Year Died: 2002
Forst, Julie ( -2002)
“Practical, energetic and street smart.” These were some of the words used to describe Julie Forst, a Canadian pioneer and respected member of the broadcasting community.
Julie Forst, along with her husband Bill, founded CJFB- TV in Swift Current, Saskatchewan in December, 1957. Through the course of time, Julie became both owner and general manager of the station. As a woman in business and co-founder of the company, she met and faced all the challenges that came with the decision to operate as an independent.
In an age of major television networks, CJFB-TV endured on its own for almost half a century, but from start to finish, Julie was a part of it, remaining steadfast in her partner’s convictions and beliefs to maintain the station as a single, independent outlet.
Julie’s role went beyond that of being an owner and general manager of a television station; she was an active member of the business community. Julie was viewed by friends as a generous and community-minded woman with “uncommon common sense.” She supported numerous charities and organizations and served as a director of the Swift Current Chamber of Commerce. Perhaps the achievement Julie was most proud of was being credited with the creation of the Kinsmen Telethon in Saskatchewan, an event that has grown to become a provincially televised fundraiser. Telemiracle, as it is now called, is recognized nationally for the tens of millions of dollars that it has raised for individuals with disabilities in the province.
Julie maintained her position as general manager, president and owner of Swift Current Telecasting Co. until the station’s signal was transferred to the CBC in May of 2002. Before co-founding CJFB-TV, Julie worked in radio in Red Deer, Alberta and Dawson Creek, British Columbia. Julie was close to her family, her music, and nature itself. Weekends found her at the Forst cabin in the Cypress Hills. She had vitality, style, a sense of humour, and a love of life which always endured.
Julie Forst passed away Thursday, October 3, 2002. She was survived by her husband Bill and daughters Deborah and Darlene.
Written by Lee Friesen – 2002