Shasha Nakhai

Shasha Nakhai is a filmmaker based out of Toronto with both Compy Films and Storyline Entertainment.  Shasha’s award-winning  films have screened at festivals and aired on TV worldwide, been released on iTunes, gone viral and been awarded Vimeo Staff Pick and Short of the Week.

This is Episode #152 of the Welcome! podcast.

  • Shasha Nakhai was born in Nigeria to parent from Persian and Philippine backgrounds.
  • Shasha came on a student visa to study but now is a proud Canadian and new owner of plaid pants!
  • She studied journalism and radio and TV from 2005 until 2009 at Ryerson University. Shasha also attended Sheridan and Humber to finish her formal education.
  • Shasha Nakhai was the director of Take Light which is a movie about the energy crisis in her Nigerian hometown.
  • Shasha produced the 2017 Oscar “nominated” short doc, Frame 394 which was about the shooting of an unarmed man in South Carolina.
  • Shasha Nakhai is also producing the movie adaptation of the award-winning book, Scarborough (which was written by Catherine Hernandez).

Listen below:

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

Music featured in this podcast  episode is by my cousin, Afraaz Mulji. 

If you liked this episode with Shasha Nakhai you may also like these:

Michael Antonakos

Michael Antonakos is currently starring as lead character Alexios in UBISOFT’s highly- anticipated and widely popular blockbuster game ASSASSIN’S CREED ODYSSEY.

This is Episode #151 of the Welcome! podcast.

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Born in Athens, Greece and raised in Lake Louise, Alberta Michael Antonakos began acting at the young age of seven. At nine years old, he started at the Rocky Mountain Shakespeare Company. He began his journey into showbiz soon after to study drama at Claremont Secondary School with one of Canada’s theatre Legends, Sylvia Hosie. Shortly after, Michael went on to attend the University of Victoria where he continued to cultivate his skills by enrolling in the Department of Theatre program. From there, he moved to Vancouver, performing professionally in several musical productions.

Michael’s first big break came when he landed his first video game audition starring in LORD OF THE RINGS: THE THIRD AGE. Through this role, Michael Antonakos ended up falling in love with the world of motion capture and voice.

Michael has amassed a significant body of high-quality work in several video game productions including SLEEPING DOGS, MAX STEEL, DEAD RISING 4, MASS EFFECT ANDROMEDA, and ANTHEM. Currently, he is starring as lead character Alexios in UBISOFT’s highly- anticipated and widely popular blockbuster game ASSASSIN’S CREED® ODYSSEY.

Michael’s work can also be seen in multiple film and television productions including WARCRAFT: THE BEGINNING, ODYSSEUS: VOYAGE TO THE UNDERWORLD, THE CROSSING, THE GOOD DOCTOR, PRISON BREAK, MOTIVE, iZOMBIE, ARROW, CONTINUUM, and WHEN CALLS THE HEART. When he’s not acting on screen, you can hear his voice in several animated series including NINJAGO: MASTERS OF SPINJITZU, TROLLZ, and MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC.

Michael is also a professional acting coach and teacher and has taught at Shoreline Studios in Vancouver. He currently runs an actor’s group called THE ACTOR’S CHOP SHOP.

Music featured at the beginning of this episode is by my cousin, Afraaz Mulji. 

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

Taras Lavren

Taras Lavren in an actor who currently stars in the second season of Anne with an E airing now. The first season is available for streaming on Netflix.

Taras Lavren plays Nate in the show – a quick-minded grifter that uses his charm and sharp wit to play the con-game to its full potential. We first get introduced to Nate as one of the borders that take up residence at Green Gables at the end of season one. In addition to Anne with an E, Tara is also a gifted director and filmmaker.

Taras Lavren is a founding member of Blink Twice Films, a unique project dedicated as a collaborative platform for actors, writers, composers and filmmakers. The project aspires to bridge local and international talent around the world by creating an anthology of one-minute short films, which are periodically released over their Instagram platform @blinktwicefilms.

This is Episode #150 of the Welcome! podcast.

Listen below:

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

Music featured at the end of the podcast is by my cousin, Afraaz Mulji. 

If you liked this conversation with Taras Lavren you may also like these talks:

Bree Taylor

Bree Taylor is a singer-songwriter based out of Streetsville, Mississauga.

This is Episode #149 of the Welcome! podcast.

  • Bree Taylor started singing at the age of 6 in a choir
  • Bree attended the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music and then went to the Oakville Academy for the Arts
  • Her first single was called “Broken Dreams”
  • Bree Taylor and I also spoke about how the #MeToo movement impacted her life and work as a singer-songwriter
  • Her latest single is called “You Played It All” and is from the EP, “Unbreakable” which was released on October 19, 2018

Listen below:

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

Please listen to Bree’s newest single, You Played It All, at the end of this episode!

