Jim Leek

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Jim Leek worked for JOY 1250 AM from 1995-2015

Jim Leek

Jim Leek was the Morning Host and Music Director at JOY 1250 AM radio from January 1995 to January 2015. He broadcast the Jim Leek "The Breakfast Show" weekdays from 5:30 a.m. - 7:30 a.m. JOY 1250 AM is a Canadian radio station with call letters CJYE. Learn more about JOY 1250 AM from this video.

Jim Leek became part of CJMR 1320 AM Radio's new daytime Christian broadcasting lineup in 1994. He worked diligently to secure the station’s success. He then went on to work on launching a full-time Christian radio station for the same company called JOY 1250. JOY 1250 has proven to be a great success, and Jim’s voice has been a daily fixture on the local radio dial for more than 20 years.

Jim Leek and best friend Fazal Karim Jr. volunteered with Mission Ontario to help produce the 1995 Billy Graham Crusade held at Skydome in Toronto, Ontario. Learn about previous Toronto crusades here. They both served together on the Toronto March for Jesus committee. In 2005, Jim and Fazal led the effort to rescue the fledgling Canadian Gospel Music Association ^from the brink of collapse. According to Fazal Karim Jr. "The campaign was successful, and the group continues to faithfully serve Christian artists across the country as GMA Canada". For many years, Jim Leek also encouraged musicians and singers at Kingdom Bound Christian music festival held at Darien Lake near Buffalo, New York.

In 1996, Jim Leek applied for a temporary low power English-language religious FM (radio) programming broadcasting licence from Industry Canada and the CRTC to set up an FM radio transmitter to broadcast the music to Toronto during the 1996 March for Jesus from the CN Tower, in Toronto

Jim Leek graduated in 1980 from studies in Church Work at the Institute of Ministry in Bradenton, Florida. Founded by Dr. Gerald Derstine, the Bible leadership training school was designed to develop leaders to their fullest potential. The concentrated courses were used to maximize the individual student's gifts and callings, their ministry potential in their churches, mission field and in the market place.

A variety of courses with skilled instructors and guest speakers contributed to the student's curriculum. A sampling of the course schedule follows: Biblical Studies, World Religions, Work of the Holy Spirit, Supernatural Living, The Mission of the Church, Feasts of Israel, Servant Leadership, Youth Ministry, Healing, Victory over Self Centered Life, Worship and Worship Dance, Sermon Preparation, Evangelism, and Faith.

Jim Leek helped to promote the Greater Toronto "Festival of Hope" on Opening Night with JOY 1250. See the Youtube video clip.

As part of the 2012 GraceTour coordinated by World Vision Canada and JOY 1250, JOY1250 staff were asked what the word GRACE means to them. Jim Leek shared his video response on Vimeo.


In August 2008, Jim lost his brother District Fire Chief Bob Leek to the Sunrise Propane facility fire in North York, Ontario. Hear Jim Leek being interviewed about the loss on the Drew Marshall Radio Show on December 13, 2008.



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Celebration of the Life of Jim Leek

Friends, jazz lovers, music ministry, publishing ministry and radio ministry pioneers gathered to celebrate the life of Jim Leek on Saturday February 21, 2015 from 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm at World Vision Canada 1 World Drive, Mississauga, Ontario. Details for the event and tributes were posted on Facebook here.

Please see photos and more from the "Celebration of the Life of Jim Leek" here.


To add your tribute to this section, please contact David Spencer.



Jim Leek Excellence in Broadcasting Award

A group of radio and music ministry friends have proposed that at "Jim Leek Excellence in Broadcasting Award" be established in Canada. The annual award would be given to a Canadian Christian broadcaster who points listeners and colleagues to God and encourages Canadian musicians and vocalists.

If you support this proposal and would like to contribute your ideas or resources, please contact David Spencer.



Jim Leek was scuba diving in Florida

Death

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Newspaper Heading "Canadian man dies after scuba diving in Florida Keys" Published: January 30, 2015

KEY LARGO, Fla. (AP) — An autopsy is pending for a Canadian man who died after scuba diving in the Florida Keys.

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office says 58-year-old James Leek of Ontario, Canada, died after diving at French Reef in the waters off Key Largo.

