Beverley Oda (1944-)

Beverley Oda

Year Born: 1944

Year of Induction: 2003

Member of CAB Hall of Fame

Oda, Beverley (1944- )

Beverley Joan Oda entered the broadcasting industry in 1973 with TV Ontario, then moved to cable television with Rogers Cable. She joined commercial television in 1976 as program director for Multilingual Television (Toronto) Ltd., responsible for MTV’s ethnic programming over CITY-TV, Toronto. In 1979 she became a producer at Global Television.

As an independent producer and consultant, Beverley worked with various broadcasting entities including the CBC and many cable specialty networks. She produced 28 major telethons for various non-profit organizations across Canada. Her consulting practice specialized in CRTC policy and applications primarily for ethnic broadcasters and which became a stepping-stone to joining Rogers Broadcasting Inc. as Director, Government and Public Affairs for CFMT-TV Toronto.

In 1987, Beverley was appointed a full-time commissioner of the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) for a seven-year term. As a commissioner, she participated in a number of major regulatory decisions and policy reviews including the introduction of long-distance competition in telecommunications, the structural review of the broadcasting industry, and the deregulation of many aspects of radio and TV, and she chaired the Commission’s task force reviewing sex role stereotyping.

Upon leaving the CRTC in 1994, Beverley became the Chair of FUND, the Foundation to Write New Drama, and resumed her work as a consultant in the broadcasting and telecommunications fields. In 1995, she joined Baton Broadcasting as Senior Vice-President, Programming, and in 1998 was appointed Senior Vice-President, Industry Affairs for CTV Inc.

In 1999, after 25 years in Canadian broadcasting, Beverley Oda retired but  maintained ties to the industry as Co-chair of the CAB’s  Cultural Diversity Task Force, as Chair of the Community Advisory Board, CJNT, Montreal and a Board member of Rogers Cable and Documentary Fund.

Throughout her professional career, Beverley served on the boards of many associations, among them, Canadian Women in Communications (CWC), the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB), the North American Broadcasters Association (NABA), the Banff Television Festival, Women In Film and Television (WIFT) and the Media Awareness Network.

In 2003, Beverley Oda was inducted into the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame. In 2004, she was elected Member of Parliament for Durham, Ontario, and served as Heritage critic. When the Stephen Harper-led Conservatives came to power in February 2006, Beverley was made a Cabinet Minister with responsibility for Canadian Heritage and Status of Women.

On August 14, 2007, she was appointed to a new portfolio: Minister for International Cooperation.