Dressed in CanoeFM garb, radio host Patrick Monaghan reached a culmination of five years of work when he accepted the award for best Jazz and Blues Programming from the National Campus and Community Radio Association Nov. 9.
Monaghan’s Buckslide Blues Cruise show has attracted an audience stretching from coast-to-coast online.
“I was honoured to be elected, even in the final, and thrilled to be the winner,” Monaghan said. “I put a lot of hours into it. I put a lot of time promoting the show, building the show.”
That effort has paid off for Monaghan, who began his radio career just five years ago. The former operator of Buckslide Dog Treats, Monaghan was plucked from the farmers market by CanoeFM personnel, who praised his voice and suggested he should try out.
“There was an opening in the Blues area, which is my passion,” he said. “When I was in my teems, I realized years later, the music I listened to was rock, but it was very blues-based. ZZ Top, Rolling Stones, bands like that.”
Monaghan said he grew his audience, with listeners hailing from both sides of the border in places such as California and Ohio. He has also journeyed away from the studio, taking his show on the road, getting involved in concerts and events around the province.
“I spend more time promoting the show than I do putting the show on,” Monaghan said.
Station manager, Roxanne Casey, said it was good to see Monaghan get recognition.
“He does such a fabulous job on his program and he puts his heart and soul into every week’s show,” Casey said. “He does a really great job of delivery.”
Although his program has experienced rising success, the past year has come with hardship. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in September 2019. As he treated it, the pandemic came along, ending his events and live studio sessions.
“The culmination of the effort I’ve made and everything’s all coming together,” he said of his show’s rise. “Then I got sick, and then the virus. It was like a double whammy.”
Still, his show has carried on despite the difficult circumstances – including his cancer recently coming back in his lung. A GoFundMe also raised more than $5,000 to help with his travel and treatment costs, with a benefit concert in November 2019 in Collingwood.
“It was overwhelming,” he said of the effort. “I couldn’t talk without welling up in tears. Just so overwhelmed with gratitude.”
Monaghan is still regularly in studio, making a concentrated effort to help promote new artists unable to rely on concerts due to the pandemic.
“I can’t carry a tune in a bucket,” he said. “This is one way I can be involved in something that I love so much.”