The end of Tim & Sid

Seixeiro will be the new co-host of Breakfast Television

Television and radio host Sid Seixeiro left sports fans speechless when he announced on air on Jan. 21 that he was leaving Tim & Sid.

Alongside Tim Micallef, Seixeiro has been the co-host of Tim & Sid since 2011. The show began on The FAN 590, Sportsnet’s sister radio channel in Toronto, and was then broadcasted on Sportsnet television from 2013. On air from 5 to 7 p.m. every weekday, it’s one of the most popular sports talk shows in Canada.

Seixeiro started in sports broadcasting at age 20. He has worked in the sports industry for 20 years, most of them on Tim & Sid. His last show with Micallef will be on Feb. 26.

Despite Seixeiro leaving, the show will continue with Micallef and rotating co-hosts. Seixeiro is joining morning show Breakfast Television on Citytv as co-host. He will begin in his new duties on March 10.

“That show is very important to the fabric of the Greater Toronto Area,” Seixeiro said on Tim & Sid. “It’s a part of people’s lives. It will give me the opportunity to do some stuff I could just not do right now, stuff that interests me.”

For tens of thousands of sports fans, Tim & Sid has been their daily evening rendez-vous for years. The way this show discusses sports — sometimes in a serious way and other times with more fun and laughs — has made it entertaining since it’s beginning. Micallef and Seixeiro have always been fun to watch, as they’ve complemented each other well as co-hosts.

Seixeiro will be missed on Tim & Sid, and despite the show still going on after Feb. 26, it will be different. It will take time for long-time followers of the show to get used to the new Tim & … we shall see.


Graphic by Rose-Marie Dion


Representation through radio

Nipivut is an outlet for the Inuit Community

It was Concordia anthropology professor Mark Watson who first told me about Nipivut Radio—which means “our voice” in Inuktitut—during a class in the fall of 2016. The project he helped launch in Montreal sounded exciting and refreshing. However, it wasn’t until I met Christine Lussier, a volunteer at Nipivut Radio, last semester that I knew I wanted to learn more.

“Nipivut is the Inuit community radio,” Lussier said, adding that the station aims to bridge gaps in the Inuit community and promote Inuktitut, the Inuit language. “We want to promote Inuit artists,” she added. “We also want to make it sustainable. We want to train our employees and make the Inuit community more unified.”

Lussier is a Concordia anthropology major with a minor in English literature at the Université de Montréal. Her traditional name is Qillasiq Naluiyuk, and she had a unique upbringing. “I’m an Inuk from Nunavik, in northern Quebec,” she explained. “I was born in Puvirnituq, and I grew up for two years in Kuujjuarapik, but then I moved to the south shore of Montreal. [It was a] very francophone setting, a francophone school situation, until university.”

As part of a course on social economy and sustainable futures, Lussier needed to volunteer for a non-profit organization. “I had heard a lot about Mark Watson,” she said. “They put me in contact with him.”

Since Nipivut doesn’t have many staff members, Lussier said she does a bit of everything—from editing and producing to holding meetings and recording. “Every episode is an achievement in the sense that there’s a lot to do, and it’s usually managed by one or two people,” she explained. “We’re trying to make the family grow more.”

According to Lussier, language is an important element of Nipivut. “We always try to maximize Inuktitut; at least 50 per cent of the program, if not a 100 per cent,” she said. “However, right now, myself and my colleague, we are urban Inuk so we haven’t grown up with the language. That’s kind of a struggle.” Instead, Lussier explained, an elder records the Inuktitut segments. “She would very much prefer for us to do it in Inuktitut, but we cannot.”

In an effort to engage with people who want to learn the language, Nipivut has featured episodes that teach listeners Inuktitut. Among the contributors to these episodes is Jobie Weetaluktuk, a Concordia First Peoples Studies professor. “He did a segment where he taught his daughter how to speak in Inuktitut,” Lussier said. “In that sense, it could become an educational tool for Inuit people in Montreal who are seeking to learn more about their traditional language.”

Nipivut also provides a place for the Inuit community to express themselves and avoid the misrepresentations and caricatures of other media. “When we talk about Inuit specifically, we’re usually very underrepresented or misrepresented,” Lussier said. “For Nipivut to happen is amazing. We promote mostly Inuit artists and Inuit issues, so it’s an amazing platform that’s just for us, by us. That’s very important.”

Many in Quebec and Canada forget or don’t realize that Inuit people exist, Lussier said, or they are associated with terms like “Eskimo.”

“It’s not really representative of us,” she said. “Most people think that Indigenous people are somewhere in a bubble, somewhere else, but we are very much here in the urban space. There are a lot of Indigenous people [in Montreal].”

