Category Archives: Podcast

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Episode 123: Graham Isador

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pressgangtheatreGraham Isador is a writer, journalist, performer, storyteller and Artistic Director of Pressgang Theatre.

Starting as a music journalist in his teens, Graham soon moved into theatre. He found the perfect intersection of his talents and desire to perform in the storytelling scene. Graham started the storytelling event Love and Smut a few years ago, which is now being produced under the Pressgang Theatre banner. In addition to Pressgang Theatre, Graham has written for Now Magazine, Scene Point Blank and Vice. Paul was excited to sit down with Graham and talk about all things storytelling.

Don’t miss his next event on Tuesday, April 28th, 2015, 7:30pm at Handlebar, Kensington Market in downtown Toronto. Pressgang Storytelling Presents: Fights. Facebook event page.

Follow Graham and see what’s next at Pressgang:

Pressgang Theatre on Facebook.

Twitter: @presgang.


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Episode 122: Cecil Bleiker

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Pj wanted to snag Cecil Bleiker for a podcast because he is one of those ‘behind the scenes’ sports people that have the best stories.

Cecil got his start at Texas A & M University, where he graduated with a degree in kinesiology, specializing in sports management. His university experience has led to a long and successful career in numerous national sport governing bodies as well as the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).

He has worked at 17 multi-sport Games, including 8 Olympic Games in various capacities, including, press attaché for the USOC. He has a passion for sport and for ‘getting it right’ which precipitated the launch of his ABC Sport Management, LLC in 2008, where Cecil is founder and president. ABC Sport Management is dedicated to athlete representation, event management and strategically integrated public relations support and consultation to sports organizations.

Cecil now finds himself in Toronto as the Director of Press Operations for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games.

If you have wondered about the people who seem to be accompanying the athletes at events like the Olympic Games and just what you have to do in those different roles, then this podcast is for you.

Follow Cecil on Twitter @CecilBleiker.


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Episode 121: Joseph Kargi

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Joseph Kargi is a 23 year old singer/songwriter that uses his powerful and soulful voice and incredible talent on piano as a backdrop for the stories of his triumphs and personal afflictions. He is charming and charismatic on stage, talking with his audience as though it was made up of his close friends, and then taking the audience into his confidence with songs straight from the heart.

Classically trained as a pianist and vocalist from the age of 6, Joseph is a breath of fresh air in an auto-tuned world. In August 2011, he released his debut self-titled EP. Over 200 people were in attendance for the launch of his EP, selling out the first 300 physical copies in the first week. To date, his EP has sold over 1000 physical copies in addition to online downloads and has continued to sell out every event that has been organized by his management team.

His live shows and recordings demonstrate a youthful, yet perceptive outlook on life that is inspired by the relationships he has with his family and friends throughout all their highs and lows. Look for his upcoming album coming in the summer of 2015.

Paul met Joseph at mutual friend and past podcast guest Arlene Paculan’s Wonderfest, an event bringing together comedians, storytellers, musicians and visual artists. As soon as Paul heard Joseph play, he knew he wanted to sit down with him for an interview. This is a fascinating conversation with an incredibly creative mind.

Check out Joseph’s music:

Reverbnation.

Amazon.

iTunes.

Follow Joseph online:

Facebook.

Twitter.

YouTube.

If you are in the Toronto area, Joseph will be performing a full retrospective of all his music at Habits Gastropub on Saturday, April 25th.


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Episode 120: Stories We Don’t Tell

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This episode features another instalment of the Stories We Don’t Tell monthly event. Recorded live in March, the event included personal stories from Stefan Hostetter, Paul Dore, Tyler Blacquiere and Brianne Benness.

Stories We Don’t Tell originated from Let’s Get Personal, a writing group started by Brianne Benness. Every two weeks we shared (and continue to share) personal stories about our lives and after establishing a positive environment, we wondered if this could be brought to an audience. For some behind-the-scenes information about the event, check out Episode 96. This was the first instalment of Stories We Don’t tell on the podcast and included interviews with the storytellers.

The stories covered a lot of ground, including exploring family history, grief, relationships and personal experiences. This episode once again brings you right into the event. Stay tuned for more from the Stories We Don’t Tell in the future.

If you would like to learn more about Stories We Don’t Tell and other projects, such as Misplaced Metrics and the writing group Let’s Get Personal, visit the website: thereapers.org.

The next Stories We Don’t Tell is happening on Saturday, April 11th, 2015. To keep up to date with the event, please visit and like the Stories We Don’t Tell Facebook page.

Previous Stories We Don’t Tell episodes:

Episode 96: includes behind-the-scenes interviews.

Episode 101: Stories We Don’t Tell, After Jameson.

Episode 107: Stories We Don’t Tell, When Things End.

Episode 111: Stories We Don’t Tell, Origin Day.

Episode 115: Stories We Don’t Tell, To Be Determined.


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Episode 119: Kurt Browning & Geoffrey Tyler

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When Pj first heard from friend and colleague Kurt Browning that he and Geoffrey Tyler were going to be taking on their biggest creative challenge yet, she was intrigued.

Upon further investigation, she found out that the project they would be working on is everybody’s favourite skating show: Stars on Ice.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Stars on Ice. That could only mean one thing: PODCAST!

Pj was thrilled when the guys agreed to lock themselves in a room with her to talk about the creative process involved in the execution of this show. From talking about their unique experiences in performance to the goals for this very special anniversary show, it makes for a very compelling conversation.

Both men have unique perspectives that they bring to the table. In this podcast, Pj, Kurt and Geoffrey didn’t only talk about what goes on in the skating part of a show, they also touched on what skating means to them and why this show is so important. Well worth the listen.

If you want information about the show – visit: www.starsonice.ca.

For tickets click HERE.

If you want to hear the Open Kwong Door Podcasts episodes with each of them, they are located here:

Episode 2: Kurt Browning, Part One.

Episode 3: Kurt Browning, Part Two.

Episode 32: Geoffrey Tyler.


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Episode 118: Debbi Wilkes

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Pj had set her sights on a podcast with Debbi Wilkes a long time ago, and the fact that this is coming at the start of the figure skating World championships is somehow apropos. As a leading voice in the figure skating community, Debbi’s perspective is from a number of different angles. First and foremost as a figure skating champion. Debbi, along with her partner, the late Guy Revell, won silver medals at the Olympic Winter Games and bronze at the World championships in 1964.

From skating, she went to school and eventually launched a very successful career as a broadcaster and author with several books to her credit and an induction into the Canadian Figure Skating Hall of Fame.

In this lively conversation, Debbi and Pj move from the business of skating to the importance of planning what comes next.

Proud mom, grandmother, wife, friend, writer, business woman and former skater. This podcast offers something for everyone.


