Stationbreak Magazine

Compiled by Ken Gibson on September 1, 2017.


Once upon a time there was a yellow, ceramic tiled and landscaped expanse known as the CBC Plaza. It took up most of the south east corner of Vancouver's Georgia and Hamilton streets and led directly up to the front door of the building. The Plaza is no more, but because of all the good times that took place there with old friends and colleagues, and the memories we created, it stays on my mind. 

It was said that the Plaza had been architecturally planned with the hope that it would become an exciting outdoor theatre stage for events such as televised musical and dance productions and town hall debates - the kind of projects that would attract crowds and bring them face to face with a wide open and welcoming public broadcaster. In my memory that idea about crowds gathering on the Plaza to watch spectacular events was only ever attempted one time. That was in 1976 soon after the new CBC building opened and a brand new late night network program, 90 Minutes Live, came to town to produce a week of shows. 90 Minutes was a network talk show that brought CBC Radio's Peter Gzowski to television. 

One of the guests booked for the first show was a high wire artist who was supposed to walk a tightrope strung from the big square concrete block that housed the cafeteria, way over to a platform rigged somewhere around the outside of the second floor of the Broadcast Centre. Word spread. Everyone was excited about the idea - everyone with the exception of the CBC legal and insurance people who shut it down quicker than the wire walker could rig his gear.  

Now, flash forward to the early 1980s. Alex Frame, formerly Producer of 90 Minutes Live, was by now ensconced in Vancouver as the TV Program Manager and as such, he assigned me to produce the second season of a show titled "One of a Kind." It was a half hour format already hosted in the first season by former Liberal Cabinet Minister Iona Campagnolo. Along with Iona, the series came complete with a bright and amazing researcher, Lindsay Forsberg and equally talented Production Assistants Melanie Wood and Gary Johnson. Within a few days I had my first meeting with Iona, and later watched from the 2nd floor hallway windows as she left the building and walked across the Plaza. I noted that at the exact same time Jackson Davies was heading toward the building. The two were on a collision course with Iona picking up the pace, striding toward Jackson, right arm board straight, and hand extended. The two came face-to-face, shaking hands and pausing for a moment before Jackson continued on into the building. A minute or so later Jackson walked into my office. "I just noticed you on the Plaza having a conversation with Iona Campagnolo." "Sort of" Jackson said. "We shook hands. She said "Iona Campagnolo" and I said "I own a Volkswagen. It was pretty brief." 

It seemed that no permanent damage was done and Jackson later became one of the subjects on an episode of the show. We completed the second season but a possible third was precluded by a CBC strike. 

The years rolled by and became decades. Iona Campagnolo went on to become the 27th Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia - the first woman to hold the office. Times and technology combined to dictate change and the Plaza finally disappeared quite literally under the weight of those changes. But for so many of us passing by the corner of Georgia and Hamilton, the big wide open Plaza lives on as the backdrop for memories of days we spent making plans, dreaming dreams, working through ideas with colleagues, glimpsing the visiting famous and infamous, and for all manner of happenings, serious and silly.

                                     THE TELEVISION GOSSIP FILES of SEPTEMBER 1997 (excerpts).

