Val Cole’s career has taken many turns, and the journey has provided a thrilling ride! This talented and versatile performer is currently being sought after for roles in film and television productions, including ‘Civic Duty’, ‘Dr. Doolittle’, ‘The 4400’, ‘The L Word’, ‘Intelligence’ and many more! She can also be seen across North America in various commercial campaigns (Activia, Dell Computers and Alpine Credit, to name a few). She has been hired for various projects at most television stations in the Vancouver area and, she jokes, even has her own channel on SHAW where her ‘Cable Connects’ updates run all day.
Shortly after arriving in Vancouver in 2000, Val took the city by storm and became one of the few media personalities in the Vancouver area to have a regular presence on television, radio and print — at the same time! Val’s Entertainment Hot Sheet column in TV WEEK magazine has been the first section readers flip to since 2001.
Like most performers, Val’s talents emerged early. At age five, she “just had to have the lead” in ‘The Littlest Angel’ play for her school’s Christmas concert. This was serious business for her and spent hours after school learning her lines. During the performance, her halo refused to fall off on cue and so she improvised by simply smacking it off her head! Even then, she knew the show must go on!
After getting lead roles throughout her school years, when it came time to choose a career path, Val veered slightly and chose broadcasting. Intending to become the next big national news anchor, Val soon discovered in her three-year radio and television broadcasting course at Conestoga College in Ontario that she absolutely hated reporting! She set about choosing more personality based projects and within a few months of starting college, she landed her first on-air job at a local radio station. At the time, women were few and far between in on-air positions and yet Val had to turn down offers of full-time work so that she could complete her studies.
Her first full-time job in 1990 was as that of the only female radio announcer on 96.7 CHYM FM, the top rated station in Kitchener/Waterloo. The general manager at the station had told her that the reason you never heard women on morning shows (the prime spot to be) was because “women aren’t funny.” Within a few short years, her talent and humour carried her up the ladder and the George and Val morning show was launched in 1993 (the GM, incidentally, was fired!).
Val’s addition to the morning show boosted ratings and got the attention of others. In 2000, she was lured away to build a new morning show in Vancouver on 97 KISS FM. Three years later, wanting to broaden her skills further, she tried her hand at the challenging talk radio format and has been hosting the Nik & Val Show every since on CFUN 1410.
Along the way, Val was honing her on-camera talents as well, beginning with a job as the weather forecaster on CKCO TV (which, she confesses, is much harder than it looks!). When she made the move to the west coast, she quickly immersed herself in the television scene and began popping up on stations all over the Lower Mainland.
Val has a unique ability to bond with the viewer and this is undeniable in hosting and interviewing situations. Her warmth, humour and genuine interest in a subject creates an intimate setting that allows her to generate a deep connection with viewers. When she is able to combine that gift with a subject that she is intensely passionate about, the result is truly impressive.
On a personal note, Val’s love of animals and dog training began when she adopted her first pet from the SPCA in 1991. Several behaviour problems forced her to seek out an obedience class where she discovered she was actually an alpha dog at heart. After seeing the miraculous transformation in her own dog, she was asked to return as an assistant trainer to help instruct others. This interest ultimately led her to star in a weekly feature on pets on CityTV (2003 – 2005). She has taken that passion forward and is extremely excited about a full thirty minute television show focusing on dogs that is currently in development.
Val manages to find time to devote herself to many worthwhile causes with a special focus on children and animals in need. She was awarded by Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver for her role as an in-school mentor for several years and for raising awareness for the organization. She has recently become an adoption ambassador for The Adoptive Families Association of B.C. (AFABC) and works with animal rescue groups around the Lower Mainland. She is hoping to complete her dog training certification very soon. Never without her own adopted furry friend, Val takes immense pleasure in the transformation she sees in these previously neglected animals – from skittish creatures into calm, loving and loyal companions.