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Episode 117: Gilad Cohen

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Gilad Cohen first became connected to human rights issues when he traveled to North Korea in 2008. Although he didn’t witness human rights abuses firsthand, the trip inspired him to learn more about the country. What he learned horrified him. Since then, Gilad has been actively involved in the human rights scene while volunteering with numerous NGOs in Toronto, Korea, Kenya and several parts of Latin America. Feeling the need to raise more awareness in his community, Gilad teamed up with others and launched the The Human Rights Film Festival in 2012. Gilad has been invited to speak on human rights abuses at Universities, Colleges and High Schools as well as media platforms including Radio Free Asia, Voice of America, the CBC and Al Jazeera America. In 2012, Gilad spoke at the 19th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. Gilad graduated with a post-graduate certificate in International Development.

Jayu’s Human Rights Film Festival exists to provide a platform for those connected to human rights issues to have a voice and share their stories. Whether it’s an individual who has suffered human rights abuses or an artist that is connected to the issue, they want to become the leading interlocutor between the issue and the audience. They are doing this to redefine the dialogue about human rights with a focus on the people’s voices, through art. Jayu’s 3rd Annual Human Rights Film Festival took place at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in downtown Toronto on December 5-7, 2014.

Jayu is growing bigger than the film festival itself and they continue to offer new and exciting programs including: Jayu Speaks and the #StreeetPhotographyProject.

The #StreetPhotographyProject is a collaboration between Jayu, Community Story Strategies, six Toronto-based photographers and the at-risk and homeless population at Horizons for Youth, a youth shelter in Toronto. The project will start in Spring 2015 with a workshop held each week by a different photographer focusing on a different element of mobile street photography. At the end of each workshop, the youth participants will have the opportunity to go on a photowalk with the photographer where they will practice and begin to hone their photography skills.  In the next phase of the project, we will team-up with Community Story Strategies and work with each youth to help the participants make and share personal stories that send a powerful message. The project will culminate when the best photos are selected and displayed for several weeks in multiple art galleries across the city in Spring 2015 (dates and locations to be announced). 100% of the proceeds from each photo sale will go directly back to the youth who took the photo.

Paul and Gilad are members at the Centre for Social Innovation. Coming from a film background, Paul was fascinated to talk with Gilad about how the Jayu festival started and finding out more about his background as a human rights activist. Learn more about Gilad and other Jayu initiatives:

Website: http://www.jayu.ca

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jayufestival

Twitter: @JayuCanada

Instagram: https://instagram.com/cohengilad


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Episode 116: Sally Rehorick

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Sally Rehorick is a busy person. The trick to catching her for an interview is being in the same place at the same time.

Sally has spent much of her career as a university educator and researcher in the area of second language acquisition, educational models for learning languages, program evaluation, policy development and adult education. Her qualifications include degrees from Harvard University, the Université de Grenoble and the University of Alberta. She has been the lead researcher and director for several large-scale national and international projects in the area of official languages in education. She was the Director of the Second Language Research Institute of Canada and Professor of Second Language Education at the University of New Brunswick and has taught French at Harvard University, the University of New Brunswick, the University of Alberta and the University of Victoria, and English at Miyazaki International College (Japan). She was Editor of the Canadian Modern Language Review and of Comparative Culture (Journal of Miyazaki International College, Japan).

Sally’s experience includes acting as a world and Olympic level judge, referee and technical controller for figure skating. She has also had numerous leadership roles in high performance sport, including as Chef de mission for Canada at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, as member of the Officials Assessment Commission for the International Skating Union (Olympic Winter Games 2006) and as Director of International Client Services and Official Languages (Translation Services) at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. She is Director on the Board of Skate Canada and has served on the Boards of Directors of Special Olympics Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee. She is a member of the Vancouver Advisory Group for the University of Alberta, advisor for the Crimson Compass Program at Harvard University and member of the International Women’s Forum.

Skating was the initial connection for Pj and Sally. They first met through Pj’s mother Grace Elliott, who was national level skating judge. Their love of words would be another link in the chain that connects them. In this podcast, there is something for the skating and language fans alike as it takes a fascinating journey from language acquisition to the challenges of being an official in today’s skating world. Pj says: don’t miss it.


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Episode 115: Stories We Don’t Tell

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This episode features another instalment of the Stories We Don’t Tell monthly event. Recorded live in February, the event included personal stories from Wafa Ktaech, David Hostetter, Jeanette Stock, Daryn Caister and Stefan Hostetter.

Stories We Don’t Tell originated from Let’s Get Personal, a writing group started by Brianne Benness. Every two weeks we share personal stories about our lives. After establishing a positive environment, we wondered if this could be brought to an audience. After attending many storytelling events around the city, we decided to start our own. For some behind-the-scenes information about the event, check out Episode 96. This was the first instalment of Stories We Don’t tell on the podcast and included interviews with the storytellers.

The stories covered a lot of ground, including exploring family history, grief, gender identity, understanding the past and personal experiences. This episode once again brings you right into the event. Stay tuned for more from the Stories We Don’t Tell in the future.

If you would like to learn more about Stories We Don’t Tell and other projects, such as Misplaced Metrics and the writing group Let’s Get Personal, visit the website: thereapers.org.

The next Stories We Don’t Tell is happening on Saturday, March 7th, 2015. To keep up to date with the event, please visit and like the Stories We Don’t Tell Facebook page.

Previous Stories We Don’t Tell episodes:

Episode 96: includes behind-the-scenes interviews.

Episode 101: Stories We Don’t Tell, After Jameson.

Episode 107: Stories We Don’t Tell, When Things End.

Episode 111: Stories We Don’t Tell, Origin Day.


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Episode 114: Murray Anderson

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When you look around at any sporting event, school function or community activity, what you may notice first are the hustling and bustling adults making it all happen. For figure skating, the sport would not be able to function without them.

Pj calls these people the sport’s unsung heroes and her podcast this week focuses on the efforts of one of them: Murray Anderson.

Murray and Pj first met over 20 years ago at a skating event where Pj was announcing and Murray was one of the men playing the music at rink side. Along the way they have had the opportunity to work together at local, international, World and Olympic figure skating events. Whether paid or not, Murray’s expertise is in demand as a person who is well-known for solving music and sound problems from the boards. He got his start as a kid playing music in the local skating club, has made his mark in all kinds of other live shows like Butchart Gardens and has been to 2 Olympic Games.

For the skaters, these backstage heroes mean that the athletes don’t have to worry that the music won’t play. The selfless  contributions of the music people, announcers, coaches, data specialists, ice captains, hospitality, etc,…are immeasurable. For anyone who has ever had a kid involved in something somewhere – we owe these people our thanks.

One of Pj’s favourites in the ‘skating family’, Murray makes his home in Victoria, BC along with his wife Gwyneth and 2 cats.