Greetings, one and all!  From production manager Rhonda Burnside comes confirmation that a crew has been lined up to go to Tokyo on September 30th for the first two hockey games of the season. Packing their dictionairies and saying sayonara will be Garry Campbell, Joe Cranswick, Ross Luckow, Glenn Weston, Murray Wooding Keith Martin, Brad Coates, Bob Paley, Steve Harrod, Ron Ireland, Tom Sloan, Tony Szary, Bill Moore and, more importantly, Linda Cheng Dupuis. The games are taking place on October 3rd and 4th.  A mixture of past and present crew members worked the Molson Indy a couple of weekends ago - Ray Waines, Bruce McDonald, Pat Trudell, Alan Stewart, Glenn Weston, Murray Wooding and Mike Varga. Seemed like old times! 
John Baxter informs us that the Shari Lewis "Charlie Horse Magic Pizza" crew includes several former CBC employees - Beverley Takeuchi, Ray Waines, Barry Fredericks, Ian Belcher, Larry Watson as well as director Bill Davis, whose previous appearance in Studio 40 was for "The Paul Anka Show" series. Did you know that Shari and her husband wrote one of the early "Star Trek" scripts?  From Revenue Projects' Dieter Nachtigall comes word that Shari's series included special guests Alan Thicke, Al Waxman, Dom de Luis and Lloyd Bochner. The series wraps after 20 shows in late October and expects to be back in the Spring and Summer '98 to tape a further 20 shows.  Anybody seen Leslie Nielsen in the building? He's been shooting scenes in a News set in Studio 42 for a feature spoof on "The Fugitive" titled "Wrongfully Accused."  We learn from News Operations' Derek Gardner that a new weekly item on Broadcast One starting this Fall will be freelance radio/tv reporter Don Genova talking about food and wine. Pnina Bloch, just back from a year's sabbatical in France, will produce.  Also Bill Richardson will be doing a weekly item for Broadcast One on the literary scene. We thought that was what he was doing on his 22 week half-hour series "Booked on Saturday Night" which debuted on September 6th. Bill and "Blocked" will be a part of  "Word on the Street," a festival for books and magazines taking place from 11am to 5pm on September 28th at the Vancouver Central Library. Bill has moved to Radio One for his new show Richardson's Roundup. Producers Tod Elvidge and Heather Kennedy have been working round the clock getting the shows together. You can also read Bill in the Georgia Straight each week. Congrats to "Blocked" producer Glenn Patterson and his better half Katarina on the birth of their son Mason Hill on August 29th. As reported last month, the Broadcast One video cassette, "The West Coast Trail," hosted by Andrew Younghusband and shot by Alan Stewart, has so far sold approx 250 copies. The massive coverage of Princess Diana's death on August 31st caused some changes to regular News personnel and shifts. Gloria Macarenko anchored Newsworld through the weekend, Ian Hanomansing back-filled for Peter Mansbridge on the National and Adrienne Arsenault reported from Toronto.  Did we ever mention that switcher Peter Dobo has been sitting in for director-on-holidays Ken Stewart for the News? Likewise Herb Baring. An enjoyable send-off for retiree business manager Joe Battista was organized by Rhea Hudson (did anyone try her Better than Sex cake recipe in our July edition?) and Kimberley Dutchak. Present among the many faces from CBC Vancouver's past were John Kennedy, Rae Hull, Elie Savoie, his new VTV boss Nick Orchard, David Pears, Jacquie Fitzgerald, Sue Bennett, Ron Petrescue, Brian McEwan, Peggy & Mike Oldfield and Maurice Moses. Former CBC camera Jono Edwards is the latest to have joined the staff of VTV.  Carpenter Mike Richardson's latest project is the replacement new French News set.  Meanwhile painter James Blake spent 4 days in Yellowknife last week repainting their News set. Ralph Benmurgi is expected to put in an appearance in Vancouver to tape a week of his Newsworld talk shows starting October 27th. He'll be using the Broadcast One news studio, formerly the restaurant.
Well, it must be Fall. Another fun season is over for the CBC Sports Softball team. Even though they had a less-than-successful tournament, the end of season barbeque on August 24th was great. Rob and Maria Markley hosted, and despite the weather, they had a super turnout. The beer fund made so much extra money (thanks to the beer-drinking efforts of Bob Glumac, Greg Schofield, Dave Tonner, Scott Stewardson, Brad Marshall and Carey Murphy) they were able to dine on steak rather than the hotdogs of past seasons. The rain and cold temperatures cut things a bit short, so Alison Vansacker and Rita Marshall weren't able to give another great "Bite the Bag' performance, but there's always next year. Scott and Rhonda Stewartson thanked the Markleys and all the team members who made coming out to ball so much fun. Sadly the team will be losing a member, Rick Sullivan, whose rights have been purchased for huge sums by a rival station!
To each and every one of you reading this, we would greatly appreciate your input, suggestions, comments and criticism. As our group gets smaller, the more difficult it becomes to fill the pages, and that's where you come in.   TTFN.

