Terry DiMonte – Home Again

I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Montreal.  Writer and media personality, Matthew Cope, happened to run into Terry DiMonte in Westmount the other day, and was quick to respond to my request to share this photo he posted on Facebook.  I know Matthew from my days at CFCF TV. Montreal is just that kind of city. You always run into someone you know and it is easy to stay connected to people. Small town feel under big city lights.

The story of Terry DiMonte -“Radio morning man returning to the airwaves in Montreal after a 4 year stop in Calgary”  is of interest to me (and thousands of others, apparently) for many reasons.  Not the least of which is that it provides a glimpse of the complexity of life in Canada.  Terry’s story is one of many that have been experienced by Quebec anglophones who have moved west to start new lives.

My story is on the opposite side of the coin. I am a western Canadian by birth (Winnipeg), who claimed Montreal as home for a dozen years in my television news career.  I now call South Florida home, but Montreal is that shiny bit of magic that remains undefined and truly missed. Every Canadian should live in Montreal for at least a year. It will completely change your perception of what Canada is all about. To be an “Anglo” in Quebec is a complicated affair. I think it fair to say that to be “Quebecois” in Canada is equally complicated, but that is a story for another day.

I am enriched by my experience in Quebec, and by the people who I have met along the way.

Terry and I knew each other professionally and our paths would occasionally cross at media and cultural events.  In addition to that, he was “my” morning radio man who helped me ease into the day and get off to work as I sat down to coffee and Cheerios.

Bill Brownstein, another contemporary from my Montreal life, writes for the Montreal Gazette. His thoughtful and detailed piece on Terry DiMonte’s return to Montreal is a terrific read.

Terry’s return broadcast will be heard early on Monday, January 9th.

Best wishes for success and happiness, Terry. Have a great time in a great city.

Montreal Anglos Moving Back – Terry DiMonte

An era has come to an end in Calgary morning radio with Terry DiMonte packing up his boots and ten gallon hat and heading back to Montreal. I’ve been following this story because Terry is taking a terrific gamble that many former Montrealers only dream of taking. Montreal is a fabulous city to call home. So is Calgary. I’ve lived in both over the years. One has mountains in view from town; the other “The Mountain” from which to view the city.

Sandi Krawchenko, reporter, CFCF TV, Montreal

I moved to Montreal from my hometown, Winnipeg, in 1980 and lived there for 12 years, working as a reporter/anchor/entertainment editor at CTV Montreal, which was then known as Pulse News on CFCF TV. Montreal is the kind of city you fall in love with. A cosmopolitan French city with an international flair, and known as one of “the coolest” cities in the world, according to a recent survey, it is an international jewel, where every taste can be satisfied, and the bagels are the best in the world.

There is a constant intensity of emotion in the city that inspires passion, strong debate and a deep appreciation for the better aspects of city life. It’s a party town with a joie de vivre that bubbles out of a heated political reality–two dominant cultures working out their conflicts and accommodations over a colourful 400 year history.

Add to that the ease of getting out of Montreal for Le Weekend “up north” or in the townships, or even skiing in Vermont, and you start to have a sense of the appeal of making Montreal home. It is as easy as it is difficult to be comfortable in Montreal.

This is Quebec. A life of contrasts. Beautiful, cantankerous, heartbreaking and exciting. I’ve talked to a number of people who have returned to Montreal after being away, and the experience was perhaps best summed up by this comment from a business associate:

“In some ways, it is like going back into a volatile love relationship. You fully appreciate the problems but can’t resist the appeal of being intensely alive, so you go back, and hope for the best.”

Here’s wishing Terry DiMonte a great ride in his new start in Montreal.

You’ll hear him on CHOM, January 9, 2012.