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Episode 113: Elke Hinson

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The cool thing about doing a podcast is you get the chance to meet and talk to all kinds of people.

Elke Hinson is one of those interesting people – by day, she is a successful travel agent helping clients plan adventures all over the world. Every so often she takes adventure into her own hands though and performs as a burlesque artist in Toronto’s very active scene.

She first started performing about 10 years ago and is now very involved not only as a solo performer but as part of a burlesque group known as The Harlettes. Elke produces shows, does choreography and has even taken part in international burlesque events.

The Burlesque Oscars are coming up on February 22, 2015. To get more information and buy tickets, visit this LINK.

For the rest of Elke’s social media info, connect with her or The Harlettes here:

Instagram: @mariawanna

Maria Juana on Facebook.

The Harlettes on Facebook group.

In the normal course of everyday life, Pj wouldn’t have connected with this extraordinarily warm and articulate woman and to have the chance to get a peek into her world.


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Episode 112: Shawn Sawyer

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On or off the ice; Shawn Sawyer is enormously creative.

Pj and Shawn know each other through skating and it was a no-brainer to see if he would be willing to do a podcast while they were both working at a show in Peterborough in January 2015.

Pj remembered talking to Shawn about his career on the ice and his work as an artist for a YouTube interview (watch the interview at this link). He paints with red wine and coffee and the images are stunning.

Talking to Shawn about his life, you get the sense that this is a man of contradictions. Enormously gifted as a student, he pursued the sciences and art was a hobby. It is no surprise to anyone who knows him that art eventually won out and he has been working steadily and experimenting in his home studio.

Why coffee and red wine? Pj was charmed by Shawn’s answer when he basically said that these two beverages book-end a person’s day. You start the day with coffee to get going and finish the day with red wine to unwind.

His artistry on the ice cannot be minimized. Shawn is very much in demand as a show skater and before that, he was a perennial crowd favourite on the competitive scene, collecting novice and junior titles and 4 senior national medals along the way (including a silver medal at the Skate America Grand Prix event in 2009).

If you want to know more about Shawn – follow him on Twitter @SawyerMadHatter or find him on Facebook.


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Episode 111: Stories We Don’t Tell

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This episode features another instalment of the Stories We Don’t Tell monthly event. Recorded live in January, the event included personal stories from Brianne Benness, Erin Kang, Tyler Blacquiere, Stefan Hostetter, Zoe Simpson and Paul Dore.

Stories We Don’t Tell originated from Let’s Get Personal, a writing group started by Brianne. Every two weeks we share personal stories about our lives. After establishing a positive environment, we wondered if this could be brought to an audience. After attending many storytelling events around the city, we decided to start our own. For some behind-the-scenes information about the event, check out Episode 96. This was the first instalment of Stories We Don’t tell on the podcast and included interviews with the storytellers.

The stories covered a lot of ground, including exploring family history, understanding the past and personal experiences. This episode once again brings you right into the event. Stay tuned for more from the Stories We Don’t Tell in the future.

If you would like to learn more about Stories We Don’t Tell and other projects, such as Misplaced Metrics and the writing group Let’s Get Personal, visit the website: thereapers.org.

The next Stories We Don’t Tell is happening on Saturday, February 7th. To keep up to date with the event, please visit and like the Stories We Don’t Tell Facebook page.

Previous Stories We Don’t Tell episodes:

Episode 96: includes behind-the-scenes interviews.

Episode 101: Stories We Don’t Tell, After Jameson.

Episode 107: Stories We Don’t Tell, When Things End.


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Episode 110: Paul Dore

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Paul, the co-producer and co-host of the Open Kwong Dore Podcast, will be releasing his debut novel The Walking Man on February 2nd, 2015. Pj wanted to turn the tables on Paul and interview him about how this book came about, his writing process and his unique plans on his performance-based book launch.

The Walking Man begins in the deserts of Jordan and explores a year in the life of the main character – someone very similar to the author – and his attempts to make sense of a tumultuous year. Based on many of the author’s own experiences, The Walking Man mixes reality and fiction in a tale of heartbreak, friendship and personal history that uses walking to thread it all together.

For more information on the book, visit pauldore.com. To purchase the book, visit amazon.ca.


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Episode 109: Eric Radford

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If you’re a skating fan – you will undoubtedly know Eric Radford, who, along with partner Meagan Duhamel, holds three national pair titles, two world bronze medals, a Four Continents title and a Grand Prix Final title.

There is depth to Eric’s creativity that extends way past the boards. Among many other things, he is a composer who created music for one of his Olympic programs a year ago. The selection is called Tribute and is dedicated to the memory of coach Paul Wirtz who died of cancer at age 47. Eric connected with the Canadian Cancer Society and is continuing to donate some of the proceeds of the sale of his original composition to benefit cancer.

Pj wanted to talk to Eric about his creative process, his life as a skater and about recently coming out on Outsports.com. As Eric said to me, he would like to be known as Eric. Just Eric. That being gay isn’t really anyone’s business but being able to encourage people with his story who are struggling with something is important. His decision to come out was inspired by the Canadian Olympic Committee’s announcement of their #OneTeam Athlete Ambassador initiative to promote inclusion of athletes within the LGBTQ community.

This conversation took place in a quiet corner backstage when Pj and Eric were both in the same show in Peterborough. With a laugh, Pj says that they didn’t have quite enough time to get it done before sound check. The joys of live events!

Pj’s conversation with Eric runs the gamut from childhood to music to skating to coming out. Eric’s candour, ability to understand the ‘big picture’,  vulnerability and sensitivity make him a compelling subject.

If you want more information about Eric Radford, he can be found on Twitter @RAD85E and the team’s Facebook page.


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Episode 108: Dr. Michael Zitney

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If you have ever had a headache, try imagining a headache that goes on for days, weeks, months or years. As a migraine sufferer, Pj was interested in speaking with Toronto-are pain specialist Dr. Michael Zitney about the myths and treatments surrounding chronic pain. Dr. Zitney is the director of the Headache and Pain Relief Centre and has devoted the last 15+ years to the treatment and management of chronic pain.

One of the most interesting things about this particular podcast is the de-bunking of the top 5 myths surrounding chronic pain. Dr. Zitney sees things this way:

MYTHS:

5. Chronic headaches are caused by the weather. Yes, we know barometric pressure changes can trigger headaches, but for daily or almost daily headaches, there are always more important triggers (that you CAN do something about). Check the neck, jaw joints and muscles, sleep patterns, diet, caffeine use, etc.

4. Back Pain needs surgery. Only cases that have primarily one-sided leg pain and weakness that haven’t responded to a good course of physical therapy are even considered for surgery. Most back pain by far represents an uncoordinated, inefficient pattern of back muscle firing and responds to a good physical therapy and exercise program.

