Sunday, September 16, 2012

Whatever Happened to Wake Up Winnipeg?

Sunday, Sept 16, 2012
Toronto, ON.

It is with mixed emotions that I announce the indefinite hiatus of Wake Up Winnipeg which aired on UMFM 101.5 (CJUM-FM) in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada. After nearly 3 years and 121 episodes, Wake Up Winnipeg aired it's last episode on May 4th, 2012.

Due to personal commitments outside of the radio program, alongside an impending relocation to Toronto Ontario, the weekly talk show that "woke listeners up" to local events, news and information will no longer be producing new episodes.

When Paul and I created Wake Up Winnipeg neither of us had expected it to grow into what it later became. Throughout three years, our show invited over 112 guests, conducted 20 live in studio sessions, created 20 video pieces, and wrote 126 blog articles. All of our content was well received, not only by our local listeners on UMFM, but to listeners around the world including countries like Russia, Germany, the UK, Iran and the Netherlands.

Had it not been for our station managers Jared and Michael, alongside our friends and fellow volunteers at UMFM and Winnipeg's artist community, our show may not have ever grown. Truthfully, a lot of our content was suggested through these means and without their help, our show would have probably amounted to nothing more than the radio equivalent of watching paint dry.

Of course, it goes without saying that Wake Up Winnipeg would not have continued had it not been for our loyal listeners and fans who tuned into UMFM 101.5 weekly to hear what we had in store. It was because of you, our listeners, that we created and produced our little talk show, never expecting it to survive past ten episodes.

With your help, we were also able to produce three amazing benefit shows which saw money raised for causes like The Winnipeg Folk Festival, Jazz Winnipeg's Jazz On Wheels, The Children's Hospital Foundation, The Rainbow Society, The Red Cross and The Kids Help Phone. Local donation was always something that I felt important for a community based talk show; With your help we were able to make small dents in causes we all felt important. For that, I thank you.

I also attribute a lot of our success to our online communities which included our Twitter and Facebook accounts, our website, and of course our iTunes podcast which actually accounted for 25% of our web-traffic. In fact, in 2012 thus far has been visited by 49,662 people and our Podcast has been downloaded 6,715 times. I must say, that's not bad for a locally based independent talk show.

By now I've probably been able to distract you from asking yourself a question that may be on your mind as you read this.

"What happens next?"

Don't worry, I had a feeling you were going to ask. . .

All of our Wake Up Winnipeg content will remain in place online for archived use. You will still be able to download episodes from our last season of Wake Up Winnipeg through the iTunes music store. Our blog and all of it's content will remain intact and in place as a reminder of The Little Talk Show That Could....

For now, our Facebook Fan Page and Twitter accounts will still be branded as Wake Up Winnipeg. This will likely change as time goes on and may be re-branded in the future. Stay tuned for more on that. The twitter edition of "The Wake Up Winnipeg Wire" will continue to updated daily and can be found online at

Our loyal listeners may recall a time when Paul and I hosted a secondary program on UMFM entitled The Aimless & Andy Show. This later moved to the iTunes music store and continues to grow there.

I am pleased to announce that I will be using this relocation to re-establish The Aimless & Andy Show and hope to start producing new media through our iTunes Podcast within the next little while. This will also include our well read concert reviews alongside interview opportunities and in-studio sessions.

Along with my own personal relocation, Aimless & Andy Productions (which was previously based in Winnipeg) will continue it's growth in it's new Toronto location. One can only assume that being located within Canada's largest city will bring new and exciting opportunities to our already well established team.

Until then, I encourage you to visit and bookmark our website at for our future developments. You can also follow along with us at and on twitter @Aimlessandandy for even more updates. 

Finally, when the time is right, I intend on working closely with affiliates of the National College Radio Association in creating a new talk show which I hope to air in the Greater Toronto Area. There may also be an opportunity in the future to syndicate this program on my home station of UMFM in Winnipeg. Only time will tell.

My only request is for your continued support as I move into a bigger market. I welcome you to keep in touch with me through e-mail, social media and by downloading new episodes of The Aimless & Andy Show. Our e-mail addresses will remain the same, with the exception to media.

Media releases, story ideas, important announcements, interview opportunities and other inquires can now be directed to or Please feel free to keep me in the loop as I may use your releases in future episodes.

