Dai Williams: Women Win Toronto

Dai Williams is the Interim Co-chair and Communications Lead for Women Win Toronto. Women Win Toronto is a Toronto-based organization dedicated to train and prepare women from diverse backgrounds (including trans and gender non-conforming individuals) to run winning campaigns for the 2018 Toronto municipal election. Visit them at http://womenwinto.ca/

This is episode #142  of the Welcome! podcast.

Here are some of the things we discussed with Dai Williams:

  • What Women Win Toronto is
  • What Dai Williams does with Women Win Toronto
  • How Dai became involved in local politics and why she’s passionate about her work with Women Win Toronto and other initiatives
  • Women In Toronto Politics
  • Social Media Lead for #SnapTheBudget
  • Social Media Lead for Ontario Thrive
  • Why Faith Goldy wouldn’t meet the criteria for getting accepted into Women Win Toronto

Listen below:

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Closing music by Afraaz Mulji.

This episode was taped at Girth Radio studios inside the Pacific Junction Hotel bar in Toronto.

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Rob Johnston from #Curiouscast

Rob Johnston is the Lead Audio Producer and head of Sound Design for CuriousCast. What is CuriousCast? It’s the new Corus podcast project. Rob has also been the Technical Producer for the Alan Cross show, Ongoing History of New Music, since forever.

This is episode #141  of the Welcome! podcast.

Here are some of the things we discussed with Rob Johnston:

  • Rob’s new role at Corus
  • Rob started at CFNY/Corus answering calls for the likes of Alan Cross, Chris Sheppard and Martin Streek
  • Rob beginning his Technical Production work with Alan Cross on the popular radio show (and podcast), Ongoing History of New Music
  • Turning radio programs into podcasts
  • Turning podcasts into radio programs
  • The work Rob Johnston did with Mike Downie
  • Rob Johnston’s work with Stuart Coxe (now of Antica Productions – eOne’s podcast offering)

Listen below:

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Music by Afraaz Mulji.

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Amira de Vera

Amira de Vera is a good friend of the Welcome! and has supported us over the past 2+ years. So much so that we decided to pull back the covers on this in-depth and revealing discussion with one of Canada’s top entertainment and lifestyle public relations professionals.

This is episode #140  of the Welcome! podcast.

Here are some of the things we discussed with Amira de Vera:

  • Studying Political Science and International Relations in Ottawa at Carelton University
  • Her dream job of being a DeeJay
  • How Amira de Vera got her first break in the world of PR
  • The highs and lows of starting her own PR company
  • What Amira de Vera’s favourite food is
  • Her favourite place in Toronto to take a selfie
  • Her favourite client
  • The types of clients she doesn’t take on or would fire

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Music by Afraaz Mulji.

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Richard Peddie

Richard Peddie is best known as the former President and CEO of Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment. These days, Peddie can be found learning and talking across the globe as a passionate city builder.

Richard Peddie joined Karim Kanji and co-host Gregg Tilston inside Toronto’s Girth Radio studios for an unprecedented fourth visit. In this episode we discuss the upcoming Toronto election and the impact Doug Ford continues to have on the city of Toronto.

This is episode #139  of the Welcome! podcast.
Here are some of the things we discussed with Richard Peddie:
  • The bombshell announcement that Doug Ford wanted to almost halve the size of Toronto’s city council to 25 councilors
  • Why Richard Peddie is supporting Jennifer Keesmat
  • Why Peddie doesn’t think John Tory has done enough as Mayor of Toronto over the past three years
  • Why Keesmat’s leadership style is preferred over Tory’s leadership style by many progressives in Toronto
  • The ongoing transit woes in Toronto
  • Should the city of Toronto ban guns within it’s borders and how effective could it be in shrinking crime
  • Can powerful neighborhood councils be more effective in places like North York, Scarborough and Etobicoke than a seemingly distant Toronto city hall?
  • Finally, we discussed Richard Peddie’s thoughts on women’s professional basketball coming to Toronto

Listen below:

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Music by Afraaz Mulji.

If you liked this episode you will also like all our previous conversations with Richard Peddie.

Allison Dore: comedian and radio host

Allison Dore is a renowned radio host, media personality and former comedian. Allison Dore will be launching Howl & Roar Records – a female-centric comedy record label aimed at empowering artists and facilitating the creation of content for women and underrepresented performers in comedy.

