Proudly Canadian: Christopher Ward

Christopher Ward.jpg

Submitted by Sandy Graham

Christopher William Ward is a Canadian singer/songwriter and broadcaster,who along with Steve Anthony, JD Roberts, Michael Williams and Erica Ehm were among the first video jockeys in 1984 on Canada's music video network, MuchMusic.

Ward began his music career in the late 1970s while attending Trent University in Peterborough Ontario. While at Trent, Ward founded his own campus radio station (with Stohn) and he later went on to host his own all-night radio station on Peterborough’s CKPT. He almost graduated but left to travel around the world with his friend and co-writer Stephen Stohn.
In 1975, Christopher Ward signed a recording deal with Warner Brothers and enjoyed a brief solo career with songs such as Lost in a Love Song in 1976, Once in a Long Time in 1977 and Maybe Your Heart (Will Be Broken) in 1978.

Some of Ward's early television appearances began in 1978 on the CBC children's series Catch Up, as leader of the show's band. He also played a minor role as a musician in an episode of The Kids of Degrassi Street alongside Alannah Myles in 1984, a relationship that would be instrumental in his songwriting career.

Before MuchMusic launched, Ward hosted a weekend, all-night video program called City Limits on CITY-TV in Toronto. On Friday and Saturdays, the show was broadcast from CITY-TV's old Queen Street East studios and apart from playing the latest music videos, hosted guests. Bands such as Bon Jovi and actors like Mike Myers- playing his Wayne's World character long before Saturday Night Live made it famous- added to the prototype of what MuchMusic would be when it launched.  Broadcast only in the Toronto region, it was a major way music videos were introduced to the Southern Ontario public. (MTV, the American television network was not broadcast in Canada due to regulatory laws protecting CanCon until 2006) When the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) granted a broadcast licence for an all music channel to begin in 1984, CHUM-CITY won the lucrative rights. The application process to the Commission included Ward's current show as evidence of experience in broadcasting music video entertainment. During his five year stint on MuchMusic Ward interviewed artists like Paul McCartney, Tina Turner, Peter Gabriel, Leonard Cohen, Kate Bush amongst many others.

He continued his career as a songwriter, and in the late 1980’s helped the launch the career of Alannah Myles. Some of Ward’s songs were on her debut album on Atlantic Records; Love is and Black Velvet, which basically became her signature tune after reaching the # 1 Chart position in 1990.

Starting in 1997, Ward became a member of Ming Tea, the tongue-in-cheek celebrity rock band assembled by fellow Canadian Mike Myers for the first and third Austin Powers films. Group members included Susanna Hoffs and Matthew Sweet and performed the faux-sixties songs "BBC" and "Daddy Wasn't There".

Other work (much of it in collaboration with Rob Wells Luke McMaster, Greg Johnston and Fred St-Gelais) includes songs for Alexz Johnson in the TV series Instant Star, with soundtrack albums for the four seasons of the show. Along with Rob Wells and Fred St-Gelais, he has worked with Lindsay Robins. Ward songs were featured on two  Degrassi - The Next Generation features, Degrassi Takes Manhattan and Degrassi Goes Hollywood. His songs were featured in Cirque du Soleil's tribute to Vaudeville, 'Banana Shpeel'.

Recently, Christopher Ward has taken on the role of book writer with his first novel, a ‘tween adventure story called ‘Mac In The City Of Light’ in  January of 2013 and most recently ‘Dead Brilliant’ on January 2014, published by Dundurn.

Once In A Long Time

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