And from our September 1983 Archives, Terry David Mulligan hosts a new regional rock video series titled Good Rockin' Tonite. Seen Saturdays at 8:30pm, the show was simulcast on CBC radio's FM band and when repeated Friday nights at 12:30, audio simulcast was on CFOX. The BBM ratings gave it an incredible 26% share of the 12-17 year olds, which translated to 133,000 viewers in just Greater Vancouver ... CBC Network picked up the GRT series early in '84. One week after the debut of Good Rockin' Tonite, a new Vancouver Regional Variety half hour series showcasing local talent, a media celebrity auditioning panel, and titled Fame Game, was telecast Mondays at 7pm. Host Maurice LaMarche introduced new acts such as Paul Janz, David Raven, comedian Ryan Stiles and group HB Concept. The Network liked the concept so much that it was transformed into a National series in '84 with contributions from all regions of Canada. In 1985, the show's title was changed to Rock Wars. Vancouver's host, Punchlines' Rich Elwood, introduced 18 new Vancouver bands.  Ken Gibson was the producer of both GRT and Fame Game/Rock Wars series. 
To each and every one of you reading this, we would greatly appreciate your input, suggestions, comments and criticism. As our group gets smaller, the more difficult it becomes to fill the pages, and that's where you come in.

The secret of success is sincerity.  Once you can fake that, you've got it made!

                                            Covering the 1972 Summit Series by Ray Waines

Most people would think that the job of a Television Cameraman was pretty easy, just follow the puck! It was more than that for me ever since I began working the play camera for Hockey Night in Canada. I wanted to show the viewers more exciting action as the play tightened towards the net and this was my goal when I first heard that our CBC Vancouver crew would be broadcasting the 4th game of the Canada/Russia's Summit Series here in Vancouver!

We were told just how big a telecast this would be, around the world to over a million viewers!! Now as a play cameraman that's a lot of pressure! What if I miss a goal or miss an important play? Lots to think about for a couple of weeks, so began for me the mental preparation and I watched the first games out of Montreal, Toronto and Winnipeg, showing me that the Director liked the pattern of cutting cameras that I had grown to dislike. The play camera stays wide and every time a shot is taken, the switcher cuts to a locked off tight camera around the net, hoping to see the puck go in the net. Of course many shots are blocked and when the play camera is cut back, the viewer has lost track of what has happened with the players and the puck. That's the cutting pattern that George Ratslaff taught our switcher (Ali Behesti) on our first NHL game with the Vancouver Canucks at the Coliseum.

It was the morning of the 4th game between Canada and Russia. I entered the Coliseum early enough to watch Team Canada practice. One of the players shot a puck into the penalty box and I hurried over to pick up what had to be one of the official game pucks. Just then Bobby Orr skated towards me along the boards and I asked him if he would autograph it for my son, Bobby. He stopped and didn't hesitate to autograph it " To Bobby." So now I felt that I had one of the best souvenirs that I could ever wish for!

When I was behind my camera before the teams come out on the ice, I kept an eye open to see Foster Hewitt and Brian Conacher come down the steps and sit beside me at their desk. To see such a great Hockey legend was quite a thrill for me, as I had listened to Foster's play by play away back in the early1950s.

Then the teams came out and I put my camera on the Russian team. To my surprise, not one puck was dropped on the ice for a long time, as the team went through their skating drills, forwards, backwards, and it went on and on with wave after wave skating their practice patterns. Team Canada in contrast, had a typical warm-up, but it was great to go for close ups without their helmets. So many great players to see together as team mates for these games.

We did not have many cameras covering this game, beside my play camera to the right was a camera for tight shots (Neil Trainer), another camera high up in the end zone for replays (Gene Baedek), and a hard camera on a tripod to the right of Team Canada's bench (Jack Bell). Our only hand-held camera was behind the net to the right of our cameras. It was a modified hard CTV camera that weighed over 40 lbs. (Bruce MacDonald) who carried that camera for 3 hours without a tripod!!  Actually our cameras were on the wrong side of the ice for Hockey. This did not allow us to easily shoot the players' benches for close ups. How did this happen?  I won't get into that in this story. I do remember that with not many back-up angles for replays, it did add to the pressure of making sure that I did not miss any goals.

