Testing, testing, 123, how one man became the voice of a community

By Merna Emara
Staff Writer

Rain, snow, or sunshine, his unique and energetic voice is the first one many hear in the morning. But what do you know about Jonathan Price, the voice of 93.1 The Border’s Wake Up Borderland?

Price has been a staple of the Fort Frances community since his arrival from Bolton, Ontario, nine years ago. From being on air, to emceeing events and volunteerism with the Voyager Lions Club and other organizations, Price is more than happy to call Fort Frances his new home.

“I wake up everyday with passion and purpose,” Price said. “Not everyone gets a chance to be the conduit between what’s going on and the community. People invite me into their cars and they invite me into their homes. I consider myself very, very lucky that way. Not a lot of people get that unique opportunity.”

Price’s journey to Fort Frances stemmed from his aspiration to become a performer. Having the desire to become an actor and a comedian, he studied comedy writing and performance at a performing arts school in Toronto.

He then started making a living as a telemarketer, a job he did not enjoy very much.

“I did that for a few years,” Price said. “I was really floating… kind of lost.”

However, an observation from a friend that he has a unique voice led him to join Humber College’s radio program as a mature student.

“I thought if I go into radio and I’m willing to move, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel to have a job that I would enjoy,” Price said. “There’s opportunity, and everything that had come before that from the performing aspect, as far as just experience, even though it was on a very small scale, wouldn’t go to waste, it could somehow apply.”

The dream of being a performer set Jonathan Price on the path to being Borderland’s morning voice. – Submitted photo

Because of Price’s employment with the radio station, his integration into the community was smooth. Price has had many emcee opportunities around town because of his job, his favourite being the local singing competition, Quest for the Best.

“It is just the most fun night of the year because it showcases the talent that we have in our area. It’s the most well-attended night of the year because people are there to cheer on the locals,” Price said. “And to be the ringmaster for a night like that is just so much fun. I’m just so thankful to be the one that gets asked.

Emceeing events is also right up Price’s alley because it is something that not only is he trained to do, but also comfortable doing.

“I’m well aware that the number one fear for a lot of people is public speaking, or being up on stage in front of a crowd or speaking on the radio,” Price said. “Emceeing and being involved with community theatre obviously fits naturally to me, because it’s something that I’ve always had a passion for to begin with. People say they could never go up there and do that. Well, there are things they can do that I can never do.”

That, coupled with his involvement with the local choir group, the community theatre and other volunteer groups contributed to making Price a leading voice in a community that fits his lifestyle.

“I love the fact that we’re a border town. It is incredibly unique. We got a beautiful waterfront. If you drive five hours in any direction, you’re either in Winnipeg or Thunder Bay or Minneapolis,” Price said. “We really live in a picturesque part of the world. It creates a feeling of being in this together. We’re remote so we have to look after each other, we have to make our own fun and we have to celebrate ourselves.”

Ever since Price took up the morning show a few months ago, he has been trying to highlight people that do positive things for the community, some of which he has seen himself.

Price’s influence has also reached little ears, which adds to his drive to be the positive and informative voice every morning.

Price has no plans on leaving town any time soon, nor does he see himself doing anything different.

“It’s overwhelming, the warmth and the kindness that I have been shown and continue to be shown. And so, I just hope that I’m still doing what I’m doing. I hope that I’m still doing it here and I hope that I can continue to be a better version of myself. I think that’s something that we all strive for.”