Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION

West Winnipeger climbing to top of Montreal radio

  • Print

For Andrea Collins, the road to becoming one of Montreal’s most listened-to English radio announcers is rooted in west Winnipeg.

Collins, who can currently be heard on-air as a top-rated drive-home announcer on Montreal’s Virgin Radio 96, was raised in St. James.

"I remember I used to listen to the radio and think all the DJs had the coolest job," says Collins, who graduated from Silver Heights Collegiate.

Collins went on to obtain a four-year BA Joint Degree in Communications at the University of Winnipeg and Red River College while cutting her teeth on those schools’ radio stations.

That led to her first professional job on 1290 CFRW with Don Percy and then onto Q94, Curve and BOB, as well as KOOL FM in Victoria B.C., before finally landing at her dream job at Virgin Radio 96 in Montreal almost two years ago.

The hardest part about adjusting to life in Montreal has been, not surprisingly, the language, but Collins is taking French classes and immersing herself into her new community in Le Plateau everyday, often with her dog, Sophie.

"There is always a lot to do here, so my challenge is to take in as much of it as I can. Just last week it was Fashion Week, Poutine Week and Igloofest, this crazy outdoor dance festival," she says.

But Winnipeg is never that far away, she says.

"Last week I was at this record store where the clerk and I started chatting. Turns out, he went to Oak Park! We high-fived in the middle of the store and had a good laugh."

Collins says the transient nature of radio careers is scary, but she’s found a way around it: "I feel that if you always work really hard at what you do, you’ll be just fine."

And that hard work is paying off.

Collins is among the first, or possibly the first, female drive-time hosts on Montreal radio that has close to two million listeners each week, and it’s something she doesn’t take for granted.

"I look at the other people I’m up against in my time slot and it’s all men, or teams of men and women. I look at their studios, full of producers, operators and co-hosts and then think, ‘hey, it’s just me here, doing all those jobs that all those people do, solo...and my numbers some of the biggest in the market,’" she says.

"That’s a good feeling."

Listen to Andrea online at montreal.virginradio.ca and follow her on Twitter @ACVirginRadio.

Trevor Suffield is a community correspondent for St. James-Assiniboia. You can contact him at trevorsuffield@gmail.com.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Readers' Choice Awards

Best Of Winnipeg Readers Survey

See the results of the 2014 Canstar Community News Best of Winnipeg Readers' Survey.

View Results

This Just In Twitter bird

Poll

Are you concerned about West Nile Virus?

View Results