Join us for cocktail hour and politics. This networking event will feature a key note speech by Nirmala Naidoo, a long time journalist and former CBC Calgary primetime anchor. Nirmala is now the nominated Liberal candidate in the new riding of Calgary Rocky Ridge.
Nirmala Naidoo Biography
Nirmala Naidoo graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Political Science. She went on to study at Carleton University in their well-known graduate journalism program.
After graduating from Carleton University, Nirmala got her first job in journalism, at CTV’s W-5 where she worked as an investigative researcher for Canada’s longest running investigative news-magazine style program.
In 1989, as the first Gulf War was about to break, Nirmala quit her job at CTV and moved to London, England to work as a freelancer during the war. While there, she worked at NBC’s London Bureau where she edited the horrific stories of the war to inform US television audiences. When the war ended, Nirmala remained in London on staff at the newly launched Christian Science Monitor television network. She was a researcher/chase producer there yet also got in front of the camera from time to time for the network (based in Boston, Massachusetts). Highlights of the stories Nirmala brought to the conscience of her viewers were of the IRA bombing campaign in London, an exclusive interview with the wrongly convicted Birmingham Six when they were acquitted, British election fringe parties, and an in-depth investigation on London’s homeless.
With the experience of these organizations under her belt, Nirmala then moved on to her next challenge; freelancing for Visnews and Middle East Broadcasting. While at Visnews, she worked as a journalist and assignment producer. The highlight of her time there was scoring exclusive coverage of the 40th anniversary of The Queen’s Accession in 1992. Nirmala negotiated with Buckingham Palace and Visnews became the only news agency with broadcast rights which it offered as pool coverage to other media.
Nirmala moved back to Canada in 1992 so she could use her skills in-front of the camera sharing stories with the community she grew up in. Her first anchor job was at CBC Saskatchewan in Regina where she began as the weekend anchor/reporter and was promoted months later to the late night weekday anchor. Nirmala moved to Global Calgary (then Calgary 7 News) in 1994 where she worked as the 6pm news anchor. She remained at Global Calgary for 14 years.
In 2008, she left Global Calgary for CBC Calgary, where she was the solo primetime anchor for three years, anchoring the 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. newscasts. Nirmala became the first minority in Calgary to anchor at prime time.
Nirmala is now the nominated Liberal candidate to become the Member of Parliament in the new riding of Calgary Rocky Ridge.
Community involvement and supporting charity work is an important part of Nirmala’s core belief system. She has been generous with her time by promoting, hosting and emceeing dozens of events for charities such as Juvenile Diabetes Association, Alberta Children’t Hospital Foundation and AIDS Calgary. She also spent several years as moderator from the CANSPELL Spelling Bee. For three years she sat as the chair of the Aventa Addiction Treatment Centre for Women.
Currently Nirmala is the Public Relations Manager for Symons Valley Road House, an historic property located on the north edge of Calgary.
Nirmala is married to Jeffrey Phelps and has two sons.
501 8 Ave SW
Calgary, AB T2P 1G3
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