SUZANNE WOOLRIDGE – NLAC Hall of Honour Inductee for 2012

Suzanne Woolridge worked with the CBC for 26 years, and much of that time she was well known for her role as an arts producer. She was born in Fredericton, New Brunswick in 1951 but moved to St. John’s in the 1970s and had initially started working with the Daily News at the time.

Throughout her career as a journalist, she produced CBC programs, including the St. John’s morning show and the Weekend Arts Magazine. Additionally, Suzanne worked as the regional arts producer for the national network. In reviewing her body of work, one would find a staggering swath of openings, launches, firsts and figures. It includes a 1983 interview with Don Wherry at the inaugural Sound Symposium, a 1989 report from the first St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival, the opening of the Fine Arts College in Corner Brook, the launch of MusicNL, WANL, the Junos and the East Coast Music Awards.

Suzanne figuratively sprung up from bushes to interview Figgy Duff, Mike Cook, Andy Jones, Janis Spence, Guinchard, Benoit, Crummey, Morgan, Winter, members of the Wonderful Grand Band, Great Big Sea and CODCO – all of these representing just the tip of the iceberg. Mary Walsh would even come to fashion future characters based on Suzanne’s intensely fearless approach.

In 2007, Suzanne was awarded the CBC Radio Peer Award – her colleague’s way of recognizing her efforts. She was a familiar friend and fan for many in the provincial arts community, many of whom remember her signature laugh, and the “Woolridge here!” greeting she answered the phone with. She was always diligent, and wanted to help publicize, and participate in, every facet of what was happening in our arts community. Suzanne played a significant role in legitimizing and giving a voice to the arts community. She died in February of this year, following a battle with ALS at the age of 60 and will be sorely missed.

For a tribute to Suzanne Woolridge by her colleagues at CBC click here

For more info on the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council visit www.nlac.ca

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