3. If you can get it over the counter, it must be safe (even in large amounts!). Over the counter pain killers are fine for occasional headache and pain. If you find yourself taking pain killers more often than 10 days each month, you run the risk of triggering even more headaches (called “rebound headaches”), pushing you into a vicious cycle of increasing headache and painkiller use. Also, follow directions. Taking too many pain killers can be dangerous, even if they are non-prescription.

2. MRI shows our pain. MRI, CT scans, and X-rays are just pictures at a moment in time. They may or may not show damage but that is not the same as pain. As many as 60% of us walk around with positive findings on imaging studies but have no pain! Conversely, when someone has back pain for example, much (maybe even most) of the pain is coming from surrounding soft tissue irritation that doesn’t even show up on the test. Doctors should treat patients, not lab results.

1. Opioid (narcotic) pain killers are the best treatment for chronic pain. When pain happens most or all of the time i.e. is chronic, there is always something wrong with our pain processing system and more importantly, our natural pain relief (endorphin) system. The best treatment for chronic pain is to improve our brain’s ability to fight the causes of pain on its own. Only when this proves impossible should we resort to treating ongoing pain with a daily dose of painkillers.

Dr. Zitney can be found on Twitter @mztorontopainmd.

Visit the website for the Headache and Pain Relief Centre: www.headachepainreliefcentre.ca.

If it’s massage or physio or osteopathic or acupuncture or naturopathic treatment or general assessment for pain, patients can just come and get what they need in one place. If you have ever wondered about chronic pain, why it happens and what people can do about it, this podcast is for you.


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Episode 107: Stories We Don’t Tell

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This episode features another instalment of the Stories We Don’t Tell monthly event. Recorded live in November, the event included personal stories from Stefan Hostetter, Paul Dore, Brianne Benness, Will Mattfeld-Sarbaugh and Wafa Ktaech.

Stories We Don’t Tell originated from Let’s Get Personal, a writing group started by Brianne. Every two weeks we share personal stories about our lives. After establishing a positive environment, we wondered if this could be brought to an audience. After attending many storytelling events around the city, we decided to start our own. For some behind-the-scenes information about the event, check out Episode 96. This was the first instalment of Stories We Don’t tell on the podcast and included interviews with the storytellers.

The stories covered a lot of ground, including exploring family history, understanding the past and personal experiences. This episode once again brings you right into the event. Stay tuned for more from the Stories We Don’t Tell in the future.

If you would like to learn more about Stories We Don’t Tell and other projects, such as Misplaced Metrics and Datagasm: A Totally Relatable Quiz Show, visit the website: thereapers.org. The next Stories We Don’t Tell is happening on Saturday, January 10th. To keep up to date with the event, please visit and like the Stories We Don’t Tell Facebook page.

Previous Stories We Don’t Tell episodes:

Episode 96: includes behind-the-scenes interviews.

Episode 101: Stories We Don’t Tell, After Jameson.


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Episode 106: Karen Sebesta

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The TV business is filled with unsung heroes who are literally staying up day and night to make sure that your favourite shows make it to air. This is especially true of people like Karen Sebesta, who works in the world of live sports television. Karen is a senior producer for CBC Sports and someone who moves at the speed of light. Pj wanted to interview her to try and get a sense of what it is like to be working in television at a time when how information is delivered to the average person is changing almost by the minute.

Karen Sebesta is a graduate of the Radio and Television Arts program at Ryerson University where she now teaches, in addition to her CBC duties. She is a wife and a mom to two sons, and a self-proclaimed ‘plate spinner’ – someone able to manage a multitude of tasks simultaneously. Pj thinks that as much as anything, being able to adapt and react is key to producing television in today’s world. Karen’s career has been built on balancing the needs of the sport and the wants of the viewer.

In this informative and candid interview, we see the world of TV, the challenges of being a working wife and mom and just how far the  passion to ‘get it right’ can take you in your professional life. This podcast offers food for thought for anyone considering a career in TV or those who have ever wondered how it’s made.

If you want more, be sure to follow Karen on Twitter: @KarenSebesta.


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Episode 105: Ghost Stories Told Live

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We’re always up to something new on the podcast. Last week’s episode featured True Stories Told Live curator Marsha Shandur and Paul mentioned that he told a story at one of her events. While recording the introductions for Marsha’s episode, Pj floated the idea of Paul recording this story and sharing it on the podcast.

Paul performed his story back in October at Marsha’s event, Ghost Stories Told Live. It was an amazing night of storytelling and even included another guest from the podcast, Sage Tyrtle. Paul felt it was such a privilege to be a part of Ghost Stories Told Live and here at the podcast, we decided to put together this quick episode with the usual introductions and then a recording of the story.

This is a short episode, but one we think you’ll enjoy alongside Marsha’s interview from last week. Read about Paul’s experiences from Ghost Stories Told Live on his blog.


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Episode 104: Marsha Shandur

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Marsha Shandur is the curator, organizer and host of True Stories Told Live Toronto, and a personal networking mentor and entrepreneur.

True Stories Told Live is a simple idea. A bunch of people having a drink in a back room in West Toronto, listening to other people telling true stories. It’s not comedy, though it’s allowed to be funny. It’s not educational, but you might learn something. It’s not musical, but, each time, there is included a story-telling musician. The only rules are that the story must be: true, about the storyteller, told without notes and no longer than 10 minutes long. Marsha truly believes that everybody has one great story inside them. At every True Stories Told Live show, there is at least one person who has either never been on stage before, or never been on stage telling a true story about themselves.

Besides curating True Stories Told Live, Marsha shows entrepreneurs, freelancers, coaches and other people who think that they hate networking (and are bad at it), how to really enjoy it (and be effortlessly good at it), so that they can get on with being paid to do the stuff they are great at and really love.

Paul had the privilege of participating in a special version of True Stories – Ghost Stories Told Live – and really enjoyed the process of working with Marsha.

If you think you’d like to tell a story – even if you’ve never done anything like this before – Marsha would love to hear from you. Find information below on how to get in touch with her.

True Stories Told Live

Website

Facebook

Yes Yes Marsha

Website

Twitter: @YesYesMarsha

Facebook


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Episode 103: Rufus Glassco

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Rufus Glassco has been a drum circle facilitator and teaching hand drumming since 2003. As the Director of Rhythm Kingdom, he brings drumming into schools, community centres, churches, temples, hospitals and many other places.

Rufus is a part of the Royal Conservatory of Music’s revolutionary Learning Through the Arts Program. He is also a HealthRhythms facilitator, a drum company that has led the way in cutting-edge research into the healing power of rhythm and group hand drumming.

