HAVE A CUP OF JOE WITH JOE – A Little “Face Time” With YourTV Host John Fairley
In the year 2000, many of us lived through the historic ending of the second millennium and the ushering in of the third. It was also when John Fairley began his 20-year run with the “Face to Face” program on TV Cogeco — now operating as YourTV — and is still running strong with it today.
John Fairley is one of three sons, along with Grant and Brian born to Lois and Harry Fairley. It was his mother, Lois, who set him on his pathway to community engagement and volunteerism.
A nurse for more than 38 years at Windsor’s Grace Hospital, she was looked upon by her fellow nurses as “the heart and soul of nursing in Windsor”.
With Fairley following his mother’s lead, the apple has not fallen far from the tree.
Countless charities and non-profit organizations have benefitted through the years from Fairley’s big-hearted volunteer spirit. This was one of the many reasons why he earned the 2016 Biz X Award for “Charity Begins With This Mover & Shaker.”
No charity has been blessed more with its ongoing development and growth than the Hospice of Windsor and Essex County Inc. (TheHospice.ca). A yearly fundraiser takes place each fall, bearing the name the “Hospice Face to Face” campaign.
Essentially Fairley’s idea and he believes: “It is perhaps the simplest, yet most successful, yearly local fundraising campaign in this area.”
The 2020 campaign raised an amazing $95,726! To date, over the last 18 years of the campaign over $1.2 million has been raised!
Marlene Corey, a Producer with YourTV (Cable 11/HD Cable 700), has worked with Fairley very closely on all his shows and charity endeavours.
She describes his charitable nature and fundraising genius this way: “John’s humorous, good-natured manner of asking for donations makes it difficult for someone not to support the ‘Hospice Face to Face’ campaign. He is the master of promotion. During the Hospice campaign he promotes local businesses that support the campaign. Everyone is included in the celebration and our Hospice wins!”Fairley first pitched the concept of the “Face to Face” show to Cogeco’s local management and provided the creative framework.
Corey, along with Cogeco staff — Programming and Community Relations Manager, the late Robert Scussolin; former Producer Paul Tann produced the original show intro; the professionals at Media Street Productions (MediaStreet.ca) and the very talented, Mike Poirier — have also assisted in producing elements for the show over the years.
Hundreds of guests from every walk of life have sat across from Fairley at his desk in the YourTV studio to share their stories. He has a unique questioning style that elicits responses from guests they do not often give elsewhere.
As Corey explains, “John has fun as the volunteer host and community Producer for ‘Face to Face’. He does not take himself too seriously and tries to open the conversation to more than just politics. John adds an amusing slant to politics and asks the relevant questions viewers want answers to.”
After being a guest on “Face to Face”, former Windsor City Councillor Ron Jones was the first to identify something in Fairley’s interviewing style which he shared with other councillors being interviewed by Fairley.
He noted that Fairley was unintentionally doing something that was akin to a baseball pitcher tipping off what pitch he was throwing next.
According to John Fairley, “I was unaware that when I was about to ‘go for the kill’ with a killer interview question, my left eyebrow would suddenly and noticeably rise up.”
Once his brow shot up, you knew something good was coming.
Over the last two decades Fairley has produced and hosted “Face to Face” as a volunteer, while working at the same time as a marketing giant in the local bingo industry (2001-2007) before joining the administrative ranks of St. Clair College (2007 to present) as Vice-President College Communications and Community Relations.
Fairley explains “The demands of producing and hosting a television show while meeting obligations of my ‘real’ employment make for a very hectic life, but I am so grateful for the support and encouragement, for my work on ‘Face to Face,’ I have received from former President Dr. John Strasser and current college President, Patti France.”