On September 19th in Toronto drop by the Bad Dog Theatre for the official launch party of Howl & Roar Records. For more information please visit Facebook.

This is episode #138  of the Welcome! podcast.

Here are some of the things we talked about:

  • Allison Dore was born in Ottawa, Ontario
  • She was encouraged to try comedy by her big brother, Jon Dore
  • Allison Dore suffered mental illness which resulted in her getting addicted to drugs to make herself feel better
  • Allison explains why she does not separate the art from the person (especially when it comes to people like Bill Cosby, Woody Allen, etc)
  • Why she started Howl & Roar Records
  • How Allison got her first gig on SiriusXM Canada radio
  • We also spoke about her shows, The Breakdown, Digging In and Allison Dore’s BroadCast

Listen below:

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Music by Afraaz Mulji.

If you liked this episode you will also like the following conversations with other former podcast alumni:

John Sewell: Former Toronto Mayor

John Sewell is Toronto’s 58th Mayor. Sewell was first elected to Toronto’s city council in 1969 and served as the city’s Mayor from 1978 until 1980.

John Sewell was raised in the Beaches area of Toronto and earned his Law Degree from the University of Toronto. Sewell has always fought for the under represented and the underdog in Toronto.

Co-host Gregg Tilston joined me in studio for this conversation with Toronto’s first rebel mayor.

This is episode #137  of the Welcome! podcast.

Here are some of the things we talked about:

  • Why John Sewell wore jeans and a leather jacket when he was first elected to city council
  • Working with the community to help develop the St. Lawrence neighbourhood.
  • Why John Sewell thinks that the revitalized Regent Park didn’t go far enough in regards to affordable housing and integration.
  • The history behind the 401 Richmond heritage building and why it’s important to have smart property tax assessments instead of a one size fits all solution.
  • We discussed the challenges that cities all over the world seem to have regarding accessing funds for municipal programming and services.
  • A long and lively discussion around affordable housing.
  • Why John Sewell fought against the “megacity” proposal that created the city of Toronto as we now know it today.
  • Why Sewell thinks we should have smaller councils (in terms of councilors) while also having more local representation (more councils).
  • Sewell was a big fan of the Metropolitan Toronto system prior to “megacity”.
  • John Sewell’s candid thoughts on Richard Peddie, Desmond Cole, David Miller, John Tory, Jennifer Keesmat.
  • His favourite thing about Toronto.

Listen below:

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Music by Afraaz Mulji.

If you liked this episode you will also like the following conversations with other former podcast alumni:

Stuart Coxe: Storyteller

Stuart Coxe heads up Canada’s largest independent podcast network, Entertainment One’s Podcast Network. Coxe was also an Executive Producer of The Secret Path and a founding board member of the Downie Wenjack Fund.

This is episode #136  of the Welcome! podcast.

Here are some of the things we talked about:

  • Stuart Coxe worked with Mr “Reality TV”, Mark Burnett
  • His experience working for CBC for 15+ years
  • Stuart Coxe helped to develop and launch Dragon’s Den in 2006
  • What his childhood was like.
  • Producing the “Becoming Canadian” series to celebrate Canada 150 in 2017
  • Stuart Coxe produced the Passchendaele interactive documentary called “Spurred On”
  • The current popularity of podcasts
  • How podcasts can monetize; especially in Canada with many independent podcastor’s and an overall small audience size.
  • Stuart Coxe teamed up with Gord and Mike Downie and the Wenjack family to start the Downie Wenjack Fund
  • Starting Antica
  • Where the name Antica came from
  • Working with Peter Mansbridge during 9/11

Listen below:

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Music by Afraaz Mulji.

If you liked this episode you will also like the following conversations with other former podcast alumni:

Noordin Kassam: A Love Story

Noordin Kassam in one of 8 children who came of age during the Idi Amin crisis in Uganda. He is also the father of two children who survived two separate terrorist attacks. This episode was recorded in front of a live studio audience in Canmore comprised of family members from across the world who had gathered to celebrate Noordin Kassam’s 80th birthday.

This is episode #135  of the Welcome! podcast.

