For many Aboriginal Canadians, radio continues to be a vital source of information and communication. Few know this medium better or more intimately than George Tuccaro. Now an independent communications consultant, the award-winning retired broadcaster has been called a treasure of the Northwest Territories.
At the age of 19, the young Mr. Tuccaro was interviewed by CBC Radio – an event that set him on a path he never envisioned. Over the course of the next 25 years he became a well-known broadcaster for CBC Radio North, specializing in social issues, performance and entertainment programming, and sports commentating. When he retired from radio broadcasting, CBC Radio ran an unprecedented week-long series of tribute programming in his honour.
During his career Mr. Tuccaro was the co-host and news anchor of CBC Northbeat, the first daily TV news and information program for the three northern territories and hosted the nationally televised True North Concert.
Never one to confine himself to one medium, Mr. Tuccaro is a long time community advocate and a popular host, comedian and musical performer throughout northern Canada. He established an NWT booking agency of northern performing artists and assisted in organizing the Great Northern Arts Festival in Inuvik.
As a community volunteer Mr. Tuccaro supports grieving families, makes regular visits to hospitals, old folks homes and prisons and hosts fund-raising events. His work garnered him, amongst other honours, the Governor General’s Canada 125 Medal for volunteer and humanitarian work in the NWT.
Mr. Tuccaro looks fondly on his career and continues to devote his time to the people. When asked about career highlights, he identifies an international award-winning radio documentary he produced on teenage suicide in the North. “The mainstream residents didn’t want to talk about it,” he says. “However, I was amazed at how our First Nations people wanted to share their stories. They wanted someone to listen.” Decades later, Mr. Tuccaro is still listening.