Multi-honoured BC/Alta. Radioman John Ansell Dead at 93


A broadcasting boss of mine for two major stretches, and really the guy that got me into the radio biz, John Ansell died Friday in a White Rock retirement home at age 93.

Following high school broadcasting, part-time apprenticeship at CKOV Kelowna (1940-42), and three years with the Canadian Army, John was hired by CJVI’s Program Manager Dick Batey in 1945 as an announcer. As morning man, after cycling in on the official company bike, his first on-air duty was to scalp the local paper for the 7 am newscast. After handing over CJVI’s official morning man bicycle to his successor, John joined CKWX Vancouver in 1946 as an announcer, thence to Program Manager and ultimately Operations Manager. During his 22 years at ‘WX he helped institute a practical radio course for UBC students, a forerunner of what is now the BCIT broadcasting program.  A parttime announce job at ‘WX was up for grabs during the first year the course was offered, and that’s how I got a foothold in radio.

In 1968 John was appointed General Manager of sister station CFAC Calgary. In 1971 he returned to Victoria as President and General Manager of CJVI, a post he held until August 1987 when he decided to take early retirement. He was then named Chairman of CJVI’s Advisory Board on which he served until June of 1995.

John played an active role in industry affairs and was Chairman of the CAB Board of Directors in 1981 – 82. He was also the recipient of several honours. In 1983, he was selected Broadcaster of the Year by both the BC Association of Broadcasters and the Broadcast Education Assocation of Canada, and was also awarded the CAB’s Gold Ribbon Award for distinguished service to broadcasting. He was awarded lifetime membership in the Broadcast Education Association in 1987. In 1995, Ansell was conferred with the  BC Institute of Technology Distinguished Service Award, and joined the CAB Half-Century Club.

John was inducted into the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame in 1990.

Ansell was reported to be suffering from a progressive form of dementia in recent years.  No service is being planned.

Thanks, John, for all of your helps along the way. We’ll miss you.

Thanks to the Canadian Communications Foundation for much of the biographical information above. 


The official family obituary was published Aug. 24 in the VictoriaTimes-Colonist.  We republish the opening segment that details Ansell family relationships. 

ANSELL, John E. W. (1926 – 2019) Born February 12, 1926 in Rutland, BC, Passed away August 16 at the age of 93. John was predeceased by his first wife of 54 years Daphne Sylvia, oldest son John in 2001 (wife Diane) and infant son Wayne; and second wife Lilli. He is survived by daughter Deborah Dash (David) of Nanaimo, son Jim (Chris) ParksvilIe, brother Mike Ansell (Maeve) of Perth, Australia, 5 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews; and a very dear friend Robbie Dunn (Calla) of Kamloops. John was an avid golfer, a member at Uplands for many years. He had a remarkable life that Broadcasting enabled him to have.


  1. Mr. Ansell was the station manager at CJVI when I was there in the 70s for a few years. How I wish I had been a better employee. I never knew him personally or even spoke to him but people often said the best voices in radio are in the head office and I think he was one. I didn’t realize he had such a lifelong involvement in radio.
    I wonder if Robbie Dunn, the former sales manager when I was there, is still to be found. I’d love to talk to him or other CJVI people from that era. I know where Tom Walters is, doing a great job at CTV News. He always was a hard worker.
    Thanks again for letting us know that Mr. Ansell had died.

  2. Robbie Dunn is still very active in the Kamloops area as I understand it. He was the majority owner and president of NL Radio before it was sold to Newcap Radio more than two years ago. Robbie served as GM of the station for 32 years before stepping down in 2014.


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