Tim Belford retires after 21 years as host of Quebec AM

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Photo: CBC, Radio Peter Black

Tim Belford officially aired his last Quebec AM show on July 8.

Tim Belford will no longer narrate the waves of Quebec AM with his trademark warm and witty voice. In fact, July 8 was Belford’s last official day on the air. Though he was the Sherbrook host of the Quebec AM show for four years, he returned to the Quebec City studio and joined Susan Campbell to wrap up his radio career.

“For the last 21 years, Tim has hosted Quebec AM. He has steered the show through many momentous events in the province, including the Saguenay floods, the ice storm, and the Summit of the Americas in Quebec City. He has traveled to communities across Quebec, from Gaspé to the Abitibi to the Lower North Shore. He’s been the voice of CBC in Quebec’s regions for 5 provincial elections, 7 federal elections, 2 referenda, and countless municipal elections,” said Helen Evans, CBC Program Manager for Radio Current Affairs. “I would like to thank Tim for being close to listeners for more than two decades and helping to knit together anglophone communities across Quebec.”

Belford recalls feeling history happen at key moments, like announcing that a plane had just hit the Trade Towers on September 11, 2001, and finding out the next day the full impact of that newsflash. Nor has he forgotten the Meech Lake Accord, the second referendum, and the Summit of the Americas.
A great raconteur, Tim Belford was born in St.Catharines, Ontario, into a family of four children in 1947. After earning a teacher’s degree in Ontario, he completed a B.A. at Bishop’s University and then did graduate work in Russian and French history at Dalhousie University. He has lived in Quebec, with the exception of one brief interlude, since 1968. He has worked as a teacher, naval officer, theatre manager, bartender, public relations officer, columnist and newspaper editor. For many years, he wrote popular columns for the Website “Log Cabin Chronicles,” started by John Mahoney in Stanstead.

However, for the past twelve years, he was the host of the CBC morning show, Quebec AM. But his career did not start there right off. After trying various jobs for 23 years, Tim Belford found the CBC. “It was a perfect fit, a match made in heaven.” Belford loved the early mornings, where he was “paid to talk.” Now twenty-one years later, the talk show host decided, “It’s time to go. The gig is up, and you realize that important as you are, the show must go on, and it will.” As for his retirement plans, Belford admit, “I still don’t have a clue.”

Having announced his retirement plans in May, Tim Belford’s last shows were devoted to discussing this new phase of life. The CBC highlighted special memory lane moments with community correspondents such as Betty-Alice Strickland in Chevery. On July 7, Tim Belford spoke with Quebec City’s first correspondent, Karen Macdonald, who is also the former co-owner and publisher of the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph. Macdonald is now the Global News Director in Montreal.

As part of a retirement gift, Belford was asked whom he would love to interview as his final guest. Researcher Glenn Wanamaker, knowing that Belford is a die-hard Maple Leafs fan, lined up an interview with Maple Leaf legend Johnny Bower, 86, the last Maple Leaf goalie to win a Stanley Cup in 1967. Contacted at his home near Toronto, Bower joked with Belford and discussed fondly how hockey has changed over the years.

In the first week at the radio station after Belford’s retirement, Kim Garritty, Senior Producer of Quebec AM, commented, “It’s been just a few days, but we miss him. He is a great personality.”

Contacted July 13 at his Lennoxville home he shares with wife Jane, Tim Belford said he “is doing just fine and adjusting well.”