Saturday morning CBC Radio Music listeners from coast to coast to coast are enjoying the best of East Coast music, thanks to “Absolutely Atlantic,” hosted by Allison Devereaux, BJ’08.
“We had a scheduling opportunity and wanted to start a new show that represented a wide range of musical genres,” explains Allison. “In one show, we might bounce from hip-hop to klezmer to classical, but it’s all music from Atlantic Canada.”
So, how’s the response from music enthusiasts from across the country? In a word, “Great!” says Allison. She’s hearing from Atlantic Canadians now living in other parts of the country—like Yellowknife, where she worked at CBC before returning to Halifax—who find the show a fun way to connect with home.
And Allison’s having fun, too. “The music is uplifting, so it’s great material to work with, day after day,” she says. “I really enjoy celebrating the sounds and hearing about the projects the musicians are working on,” adding, “I hope people living away feel a strong sense of home, and I hope all our listeners are introduced to music and musicians they’ve perhaps never heard before and enjoy listening to.”
Understanding how audiences are listening to radio and music in an age of social media is essential for a program like Absolutely Atlantic. “I’m enjoying the challenge of trying to deliver what we’re making directly to them,” she explains. “This is a big part of my job and it keeps me busy.”
Helping bring Absolutely Atlantic to life every week is Jeff Reilly, a long-time CBC producer and a Juno-nominated classical musician. “He has a ton of knowledge about music and performance,” says Allison. “He’s sharing information with me all the time and helping me improve my delivery.”
Allison credits King’s Journalism with the success of her radio career, noting how the radio room prepared her for the quick pace of a newsroom. “I had a fantastic time at King’s, so when I had the opportunity to relocate back to Halifax, I jumped at the chance.”
Absolutely Atlantic runs until May, when it gives the time slot back to the Metropolitan Opera broadcast. Allison’s hoping that when the time slot opens again in December, she and the Absolutely Atlantic team will be back.
Until then, you can catch Absolutely Atlantic on Saturday mornings at 10 a.m. across Canada and at 10:30 in Newfoundland and Labrador on CBC Radio 2.