Welford, Bob

WELFORD, Robert Henry

On January 15, 2008 Bob Welford passed away after a battle with cancer at the age of 77 years. Bob touched many lives through out the years and will be missed by anyone that knew him. He was predeceased by his parents, Lillian and Philip Welford. A Funeral Service will be held on Monday, January 28, 2008 at 2:00 p.m. at the Evergreen Funeral Chapel, 16204 Fort Road, Edmonton. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Alberta Cancer Foundation. To sign the book of condolences, visit: www.evergreenmemorial.com Evergreen Funeral Chapel & Reception Centre, Cemetery Cremation Centre 472-9019

Bob was originally one of the top salespeople at CFRN-TV. But his mark on the production community of Edmonton was felt as Production Manager and Executive Producer of hundreds of programs that he initiated or was involved with. Not only did his shows involve international talent but they also gave major opportunities to those seeking a hosting career in television. One of them was former Miss Canada Terry-Lynne Meyer, who had this to say about Bob when she learned of his death:

“I have so many images of his wry humour and clever quick mind. His was one of the first faces of CFRN-TV to me as I wandered in for the Miss Edmonton Pageant. And he was the one that believed in me enough to throw me in with Fred Vos on Football Huddle (I think he did that for his own comic relief), and then took the leap of faith to have me host the Day by Day show. I think it is no exaggeration to say that Bob Welford was a pivotal person who changed my life. Today (upon learning of his death) I will celebrate all of my good fortune and good friends from CFRN that Bob made possible by giving me the room to try. He gave people space to be creative and to try, and although he could be deadly funny when we fell flat on our face, he had such a big heart that we could never stay wounded.”

For those who knew him and worked with him, it could not have been said better. He loved television production and did everything to make it work even though many of us feel he never did get the full credit he deserved. When one thinks of the volume and quality of programs he initiated, it’s mind-boggling. His programs gave opportunities to the amateurs as well as exposure to established artists. He either produced the shows or was Executive Producer, but always had an influence on their content and would never accept a secondary standard. Although it’s virtually impossible to list them all, here are some examples of the shows and people with which he was involved:

  • Miss Edmonton Pageant
  • Miss Teen Pageant
  • Day by Day
  • Marquee – Shari Ulrich, Amos Agrrett, Laura Vinson
  • Sugar Beat – hosts Jackie Parker and Gabrielle Bugeaud
  • Telerama – from the Mayfield Inn with a variety of hosts that included Mike Darow, Bobby Curtola, Doug Paulson
  • Pops Showcase – with the Edmonton Symphony and special guests
  • The Young performers and The New Performers – with 26 core players from the ESO conducted by Harry Pinchin and piano by Tommy Banks
  • You Tell Us – hosted by Doug Paulson, with guests Dinah Christie, Harold Gould, Fil Fraser and many others
  • Fanfare – hosted by Don Percy with guests Matt Dunigan, Al McCann, John Short and many others
  • McBeth in three acts – with Douglas Campbell and Jennifer Phipps
  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Symphony – with the ESO conducted by Harry Pinchin, starring Tim Conway, Charlie Farquason, Kay Ballard, Skiles and Henderson
  • Sun Country – with Ian Tyson and guests including k.d. lang, Emmy Lou Harris, Bim, R. Harlan Smith
  • Tommy Banks Jazz
  • De Fliedermaus – a three hour special from the University of Alberta Drama Department
  • Paul Hann and Friends
  • 44 Fun Street – with Blake Emmons and a variety of Edmonton talent

I could go on and on. The list is long and impressive but the above will give you an idea of what he did for television out of Edmonton, a record that no one can match. As broadcasters, he deserves our applause.

Bob Welford passed away on January 15th, 2008, at the age of 77 after a battle with cancer.

filed 2008