top of page
Search

Covid-The Culture Cancer/Anthony's Copes & Hopes On Pros/Cons To Pre/Post C19 life. Feat-DJ Brent

Updated: Mar 21, 2022

A subscriber had asked the question , "who am I , and what am I all about", this is an extremely condensed version of everything you need to know about your writer Anthony Donnelly....... (at the risk of comming across blowing my own horn)

Every picture tells a story

This Sitar playing picture had come up on my social feed as a memory from a great place in time, for me anyway.

It was the kick-off to the pandemic.

I was editing a short Documentary "Killing Kensington" with co-producer Fred Yurichuk" at his home studio,

which prompted me to share,

as every good picture tells a story,

and every good story is worth telling.

Ahhhhh it was the 1st year of the pandemic lockdown "Internal Reconnecting Bliss"...

I have to be honest with you I had a great time during the locked down

pandemic, especially the 1st year.

I reconnected with myself in ways I've never had before, it also was the 1st time

I took a break like that having been a working adult my entire life.

I got to see things from a different perspective.

Once the Lockdown was issued due to the outbreak of the C19 virus,

it left me stripped of all my titles, Radio & Film, and identities, with no say in the matter.


Life during pre-pandemic times-pioneering

the Rave Scene

You see up until this point, my

pre-pandemic life,

in retrospect, had been a colorful journey that would have me going back several chapters of Anthony, filled with triumphs, trials, and tribulation, but will use the starting point reference at pioneering the Rave Scene in Toronto, Canada under the production wheelhouse as an event promoter company "Exodus Productions" along with side teammates John Angus & Mark Oliver.

We had a vision in the right place at the right time. We kicked off our mission in that journey with a weekly resident night at a 23 Hop, a rundown warehouse unit at 318 Richmond street that is quoted, recognized, and notarized as The Holy Grounds of "The Birth Place of the Rave Culture" and the underground dance movement, that changed the course of clubbing, & dance culture forever in the city of Toronto.

I have always said "it's not the party it's the people that fill it" and those in attendance were the perfect Motley Crew for the Exodus posse and members at the events attendance. After the 23 Hop Residency, Exodus had moved on from the venue hosting

several larger events in spaces across Toronto like The Concert Hall, The Party Centre, The Opera House, and various others before closing our chapter to watch the planted seed grow, flower, and flourish with other promoters and events taking the reins, spreading the gospel and it was Rave ON, Toronto had found its place in the book and recognized

by its underground House and Techno culture.

(At some point, I will create some kind of "book/memoir/Doc" on that chapter as a long version of "Diary Of A Rave Man"


My love and passion for the music

and the lifestyle behind it was still alive, well, and progressing. Before, and during the Exodus chapter, I had been passionately collecting records, which led me to enter the other end of the spectrum, becoming the talent.

I had started scoring gigs on the bills as a DJ at first in the underground club and warehouse scene, and a series of "after-hours" events, and booze cans, leading to a broader audience in Toronto

featured on some great reat Rave and Dance events in the country. It was a pleasure and a trip playing for several event coordinators along the lines of Sykosis, Pleasure Force, Atlantis, etc. (who doesn't want to play to a couple of thousand people on Ecstasy,) all dialed in to the same rhythmic channel lost in a trance state, all together rejoicing in the mock ritual of dance. That led to to headlining in the Toronto Club and Concert industry, but it was time to turn the passion of playing and researching music into a 9-5 if you will.


Entering the world of Radio Broadcasting was a no brainer

"The music business is a cruel and shallow long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs....but there is also a negative side to it"

(Hunter.s.Thompson)

I had found myself at a crossroads trying to figure out what direction to steer my path with all of this. I asked myself what is it that I truly enjoy doing the most ? The same two answers kept rising to the surface, playing tunes and talking a lot of shite... Radio was the answer.....

It was the Program Coordinator

Jim Carr that had excerpted me to the

Radio Broadcasting Course, but it was not without conditions, he brought to my attention that I was a high school dropout,

and the course required me to have my Grade 12 English since I had flown the clutches of a High School Education, trading it in for an "alternative Lifestyle, a whirlwind of a ride that led toward becoming a Rave promoter and serving my time for the boogie, in real-time.

This meant taking Grade 12 English to possess the requirements.

( consequently, it still shows that my grammar skills suffered immensely) "can't win em all"

Choices like this always come back to bite you in the ass, but as the story goes, it was well worth the gamble, and many gained. If anything I gained my grade 12 English (Thanks Jim)


Returning to the education systems a Highschool dropout, I was extremely nervous as I was considerably older than the average student's age, but also excited for the Radio Broadcasting course at Seneca / York University, "it's never too late to reinvent yourself".

If you are pondering the notion of returning to post-secondary education as an adult but you've been out of the system that long now fear is standing in your way?

Seneca Radio Station -SAY Radio

I can be honest with you, the feeling of fear and nervousness was rushing through every fiber of my body that first morning outside Seneca College front doors, pacing back and forth chain-smoking, unsure if I even had it in me to go through with it.

