By Emma Sandri
In the Rogers Communications Centre (RCC) stands a testament to a group of Ryerson alumni that have made a significant impact to the media field: The RTA wall of fame.
But who decides who gets on the wall?
With the support of the RTA School of Media, the wall of fame was created in January 2012 by the RTA Alumni Association (RTAAA).
In keeping with the association’s goal to link past RTA alumni with one each other, the university and students, the Wall of Fame was created with the over-arching goal to honour RTA graduates who have made a name for themselves through their substantial contributions in media.
“The physical wall is prominently displayed on the main floor of the Rogers Communication Centre – outside the RTA administrative offices,” says Brian Bobbie, the new president of the RTA Alumni Association. “This is an ideal location for visitors and students to see just a few of the ever-inspiring RTA alumni.”
However, with Ryerson’s distinguished RTA alumni it can be hard to decide who gets a place on the wall —that’s where the Ryerson community comes in.
Potential wall-of-famers can be nominated by anyone through an online form on the Ryerson RTA website.
According to Bobbie, in order to qualify for an induction, a nominee must be an RTA alumni with “proven accomplishments” in the field of media.
In the six years since the creation of the wall, such accomplishments have varied across industries and decades—including but not limited to, broadcast journalism, screenplay writing, comedy and photography.
As a result, Bobbie notes that the only reason an alumnus wouldn’t make it onto the wall is simply because they weren’t nominated.
That being said, a nomination doesn’t automatically mean induction.
Any hopeful wall-of-famer must be approved by a selection committee made up of the RTAAA president (Bobbie), the chair of the RTA School of Media Michael Coutanche, and an undisclosed RTA faculty member.
This year, the selection committee will be responsible for narrowing down all potential candidates to five worthy recipients. In October, these five RTA alumni will be formally inducted to the wall of fame during Ryerson’s Alumni Weekend.
Notable past inductees include Canada AM co-host Marci Ian, Emmy-nominated writer, actor, and comedienne Sabrina Jalees, and Michael Landsberg, former host of Off the Record for TSN.
Landsberg was added to the wall last year. During the induction ceremony at the George Vari Engineering Centre he told the audience that Ryerson’s RTA program had given him the “confidence to pursue (his) dream.”