Bruce Dowbiggin

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Bruce Dowbiggin
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
ResidenceCalgary, Alberta
Alma materUniversity of Toronto Mississauga
OccupationJournalist, sports broadcaster
Years active1984 to present
FamilyIan Dowbiggin (brother)
AwardsGemini Awards (2)

Bruce Dowbiggin is a Canadian author and sports broadcaster. A graduate of the University of Toronto Mississauga, Dowbiggin has worked as a journalist for the Calgary Herald and The Globe and Mail and as a broadcaster for CBC Newsworld. He has authored several books about ice hockey, and his sportscaster career has earned him two Gemini Awards.

Early life and education[edit]

Dowbiggin attended Lindsay Place High School in Pointe-Claire, Quebec, and then Nelson High School in Burlington, Ontario after his family moved.[1] In 1974, Dowbiggin was one of the early editors of The Medium, the University of Toronto Mississauga's student newspaper.[2][3] He graduated from the University of Toronto Mississauga in 1977[4] with a degree in English and Drama.[2] After graduation, he was briefly a playwright with two plays produced in Toronto, and his poetry and prose were featured in literary collections.[5]


1980s – 1990s[edit]

Dowbiggin began his journalistic career with TV Guide magazine before transitioning to broadcasting with CBC Radio in 1984.[6] In 1985, he was the television sports anchor at CBC Toronto for The Six O'Clock News and CBC at Eleven.[5][6] He later co-hosted the television broadcast of the 1988 Caribana parade,[7] and began broadcasting with CBC Newsworld in 1990.[6]

Dowbiggin made his reputation in journalism by investigating Alan Eagleson.[8] Dowbiggin was the first Canadian journalist to report on investigations into Eagleson and how National Hockey League players' pensions were mismanaged, with a series of articles in 1991.[9] Dowbiggin later collaborated with American journalist Russ Conway on another set of articles in February 1993.[10] Dowbiggin was critical of how slowly the Law Society of Upper Canada investigated the allegations against Eagleson, prior to another article published by Stevie Cameron.[11] CBC Sports did not initially show interest in the investigations, and his work was aired by The National and A Current Affair instead. Dowbiggin later said that television sports "ignore[s] the real problems when they come up", and also criticized sportcasters by saying "the idea of having to turn on one of their own is too difficult for them".[12] His investigative reporting on Eagleson earned him a Gemini Award in 1993.[5] Later in 1993, Dowbiggin released a book on Eagleson titled The Defense Never Rests.[13]

Dowbiggin later investigated the influence of money in sports. He wrote the article "Pedal to the Medal", where he contrasted the efforts of Olympic hopeful Tanya Dubnicoff to athletes that had better funding.[8] In 1996, he won his second Gemini Award as the best sports broadcaster.[14] He was given the opportunity to anchor CBC's television coverage of the 1994 Commonwealth Games and 1996 Summer Olympics, as well as radio coverage of the 1998 Winter Olympics.[6] Dowbiggin moved from Toronto to Calgary in 1998 to work for the Calgary Herald.[15][16]

2000s – present[edit]

In 2002, he released a book titled The Stick: A History, A Celebration, An Elegy which detailed the history of the hockey stick and players relationships with it.[17] In 2003, Dowbiggin authored a book titled Money Players which was a finalist for the 2004 National Business Book Award.[18][19] When an opportunity arose to replace longtime journalist Bill Houston at The Globe and Mail, Dowbiggin earned a job writing the media column.[15] He stayed with The Globe and Mail from 2009 until 2013.[19]

In 2014, Dowbiggin wrote Ice Storm: The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Vancouver Canucks Team Ever.[20] The following year he worked with former National Hockey League player Grant Fuhr to write Fuhr's biography, Grant Fuhr: Portrait of a Champion.[21]

In 2018, he released a book co-authored by Ryan Gauthier titled Cap in Hand which was a critique on the use of salary cap in professional sports.[22]

Dowbiggin is a columnist at Not the Public Broadcaster alongside Rhys and Evan Dowbiggin,[19] and works as a sports columnist for Troy Media.[23] As of 2017, he contributes to SiriusXM Canada Talks Channel 167, and hosts a podcast titled The Full Count With Bruce Dowbiggin.[24]


List of publications:[25]