Sheriff's office spokeswoman Becky Herrin says the dive vessel came into John Pennekamp State Park on Thursday afternoon with CPR in progress on Leek. Paramedics met the boat called "Visibility" at the dock and took Leek to Mariner's Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Herrin says that according to the vessel's captain, Leek had been with an instructor on a 38-foot dive that lasted about a half-hour. The captain told deputies that Leek appeared to be fine when they resurfaced, but he became unresponsive when they reached the boat's ladder.

Source: The Tampa Tribune January 30, 2015.


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Newspaper Heading: "Oakville radio host dies after scuba diving in Florida Keys

An Oakville radio host has died after scuba diving in the Florida Keys.

Jim Leek, 58, was diving at the French Reef off of Key Largo on Thursday, Jan. 29, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s office, which stated an autopsy was pending.

Becky Herrin, a spokesperson from the Florida Keys sheriff’s department, said, according to the diving vessel’s captain, Leek was with an instructor on a 38-foot dive that lasted approximately a half-hour.

“The captain told deputies that Leek appeared to be fine when they resurfaced, but he became unresponsive when they reached the boat’s ladder,” according to an online article by the Tampa Tribune.

CPR was in progress on Leek as he was taken back to shore, to be transported to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Leek was the host of the weekday breakfast show and music director at the Oakville-based JOY 1250, a local Christian radio station.

Prior to the creation of JOY 1250, Leek hosted a Christian music program and was one of Canada’s most knowledgeable and respected program hosts, according to the radio station.

Involved as a director at the Gospel Music Association of Canada, Leek spent his time as a musician and MC.

Source: Oakville Beaver, February 2, 2015


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Newspaper Heading: Joy 1250/Toronto's Jim Leek Dies

Condolences to family and friends of TRAFALGAR BROADCASTING Christian CJYE-A (JOY 1250)/OAKVILLE-TORONTO MD and morning host JIM LEEK, who died JANUARY 29th while scuba diving off the FLORIDA KEYS, reports the OAKVILLE BEAVER. LEEK was on an instructional dive when he resurfaced but became unresponsive.

LEEK hosted a Christian show, "CELEBRATE," at CJYE's predecessor, sister Ethnic-Religion CJMR-A, starting in 1995 and moved to CJYE when that station signed on in 2001 (replacing CHWO, now CFZM-A, when that station moved to 740 AM); he was also on the Board of Directors for GMA CANADA.

Source All Access Music Group, February 3, 2015.



A number of tributes to Jim were tweeted on Twitter.


Jim Leek's last Facebook post was ... "I must be getting close to Heaven. Just before crossing over to the Florida Keys I'm having breakfast at a McDonalds & they have Jazz playing on their speakers." on January 22 at 10:10am



Jim Leek was Music Director of JOY 1250 AM Radio

Tribute from Michael Caine President of JOY 1250 AM

"This is a sad week for the JOY 1250 family of staff and listeners. Morning man and Music Director Jim Leek passed away suddenly Thursday while on vacation in Florida. Jim had been with our broadcast family for over 18 years.

He was a caring, warm, funny, and gracious man who was a blessing to his family, dear friends and thousands of listeners. Jim will certainly be missed although we know he is in a much better place. And we take comfort in the Word that “we do not grieve as others who have no hope (1 Thess.4:13)”

Thank you Jim, for a wonderful life lived for our Lord and Saviour. And for touching all of our lives.

A heartfelt 'thank you' to all of our listeners, ministry partners, clients, former co-workers and friends who have kept Jim's family and our staff in their thoughts and prayers as we all grieve his passing."

- Michael Caine, President of JOY 1250 AM, Oakville, Ontario Canada Source: Facebook

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Jim Leek in 1994 just before he started in Christian Radio. Photo by Bruce Birtwistle during
his Christian Musician Management ministry. "This was one of Jim's favorite of himself....
A good looking guy. Jim being the humble guy that he was would never think so." - Bruce Birtwistle



Jim Leek connected with radio station managers and show hosts across Canada.