Words cannot express how thankful I am to the citizens of Winnipeg, as well as to all of the businesses, organizations, festivals, volunteers, our station managers Michael and Jared and to our friends and family that helped support us along the way. They say that Winnipeg is the City of Opportunity, and I can personally assure you that this statement holds true. Little did some of you know this show became a huge part of my every day life. With it's end, I can't help but feel a small piece of me has been left behind.

Once again, Thank you for an amazing 3 year ride.

Andru Valpy

Editor in Chief - The Aimless and Andy Show


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Wake Up Winnipeg interviews Dave Foley

By: Andru Valpy - 5/4/2012

WINNIPEG - Our guest today is a Canadian Comedian, Writer, Director, and producer best known for his work in The Kids in The Hall, NewsRadio, A Bug's Life and Celebrity Poker Showdown. He's also been a frequent guest on The Late Late Show on CBS. In between seasons of NewsRadio he forged a feature film career that is still very active today.
In addition to his comedic work, our guest has been seen in HBO's Critically acclaimed miniseries From Earth To The Moon, and has wrote and starred in the film The Wrong Guy which was released in Canada. As if that weren't enough he also directed the Kids in The Hall Documentary, Same Guys New Dresses based on one of the group's recent tours.

Dave Foley will be at Rumors Comedy Club in Winnipeg May 10th through May 12th. We caught up with Foley while on tour.

Andru Valpy: So Dave, you're coming to rumors comedy club next week, and we'll touch on that in just a few, but before we get into that I wanted to take the time to fill our listeners in and catch them up with you before they see you at rumors. Is that cool?

Dave Foley:  Sure.

AV: Now throughout your course of work you've had a lot of success in the field of comedy, what do you think your favorite opportunity has been?

Dave Foley: Well obviously it has to be "Kids In The Hall" which is sort of the start of everything for me. You know, without that I wouldn't be in show business.

AV: So that was in 1984, and you teamed up with Kevin McDonald, Bruce McCulloch, Mark McKinney and Scot Thompson to form "The Kids In The Hall". Together you guys recorded 111 episodes, which spanned over 5 years. When you were recording the show Dave, did you realize how much of an impact the show would have in Canadian culture?

Dave Foley:  Uh, no not at the time. We were mostly just hoping to stay on the air. That was kind of our main focus, you know, and hoping people would watch. We thought we were pretty good when we started the t.v. show because we had been doing our club show for a while and we hoped people would like it. We were pretty sure we were the best sketch troupe in Canada at the time, so we just thought and hoped the show would be good.

AV: What was a typical day like on the "Kids In The Hall" set?

Dave Foley: It depended on the time of the year. The beginning of the year was always sort of the least hectic part because we would come in and write for a month and that's the only time we ever had clear time to write. So we would write for a month and then we would film pieces to shoot. Then we would go out and shoot the film pieces and then we'd come back, and while we were editing the film pieces we would start rehearsing pieces for the studio segment, and then we would be editing the film pieces to roll into the studio. Once the studio session was done we would then be editing the studio portions and putting together running orders while writing for the next film cycle. Then everything would overlap. Our day was spent usually...most of the time was spent editing, filming and rehearsing. . . and shooting. We usually ended up doing everything all at once.

AV: Sounds like an all in one kind of packaged production. You guys did everything.

Dave Foley: Well cause the five of us really were control freaks on this show and really insisted that we were in on pretty much every element of production. So we were there for every pre-production meeting and all of the post production and of course we were the main writers for the first year and a half...well we were the only writers...and then throughout (the show) we brought in people to write with us. But generally speaking, it would usually be at least one kid working on every sketch.

AV: What was it like when you received the star on Canada's Walk of Fame?

Dave Foley: Uhhh...It was fun. You know, it's something where it's know.. Well it was a fun night, I was sitting between Steve Nash and K.D. Lang, I thought that was cool, to see all of those other Canadians and hang out. I guess it's hard to say. It's hard for comedians to cope with being respected. It doesn't come naturally to a comedian to be comfortable with respect. It was definitely pleasant. It was definitely a great evening.

AV: From there, in 1995 you starred as Dave Nelson, a Midwesterner out of place in New York City acting as a news director for WNYX on the NBC Sitcom "NewsRadio", how on earth Dave did you get involved in that production?

Dave Foley: Well it was written for me by Paul Simms, the creator of the show who was a producer on "Larry Sanders". So he wrote the character of Dave with me in mind and called me up in Toronto and said  

"I've got this pilot I'm making and I want you to be the star of it".

