Audio Masseuse: The Story Of A Quirky Genius

Genius is a strange thing, it rarely comes in a normal package and can often push those around to their limits. Mark Valcour was just that kind of man though, he really knew his audio and would push students to perfection. The man was as peculiar as they come as well, with most notably a fair sized Lego collection to his name.

“He inspired us with his appetite for work and charmed us with his sense of humour and quirky ways,” said Mary McGuire, a Carleton radio professor who worked with Valcour.

Mark got his start studying engineering at Carleton in the late seventies and soon became part of the Ottawa audio scene through his continuous work since the eighties as an audio technician at CKCU, Carleton, as well as a radio instructor at both Carleton and Algonquin.

“He was here when the station first signed on,” said Matthew Crosier, Station Manager at CKCU. “He’d always give us the gears for messing with equipment but that was Mark, and half of our productions wouldn’t have existed without him.

Valcour was extremely passionate about his work too, giving students 11 pm workshops and pulling enough overnights to bring in “a chair that doubled as a pull out bed so that he could sleep here overnight” just for his students. McGuire recalled “one of them said there’s a little bit of Mark in all the good radio work she does.”

But Valcour didn’t restrain himself to the campus scene, he’s been working live audio at bars across Ottawa for years and the community misses him.

“He was the sound guy for every show I did at The Dominion Tavern, and it always sounded good,” said Dave Aardvark, Program Manager at CKCU, “he made the magic happen.”

In his honour the bar is hosting a commemorative concert on February 7, featuring bands that Valcour did sound for.

Mark Valcour set the standard for audio in Ottawa over the last three decades and instilled in everyone he worked, the importance of good sound. Our ears will never quite be the same.

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