What I will tell you is, the hardest part of taking the course was walking through the front door, the rest will fall into place, I promise.



It was there that I was given the tools and skills to hone my craft. I had the

opportunity to study under some of the Canadian Radio Greats & Legends, who were not only my mentors but grew to become personal friends, specifically

a lad who has forgotten more about radio than anyone

could ever learn, probably same goes for music, and I quote

Ringo Starr specifically asking Doug to be in the studio for a project they were working on saying, “Doug knows more about The Beatles than I do"

Doug Thompson

50 year timeline in Media

-Producer for Toronto's CHUM

-Co-produced CHUM’s first international syndicated special on the Beatles

in 12 parts.

-Formed " That Commercial Place" producing commercials earning 85 awards

Doug Thompson & Ringo Star

-Engineer at Eastern Sound on Yorkville

-Co-Production with Jim Henson on several projects. at VTR

-Co-produced the 25-hour radio series for ABC with Ringo Starr

-Creative director at Telemedia Network,

- Imaging producer at Newstalk

-Writer & Director for Motown T.V Doc Hitsville U.S. Eha




Bruce Marshall

A radio Broadcaster, Voice-actor, actor;

-20-year span radio career with

-1050 CHUM AM

-CHUM FM

-CJWA Wawa, Ontario,

-CKDK Woodstock, Ontario,

-CJCH Halifax.

-CHUM-FM 19 years.

-CJEZ (EZ Rock)

-Community and social advocate

Image voice of TSN, Media Consultant- MarshallCom Group Inc.


After this High School dropout

graduated from the Radio Program with honors, it was out the door to kick off a 10-year Radio career so far, that had me working in several different radio stations, different Provinces and The Territories. all different formats, coming out of the gate

as a Broadcaster with my first On Air Announcer's position in Peace River Alberta.

Several different Station studios boards I've had the pleasure of passing through


The Program Director who was running the station who took me on giving me my start was not only a fantastic PD, but also a great guy with an awful lot of patience. He taught me, and many green Broadcasters Radio mentorship gold, and for myself personally , everything I needed to know getting into the industry,

Kent Schumaker was constantly molding my personality to get the best out of me on the air, and pushing me to become a better Broadcaster, and at times, more importantly to become a better person.

Kent Schumaker

-Regional Manager, Content & National -& Music Director at Vista Radio

-Manager, Operations Kix 106 / KIX FM

-Program Brand Director Peace River Chamber

-Music Director Zed FM

-Broadcaster Real Country


Gaining all of the knowledge that I could consume had me embark on the journey through the wonderful world of Radio Broadcasting thus far.

-KIX FM Peace River, Alberta - Announcer / Assistant Producer

(All Hit Music)


-YL Country Peace, River Alberta - Announcer /Music Programmer (Country)


-The Rig Whitecourt, Edmonton- Announcer / Music Programmer

(Rock)


-Moose FM Muskoka, Ontario Announcer (All Hits)


-Moose FM Yellowknife, North West Territories

Program Director/ Announcer ((Variety Hits)


Homesickness...

Reeling it in for a Toronto Sabbatical

That radio journey was ten years so far, informing and entertaining in some of the most unique Canadian communities you could imagine, all extremely different, definitely Canadian, and a once-in-a-lifetime experience, The last position I was holding down was up in Yellowknife, as Program Director/ Morning Show Host, being at the end of a ten year run away from home (Toronto) along with a combination of other things,

I could feel the need to return to fuel up on family and everything

my city entails that I was starting to miss dearly.


Up The Road

So I thought I put a pin in road life for a hot minute, zipped up the boots,

and head back to my roots.

My plan was simple, press pause on the radio journey, head home for 6 months to a year break, then possibly head back on the road. so I made the 13 days drive back from the Northwest Territories excited to reconnect with family, friends, and the city.

I took the first couple of months off completely and reconnected with everyone and everything, but I also knew in the back of my head I need work while in Toronto. I had also caught up with a lifelong pal Richard Curton (Executive Producer Revolver Films)

who has had an outstanding award-winning career in his timeline with Film & Television had suggested I try my hat in Film, insisting I would be a sure fit. I was on the fence & unconfident as I had no experience or training whatsoever. but coming from him I only had to look at 2 factors if we're talking about the film game, as its game.

First:If he sees something or some kind of potential as a fit , He knows something I don't So there's the all the confidence factor I need.

Second:Our river runs to deep without question, he wouldn't see me thrown to the lions and watch me set myself up for failure , or as we say in Scotland

Make a royal C#*$ of myself.


Should I stay or should I go

Take 3, aaaaaand action

After thinking about it, and taking the words of encouragement

I reached back out to Richard for guidance and he pointed me in the right direction.

with the right info I needed to bust down another door,

but this door I landed at was the Film Industry Unions doors IATSE.

After going through the orientation process I was granted my temporary permit

(you carry for a probation period to become a full Union member)

So far I have been supporting the cinematographers on several different

films and Netflix series below.

It was going great, I had found a position outside of radio that was also the only gig outside of radio that I enjoyed going to. With things going well, enjoying being home, and landing what was looking like could potentially become a new career, I decided to plant my roots here and give film exactly one year, and see if I was going to stick with it and I was a fit, or head on back out to radio land.


No one ever factors in a pandemic.

The Whore Of Babylon

Now that there was a steady film income and I was staying in Hogtown, it was time to get my rock and roll radio road set up out of storage and get an apartment. Getting the ability to take up residency in Toronto again was even more amazing, as when you are road dogging, you only have about a quarter of your apartment with you, it was nice to have everything in one room at the same time.

So it was a shiny new Anthony, new gig, new hopes, and the new apartment I moved to in March 2020.

Now that month may sem significant, and it should because the second week of it, everything changed.........

in came The virus......like The Whore of Babylon.


The second pandemic, the identity crisis

The pandemic was one thing, but I knew it and called it from the start, the pandemic to follow would carry consequences for much more people than the virus even did, and that was we were on the verge of the great personal identity struggle.

I thought to myself once the population start losing their jobs and business, that means they are sure to lose a big part of their identity, and I was no exception to the rule.

I've spoken with different people from different industries that have now walked away from it, after being in the absence of their career, some have discovered it wasn't serving them at all, they just couldn't see it at the time for living in it in real-time.

I think it was a big one for living couples with children also.

Several couples I know personally all had similar experiences finding themselves at unease being in the same house with their partners for any longer than what they were used to.

After you take work for 9 hours, the commute, dinner, house chores, and all the rest of it, the average couple is only spending between 2 to 4 hours alone together. Im finding out now some couples forced by lockdowns are second-guessing an awful lot of choices, not to mention the shiny new added position they have taken on as the new supply teacher transforming kitchens into classrooms added into the mix, surely must bleed its way into the bedroom and the relationships.


Possibly a forced stay at home lockdown for couples may have lifted the curtain for a few, shining the light on the theory that humans apparently are not Monogamous creatures by nature, maybe it's manageable if we are maxing out on an average that low with the partner alone at an average of 4 hours ?

Although polygamy is practiced in various cultures,

humans still tend toward monogamy. But this was not always

the norm among our ancestors. Other primates, the mammalian group,

to which humans belong, are still polygamous, too.

“The modern monogamous culture has only been around for just 1,000 years,”

"says Kit Opie, an evolutionary anthropologist from University College London.

Opie describes how the earliest primates – as early as 75 million years ago “Adults would only come together to mate.”


Do Something

After only being in my new apartment for 2 weeks ....the clamp came down,

Covid 19 pandamonia, fear , shut downs , confusion and an entire new way of life had just washed up to canada's shores , making its way to our front door.

I have to admit, I was terrified at first. The fear wasn't really in contracting the Virus as I am still of somewhat good health , a flu doesn't really have the potential to knock me out ,flatten, sure.


With the science telling us it had a much greater risk potential for the likes of seniors and vulnerable , for the ones in my family and inner circle, I took all measures and followed the health officials advice in participating in the vaccination campaign,

My vaccinations were not for me , they were for the elder and vulnerable that I love, that simple. I didn't actually care for getting vaccinated at first because of the demographic I belong in , but I thought to myself , what if I contracted it , and I was the one that passed it to an elder, or Mother and she passed because of it ....they would have had to bury 2 graves, I wouldn't be able to live with myself .


My fears were of a different nature.

What am I going to do, where am I going to get money?

What will people think of me,? How am I going to survive?

Those questions were spinning in my head, over and over like a well-lubed hamster wheel. I was down on myself for the first month because I thought it was just me?

Am I going to be spiraling down some bloody lonely jobless wormhole with no identity?

Possibly sitting out on the balcony drinking beer all day , staring out onto an post apocalyptic armageddon like vibe, empty lifles streets , with no people or signs of life outside due to a lock down (Actually the balcony drinking parts happened , it was a highlight lol)

But then I realized I wasn't the only one, it was half the planet thank God, as I couldn't have done that alone.


At the start of the second month, I started to accept and realize that this thing was real which was terrifying as I don't do well with idle hands at all. I need to be doing something. I had an even bigger fear, the fear that my entire savings were sitting in my bank account, and with a full steam year ahead of no commitments, no gig, and all that spare time,...my idle hands would very easily reach into the pockets and help me piss all of it up the wall, and was not having it.


Black Donnelly Media

I needed some kind of industry job, purpose our a creative outlet at the least. Now since spending the majority of my adult life in Toronto, a large percentage of my friends are in some form of arts and entertainment culture, from music to film to visual, design, and they were out of a gig as well and left without their audience.

I thought with the skills I gained in the Radio Broadcasting industry, I should spend a bit of those saving and try to set something up online to keep myself, and other artists busy with a creative outlet, and in return, we can inform and entertain to the best of our ability.

So the artists are called , a come-and-go birds nest

almost similar to an open mic night.


Over the first year, we did some great radio and music shows broadcasting 4 nights a week in the evenings, along with some great independent video artists.

I completely devoted all my programming to help drive revenue to small local independent businesses' doors, while hosting my own Jive Talking program along with Persons Of Interest & other projects. check them out with the links below