In addition, he has had the remarkable opportunity to work with patients recovering from brain injuries at the Toronto Grace Health Centre, Wellspring’s Cancer Support Centres, people living with HIV and AIDS, youth recovering from mental illness and elder adults with dementia and Alzheimer Disease.

To learn more about Rufus and workshops he offers through Rhythm Kingdom, visit his website rhythmkingdom.com. Included in this episode is a song by Rufus called Kashaka Convert.


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Episode 102: Brian G. Smith

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Brian G. Smith is a producer, writer, filmmaker, performer and teacher specializing in comedy. An award-winning alumni of The Second City, Brian has created television, theatre and multi-media in Canada and the Caribbean.

In addition to being Creative Director of the multi-media company You and Media, Brian started the Annex Improv. With these improv classes, he focuses his Second City experience on students looking to establish wider applications of the art form to foster better relationships, help creative writing and promote personal and professional growth. The Annex Improv workshops focuses less on improv ‘games’ and more on honest interaction between players to create scenes.

Brian’s deadpan comedic delivery has delighted audiences and students a like for years. For more information on his improv classes, visit anneximprov.com. Check out Brian’s multi-media work at youandmedia.com.


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Episode 101: The Stories We Don’t Tell

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This episode features another instalment of stories from the Stories We Don’t Tell monthly event. Recorded live in October, the event included personal stories from Stefan Hostetter, Tara Pearson, Brianne Benness, Erin Kang and Zoe Simpson.

Stories We Don’t Tell originated from Let’s Get Personal, a writing group started by Brianne. Every two weeks we share personal stories about our lives. After establishing a positive environment, we wondered if this could be brought to an audience. After attending many storytelling events around the city, we decided to start our own. For some behind-the-scenes information about the event, check out Episode 96. This was the first instalment of Stories We Don’t tell on the podcast and includes interviews with the storytellers where they explain how the event came about.

The stories cover a lot of ground, including exploring family history, understanding the past and personal experiences. This episode brings you right into the event and stay tuned for more from the Stories We Don’t Tell in the future.

If you would like to learn more about Stories We Don’t Tell and other projects, such as Misplaced Metrics and Datagasm: A Totally Relatable Quiz Show, visit the website: thereapers.org.

Follow the storytellers on Twitter:

Stefan Hostetter: @Steho_

Tara Pearson: @TaraMarina

Brianne Benness: @bennessb

Erin Kang: @e_kangster

Zoe Simpson: @ZoJSimpson


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Episode 100

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The Open Kwong Dore Podcast is celebrating the amazing milestone of 100 episodes!

Pj and Paul started this podcast because they were interested and curious in what people do and why they do it. 100 interviews later, they’re so happy to have sat down with each and every guest and provide a place for them to share their stories. And what stories they have been!

For this very special episode, Pj and Paul each chose three interviews that resonated and connected to something happening in their own lives. This is by no means a ‘greatest hits retrospective’, as we have valued each of our guests equally. The episodes takes a short section from each of the ‘picks’ and introduces each person between segments. You have to listen to find out which six interviews were chosen!

Paul and Pj cannot thank their guests and listeners enough. This podcast has been such a revelatory experience for the hosts and they appreciate all the support  for the first 100 episodes. Here’s to another 100 episodes and more after that!

In this moment of retrospection, Paul and Pj encourage you to check out our Episode Guide to listen to our full archive.


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Episode 99: Sage Tyrtle

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Sage Tyrtle is a Toronto-based storyteller who is performing her one person show, Boxes Buried Deep, from November 14 – 16, 2014. She shares true stories based on her rich well of experience – including living in a tent for two years, her lesbian schizophrenic mother and almost killing people with her evil mind control. Through it all, she casts a spell over her audiences, whether they are in school, corporate settings or at the many storytelling events around the city.

As Sage says, “It’s because I trust you that I share these mortifying moments with you.” She is completely open and authentic to her audiences and explores both the humorous and serious side of her experiences. Her audiences step inside her life for fifteen minutes at a time, and sometimes their stomachs hurt from laughing. And sometimes they have to go re-do their makeup because they were crying so hard. They forget they’re in a public place.

Sage tells stories all over Toronto, including Raconteurs, Tales Of and True Stories Told Live. She’s participated in the FOOL Festival, the Toronto Storytelling Festival and has had stories featured on NPR’s Snap Judgment and CBC’s Outfront.

Paul was excited to have Sage on the show to talk about her process and how she found her voice as a storyteller. Included at the beginning of this episode is Sage telling a story, and you can hear why The Toronto Star has said, “When Sage talks, people don’t just listen, they hang on her every word.” For more information on Sage and Boxes Buried Deep, click on the links below.

Website: tyrtle.com

Twitter: @sagetyrtle

Facebook: StorytellerSageTyrtle


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Episode 98: Craig Buntin

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Many skating fans will remember the smiling face from this photograph as Craig Buntin, a three-time Canadian national pair champion. To say that Pj has known Craig a long time is an understatement as they first met when he was still competing as Junior.

Pj wanted to interview Craig because she sees him as a serial entrepreneur. Craig started a coffee company not long after the 2006 Torino Olympics in an effort to discover what would come next in his life. As a business owner, he thought that if he was going to run a business, he needed to learn more about business, which led him to completing his MBA at McGill University in Montreal.

With his business education under his belt, he got the chance to sell his coffee company and figure out what would come next.

Enter Veriskate. This software forms the foundation of a new venture for Craig. Veriskate allows users to determine the qualities like speed in the entry and exit edges of jumps, height of a jump, how many revolutions per second in a spin and so on. Pj thinks it might be a game changer because it could take some of the mystery out of the quality of elements for everyone involved in figure skating: the skaters, the judges, the commentators, the fans and the coaches.

From a McGill information page: “Craig’s most recent project is VeriSkate, a software app that is used to analyze the movements of figure skaters: how high they jump or throw, the distance the move travels, the speed at which it travels, the flow, the ice coverage.”

If nothing else, this is a fascinating conversation that glides effortlessly through all of Craig’s life phases; on and off the ice. Look for some cool facts about some of the world’s best known skaters (Hint: He is Canadian and is taking a year off from skating and won 2 Silver Olympic medals in Sochi).

If you want more information about VeriSkate – you can be in touch via Twitter @veriskate and @CraigBuntin.


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Episode 97: Dr. Kristin Varik

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When Pj got the chance to interview chiropractor Dr. Kristin Varik, she jumped at it.

Chiropractic care has long been a regular component of many people’s health which makes it an interesting subject on its own. What makes Dr. Varik’s treatment different is that many of her patients are of the four-legged variety; namely horses and dogs.

Pj’s late uncle was a large animal vet and she’s sure that he would have been among the many eye rollers in the veterinary community as this practice of chiropractic care for horses started to take off.  What has changed though is the notion that if it can help people feel better then why not horses and dogs?

