In the years since Flashback postings have appeared on this website, we have heard about a wonderful photo of Otto Lowy with CBC friends taken at the racetrack.  A framed enlargement hung on a wall at CBC Vancouver’s broadcast centre in the Record Library area but with the building redevelopment, it appeared to have disappeared!  When various searches and enquiries proved fruitless, Ede Wolk – who had arranged the special evening commemorated by the picture – contacted Colin Preston at CBC and lo and behold, Colin had rescued it and kept it safe.  As a result we are finally able to share the memory of Otto’s great evening with friends at the track.

Ede Wolk shares the story of what led to honouring Otto Lowy and celebrating The Transcontinental’s anniversary at Hastings Park Racetrack in 1995…

“Otto Lowy,  the host of CBC Radio’s The Transcontinental (1980-2002) had a great passion for music, song, the theater and the race track. On Wednesdays, the day he would record his show for later broadcast on Sunday, he would not be without the “Racing Form” - the newspaper that printed the racing card for that evenings races at Hastings Park which included the current betting odds , tips, hints etc.

In between talking about Mozart in Salzburg  or Strauss in Vienna, Otto would study the racing form planning his betting strategy for that evening’s race card.

Our radio engineer for most of the recordings was Bruce Wong, also an aficionado  of the  thoroughbred race scene. Together on the talk back system they would exchange their thoughts on the odds and their favorites. There was also a time when I would also get into the act...look at the racing form...pick a race...a horse and give Otto $5.00 to place a bet for me.  The first time I bet on a horse with my “bookie Otto” was on a horse named “Sandy Knickers”.  Later that evening Otto phoned me to tell me that my horse won the race and I was $35.00 richer.  My luck ran out quickly and subsequent phone calls from Otto would relay the bad news. Well so much for being $35.00  richer.

A few times Otto would take me to Hastings Park…sit in the comfort of the Club House, eat prime rib , drink a beer a two and go home with a few dollars less in our pockets.

For Otto it wasn’t so much winning or was the game of  “handicapping” ...that science of betting on horses based on a horse’s history of runs, wins, loses, jockey, trainer etc.  He loved every minute of it.

In 1995  the Transcontinental would be celebrating its 15th Anniversary on the air and I thought it would be a great to get a bunch of Otto’s colleagues from the CBC to have an Otto Lowy tribute at Hastings Park. I called the event organizer at the park to organize the event and was told that we could even have one of the races on the card named after Otto.

The response at the CBC from Otto’s colleagues was great.”



Front Row L-R:  John H. Kennedy, Laurie Townsend, Gilian Dusting, Beatrijs Brett, Janet Lea, Joan Athey, Liz Wilcox, Susan Englebert, Heather San Martin, Barbara & Otto Lowy,  ? , and the jockey.

Second Row L-R:  ? (just seen peeking out from behind Gilian), Kate Wells, Bob Blackwood, Peter Dribble,  ? (girl between Liz and Susan), Loretta ? , Lyse Lemieux and Eli Gorn.

Back Row L-R:  ? (fair-haired fellow behind John Kennedy), Neal ? , ? (hidden behind Bob Blackwood), ? (hidden behind Peter Dribble), George Laverock, John Lysaght, David Lowy (Otto & Barbara’s son), Ede Wolk, Don Kowalchuk and Robert Sunter.

If you can identify the missing names, please contact  Thank you!


Oct. 1:        Northwood Cast and Crew #3 from Nick Orchard.
Oct. 15:      TBA

Do you have group photos of five or more people from your time with CBC Vancouver?  We’d love to post them as future Flashbacks.  Whether you can identify everyone or not, please send them in (we might resolve some of the mysteries!).   Contact us at or leave a message for Peggy Oldfield at 604-662-6409 to arrange for loan of photos.