Whatever Happened to Norm Grohmann?
It’s been said that Vancouverites are obsessed with the weather; we seem to discuss it, analyze it and complain about it here more than any other city in the country. This might just explain our love affair with our television weather personalities. In Vancouver, the likes of Mark Madryga and Tamara Taggart are treated as celebrities. None, however, has been so revered as longtime BCTV weatherman Norm Grohmann. In 2004, a local newspaper conducted a reader’s poll to find out who their favourite weather personality was. Surprisingly, Grohmann was one of the top vote-getters, even though he had been retired for five years!
Known for his quick wit and his uproarious characters, Grohmann had become a mainstay on Vancouver television and radio from the 1970’s to the 1990’s. One of his most iconic moments was on BCTV, on Halloween of 1991. On this particularly hilarious broadcast, Grohmann ‘performed’ the weather as a Jamaican sportscaster from Ottawa.
“When I was on television, I was given free rein to be amusing, to be extemporaneous, to be entertaining,” says the 72 year-old resident of Tsawwassen.
“All broadcasting now, whether it’s radio or television, seems very automated; there is a framework that they have to work within. I don’t think it is as much fun as it was years ago.”
Since retiring, Grohmann still continues to entertain Vancouver audiences, but now from the stage. He has appeared in several productions of the Royal City Musical Theatre Company, as well as for the Arts Club Theatre Company on Granville Island.
Moreover, Grohmann has dedicated himself to the community by working with many charitable organizations. He donates his time, often as an emcee, for events for the Variety Club, the Children’s Literacy Program, and the Developmental Disability Association. Since being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2000, he has also worked as a spokesperson for the BC Cancer Agency in hopes of inspiring other men to get tested.
“Guys will get their brakes fixed on their car, but they won’t let the doctor give them a rectal examination or do a blood test for prostate cancer,” he says. “For heaven’s sake, do something proactive so that, like in my case, it’s diagnosed early and you can do something about it.”
Now cancer-free and healthy, Grohmann says that he and his wife Betty are getting the most out of their retirement years.
“I like to stay active: I’m an avid golfer and avid bowler. I like to cook, bicycle, garden, woodwork, travel, and stuff like that,” he says. “I’m happy with where I am.”
Just like his on-air persona, Grohmann continues to approach life with a cheery forecast, rain or shine.