2000 Richard Garneau

Richard Garneau
by Pierre Trudel

A lot of talent in one man.

Richard Garneau

Richard Garneau

In all aspects of life, the greatest men are the simplest. Richard Garneau is one of these men. The simplest men are usually the nicest and Richard Garneau is just that. I doesn’t do justice to his long and successful career to mention just highlights — but these few make an impressive list:

23 years at “La soirée du hockey” — 7 commonwealth games — 4 Pan-American games — not to forget the Canada and Quebec games.

These events have taken him around the world and have brought him many tributes and awards including the Best Reporter Award of the Montreal Games. He has also received four Gemini Awards for his outstanding work with Quebec television, the “Mérite du français” Award and the Gemini Awards Academy Trophy in recognition of his outstanding career. In 1999, he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame and last April was made a Knight of the “Ordre national du Québec. As an author, Richard Garneau has also written five books: “À toi Richard”, “Vie, rage dangereux”, “Les patins d’André” (a children’s story), “Train de nuit pour la gloire” (a book on hockey) and “À toi Richard, Prise 2”. Leaving Radio-Canada has not meant retirement, as he is still very active in the trade. He is participating at the RC programme “Samedi et rien d’autre à la radio” and remains the host of TVA’s “Magie sur glace”, which he will resume upon his return from Sydney. It all started in the City of Quebec with a first job with CHRC radio station in November 1953. Six months later, upon the arrival of television, he accepted a position at CFCM-TV 4, but because Quebec is rather restrictive and one quickly reaches the top, it is not long before he goes to Montreal to continue his career with Radio-Canada TV. It is now 1957 and Richard Garneau will stay for 33 years. “At the beginning, I worked as an announcer, according to the meaning this word had at that time. An announcer had to do everything. He was supposed to be host, reporter, journalist, newscaster, narrator, in short, all that was asked of him. Our work was all inclusive, it was fantastic!”

“In 1961, they classified jobs by asking each one of us to choose a specific field.” Richard Garneau chose sports.

“Sports were offering more opportunities for the future and I really liked this field. I was attracted by the opportunity to travel, to go around the world. What would have been my second choice? Variety shows!”

The Olympic Games have taken him to many parts of the world, but the Montreal Games remain an everlasting memory. “It is because I went through the experience from A to Z, from Mayor Drapeau’s first steps in 1966, that I keep saying that for me, the Montreal Games lasted 10 years”. Richard Garneau also ‘covered’ the Innsbruck Game, in 1964 and 1976, a place he considers as “The perfect venue for Winter Games. This country’s size is perfect, the scenery is magnificent and its people extraordinary.”

Known as a man of hockey for more than 30 years, everyone knows Richard Garneau`s true passion, “I have liked hockey for a long time but now like it less. I do not like the way it is played because it no longer permits true talent to express itself. In any case, the ‘professional’ sport I prefer is baseball. As with former Sports Media Canada Achievement Awards winner René Cavalier, my main passion is athletics, even today, in spite all the questioning regarding the ‘cleanliness’ of athletes and in spite of all the scandals.”

Of all the tributes and awards received, the one received from the Gemini Awards Academy has especially moved him. “They talked in detail about my career and seeing the pictures on the screen, I have to admit I had tears coming to my eyes. Being made Knight of the “Ordre national du Québec” was also a great honor, especially after I had written a strong critical article in “Actualité” the month before.”