Lussier was keen about welcoming any Inuit interested in learning more about Nipivut or joining the team. “If they are interested in Indigenous issues, Inuit issues, we’re open to engaging in any kind of conversation,” she said.

You can listen to Nipivut Radio every second Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on CKUT 90.3 FM, or visit their Facebook page.

Graphic by Alexa Hawksworth


CJLO settlement reached with former employee

Complaint filed under the Canadian Labour Code closed, non-disclosure agreement signed

A settlement was reached between Ellen Smallwood—a former CJLO employee—and the university radio station last week, according to the Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations (CRARR).

CRARR represented Smallwood, the station’s former director of promotions, fundraising and sponsorship, when she filed a labour complaint against her former employer last March. Smallwood claimed the station’s executive team created a hostile work environment for women and that she was fired without just cause.

In an email to The Concordian, CJLO station manager Michal Langiewicz wrote that the settlement was done “to the satisfaction of both parties.” According to CRARR executive director Fo Niemi, the final approval of the settlement by the Canadian Human Rights Commission is pending.

“The complaint filed with Human Resources and Social Development Canada under the Canada Labour Code has been closed as part of the settlement,” Niemi added.

Neither Langiewicz nor Niemi commented on the settlement, citing a non-disclosure agreement between the two parties.

Smallwood, worked at CJLO from January 2015 to November 2016. She told The Concordian in April that tensions began between her and the station’s executive board and management team in June 2016.

According to Smallwood, certain employees opposed putting up posters condemning sexism, racism and other forms of bigotry intended to promote the office as a safe space because they believed it interfered with their freedom of speech.

She told The Concordian that their refusal was an indirect form of oppression against minorities.

She added that Langiewicz eventually decided to ask the station’s volunteers whether or not they approved of the poster via an online poll. Smallwood said Langiewicz refused to put the posters up, despite the staff voting overwhelmingly in favour of displaying them.

Another female employee, who remained anonymous, corroborated some of Smallwood’s claims regarding the work environment and tension created following the safe space poster debate.

While Smallwood did not name any particular board executive in her complaint, she described Langiewicz’s leadership as being “paternalistic and sexist.”

According to the former CJLO employee, she was told by another employee that she wasn’t fired in person or given advanced notice because she would have “cried like a baby.”

At the time, Langiewicz told The Concordian it was the first labour complaint CJLO had dealt with in 17 years. “We cannot comment on any details at this point for reasons of confidentiality, except to say that we are seriously disputing the allegations,” Langiewicz said at the time.

Niemi said the complaint was filed not only to correct past actions but to protect future employees from the same conditions Smallwood faced.

Photo by Mackenzie Lad


CJLO: Revamping and ready for more

Josh Spencer is a long-time concert booker in Montreal’s local music scene

These days, students aren’t listening to the radio like they used to. It makes sense, of course. With platforms like Spotify and SoundCloud offering music fans access to almost any track in modern recording history, the old-school radio model doesn’t match up with university students’ lifestyles.

“‘If I can access every single song ever created on my phone, at any time, why the hell would I tune in?’” asked Josh Spencer, CJLO’s director of sponsorship, promotion and fundraising.

“Radio can be cool,” Spencer insisted. But he’s not blind to how many see the medium these days. “It can also be super lame.”

So how does CJLO plan to avoid the lameness of radio?

The man tasked with giving the station’s identity a makeover said he believes the answer is twofold.

“I really want to brand the station around discovery and local music,” Spencer said. “When I tune in to CJLO, I’m going to hear music coming from my community, bands that I can check out live for like five bucks.”

Spencer joined CJLO in February, bringing several years of experience in local music management and promotion to the organization. His involvement in the Montreal music scene began when he graduated from McGill in 2015.

“I started managing three bands and one solo artist, booking house concert tours across Canada, and started putting on festivals, the KickDrum Winter Marathon and Summer Marathon,” Spencer recalled. “Over two years, I put on over 150 shows with over 200 artists.”

The connections he built with artists, promoters and venues are helping CJLO become the destination on the dial for Montreal’s local music.

“I’ve had a lot of those artists approach me and say, ‘Hey I heard you’re at CJLO now. Can I come in for an interview? Can I come in for a live session?’” Spencer said. “So we’ve already increased the amount of local artists [on the station].”

Spencer knows the importance of live shows to local artists and said he thinks that, by organizing them through the radio station, CJLO can stay relevant in the age of music streaming.

“Artists don’t sell CDs, they don’t sell music,” Spencer acknowledged. “[Concerts are] how [artists] connect, and how [musicians] make some money. The magical moments of music happen live.”

Spencer has used his old connections as a promoter to book CJLO-branded live shows around the city.

