Tidsbury helped create Olympic memories

It has already been one year since we came together as a nation to watch the world's elite athletes strive for glory at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. For many of us, the excitement of watching the world's top athletes compete for gold will forever be linked to the inspiring theme song, "I Believe".

For Josh Tidsbury (BSc '03), systems specialist, Creative Technology Systems with CTVglobemedia, the song represents one of the highlights of his career.

Working as a score producer and engineer as well as post-production technical lead for CTV during the games, Tidsbury played an integral part in bringing the sounds and music of the Olympics alive. Tidsbury, together with Mike Nunan, began creating the musical theme package in mid 2009, working with a composer and writer then executing the strings, brass, percussion and choir recordings before mixing and editing for the final musical score.

Josh Tidsbury
Alumnus Josh Tidsbury was back on campus recently, speaking to students in the New Media program about his career path.

"The entire Olympic experience was amazing, a once-in-a-lifetime experience to create the musical theme," says Tidsbury, who fondly refers to his more than 1,500 CTV colleagues as "our own little team Canada". "People have this connection between music and memory that brings them back the way nothing else does. The "I Believe" theme that the nation heard endlessly for 17 days will forever remind people of the extraordinary performances of the 2010 games. It was very humbling and inspiring to be a part of that."

Tidsbury has long been inspired by the world of music production and recording. After graduating from Calgary's Lord Beaverbrook High School, he and his former band teachers
received a provincial grant to build a recording studio and create the first high school recording program in Alberta. Despite his love of music and audio technology, however, Tidsbury came to the University of Lethbridge and entered the neuroscience program, intending to pursue a career in medicine.

"I was taken on a tour by one of the faculty members. When I got a sense of how student-centered the University was and how many opportunities there were for undergraduates – things such as working in a lab – it was an easy sell."

Taking advantage of those opportunities, Tidsbury worked in a lab setting with
Dr. Glen Prusky for three years. Tidsbury says the experience kept him grounded in the sciences and gave him a creative outlet outside of the classroom.

"It allowed me to have a hands-on approach to the sciences. It helped shape how I approach my day-to-day work at CTV," he says. "I actually write a lot of software applications now to aid post-production flow, and I find myself taking a more scientific approach, studying what is right and wrong. I ask questions like, how do we make it better and how can we observe things and remove biases? Even though it isn't necessarily a straight line from neuroscience to what I do today, it's all interconnected."

Throughout his undergraduate studies, Tidsbury maintained a connection to music, playing in the University's jazz band under the direction of Dr. Ed Wasiak, and recording and mixing music on the side to help make rent. When he graduated in 2003 with a bachelor of science in neuroscience, Tidsbury realized that, despite his love of science, his true passion was with music production and recording. He spent the following year studying and working at the Banff Centre where he earned an audio associate certificate, before being accepted into the exclusive master's of music in sound recording program at McGill University on a full scholarship. He graduated from McGill in 2007 and moved to Toronto to begin his career at CTV. Grateful for the opportunities and encouragement he has received over the years, Tidsbury believes in giving back.

"If it weren't for the fact that everyone from my high school band director to the folks at the U of L, the Banff Centre and McGill took the time to help me out and push me ahead, I wouldn't be doing what I am doing now," says Tidsbury, who recently returned to the U of L to talk with students about his experiences. "If there is any way I can give back and bring help, inspiration, or guidance to students who are at the point I was not that long ago, then I want to wherever I can."


· Tidsbury engineered the orchestral soundtrack for the Canadian Film, Just Buried, at Dvorak Hall, Prague, Czech Republic.

· He mixed the musical score for Stake Land, an award winning film that debuted at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival.

· Tidsbury is a member of the Audio Engineering Society (AES), and has been the lead designer of the AES online redevelopment since 2007.

· He is currently an adjunct faculty member at Toronto's Humber College, teaching courses in audio engineering and production.