With this week’s Woman of Oilersnation, we are officially 3/3 with rad Edmonton radio hosts who are both Oilers fans and doing amazing things within the Edmonton community (see Jess Jackson and Lauren Hunter for confirmation). Next up is Katie Stanners, morning show producer and host on 104.9 Virgin Radio and the creator of A Woman A Day YEG!
Last week I featured Julia Sharun, an Edmonton tendy and girls’ hockey coach! If you missed it, you can read her feature here:
MEET KATIE STANNERS!
KYLA: Who are you?! What’s your day job, what are your passions, what’s something interesting about you?
KATIE: I’m Katie Stanners. I am a mom to a wonderful, sassy six-year-old girl named Nora. I’m passionate about music, community, traveling, snowboarding and family. I’ve backpacked my way through many countries throughout Europe, South East Asia and I even lived in Australia for awhile in my mid 20s. I am a musician and I can play bass, guitar, piano, ukulele and I love to sing. I’m also very passionate about my career. I’ve worked in radio broadcasting for 11 years. I am currently the Morning Show Producer and Host at 104.9 Virgin Radio in Edmonton.
KYLA: How did you get into hockey and sports in general?
KATIE: My family is big in to hockey, so it came naturally for me. I grew up going to my older cousin’s hockey games with my family on the weekends in St. Albert. I remember some of my earliest memories are sneaking downstairs at bedtime and going to sit on the couch with my dad when I should be sleeping. He would let me stay up with him, watch the Oilers games and he would even give me a few sips of his Coca-Cola as long as I never told my mom.
KYLA: What’s your favourite Oilers memory?
KATIE: Oh I have a few. I remember one year it was St. Patrick’s day and my friend and I were at the game. I brought green food colouring in my purse and I put it in everyone’s drinks all around us (clearly pre-pandemic). Everyone around us was so happy, we had a good cheers and we all had green teeth for the night.
Another memory that comes to mind is the Oilers cup run in 2006 on Whyte Ave. The excitement, the parties and the people all high fiving each other. It was pretty exciting to be apart of, although the riots really didn’t need to happen.
KYLA: How did your radio career start and what’s your favourite part of being a host on Virgin Radio in Edmonton?
KATIE: My radio journey started at the Radio and Television Media program at NAIT in 2008. I’ve worked in radio for over 11 years and it’s taken me around Alberta. My first on air gig was in Edson as an Evening Announcer and Commercial Producer. From there I went to Red Deer to be an Announcer and a Promotions Director. I took a little break and moved to Australia thinking I would do radio there but ended up living out of my car and traveling around playing music!
I’ve heard that if you get out of radio it’s hard to get back in but I lucked out because basically once I got off the plane here in Edmonton I went to an interview at the airport and started working as a Traffic Reporter almost immediately at Canadian Traffic Network. I then worked at a station in Leduc and helped them launch a second station in Parkland County and I ended up managing those stations for over five years and then I made the jump to Virgin!
I love working at Virgin Radio because I get to be in my hometown and be close to my friends and family. I love the music that we play, getting to go to concerts, getting to emcee events and do artist interviews… it’s so fun! I love being a host because I get to connect and engage with listeners. My favourite part of the job is talking to listeners on the phone and hearing their stories. I think getting to share a laugh together or even have a cry is pretty special. I’m truly honoured and blessed to work in this industry.
KYLA: What advice do you have for other people who want to work in radio?
KATIE: When you are starting out in radio it doesn’t pay much at the beginning so be prepared to live off Kraft Dinner and Ramen for a few years. I got really creative in mixing different flavours with mine! Some people luck out and get to start working immediately in their hometown but usually you do have to move around a fair bit in radio. It can get lonely having to start out in a town or city where you don’t know anyone so I highly recommend involving yourself in the community as much as possible. Joining clubs/volunteering and saying yes to getting out and meeting people.
I remember when I first got out of school I lucked out because I got hired on out of my practicum but I know a lot of my peers were discouraged because they were having a hard time landing a first gig. Radio is a competitive industry but keep your chin up, keep applying and you will find something. Radio is also a small industry and it’s important to network with people. If anyone is considering getting in to radio, feel free to reach out to me and ask as many questions as you’d like! I’d be happy to help.
KYLA: Can you tell us about your “A Woman a Day YEG” project where you feature amazing women in Edmonton? How did it get started and what do you love about doing it?
KATIE: So A Woman A Day YEG is a project where I showcase local, inspirational women up to great things in Edmonton. From Stay-at-home moms to entrepreneurs to community supporters, there are so many wonderful women killing it in our city! I love having a platform where I can help celebrate them and show them a little recognition. It also makes them feel special that someone would take the time to nominate them for the project. It’s also a great way where I can help support local businesses as well especially during the pandemic. It’s so important.
A Woman A Day started in Calgary actually by Danaye Maier who is a Morning Show host at Virgin Radio Calgary. She came up with the concept and wanted to spread some more positivity on social media. When I started at Virgin Radio in Edmonton it only seemed fitting that we celebrate our own amazing Edmonton women here as well. So Danaye and I connected and the rest is history! I do believe A Woman A Day is now in Vancouver too, which is great to see! I love the community it is creating of women supporting women.
I launched A Woman A Day YEG March 2020, the week leading up to international women’s day, which happened to be exactly the same time as our world shut down because of COVID. I didn’t actually know if the project would take off but I’m so glad it did! It was a way I could say thanks to healthcare workers, teachers and support local businesses during challenging times.
The project does run on nominations so make sure to nominate the amazing ladies in your life! Just send a DM to @AwomanADayYEG on Instagram.
KYLA: What does hockey and being a part of the Oilersnation community mean to you?
KATIE: My Grandma always said: Sports are important in our every day lives because it creates an escape and takes you away from your every day worries. It’s a time to get together with like-minded people and forget distractions and worries for at least a few hours.
I love hockey, I love the Oilers, I love Edmonton and I love our passion for sports.
her Soul Shot shows women how powerful they are through sport by providing resources, community, and inspiration for all women to live their soul’s truth and take their shot in sports.