Jean-Joffre Gourd (1916-2001)
Pioneer - Member of CAB Hall of Fame
Gourd, Jean-Joffre (1916-2001)
Lawyer, broadcaster, entrepreneur, philanthropist. Jean-Joffre Gourd began his career in law in 1941. His broadcasting career followed shortly thereafter. It was in 1948 that in association with his brother David-Armand Gourd and Robert Charbonneau, he founded Radio Nord and bought three radio stations in Abitibi. A fourth AM station began broadcasting on September 1, 1950, coincidental with his appointment that year as President of Radio Nord, Inc..
Radio Nord Inc. diversified its services in 1957 and entered the television field with the inauguration of CKRN-TV on December 25th and its affiliation with the CBC-TV network.
In 1973, Jean-Joffre Gourd was elected chairman of the Board of Radio Nord Inc., and assumed the duties of Managing Director. In the following years, the company was successful in acquiring additional television licences; in 1978, CHOT-TV Ottawa-Hull, as an affiliate of TVA; in 1979. CFEM-TV Abitibi-Temiscamingue (TVA); in 1986, two new affiliates of Television Quatre Saisons - CFGS-TV Ottawa-Hull and CFVS-TV Val d'Or.
Meanwhile, in 1979, Radio Nord had established another radio station - CHLM-FM in Abitibi-Temiscamingue. Further diversification occurred with the purchase of a production studio in Ottawa.
As it entered the last decade of the 1900s, Radio Nord Inc was employing over 200 people, having grown from only a few in 1948.
While practicing law and heading a burgeoning radio-television enterprise, Jean-Joffre Gourd served as President of the mining company - St. Lawrence Columbium and Metals Corporation; as a director of Canada Permanent Trust, Quebec Columbium Ltd. and many other organizations.
Jean-Joffre Gourd's philanthropic endeavours centred on French Canadian arts and culture: - an active role in theatre as a manager and in other functions; a life-member of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; a member of many associations, such as the Executive Committee of Jeunesse musicales du Canada and the Festival de musique du Quebec.
Other affiliations include the Chambre de commerce francois du Canada, the Canadian Congress of Christians and Jews (President of the National Board of Directors), the Hospital Notre-Dame de Montreal (Governor), the Hospital St-Justine and the Newcomen Society of North America. He was a co-founder of the Fondation des communications chretiennes et oecumeniques, which aims to evangelize through communications.
In 1988, the many contributions to the Canadian radio and television industries of Jean-Joffre Gourd were recognized when he was inducted into the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame.
Jean-Joffre Gourd died in February, 2001.
Written by J. Lyman Potts - March, 1997