Tributes from Radio Broadcasters and Listeners

"Jim Leek was hosting a Christian music program before there was a JOY 1250 (when Joy was a part of CJMR). When it comes to CCM (Contemporary Christian Music), he is one of Canada's most knowledgeable and respected program hosts. Involved as a director in the GMA Canada (www.gmacanada.ca), he is also a musician and a busy MC." Source: JOY 1250 Radio.

For the history of CJYE AM radio, visit the Canadian Communications Foundation and the Wikipedia entry.


Tributes from Radio Broadcasting professionals and listeners:

  • Lorne Anderson, Content Manager for Stingray Digital's "The Light." Lorne was previously the Music Director/News Director for CHRI FM radio in Ottawa
    "Jim was a gem, a friend to all of us. He will be greatly missed!"


  • Robert Borg, radio listener
    "I listened to Jim every morning on the way to work and was encouraged by his light, peace, joy, wisdom and corny jokes. I am saddened that I can't listen to Jim on my drive in anymore, but am elated that you're in Glory with the Lord. You will be dearly missed while we're on earth Jim. We will see you in Glory one day-you're loved."


  • Brett Clark, radio listener
    "Wow this is shocking. I remember getting a very nice response to an e-mail I sent to JOY 1250 from Mr Leek. From his response he seemed like a lovely man."


  • Bob DuBroy, Professional Photographer and Previously the General Manager of CHRI FM radio in Ottawa.
    "Jim was always kind and patient toward me. Kingdom Bound won't be the same without him. Requiescat in pace."


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Jim Leek and Marlene Giuliano, Talk Show Host were both invited guests at a taping of Graham Kerr’s, ” The Gathering Place” where this photo was taken.


  • Anastasia Edwards, Radio Listener
    "So sorry to hear about Jim Leek. My condolences to his family and friends. I first started listening to his radio ministry about 12 years ago on Joy 1250, and had the pleasure to meet him through events he promoted on Joy 1250 such as CSAM events, Potters Cafes, Encounter 2005 and art shows etc. We will miss you dearly. Thank you for the Godly Christian example you were to us.


  • Joyce Freeman, radio listener
    "I will truly miss listening to you each morning, my friend Jim, but I look very forward to meeting you in person, one beautiful day, up in Heaven! Praise the Lord for the hope, comfort, and peace He brings to all of His followers. Praying love and comfort to all of your loved ones."


  • Sharon Galloway, radio listener
    "Wow I am so sad to hear this news. I loved listening to him in the mornings. Loved his quirky sense of humour. Always brought a smile to my face. God bless his family and friends as the grieve."


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Jim Leek with Ben Davy formerly morning show host for LIFE 100.3
now with The Peak 95.1 FM in Collingwood.



  • Art A. Goombs , radio listener
    "I remember listening to him quite often while driving beside cold Lake Ontario in Hamilton, when that cold vapor would be hanging on the lake like a frozen cloud. I remember how his news broadcasts were so in-depth, he sounded like a meteorologist. I really appreciated the accuracy of his weather report. May his soul rest in peace."



  • Greg Harrison, Television Talk Show Host
    "Jim Leek was always someone who supported me along the way. He interviewed me when I launched my Christian Variety Talk Show in 2006 that aired on CTS television. Here is the recording of the radio interview broadcast."


  • Scott Jackson, Founder and Station Manager of LIFE 100.3 FM Radio in Barrie, Ontario
    "I guess it's public knowledge now. So sad to hear about the death of our friend Jim Leek, Christian radio pioneer in Canada, long before most of us. He was a Christian musicologist, a true man of God and friend to us all. So very shocking and sad."



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  • Drew Marshall Show Tribute to Jim Leek broadcast on Saturday February 7, 2015.
    "The station that airs the Drew Marshall Show show suffered a tragic loss last week. Their morning man and music director, Jim Leek, died after scuba diving while on vacation in Florida at the age of 58. Jim had been with the this broadcast family for over 18 years. He was a caring, warm, funny, and gracious man who was a blessing to his family, friends and thousands of listeners.
    On February 7th, 2015 some of Jim Leek's friends from JOY 1250 (CJYE) gathered for a special hour on 'The Drew Marshall Show' to remember their friend. Davina Japaul, David McCallum, Dale & Virginia, Michelle Sim, and of course Drew Marshall, share stories about the man who worked with our company for 20 years. From hosting "Celebrate" on CJMR in 1995, to helping launch CJYE in 2001...Jim Leek was the voice of Christian radio across Ontario for two decades.
    Jim's impact on Christian music in Canada was profound. Artists calling the show include Danny Brooks, Steve Bell, Kelita, Ali Matthews, Mark Masri, Jacob Moon, Ken Michell (DustKickers), Kevin Pauls, Joel Auge, Marlene O'Neill (Tonettes), Karen Burke (Toronto Mass Choir), Sharon Riley, and Jim's dear friend...Hiram Joseph.