I had met Paul when I was in L.A. shooting a movie called "It's Pat" and I had gone to a party at his house and we sort of talked, and he remembered me from that, and he was a big "Kids In The Hall" fan. Particularly he was thinking about when I was the straight man in the first Chicken Lady sketch and he saw that sketch and he thought

 "The straight mans getting a lot of laughs in the scene where there's somebody in a chicken suit, and that's what I need for my sitcom. Someone that can get laughs off of just reacting to things".

AV: Had you ever thought about doing radio before? I mean, he wrote the show for you, so how did the radio theme play into it?

Dave Foley: The radio theme? Really...Barley at all. I mean we really knew nothing about how radio was made. I think Paul did a little bit of research, but if you watch the show, no-one ever seems to do anything you know? Occasionally, Phil and Candy would pretend to broadcast and every once in a while I told someone "Did you cart those promos?", And that was about as deep as we got into knowing anything about radio. You know, it's just mostly about how people in a workplace treat each other and behave.

AV: "NewsRadio" is a true testimony for my next question, because it goes without saying that you shared the stage with some very talented actors and actresses on the program such as Andy Dick, Phil Hartman and Joe Rogan, but I'm curious Dave, out of all of the productions you've worked through your career, which talent do you think you enjoyed working with the most?

Dave Foley: Umm. Well, I mean obviously I go back to the other four "kids", it was a big thing, and everyone on "NewsRadio". Clearly it was amazing to get to sit down every week and work with Phil. That was a pretty great opportunity, one that I will always, always, treasure. I was a big fan of Phil's before we started working together. I've had some pretty nice opportunities. I got to work with Chris Walken and Sissy Spacek in a movie with my friend Brendan Frasier years ago, that was pretty cool. Even recently I got to do a movie with Iggy Pop and Alice Cooper and Henry Rollins ("Suck") so that was pretty cool. You never really know when you're going to have those opportunities.

AV: As I mentioned in our introduction at the beginning of the interview, you're back on tour doing standup comedy. When did you start doing standup again?

Dave Foley: It was about a year ago January I started doing sets around L.A., And then by about March I had enough material to go on the road. It's a nice way to kind of get out and have the chance to be funny, and I was always envious of the stand up world being so portable, much more portable than being a sketch comic.

AV:  I think what our listeners would be curious to hear Dave is how you find working in standup in comparison to working on a t.v. set?

Dave Foley: As opposed to a t.v. Set? Well it's very different because working on a t.v. Show, that's like a 9-5 job, only you don't usually work 9-5. You know, it's more of a regular schedule. As opposed to standup...98% of the job is traveling and sitting in a hotel and, for me, watching "CNN", or when I'm in Canada, watching "CBC News Channel" and eating club sandwiches. Then for 2 hours a night you get up and tell jokes.

AV: A lot of our readers often get to know their favorite comedians through t.v. shows like "Kids In The Hall" or "NewsRadio", so when they hear that someone such as yourself is coming through to do standup comedy there is often a buzz that is generated from such an announcement. When you preform standup comedy Dave, do you automatically feel a sense of pressure to fit the audiences presumed perception of you?

Dave Foley: Well I think I've felt like there's was an expectation to be myself and to be honest. It's not like I can just adopt a standup persona. I've been on t.v. And in the press for 25 years. Everybody who's going to come to the shows knows a lot about me so I defiantly had to be myself. That's the kind of standup I really gravitate towards anyway. I love what Louis CK does these days, I think he's amazing, and that's kind of the sort of standup I do. It's really just talking about my life and things in general. It's not very joke based.

AV: It's more observational based?

Dave Foley: Yeah, it's just telling stories and talking about things that I think are funny, about my experiences or things I think about the world. I'm not doing a lot about like how bad air travel is. That's not the kind of comedy I'm doing.

AV: What can fans expect from you during your tour?

Dave Foley: Filth. Mostly filthy. Really, very, very. . You know, I would say it's filthy, left wing. Very much in keeping with "The Kids In The Hall".

AV: So going back to the roots kind of?

Dave Foley:  Yes. If you don't like swearing, or dark humour, then you really won't enjoy me.

AV:  Well it's good to have that advance warning. Quickly, before we go, is there anything else that you're working on that you want to plug?

Dave Foley: Right now, no, just out doing standup and then going to go home and take a break for a little while.

AV: How can fans keep up with you or catch up with your action?

Dave Foley: Well I'm on Twitter. I do that more consistently than I communicate in any other way. I have a Facebook Fanpage, but I don't have a website or anything like that.

