Tara Nanayakkara

Farewell Canada AM

A beloved Canadian institution has suddenly slipped into broadcast history. Canada AM is no more. This televised breakfast news magazine interspersed with lifestyle pieces and human interest stories was as relevant and hip in 2016 as it was the day it first aired in 1972. The hosts have changed. The political and cultural landscape of Canada has changed but Canada AM remained a beacon of hope, lighting up our mornings with a program that showcased what it means to be a Canadian in a vast, diverse country with it's multicultural tones and unique regional perspectives.

I grew up with Canada AM broadcasting in the background of my youth. In more recent years, I would actually sit down with my bread and peanut butter, green tea brewing on the kitchen counter and watch Marci Ien, and Beverly Thomson read the news, chat with guests and bring a lighthearted energy into my family room. I got a kick out of listening to weather anchor Jeff Hutcheson tell us all the things he learned on his whimsical spot "Things I learned on the Internet."  Anyone who was a regular viewer of the show knows what that is all about. Then there were the tweets people posted on the Canada AM twitter accounts, everything from brilliant sunrises to quirky pet pics.

The show has barely been off the air a few hours and I already miss what will not be occurring this coming Monday morning; the cooking demos in the AM kitchen and wondering which performer would be next on the AM sound stage.

What I appreciated about Canada AM is the sense of commnity it portrayed.  From coast to coast, you felt as if we were all together as one.  If  Canada  AM didn't represent Canadian unity, I don't know what does.

I am still in shock at the suddenness of the show's demise. How could such quality programming be halted in its tracks without a moment's warning? The bigger question is why?

Last summer, my son, then thirteen started watching it.  At the time he was following the news about the impending federal election to be held that fall.

Interestingly, it was my son who looked at the news on his iPad after school yesterday and told me that Canada AM was being cancelled, after forty-three seasons not next year, not next month but immediately. I was thunderstruck.

In bed that night, I just stared at the ceiling, I couldn't sleep. Yes I was that sad. This morning I wasn't even sure I could bring myself to watch the final airing of Canada AM. Too painful to watch I told myself and it was. To see my three favourite TV hosts say good by to all of us across the country brought tears to my eyes. It felt like an emotional moment for all.

Farewell Beverly, Marci and Jeff.  You are the best. You will be missed.

Farewell Canada AM