Mark Starowicz, Executive Producer
"This is the most exhausting and challenging - yet exhilarating - assignment of my life."
As creator and Executive Producer of Canada: A People's History, Mark Starowicz has been consumed by the epic sweep of Canada's past.
With a passion for history as "a living creation that must be validated by each generation," Starowicz and the series' production team have worked for the past three years to create what they hope will be an enduring national legacy for Canada's millennium.
Starowicz heads CBC Television's Documentary Programming unit, responsible for such series as Witness, Life & Times and all TV network documentary series and specials. His six-hour history of TV news The Dawn of the Eye (1996), a co-production with the BBC, the American History Channel and A&E is used by a wide cross-section of journalism schools.
The Canadian Encyclopedia describes Starowicz as the creator of "the most influential news programs in Canada since 1970." These span both radio (including As It Happens, Sunday Morning) and television (including The Journal which went on the air in January 1982). Starowicz created The Journal and with the late Barbara Frum, guided it through its groundbreaking 10-year history. He has won the Gemini Award for Best Information Program six times.
This past summer, Starowicz has received honorary degrees from King's College in Halifax, Sir Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Montreal's McGill University and Toronto's York University. As well, the Canadian Club recently feted him as Canadian of the Year. Last year, Starowicz received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Journalism Foundation for his remarkable contribution to the industry and commitment to the highest journalistic standards and ideals, over his 25-year career.
Considered one of Canada's experts in the history and evolution of broadcast communications, Starowicz has delivered papers on the future of broadcasting in Washington, San Francisco, Naples and Paris.
He has had as well, a range of print experiences. These include: co-editor of The Last Post, a journalistic magazine of the '60s and '70s; a reporter for The Montreal Gazette and The Toronto Star. He has published articles in The New York Times Magazine, The Globe and Mail and Time magazine.
Starowicz attributes his love of history in part, to his heritage. His father won the Polish Cross of Valour four times as a Polish bomber pilot with Britain's Royal Air Force. His mother was in the Polish Resistance, imprisoned in a German internment camp and finally liberated by Canadian Forces. Polish President Lech Walesa awarded her the Cross of the Warsaw Rising.
Born in England in 1946, he and his family immigrated to Montreal in 1954, after an interlude in Argentina. Raised in Montreal, he is trilingual, speaking Polish, as well as French and English. He has a Bachelor of Arts in history from McGill University, where he was editor of The McGill Daily.
As a 25-year hobby, Starowicz has assembled an extensive collection of original historical newspapers. Dating as far back as 1644, the collection includes papers edited by John Milton and the complete Globe coverage of the Riel Rebellion. The only earlier copy of The Oxford Gazette than his resides in the British Museum
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