Truth be told, when Kristin went for the additional training and subsequent certification, her class was equal parts chiropractors and veterinarians. Pj loves how the world moves forward and how we are open to new ideas.

If there is a four-legged friend in your life, this podcast is for you.

If you want more information about Dr. Kristin Varik, check out her website: www.drvarik.com.


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Episode 96: The Stories We Don’t Tell

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We’re always up to something different on the podcast! This episode features five storytellers recorded live from the very first Stories We Don’t Tell event. Held in Toronto, the event included personal stories from Stefan Hostetter, Erin Kang, Jeanette Stock, Brianne Benness and the co-host of this podcast Paul Dore.

Stories We Don’t Tell originated from Let’s Get Personal, a writing group started by Brianne. Every two weeks we would share personal stories about our lives. After establishing a positive environment, we wondered if this could be brought to an audience. After attending many storytelling events around the city, we decided to start our own event. At the end of last month, over forty people congregated at Stefan’s apartment and we told our stories.

The stories cover a lot of ground, including exploring family history, explaining our passions, personal experiences and reasoning with inanimate objects. This episode brings you right into the event and also includes some behind-the-scenes interviews with the storytellers.

If you would like to learn more about Stories We Don’t Tell and other projects, such as Misplaced Metrics, visit our website: thereapers.org.

Follow the storytellers on Twitter:

Stefan Hostetter: @Steho_

Erin Kang: @e_kangster

Jeanette Stock: @JeanetteStock

Brianne Benness: @bennessb

Paul Dore: @jeffreypauldore


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Episode 95: Carolyn Van

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Carolyn Van is a very accomplished woman and is immersed in the world of startups, education, design, technology, leadership, digital communications, innovation and developing strong communities. She is a consultant in many areas including leadership advisory, where she has successfully educated and advised CEOs, senior level managers, software developers, recruiters, sales people and marketers. She also works in marketing strategy and execution, business strategy and operations, internal growth and professional development. Carolyn has also appeared on television for technology segments.

In March of this year, Carolyn’s life was turned upside down when she was diagnosed with Lymphoma cancer. She decided to write about her journey to help with the process she is going through.

Paul first heard Carolyn give a talk at an event called Follow Your Fear and was inspired by her story. This interview has a range of emotions, as Carolyn has an upbeat personality and a very contagious laugh, but at the same time, she is not afraid to talk about the struggles she has overcome.

Personal Website: cvkickingcancersass.com

Business Website: www.carolynvan.com

Twitter: @CarolynVan


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Episode 94: Peter Llewellyn

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‘the art or practice of taking and processing photographs.’

That definition of photography doesn’t begin to touch the magic that is created when talent and lens converge.

Pj has wanted to talk to a photographer for a long time. In her mind there is nothing that captures the imagination more than a photograph. Whether the image captures the heart of a story as it does so often in sport, or captures a moment for the viewer in which they can imagine a story for themselves, a picture truly can be worth a thousand words.

Peter Llewellyn has a rare talent for stopping time with his lens and creating the most memorable images.

Peter initially worked as a sports photographer for many of the British national newspapers, including the Daily Telegraph and the Times. From the late 1980s, Peter was based in France covering sport throughout Europe including covering many of the world’s top equestrian events with his wife Jean, a sports journalist specializing in horse sports (www.jeanllewellyn.com).

Using the experience from shooting several Olympics, Peter worked for VANOC as Photo Manager at Whistler Olympic Park during the 2010 Vancouver Games. 2011 saw Peter back in the thick of the world of sports photography as Deputy Photo Manager for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London with Bob Martin, formerly of Sports Illustrated. Peter is currently working as the Photo Services Manager for the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto and continues to shoot major sports event for USA Today Sports Pictures.

Peter is available for talks and slide shows to any interested groups in Ontario. Please e-mail with details of your organization.

Peter runs a series of photography workshops covering all aspects of both photography and photographic computer skills. Details of some exciting new workshops will be posted soon. You can also join Peter on one of his Photo Tours, traveling to various locations worldwide with small groups of photographers.

If you are in the Toronto area and want to attend one of his events – he will be at a Vistek-sponsored show on October 15 & 16, 2014. Check out the following website for details: www.profusionexpo.com.

Peter can be reached via his website www.peterllewellyn.com and on Twitter: @PeterLPhotos.


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Episode 93: Jordan Strofolino

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Jordan Strofolino is a Toronto-based comedian who looks at the world through a very unique lens. His comedy ranges from observational humour about current events to outrageous characters to hosting duties at a variety of events. There are no boundaries with Jordan when it comes to making people laugh, even when his parents are sitting in the front row. He enjoys creating new types of comedy shows that introduce audiences to emerging comics and different kinds of performers.

From the first time Paul saw Jordan perform, he wanted to have him as a guest on the podcast. Although Paul was prepared for just about anything, Jordan exceeded all expectations with some very outrageous stories.

Twitter: @Strofolino

Facebook: Jordan Strofolino’s Comedy Circus


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Episode 92: Kelly Okamura

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Kelly Okamura is a design industry consultant and marketer of qualitative global trend services. She has 20+ years of experience in the field that includes marketing, management, fashion journalism, pr/communications.

Since 1993, Kelly has worked with leading international trend and colour forecasting services. As the Canadian marketing agent for ESP TrendLab, New York, Kelly is the liaison between Canadian companies and a global community of elite trend trackers.

A former fashion editor and writer she has contributed to a number of trade related publications, and provides independent fashion and trend direction to her clients. In addition to seasonal presentations to individual companies, she has been a key speaker to national trade associations and lectured at the post secondary level.

Formerly a director with the charity Windfall Clothing Service that provides new clothes to 80 social service agencies in the Greater Toronto Area, Kelly is committed to innovative product development via iterative design processes under the GooderGoods platform.

Paul was excited to speak with Kelly about her fascinating career and the direction she is heading in the future.

For more information, check out Kelly’s website: gooderGoods.ca.


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Episode 91: Geoff Doner

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Geoff is a classically trained pianist, vocalist, drummer, guitar player, keyboard player and player of curious found objects. He is the co-founder of The Bureau of Power and Light, which is an artist collective of diverse creative warriors with a mission to promote self-awareness, death awareness and social responsibly through multi-media projects, events and installations.

MAGT is the first project to emerge from the Bureau of Power and Light. Formed in 2012 by Geoff, Mikela Jay, Andrea Battersby and Troy Jackson, MAGT was born of the need to economize and channel the creative energies of its four founding members into a force for social change. MAGT aims to intentionally participate in pop culture in order to promote the concepts behind the Bureau of Power and Light. They encourage letting one’s imagination run wild, while exploring the infinite possibilities of a meaningful life when one is grounded in compassion and empathy.

