Dominique grew up in a boisterous family in Normandy, France.
He was the middle child, the diplomat; negotiating peace between four brothers and two sisters.
He was self-assured and adventurous, so when he fell in love with a Canadian and moved across the ocean, no one was surprised.
Arriving in Winnipeg he was struck by the contrast between the cobblestones and savoir faire he’d grown up with, and the free open space of his future.
Dominique Delisle at work
A talented photographer, he quickly found work at CBC. From St. Boniface to Winnipeg, radio to TV, he reveled in working in media. Like many at the time, he found opportunities to excel. He shuttled between French and English, technical and editorial, news and current affairs; working on Radio Canada’s marquee shows Le Téléjournal and Le Point.
The eighties were golden. Along with some of Canada’s best crews, he traveled the globe producing documentaries in Venice, Paris, Washington, Los Angeles.
From Mexico to Resolute Bay, the world offered intriguing possibilities. He was thrilled to be nominated for a best documentary award for his exploration of the Navajo Nation in 1997.
When CBC expanded its French programming, Dominique spent years travelling the country, peeling back the layers of Canada’s francophone experience.
When the travelling ended and he took a desk in the newsroom, he made it a point to get to know his colleagues. His innate discretion led people to confide in him. He found he enjoyed it. That blossomed into union volunteering. As his involvement in CMG grew, Dominique took on everything from fighting grievances and layoffs to fighting for benefits and promotions. Colleagues recall his quiet persistence as he spent a decade finding solutions for other people’s problems.
Through it all, he rarely shared his private life. Few knew he was raising a child with intellectual and physical challenges. Dominique refused to let his adored daughter Catherine expect less of herself, even though as an adult she still needs constant care. His younger daughter Christine grew up at his side, learning quickly the importance of advocating for others. Dominique is proud of his family’s legacy of kindness. He expects his little grandson, Sullivan will also carry it forward.
In 2014 he faced his first significant personal crisis. A younger brother suffering from cancer, learned he would die without a stem cell transplant. The only match in the family, Dominique volunteered to donate his cells. He flew back to Normandy for the surgery. In the recovery year that followed, he never once complained about the headaches, scars or fatigue.
Dominique and Alyson
A year later, another crisis closer to home. Alyson, his wife and soulmate was also diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. Together they continue to wring every drop of laughter out of each day. Every morning, his personal fears shelved, Dominique comes to work smiling, focused as always on getting the job done and boosting the radio morning team he is so proud of, “at CBC or CMG, teamwork is how you get the best out of people.”
After 39 years, he has beautiful memories. He’s proud of his work promoting Radio- Canada, francophone culture, public broadcasting, and the CMG.
He has worked and lived by his motto: “Making life better for everyone, makes life worth living.”
Dominique retires this July 2018
CBC Branch Vice-President CMG
On behalf of the CBC Branch Executive Committee