MIDLAND – One of Toronto Life magazine’s “10 most influential people in Toronto” will take the stage at the Midland Cultural Centre next week.
Torstar board chair John Honderich will appear onstage at the Midland Cultural Centre on Feb. 20 as the latest guest of the “A Day in the Life” speaker series.
Torstar file photo
John Honderich, chairman of the board of Torstar Corporation – the parent company of The Toronto Star and numerous other newspapers across the country, including the Parry Sound North Star, Bracebridge Examiner and Huntsville Forester – will join host Fred Hacker on Feb. 20 as guest speaker in the “A Day in the Life” series.
Honderich began his newspaper career in 1973 as an office boy and night reporter with The Ottawa Citizen, and eventually worked his way up to bureau chief, deputy city editor, business editor, editorial page editor and, in 1994, publisher.
This won’t be Honderich’s first visit to the area, as he has spent many summers at his cottage on Georgian Bay.
“Georgian Bay I just absolutely adore,” he said from his office in Toronto. “I know the area as I am up near Sans Soucie, and Midland is part of the neighbourhood.”
He agreed to speak at the event as a favour to Hacker, an old buddy from law school: “I think people are interested in people in the media and what’s going on.”
While the topics will be left up to Hacker, Honderich said he imagines he’ll discuss his life as a newspaperman.
“I’ve been very lucky to witness some great historical events,” he said. “I am open for broad-ranging discussion and questions afterwards.”
His career has included covering the first major referendum debate in the 1980s pitting Pierre Trudeau against René Lévesque, Ronald Reagan’s inauguration, the return of the Iran hostages, as well as the election – and later fall – of the Joe Clark government.
Honderich said he might also be asked his thoughts on the future of the newspaper industry and the importance of both daily and community newspapers.
“It’s a tough environment, and the competition from electronic media is rising, (but) … there’s always going to be a need for newspapers,” he said. “We are the places that provide the greatest link to community and are very important for democracy.”
The talk will take place in Rotary Hall at the cultural centre. Doors open at 7 p.m. For ticket information, stop by the box office or visit www.midlandculturalcentre.com.