Ellie O’Day – Canada’s first female DJ

2009- Roy Hennessy, who is back in town to launch a new station (Shore 104, I believe), tuned me in the summer I worked at CKOK in Penticton when he came out for a fishing trip, and reported back to Greg Heraldson (spelling?) at CKLG, who hired me the next January for the overnight shift. I only lasted about 8 months on that shift, due to chronic migraine, so soon was moved to LG-FM (before it became CFOX), first as music librarian and midday show contributor, then to the 6 - midnight shift (which is what most people remember me for) and producing a weekend magazine show with interviews. I quit in 1981 to take a better-paying job at a record store and writing for the Georgia Straight, but eventually was hired by Tim Burgess at CFMI when he became PD because I used to beat him on evening ratings when I was at CFOX! (Tim is now a she, in case you hadn't heard.) In the big vacuum after Expo, all freelancers at CFMI were laid off in '87, and I was hired by CJOR for the morning run (info girl - weather, skiing or sailing info) for the best money I ever made in radio, which left me 9am and on to foolishly manage bands. By the early 80s I was also regularly freelancing for CBC radio and TV (when there was such a thing as variety programming - I worked for shows as different as Switchback for kids and Carole Taylor's evening magazine show, contributing musician interviews), and a weekly columnist and feature writer for the Straight. I was the only survivor at 'OR other than news staff when it became CHRX (classic rock), when I finally got to work with people like JB Shane. Got bored with that and was offered Promotions Director position at CKWX, when it was still trad country, and stayed there about 10 months until Ted Rogers came through and let go half the old staff and us few newcomers. I really didn't like management anyway.   From there the Pacific Music Industry Assn hired me as their first Executive Director in 1991. Built them from a $10,000 budget to $250,000 and resigned in 1999 to work that would allow me to once again work closer with artists. Have been a freelance publicist ever since, but soon after that change, some independent theatre companies approached me, and today most of my publicity work is in theatre, or in multi-discliplinary festivals. And a few recording artists - mostly in jazz, folk and world music.  Thanks,

Ellie O'Day