Michael Varga - CameramanFriday, March 30, 2012
My Mother's Red Shawl - El Rebozo Colorado
Michael Varga - Cameraman
One day my father arrived to pick me up in the studio after his meeting was over with the owner and I said to him, “Dad, I want to work in this business." He said, “Sure kid.”
As the years flew by I always knew that I wanted a career in television and I wanted to be a cameraman. I was lucky to be in London, Ontario because I went to Beal High School which had a very good television course at the time which I'm sure still has, so I learned a lot about television production in high school.
In 1970 my family moved to Vancouver which was the best thing for everyone in the family. I now had to find a way to get into television and so I started to volunteer with Northwest Cable in North Vancouver which is now Shaw and I shot hockey games at the North Shore Winter Club. I then applied to BCIT and was turned down because they felt I knew too much about TV because of my Beal High School experience. They suggested I take a night school course which BCIT was offering. I followed their advice and took the course where I met Mark Forester who was taking the course as well. He was working at the CBC mailroom in the daytime and school at night. One day Mark said to me that the CBC was hiring people for summer relief work and I should apply for a summer job in the mailroom. The next day I filled out an application and wrote down my experiences at Northwest Cable as well did the night school, plus my TV course at Beal High School. I received a call for the mail room job but I was turned down. It was disappointing but a week later I was called by the technical manager who asked me if I wanted to be a cameraman for the summer...that was 1973 in the old CBC building on1200 West Georgia.
The CBC was now planning a new building at 700 Hamilton and needed to hire more people because CBC Vancouver was now becoming a big operation producing a lot of programming, mostly music variety shows. I was now a full time cameraman for CBC and working on all the top shows at the CBC at the time.
The best time in Television was from the late 1970's to the mid 1990's and I was there working with the best people in the business. What a fantastic time it was!
By the mid 1980's the cameras were getting smaller and more portable and then the travel started. I was very lucky and because of CBC Sports I travelled the world with 11 Olympics and World Cup Skiing for many years. Thank you, CBC Sports!
Being a cameraman for CBC Television for 36 years has been a real joy. It gave me a wonderful life and I met all those amazing people, from Politicians to Queens to Presidents to rock stars and just real ordinary people. I got to record history in this beautiful country from coast to coast...What a privilege.
I am now retired from the CBC but still working and after 40 years as a cameraman I still love it. Thank you Dad for taking me into the studio when I was 10 years old.
Lauren Elizabeth Stewart