Monday May 02, 2016

DNTO through the years

DNTO 1994 - 2016

DNTO 1994 - 2016 (CBC)

For 22 years, DNTO graced the CBC Radio One airwaves every Saturday afternoon. Here are some of our most memorable moments.

1994 -  Definitely Not The Opera debuts on Sept.10, with radio novice Nora Young as host. The show is focused on youth and pop culture. Nora now hosts Spark on CBC.

Nora Young

Nora Young mid-1990s (CBC Still Photo Collection)

1995 - Definitely Not The Opera celebrates its first birthday. Executive producer Bill Smith tells the Winnipeg Free Press, "If you've been living in a metaphorical cave all week and wake up on Saturday, this is what you need to know." 


DNTO celebrates its first year on air (Winnipeg Free Press)

2002 - Nora Young signs off as host and Sook-Yin Lee officially gets behind the mic. She tells the Globe and Mail, "I feel so honoured to be joining this family, this tradition of CBC Radio, which is about real ideas and exploration."

Sook-Yin Lee

Sook-Yin Lee is DNTO's new host (CBC)

2003 - Occasionally, Definitely Not The Opera goes "on remote," gathering stories by day and editing in hotel rooms by night.

DNTO in Montreal

Sook-Yin in Montreal on remote (CBC)

2004 - One of the most memorable trips was to Goose Bay, Labrador with contributor Nick Purdon and producer Sara Tate. 

DNTO in Labrador

DNTO does Labrador (CBC)

2005 - We tried something new: our first ever live-to-air broadcast at the Supermarket Restaurant and Bar in Toronto. 

Sook-Yin Lee

Sook-Yin Lee at DNTO's first live-to-air broadcast. (CBC)

2006 - We also headed to New Orleans to document the rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Katrina. 

DNTO goes to New Orleans

Sook-Yin Lee in New Orleans (CBC)

2007 - DNTO begins to shift its focus from pop culture and modern living to personal storytelling.

Sook-Yin Lee

Sook-Yin Lee (CBC Still Photo Collection)

2008 - DNTO unveils a new theme song, composed by Juno Award-winning songwriter Final Fantasy, a.k.a. Owen Pallett.

Owen Pallett

Owen Pallett (Owen Pallett)

2008 - DNTO goes global, with a show produced from Beijing in the run-up to the Olympic Games.

Sook-Yin Lee in Bejiing

Sook-Yin Lee in Bejiing (CBC)

2009 - We invite three Canadian artists to bring a few of Sook-Yin's personal stories to life, with delightful results: True Love (director Jon Izen), I Won (director Anne Marie Fleming), and Orange (director Jim Goodall).

A few of Sook-Yin's personal stories, animated. 

2011 - DNTO brings personal storytelling to a live audience for the first time with a show at the Winnipeg Comedy Festival, which featured a special performance from Hawksley Workman

DNTO Live at Winnipeg Comedy Festival

Hawksley Workman at the Winnipeg Comedy Festival (CBC)

2012 - Another live show in Toronto featured Carol Off, host of CBC's As It Happens, ending the show with her incredible tale of breaking into the news business.

Carol Off

Carol Off, co-host of CBC's As It Happens (Tanja-Tiziana Burdi)

2013 - DNTO wins its third Gabriel Award, which recognizes "outstanding artistic achievement in media that entertains and enriches with a true vision of humanity and a true vision of life." The show also won Gabriel Awards in 2009 and 2012. 

Gabriel awards

DNTO's three Gabriel Awards (CBC/Thacker)

2014 - DNTO invites listeners for a sneak peek of the new Halifax Central Library with the first-ever event held there. 

DNTO Live in Halifax

Sook-Yin Lee with Candy Palmater and El Jones (Chelle Wootten)

2015 - DNTO launches a new one-hour format and showcases the stories of a Somali refugee, a newly-elected politician, an indigenous activist, Drake's drama teacher and hundreds of others.

Yahya Samatar

Swimming to freedom: the incredible story of Yahya Samatar (CBC/Kaj Hasselriis)

2016 - DNTO says goodbye after 22 seasons on the air. Our last episode broadcasts May 14, 2016. 


Team DNTO (CBC/T.Brine)