The Director for this game was from CTV, most likely from Toronto's CFTO. The game finally got started after gifts were interchanged between Canada and Russia and it didn't take long before the Director was taking quick shots of the goal and I think that the odd one did work on a long slap shot when there was no time to tighten my shot on the play. I do remember the booing from the spectators. It seemed to have started when Frank Mahovlich got tangled up with Tretiak, who for some reason was far from his net. I did try to keep them in my shot as I had to widen with the play heading up the ice, but it seemed to take forever for Frank to get off the goalie. By the second period I was enjoying covering this game, except that Team Canada was not having a good game compared to the Russians who were really controlling the game with rush after rush over the blue line with excellent passing.

I felt that by the third period the Director was letting me work the play without so many cuts to the locked off camera on the net. After the game ended, while Johnny Esaw and Phil Esposito were having that famous interview, I took my autographed puck out of my pocket and placed it on the counter that Foster Hewitt was using, I zoomed in to a tight shot of the puck with Bobby Orr's signature and the Director took my camera at the end of the credits.

While I have covered many big telecasts like the Olympics, Stanley Cups and the Grey Cups, this 4th game of the 1972 Summit Series was the most memorable, and yes it would have been nice if Team Canada had won that game, but I think that it was a wake-up call for them to not go over to Russia feeling too confident. They would have to dig deep to draw on all their Hockey skills to defeat this very talented Russian team.

For those of you who would like to go back to 1972 and watch that 4th game, here is the website . ..

Ray Waines

My career as a Television Cameraman started with CBC Vancouver back in 1960 and my first Grey Cup was in 1960 at Vancouver's Empire Stadium. I worked the play camera on the Canucks' first NHL game in 1970 and I enjoyed working on the 1976 Summer Olympics, the 1988 Winter Olympics were an even bigger challenge. Back at our Vancouver studios, there were many dramas and musicals to work on in between these sporting events. After I left CBC in 1991, I continued to cover the BC Lions (1960 to 2000) and the Canucks as a Freelance Cameraman. I finally retired in 2010 ending a great career in Television.

