Andy-MichaelsonAndy Michaelson passed away peacefully on May 10 at the age of 71, leaving to mourn his loving wife Carol Fergusson. Born in Calgary, Andy moved to Edmonton as a child. With his warm, friendly and resonant speaking voice, Andy began a career in the 1960s as a radio announcer and reporter at CHED, followed by CKYL Peace River, CJCA Edmonton, and then moved to Vancouver where he was heard on-air over the next two decades as Andy Michaels on CISL-AM, CKNW-AM and as morning show co-host on CJOR-AM.

Following these experiences, Andy became a communications professional and consultant in Vancouver and Edmonton, and finally, found his calling as a columnist for the St Albert Gazette and as a writer and poet in St. Albert.

Andy had a generous, compassionate heart. He was complex, sometimes difficult, loved conversation, was a fine story teller and humourist, and collected good Scotch. Andy loved animals and birds, delighting in the variety attracted to their yard. More than anything, Andy had a highly developed sense of justice. He showed interest in others and their cultures while treating everyone with the dignity and respect that each deserved. He was particularly interested in First Nations and Metis history and culture.

In recent years, Andy was a skilled poet expressing himself on diverse topics. He devoted many hours as teacher and mentor, encouraging children and adults to write and perform their poetry. He was a co-founder of Poets’ Ink, a St Albert writing group, a member of many other writing groups and organizations, and regularly performed at poetry readings. In 2009, Andy received a St. Albert Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts Award for Arts Promotion and, in 2011, a St. Albert Community Recognition Award for Arts and Culture.

Former city councillor Carol Watamaniuk and St. Albert poet Andy Michaelson were on site at an Edmonton printing plant as the first few pages of the St. Albert Rendezvous 150th Anniversary Photography and Poetry book rolled off the presses.  There were smiles all around as editor Carol Watamaniuk and St. Albert poet Andy Michaelson watched St. Albert’s 150th anniversary legacy book roll off the presses. Michaelson spent many nights burning the midnight oil writing 60 poems to accompany an estimated 500 images. He described press day as a truly joyful experience. APRIL BARTLETT/St. Albert Gazette

During the Christmas season, Andy was a fantastic jolly old elf, volunteering his time to various charities, non-profits and local community events to ensure as many children and parents as possible could have a wonderful memory.

He served as an Ordinary Seaman in the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve and later attended NAIT earning a Marketing diploma. Andy was a member of the Royal Canadian Legion and regularly thanked military members for their service. His poem ‘A Child Sang’ was published on the Parliamentary Poet Laureate’s website in November 2006.

A Celebration of Life was held for Andy on Saturday, May 20, 2017 at The John Beedle Centre – St. Albert Botanic Park. Guests were invited to read a poem at the public gazebo from their own or Andy’s writings or by another author, in remembrance of Andy.