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  • More Radio and Music Magazine Issue #89 Spring 2015
    In April 2015, Canadian More Radio and Music Magazine Editor Scott Jackson included a tribute in memory of Jim Leek. Read the full article "Remembering Jim Leek"


  • Brian Peroff, Announcer at AM 740 Zoomer Radio
    "He was one of the kindest and nicest people I ever worked with. He cared about those who were around him."



  • Denys Springer, radio listener
    "Jim will be greatly missed this year and everyone going forward, I never expected to be so emotional at this news, but when you listen to Jim each day and read his post it is going to be hard on Monday morning knowing we will not hear him this side of Heaven again."


  • Reese Sutiono Music Producer and Event Promoter
    "It started with a phone conversation. A friend mentioned to me that someone had started a Christian music show at a local AM radio station. Having a background in broadcasting, I thought that I could provide some assistance.
    I ended up editing and producing many of his artist interviews. In fact, Jim’s interview with John Michael Talbot was my very first ProTools session. He enjoyed this part of his job especially when he got to speak with Margaret Becker, his favourite Christian artist.
    Not only did Jim showcase artists from the major labels, he was also a champion for Canadian Christian music.
    One of my lasting memories of Jim will be our mutual passion for great music. I helped him find early recordings from Andraé Crouch and obscure jazz releases such as ones from the group Chase.
    The day before he left for Florida, I found Russ Taff's landmark self-titled CD from 1987 at a thrift store. I called him to see if he had a copy of it. He did not so I planned to give it to him as a birthday present. That was the last time that I spoke to him. I thought about messaging him while he was in Florida but I decided not to bother him while he was enjoying heaven on earth.
    February 22 was Jim's birthday. I miss not being able to call him to wish him a happy birthday. I miss not hearing him answer the phone with “Hey guy!” in that familiar baritone voice. However, I take comfort knowing that he has received a far better present. Happy birthday brother. Until we meet again."


  • Flo Walusimbi, radio listener
    "I will miss his voice on the morning show. Got to know him and always chuckled at his jokes. Our prayers with his family at home and at Joy1250."


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Jim Leek at the JOY 1250 promotion booth.


  • Carolyn Williamson
    "Jim's genuine spirit and sincerity about his love for others was appreciated over the airwaves. How often I would just tune in to JOY 125O AM to hear a familiar voice or a word of genuine encouragement from a fellow believer who understood the battles that Christians are in!
    He was also so kind and supportive to young musicians giving their songs airtime and interviewing them with a sense of understanding.
    My husband's song "The Night Will Come" was approved and played in the air by Jim years ago and I will never forget how thankful I was to find someone who appreciated and understood the value of the song enough to broadcast it over the airwaves. I miss Jim already but we will see him again, thanks to the Author and Finisher of our faith."



To add your tribute above, please contact David Spencer.



Jim Leek was a Board member of GMA Canada

Tribute from GMA Canada

GMA Canada the Gospel Music Association of Canada joins many in the Canadian Christian community in mourning the passing of James (Jim) Leek. According to the Tampa Tribune, Jim passed away after after diving at French Reef in the waters off Key Largo, Florida.

Jim was, perhaps, best known as the morning host at Joy1250 in Oakville. Jim was an avid singer and former board member of GMA Canada. He had a deep passion for Canadian Christian artists and was a frequent host at churches, events and fund raisers.

GMA Canada President Martin Smith noted, "Jim was a remarkable man. He was warm, generous and supportive. He was a friend to so many in our community and was always quick with a smile and gentle, sweet encouragement."


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Jim Leek with Band "Anthem for Today".
Jim often promoted and encouraged young Canadian talent.


