Frank Griffiths

By profession a chartered accountant, Frank Griffiths will be remembered as an entrepreneur in broadcasting and sports.

He bought his first radio station, CKNW New Westminster/Vancouver in 1956, which became the starting point for a series of initiatives and acquisitions over four decades. By the time he had formed WIC Western International Communications in 1983, the Griffiths broadcasting "empire" also included CJOB/CJKR-FM Winnipeg, CHAN-TV Vancouver, CHEK-TV Victoria, CHBC Kelowna, CFMI-FM Vancouver, CFQR Calgary, CHML/CKDS-FM Hamilton, controlling shareholder of Canadian Satellite Communications (Cancom), and went on to add CHOG/CILQ-FM Toronto, CICT-TV Calgary, CISA-TV Lethbridge, CITV-TV Edmonton, CKRD-TV Red Deer, CHED and CKNG-FM Edmonton, and CHCH-TV Hamilton. Other WIC properties include Allarcom Pay Television Limited (owner of Super channel in Western Canada), holdings in Family Channel, Studio Post and Transfer, Home Theatre, and Cellular Vision.

Apart from broadcasting, in the 70s, Frank Griffiths bought the Vancouver Canucks hockey team, and was appointed Vice-Chairman of the NHL. The recipient of several awards, Frank Griffiths was inducted as a member of the Canadian Business Hall of Fame, the Hockey Hall of Fame and (1994) the CAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame.

The BC Sports Hall of Fame & Museum is pleased to present the prestigious WAC Bennett Award for the first time in four years, to Mr. Frank A. Griffiths. Born December 17, 1916 in Burnaby, BC, Frank Griffiths, Sr. studied accounting as a profession. He entered the world of broadcasting in 1956 with his purchase of radio station CKNW, and was soon overseeing the development of Western International Communications Ltd. (WIC).

In 1974, Mr. Griffiths purchased Northwest Sports Enterprises Ltd., the parent company of the Vancouver Canucks Hockey Club. The decision to buy the Canucks was not just a business move, but one based on a strong belief in community support. In fact, the change of ownership brought much needed stability to a floundering team. Mr. Griffiths became a member of the Board of Governors of the National Hockey League that year, and five years later, became Vice-Chair, a position he held until 1987. During that time, he helped to stabilize several league franchises, played an integral role in merging the NHL with the WHA, and was instrumental in bringing Russian hockey players to Canada to play in the NHL, a decision that greatly increased the appeal of the game. Yet his long term commitment to hockey and the Vancouver Canucks is just one example of his dedication to community involvement.

Throughout his life, he was a leader, often interweaving his personal convictions with his business ventures. And although he preferred to work quietly behind the scenes, Mr. Griffiths contributed his time, energy, and expertise to many organizations, generating and distributing millions of dollars to a wide variety of worthwhile causes. Frank A. Griffiths, Sr. lived to celebrate his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder in 1993. He died on April 7th, 1994, just prior to one of the Vancouver Canucks greatest bids for the Stanley Cup. While he is greatly missed by his family and friends, he lives on through evidence of his generosity and integrity.

Frank Griffiths (1916-1994)

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