As a youngster, Dallas Flexhaug didn't know what she was going to be when she grew up, so when she graduated high school, she took a year of General Studies at the University of Calgary.
“I knew I liked communications and I knew I liked media,” she says. “At home before I would go to university, and I was the only one of my friends to do this, I would get up an hour early and read both the Calgary Sun and the Calgary Herald just because I liked it. So, as an 18/19-year old, I would spend an hour with my cereal and my coffee reading these newspapers. And I never connected the dots that maybe there was something there that I would like to do.”
Flexhaug took some communications classes and then had to decide which course to enroll for. She was tempted by the Bachelor of Communications Studies, and then discovered a two plus two program with an additional two years at SAIT to study broadcast news.
“I didn't even think about doing news, but it was always on in my house. Back in the day, my dad would always watch Barb Higgins and Darrell Janz on CTV Calgary, so news was always part of growing up for me, but it's not ever something I knew that I could go to school for,” says Flexhaug. “But I signed up for SAIT and got accepted - and I’ve never looked back.”
After graduating, she started applying for work and landed her first job in Dawson Creek, B.C. Being born and raised in Calgary, it was a big change, and she remembers her very first day saying to her co-workers that she was tired and could use a Starbucks. “Everyone in the newsroom laughed at me and I didn't understand, but what was so funny is that they didn't have Starbucks there. They just looked at me like, here's this city girl asking for a Starbucks on her first day. So that was my introduction to television,” she laughs.
She was thrown in at the deep end as a news reporter; she shot and edited her own stories, was a news anchor and a sports anchor, and did the radio news too. She learned a lot and then a year later, in 2005, was offered a position at Global Lethbridge.
She had a connection there because of her name - there are Flexhaugs throughout Southern Alberta. She became the six o'clock news anchor, did some reporting, and produced the show too before, after a couple of years, taking a part-time producing job in Calgary, just to get her foot in the door. She started producing newscasts on the weekend, and over a decade ago she’d write the newscasts for the anchors and produce the show she anchors now. Flexhaug has come a long way since then and celebrated her 15-year anniversary at Global Calgary this year.
So what bottle is Flexhaug saving for a special occasion?
August 4th this year is her 10-year wedding anniversary. “We got married in 2012 and we bought too many cases of sparkling wine, so we have this Roederer Estates Brut from California, and we don't drink much sparkling wine,” she explains. “We have two or three of them, and they've been sitting on our wine shelf in our basement for 10 years.”
So how come there was leftover wine? (we know there's no such expression as ‘leftover wine'!)
“We made sure we had lots, and we went through quite a bit at the wedding. It was at the Grand Theatre in Calgary, and we had family from all over the place; probably a good 150 people,” she adds. “And we had a shot ski where people did shooters off a ski. One of the cousins brought that to the wedding, so maybe that's why we had wine left because everyone was on the shot ski, but we had fun. On our wedding anniversary, we plan to pop open the wine and give it a try - and if it's still good, that's okay, and if it's bad, that's okay too.”