Thomas James Allard (1914-1982)

Thomas James Allard
T. Jim Allard

Year Born: 1914

Year Died: 1982

Year of Induction: 1987

Pioneer – Member of CAB Hall of Fame

Allard, Thomas James “Jim” (1914-1982)

Jim Allard, best-remembered for his roles with the Canadian Association of Broadcasters, began his working life, as many did, in the great depression. Following a number of years in the newspaper field, he started his broadcasting career in Edmonton, where he joined the Southam-owned CJCA, managed by Taylor-Pearson-Carson. As a volunteer, Jim worked his way up the ladder as an announcer, writer, newscaster, continuity editor. By 1937 he became the public relations director for the T.P.C. group of western stations which formed the nucleus of the expanding organization.

In 1944, Jim was brought to Ottawa to manage the Radio Bureau – the public service and programming division of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters, and was responsible for organizing the “Report From Parliament Hill”. With this program, Members of Parliament were given the opportunity of speaking to their constituents in 15-minute broadcasts on CAB member stations on the business of Parliament. Initially, the talks (scheduled on a rotating basis within station-serviced areas) were recorded in a studio in the CAB’s offices on 16-inch electrical transcriptions and shipped to the participating stations. The transcriptions were replaced with the advent of tapes.

In 1948, Jim Allard became General Manager of the CAB, under difficult circumstances. In 1953 he was appointed Executive Vice-President, remaining in that position for 20 years. Until his death in 1982, he was retained by the CAB as a special consultant on copyright and archival information. Jim was the author of two publications tracing the history of Canadian broadcasting – “The CAB Story 1926-1976”, and a major book published by the Canadian Communications Foundation through Heritage House Publishers Ltd., Ottawa – “STRAIGHT UP” – The History of Private Broadcasting in Canada.

Jim Allard, one of the most dedicated persons ever to serve the cause of private broadcasting in Canada, especially during an era of internal turmoil and government suppression, well-deserved a special place of honour in the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame, into which he was inducted in 1987.

Written by J. Lyman Potts – October, 1998