                                         Excerpts from the very first edition of

                                                  by Mike and Peggy Oldfield.
How many times has each of us said, "I wonder whatever happened to ...?"  We've probably all kept in touch with some friends and colleagues over the years, but have lost track of others. Chances are, though, that someone else has kept in contact with those people!  Here's a smattering of news on the whereabouts and activities of some names you may remember from the past ...
There's quite a community of former CBC'ers now living on Vancouver Island. Retirees include Dick Bocking, Andy Snider, Ron Devion, Len Chapple, Hugh Palmer, Mal Baardsnes, Gordon Babineau, Eric Gee, Eric Lavell, and Ron Thompson. Deidre Roberts now calls the Island home, as does Don Brown, though Don is still frequently seen on this side of the water because of his involvement in so many productions. Moving slightly further afield, Elizabeth Dichmont recently relocated to Nelson, BC, as did Paddy McGurin. Ron Harries is enjoying retirement in the glorious scenery of Chase, BC near Salmon Arm, while Anne Friesen takes pleasure in the warmer climes (in summer, that is) of Osoyoos, BC. Gordon and Kathy Gillespie are just a hop away in Oliver. Helve Raun Ranniste has settled in Rossland. Sharie Stear has moved to 100 Mile House (maybe she'll bump into Terry Dolan at the general store) and Terre (Standell) Kondor has called Williams Lake home for some years now. Toronto has, of course, lured many of our friends and while some are still with Mother Corp., others have left the nest in search of other adventures. Dee Gibney has her own production company in partnership with Toronto cameraman Robert Ryan -Twinstar Communications - and was in Vancouver recently on her way back from Hong Kong. Mary (Curran) Anderson has just retired from CBC Health Services in Toronto. Marilyn Brown is an Ottawa resident and works in the Public Relations Department at Canada Post. Frances Buchan has been living in London, England for the past 12 years but this summer she crossed the ocean to Pictou, Nova Scotia to be closer to her family. Ann Denholm, like Frances, has been in England a number of years and recently moved to Dorset in West Country. Dianne (Weeks) Bixley is at home in Cherrybrook, N.S.W, Australia. Sue Stern was reported to be residing in Grand Caymen Island and is rumoured to be working as a limbo instructor. Solange Fraser and family currently live in Brussels but have had residences in Japan, France, Hong Kong and England since leaving Canada.
Rae Hull and John Collins spent the first half of 1997 shooting in Italy, France and South America for a documentary focussing on the Catholic Church for telecast on "Witness." Sharon Romero is enjoying the challenges of her position at the Emily Carr Institute on Granville Island where she is the guiding force behind the Electronic Design program. Beth McArthur is in her element as Assistant to the Publisher of the Georgia Straight newspaper. Sharon Spruston is finding great satisfaction from her work as Operating Room Clerk at U.B.C Hospital. Lori Konorti joined an Engineering.Management Consulting firm in Kitsilano as Office Manager. John Kennedy is in Toronto for a celebration of his father's 86th birthday while Lois and Alan Martin have just returned from celebrating Lois' mother's 80th birthday in Thurso, Quebec. Anne Matheson is off in October for a camping trip in central Africa. Mary Sziegty leaves  with Eurorail Pass in hand for a three-week tour of Europe. Every Saturday morning at the Bay Coffeeshop, Park Royal, John Weston swaps stories with Les Jackson, Alan Gadsby, Doug Horner and Clayton Wilson. Lou Normandeau, Judy Grindlay, Mike Oldfield and Tom Houston try to meet once a month to partake of the haute cuisine at Leswick's.  Cliff and Kathleen Gilfillan have a semi-annual gathering with Ken Lowe, Bill Kyashko, Jack Bell, Stiu Moscrip, Mel Ebensteiner and their wives at a Burnaby pub. Serafine Crawley, Marguerite Callegari, Janet Houldsworth, Grace Sigmund, Irene Coutts, Marilyn Brown, Edyth (Roberts) Taylor, Ruth Levy and Peggy Oldfield formed a "birthday group" years ago as a way of staying in touch. If you know the whereabouts and doings of others from earlier days, let us know and they'll be immortalized in the next or future issues!

                                                       THREE IRISH ROVERS JOKES.
1. His wife screamed when Paddy came into the house one stormy night. His hair and face were covered in - shall we say - "cow fertilizer." Asked what happened to him, he explained, "Well, I took a short cut across the cow pasture and me cap blew off. I must have tried on a dozen before I found the right one."
2. Then there was the hard of hearing woman with 19 children. Every night her husband asked her, "Will we go to sleep or what?" And she asked, "What?"
3. Did you hear the one about the talking dog who gained a reputation as a sheep worrier?  He runs after them and shouts, "Mint Sauce! Mint Sauce!"

"Lead me not into temptation. I can find it myself."

              RECIPE for PASTA with CHORIZO SAUSAGE from Linda (Cheng) and Harold Dupuis.
From all accounts the husband and wife team are superlative cooks, so we asked them to come up with an easy yet tasty favourite dish and we were assured this one is not just delicious but requires only one pot!  Who could ask for anything more?  By the way, this recipe is for two people.
200 grams pene pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
Half a medium onion.
2 Roma tomatoes
Grated Parmesan cheese.
2 links of chorizo sausage
I small red pepper
Half a medium zucchini (or vegetable of choice)
I tablespoon sundried chopped tomatoes
Chopped garlic, salt and pepper to taste.

Cook pasta in boiling water with i teaspoon olive oil.  Drain and set aside.
Julienne (cut in long thin strips) red pepper, onion and zucchini
Chop Roma tomatoes into 1 inch chunks.
Slice chorizo sausages into 1/4 inch pieces.

Using the pasta pot, pan fry the chorizo sausages till browned. Add I tablespoon olive oil, onion, garlic and zucchini and stir together for 2 minutes. Then add red peppers and Roma tomatoes and stir together for 2 more minutes or till veggies are tender. Season with salt and pepper. Add chopped sundried tomatoes and pene pasta and toss together. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese, and voila! Dinner's ready!