By Vivian Collings
The blues is more than a music genre for Patrick Monaghan, and his Canoe FM program is more than just a hobby.
“It’s been my purpose in life since I got sick,” Monaghan said. “It continues to be my purpose in life.”
His dedication to his program, the Buckslide Blues Cruise, was recently recognized by the Toronto Blues Society when they named him the Blues Booster of the Year.
“My initial reaction was surprise, joy. It meant that somebody’s listening,” Monaghan laughed.
“I was told later that it was a unanimous decision by the board.”
This is Monaghan’s first award from the Toronto Blues Society, but he has won previous awards for his Buckslide Blues Cruise program from the National Campus Radio Association.
“This was a real surprise. I feel very honoured to be chosen for this award.”
Monaghan was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer four years ago and continues to undergo treatment.
“A big challenge has been dodging between Chemo treatments and CAT scans which take up so much of my time.”
He said all of his treatment takes up about three days of his time each week. Despite that, he spends about 10 hours preparing for his two hour program.
“I dedicate as much time as I’m able. I research more than I need to because I get caught up in it and will just keep reading and reading.”
To him, it’s not work at all. He sees it as a way to share his passion with others.
“The radio show gives me a purpose in life and gives me a reason to get up and get out of the house,” he said.
Canoe FM’s manager Roxanne Casey said everyone at the station is so excited to see Monaghan’s work be recognized once again.
“This award is so well deserved,” Casey said. “Patrick lives and breathes the Blues, and he promotes both the Blues and Canoe FM wherever he goes.”
Monaghan will be attending Maple Blues Awards Gala in Toronto on Jan. 30, 2023 to receive his award.
Monaghan is also the president of the Highlands Buckslide Blues Society (HBBS) and one of its founding members.
“We want to bring blues to the community, and two of the spots we noticed that could really use some help were the youth in this area and and seniors,” Monaghan said.
HBBS is working on their Music Revival Project which will bring music to local senior residences in the county.
In the spring, they also hosted their Road to Kitchener Bluesfest Camp Contest for youth. It provided the opportunity for two local teens to travel to Kitchener and perform at the Bluesfest this past summer.
The idea to host a contest for local youth was Monaghan’s.
“They did very well down there,” he said. “We hope to be able to send them again.”
Tune in to Buckslide Blues Cruise on 100.9 Canoe FM on Tuesdays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. to go on a cruise through some great blues tunes.
“I see his win as a testament to what volunteers at Canoe or any organization can accomplish if they really set their mind to it,” Casey said.
By Vivian Collings