CanoeFM is adding Rich Anton to its roster of on-air personalities. He will be taking over the Buckslide Blues show, starting at 7 p.m. Sept. 26.

“I know that I have some big shoes to fill,” said Anton about stepping into the show that Pat Monaghan had broadcast for a number of years. “I didn’t know just how big, but one thing I found with Canoe, which I am so grateful for, is that everyone, from fans of the show to people at Canoe, have all stepped up and said, ‘we’ve got your back, we’ll help you and you got this’,”

Having worked with the TTC for 29 years, and recently retired, Anton bought property in the area and built a home. With the house completed this summer, he discovered CanoeFM and, “just fell in love with the radio station.” He enjoyed the variety of shows, as well as the whole vibe. “When I first tuned in, it felt like a warm blanket, it had a warm, down-home kind of feel to it. And some of the ads I found were so endearing and humorous.”

He regrets he never got to meet Monaghan, however in a short time he has come to realize what a great authority Monaghan was on the Blues. “His contribution to this community was so vast.”

Anton has some roots in the Blues, listening for enjoyment, and playing the harmonica the past 28 years. When he heard of Monaghan’s passing, he did not know if the show would continue, but really wanted to keep it going. Even though he has only been here a few months, he is very excited about the opportunity to get involved and do things.

“The people are so friendly and supportive. It is a testament to the people who live here that there is so much going on. There are a lot of wonderful, awesome, giving, loving, proactive, community-minded people that are making a lot of cool stuff happen up here,” Anton said.

He is looking forward to his debut saying he is excited, and a little nervous.

“In honor of Pat, I want to keep things the same, like the name of the show, the intro music, ‘Green Onions.’ I think it is respectful and appropriate to continue in the same vein. However, I will be adding my own style and flavour, but I think it is respectful at the same time when carrying on some history.”

Anton is not only hosting the Buckslide Blues show, but has become an active member of the Highlands Buckslide Blues Society, which is sponsoring a concert Oct. 26 by the Downchild Blues Band, that he will emcee. He is also playing a gig with Sean Cotton at the Haliburton Highlands Museum Nov. 17.

He said people should jump right in, see how they can contribute, and get involved. “It is rewarding, exciting, fun, and meaningful. And you will meet some wonderful people,” Anton said.

“I can’t fill Patrick’s shoes, but I believe that we as a community can.”

Rich Anton will host the Buckslide Blues show on CanoeFM starting Sept. 26