Jim Leek singing at the August 2014 outdoor concert "Inspiration In the Park".

Tributes from Music Ministry Leaders and Friends

Tributes remembering Jim Leek from music ministry leaders and friends:


  • John Alexander, President of L.O.F Records / 316 PROductions
    "He gave a me and my LOF Records family airplay and a chance long before others would. He was an encourager and true supporter of Christian Music. A great Christian, a great man and a great friend. However, because of how he lived I celebrate his life and all that he did for others because I know where he is spending eternity! Job Well done Jim, Job Well Done!!!! RIP Peace Jim...to be absent from the body is to be present with lord. You were and will always be remembered as great Christian, a great man and a great friend! Thank you for all of your support. My deepest Sympathies and Condolences to your family."


  • Carolyn Arends, Singer,Songwriter,Author and Speaker
    "Joining the voices of gratitude for the life and legacy of Jim Leek ... prayers and love to his family and friends ..."


  • Jeff Baldock
    "Jim Leek was such a humble and gracious believer. He clearly had an impact on the body of Christ. I am moved by his passing. I really enjoyed having lunch with Jim on one occasion. He had such a nice sense of humour and a true heart to serve. He was an inspiration. As I read more about him, I can see that he was truly serving his mission for Jesus. He will be missed."


  • Bruce Birtwistle, President of Christian Musician Management
    "After our meeting the first time at Michelle Sim NORTHERN PRAISE MINISTRY MEETING back in early 1994 Jim signed on as a singer with CHRISTIAN MUSICIAN MANAGEMENT.. Soon after though JIM felt GOD's leading to apply for a job at CJMR Radio in Oakville. He borrowed CCM's Tascam 8 Track and did a demo. Not surprising Jim soon got the call to join their Radio Team. A natural and not surprisingly became the MC for all CMM Concerts. In September of 1995 Christian Musician Management Directed and Produced "SPIRIT OF SONG 95' at Canada's Wonderland. Although I was tense through the 5 1/2 Hour Canadian Concert in the afternoon the one person I didn't worry about was the MC...JIM LEEK... Jim and I have been very close friends for over 20 years..... Will miss our Grey Cup games together..... LOVE you Bro.... You always made me smile.


  • Al Clarkson
    "Jim's had quite an impact in the GTA for a few decades. I was thrilled to know him for much of this time, beginning when he was a youth and outreach leader at a Church in Scarborough in the early 80s. A few years ago, he was surprised to know that I'd had contact with UK folks and when I mentioned Dave Pope, he told me he'd gone to a concert with Dave in the late 70s, and a few weeks later went forward at an altar call in the same venue; I asked if he'd ever shared that with the concert promoter, whom he knew well--needless to say, the promoter was overjoyed, and today, we all give Thanks for the efforts Jim did with GMA Canada."


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Jim Leek singing at the August 2014 outdoor concert "Inspiration In the Park".
Jim is stage left joined by Lesley Morgan Smele, Drew Brown, Joan Elliot,
Laurie Marks Vincent and the husband and wife duo, Infinitely More.
Photo courtesy of Laurie Marks Vincent.


  • Debbie Knighton Fortnum, international award-winning singer, songwriter, pianist and worship leader.
    "Mourning such a great loss with you, JOY 1250 family, here in BC. My friendship with Jim began as an artist, and continued due to a unique bond because of his love for the writings of my Great Grandfather, Dr. Andrew Murray. I'll never forget pulling over to the side of the highway in my rental car to do a phone interview with Jim, who was so supportive of my ministry. Thank you Jim for all you brought to radio, to the GMA Canada, and most of all to people's lives across the GTA... My prayers are with your family and friends who grieve your unexpected loss. See you on the other side."


  • Carol Lynn Friesen, Singer and Songwriter
    "Jim was a humble man who served God with a passion for music. He supported many Christians artists in music by airing their songs on the radio. Thanks for your love and support in music ministry. You will be missed!"


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Jim Leek MCing and singing at Inspirational Music in the Park at Gage Park in Brampton.


  • Kelita Haverland, Christian Singer, Speaker and Comedian
    "What a great loss. Jim was one of a kind and his presence will be missed by so many. His passion for music, artists, the Word and Jesus were always so evident. He was a friend and someone that truly wanted to support and help in any way he could. I know you are singing up a storm now Jim. RIP my friend."


