The voice of The Peak’s afternoon radio will soon be changing. Ashleigh Clark, who has been hosting the 2-6 p.m. ‘afternoon drive’ time slot for the past two years has taken a career opportunity in Campbell River.
After she graduated from the radio broadcasting program at Canadore College in Ontario, Clark moved to Edmonton to take her first job in the industry doing promotions for a local station. When she found out about the opening at 93.3 The Peak to replace long-time local host, Jolie McMullan, she jumped at the chance. The only on-air experience she had was from on-location hits and co-hosting a few shows.
“This was my first big break,” Clark said. “Having my own show was my goal since radio school.”
The position also included the role of promotions director, so along with moving to a new town, it was a big change.
“I threw myself into and and navigated around mostly by myself,” she said.
“The biggest challenge was making my mark in Port Alberni not knowing anything about it, but everyone was totally welcoming and had their arms wide open, which was awesome.”
When she first arrived in Port Alberni, Clark said she was told it was the community with a heart and saw first hand what that meant.
“One of the first things that happened was a big flood and I saw how the community came together,” she said.
“That was so heartwarming to see and I knew this place would be wonderful.”
Clark has been hands-on at community events and said some of the highlights have been the annual Polar Bear Swim, the backyard barbecues that the station held at the homes of listeners and fishing in the Salmon Festival. Outside of work, she said she will miss the landscapes and recreational activities, but knows Campbell River will offer just as much.
“Most of all, I will miss the people because I have made friends with so many amazing people here,” she said.
She could not turn down the chance to grow her career, though. When offered the position as morning show host at 99.7 2DayFM, she could not say no.
“The morning show is the most sought after slot in the radio world,” she said.
Clark did not always anticipate going into radio. While taking a year off between high school and college, she was contemplating careers using her skills and knowledge of photography, nutrition, interior design and animals, but she decided to take her mother’s advice.
“My mom pulled out a box of old tapes because I used to record myself calling in to radio stations as a kid,” Clark said.
“I’ve always loved music and talking so she suggested applying to the school. I got in and have loved it ever since.”
Until she is replaced, the position is open at The Peak.
“A world-wide search for Ashleigh’s replacement is currently underway,” said Ken Wilson, program director at Island Radio.