_ (press release) _ ** November 2, 2016 – OTTAWA (Canada) – ** The National Arts Centre (NAC) mourns the loss of Dave Broadfoot, one of the best loved comedians Canada has ever known. The internationally renowned humourist, writer, performer, producer, director and actor died on November 1, 2016.
“Dave Broadfoot was an extraordinarily gifted artist, whose humour, ideas and creativity were very proudly rooted in the Canadian experience, and he was a pioneer for generations of Canadian comedians who would follow,” said NAC President and CEO Peter Herrndorf, who also worked with Broadfoot at CBC Television in the 1980s. “He made an indelible contribution to this country, and he will be greatly missed.”
Born in North Vancouver in 1925, Broadfoot spent several years in the Merchant Navy and the clothing business before launching his career as an artist. Within days of earning his first professional engagement in Victoria, he quit his day job and headed for Toronto, arriving the day CBC TV took to the airwaves in September 1952. Within weeks he was on TV, as a stand-up comedian in _ The Big Revue, _ which led to a ten-year association with the legendary _ Spring Thaw _ .
In 1955 he made a breakthrough appearance on CBS Television’s _ The Ed Sullivan Show _ . Broadfoot would work in Canadian radio and television for more than 50 years. He appeared on CBC’s _ Wayne & Shuster _ and in children’s television in the early 1950s. In the 1960s, Broadfoot’s work in radio included CBC Radio’s Montreal-based comedy show _ Funny You Should Say That _ , and on CBC-TV’s _ Comedy Café _ .
Broadfoot was best known for his work on the Royal Canadian Air Farce on CBC. He was one of its founders in 1973, and for 15 years he told the Canadian story through his unforgettable characters, including Corporal Renfrew, Big Bobby Clobber and the Member for Kicking Horse Pass. His first solo television special in 1996, at the age of 70, was a tour-de-force and won one of the highest audience numbers of the season.
Broadfoot was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1983. He was also made an honorary sergeant major of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. In 2003, he received a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement, Canada’s highest honour in the performing arts.
The National Arts Centre flag will fly at half-staff in his honour.