If you liked this conversation with Bree Taylor you may also like these talks:

Mary Ormsby

Mary Ormsby has been a fixture in Toronto’s media landscape for many years. I first heard her on Prime Time Sports with Bob McCown and then began reading her in the Toronto Star.

This is Episode #148 of the Welcome! podcast.

  • While growing up Mary Ormsby wanted to be a marine biologist like Jacques Cousteau!
  • Mary first wrote locally for the Toronto Sun before joining the Toronto Star in 1985.
  • Mary Ormsby went to Ohio State on an athletic scholarship.
  • We chatted about Patrick Brown’s political comeback in the 2018 municipal elections in Brampton.
  • Mary and I discussed the sports journalism start-up space with companies like The Athletic and The Players Tribune.
  • With winter on it’s way we also discussed the homeless problem that has continued to plague Toronto for many years.
  • Mary Ormsby has recently written a number of investigative pieces on Ben Johnson, his fall from grace, and his botched post race drug test which we discussed.
  • Mary and I also spoke about Canadian boxing icon, George Chuvallo.

Listen below:

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

Introduction Music by Afraaz Mulji. 

If you liked this conversation with Mary Ormsby you may also like these talks:

Christine Estima

Christine Estima has been professionally writing since she was 18. Since then, Christine has continued to write articles, essays, novels and even plays. You can find her on Twitter @christineestima.

This is Episode #147 of the Welcome! podcast.

  • Christine Estima is half Portuguese and half Lebanese.
  • Christine grew up near Montreal and currently calls Toronto home.
  • Christine is also a professional house sitter!
  • We chatted about her two more recent from The Walrus (about Christine reporting her assault) and the New York Times (racism and ethnicity).
  • Christine has also had Twitter wars with the “most hated man in the world”, Martin Shkreli!
  • We argued about the recent Banksy exhibit in Toronto.
  • Christine has a love of urban art and graffiti and has also had a piece of art created in her honour!
  • Christine Estima has also appeared at various Spoken Word events.
  • Christine also shared her opinions on the #MeToo movement and her thoughts on Jian Ghomeshi and CK Lewis.

Listen below:

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

Music by Afraaz Mulji.

If you liked this conversation with Christine Estima you may also like these talks:

 

Toronto Election 2018: Post Election Coverage

Dan Speerin and Vince Kesavamoorthy joined Karim Kanji and Gregg Tilston in Girth Radio studios on October 23, 2018. The day after Toronto’s election that saw the voters return John Tory as the mayor of the largest city in Canada.

This is Episode #146 of the Welcome! podcast.

Special thanks to my co-host Gregg Tilston and to our Post Toronto Election Coverage in-studio guests Dan Speerin and Vince Kasavamoorthy.

Listen below:

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Toronto Election Coverage 2018

Now that we finally have the audio versions of last week’s Toronto Election Facebook Livestream we thought we’d create a page that includes the videos and audio in one place.

This is Episode #145 of the Welcome! podcast.

Special thanks to my co-host Gregg Tilston and to our Toronto Election in-studio guests Kelly Dyment, Bryn Feldmann, Paul Crowe, Casey Palmer and Connie Crosby.

Listen below:

Sabrina Zuniga

On Monday October 22, 2018, Toronto goes to the polls to elect new school Trustees, a Mayor and council. Sabrina Zuniga is a candidate for city council in Ward 10 which is the Spadina-Fort York neighbourhood.

Here is my conversation with Sabrina Zuniga.

This is episode #144  of the Welcome! podcast.

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Sarah Midanik: Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund

Sarah Midanik is the President and CEO of the Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund. She is also a member of the Métis Nation of Alberta and current resident of Toronto.

This is episode #143  of the Welcome! podcast.

Here are some of the things I discussed with Sarah Midanik:

  • The importance of not apologizing for taking a journey towards Reconciliation
  • Sarah’s Métis background
  • Her strong female role models in her life
  • Why Sarah chose to work with the Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund
  • Which Calls To Action Canada has achieved since the completion of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
  • Which Calls To Action Sarah Midanik would focus on first
  • Why Sarah is still so patient
  • Secret Path Week takes place between October 17 and 22
  • October 17 is the anniversary of the day Gord Downie died
  • October 22 is the day Chanie Wenjack died. Chanie was found a day later on October 23
  • The importance of Land Acknowledgments
  • How to put pressure on the system to encourage change

Listen below: