Radio and Television Arts The Class of 1975

Confederation College TV Studio Control Room


This Website is dedicated to the Radio and Television Arts Class that started the program in September of 1973 at Confederation College located in Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada

Our Classmates

Those who started the Radio & Television Arts Program in 1973

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Deanna Kappel

Diploma

Deanna Kappel attended the two-year Radio Television Arts Program at Confederation College of Applied Arts and Technology in Thunder Bay, Ontario from 1973-1975, graduating with a diploma in May 1975.

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Wow, here it is 2015: our ‘reunion’ 40 years in the making! My recollection of those two years at college is of a very intense, exciting, learning atmosphere happily shared with classmates. I think we soaked up as much as we could. Reconnecting after all this time is satisfying my curiosity about you all.

Deanna receiving Bursary Award

Award Banquet Date

Deanna receiving Bursary Award

During our two years in RTA, we all handled both on- and off-air duties, in all capacities, learning the basics of radio and television programming. For myself, I quickly learned that I was not very good at nor enjoyed the technical side of broadcasting very much. And being on-air did not appeal very much to me, either. My preference was for behind the scenes activities such as writing, producing and directing. Despite embracing the program’s intention, my broadcasting career lasted only five years.

Briefly, here it is: Following graduation, I was hired as a full-time creative copy writer for the continuity department by CKPR-TV and CHFD-TV in Thunder Bay, Ontario. In addition to the paid commercial aspect of the job, on my own unpaid time, I covered, wrote, produced and announced reviews of local entertainment events for CJSD-FM Radio, and several “Your Town Canada” programs for CKPR Radio. I also did the research for the latter. Those radio endeavours came to a screeching halt one day when Ray Dee, Program Manager, discovered my activities. He was furious, stating that no one wanted to hear a woman’s voice on the air! I was ordered to cease and desist immediately, or my career at the stations (all owned by Fraser Dougall) would end. I conceded defeat with those efforts. However, unbeknownst to Ray or the TV stations, I continued my paid freelance research work for CBQ Radio (the CBC Thunder Bay Radio Station).

After a year of ‘doing time’ in Thunder Bay, I relocated to Winnipeg, Manitoba. In addition to being a creative copywriter for CKY-TV, I also worked as a production/script assistant for the CTV network children’s program “Let’s Go!”. Following a one year stint there, CKND-TV in Winnipeg hired me as commercial copywriter. CKND-TV also allowed me to be involved in all aspects of public service announcements, mobile program productions and as a production/script assistant for a locally produced children’s show “Follow Me”, but would not hire me as a director or producer for anything, despite my having proven my ability to handle those positions. After three years, I ended my broadcasting career in 1980 when I left CKND-TV. I switched to freelancing.

This next phase of my career focussed mostly on print media: researching, writing, photography and public relations in the education and medical fields and the travel industry, plus five years as Public Affairs Officer for the Canadian Armed Forces Reserves, Prairie Militia Area at Canadian Forces Base Winnipeg. I also got involved in clubs such as the Business and Professional Women’s Club of Winnipeg, rising to become president for a couple of years before stepping down. Further activities during this time included contributing in various fund-raising events for hospitals and children’s social needs as well as dabbling a bit in local politics and live theatre.

Deanna Family Grad 1975

On a personal note, my life has been a series of `peaks and valleys` as one of my television managers used to describe life. One of my worst `valleys` occurred in 2011, when my oldest son, Herman, who most of you had met while I was a student with you, died suddenly, unexpectedly of a massive heart attack, leaving his wife and their two sons aged 9 and 11. We, his family and friends, remember times and experiences he enjoyed. Through memories, Herman continues to live on in all of us.

My ‘peaks’ include traveling. Over the years I have managed to visit Canada coast to coast including north to Churchill, MB and countries east and west of the Atlantic Ocean, plus a 7 night Western Caribbean Cruise.

My travels have also taken me to Germany, England, Scotland, Ireland and Mexico, plus a number of states throughout the U.S.

I’ve also been to Costa Rica where inadvertently I went zip-lining through the jungle treetops. That was the stupidest thing I’ve ever done in my life! I thought I was going on an aerial tram ride to view wildlife in the jungle and too late discovered how wrong I was. At that point, there was no way to back out.

Most recently, in 2014, I visited New Zealand where I ran a 10K race in Christchurch while my son Des (who most of you met while I was your classmate) ran the full marathon there. Then, amongst other sights on both the South Island and North Island, we indulged in tours featuring locations where the movies ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ were filmed. Producer/director Peter Jackson is a New Zealander and lives just outside of Wellington on the North Island. Although we visited his Weta workshop in Wellington, we did not get to meet him (boohoo).

In the later years of my working life, I chose to settle into steady pay-cheque jobs, finally retiring in 2012. And I must say, am very much enjoying retirement. I definitely recommend it.

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