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An Interview with The Rush Host Fiona Forbes
Written by Dan Tidsbury   

Fiona wearing a red jacketYou might recognize Fiona Forbes as the host of Vancouver’s award-winning entertainment talk show The Rush. Or you might have followed her career through it numerous earlier stages that have included work on the long-running Urban Rush, Daytime on the Rogers Network and Breakfast Television on City-TV. Perhaps you have seen one of her many guest appearances or encountered her during her extensive work for a wide range of charities including the CKNW Orphan’s Fund, Pink Shirt Day, Variety Club, Timmy’s Telethon and Easter Seals.

Wherever you have seen her, there is no question this British Columbia Institute of Technology journalism graduate has made an impact, both locally and internationally. Fresh had the opportunity to talk with Fiona about her life, her work, and keeping it all together in a hectic industry.

We spoke first about the frenetic pace that a successful media career entails:

“I am just coming off of my busiest month in years. there is almost no opportunity to stop being connected, completely engaged with work and the various activities that surround it. “The one time that I do have a chance to turn off the phone for an hour is when I take my dog for a walk. That time is so precious…it’s the only time I really unplug.”

Of course, constantly maintaining that kind of pace must take a toll. Fiona speaks of the challenge to keep life in balance:

“Balance is elusive. In fact, it would be fair to say that keeping the various aspects of my life in balance is a constant struggle.

“One of the things that helps tremendously is keeping myself in shape. Making time for fitness is a vital part of my schedule. I train with Tommy Europe, and having a trainer helps to keep me accountable during those times when it would be easy to let things slide. I also run regularly as well. I find it helps to keep me grounded.”

It helps, of course, that Fiona enjoys her work as much as she does.

Fiona wearing sweater and diamond print pants

“I have been working for over 20 years on TV, but it stays new for me. I am always ready for a change, and the variety of people that I meet and work with means that I am frequently presented with a new learning experience. Every week brings new challenges.

“It has been a year since my co-host left, but it is only since September that I have been hosting the show alone. It has been a huge challenge for me. For the show as well it has been a big shift, but a good one. It has opened the opportunity to do longer format interviews, for example, which bring added depth to what we are doing.

“I want to stay always open to new things, new challenges. That will keep me growing as a performer and a person and expanding my perspective. Some new chances are a lot of fun, like I’m going to be on Millionaire Matchmaker – something outside of the range of things I have done before.”

It isn’t possible to talk to Fiona for long without the conversation turning to her engagement with her community and her work for various charities.

<Fiona wearing a white long sleeved sweater dress

“My work has given me opportunities that most people just don’t have. In return for the way in which the community has rewarded me, I feel I should say “Yes!” when I am asked to contribute in some way. We all have a responsibility to be a part of what is happening in our communities – helping to meet the needs that we become aware of.

“One event that is very close to my heart is Pink Shirt Day, the huge event in February that takes a stand against bullying. It seems as though almost everyone has some kind of personal connection with someone who has experienced bullying. I know I do. And this is an opportunity to raise a positive voice and say that we as a community won’t tolerate bullying any more.

“I have the chance to MC ladies’ luncheon on February 17th and I really enjoy this event and the positive energy it creates. There are other things throughout the year as well like the CKNW Orphan’s Fund, Timmy’s Telethon, and the Easter Seals and their work with Camp Squamish. It can’t do everything, mind you, but love to be involved where I can.”

Fiona wearing a blue dress

As much as Fiona finds her life and work exciting – and fulfilling – she does admit that she would like to catch her breath after a particularly challenging 2013.

“I am really looking forward to some stability in 2014 after a year of change. At the same time, I can’t wait to see what the new year brings!”

Wednesday, February 26, 2014 marks the Seventh Annual Pink Shirt Anti-Bullying Day. For 2014, Boys & Girls Clubs, schools, businesses, organizations and individuals across Canada will be participating in Pink Shirt Day and with additional partners, this stands to be the biggest anti-bullying awareness day in North America – if not the world!

Springing from a spontaneous response by two Nova Scotia high school students to seeing a Grade 9 boy in their community bullied for wearing a pink shirt, Pink Shirt Day is a time to make the statement loud and clear: we as a society will not tolerate bullying anywhere! See more at: http://www.pinkshirtday.ca

Dan Tidsbury - Copy Editor




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