  • The Defense Never Rests (1993)
  • Of Ice and Men (1999)
  • The Stick: A History, A Celebration, An Elegy (2002)
  • Money Players: How Hockey's Greatest Stars Beat the NHL at its Own Game (2003)
  • The Trouble with Hockey (2004)
  • Money players: The Amazing Rise and Fall of Bob Goodenow and the NHL Players Association (2006)
  • The Meaning of Puck: How Hockey Explains Modern Canada (2008)
  • Ice Storm: The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Vancouver Canucks Team Ever (2014)
  • Grant Fuhr: Portrait of a Champion (2015)
  • Cap in Hand with Ryan Gauthier (2018)

Personal life[edit]

Dowbiggin is one of five sons born to Mary and Bill Dowbiggin in Montreal.[26] His brother Ian Dowbiggin is a professor and author.[27] His father Bill, served in the Royal Canadian Air Force as a bomber pilot.[28] Dowbiggin's grandfather fought in World War I, and four of his family members fought in World War II with Canada.[29]



  • Houston, William; Shoalts, David (1993). Eagleson: The Fall of a Hockey Czar. Whitby, Ontario: McGraw-Hill Ryerson Ltd. ISBN 0-07-551706-X.


  1. ^ "About Bruce Dowbiggin". Retrieved March 9, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Sports caster alumnus talks hockey and money". Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  3. ^ Sawczak, Luke (September 8, 2014). "The Mountain We're Standing On". Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  4. ^ "Bruce Dowbiggin". Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c "Face-off: Are We Getting What We Deserve From Sports Reporters?". Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d "CALGARY BOOSTER CLUB 56th Sportsman of the Year Dinner" (PDF). 2009. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  7. ^ "TV Specials". Winnipeg Free Press. Winnipeg, Manitoba. July 30, 1988. p. 155.Free to read
  8. ^ a b "Elm Street Contributors". Winnipeg Free Press. Winnipeg, Manitoba. June 2, 2000. p. 115.Free to read
  9. ^ Houston & Shoalts (1993), pp. 174–175
  10. ^ Houston & Shoalts (1993), p. 20
  11. ^ Houston & Shoalts (1993), p. 21
  12. ^ Kylie, Aaron (March 3, 1999). "Ethics On Ice". Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  13. ^ Sigurdson, Hal (October 27, 1993). "NHL hides dark past of pension injustice". Winnipeg Free Press. Winnipeg, Manitoba. p. 29.Free to read
  14. ^ "The 1996 Gemini winners". March 11, 1996. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  15. ^ a b Dowbiggin, Bruce (March 4, 2019). "Three Questions with Bruce Dowbiggin" (Interview). Interviewed by Steve Paikin. TVOntario. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  16. ^ "Sports columnist joins Herald today". Calgary Herald. November 9, 1998. pp. Front page. Outspoken, articulate and to the point – that's the Calgary Herald's newest columnist, Bruce Dowbiggin. Dowbiggin, twice a winner of a Gemini Award as this country's top sports broadcast journalist, has joined the Herald as our lead sports columnist.
  17. ^ Smith, Stephen (October 13, 2001). "One big Stickout among hockey tomes". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  18. ^ "Five finalists announced for business-book prize". The Globe and Mail. March 30, 2004. p. R2.
  19. ^ a b c "THE BROADCASTERS". Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  20. ^ "Rise and Fall of the Greatest Canucks Team Ever – An Interview with Bruce Dowbiggin". September 30, 2014. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  21. ^ Whyno, Stephen (October 31, 2014). "Grant Fuhr shows comfort in life and decisions in new book". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  22. ^ Pike, Ryan (October 16, 2018). "Cap in Hand is Thought-Provoking History Lesson". Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  23. ^ "Your columnists". Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  24. ^ "When A Threat Is Not A Threat Even Though It's A Threat". April 2, 2017. Retrieved March 7, 2019. Bruce Dowbiggin the host of the podcast The Full Count with Bruce Dowbiggin on He’s also a regular contributor three-times-a-week to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167.
  25. ^ "Dowbiggin, Bruce". WorldCat. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  26. ^ "Mary Dowbiggin Obituary". National Post. 2018. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  27. ^ "How Unhappiness Became Depression: The False Hope Of Getting Doctors To Make Us Happy". May 11, 2017. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  28. ^ "Lancaster Tire Evokes Memories of War". Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  29. ^ "Bruce Dowbiggin: Honouring the flowers of society". November 9, 2015. Retrieved March 6, 2019.