sam Feldman, Bruce Allen, Red Robinson, Terry David Mulligan, Jim Waters, Rick Pushor and my coach Dr. Anne Newlands.

Heartfelt thanks to my family, each of you, a great independent ownership group and the CRTC. I have never been more excited to be building a new radio station with a new team that are inspired to make a difference in Vancouver.

In closing I would like to leave you with a few thoughts.

Sally Armstrong says that there is no such thing as an innocent bystander. You can be part of the problem or a part of solution!

Taking my own advice, I hope that CMW will consider having more women on their panels next year!

Also, I’ve become a big fan of David Whyte. He is an Irish poet that lives on a little island in the Pacific Northwest

In his poem “Sweet Darkness” he writes,

When your eyes are tired
the world is tired also.

When your vision has gone
no part of the world can find you.

Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.

There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.

The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.

You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in.

Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.

Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn

That anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive
is too small for you.

I have had the privilege of working at a time when there were no rules, formats were in their infancy and creativity was encouraged by some of the most amazing owners and teams – that were never too small for me, and with very few exceptions – they all brought me alive.

I have always loved radio and I remain passionate about what it can do. Gifted story tellers, artists and creative people from all disciplines will always find a way to be heard. As will driven journalist who are committed to witnessing the world we live in.

Radio can do much good work in local communities and I believe that the companies that encourage innovation and allow creative teams to do what they do best will be the most successful on air, online and on the street!

So please remember
anything or anyone (any person or any company)

that does not bring you alive

is too small for you.

Thank you very much