1991 to 2011 - 20 Years of Broadcasting for Dan Robichaud
Autobiographical account of my life in radio.
I was first recruited in 1989 as the youth member of radio CIFA 104.1FM. Youth was an understatement. My first live broadcast was in September of 1991, at a booth set up for a local trade show. There, in front of a crowd, I interviewed one of my early childhood educators. In September of 2011, I will have had hosted or produced a regular radio program for twenty consecutive years.
I continued as a regular programmer at CIFA, involved in numerous programming aspects, for nearly a decade. Sadly this was before the MP3, and most of the live shows were only archived on tape for 90 days.
I entered radio at a time just before digital editing. This has given me the rare experience to have worked extensively with various formats of tapes, reels, minidisk, cartridge carousels, and vinyl. My first experience with news feeds was the 1991 version of NTR, a monochrome text based news service.
In the fall of 1999, Danielle Marchand, CBAF reporter, introduced to me to Louise d'Entremont, then CBAF's Delegated Producer. It must have been a good impression. Soon enough, Louise was calling on me to collaborate on CBAF's French programming.
The following summer, I joined Louise's team at CBAF as Associate Producer of CBAF Bonjour, a temporary term to accommodate a health-related leave.
Some of the memorable projects during this time include coordinating ship-to-shore interviews with the Tall Ships, a contest that saw twelve lucky winners receive a day-long outing and international buffet aboard the HMCS Athabaskan - (also the first time I met Robert Yves Mazerolle), and the "Valentine's Day" program which was live throughout Atlantic Canada featuring Robert Chan (Remember Bravo Fine Foods?), interviewed on why Chocolate is synonymous with Love, followed by a tense interview with Louise Soucy questioning Robert Rabinovich. Yes, I have met Rabinovich, and live-produced the on-air interview.
I continued as a casual replacement on the CBAF team for a number of years following.
Between 2001 and 2004, I was Delegated Producer of a made-for-radio variety competition called "Le Gala De la Chanson de la Nouvelle-Ecosse". The show was produced in collaboration with the Galaxie Rising Stars Awards and Radio-Canada Moncton. Typically, the winners go on to compete in other similar festivals, ultimately, to the Granby International Song Festival. My duties included everything from securing the funding to the live production during the show, to authorizing structural weight loads and negotiating with the multiple unions involved. This was the first succesful revival of the show since Ron Bourgeois was Delegated Producer in the 1980s. Think Idol on a shoestring budget and you get the idea. My most memorable moment in producing Le Gala, was 2003, the year Juan hit us on day one of a five day production run. With the entire crew stuck in a dark hotel, rehearsal had to go on... even if it meant on the roof. Power was restored with less than 24 hours to the live-to-tape. We recorded the show in front of a sold out house, and a very tired Tourtech crew.
In 2004, I was commissioned by La Federation Acadienne de la Nouvelle-Ecosse to produce a two-week special series for Congres Mondial Acadien. This involve simultaneously broadcasting from four locations: CIFA, CKRH, CKJM and Radio Ile Madame. We accomplished this by streaming over IP, rather than installing T1 broadcast loops in each location. We worked directly with the ISPs to ensure the best bandwidths. My duties included coordinating the programmers from all the stations, live producing each show daily, and ensuring continuity with the rebroadcasts. Seems simple until the power goes out in one community critical in the IP chain!
It is around this time that Larry Steele, long time host of CKDU's french anchor program, Trois Beaux Canards, approached me to replace him for a one-year sabbatical. Larry and I have continued to co-host the program and do so to this day.
We currently maintain a small website at http://3beauxcanards.com