Year Born: 1950
Year of Induction: 2009
Member of CAB Hall of Fame
Chamberland, Michel (1950- )
After graduating from the University of Sherbrooke with a Bachelor Degree in education, Michel began his career with Bell Canada in 1974 as a marketing manager. He was eventually lent by Bell to the Festival des cantons of Sherbrooke to assist the organization in their marketing activities and became closely associated with the celebrated television show “Soirée canadienne”, hosted by Louis Bilodeau.
In 1977, he started his career in broadcasting for good when he joined CKAC Montreal and the Telemedia Radio Network where he was Marketing Director for two years.
In 1979, he was hired by Radio Canada and at only 28 , he became Director of all entertainment programming for the French network. During that period he was named chairman of the Entertainment Committee of the Association des télédiffuseurs de la communauté francophone internationale (International Francophone Broadcasters Association).
In 1986, he was recruited by Cogeco as Vice-president television (Sherbrooke and Trois-Rivières). He was then responsible for the management of Cogeco’s four television stations (2 Radio-Canada affiliates and 2 TQS affiliates). He launched a new morning show entitled “Les anges du matin” hosted by Denis Bergeron and Christine Lamer, which was aired throughout Radio-Canada’s network. He was also one of the founding members of TV5 Québec-Canada created in 1986.
In 1988, he was back in Montreal as Vice-President Programming of Tele-Metropole and the TVA Network. Those were very productive years where he was instrumental in the production and programming of several successful series. In particular, he was behind the long runing concept of “Salut bonjour”, an early morning show which opened a new opportunity for the Quebec television industry.
During his 7-year stay at TVA, he served as Vice-president of Operation Enfant Soleil, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving pediatric services and supporting child targeted social interventions. He was also a board member of the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation.
In 1995, he was appointed Vice-President and General Manager of Serdy Video inc. whose parent company Serdy Direct Inc. became a partner of Canal Évasion, a travel specialty channel launched on January 21, 2000. Michel was the founding president and chief executive officer of Canal Évasion until 2004. During those years, Michel had the opportunity to work with his son David, particularly on the production of the series “Les fils à papa” (Daddy’s sons). Unfortunately, his son died in a car accident on October 24, 1998. In memory of his son, Michel supported the creation of a special program (Programme de sélection David-Chamberland) at the Jonquiere College’s (Cégep de Jonquière) Arts and Letters – Cinema and Communication – program, to enrol promising students whose grades were not good enough to be admitted to the program.
In 2004, he started Les Productions Télé-Génik, a production company specializing in various types of television shows including magazine, entertainment and quiz shows. Among the most popular shows produced by Michel’s company were « L’union fait la force », « Des squelettes dans le placard », « La roue de fortune » and « La poule aux œufs d’or ».
Michel Chamberland is a pioneer of television broadcasting known for his ability to use television as a window into and a mirror for Canadian society. Michel advocated the use of high-definition and interactivity in broadcasting.
Michel Chamberland was inducted into the CAB Hall of Fame in 2009.
Written by Yvon Chouinard – November, 2009