top: Phil Reimer with Global’s Jill Krop

bottom: Reimer with Governor General Jean - 2005 Grey Cup Parade





Phil Reimer



LIFE AND TIMES - born February 18, 1941 - Winnipeg, Man. Moved to Victoria at age 14. EDUCATION: Grade 10, left at 16 to join radio CKDA, Victoria, for all-night disc jockey job, left at age 19 (1958-59)


First to play rock and roll on station. First song Elvis’s “Don’t be Cruel


59-late 60 CHEK TV productions and some announcing


60-61 production CJAY-CTV Winnipeg


61-65 Sportscaster CJAY-CTV Winnipeg-covered first world hockey championships at 23


1964 -- Played one CFL game with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers as an embedded sports broadcaster. "I just got beat up," he say


65-late 69 CBC Sports, Winnipeg


70-77 Out of media worked for Cabinet in Ottawa then Travel Company.


1973 to 1977 -- Sold travel tours to Elvis Presley shows and attended 125 Elvis concerts.


77-95 CBC Weather-person, wrote book during this time and first to use moving satellite pictures (we made our own animation-and first to take the weathercast on the road into the community)


1988 to 1992 -- Producer and creator for various CBC programs, including ‘Doctor Doctor’ and ‘Legal Wise’.


1991 -- Phil Reimer's B.C. Weather Book  with Sean Rossiter.


2004 to 2006 -- Vancouver Sun, weatherman.


1996 to 2006 -- CKNW weatherman (retired from station September 15)





Produced for Television 89-92—110 episodes of 'Doctor Doctor' for CBC Network


Produced for Television 92-93—'Legal Wise' series 56 episodes for CBC


Produced for Television 93—'Horse Race Show' for BCTV 20 episodes


Produced for Television 93-'Forest and the People' 13 episodes


Produced for Television 94—One hour special entitled “Ten Carrot Diamond” Children’s Show which went on to win a bronze medal at the NY Television and Radio awards.


1969—produced one hour special on Nancy Greene after she had won Olympics called “Sixty Second Tiger”


1969—Produced two hour special on Gordy Howe called “Howe and Why”




Vancouver Sun 2006

Vancouver's longest-serving weather forecaster hangs up his umbrella and parks his rubber boots today after 30 years in the business.

"It's time to move on. I'm leaving the weather part," says temperature guru Phil Reimer, 65, his voice familiar from 10 years on air at CKNW and decades on CBC television.

Over the years he says, he likely delivered the weather on-air at least 75,000 times.

"If it was 280 days a year that I worked, times about 30 years, multiplied by six times a day --how many would that come to?" he says, pausing to calculate even more numbers in silence before concluding: "That's about 75,000 weathercasts."

He adds, chuckling: "How many people blame me for the weather? About the same amount"

Mistakes are inevitable, he says: "Weather is not an exacting science and it never will be. You hope that you hit 70 per cent accuracy, if all goes well."

Vancouver may be the toughest place in the world for weather reporting, since it's surrounded by mountains, ocean and wind -- all variable factors, he says.

Despite focusing on weather for so many years, he still finds it fascinating.

"The great thing about doing the weather -- you can always talk about the weather."

So is he the king of small talk? "I have the ability to ad lib under pressure," he says. "That's saved my bacon over the years."

That's how he first got a break back in 1960 in
Winnipeg, when he was in production, behind-the-scenes on the set of a telethon. The regular anchor slept in for the 6 a.m. show.

"I had a sports jacket on and the producer said 'heck, it's
6 a.m. -- just go out there and introduce some items' and I did," he says. "It was a fluke."

The next day, he says, he was told to go out and buy some suits because he would need them as a sportscaster, his pre-weather specialty.

Since that lucky wardrobe choice, his career has followed a winding path from rock concerts to thunderstorms.

He's met Elvis, played in a CFL game as an embedded -- and bruised -- broadcaster, been featured on Dick Clark's TV Bloopers and Practical Jokes (when he accidentally spoke into a burning candle instead of his microphone, singeing his lips on-air) and he's wedged himself firmly into the public's heart as a trusted resource for the weather.

"I like the weather because it's new every day. I'm fascinated by watching systems -- they're ever-changing," says Reimer. "This summer was boring . . . because it was 'same old, same old' every day."

What makes for good weather watching?

"A perfect weather day would go from sun to rain to hail to sunshine -- and watch a system roar through," he says. "Well -- maybe not hail."

A good weather personality also needs to be able to simplify technical weather jargon and scientific lingo, making it count to the audience, says Reimer.

"You have to relate to your audience. Don't get too scientific," says Reimer. "Weather is probably one of the most relevant parts of any news cast. It determines what people do for the next 24 hours."

But it's time to try new things, says Reimer, adding there's a silver lining in the cloud. While the dynamic senior is quitting as the CKNW weather reporter and will no longer write daily weather updates for The Vancouver Sun, he stresses that he isn't retiring, just slowing down a titch.

"I'm only planning to cut down from a 14-hour-day to a 12-hour- day," he says, adding he plans to work on some new, interesting projects.

"I can only say they'll be in the public forum in the new year."

Partly cloudy, chance of showers? Doesn't matter. Reimer will no doubt continue to shine.

*** 1992

Reimer, who hails from
Winnipeg, started out in radio and TV, covering the Olympics and World Cup skiing.

A keen boater and flyer, he moved his production company to
Vancouver in 1975.

He still heads Phil Reimer Communications, which produced CBC's Doctor Doctor and Legal-wise, and is working on a national travel show.

He also owns the Blackcomb Beer and Wine Store, Philip's Bar and The Glacier Cafe in Whistler.

It's not surprising that many of Reimer's outdoor pursuits are heavily influenced by the weather.

An avid skier, Reimer fell in love with cycling after a six-day spring tour in the Kootenays.


BC Radio History