Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Michael moved to Canada in 1965, living for two years in Brantford, Ont. before moving to Montreal in time for Expo 67. His fascination with theatre was fuelled at Lasalle Catholic Comprehensive High School, where he was a member of the drama club, appearing in musicals from The Pajama Game to The Music Man that were directed by Patricia Burgess, his drama teacher whose lasting influence inspired him to pursue a performing arts-related career, and to form his own Montreal theatre company, Theatrix, and become actively involved in Montreal’s theatre scene.
It was after writing a column titled Theatre Outlook and covering the arts for a community newspaper that he focused on a professional media career. It was launched when Michael began covering theatre, film and television, and writing TV listings, at the Montreal Star, where he was mentored by legendary theatre critic Myron Galloway, and the late Doris Giller, assistant editor at Montreal Scene magazine.
Michael was also heavily influenced by his editor at Montreal’s The Sunday Express — Just for Laughs festival co-founder Andy Nulman — when he covered show business for that English-language tabloid.
Before moving to Victoria in 1980, Michael produced and directed productions for Theatrix, including Noel Coward Tonight, a musical revue he also wrote; performed with The Arts Loyola, a highly-regarded musical theatre company that launched the careers of several Canadian musical-theatre performers. He was later enlisted to do public relations for Musicompany, and Montreal’s Phoenix Theatre, among other companies. Michael also handled public relations for the late Maxim Mazumdar, the prolific Indo-Canadian actor, playwright and director who was best known for his Stratford hit Oscar Remembered.
An invitation by veteran television producer Wendell Wilks in the late 1970s to interview the late French composer Michel Legrand and several guests who appeared with Legrand in a series of concerts with the Montreal Symphony, including Petula Clark, Neil Sedaka and Jerry Lewis, kick-started Michael’s decades of experience as a celebrity interviewer for a variety of publications.
During his nearly 40 years covering show business, with articles published in magazines including Macleans, US Magazine, Movie Entertainment and, yes, Tiger Beat, he has interviewed countless actors, directors, writers and musicians. His favourites include Oscar Peterson, Sir Ian McKellen, Ricky Gervais, Robin Williams, Kim Cattrall, Russell Crowe, Jodie Foster, Atom Egoyan and Billy Connolly.
Before joining the Canadian College of Performing Arts, which he had long championed, as its public relations liaison last year, Michael was best known for his extensive coverage of Victoria’s film and TV production scene. He has also appeared on-camera and worked as a locations scout on various screen projects filmed on Vancouver Island, and received the Vancouver Island South Film and Media Commission’s 2019 Victoria Film Award in recognition of his contributions to the regional film industry.
Michael D. Reid is thrilled to be able to join, as public relations liaison, a college he has long admired and been passionate about in print. The longtime musical-theatre junkie’s enthusiasm harks back to his own theatrical origins as founder of Montreal’s Theatrix theatre company and participating in that city’s community theatre.