Former CBC journalist Ange-Aimee Woods dies suddenly

UPDATED July 9 with details of memorial service at the end, and July 28 with slideshow link.

Ange-Aimee Woods at a save-the-CBC union rally in 2009.

Ange-Aimee Woods at a save-the-CBC union rally in 2009.

Ange-Aimee Woods, who worked for CBC radio in Montreal for 10 years as a researcher, producer, journalist and occasional fill-in host before leaving for a “dream job” at Colorado Public Radio last year and then recently came back to the city, died suddenly on Wednesday of apparent heart failure. She was 41. (UPDATE July 2, 2015: A coroner’s report has declared an allergic reaction the probable cause of death.)

Obituaries have been published by CBC, The Gazette and CPR, and a more personal one from a friend. The CBC obit includes some clips from Woods, including her goodbye interview before leaving for CPR. The CBC radio show Homerun aired a tribute to her on Thursday afternoon.

CBC colleagues are shocked at the news. There was no indication that Woods had any health problems, and she was one of the nicest people you could ever meet.

The following was posted on Facebook this morning by colleague and friend Melissa Kent:

As some of you may have heard by now the beautiful, the talented and
always kind Ange-Aimee Woods has passed away.

She died of apparent heart failure yesterday, Wednesday.

She had recently come home from Colorado to start a new chapter in her broadcasting career.

She was in Chute-Saint-Philippe with her favourite person, her mother
Micheline, relaxing and figuring the next phase in her life when her
heart gave out.

Her mother says she was in good spirits and had gone swimming twice
the day before when she began having problems breathing and was rushed to hospital.

After several attempts to revive her, she passed away.

An autopsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of death.

Funeral details have yet to be finalized.

On a personal note I can only add that everyone in life is special –

but some are just more special than others. Ange-Aimée had the most
beautiful smile and the most generous spirit.

My heart is broken and I will miss her very much as I’m sure many of you will.


Colleagues’ reactions have been a mixture of shock and sadness. Mine was similar to that of Anna Asimakopulos:

Woods, the daughter of a French-Canadian mother from Quebec and an African-American father from West Virginia, graduated from high school in Tacoma, Wash., and then moved to Montreal in 1991 to take advantage of the cheap tuition. She got a degree in journalism and communications from Concordia University, and stayed in the city for 22 years, she notes in her biography at Colorado Public Radio.

In addition to taking in the city’s arts scene, Woods had recently begun writing food reviews for Cult MTL.

In addition to the segment on Woods on Homerun, CBC’s evening and late-night TV newscasts ended with brief tributes to her, anchors describing how much she’ll be missed over pictures of her taken from social media and personal collections. City’s Breakfast Television also mentioned her on Friday. (Host Joanne Vrakas is a former colleague of Woods.) And Cult MTL led its news roundup with a tribute.

“Shocked and devastated”

Colleagues and friends remembered Woods on Twitter and Facebook:

“Heart failure” would be a particularly ironic cause of death, considering how much she had in her. She was active on Twitter and Instagram, which provide some insights on where she’s been and what she’s done, but it’s through her friends that a true idea of what she was comes through.

UPDATE: A few dozen friends of Woods gathered Thursday evening at a restaurant. Some were close friends sharing tearful hugs, others were acquaintances who nevertheless felt touched by Woods in some way. Just about everyone had the same reaction of disbelief and sadness, as well as the same type of memories of Woods, as someone who was always cheerful, active, encouraging and helpful.

Memorial service July 18

UPDATE (July 8): Woods’s family has decided not to have a funeral service, but there will be a memorial in the coming weeks. No details yet. Meanwhile, Woods’s friend Liz Faure is collecting money to offset the cost of such a memorial via PayPal. It has already raised $1,500. Money not spent on the memorial will be given to Concordia University to set up a journalism bursary in her name.

A website about the memorial has been set up here.

UPDATE (July 9): The memorial service will be Friday, July 18 at Il Motore (179 Jean-Talon W.) at 7pm. A Facebook event page has been set up with details.

Friends in Vancouver are planning their own get-together on Sunday July 13, 4-6pm at Subeez Cafe, 891 Homer St.

UPDATE (July 28): A slideshow of pictures of Woods shown during the memorial event has been posted to Facebook.

UPDATE (July 30): The Passovah music festival has put together a compilation of local artists’ performances and is selling it pay-what-you-can with proceeds going to the Woods bursary, which has now passed the $5,000 mark, a third of what it needs to become endowed.

UPDATE (Aug. 11, 2015): The Ange-Aimée Woods Memorial Bursary has raised $15,000, enough for it to be endowed and offer $500 bursaries every year.

10 thoughts on “Former CBC journalist Ange-Aimee Woods dies suddenly

  1. Tania La Salle

    Devastated in East Vancouver. The very first time I sent an email – December 1996 – it was to her. She took me to my first Strip Spelling Bee in Montreal last year. Many years of firsts and friendship; I don’t have the words to adequately describe my sadness. Tearfully grieving on the West Coast. TL

  2. Lisa A

    Ange-Aimée I can feel your beautiful soul everywhere.
    One of the most vibrant, vital, beautiful personalities I have ever known.
    We will celebrate your amazing life this summer in the East Coast.

  3. micheline pare her mother

    I want to thank all who give hommage to my adored daughter Ange Aimee Woods and to let people know that although i am in shock i am trying to organized a Memorial to honour her and am collecting the phone # of people who would come

    1. Nancy

      Dear Michelin,

      My deepest condolences for your loss of your beautiful daughter.

      I was a friend of Ange-Aimee. I live in London, UK now but before that I lived Montreal, which is where I met her. We spent a week together last June in Barcelona, and I have such fond memories of my time with her.

      If possible, I would like to make it back for her memorial/funeral. Please do keep me informed.

      Warmest Wishes,

    2. Diane Cloutier

      Chère Micheline,

      Moi qui faisais des recherché pour renouer avec toi après tellement d’année, ainsi avoir de tes nouvelle. C’est avec tristesse que je découvre le départ d’Ange Aimée… …j’habitais chez toi, j’avais que 16 ans et Ange Aimée 3 ans. Elle démontrait déjà tellement d’intelligence et un caractère fort. Elle aimait me taquiner, comme une petite sœur d’amour!
      Mes sincères condoléances.
      Je profite de cette occasion, de t’envoyer une gros câlins, fort fort et je garde de toi toujours une place dans mon cœur bien-aimée. Xoxox


  4. Ruth Cohen

    she came on my bus when we went to Obama inauguration I sat with her she was full of life and really passionate about her work . I remember her and her beautiful personality . Everyone she interviewed liked her.
    Rest in Peace

  5. Robert Ahad

    I helped teach Ange-Aimee to drive a car at the request of her dad some moons ago. She didn’t have much natural talent behind the wheel but she needed driving skills for her new job at the CBC. She wasn’t too hopeful of passing her driving test when I first began coaching her but on the day of the test she made it through her greatest fear (parking my big car) and emerged victorious from the SAAQ outlet in Valleyfield with her new licence. Godspeed beloved angel.

  6. Jean Desaulniers

    I just want to thank very much everybody behiind the wonderful ceremony that was held last night at Il Motore . I’m a close friend of Ange Aimée’s mother, Micheline, and je peux vous dire qu’elle a été très émue par tous ces témoignages d’amour et d’admiration à l’égard de sa fille adorée. You’re wonderful and loving people !
    Best Regards and Merci de cette célébration de la Vie.
    Jean Desaulniers and friends.

  7. Pingback: Ange-Aimée Woods died from delayed allergic reaction to insect bite, coroner finds | Fagstein

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