Donovan Boucher – Canadian Boxing legend

Donovan Boucher
Donovan Boucher

Welcome to the show, Canadian boxing icon, Donovan Boucher!

Karim Kanji and Donovan Boucher engaged in a personal conversation, sharing details about their current activities and reminiscing about their past experiences, including Donovan’s involvement in boxing and personal anecdotes from his life.

Donovan discussed his boxing journeys, including his shared experiences with Shawn O’Sullivan and including his transition into the professional boxing world. The conversation culminated in the detailed retelling of the intense build-up to their pivotal fight at Varsity Arena, where Boucher emerged victorious in the second round, solidifying his position in the boxing world.

Boucher also shared details about his boxing career, his children’s academic successes, and his transition into stunt work and the movie industry. The conversation touched on the current state of boxing, with a focus on the highly anticipated fight between Mike Tyson and Jake Paul. They shared their diverse opinions on whether such fights are beneficial for the sport and speculated on the potential outcomes of the match.

The conversation also delved into the financial hardships faced by fighters, drawing attention to the role of promoters like Don King and the tendency of some fighters to squander their earnings. They shared anecdotes about fighters who have suffered financial losses due to mismanagement and betrayal. The conversation underscored the significance of financial literacy for fighters and the need to be discerning about entrusting their finances to others. Additionally, they expressed hope for a more transparent and fair financial landscape for fighters in the future.

This is Episode #293.

Patrick Hakeem

Patrick Hakeem
Patrick Hakeem

In the latest episode of “Welcome with Karim Kanji,” we shine the spotlight on Patrick Hakeem, a comedian whose roots span the globe, enriching his comedic lens with layers of multicultural experience. Born in Montreal, Patrick’s half-Syrian, half-Ecuadorian heritage, combined with growing up in an all-Italian neighborhood, imbues his comedy with a rich tapestry of cultural influences.

The conversation ventured into Patrick’s recent stand-up special and album recording, shedding light on the intricacies and challenges encountered amidst a pandemic-laden world. Amidst the laughs, Patrick revealed insights into the Sirius XM realm, offering a glimpse into the lesser-known territory of radio royalties for comedians.

With a shared disinterest in political satire, Patrick and I navigate the terrain of comedy with a focus on personal connection. Their exchange underscored the vital role of relatability in crafting humor, delving into Patrick’s journey from reluctance to embrace stand-up amidst distractions.

Anecdotes flowed as Patrick and I recounted encounters with audience dynamics, from the absurdity of a self-proclaimed minority to the disruptive presence of hecklers. Patrick also lamented the dwindling platform for Canadian comedians, reflecting on Much Music’s transition and the saturation of comedy specials in the streaming era.

Throughout the episode, a deeper narrative emerged, painting a portrait of resilience amidst a changing comedic landscape. Patrick Hakeem’s journey serves as a testament to the power of cultural fusion in comedy, bridging divides with laughter and shared experiences.

Tune in to “Welcome with Karim Kanji” for a captivating exploration of comedy, culture, and the ever-evolving world of entertainment.

Check Patrick Hakeem out on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/patrickhakeembro/

This is Episode #292 of the Welcome! podcast.

Mary Ormsby on Ben Johnson: World’s Fastest Man*

Mary and I discuss Mary’s upcoming book, “World’s Fastest Man*,” which focuses on Ben Johnson’s life and career including the process of researching and uncovering new perspectives on events from the past.

We also delved into the 1988 Seoul Olympics, discussing their individual experiences during the event and the cultural significance of the Ben Johnson and Carl Lewis rivalry.

Mary recounted her journey to writing Ben Johnson’s book, detailing her initial resistance due to her lack of experience and discomfort with the subject matter. She explained how she eventually agreed after retiring from her job at the Star and receiving encouragement from Ben, despite feeling uncomfortable with the idea of being the one to tell his story. Mary also reflected on her belief in the miscarriage of justice surrounding Ben’s story, expressing her determination to do her best to understand and tell his story.

