This year will mark her 20th year working in the TV industry. Since 2017 she’s been a host on TSC, Today’s Shopping Choice or formally and most well known as The Shopping Channel. You might also know her from her previous 17 years working on Breakfast Television both in Edmonton and Vancouver or perhaps as the host of CityTV’s Realty Television or her time hosting City Cooks. Many know her as an award-winning jazz vocalist who performed both with her own group but also with the Dal Richards Orchestra as a “Dal’s Gal,” and sang the National Anthem for the Edmonton Eskimos, Edmonton Trappers, Edmonton Oilers, and the BC Lions. She even worked for the Vancouver Canucks as their in-arena host for 3 seasons as people looked up on the Jumbotron. This amazingly talented, gorgeous, successful, and passionate woman is none other than Dawn Chubai.
Born on the 13th of August 1972 in Edmonton, Alberta, Dawn Chubai is also a renowned Canadian actress, mainly known for playing the role of Anchorwoman in the 2007 superhero movie, Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
When Dawn was younger and was asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, Dawn would have told you that she wanted to be a teacher. Then at some point, she said she wanted to be a social worker and even volunteered at a nursing home for a year. In reality, however, she didn’t really know what she wanted to do but felt that “we always had to have an answer at the ready, especially once you were in high school, in the event anyone asked,” remembers Dawn.
Chubai decided to ‘take a break’ before going to university or college. “I would work as a waitress for years which connected me with someone who would offer me a job as a receptionist. I would soon work my way up to the assistant to Public Affairs for a health care association and then eventually be promoted to Public Affairs Officer,” explains Chubai. She never forgot that she barely graduated high school and had no degree or secondary education on her resume but credits this rise in her career to a combination of things: being open to new opportunities; saying yes more than she said no; meeting the right people; and having an incredible work ethic she learned from her parents, who had her at a very young age. “This would be the recipe to every success I have ever achieved and ever will until I die,” expresses Dawn.
1999 is what started her trajectory to where she is now. As a popular vocalist in Edmonton, she was invited to perform in Korea at the International Travel Expo with her jazz band. She sold CDs and cassettes after her gigs. Later that year she would win “Best Jazz Artist’ by the Alberta Recording Industry Association for her debut CD “New Chapters for an Old Book”. “My career in music was always in conjunction with another job. AKA, one that paid the bills!” says Dawn.
Fast forward another 13 years and she would go on to record a second CD called “Under the Covers” which included 2 of her own original songs. In addition to performing nearly every weekend and touring the province, her career in music would also bring opportunities to perform with the likes of Alfie Zapacosta, The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and record with the Dal Richards Orchestra on Dal’s final CD, “Musically Yours,” before his death at 98 years old.
So how did Dawn begin to get involved in television? It was in 1999, after just coming back from performing in Korea, where she was invited to audition as a weather and ‘traffic girl,’ as they were called at the time. She had been performing and promoting her music for years on a morning TV show, now known as Breakfast Television, in Edmonton and they figured she would be a good fit on their morning show. Looking back at her audition tape, which you can find on YouTube, she is still not quite sure what they saw. With ZERO broadcasting experience, Dawn fondly recollects what the manager of the station said to her, “We can train you to do anything, but we can’t train personality. You have personality. Everything else is trainable.”
It would be this mantra that would progress Chubai through the extensive on-air resume that includes a diversity of experiences that anyone who would go to school to train to be a broadcaster could ever hope for. This extensive experience leads Dawn to realize that she could help others to prepare for their own on-air opportunities. In 2013, Chubai and her husband incorporated King Willow Management, using their combined expertise in media and management as consultants; Dawn’s primary contribution being media and on-air training. “I learned during my time as a Live-Eye Host on Breakfast Television that I had a knack for preparing unexperienced guests very quickly for their time in the spotlight and knew with time, I could help them knock it out of the park!” says Dawn. Her experience working with some of the top chefs (Ned Bell, Mark MacEwan, and even the Galloping Gourmet Graham Kerr, to name a few) while hosting her own cooking show made her well versed on how to coach a chef to cook a full meal in 2 minutes for TV.