Tag Archives: Arts

Dave Merheje

** I sat down with Dave Merheje a week before he won the 2019 JUNO for best comedy album. **

In 2011 my next guest was named Best Male Stand Up In Toronto. That same year CBC Radio’s Laugh Out Loud called him one of Canada’s next breakout stars.

My next guest has performed in Melbourne, New York city, L.A., Sydney, Toronto, and almost anywhere else you can find a comedy club, strip club or barbershop.

He’s also starred on CBC’s Mr. D. and will soon be starring in Hulu’s Ramy.

His latest comedy album, Good Friend, Bad Grammar, has been nominated for a JUNO Award this year.

Please welcome to the show, Dave Merheje.

This is Episode #165 of the Welcome! podcast.

Listen here: 

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

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:

Girth Radio
Apple Podcasts
Google Play Music
Pocket Casts
You can also subscribe to the podcast via RSS Feed if you so desire.

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:


FilmConnect: technology and new media meets film post-TIFF11

Yes, Toronto has finally gotten over this year’s version of the Toronto International Film Festival.  Many of us had the opportunity to watch many new and interesting films and maybe mingle with a few Hollywood celebrities.

Next week, my friends and I at XConnectTO and thirdocean are bringing to Toronto, FilmConnect: a panel discussion on technology, new media and the film industry.

I invite all of you, if you’re in and around Toronto on Thursday September 29th at 6pm to join me.

Details of the event and registration can be found at http://bit.ly/filmconnect.

Check out XConnectTO to learn more about our panelists and esteemed moderator  Matt Hartley from the National Post.

Stratford understands the customer and how to use social media

City Hall
Image via Wikipedia

Stratford, Ontario has to be one of the most picturesque cities in the world.  It is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever had the privilege of visiting.  It is also one of the most intelligent communities in the world.

Last weekend I had the opportunity to visit Stratford for the popular Stratford Shakespeare Festival.

And thus began my experience with Stratford.

It’s OK to say hello to strangers

It’s everywhere in Stratford.  The people are very friendly.  Everywhere you go people are saying hello and good morning.  And I’m not talking about retailers or hosts.  People going for walks along the river or biking on the trails all saying hello to us.

And it translated to the way we were treated online too.  But remember, it’s not about the tools but about the people.  Stratford has just figured out that the tools will allow them to extend their “friendly” brand.


The Stratford Festival can be found on Twitter at @stratfest.  But their customer service and community engagement does not start there.  Nor does it end there.  When I went online to purchase tickets for a show, I was able to talk to someone on the phone to help me find the best seats. And then when I was having trouble finding suitable accommodations for the night, the lady behind @stratfest suggested I call the customer service line first thing in the morning.  Their ticket operator was actually going to help me find and book a place to stay the evening.

And when I called they also asked if I needed to make reservations for dinner! Amazing!

And the entire city seems to be connected.  And not just to the internet.  They are connected to each other.

Almost every retailer and restaurant encourages their patrons to connect to Foursquare for the purpose of discovering deals and specials.

And when it comes to online integration, Stratford is second to none.  All their brochures and marketing material, including their websites, don’t just encourage people to follow and connect with them on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.  They actually tell you where to find them on these spaces!

So rather than:  “Follow us on Twitter!” they will say, “Follow us on twitter.com/stratfest”.

Finally, a brand (city) that “get’s it”.


The role of social media needs to be understood on context.  It is not a stand alone tool or solution.  Rather, it needs to be viewed as a partner within a business – or in this case, a city/town.

Stratford uses social media to help all their partners do better.  Social media helps Stratford’s theaters give a better experience to their patrons.  Tools like websites, Twitter, Foursquare and Facebook allow everyone from visitors and residents, to retailers and restaurants stay connected to each other via another platform.

And my IRL experience last weekend was actually enhanced as a result.

Thank you Stratford!