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Hiram Joseph and Jim Leek



  • Johnny Juarez, professional guitarist and singer
    "Sad to hear that my old friend has passed. He was the dj and director of a radio station in Toronto. He played our music on his station and always supported talented people in Canada. RIP Jim Leek praying for your family during this tough time."


  • Allison Lynn
    "We met Jim last year singing at Gage Park. You could tell he loved to sing, and he was so gracious and generous to all the performers, including brand new friends like us. Heaven's choir is sounding a little sweeter this week ..."


  • Robin McCracken
    "I first met Jim Leek at a concert back in the late 90's and we met in strangest place of all in the washroom of the church. We have been friends ever since and he came to share his testimony at one of my men's breakfast at Wilmar Heights Baptist Church. I do know that he was battling with headaches constantly but he has no more pain being with our heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. His legacy is that of one who loved the Lord Jesus with all his heart ,mind,soul,and spirit. He will be missed as the voice of Joy 1250 morning show I would call him from time to time when I would pass through Toronto and to find out how he was. He said that he is doing ok."


  • Janee Olivia, Gospel Music Singer
    "The man- Jim Leek from @joy1250. Thank you so much for playing my music and supporting my career! #thankful #janeeoliviamusic http://instagram.com/p/vgyRl1wssF/ "


  • Kevin Pauls
    "Just about to get on the radio "JOY1250", and be a part of the tribute to Jim Leek!! A good friend, and a champion of the Canadian Musician!! He will be missed..."


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Jim Leek with singer Chelsea Amber at the JOY 1250 Studios
on June 30, 2010. Photo source: TEN16 ENTERTAINMENT.


  • Chelsea Amber, Singer, Musician and 2015 JUNO Award Nominee
    "In 2010 I released my first single to Christian radio stations across Canada. From the beginning Jim was incredibly supportive. He enthusiastically added that and subsequent singles into rotation at JOY 1250 AM. As a musician, I always knew he was in my corner and I enjoyed visiting him at the station. He will be greatly missed as someone who believes in the musicians that he supports through his work on JOY 1250 AM. He has made the world of Canadian Christian radio a warm and welcoming place for up-and-comers like myself."


  • Hollie Sackett-Reid of TEN16 ENTERTAINMENT "We were saddened to hear the news of the tragic death of Jim Leek over the weekend. We knew him as the friendly music guy at Joy 1250 (Oakville) and always enjoyed chatting with him about new music and the industry. Although it seems as though he left us to soon, we trust God that there was a reason for this. Jim was a huge champion for Canadian Christian artists and on many occasion we had our artists stop by the studios for a visit and interview.
    His last Facebook post stated, “I must be getting close to Heaven. Just before crossing over to the Florida Keys I’m having breakfast at a McDonald’s & they have Jazz playing on their speakers.” It seems a little foretelling in hindsight. We know he is in heaven and we’d like to imagine him singing along with a heavenly choir. Perhaps even a jazz choir.
    We will remember Jim fondly. His laugh, insights into all things music, and his support will be missed. We will be praying for his family during this time of grieving and as they work out the logistics that they are currently trying to sort out."


  • Kevin Schafer
    "I was deeply saddened to hear about Jim. He was an encouragement to me about 12 years ago when I was breaking into the music industry, and I know that he has been a great support to many, many Christian singers and musicians going back many years. He will be missed by many, but we rejoice that he has now crossed the finish line and is now in the glorious presence of his Lord and Saviour!"



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Jim Leek with Lesley Morgan Smele after a concert at Faith
Gospel Tabernacle in Brampton in January 2009.


  • Lesley Morgan Smele, Producer of Inspirational Music in the Park, Gage Park, Brampton
    "So so sad!! Miss you already Jim! You were always such a wonderful encourager and advocate for the Inspirational Music in the Park every summer!! Going to miss your golden voice as well!! Thanks for everything....enjoy your promotion!!"



  • Dianne Ticknor, Singer and recording artist
    "Jim will be greatly missed by all of us. He was a great supporter of our family of Christian musicians. I am certain he would want his Celebration of Life to be a strong witness to everyone who attends, as he was always lifting up others in their faith. I can almost hear Jesus saying," Well done, my good and faithful servant."