Every month until March, CJLO will host music department showcases, featuring genres such as hip hop, alt-rock, metal, world and electronic. Each showcase will be held at Casa del Popolo and will  highlight a different genre each month.

Spencer has big plans on the horizon for CJLO, starting with the launch of their new website in January. But it doesn’t end there.

“We want to move to FM, but the problem is that the dial’s full. We’re waiting for space to open up so we can bid on an FM signal,” Spencer said. “We also want to move downtown. We want to be at Sir George Williams, but we’re not going to move unless we can get the same quality of space [as our offices on the Loyola campus].”

Spencer grinned with anticipation.

“We’re poised to pounce.”

Photo by Adrian Knowler


Fresh faces and a new beginning

CJLO’s recent facelift will provide quality campus radio for everyone

“Campus Radio is for Lovers” are the words sprawled across the white T-shirt hung in the hallway by CJLO 1690 AM’s offices at the Loyola campus. The bubbly red font is reminiscent of the 70s—an era of extravagance, groove and one in which radio reigned supreme. In our internet age, where everything is digitized and readily accessible at the tips of our fingers, radio seems to be a bygone medium. Its failure to adapt to the needs of the current-day consumer has rendered it futile and irrelevant. College radio, however, proves to be the sole exception, acting as the last vestige of an archaic platform.

Nestled at the far end of the CC building’s fourth floor, reaching the station requires you to awkwardly trudge through the Guadagni Lounge. Upon entering the station, however, its charm immediately takes over. The sound of music buzzing from speakers greets you as you pass by the in-house studio space and DJ room.

A community-driven operation, CJLO 1690 AM is run by a devoted team of DJs and volunteers. “We are not for profit,” said Allison O’Reilly, the station’s program director, whose CV includes commercial radio gigs in Nova Scotia. “Everything we do is in service of the students and of the local music scene. We try to stay progressive, we try to avoid commercialisation, we try to appeal to underground music. So everything I value.”

O’Reilly, alongside station manager Michał Langiewicz, and director of promotions, sponsorship and funding Josh Spencer, make up the “big three.” They are a tireless trio with invaluable experience in the industry, which makes them a tremendous asset to the station. They are also fresh faces to the station, having all joined the team within the past year, after the exodus of a large portion of the longtime staff. “It was like a domino effect,” Langiewicz said. “A lot of people were graduating, a lot of people had been there for a while and felt like it was time to move on.”

The change, although major, is generally seen as positive. This coming school year marks the newly-assembled staff’s first year together and seems to be the dawning of a new era for the station. Though the new staff greatly commend their predecessors’ work at the station, they made it clear they plan on revamping CJLO as much as possible. “I think it’s a new opportunity for us to expand into different directions,” said Langiewicz, who first broke into the city’s music scene through BAD LUNCH, a DIY concert venue he ran out of his Pointe-St-Charles home. “It’s kind of continuing a legacy, but taking it in a new direction.”

The changes made to the station deal, in part, with modernizing its programming by introducing more progressive shows into its already packed rotation. “We have LGBTQ programming, we have programming which deals with social and racial issues, and that’s something I feel the station didn’t have as much of in the past,” Langiewicz said. “We’re definitely looking to go in a direction that’s covering more ground and representing as many different people as possible.”

Allison O’Reilly’s enthusiasm about CJLO’s future is infectious.

The most noticeable update is the new staff’s dedication to increasing community involvement. This new direction is obvious in the station’s upcoming promotional events. Hiring Josh Spencer, the founder of the local music event planning company Kick Drum, as director of promotions, has certainly helped. “He’s very attuned to what’s happening in the local music scene, so since he came in all of a sudden, Montreal bands came in,” O’Reilly said. Despite his recent arrival, Spencer’s  promotions expertise has proven momentous, as his summer backyard sessions have been greeted with great applause from spectators and artists alike.

The station’s biggest event, its annual FUNDrive, takes place from Sept. 22 to 30 on both campuses. The event will be a grand debut of sorts for the new trio. Showcasing their experience, as well as the station’s new direction, the eight-day event is going to be jam-packed with 10 events ranging from a heavy metal showcase to a soccer tournament. The proceeds will go to the station, allowing its staff to make improvements and continue pursuing their vision.

With regard to the importance of campus radio, O’Reilly said, “while it may not seem relevant [within the scope of modern media], what we can do to support those who wouldn’t otherwise have a platform in mainstream media, I believe, is very important and still relevant.”

Photos by Kirubel Mahari


The radio sucks – and, it’s your fault!