Paul found this to be a fascinating conversation that covered everything from music to exploring self-awareness to talking about death. Not to be missed. Included in the episode is the song Overcast Sky, by MAGT.

To learn more about The Bureau of Power and Light, visit the website:

http://www.bureauofpowerandlight.com


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Episode 90: Stephanie Van Veen

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Walking into work for the first day at the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, Pj noticed a familiar face. Stephanie Van Veen is a former junior national level ice dancer who earned a degree in Kinesiology from Western University in London, Ontario. She decided on a Master’s degree from the University of British Columbia in Sports Sociology which she completed focusing on the impact the new ISU judging system has had on gender stereotypes and movement styles in figure skating.

The last time Pj and Stephanie had seen each other was when she was still a teenager, so once Pj heard about the focus of her Master’s thesis, she thought this kind of academic analysis would be interesting not only for the skating fans but for Open Kwong Dore listeners as well.

When she left high school, Stephanie was recruited by the Western track team to run cross-country. As an elite athlete in figure skating and cross-country running, Stephanie brings unique insights to this topic from her experience as an athlete turned academic and researcher.

This interview has as much substance as the style it talks about.


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Episode 89: Stefan Hostetter

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Stefan Hostetter is a graduate of Environmental Studies and Philosophy from the University of Toronto. Stefan co-produces, along with Daryn Caister, the Green Majority radio program on CIUT 89.5 and is the co-founder and executive director of The Green Society Campaign.

The Green Majority started as a radio show on CIUT 89.5 FM back in 2006, and is today still going strong. The radio show (and podcast) is nationally syndicated on more than 18 campus and community stations across the country, reaching more than 50,000 weekly listeners and is Canada’s only environmental news hour on radio. The Green Majority seeks to reintroduce our inherent and inescapable connection with the natural world into our daily discourse so that we might live more sustainable and happy lives.

Stefan is also the co-founder and executive director of The Green Society Campaign, which works to bring environmentalism into mainstream culture and ingrain the tenants of sustainability into the fabric of our society. They envision a world that embraces sustainability as a core value and understands environmental problems as actual threats to human life rather than political issues that can be affirmed or denied. That is a society where environmentalism is not a peripheral moral obligation, but an avenue for interacting more effectively and efficiently with our physical world. Through video projects and blog discussion, they hope to provide tools for thinking seriously about environment and its relation to culture, politics and society today.

Paul sat down with Stefan at the Centre for Social Innovation and talked about radio, environmental issues and The Peoples Climate March happening this September in New York City. To learn more about this special event happening in September, please visit the website: toronto350.org.

For more information on The Green Majority:

Website: greenmajority.ca

Facebook: thegreenmajority

Twitter: @greenmajority

YouTube: youtube.com/user/TheGreenMajority

For more information on The Green Society Campaign:

Website: greensocietycampaign.org

Facebook: GreenSocietyCampaign

Twitter: @GSCampaign

Follow Stefan on Twitter: @Steho_


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Episode 88: Rob Shirkey

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Rob Shirkey is a lawyer from Toronto, Canada. Prior to launching Our Horizon, Rob operated a private practice in downtown Toronto. He also has experience as an Assistant City Solicitor and Prosecutor. Before completing his law degree, Rob studied business, economics, and psychology at the undergraduate level. He graduated with distinction and was the university valedictorian. Rob’s goal in life is simple: when a kid asks him, “What did you do to stop climate change?” he just wants to be able to look that kid in the eye and honestly say he did everything he could.

Rob launched Our Horizon in 2013. Unlike many environmental organizations, Our Horizon does not solely blame industry. Their position is that we each share responsibility for this tragedy; indeed, it is the decisions that we each make on a daily basis that shape our collective reality and make such tragedies possible. When it comes to the big issues like climate change, the uncomfortable truth is that we are all responsible. It is only when we acknowledge our role in this unsustainable system that we will be able to take meaningful steps to create a much more desirable future.

Paul was excited to speak with Rob at the Centre for Social Innovation about Our Horizon, his personal reasons for starting the organization and how to tackle large environmental issues one step at a time.

To learn more about Our Horizon’s initiatives, including the campaign to put warning labels on gas pump nozzles, check out the links below.

Website: ourhorizon.org

Facebook: facebook.com/OurHorizonOrg

Twitter: @OurHorizonOrg

Rob: @robshirkey

For more information on Our Horizon’s change.org petition about putting climate change warning labels on gas pumps, click on this LINK.


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Episode 87: Lindsay Fischer, Part Two

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You didn’t have to ask Pj twice to continue the conversation with ballet world insider Lindsay Fischer.

In this second episode of the Open Kwong Dore podcast featuring Lindsay, he and Pj talk a lot about the influence and impact he is having on younger dancers. They also talk about Lindsay’s current project as the Artistic Director of the National Ballet of Canada’s outreach program called YOU Dance that introduces young people to the world of dance and ballet.

For  more information about Lindsay, the National Ballet of Canada or YOU Dance, please visit the following websites:

Twitter: @nationalballet

Facebook: www.facebook.com/nationalballet

Instagram instagram.com/nationalballet

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/nationalballetcanada


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Episode 86: Lindsay Fischer, Part One

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Paul and Pj thought that there would be unmistakable parallels between the figure skating and ballet worlds but it was going to take the perspective of a ballet insider to bring that out.

Enter Lindsay Fischer.

Lindsay’s remarkable story starts in the United States where attending a performance of Die Fledermaus as a very young boy gave him the notion that he wanted to dance. His talent ultimately led him to the National Ballet School in Toronto where he completed high school and furthered his dance education. Lindsay’s next step was the world of professional dance starting in Portugal and moving on to the Dutch National and New York City ballet companies as a principal dancer.

His next phase professionally was as part of the artistic staff at the National Ballet School where he also developed and managed a program to assist young dancers in making the transition from school to professional dancer. More mentoring and teaching opportunities were in store for Lindsay: he became the Director of the Professional Summer Dance program in Banff in 2008; a program where dancers are nominated by their company to come and participate in an intensive 4 week professional development session followed by a one week session of performances. He has also assumed responsibility as the Artistic Director of the National Ballet’s outreach program called YOU Dance.

We are thrilled to present this podcast as a two-part interview with next week’s conversation focusing a lot of attention on YOU dance and Lindsay’s outstanding record as an inspiration and mentor to young dancers.

If you would like more information about Lindsay Fischer and YOU Dance or you would like to find out how to contribute to this effort – please visit: www.youdancecanada.ca or  www.national.ballet.ca.


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Episode 85: Parapan Am Games

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David Eng, Wheelchair Basketball

With Pj working for the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games and the One Year Countdown fast approaching for the TO2015 Parapan Am Games, she and Paul decided it might be fun to go behind the scenes to see what was going on.

