Category Archives: Toronto

We Day Family

Last night 20,000 students, parents and guardians filled the Air Canada Centre for the evening programming of We Day, We Day Family.

We witnessed inspiring stories and performances from a wide variety of people including the Barenaked Ladies, Chris Hadfield, Rick Hanson, Gord Downie, Lily Singh, Paula Abdul, Pearl Wenjack, Hedley, Nelly Furtado and many others!

The focus for the event was to inspire children and their families to make a difference in their family, community, country and world. A wonderful and inspiring event!

Here are some photos from the event. Enjoy!

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Lee Lifeson Art Park

On Saturday September 17, 2016, Toronto officially opened up one of its newest parks: Lee Lifeson Art Park. Named after the founding members of the iconic Canadian progressive rock band, Rush, the park is a celebration of the musical contributions of Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson.

It is now part of music folklore that Lee and Lifeson met in the Willowdale neighbourhood of the former city of North York.

On Saturday, all three members (Neil Peart was absent) received the key to the city by Toronto Mayor John Tory.

Welcome! #42: Richard Peddie (former President + CEO of Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment)

To many Toronto sports fans the name Richard Peddie is a familiar one. He was the President and CEO, for almost a decade and a half, of Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment.

Today Richard Peddie is my guest. We chat about his career before he was in the Toronto sports spotlight, various MLSE events and what continues to drive Richard Peddie today.

This is a conversation you will enjoy!

Music by Aafraz Mulji.

Listen here:

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Skratch Bastid spinning tunes at Samsung

All week long, Samsung has been hosting a pop-up activation in downtown Toronto ahead of its latest Galaxy release. I happened to walk by the location yesterday after leaving the Blue Jays game a bit early. You wouldn’t believe what happened next! I literally bumped into Toronto’s own Skratch Bastid playing in front of a small and intimate crowd.

He’s been a favourite of mine for some time now.

skratch bastid | samsung

 

 

Last Night In Toronto: The Tragically Hip Man Machine Poem Tour

the tragically hip

Last night we attended The Tragically Hip’s final Toronto date on their “farewell” Man Machine Poem Tour. It was also the second live rock concert that our (now 10 years old) son, Kahzmir, attended. The first one was on his 8th birthday to see Arcade Fire in Toronto.

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Attending The Hip with me are: Aneez, Vanessa, Minaz and Kahzmir

It was also the second time (that I can remember) attending the same concert with my brother, Aneez. The first concert was on New Year’s Eve 1985 to see OMD and Thompson Twins at Toronto’s old Maple Leaf Gardens.

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The Tragically Hip were never my favourite band. At least not that I can remember. However, they have always been part of my musical appetite since I had my first portable FM radio player. I had purchased this player on Air Canada (or maybe it was WardAir?) coming back from England in the summer of 1989 and would walk to and from Sir John A Macdonald high school in Scarborough. It was a 10 minute walk. And it was on 102.1 and/or 107.1 that I started hearing songs like Blow At High Dough, New Orleans Is Sinking, 38 Years Old, Boots Or Hearts and Trickle Down.

I didn’t know it at the time but Up To Here was most likely the album that made me appreciate the mix of poetry and rock that I came to later appreciate in all of Neil Young’s incarnations.

Since then, the Tragically Hip have always just been there. I never noticed them. I just came to expect them. They were part of rock and roll. They were (and still are) part of Canada.

Although I’ve since “misplaced” my Hip CDs and cassettes, Road Apples was my first Hip album. My favourite tune from that album is Cordelia. I have no clue what the song is about. I love the lyrics and the pulsing beat that overlay the amazing lead and rhythm guitars in Cordelia.

Fully Completely is filled with hit singles. As many as U2’s The Joshua Tree. In my opinion. The next album, Day for Night contains my favourite Hip song, Nautical Disaster. I had the lyrics of this song taped to my desk in my room. And this was before the album was ever released.

It was listening to one of these albums that got me through a serious breakup in university. Thanks for the company, boys.