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Jim Leek with musician Scott Towaij.


  • Scott Towaij, Christian Rocker and Worship Leader for Bikers Church, Ottawa, Ontario.
    "Saddened to hear of the loss of Jim Leek. He was always very kind to me. On various radio station tours he would interview me and we would go out and have breakfast and just hang out talking about our shared faith and love of music. I always looked forward to Jim's daily scriptural posts and words of both challenge and encouragement on his Facebook page. This was the last post Jim made, how prophetic: "I must be getting close to Heaven. Just before crossing over to the Florida Keys I'm having breakfast at a McDonalds & they have Jazz playing on their speakers" RIP Jim, you made a difference!"


  • Tina Michele Weidelich
    "His death - shocking. His post - prophetic. His effect- heartfelt. His life - significant. To a wonderful, godly man who cared and encouraged. He will be missed."


To add your tribute above, please contact David Spencer.


Jim waves goodbye.

Tributes from Christian Publishers

Tributes remembering Jim Leek from Christian Publishers.

  • Fazal Karim Jr., Editor and Publisher of the Christian Herald Newspaper
    "To this point, I haven’t said much about the passing of my friend Jim Leek , because it has been difficult to put into words what we have lost.

    Jim launched his career in Christian Radio at the same time I launched the Herald, we were part of a group of people the Lord brought together in the mid-90’s to work alongside each other in sharing the Gospel in Southern Ontario.

    In 1994, Jim became part of CJMR 1320's new daytime Christian broadcasting lineup, and worked diligently to secure the station’s success. He then went on to work on launching a full-time Christian radio station for the same company. JOY 1250 has proved to be a great success, and Jim’s voice has been a daily fixture on the local radio dial for more than 20 years.

    We worked together on countless projects. We co-promoted events, and worked side-by-side at booths at area concerts and conferences. There are many memories, but a few highlights would be the 1995 Billy Graham Crusade at Skydome, and serving together on the Toronto March for Jesus committee.

    We were part of the effort to rescue the Canadian Gospel Music Association from the brink of collapse. The campaign was successful, and the group continues to faithfully serve Christian artists across the country as GMA Canada.

    For the past twenty years, we compared notes on what was going on in the city every few days by telephone, and Jim was a constant source of wisdom and encouragement. He even copy-edited the News pages of the Christian Herald on the morning before we went to press.

    I know my friend is with his Saviour, and is finally free of the physical pain that he endured. I am glad for this, but I also know that the gifts he brought to the Kingdom work in this region will not easily be replaced. I will miss my friend, and as we continue the work of the Gospel here we will remember his impact on our lives.
    For as long as there is a Church in Southern Ontario, there will be a celebration of his legacy of faith, inspiration, wisdom and perseverance."


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To add your tribute above, please contact David Spencer.

Tributes from Sheridan College Friends

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Jim Leek and Mitch Lauer in the BoyFriend at Theatre Sheridan at Sheridan College circa 1980's.



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Tributes Posted on Facebook

A number of friends and radio listeners left tributes to Jim Leek on Facebook including on Jim Leek's Facebook page and the JOY 1250 Facebook page.

Here are some tribute highlights:


  • Rev. Bowen Allan
    "Jim Leek was a classy guy with a great love of the Lord. He did his programs with great skill."
  • Glenn Bleakney
    "It is with a profound sense of loss that we announce that one of our closest friends, Jim Leek was promoted to glory. We were in constant contact with one another especially in these past few months. Your life literally impacted thousands of people as the morning show host of Joy 1250 and and beyond that as a caring person with a heart of gold. Though we know you are resting in the arms of the Lord, your family and friends will miss you."


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Jim Leek with Life 80 ministry friends.


  • Kurt Buchholz, church friend
    "Jim was a great friend at church in the 90 's. He was so kind, gentle and full of peace. My prayers and thoughts go to you and your family."


  • Shana Christine Gray
    "In memory of Jim Leek a radio personality and a pillar of hope in Christian music. Great memories. He made a difference in the lives of many and will be remembered as a great friend."


