Harnarayan Singh speaks the first language of Canada — hockey.
And he speaks it with such authority, gusto and insight that his first assignment with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada in Punjabi was to call the Stanley Cup finals between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings in 2008.
Today, Singh is a well-respected journalist with experience covering many sports, including the Olympic Games, but he is best known as the host and play-byplay commentator for Rogers Hockey Night in Canada in Punjabi, a show through which he has called 400 NHL games during eight seasons.
Singh might be in the big leagues now, but his beginnings were humble as he grew up in small-town Alberta.He says studying broadcast journalism at Mount Royal University’s Centre for Communication Studies and working for CBC radio really prepared him well for what was to come.
“What we were taught at Mount Royal was very hands-on, and I was able to cover a news story on the very first day at my very first job because Mount Royal had prepared me enough that I didn’t even need additional training,” says Singh.
He says excellent guidance from instructors who understand what happens on a day-to-day basis in the industry helps prepare students, and he has found the program has a “stellar” reputation.
Mount Royal is building on this reputation by expanding the two-year Broadcast diploma program into a four-year degree, the Bachelor of Communication, Broadcast Media Studies (BMS). The BMS major joins MRU communication baccalaureate majors in public relations, information design and journalism.
What sets this program apart is its comprehensiveness, says Irv Ratushniak, associate professor in the program.
“We prepare people for work in front of the microphone and the camera as well as behind the scenes in broadcast advertising, journalism, corporate productions, live events and various types of creative programming,” he says.
“Our new major in broadcast media studies will be the only four-year program of its kind in Western Canada and the second one in the country.”
The unique blend of coursework will include hands-on technical training as well as higher-level learning that explores topics such as law, ethics and inter-cultural communication.
“A four-year program gives us the opportunity to take a more in-depth look at how the world is changing and will also better equip our students to make decisions that impact not only what people are hearing, seeing and reading, but how and when they are receiving that information,” says Marc Chikinda, dean at the Centre for Communication Studies.
Ratushniak points out that since the school has been involved in broadcasting education for more than 55 years, the department has had ample opportunity to build strong relationships with industry, keeping the school well-tuned to industry trends and requirements.
“Our program enables students to develop the necessary skills to produce quality content and adapt to change,” says Ratushniak