This episode also explored the complex dynamics between Ben Johnson and his coach, Charlie Francis, shedding light on Francis’s coaching techniques and the introduction of performance-enhancing drugs into Johnson’s training regimen. We also examined the prevalent culture of drug use in the 1980s athletic community and Johnson’s decision to use steroids despite the ethical implications.

The discussion provided insight into the blurred lines between fair competition and rule-breaking, as well as the impact of these factors on Johnson’s mindset and career trajectory.

For more information on Mary Ormsby’s book please visit: https://sutherlandhousebooks.com/prod…

This is Episode #291 of the Welcome! podcast.

Kris Siddiqi

Welcome to the podcast, Kris Siddiqi!

We talked about the Canadian comedy scene, Siddiqi’s experiences in television, and his personal life. We also discussed the death of the Just for Laughs Festival and the need for more exposure for local comedians across Canada.

We also talked about Siddiqi’s roles in Law & Order and the presence of Canadian actors in the show. Kris and I also discussed his experiences hosting galas at the Winnipeg Comedy Festival and the challenges of raising children in the entertainment industry.

The conversation also touched on the shifting terrain of comedy, with Kris and I raising questions about the impact of the democratization of comedy content and the absence of traditional gatekeepers. We explored the challenges of navigating the vast quantity of comedy specials on platforms like Netflix and the need for comedians to carve out their unique voices in this new comedic landscape.

The meeting ended with Kris sharing details about his recent projects in television, such as the Netflix show, I Woke Up A Vampire, and Apple TV’s The Changeling.

Visit Kris on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/thesiddiqs/?hl=en

This is Episode #290 of the Welcome! podcast.

Dan Speerin: Toronto Tomorrow

dan speerin and karim kanji
dan speerin and karim kanji

Life’s journey is a winding road, filled with unexpected twists and turns. Recently, I had the honour of engaging in a profound conversation with my friend, Dan Speerin. Together, we embarked on a reflective journey, delving into our pasts and sharing personal stories that have recently shaped our lives.

As I reminisced with Dan, memories flooded back—moments of joy, personal losses, and the profound impact of the pandemic on our plans and experiences. Our conversation was more than just an exchange of tales; it was a deep dive into the essence of our shared humanity.

Dan’s recounting of his journey to Toronto Metropolitan University struck a chord with me. His resilience in the face of early struggles and his determination to succeed in the Canadian entertainment industry were inspiring. But beyond his personal narrative, Dan shed light on the vital role universities play in nurturing talent. His advocacy for mentorship and industry insights resonated deeply with me, reflecting my own belief in the power of guidance and support for aspiring creators.

The conversation took a thought-provoking turn as Dan and I discussed the significance of storytelling. We explored how narratives, like the cautionary tale of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos, shape perceptions and behaviors. Together, we emphasized the importance of bridging generational divides and fostering better understanding through effective communication.

Navigating the complexities of podcast monetization amidst the pandemic was another topic we tackled. Dan and I shared insights into the challenges faced by events-based organizations and the potential for local podcasting networks to thrive in our communities.

Check out Dan’s show on Global AM 640: https://globalnews.ca/national/program/toronto-tomorrow

This episode is brought to you by Welcome To Travel!

This is Episode #289 of the Welcome! podcast.

Unveiling the Depths: A Riveting Conversation with Beth French

Beth French
Beth French

In a recent podcast episode that will undoubtedly leave ripples in your soul, our host, Karim Kanji, engaged in a profound dialogue with none other than the remarkable Beth French. Together, they embarked on a journey that touched upon the vast expanse of the sea, the intricacies of personal health, and the awe-inspiring challenge known as the Ocean Seven Challenge.

The conversation set sail with reflections on the sea’s proximity to their respective locations and the diverse accessibility it offers across different regions. Beth, a force of nature, shared poignant insights into her health journey, including her son’s profound love for water activities and her courageous participation in the Ocean Seven Challenge. Picture this: conquering seven global channels solo, without any form of assistance – an extraordinary feat that only someone of Beth’s caliber could undertake.

