The brief bio:
- I’ve been teaching in the St James School Division since 2004. I did practice teaching at Strathmillan and George Waters, before moving on to teach at Hedges, Golden Gate, St. James Collegiate, George Waters, and since 2022, I’ve been here at Westwood. I’m never switching schools again!
- I love learning and helping others to learn.
- I love playing around with new technologies and figuring out new ways of doing things.
- Journalism, Radio, and Television all played a huge part in my early life and education, and I still love getting involved in media and helping students to get involved.
- Since 2001 I’ve been involved with CJUM 101.5 UMFM at The University of Manitoba. I’ve been hosting my own shows since 2002.
- I’m a passionate music nerd. I am an obsessive collector of music, I frequently attend live concerts (I even host some at my home), and I have many friends in music.
- I have a lovely wife and 4 amazing children, Jeremy, Sara, Noah, and Ryan. We also have a couple of dumb dogs named Misty and Ringo.
The long and sordid tale:
I was born long, long ago in a place not so far away.
I grew up in a not very rich, not very fancy neighbourhood in Charleswood called Westdale. It wasn’t a glamorous place to live, but overall, I thought it was a pretty good life. I had lots of family around. I enjoyed elementary school at Westgrove. Then came Westdale Jr. High. That, I did not enjoy at all. High school at Oak Park was a bit better, but only because it was bigger so it was easier for me to be invisible and left alone, and because I discovered the school newspaper, Vibes, and more importantly, the school radio station, CBOP. I got very involved with both. I was named the station manager of CBOP in my first year. It was the first year that someone other than a grade 12 student was named station manager. I was also the first station manager to ever get fired…
As much as VIBES and CBOP made high school a little more fun, I couldn’t wait to get out of there. I had a childhood friend who attended the Radio & Television Broadcasting Program at Tec Voc High School, and since I’d always loved radio & television, that sounded pretty appealing to me, so I moved to that school, which seemed much more exciting and dangerous.
There, I found something amazing – people like me! They were kind of nerdy and not all that popular, kind of curious and creative, smart, and fun. I was home. I had a lot of fun producing my own radio shows, working on TV shows, and making wacky videos with my new friends.
The people there listened to strange music that I’d never heard before. There is where I discovered bands that I absolutely love to this day like The Lowest of the Low, Rheostatics, and Spirt of the West. A couple of friends and I also signed up to volunteer at The Winnipeg Folk Festival in 1993, and that festival has been a highlight of my life ever since; I’ve been volunteering for over 20 years now, and can’t ever imagine a year without it. My best pal at school was a guy named Judd, who was actually in a band, and they were amazing too; I became the biggest (and perhaps only) fan of Duck Shot Hunter. Finding music that really connected with me and spoke to me blew my mind and changed my life forever.
My original goal in switching to Tec Voc was to find a way to get a job on the radio so that I could play amazing music for people. I learned pretty quickly there that jobs in radio aren’t easy to come by, and actually, they’re pretty boring. I turned my attention to television, where there was a lot more opportunity.
For a few years after high school, I worked at The Manitoba Television Network in Portage La Prairie. I learned a lot and had a lot of fun, but the long drive back and forth to/from work plus the low pay had me itching to get out of there after a while.
In 1998, something happened in Winnipeg that would also change the direction of my life when 101.5 UMFM first signed on from the University of Manitoba. Suddenly it was just like high school again, discovering new music and new weird people (and hearing a lot of terrible mistakes!) I started listening to the station and it awoke my dreams of being on the radio.
Shortly after that, CKUW 95.9 fm signed on from The University of Winnipeg. There were some shows on there that had a real impact on me, especially The Twang Trust. I first grew to admire Old Pal Stu from a distance, and eventually found a way to become friends.
I applied to volunteer at both stations. Since I lived downtown and went to the U of W, CKUW seemed like the logical choice, but UMFM called me first. I’ve been there ever since about 2001.
I have hosted two shows, Tell the Band to Go Home, Sundays 2-4 pm and Steel Belted Radio, Thursdays 6:30 – 8 pm. Tell the Band to Go Home is still on the air and the other show ended after 14 years in 2017. I’ve had so many amazing experiences because of those shows and met so many amazing people, and I still love going in and going on the radio every chance I can get.
In 2006 I started working at Hedges, moved to École Golden Gate in 2008, made my way to St. James Collegiate in 2013, George Waters in 2018, and lastly Westwood in 2022. I’m extremely proud to be a Westwood Warrior and excited to share my experiences, knowledge, and passion for music and technology with new students.
I would love to get students involved in movie/video making (at Golden Gate and George Waters, I directed student-led movies) and producing content for radio; I ran a student radio station at Golden Gate and Jimmie Jam Radio at St. James Collegiate.