Ed Bain rocks out to his accordion for Beat the Polka Monster at 100.3 the Q studio on Quadra Street. Readers have voted Bain their favourite radio personality in Victoria for Best of the City.

Ed Bain rocks out to his accordion for Beat the Polka Monster at 100.3 the Q studio on Quadra Street. Readers have voted Bain their favourite radio personality in Victoria for Best of the City.

Best radio personality: Ed Bain

After a career that spans four decades, the morning funny man is still a fan favourite

Weyburn, Sask., 1974: a nervous 19-year-old settles into the sound booth at CFSL radio.

A lightbulb spray painted red signifies On Air status and the beginning of an epic career in Canadian radio.

A fresh-faced Ed Bain, with a newly-minted certificate in broadcasting, finally has the chance to show a broader audience he’s more than just the comedian of his peers.

The light glows. The pressure mounts. Bain completes the inspired moment and sends out Three Dog Night’s “Mama Told Me Not to Come” across the airwaves.

“I always thought that was somewhat symbolic, but maybe I shouldn’t have,” says Bain, longtime morning show host at 100.3 The Q and this year’s best local radio personality in our Best of the City survey.

The native of smalltown Alberta had just taken what he describes as a fly-by-night broadcasting course in Edmonton that was appealing primarily on a sole promise: “They guaranteed you a job if you were willing to go anywhere.”

Bain attributes the decision to enter the industry to a post-high school epiphany.

“I’d always been a class clown, a loudmouth with an affinity for making people laugh.”

Though his first years in Weyburn were fun, they weren’t exactly opulent. “I wasn’t making much money, living in a one-room basement suite and then moved to a two-room basement suite in a cabin. It was pretty lean in the early days.”

Bain moved to the morning show position in Regina in the mid-70s, where he stayed for five years before moving to Saskatoon. He eventually landed a gig starting a station just outside of Vancouver in ’85, until The Q opened up shop in Victoria two years later.

He was the first voice on the air in ’87 and has been in the same time slot ever since.

“I wouldn’t willingly go to any other time,” says Bain, who calls Victoria home with his wife of 28 years and 22-year-old son.

Despite a changing landscape in broadcasting – one of declining 24-hour live programming –  Bain is hopeful for those extroverts still willing to enter the industry.

“It’s definitely tougher and there are less opportunities,” he says. “If somebody wants to get into it and is willing to go wherever it takes to find work, it’s still a wonderful career.”

Bain topped our readers’ favourites list for his antics on the radio from 5:30 to 9 a.m. and his weather reports on CHEK’s evening newscast also landed him a spot among our top three best TV personalities. All that love from Victoria audiences isn’t exactly driving the 57-year-old to pack in his 14-hour days.

“People always say: ‘When are you going to retire?’ and I always say the station or the audience will tell us when that’s going to happen. As long as the audience shows up and as long as my card key keeps working, I’ll be on.”

Best of the TV news desk

After nearly 35 years on the air, Hudson Mack is a favourite personality in Victoria and beyond.

Voted best TV personality, the senior news anchor and news director of CTV Vancouver Island continues to lead the industry and educate the next generation of broadcasters. He also continues to pick up industry awards – including the 2011 Jack Webster Award for Best TV News Reporting in B.C. – and sit on broadcast standards and curriculum advisory panels for broadcast journalism and communications.

 

Just Posted

Junior rowers with the Victoria City Rowing Club, (left to right) Teagan Zecher, Eryn Whale, Hui-Lin Shan, Willow Tzonev, Quinn Parfitt and Stella Graham, won the Rowing Canada Aviron Row to Tokyo challenge and are looking forward to getting back in the crew boats after the pandemic. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Young Greater Victoria rowers find community during solitary training sessions

Rowers train virtually, social distanced at Elk Lake amid COVID-19 restrictions

Victoria police are looking for Serene Cook after she was last seen in downtown Victoria on May 6. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
MISSING: VicPD seeks high-risk Indigenous woman missing more than a week

Serene Cook, 38, last seen May 6 in downtown Victoria

The Greater Victoria Rent Bank has seen an overwhelming need for financial assistance by renters. (Black Press Media file photo)
Funding will allow Greater Victoria Rent Bank to operate until March 2022

More than $300,000 distributed to 200 renters in program’s first 10 weeks

Potatoes have two genetic centre of origins, one from the lowlands in Chile and the other from the highlands in Bolivia. The highlands potatoes flower and produce fruit profusely, which is where the seeds come from. They contribute to exciting and ecologically imporant genetic diversity of potatoes. (Submitted/Fiona Hamersley Chambers)
Metchosin farmer shares how to invent a new potato

Using seeds anyone can name their own variety

Kay Gallivan paints a mural on the east wall of North Park’s Tiny Home Village (Kiernan Green / Victoria News Staff)
North Park Tiny Home Village opens at Royal Athletic Park lot to 30 unhoused

Residents will settle into new private units and the North Park community over the weekend

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Astra Zeneca vaccine waits for injection in a Feb. 3, 2021 file photo. A Langley man has become the second B.C. resident to suffer a blood clot following an injection. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
B.C. man required emergency surgery after AstraZeneca vaccination

Shaun Mulldoon suffered ‘massive blood clot’ after jab

Chilliwack’s Kile Brown, performing as drag queen Hailey Adler, dances and lip syncs in front of hundreds of people during the inaugural Chilliwack Pride Barbecue at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre on Aug. 24, 2019. Monday, May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of May 16 to 22

International Day Against Homophobia, Talk Like Yoda Day, Sea Monkey Day all coming up this week

Tagen Marshall of Parksville is looking to raise funds for a new specialized van. (Submitted photo)
Wolf: Parksville’s Tagen Marshall inspires others, aims to invest in himself

VIU honour student with spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy seeks help achieving big dreams

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of May 11

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
MISSING: Salt Spring RCMP find woman’s car, still seek Island resident

Sinikka Gay Elliott is 5’3” with a slim build and dark brown short hair

A Saanich man received almost 10 years in Supreme Court in Courtenay for a shooting incident from 2018. Record file photo
Shooting incident on Island nets almost 10-year sentence

Saanich man was arrested without incident north of Courtenay in 2018

Most Read