|Gloria Macarenko - Wayne Gretzky on the Paul Anka Show - Michael J. Fox in Leo & Me|
When my Canadian wife, this Argie and our two Mexican
daughters arrived in Vancouver in 1975 nobody would hire this fledgling photographer so
I washed cars for Tilden Rent-a-Car. I was promoted to counter clerk and soon CBC chaps from the old building on West Georgia were coming in to rent blue station wagons.
In 1977 CBC – Radio Canada started a French TV station and I was given the job of taking station ID slides. And that is how my photographic career began. From there I was hired to shoot variety shows and portraits of broadcasters for bus shelter ads.
One day I happily arrived home to tell my Rosemary that I had learned from CBC Radio that Nefoundland was pronounced Newfun-land. I believe that the CBC made me a Canadian.
After the CBC I was gainfully employed by a slew of magazines across Canada until journalism became moribund some years ago.
In the beginning years of the 21st century the CBC had a culture web page and they hired (low pay) correspondents in cities across Canada. I was the Vancouver guy and wrote stuff for a year until the page disappeared. One of my most popular entries I converted later into a blog. It is this one on Evelyn Hart.
Here in Vancouver we have four brand names that are instantly recognizable – CBC – Kitsilano – Georgia Straight and Vancouver Sun.
Kits is doing fine, I know because that's where I live. The Vancouver Sun is languishing ( I am a paying hard copy subscriber) and the Straight’s parent company (also owns Toronto’s Now) has filed for bankruptcy.
What about the CBC? I listen to CBC when I am in my car and I particularly like CBC Ideas and CBC Reclaimed. During the day the news on the hour with weather afterwards and a road report is all that I seem to have available. But I must state here that the CBC's The Debaters is the most serious (but funny) show on radio.
Inspired by CBC Ideas The Table of Existence
I have fond memories of going to listen to the CBC Vancouver Orchestra in the terrific Studio One (now used for storage).
When the former CBC arts reporter (excellent he was) Paul Grant retired his position was not replaced.
I once called him and asked him if he wanted to interview a baritone who sang in a falsetto. He agreed. I brought contertenor Matthew White on a Wednesday. The interview ran the next day and on Friday the Pacific Baroque Orchestra concert sold out.
In Vancouver we have a very good arts scene of theatre, classical music, avant garde music (The Turning Point Ensemble), dance and art galleries that seem to always have a show.
But how do we know about any of these? The Straight used to be one source as was the Vancouver Sun. We have an on line culture page called Stir and The Tyee is good too. But the average person out there is unaware of Stir or The Tyee.
I believe that the CBC can step in with a healthy daily one hour show of city news laced with lots of stuff on the arts.
I know that the Vancouver Sun’s John Mackie has a head-full
of information on Vancouver news as does Ian Mulgrew. Then there is Charles Campbell, former
editor of the Straight and former Vancouver Sun opinion page editor, etc.
Charlie Smith (editor of the Straight) has a dogged memory for facts that
rivals Mackie’s. Janet Smith and Gail
Johnson of Stir and all the others mentioned here could contribute to the CBC
daily program. And I am sure that Malcolm Parry could be coaxed back as well as Max Wyman.
Will this ever happen before journalism dies in Vancouver?