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  • Dan Duguay

A Champion for the Arts

I first heard of Dave Kelly like everyone else. If you were in Calgary and you got up early and turned on the television in the 90's and early 2000's, you would see him on Breakfast TV. He interviewed people, tested things, made jokes and did what morning show hosts do. He was a staple of Calgary culture.

I first met Dave Kelly in 1997 when I was invited on the Breakfast Show after I was voted FFWD Magazine's "Best Busker". I subsequently returned to the show quite a few times when Dave was the host: For a CD release party, to promote Revv52 and for a couple other promotions. I always loved his enthusiasm, genuine interest and the kindness he exuded. Last March at the Mayor's Lunch for Arts Champions, where this photo was taken,

Making the mayor laugh

Dave Kelly was the Emcee for the event and had been interviewing Mayor Nenshi in the casual manner he is so good at. Afterwards when I went to say hello, the first thing he asked me was how my variety show was doing and if I'd like to come on the Dave Kelly Live Show to promote it. "Ah... yes please!" was my immediate answer. Dave has been running his own "variety show" for the past 3 seasons. They're held at Theatre Junction Grand on 1st St and 7th Ave SW in Calgary.

He invited my wife and I to attend the show as observers in September. It was such a fun time!

He had great guests such as... Amber Marshall from the CBC show Heartland as well a Aiden Young the stunt coordinator & The Blake Reid Band. It was clear Dave hadn't lost a step since he was the "Breakfast TV Guy". In fact, I believe it's a better format for him. He has more freedom to do what he does best. Tell stories, ask questions, connect with his guests, profile other people and make them look good, without having to go to commercial!

It was late in October when Dave and his team got an idea for how I could fit on the show. Dave and his brother Rob have a company called Kelly Brothers Productions They have been filming spoof segments of Jerry Seinfeld's "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee". Their spoof is a 1 or 2 minute long episode called "Canadians in Cars Getting Coffee". Past guest "passengers" in the car have included: Brett Hart, Amber Marshall, Andrew Phung and Santa. Dave thought it would be fun if I got myself and my one-man band into his Jetta. And so we took a few minutes and filmed this little piece of comedy gold...

He premiered the video on the Nov 1st episode. When it finished, he began to introduce the next guest. That was my cue to come from backstage to interrupt him with full one-man band regalia! Singing the theme song for my "WhoKnows Variety Show". I tried to fit as much information about the show as I could into the song. It was a funny little segment and the crowd response was great.

That night was all about Calgary artists. The theme was "#LoveYYC". Guests on the show included Multifaceted Kris Demeanor, Mike "Mike'sBlogityblog" Morrison, Top 40 under 40's Pam Rocker, and musician Michael Bernard Fitzgerald. It was fun to share in some stories backstage with these prominant Calgarians.

Having a monthly variety show at the Ironwood has given me many enjoyable opportunities. I'm grateful for this and I look forward to continuing to produce and host the show and give a platform to people with talent. I'm also grateful for Dave Kelly who is truly an Arts Champion and an inspiration to me.

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