Yvon Chouinard (1944-)
Member of CAB Hall of Fame
Chouinard, Yvon (1944- )
The town of Montmagny, Québec, on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River, in 1966, became the port of entry to the broadcasting industry of a 22-year old son of Sayabec in the Matapédia Valley, who went on to become one of the top broadcasting executives in Canada.
Yvon Chouinard signed-on with CKBM-AM as an announcer, but before the year ended he had moved to Edmunston, New Brunswick as the Program Director of CJEM-AM. Next, CKCN-AM in Sept-Iles beckoned, and Yvon served as its Program Director from 1967-70.
Then, came the move to television. His first TV role - Program Director of CHAU-TV in Carleton. Throughout this phase of his career, Yvon had the opportunity to learn all aspects of the broadcasting business as a host, journalist and news director, interviewer, producer, national sales manager and retail sales, culminating in his appointment as president and CEO.
In 1982-83, Yvon was a key player in the negotiations which led to the expansion of the TVA Network, Radio-Canada, CBC and Télé-Québec in the Gaspé Peninsula and northern New Brunswick.
During those years, he was actively involved as president of the Chamber of Commerce of Carleton, president of the Gaspé Regional Chamber of Commerce and vice-president of the Québec Provincial Chamber of Commerce, president of the Bonaventure Caisse d'Entraide Economique, funding director of the Gaspé Regional Tourist Association, director of the Gaspé Historical Association Foundation, president of Habitation Tracadieche, director of the Cooperative La Héronniére, president of the Carleton Economic Development Committee and several other community-related volunteer positions. He was appointed member for life of the Gaspé Regional Tourist Association. In 1999, the new building of CHAU-TV was named after him to recognize his contribution to the Gaspé community.
In 1985, Yvon moved to Peterborough, Ontario to manage three stations owned by Paul Demarais and Claude Pratte - CHEX-TV, CKWF-FM and CKRU-AM.. At the same time, he continued to manage the operation of their Québec stations, including CHAU-TV, owned through the holding, Prades Inc.
Returning to his native province in 1987, Yvon saw to the launching of CIKI-FM in Rimouski, while participating in the creation of Power Broadcasting Inc. and its subsequent growth through a series of acquisitions, mainly in Québec. In 1991, Yvon was appointed Executive Vice-President of Power Broadcasting Inc. and eventually became responsible for the management of all the stations owned by the company in both Québec and Ontario with 450 employees. Yvon was subsequently appointed Executive Vice-President of Power Technology Investment Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Power Corporation of Canada, in Montreal. He was also appointed a director of the Montreal daily La Presse.
Yvon was always active in his community and the industry. His record reveals that he served as a director of the CAB Board and as Chairman of the Radio Marketing Bureau. Additionally, he served on the boards and committees of a number of other trade organizations including BBM, ACRTF, BCRQ, Advertising Standards Canada, (CBSC), Musicaction, and CCF (Canadian Communications Foundation). He was also a member of the National Affiliates Committee (NAC) of the CBC and a director of the TVA Network.
Yvon received a Bachelor Degree in Administration and a Certificate in Human Resources Management from the Québec University in Montreal (UQAM). Memberships held include the Human Resources Professionals Association of Québec and the editorial advisory committee of Gestion, a management journal published by HEC (Ecoles des Hautes Etudes Commerciales de Montreal).
In 2000, Yvon Chouinard was inducted into the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame.
As the Canadian Communications Foundation's broadcasting history website grew, Yvon's servidces were invaluable, as he provided many pieces on French broadcasting and broadcasters in Canada, as well as supervising French translations of many histories of radio and television stations.
Written by J. Lyman Potts - November, 2000