To have fun and make a difference in the community is the whole philosophy behind Winnipeg’s most recognizable radio announcer, Ace Burpee of 103.1 Virgin radio. He is well known for his witty sense of humour, his uncanny sense of predictability and is one of the most sought after and respected broadcasters in the city. With the celebrity aside, Ace Burpee is also known for his generosity and his genuine passion for philanthropy.
Ace grew up near Cooks Creek, which is located east of Winnipeg on the way to Beausejour. After graduating from Springfield Collegiate in Oakbank, he pursued his physical education degree at the University of Manitoba and then moved out to Alberta where he graduated from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) in Calgary with a journalism diploma and a major in writing. He chose to pursue a career in media as he felt it was the best outlet for his creativity.
The hours are long, as weekday mornings begin well before the 5 a.m. arrival time at the station. He spends his mornings reading news releases and listening to other media sources to stay well informed about what has happened over night in the world. He sifts through the current events and then formulates how he will sprinkle the news with his personality and incorporate this into his show. He is joined by his co-hosts Chrissie Troy and Lloyd the Intern, and the trio give listeners an entertaining start to their day.
When the show is over, he focuses his attention in the daily business operations of the station. Active involvement in the decision-making process adds variety and keeps him interested.
“I’m so lucky, as it is such a fun place to work,” says Ace. “Our main goal is to give to the community and somehow make a difference.”
Charity starts at home and Ace said he learned from his parents how valuable it is to make a positive difference and try to impact another life. His passion for helping others is evident in the charities he champions. He can often be seen appearing at or hosting events of organizations he feels are worthwhile. This leaves him little time for leisure. He enjoys fishing, reading and spending time with his family to unwind.
“My parents were always giving and selfless to others,” says Ace. “Trying to make an impact on one person is rewarding. It’s a big part of who I am and what I want to accomplish. I have a soft spot for anyone who works in mental health, as I am comfortable in that world.”
He encourages everyone to examine their lives and use their passion to help to make a difference in one persons life.
“Everyone has the ability to make change and to affect their community in a positive way. To be able to enrich a life is a great gift and should not be passed up. Be an asset. Ask yourself how you can make a place, a business, an idea or a life better. That’s what the world wants and needs,” he says. “Sometimes you have to pick a side in life and not listen to negativity, the nay-sayers or the haters. You have to take another route and find positivity.”