Lorraine's Journey

Laying in the backyard. Sun tanning. Listening to top 40 tunes on the radio, and getting paid for it. Welcome to my first day “in radio”.

It was the summer of ‘77. There was the launch of a little movie called “Star Wars”. Rod Stewart pranced the stages of the world with his newest anthem, “Tonight’s the Night”. Disco queen Donna Summer heated up club dance floors with “I Feel Love”. The King, Elvis Presley, left the building for the final time. And one of Western Canada’s powerhouse chain of radio stations (Moffatt Communications) wanted to test the waters: was Canada ready for its first female top 40 rock’n’roll disc jockey? “Conservative old Winnipeg” was going to be the test market because if it worked in Winnipeg, chances are, it would work in their other stations, too.

Enter an English honours major from the University of Winnipeg, who had spent the previous year as Miss Manitoba, and who was putting herself through university as a professional model. I decided at the last minute to go to a “cattle call” (so much of this is now so politically incorrect!). It was for a series of TV commercials for radio stations in Western Canada, and after shooting the TV commercials, I asked to do the voiceover work for the radio spots. That’s when they asked a question that changed my life: would I like to be a disc jockey for CKY’s “KY 58”? It was summertime, I could fit the shifts into my modelling schedule, and if it didn’t work, I would go back to university in the fall.

Day one was spent in my backyard, listening to songs and the different styles of those deep-voiced disc jockeys. That night, sunburned, I went to spend time in the control room, with the guy who worked the midnight shift. He put me on the air that night. Not the best plan: I played an Alice Cooper song and said, “my, what a husky voice she has”. And on it went. But it worked. Winnipeg was ready for a female disc jockey, for what the station called, “Your First Lady Lorraine”. It was three years of high flying rock’n’roll. Bottles of champagne from the Hells Angels, letters from inmates in prison, Trooper wrote a song for the Lady on the Radio, and tons of acceptance from Winnipeggers. The doors had been opened for female rock’n’roll disc jockeys.

Three years later, I moved to TV in Winnipeg, hosting two live, daily TV shows, and a few years later, I married and moved to Edmonton. The gods were on my side: ITV was launching a new mid-morning TV show. It was to run live each weekday, and it was exactly what I had been doing in Winnipeg. “Good, Good Morning” was born, and it was my baby. Open line discussions on spousal abuse and politics. Fashion. Dizzy Gillespie and James Brown stopping by. And Canada’s top chefs sharing their secrets: food reigned supreme. Oh, what fun that show was.

Then came a big change: the emphasis switched to local news. More than 20 years ago, ITV, now Global TV, launched its morning news program. My passion was to take Edmontonians on a live, behind-the-scenes look into businesses, theatres and dance companies, community and rec centres, restaurants, fashion shows, and hospitals – whatever captured the heartbeat of our great city. It meant a total commitment to our community: riding in many bike tours, running team races through the mountains, dinners with the Governor General, hosting many galas and high-profile events, and helping charities raise much-needed funds. What an honour!

Now it continues, online, through social media. Join me on my journey, as I share the passion and people that make our city great. Hopefully, we’ll reach beyond Edmonton, to share what we have to offer with others. Thank you for opening your doors to me. I hope you enjoy my next journey as much as I will!

Awards & Achievements

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Distinguished Friend of the Institute, NAIT 2004
Alberta Lung Association's Award for Excellence in Media
St. John Ambulance Council's Award for Excellence in Media Coverage
Host of Compassion House's Fashion With Compassion
Host of the Ukranian Shumka Dancers' Annual Gala
Honourary Chairperson for the MS Bike Tour
Host of Nationally Syndicated "The New You" TV show for 2 years
Charter Member of the Glenora Rotary Club - Canada's First All-Female Club

Fun Facts about Lorraine

Favourite Wine

New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs. I love the chilled, crisp, fresh flavours. Also Merlots - Rich, full, but not too complex.

Favourite Colours

Bright autumn yellows, burnt oranges, and rich reds... They hug me all year long in my home!

Favourite Night Out

Fine dining, fantastic cocktails and wines, sharing it all with fun friends!

Favourite Sport

Running or walking in our river valley. I am also a gym rat - I love the high of a great, intense workout. It’s my “natural Prozac”.

Favourite Sport

Running or walking in our river valley. I am also a gym rat - I love the high of a great, intense workout. It’s my “natural Prozac”.

Favourite Thing about Edmonton

The River Valley, where you can feel as if you are in the country by just stepping on to a path. And our incredible sense of community: people supporting others. It is humbling and empowering to see how community-minded we are!

Favourite Food

A good, juicy, lean barbecued burger. Then, a nod to my husband’s roots - Food from a Mediterranean diet: lots of fresh salads with tons of different coloured veggies and a simple olive oil and lemon dressing. Hummus with hot, freshly baked pita, rich goats’ cheese and olives with lots of fresh chopped herbs. Fresh, wild halibut or salmon cooked fast under a hot grill. And baklava, made with a honey simple syrup (I used to grow my own lemon geranium plants, to use the leaves to flavour my hot syrup poured on cold baklava).  Yummm!

Favourite Thing about Community Involvement

It’s the key to a great city! It builds a sense of family beyond the borders of your own. It creates a sense of belonging for all. It binds people together, enriches lives, and is the most powerful element in making dreams come true, both for builders and receivers of community projects. Bottom line: community involvement is magic, created with tenacity, vision, and love.

Lorraine Through the Years

1983

Lorraine does an interview
on Good Good Morning on ITV.

1980

A flashback to the early days
in broadcasting.

1975

Lorraine is crowned
Miss Manitoba in 1975. 

2011

Lorraine Mansbridge tours
NAIT's newly upgraded dental clinic.

2018

Lorraine is interviewed for the final
time on Global Edmonton.

Speaking Engagements

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