Yet, beneath the surface lies a story of resilience and determination. Beth candidly opened up about her battle with ME, unveiling the physical pain, bedridden moments, and the often underestimated struggles that accompanied her condition. Her decision to venture into channel swimming after becoming a single mother speaks volumes about her indomitable spirit, tackling both health barriers and the unique challenges of solo parenting.

The conversation further explored the contrasting perspectives of our hosts on open water. While Beth embraced it as a transformative experience, Karim found himself navigating a wave of apprehension.

Beth, ever the storyteller, unveiled the significance of documenting her channel swimming exploits. Her transformative journey involved pushing personal boundaries, conquering mental and physical hurdles, and realizing her own capabilities. The decision to attempt all seven channels in a single year reflects not just her resilience but also her quest to comprehend her body’s extraordinary capabilities.

Yet, the story doesn’t end there. The conversation extended to the challenges Beth encountered while filming her swimming adventures and parenting Dylan, her son with autism. It’s a testament to her multifaceted journey, encapsulating not just personal triumphs but the intricate dance of life’s challenges.

Join us on as we dive into this exploration of resilience, self-discovery, and the awe-inspiring journey of Beth French, as she navigates the seas and the ebbs and flows of life’s challenges. This blog post is just the surface; the podcast is the deep dive.

This is Episode #288 of the Welcome! podcast.

Unveiling the Sonic Legacy: A Deep Dive into Grant Avenue Studio’s Control Room

grant avenue studio
grant avenue studio

Welcome to an enriching exploration in the latest episode of “Welcome To The Music,” where Karim Kanji, alongside Gregg Tilston, unfolds the intricate narrative of Grant Avenue Studio’s Control Room. In this episode, we engage in profound conversations with the masterminds behind the scenes, Mike Bruce and Andrew Lauzon.

This piece delves into the heart of Hamilton’s musical legacy, unraveling the studio’s rich history. From hosting distinguished visitors to the meticulous crafting of a distinctive “house sound,” we venture into the personal anecdotes that breathe life into this iconic space.

Mike and Andrew generously take us on a behind-the-scenes tour, sharing their journey and offering exclusive insights into the studio’s intricacies. The mixing and editing suite, featuring high-end gear tailored for independent producers, is laid bare for our exploration.

Our discourse explores the timeless allure of vintage gear, shining a spotlight on unique sonic qualities like the Neumann M49B mic. Andrew passionately emphasizes the irreplaceable value of vintage gear, crafting a sonic signature that echoes the concept of a “house sound.”

The narrative weaves around the idea that a studio’s historical legacy serves as an everlasting inspiration for artists, propelling the creation of new musical stories. The episode concludes with tantalizing hints about upcoming talent in Hamilton, promising a vibrant future for the local music scene.

Join us in this podcast episode as we celebrate the essence of musical storytelling and its profound influence on shaping the future of sound. Step into the magic of Grant Avenue Studio and uncover the sonic legacy it holds within its walls.

This is Episode #287 of the Welcome! podcast.

Steven Page

Hey there, music enthusiasts! Karim Kanji here, and I’m thrilled to bring you another exciting episode of our show. Today, we have the incredibly talented Steven Page joining us, and it’s bound to be a conversation you won’t want to miss.

We kick off the episode diving into the behind-the-scenes magic of the Trans Canada Highwaymen album Explosive Hits Vol 1. Gregg Tilston and I sit down with Steven to unravel the mysteries of this K-Tel tribute album. We explore the fascinating journey of selecting songs, navigating remote recording challenges during the pandemic, and the creative process behind the album’s infomercial. It’s a deep dive into the creative minds that brought this explosive project to life.

As we traverse the musical landscape, we also touch upon the profound impact that growing up in Scarborough had on Steven’s musical journey and personal identity. We delve into the multicultural environment and the influential music programs that shaped his perspectives, ultimately paving the way for the formation of the iconic band, the Barenaked Ladies.

Steven Page generously shares personal anecdotes about his enduring friendships with fellow musicians, reflections on past collaborations, and his current endeavors, including work on a new record. The conversation takes an emotional turn as he recounts the powerful experience of singing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” at Jack Layton’s memorial service, shedding light on the pressure and honor of fulfilling Layton’s request.

But that’s not all – Steven treats us to a live performance, showcasing a song from his recent album. We also explore his regular live streams during the pandemic, where he shares his own creations and covers that resonate with his audience.

Our discussions extend to the world of music, touching on lost venues, Steven’s eclectic music preferences, and the exciting details of an upcoming show on Easter weekend. Trust me; you won’t want to miss the insights and revelations Steven has to offer.

If you’re hungry for more details or itching to explore the musical world of the Trans Canada Highwaymen, head over to their official website at https://transcanadahighwaymen.ca/. There’s a treasure trove of information waiting for you.

So, buckle up, music aficionados! Join Gregg Tilston and me as we embark on this captivating journey with the one and only Steven Page. It’s a musical ride you won’t soon forget.

This is Episode #286 of the Welcome! podcast.

Morgan Campbell: My Fighting Family

The episode kicks off with host Karim Kanji and returning guest and new author Morgan Campbell discussing the parallels between the publishing and boxing industries, highlighting the similarities between writers and boxers, editors and trainers, and agents and managers. They emphasize the importance of active promotion in both fields, drawing insightful comparisons between book promotion and the marketing efforts involved in selling pay-per-view boxing events.

The episode then touches on the intricacies of writing a book about family, with Campbell highlighting the complexities of family dynamics and the need to write from his own perspective. They also reflect on their experiences with education, sharing memories of the lack of natural light in their school and the impact of technology on learning.

morgan campbell and karim kanji
morgan campbell and karim kanji with the book my fighting family

Campbell passionately addresses the issue of Black America’s culture being underappreciated and appropriated, emphasizing the lack of authentic love and compensation for their contributions.

The meeting concludes with a discussion about a poignant passage from Campbell’s book, “My Fighting Family Borders and Bloodlines and the Battles That Made Us,” where Campbell vividly describes a pivotal moment in a high school football game. They also share their thoughts on the upcoming Super Bowl, with Campbell expressing his confidence in the Kansas City Chiefs’ ability to outperform the San Francisco 49ers.

Buy the book: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.ca/books/669827/my-fighting-family-by-morgan-campbell/9780771050190 

This is Episode #285 of the Welcome! podcast.

Review: Road To Peace – Karim Awad on Israel and Palestine

More than 2 years ago Israel and Palestine attacks on each other prompted me to have a chat with Karim Awad.

Karim Awad’s ancestral roots trace back to the historic region of Palestine, prior to the establishment of the modern state of Israel. In our engaging conversation, Karim provided glimpse into his family’s history in the complex landscape of Israel and Palestine.

As the discussion unfolded, we embarked on a journey through the numerous occasions when Karim ventured back to his homeland, visiting the culturally rich city of Jerusalem, the resilient West Bank, and the challenging terrain of Gaza. His personal experiences shed light on the deep emotional connections that many individuals of Palestinian descent maintain with their homeland.

Delving into the heart of the ongoing conflict between Palestine and Israel, we strove to gain a holistic perspective by examining the motivations of both sides. This allowed us to better comprehend the multifaceted issues at play, recognizing that there are genuine concerns and aspirations on all fronts.

Towards the conclusion of our conversation, Karim shared his insights on what a potential path to peace may look like in the future. His thoughtful reflections offered hope and vision for a harmonious resolution to a long-standing conflict, leaving us with a sense of optimism in a quest for a brighter future.

This is Episode #284 of the Welcome! podcast.