Strong ties build community

Strong ties build community

NAIT alum Jason Gregor supports bursaries for next generation of radio talent

In some ways, it’s not surprising that Jason Gregor (Radio and Television – Radio ’01) gravitated toward a career in talk radio.

The host of The Jason Gregor Show, a weekday sports show on TSN 1260, sees the medium as one of the linchpins that help bind communities together. “People care about what’s going on in their own backyard,” says Gregor. “Whatever your [radio] show is, you should be giving as much information as possible to your audience about what’s going on locally.”

Gregor has used radio to give much more than information. Over the years, he’s rallied listeners around causes including the MS Bike Tour, Santas Anonymous, the Christmas Bureau and more. In 2013, he set up the Gregor Foundation and partnered with Mr.Derk to help underprivileged boys have their own suit, shirt, ties and shoes for their high school graduation – which they keep and many use for job interviews. Gregor raises the money through the golf tournament and with donations.

By his estimate, total donation tallies for all the causes he’s promoted are approaching $2 million. “Sports people are very giving,” he says, passing credit to his listeners, sponsors and local athletes and coaches.

Jason Gregor wants to reward students' hard work

With one of Gregor's most recent acts of giving,  the credit lies solely with him. In 2018, Gregor set up an endowment that will grant an annual $1,000 bursary to a third-semester NAIT radio student.

Part of his motivation in creating the Jason Gregor Radio and Television – Radio Bursary is simply to give back to something that contributed to his success.

“NAIT was where my career started,” he says. “You have to have talent and a work ethic but you need a base.”

Another part is that he recognizes the realities of hard-working, deserving students. Homework in the radio program is hands on, Gregor points out. Students need to put in time after hours in NAIT studios, which leaves little time for part-time jobs. That can make money an issue.

“I think education is massively important. I thought if I could do a small thing to help out, and if students get a little reward for all their hard work, then great.”

Ultimately, Gregor wants to ensure that new talent makes its way through the polytechnic and into the industry, strengthening it and adding to its community-building power.

“I think education is massively important,” he says. “I thought if I could do a small thing to help out, and if students get a little reward for all their hard work, then great.”

In keeping with his focus on community, Gregor has just one request of the recipient, the first of which will be named in January 2019.

“The one stipulation is that I’d like to have a lunch with the winner,” says Gregor. Writing a cheque isn’t enough for him. “I like the emotional connection – here’s someone you helped out.”

Published on May 28, 2018