AV: So 140 characters or less is the best way to get in touch with you?

Dave Foley: Yes.

AV: And that's @DaveSFoley is that right? 

Dave Foley: @DaveSFoley yes.

AV: Well thank you so much for giving us the time today Dave, we appreciate that.

Dave Foley: Well thank you and I hope we've at least talked Kevin McDonald into coming to the show.

AV: Fingers crossed!

To download this interview as a podcast, please subscribe to us through the iTunes music store.

(c) 2012 A. Valpy - Wake Up Winnipeg/UMFM

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Friday, May 4, 2012

Wake Up Winnipeg - Episode 121

Wake Up Winnipeg - Episode 121

Hosted Live/Produced/Recorded by: Andru Valpy 
Air Date: 05/04/2012 6:00 PM on UMFM 101.5 FM
Free Podcast Download Location: iTunes.

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Rebroadcast: 05/09/2012 on CJUM 101.5 UMFM - 6:30 AM

This week we went back to our old routine and started off the program with our local news and event listings.

Making headlines this week:

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers announced Wednesday that they plan to play their first game at the new Investors Group Field on September 21st when they take on the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

When originally announced the club had stated that the stadium would be completed and ready for use during the 2012 CFL season. In February the bombers had announced that the stadium would not be ready in time for pre-season games putting the launch date two months behind schedule.

At that time it was announced that the first game would be played on July 26th causing the CFL to re-align their schedule so that the Bombers started the season with four straight road games.

High winds at the Fort Gary Campus have prevented cranes from installing integral parts to the 190 million dollar field. The club has said that as work on the over head canopy finishes, things will speed up over the next few weeks and months with over 600 workers putting on the finishing touches.

If all goes according to schedule the bombers hope to be into their new stadium by September 9th as they take on the Saskatchewan Rough Riders in the Banjo Bowl.

In the mean time the club has announced that they will be playing their first few games at their old home at Canadinns Stadium. Current season ticket holders will be allowed to sit in their old seats while the club has committed to helping out new season ticket holders during their transition. Those with questions are asked to contact the Winnipeg Blue Bomber Offices.

It was a early morning for Winnipeg Police Officers this morning. At approximately 5:00 am Uniform Patrol Members observed a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed in the area of Roblin Boulevard near Assiniboine Park.

As a result, officers attempted a traffic stop however, the vehicle fled from police continuing at a high rate of speed.

Air 1 and members of the Winnipeg Police Service Flight Operations unit were requested an immediately responded to the area.

The vehicle continued to flee from police having no regard for public safety. With Air 1 assuming control of the pursuit, ground units attempted to deploy two tire deflation devices, however the suspect vehicle continued to evade officers.

Due to the coordinated efforts of Air1 and Uniformed Patrol members, the suspect vehicle was successfully tracked to the area of Lee Boulevard and Shore Street. Despite the vehicle being abandoned, Air1 was able to direct ground units to the suspects who were attempting to further evade police on foot along a nearby railway track.

A 23 year old male who was the driver of the vehicle was arrested and facing charges for Dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and flight from police officers.

The 20 year old male is not facing any charges.

And finally, wrapping up news this week, The Royal Canadian Mint held a ceremony this morning celebrating the final coin strike of the Canadian Penny. On hand to celebrate the penny was Finance Minster Jim Flaherty and St. Boniface MP Shelly Glover, alongside Mint CEO Jim Bennett.

In March, the federal government announced it would stop producing the penny and slowly remove it from circulation. In previous discussions the government has said that it costs about 1.6 cents to produce each penny. In an effort to save production costs, the Mint has stopped making the penny.

In future, cash transactions will be rounded to the nearest five-cent mark, while debit and credit transactions will continue to use the final decimal spot.

Staff at the mint say it will take a while for the pennies to disappear from everyday life, while some coin collectors have dismissed claims that the value of the penny will increase as the coin becomes scarce.

And that's the way the penny dropped this week. Following concert announcements we proceeded with our feature segments.

Dan Frechette
In celebration of his album release, we welcomed Rambling Dan Frechette to our studios as part of The Aimless & Andy Sessions.

During our session we learned more about his new record entitled "Woman" and featured a single called "Who I Want To Be" which was recorded live at UMFM Studios.

Our next guest was a Canadian Comedian, Writer, Director, and producer best known for his work in The Kids in The Hall, NewsRadio, A Bug's Life and Celebrity Poker Showdown. 
He's also been a frequent guest on The Late Late Show on CBS. 