Here are some of the things we talked about:

  • How it came to be that all the brothers and sisters have different last names.
  • The fun experiment that was MANTS and how all the brothers came to own a strip plaza in Kingston, Ontario.
  • Where Noordin Kassam was born.
  • What his childhood was like.
  • How he came to study accounting after almost choosing another career path.
  • The positive influence of his parents on both himself and all his siblings.
  • Navigating two crisis as a young adult: First, the Idi Amin situation in Uganda. Then, the draconian nationalistic policies of the Kenyan government in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
  • The importance of volunteering in Noordin Kassam’s life and his advice to future generations of leaders.
  • Meeting Rozy Auntie and why they had to hide their “friendship” from both their parents.
  • Tashmin was their first born child. As a child, both Rozy and Noordin Kassam were concerned that she wouldn’t do well in school. Years later, Tashmin ended up completing her PhD and is now working at the Aga Khan University.
  • Why Noordin’s second child, Faisal, decided not to follow in his father’s footsteps and become an accountant.
  • How Noordin Kassam came to find out about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City and his frantic search to find out about Faisal who was working in one of the Twin Towers.
  • More than a decade later in 2013, Noordin would go through the same experience when Tashmin was caught inside Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya during the September 21 terrorist attacks.
  • Noordin Kassam describes his relationship with Rozy, who tragically passed away just short of their 50th wedding anniversary.
  • How the Rozinoor Foundation came to be and the various works it has already accomplished.

Listen below:

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Music by Afraaz Mulji.

If you liked this episode you will also like the following conversations with other former podcast alumni:

Elena V. Wolfe

Currently a star in the hit Nikelodeon show, Star Falls, Elena V. Wolfe was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario and fell in love with acting at a very young age while watching her favourite shows on television. Her first introduction to performing came in the form of a high school musical when she was cast to play one of the evil step sisters Lucinda in Into the Woods.

Her acting would take a backseat however when she received a scholarship to play varsity tennis at the University of Virginia.

It wasn’t until after graduating college that her acting career would resurface when she landed her first role in the American crime drama television series The Bridge on FX. Shortly after, Elena joined the cast of the hit sci-fi television series Defiance on Syfy and Space. Other credits to her name include Flashpoint (CTV), The Firm (NBC), Degrassi Takes Manhattan and Filthy Cities.

This is episode #134  of the Welcome! podcast.

Here are some of the things we talked about:

  • What does the “V” stand for in Elena’s name?
  • How Elena got her start in acting.
  • Attending the University of Virginia on a tennis scholarship.
  • Some of the world’s famous women and men Elena has watched play and played against.
  • Elena’s thoughts on players “grunting” when hitting shots in tennis.
  • Her previous modeling career.
  • Why Elena studied law in grad school and how that’s helping her career today.
  • Her initial and continuing attempt at writing a book.
  • Why she left her career in tennis.
  • Moving back to the Greater Toronto Area

Listen below:

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Music by Afraaz Mulji.

If you liked this episode you will also like the following conversations with other former podcast alumni:

Jaime Stein: Chief Client Officer, ICUC

Jaime Stein – formerly from Toronto – is now a Vancouver resident and Chief Client Officer for Winnipeg-based, ICUC.

Stein joined me inside the Girth Radio studio for an in-depth chat about his travels, his passions, work and why Canada has the best sunsets in the world!

This is episode #133  of the Welcome! podcast.

Here are some of the things we talked about:

  • The SportsConnectTO panel that started the friendship between Jaime Stein and Karim Kanji.
  • Jaime’s experience in preparing for and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
  • His work with the National Public Cord Blood Bank.
  • Doing varsity football play-by-play for Queen’s University in Kingston while going to school at Toronto’s Ryerson University.
  • Meeting Keith Pelley while at TSN helped Jaime Stein kickstart his professional sports broadcasting career.
  • Calling the play-by-play for the Toronto Argonauts.
  • His role at ING Bank in Canada.
  • Working the social media war room as ING changed their name and branding to Tangerine.
  • Why Jaime Stein had enough of Toronto and moved to Vancouver.
  • His role at Vancouver’s Hootsuite.
  • Leaving Hootsuite to join another company helping brands navigate the social media space, ICUC.
  • Jaime Stein finally ends the debate on which city province has the better sunsets: Ontario or British Columbia.

Listen below:

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You can also subscribe to the podcast via RSS Feed if you’re so inclined.

Music by Afraaz Mulji.

If you liked this episode you will also like the following conversations with other former podcast alumni: