Posted by Brady Holek on September 16, 2014
CJAM is mourning the loss of DJ Julian Bélanger, who passed away suddenly in his hometown of Chatham, Ontario on Monday, Sept. 8.
Mr. Bélanger – a jazz and prog rock DJ with CJAM since 2008 – was best known for his programs “The Purple Room” and “Space Truckin’.” This coming Sunday, Sept. 21, CJAM will re-broadcast one of the latest editions of “Space Truckin’” in Mr. Bélanger’s honour from 8 to 10 pm in his old timeslot.
“This is a blow, not just in terms of losing one of our best DJs, but a friend,” said Station Manager Vernon Smith. “Julian was someone who was dedicated to the art of broadcasting, someone who drove nearly an hour here, then an hour home every week in order to do what I had come to view as one of the best prog rock programs in Canada.
“More importantly, we’ve lost a friend. Julian was someone I could go to for advice on matters ranging from broadcasting, political hot potatoes, hockey pools, personal matters, and, of course prog rock and jazz. I will miss him dearly. We all will.”
Mr. Bélanger also enjoyed a close friendship with CJAM DJ Willy Wilson, often trading sounds and filling in for each other.
“Julian had three passions in life: family, music and hockey,” said Wilson. “His love of the music and attention to details made his program a must listen experience every Sunday night. I enjoyed teasing him about some off-the-wall song he played every Monday morning (and about the latest Montreal Canadiens loss). His passing leaves an empty space in all of us.”
Mr. Bélanger is survived by his children Zara, Quincy and Daphne, along with his wife Andrea, parents Pat and Jean-Maurice Bélanger, brothers Paul, Joel, and Jason, and sister Lori Ann.
A hockey all-star in his youth, Mr. Bélanger was a member of the Chatham Bantam team inducted into the Chatham Sports Hall of Fame and went on to become a draft pick of the Kitchener Rangers.
The Bélanger family would appreciate donations to the Chatham-Kent Hospice, Mental Health Kent, or Sleeping Children Around The World.
On-line condolences may be left at www.alexanderfuneralhome.ca