MHS Smarty Party: 20 October 2022

Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Donald Charles “Don” Brinton (1927-2022)

Broadcaster.

Born at Vegreville, Alberta on 3 October 1927, he graduated from the University of Alberta and started a career in broadcasting in 1950 at CFYK Radio in Yellowknife, North West Territories. In 1951, he returned to Edmonton to join CFRN Radio, moving later to CFRN Television, the first of four television stations that he helped to launch. While in Edmonton, he was active in the local arts community as an actor and producer at the Walterdale Theatre. He was active in promoting the Yellowhead Association that advocated for development of the Yellowhead Highway from Manitoba to British Columbia.

He moved to Saskatoon in 1964 as Vice-President and General Manager of CFQC Television where his passion was developing local programming. Ten years later, he came to Winnipeg to help in launching CKND Television in affiliation with Israel Harold “Izzy” Asper. As Executive Vice-President and General Manager, he was responsible for starting the new, independent station. In 1979, he was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of CanWest Broadcasting Limited. He continued a commitment to promotion of local programming, including the CanWest Drama Project that ran from 1981 to 1988.

He led expansion of CanWest to stations in Saskatoon and Regina, and later Vancouver, leading to his appointment as Vice-Chair of CanWest Global Communications Corporation, during which time he moved to Vancouver. By the early 1990s, in semi-retirement, he continued to help in international expansion for CanWest and eventually moved back to Alberta. In retirement, he founded a club for retired business people at West Vancouver.

For his contributions to the growth of television broadcasting in Canada, he was inducted into the Order of Canada (2016).

He died on 1 February 2022.

Sources:

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 12 February 2022.

DCB's Professional Career and Retirement, Brinton Family.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 12 February 2022

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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