I’ve been to plenty of big events and concerts. I was in attendance at the Skydome when Canada played the US in World Cup of Baseball.  I saw Halladay pitch against Burnett. I’ve been to Metallica and AC/DC concerts. Nothing can compare to the level of noise that the crowd in attendance last night created. NOTHING. It was deafening.

See my photos and videos from my view at the concert HERE.

I played air guitar, fist pumped to songs like Three Pistols and Little Bones, and generally caused Minaz and Kahzmir to look at me and shake their heads. I sang loudly to the hits. I smiled in glee then continued to rock out to songs long forgotten but still tattooed in my internal radio station.

When the show ended with Grace, Too I was caught off guard. There was no warning it was over. I wasn’t ready to say thank you. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye.

Last night’s concert was not goodbye for me. Music and songs live forever. We know Gord Downie will leave this world sooner rather than later. But the music that he created with his best friends will live on forever.

I’m thankful for the music. I always will be. I’ll always enjoy the music.

I’m thankful for Sunday August 14, 2016.

I’ll see you folks on down the road somewhere – Gord Downie

Here’s the set list from The Tragically Hip’s last show in Toronto:

  1. Blow At High Dough
  2. New Orleans Is Sinking
  3. Opiated
  4. Boots Or Hearts
  5. Machine
  6. What Blue
  7. Ocean Next
  8. In A World Possessed By The Human Mind
  9. Streets Ahead
  10. We Want To Be It
  11. Man Machine Poem
  12. At Transformation
  13. Gift Shop
  14. Flamenco
  15. Springtime In Vienna
  16. Ahead By A Century
  17. The Last Of The Unplucked Gems
  18. Three Pistols
  19. Twist My Arm
  20. Long Time Running
  21. Little Bones
  22. Escape Is At Hand For The Travellin’ Man
  23. Poets
  24. Bobcaygeon
  25. Daredevil
  26. Grace, Too

 

Episode #35: Chris Jancelewicz

Today’s episode I speak with Chris Jancelewicz. Chris is a seasoned online entertainment editor with almost a decade of experience in the publishing world. He has run multiple websites, contributed to AOL.com, Huffington Post and now is the National Entertainment Online Reporter at Global News.

Listen to his thoughts on Pokemon Go and the hit Netflix docuseries, Making A Murderer.

Music by Afraaz Mulji.

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

Blue Jays at the half – 2016

Rogers Media recently released number from Numeris that report on TV and radio numbers of the Toronto Blue Jays.

  • the first 81 games of the season had an average audience of 825,000 viewers on Sportsnet. That’s an increase of 51% over 2015
  • 30 games have been watched by more than one million viewers
  • When it comes to radio, more listeners are tuning in to Jays coverage this year than last as well: on Sportsnet 590 The Fan in the Toronto market up ratings are up 86% for adults 25 to 54, and 32% for men 25 to 54

The success of the Jays gave Sportsnet a 5.9 audience share with an average audience of 216,000 for the month of June, which translates to a year-over-year increase of 29%.

The above numbers were first reported by Media In Canada.

 

Welcome! is now out of beta

After more than 30 episodes my podcast, Welcome!, is now out of beta. What does this mean?

Well, before today, the only way to listen to my conversations with some really cool people was through the Girth Radio website, MixCloud or here. As of today, you can now listen to Welcome! on any computer or smartphone from anywhere in the world on your favourite app.

Yes, besides the places mentioned above, Welcome! is also available on iTunes, Google Play Music, Stitcher and TuneIn. You can also subscribe to the podcast via RSS Feed if you’re so inclined.

You might be asking yourselves, what do I do now? Great question! If you haven’t done so, download one of the above apps to your smartphone (or computer). Then go to my show (links are provided above) and subscribe/start listening.

I welcome (see what I did there?) all feedback. In fact, it would be amazing if you could comment and leave a rating (the more starts the merrier!) on the app you use to listen to me. You can also comment below.

Coming soon: A professionally designed logo!