We welcomed comedian Dave Foley to our show.

During our conversation we took a look back and reflected on Dave's career while also giving our listeners a sneak peak as to what to expect during his tour.

You can read a transcript from our interview by clicking here. 

Tickets for Dave Foley can be purchased on the Rumors Comedy Club website or by calling (204) 488-4520. 

Finally we took to the phones to gave away an Ooma Telephone Prize Package to a couple of lucky listeners. During the podcast we aired our favorite prank phone call experience from the calls we took.

To download this episode please subscribe to our podcast in the iTunes Music Store or click here to be automatically subscribed.

For more information, please visit or follow us on twitter at

You can also become of a fan of our show on Facebook at

Until next week,

(c) 2012 A. Valpy - Wake Up Winnipeg/UMFM

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Wake Up Winnipeg - Episode 120

Wake Up Winnipeg - Episode 120

Hosted Live/Produced/Recorded by: Andru Valpy 
Air Date: 04/20/2012 6:00 PM on UMFM 101.5 FM
Free Podcast Download Location: iTunes.

Become a FaceBook Fan:

Rebroadcast: 04/25/2012 on CJUM 101.5 UMFM - 6:30 AM

Wrapping up our Winnipeg Comedy Festival coverage, we were joined by Comedian Lou Dinos for a proper chat. 

On March 15, LOU DINOS celebrated his 30th year in the business. It all started in Toronto at a little club called Yuk Yuks, the only comedy club in the country, which at the time stayed open until 4 A.M. and did not serve drinks. He did five minutes and was scared to death. But he killed. Lou was 21.
Photograph by Leif Norman

After conquering the Great White North, Lou decided to pack his bags and head for the big city. In Los Angeles, he was offered a role in QUICKSILVER (with Kevin Bacon) almost immediately. He auditioned at THE COMEDY STORE and within a month, he was a regular there. His name was painted on the wall in the corner that faces Sunset Boulevard. Soon after that he hooked up with his childhood friend, Howie Mandel.

For five years they toured theaters across the U.S. and Canada together. After being with Howie for so long, Lou decided to go out on his own. His solo tour started out as a one year venture. He headlined clubs such as Charlie Goodnight’s (Raleigh), The Funny Bone (Columbus), The Punchline (Atlanta), and The Comedy Works (Montreal) and now years later into the new century he's still going strong.

This was Lou's fist time at the Winnipeg Comedy Festival. During our interview, he said his favorite part was the pinata.

We were also joined by Artistic Director and Comedian Al Rae to get his thoughts on the 11th year of the festival.

Photograph by Leif Norman
Al Rae is a Winnipeg stand-up comic and comedy writer. He is the winner of the Just for Laughs National Homegrown Comic Competition 2000. Prior to Little Mosque on the Prairie, Al was a writer on the sitcoms Blackfly and Big Sound (GLOBAL) He has hosted two comedy information shows for CBC Radio, That’s Capital about finance and Spin Off, a highly popular election satire show.

His twenty part comedy drama series Monsoon House with Russell Peters aired on CBC Radio in the fall of 2006. 

He is the winner of an Italian Prix Roma Screenwriting Prize and a Gemini Award and nomination for Little Mosque on the Prairie.

Finally, we touched on the controversy surrounding what has infamously become known as 4/20. To do that we broadcast live from The Manitoba Legislative building, the site of annual pro marijuana demonstrations.

We ended this weeks episode with a track by Michael Franti And Spearhead called Ganja Babe.

To download this episode please subscribe to our podcast in the iTunes Music Store or click here to be automatically subscribed. For more information, please visit or follow us on twitter at

You can also become of a fan of our show on Facebook at

Until next week,
(c) 2012 A. Valpy - Wake Up Winnipeg/UMFM

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Video: Fire on Albert Street in Winnipeg

By Andru Valpy

On Thursday, April 19th, 2012 at approximately 9:30 a.m. emergency services responders were dispatched to the area of Notre Dame Avenue and Albert Street for the report of a working fire at a building.

Fire fighters worked quickly in an attempt to contain the fire within the 100 block of Albert Street.  The fire caused extensive damage and the properties are expected to be a total loss.

At this stage in the investigation the fire does not appear to be suspicious in nature.
This investigation is continuing by members of the Arson Strike Force Unit.     

(Updated: 4:29pm - Adds Photographs)
(c) 2012 Wake Up Winnipeg.

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