Gord Atkinson is a legend in radio in Ontario.
He was the voice of CFMO Radio over the years and was known for his friendship with Bing Crosby, among other entertainment stars.
Gord, who lives in Stittsville, attended last Friday’s Christmas concert presented by the Stairwell Carollers a cappella choir of Ottawa. At the end of the concert, when Stairwell Carollers director and founder Pierre Massie made some closing remarks, he pointed out the presence of Mr. Atkinson in the audience, noting that the Stairwell Carollers were always on the Christmas broadcasts which he hosted on the radio.
Indeed, it was during their first appearance on radio with Gord Atkinson that the group got its name. As Mr. Massie told it at last Friday’s concert, there was a little air space at the beginning of the broadcast and the group was asked its name. Up until that point, this group, then perhaps ten singers who sang around at various shopping malls and businesses, did not have a name. But the name Stairwell Carollers, based on its beginnings singing in stairwells, was quickly suggested and that has been the choir’s name ever since.
Mr. Massie also noted that Mr. Atkinson had a lot of involvement in the choir’s production of a fundraising album for Ronald McDonald House in 1986, an initiative which raised over $53,000.
Mr. Massie and Mr. Atkinson embraced and exchanged good wishes after the concert. Mr. Atkinson remarked how great it was not only to see Pierre and his wife Holly, who sings in the choir, once again but also to hear the choir sing again.