Mainstream radio has changed with the new millenium, but there may be hope for music yet

Once upon a time, the radio was the deity of all public services. Sweet sounding tunes were mobilized into portable stereos through the revolutionary discovery of wireless connection. It was the greatest thing that could have happened to the progressive movement of music at the time. From barbershops to hair salons, music aficionados were gathered across state boundaries with a communal love for celebrating big moments in music. For decades, those who did not have access to vinyl, CDs or cassettes, the gift of “free” music was as good as it got. To your parents, the term “radio” evokes a nostalgia-fueled trip down memory lane to the “good old days.” Evenings spent glued to a set, case in hand, waiting for the right moment to rip the next track on a fresh tape. Oh! The glory that came from executing a playlist with a perfectly timed flip side. Quite simply, it was groundbreaking.

Flash forward a couple decades, to the present day. Who even listens to the radio? We’re talking traditional, FM/AM fine-tuned stations separated by disturbingly loud hissing sounds of white noise. Unless you are one of those blessed students who happens to have a car, or takes the occasional (awkward) rideshare, you can probably relate. The mainstream radio is dead and has been since the 2000s, as we have ceded our ears to the dreaded Billboard’s hot 100. Not to throw any shade to mainstream enthusiasts but, quite frankly, no one needs to hear Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” 12 times a day, perhaps not even once a day, or ever. Yes, there are different channels which you can get your music from, but they all share the same infuriating traits. They are as follows:

1.      Play only extremely popular synthetic tracks that appeal to everyone and their mother.

2.      Play them again, and again, and again.

3.      Insert completely unrelated dialogue about rumours surrounding controversial artist.

4.      Repeat.

This pattern has time and time again been a hot conversation topic for many modern day musical philosophers: “why don’t they just play good music that we like?” And to that, the only answer provided is that, as long as there are people who will listen to the top 100, there will be people who play it. However, there is hope for wireless music! With the glorious invention of the Internet, iPods and MP3s, selection has become the birthright of every music buff. The increasing speed of uploads and downloads in recent years has opened up a virtual paradigm of musical bliss. Here, selectivity is highly praised, and exploration is encouraged. From Soundcloud and 8tracks, to Spotify and the many dark holes of YouTube, music that pleases your strange palate is readily available at the click of a button. Trust, in a couple of years, the radio will be so far removed from today’s state that it will be as obsolete as Katy Perry’s last single.


Staying close to the roots, but flowering ever higher

Gender action group Dragonroot Media partners with CGA to strengthen its mission

After several years of dedication as Montreal’s feminist and gender-issue radio program, newly expanded Dragonroot Media (formerly Dragonroot Radio) has tightened ties with Concordia’s Centre for Gender Advocacy by rebranding itself as an action group in an effort to provide better services.

Originally started in the fall of 2011 and broadcasting over McGill’s CKUT 90.3 FM radio station, the show has been shining a light on gender-specific topics by reporting on events and exploring issues with activists and intellectuals.

“I feel like being part of Dragonroot for the past few years has really shaped my politics, and everybody I speak to [on the show] shapes and changes how I understand issues. It’s been pretty rewarding in that way,” said Hannah Besseau, host-turned-coordinator for the program who, among others, has been behind the move that will see Dragonroot Media, completely run by volunteers, restructured to increase its scope and resources.

The organization has always had a close relationship with the Centre for Gender Advocacy. When the Centre began looking to create a stronger bond with surrounding groups, Dragonroot’s passion came foremost to their mind and they were encouraged to apply as an action group, a designation allowing for it to receive operational and promotional funding and other benefits.

“Who better to make a better action group than Dragonroot?” asked Besseau rhetorically on the eve of last week’s fundraising concert at La Sala Rossa. She said the increased visibility of the group will allow it to reach a bigger audience and tackle larger projects, but also stressed the group will remain as it was before.

“Now that we’ve [got] an action group status, we’re hoping make our radio content better. We want to find different ways to approach gender content on the radio. We’re also working on a new website to post more things, and we’re doing a call-out for editors to produce more content.”

The recruitment drive is an effort on part of the group to remain true to its origins as a consensus-based collective but adopt an editorial model that will create several longer-lasting positions to ensure volunteers will still be able to come and go as before without interrupting content consistency. A small core of well-defined roles and positions will ensure sections of Dragonroot Media, like their blog, which has suffered from bouts of inactivity in the past, don’t re-occur. Besseau believes the permanence will enable a mentorship program to take hold that will help those interested in media and willing to assume a more prominent role in gender awareness hone their abilities and confidence.

“We really want to have a space where people can come and learn media skills, specifically for gender topics. That way, we’ll have people constantly engaging and learning. [We’ll be] putting the microphone, so to speak, in the hands of those who it would benefit.”

Dragonroot Media’s weekly radio program runs every Tuesday on CKUT 90.3 FM at 8:30 – 9 p.m. If you’re interested in contributing or keeping up to date with the project, find for them on Facebook or Twitter.

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