  • Phil Morris
    "I just found out my friend Jim Leek just passed away. I'm saddened. He was so encouraging and helpful with my worship leader and ministry. I don't know any details at all, but I would like to come and sing at any memorial."


  • Wayne Reimer
    "Just found out that a friend from my Burlington days passed away, Jim Leek was an amazing guy, who loved Jesus. Got to spend a bunch of time working the sound board with him. Definitely gona miss him."


  • David Spencer
    "A fine tribute Fazal. Jim was an encouraging man of God and pioneer and leader in Christian Radio in Canada. I first met and worked with Jim Leek in 1983 when I ran the Christian Musicians' Association out of Brampton, Ontario. We promoted the radio airplay of music by Christians on secular radio stations across Canada. I also produced the Music Ministry Conferences in Ontario in 1985 and 1986 and the Media Ministry Conference in 1999. Jim Leek was involved in all three conferences as a radio ministry workshop leader.
    He was also an inspiration to young Christian musicians and song writers. May many share his attributes and follow his role model for music ministry and radio broadcasting."


  • Terry Yonka
    "RIP Jim Leek from an old friend from our Theatre Sheridan days, Sincerely, Terry Yonka."


To add your tribute above, please contact David Spencer.


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Jim Leek reading his Bible during his trip to Israel. Photo by Darren Griffith.


Tribute to Jim Leek by David Spencer

We lost one of Canada's most knowledgeable and respected radio program hosts, promoter and encourager of CCM and gospel music on January 29. Jim Leek was the voice of Christian radio across Ontario for two decades. At age 58, he died after a scuba diving holiday near Key Largo, Florida. The cause of death was a result of atherosclerotic and hypertensive cardiovascular disease.

Born in Quebec, Jim Leek was host of “Celebrate with Jim Leek” for the CJMR 1320 AM daytime Christian broadcasting lineup in 1994. His research and leadership was influential in launching the full-time JOY 1250 AM CJYE Christian station broadcasting from Oakville. He was promoted to Music Director and weekday host of "The Breakfast Show with Jim Leek".

Jim Leek was a radio workshop presenter for Media Ministry Conference 1999 held at Tyndale University. He volunteered and provided leadership for the 1995 Billy Graham Crusade held at the Skydome, Kingdom Bound, Festival of Hope, GraceTour and March for Jesus Toronto. In 1996, he applied for a temporary low power FM licence and set up a studio at the top of the CN Tower to broadcast the music to the parade marchers during March for Jesus Toronto. In 2005, Jim and Fazal Karim joined the Board and led the effort to rescue the fledgling Canadian Gospel Music Association (now GMA Canada). Jim was also a popular MC for many concerts, events and community festivals.

On February 7 “The Drew Marshall Show” broadcast a tribute with Steve Bell, Kelita, Karen Burke, Danny Brooks, Mark Masri, Dustkickers and other music ministry friends phoning in from across Canada. “A Celebration of the Life of Jim Leek” was held on February 21 at World Vision Canada featuring worship music with Allan Froese, Jody Cross, Marlene O'Neill and friends. Michelle Sim, Eric Spath, Fazal Karim, Hiram Joseph, Darren Griffith and Glenn Bleakney provided tributes of honour.

“Jim Leek was a Christian musicologist, a true man of God and friend to us all.“ - Scott Jackson, LIFE 100.3 FM

“Kingdom Bound won't be the same without him.” - Bob DuBroy, formerly with CHRI FM

"Jim was warm, generous and supportive; a friend to so many in our community " - Martin Smith, GMA Canada President

“Jim was the wind beneath a lot of people’s wings. He was always there to host an event and promote our music on air.” - Kelita

“He championed our proposal for Joy Kid’s radio show.” - Dale Boreland

“So kind and supportive to young musicians giving their songs airtime and interviewing them with a sense of understanding.” - Carolyn Williamson

“He was a real friend, a perfect gentleman and student of the Bible” - Michelle Sim

“He made significant sacrifices financially to make his way in radio and to support and encourage musicians.” - Kevin Pauls

“Jim Leek was like the fruits of the spirit in person.” - Virginia Boreland


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Jim Leek relaxing in the Dead Sea. Photo by Darren Griffith.