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CBC's Andy Barrie to host Friends of the Bata Library Fundraising Dinner: May 20

Wednesday, April 14, 2004, Peterborough

Andy Barrie, host of CBC Radio One's Metro Morning, will be the guest speaker at the annual Friends of the Bata Library Spring Fundraising Dinner on May 20 at Scott House, Catharine Parr Traill College.

The title of his talk is "Roughing it in the [Media] Bush: an Immigrant's Tale of Becoming a Canadian Broadcaster." Tickets are $50 and are available by calling Janice Millard (705-748-1011 ext. 1326) or Michael Peterman (705-748-1011 ext. 1737). A cash bar will open at 6:30 p.m. and dinner is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.

"We are so looking forward to hearing from Andy Barrie over dinner on May 20," says Prof. Michael Peterman, president, Friends of the Bata Library. "The story behind the broadcaster, recounted in that familiar voice, is sure to entertain."

Andy Barrie

(excerpted from

Mr. Barrie's broadcast career started at summer camp, when he was nine, and he was assigned to wake up the campers every morning over the public address system, throwing in the local weather and record. As host of CBC Radio 99.1's Metro Morning, he's moved up from the loudspeaker's five watts to fifty thousand, speaking now to over a quarter-million listeners a week.

Mr. Barrie rediscovered his childhood fascination with radio while studying theatre at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. After university, he served the usual apprenticeship: staff announcer here, street reporter there, finally getting his own program with Metromedia Radio in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Barrie was given conscientious-objector status by his local draft board during the Vietnam War. Like all C-O's, he trained as a combat medic. In 1969 he received orders to be shipped to Vietnam. A conversation with his brother, a career officer who had just come back from two years there, confirmed Mr. Barrie's decision to leave the U.S. for Canada.

He was introduced to CJAD Radio in Montreal, and when one of the station's long-time commentators resigned in protest during the October Crisis of 1970, Mr. Barrie was named as his replacement. Less than a year after coming to Canada, he was thrown into what became a crash course in what it meant to be a Canadian broadcaster and citizen.

In 1977 Mr. Barrie moved to Toronto and a new job at CFRB, where his commentaries won him an ACTRA Award. He also tried television, working as an anchor, reporter, and editorialist at Global Television. He was described as one of the "most credible anchors in television" by broadcast veteran Ross McLean, but felt constrained by the medium, and returned to radio. The Andy Barrie Show was the top-rated program in its time slot in Toronto for years.

The invitation to join the CBC in 1996 opened up a whole new dimension of Mr. Barrie's career: Not only getting up every morning at four to go to the studio, but what happens in that studio - as many as ten interviews a day covering a vast range of subjects, people and moods. Since 1996, Metro Morning's audience has grown from seventh place to third, and its producers, contributors and host are aiming for number one.

Mr. Barrie is married to Dr. Mary Barrie, Director of the School of Continuing Studies at the University of Toronto. They have one daughter, a graduate in Outdoor Experiential Education from Nova Scotia's Acadia University.


For further information, please contact: Prof. Michael Peterman, President, Friends of the Bata Library, 748-1011, Ext. 1737

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Last Updated April 15, 2004