Iconic Broadcaster/Canucks PA Voice John Ashbridge Dies at 71

Vancouver Giants Twitter
A well-known voice in Vancouver, John Ashbridge, has died at age 71.
The longtime broadcaster became synonymous with hockey over the years, lending his voice to the Vancouver Giants as well as the Canucks.

He also made his mark in various newsrooms across B.C., including at CKNW where he started as a news anchor in 1965.

He began working with the Canucks as their public address announcer in 1987. During his time with the NHL, he worked through two Stanley Cup appearances.


“The one thing that stands out is that iconic voice of his that people from around here, and his years at the coliseum with the Canucks and at Rogers Arena, like Vince Scully is to baseball,” he said.

“That voice that John has for hockey is something that we’re all going to miss a lot.”

“No question about it we won the lottery when John Ashbridge got involved with the Vancouver Giants.”

John McKitrick worked side by side with Ashbridge on the CKNW news desk.

“He was always a pleasure to work with because he was a happy go lucky type of workman. I mean he was very serious, he was very thorough as well in his work, but at the same time it was always a pleasure to be on the desk with him,” said McKitrick.

And Dan Russell who hosted “SportsTalk” on CKNW remembers him fondly.

“He was a giant to me on the CKNW morning news with Frosty, Big Al, John Ashbridge coming, those were quite the radio days.”


Via Facebook, longtime CKNW ace reporter George Garrett offered this praise:

Ash did it all! 
John Ashbridge did everything well. He was great on the air and so competent at everything he did in the studio or the news booth. John McKitrick and I once talked about Ash as being one of the best news broadcasters in the market…right up there with Warren Barker. He loved his work and it showed.
Hockey fans and radio listeners lost a great voice. We lost a friend.

Courtesy Gord Lansdell’s Vancouver Broadcasters website, here is John’s radio itinerary:

John Ashbridge – Operator at age 13 CJVI Victoria 1960-61; on air CFAX Victoria 1962-64; CJOR Vancouver 1964; general announcer CKNW New Westminster 1965-67; CFUN Vancouver 1967; CKNW 1967-70; News Director CJCI Prince George 1970-73; CKNW 1973-80; television news Australia 1980-81; news then senior newsman and Manager Network Operations CKNW 1981-2005; retired from radio; public address announcer Vancouver Canucks 1987-current; PA announcer Vancouver Giants 2004-current.  RTNDA Lifetime Achievement Award 2005. 


  1. RIP Mr. Ashbridge.

    An iconic voice in the Vancouver area including on radio notably CKNW and any person who has watched the Canucks over the years will know the voice of Mr. Ashbridge, including his voice used as part of the in house voice various NHL hockey video games.

    Sad day in deed 🙁

  2. So sorry to hear the news this morning that John passed away. John was a great broadcaster and a great guy. I also had the pleasure to work with him for 10 years at CKNW. My thoughts are with his wife Yvonne and family.

  3. Long admired John over the years and then finally, to have worked with him at CKNW. While taking his work seriously he never failed to find a way to lighten the load for his co-workers.
    Condolences to Yvonne and family.
    RIP John and remember, there are two of them: Sydney and Sidney.

  4. Kudos to CBC/Early Edition/Stephen Quinn for running an extended segment on John Ashbridge today. Not sure if ‘NW ran anything similar. Fitting I suppose that both Stephen Quinn and this morning’s CBC news reader, Drew Kerekes, both worked with Ashbridge at ‘NW.

  5. I just wanted to let everyone know, John Ashbridge had that same quality deep voice when we first met in our early teens in Victoria. He was working at CFAX Victoria at the time, and I was running my closed-circuit radio station in our hood. Once meeting, we quickly bonded and have kept in touch over these many years.

    When John was first hired at CJOR, I started to take trips over to Vancouver and visit him. He was then hired at Top Dog 98 CKNW, then located on East Columbia Street in New Westminster. My next visit to him was when he was PD at NW when they were located on Burnett, in the old Safeway building. It was always an exciting adventure coming over to Vancouver and visit John. He’d drive us all over lower mainland, introducing me to the vastness of Vancouver and the lower mainland. showing me where the news was really coming from and explain the workings and makings of the greatest radio station news room in British Columbia, if not all of Canada, that being CKNW. There was such an Energy of Enthusiasm coming from John when he talked about CKNW, it really was exciting. CKNW truly was a Great Radio Station!

    I last saw John four years ago, when we shared lunch in Burnaby. Since then we’ve kept in touch by email, him telling me he’d had heart issues, recently had a stent installed…. Knowing John after all these years, it never seemed a worry or concern to him, he just accepted and moved on. I sent an email to John about two months ago, and never did get a response, never of course thinking he was not well. We just don’t think about those things, like we should. To hear the cause of death was cancer is more than heart breaking. My heart goes out to Yvonne and John’s daughters and family. You will be missed my friend…

  6. As a former listener of ‘NW over 30+ yrs, it was a pleasure to listen to John…very easy on the ears.
    Thx to John’s colleagues for the tributes.
    Blessings to the Ashbridge Family…

  7. I got to know John in the 70’s. Over the years we would meet at various events and John would always have a welcoming grins and a few minutes to reminisce . A great guy, who will be fondly remembered by many. RP John.

  8. I remember John as he frequented CJVI, only 14 years old) but a burning desire to get into radio. He drove Joe Easingwood a little bit because he wanted, somehow, someway to get into the biz. I didn’t see much of him as I was doing the Morning Show at VI, but once in awhile I would run into him or see him wanting to see Joe again. I think he was very happy when CFAX offered him the opportunity. Sorry to see him go. There aren’t many of the old broadcasters left. That big studio in the sky must be getting pretty crowded with big booming voices. RIP John

  9. Another of his gigs was radio instructor in the journalism program at Vancouver Community College (now Langara) in 1978-79, and perhaps for a bit longer. I was a second-year student at that time, and really enjoyed getting to know John a little bit. I already had great respect for him as a news person, as I had been listening to him for years on CKNW. He (and Warren Barker, of course) were major reasons that the NW newroom was almost universally regarded as the very best in the Greater Vancouver area – including all media. That’s what we were taught at Langara, and it was a helpful tip I used many times while working in the community newspaper business. Of course, Ash went on to marry Yvonne, who worked for the program at Langara and later spent many years in the media business. He also did many other things with his life (some involving hockey). My deepest condolences to Yvonne and his family – he will be greatly missed by many people, including many thousands who never had a chance to meet him, but felt they knew him well because of his distinctive and friendly voice.

  10. Frank, I have fond memories of John’s time teaching us at Langara. He was a great teacher and one of the best in the business. He will be missed by all who were fortunate to cross paths with him.

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