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Fanshawe grad wins prestigious scholarship

Ivana Pelisek | Interrobang | News | August 31st, 2009

Graduating as one of the top students from his program, Jeff Burling received notice for not only being an outstanding pupil, but also for having exceptional people skills, a keen sense of focus, and what it takes to be a natural leader.

“It was definitely an experience,” reminisced Burling, a graduate of Fanshawe's MIA program, on receiving the prestigious Fred Sherratt Scholarship award totaling a cool $3,500.

In addition to being honoured with the award, the 12 recipients across Canada enjoyed a trip to Toronto to spend an educational day at MuchMusic headquarters this past June. The accomplishments of the young Canadians were showcased and celebrated at a special ceremony broadcast on CTV.

“Recipients and family members, along with special CARAS guests were invited into the studio space of MuchOnDemand,” explained Srinka Walia, Executive Director at MusiCounts. The ceremony was hosted by Tanya Kim, co-host of eTalk, and speakers included Melanie Berry (President, CARAS), Paul Sparkes (Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs CTVglobemedia) and Fred Sherratt (broadcasting pioneer and recent recipient of the 2009 Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award).”

Jeff Burling

After being conferred the Fred Sherratt Award, Burling admitted it was somewhat nerve racking addressing approximately 200 guests: “I had to do an acceptance speech...and I was nervous. I don't even remember what I said...[but] it was probably nonsense.”

According to Walia, after the presentations resumed, select members of the recipient group performed a jazz number. Following this, the entire group of 12 were given a tour of the CTV Building, which among other things, included an extensive look at all of the CHUM Radio stations found in Toronto.

“It was very neat to meet all types of people from across the country and [to] interact with everyone. Afterwards the execs took us out for lunch and drinks eventually heading back to the studios,” Burling explained. “It was there we received our cheques.”

As far as having a life changing moment since receiving the academic honour, Burling stated he remains humbled by the experience, but is proud of his accomplishment.

Fred Sherratt is a broadcasting pioneer, and this special award recognizes raw talent in the competitive music biz. Beneficiaries of the scholarship have been chosen from music, recording, and arts and sciences programs across Canada. As Sherratt elaborated, they are an unspeakable part of why such awards are granted.

“I am delighted to present these awards, and commend the recipients on their achievements,” said Sherrat. “It is a pleasure to have met a group of exceptional graduates who are so passionate about music and the music industry. They truly represent the future of Canadian music.”

As indicated by his induction into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Broadcast Hall of Fame in 1995, and his 2008 receipt of the Ontario Association of Broadcasters' inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award, Sherratt has played a major role in building CHUM Limited into one of Canada's leading media companies. Moreover, earlier this year, he was honoured by CARAS with the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award.

Burling is optimistic that this prestigious award will help assist him when looking for employment in the future, adding enthusiastically that, “it [certainly] looks great on a resume.” As for prospective MIA students, Burling had the following insights to offer: “The next person who gets this award will find themselves very passionate about what it is they're doing...and [most importantly] by working their ass off.”
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