One of the cooler things is the launch of a video that was produced featuring Para athletes including wheelchair basketball’s David Eng.The video is premiering on the www.toronto2015.org website Thursday on August 7th and will also be available here on Open Kwong Dore. You can find it on Twitter where it will be promoted using the hashtag #areyouready being tweeted from @TO2015.

In this podcast, you’ll get the chance to hear from:

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Jaye Milley, Para-cyclist

Teddy Katz, Director of Media Relations and TO2015 Games Spokesperson and former CBCer about some of his favourite memories from decades of covering international sporting events.

Tracy Schmitt– Manager of Parapan Planning and Integration – talking about life as a four-way amputee, what she knows as an aspiring 2016 Paralympic sailor and creating the best Games possible.

Kristina Molloy – Director of Parapan Planning and Integration – talking about not only these Games but creating new and innovative adaptive equipment for para rowing while she was a coach.

Michelle Tovizi – an aspiring 14 year old Parapan swimmer who has made it to Canada’s ‘long list’ from which Canada’s swim team will be named to the TORONTO 2015 Parapan Am Games.

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Danielle Kisser, Swimmer

Chelsey Gotell – Coordinator Sport and Athlete Relations – Chelsey is an accomplished athlete in her own right having won 17 medals in her competitive career which included 5 Gold (3 in Paralympic swimming and 2 more in Parapan swimming).

This podcast features a unique perspective; not only into the planning of the Parapan Am Games but also what it’s like to be an athlete at the highest level.

For more information on the Parapan Am Games: www.toronto2015.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/toronto2015.

Check out the new video featuring Parapan Am hopefuls Danielle Kisser, Jaye Milley and David Eng. Directed by Vikram Dasgupta, the video features unforgettable images of strength, focus and determination.

 


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Episode 84: Patrick Chan

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What do you say about a three-time World champion and now two-time Olympic Silver medallist? LOTS! Patrick Chan sat down with Pj to talk about his life since the Olympics, figure skating in general and where he is headed in the future.

In the course of everyday writing and blogging, Pj doesn’t always get the chance to spend a lot of time with the athletes. Patrick and Pj sat for about 45 minutes and allowed the conversation to flow naturally from topic to topic.

If you want to know more about one of the world’s skating living legends, this podcast is for you.

Patrick Chan can be followed on Twitter @PChiddy. He also has a website that you can check out: www.patrickchan.ca.

Here is Patrick talking with Pj recently about the upcoming Pan Am Games:


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Episode 83: Rob Salem

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Salem with Robert DeNiro

What Pj didn’t know when she walked into an event recently for a high school friend’s book was that she would be running into former high school classmate and TV critic extraordinaire Rob Salem. That’s the cool thing about having a podcast, you have an excuse to catch a conversation with some of the world’s most interesting people and Rob Salem certainly qualifies.

Rob Salem’s bio for the Toronto Star, where he has enjoyed a 35+ year career, describes him this way: “Rob Salem, the Toronto Star’s television critic, describes his column as the print equivalent of inviting him into your home and handing over the remote control . . . without having to feed him.” Funny right?

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Salem with Jerry Lewis

Pj found out that Rob is as candid (not to mention entertaining) about his own life as he is in the opinions he shares about TV and movies. That same candour can be seen in the blog he writes called Salem’s Lot which can be found here: robsalem.blogspot.ca. If you want to follow him on Twitter he’s @robsalem and he has a wildly popular YouTube channel. Although we may know him best as a TV critic, he is also a writer, actor and frequent guest on radio and TV talking about all kinds of popular culture.

It suffices to say that Rob ‘knows people’ so to get the chance to hear about some of his many encounters with legends of the large and small screen is a rare and very entertaining treat.


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Episode 82: The Walking Man

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Paul-Dore-Walking-ManThe Walking Man starts out lost in the deserts of Jordan. The novel explores the life of the main character – someone very similar to the author – and attempts to make sense of a tumultuous year. After the deterioration of his relationship, the unnamed main character turns the lens on himself in an attempt to understand why his life failed to measure up to the hopes and dreams of his younger self. Joining him on this journey is ninety-three year old Mary, an old family friend. She becomes the catalyst of change and soon they find themselves hitting the road, the man walking and Mary on her scooter. Based on many of the author’s own experiences, the work is a novel that mixes reality and fiction. The act of walking is the thread holding the story of heartbreak, friendship and understanding family history together. Each chapter pushes the story forward by including a walk undertaken during times of confusion, comedy, crisis and the desire to work out the internal self. An unusual and unforgettable duo, join them as they walk and roll towards understanding their friendship and the value of exchanging stories.

The Walking Man is the first novel by Paul Dore, yes, the same Paul that usually co-hosts and co-produces this podcast. Pj wanted to interview Paul about the publishing of the book, the innovative way it is being distributed through Iguana Books and his Pubslush campaign and to have a conversation from one writer to another. Paul and Pj decided to talk about The Walking Man while out for a walk. Seemed appropriate. Watch the introduction video for the campaign below.

The Walking Man Pubslush campaign: thewalkingman.pubslush.com.

Paul on Twitter: @jeffreypauldore.

Paul on Facebook: facebook.com/jeffreypauldore.

Paul’s website: pauldore.com.


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Episode 81: Tonya Surman

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Tonya Surman is a social entrepreneur, community animator and mayhem choreographer. With a passion for bringing to life world-changing projects, Tonya is the founding CEO of the Centre for Social Innovation (CSI), a co-working space, community and launchpad for people who are changing the world, with three locations in Toronto and a location in New York City. CSI provides its members with the tools they need to accelerate their success and amplify their social impact.

Tonya’s work fundamentally embodies collaboration, entrepreneurship and change. The Centre for Social Innovation is the first of its kind in the world – a pioneer in the co-working movement, a driver behind the move toward social enterprise and most recently, an innovator in the creation of a citizen-based Community Bond – a practical social finance tool that was created to purchase CSI Annex – CSI’s second location. Since then, CSI has launched its own crowdfunding platform – Catalyst – and Catapult, a microloan program for social enterprise.

Tonya co-founded and chaired the Ontario Nonprofit Network for 5 years, is a founding trustee in the Toronto Awesome Foundation and has been a leader within the Ontario Social Economy Roundtable and the Social Enterprise Council of Canada. Tonya was instrumental in the replication of the Enterprising Nonprofits Program in Toronto and the rollout of Tech Soup Canada, among other initiatives.

Previous to CSI, Tonya was the founding Partnership Director for the Canadian Partnership for Children’s Health and Environment, whose work, in part, led to a new legislative framework to manage chemicals and the banning of BPA in baby bottles. Tonya has been creating and leading social ventures since 1987 and has built her body of knowledge around multi-sectoral collaboration and entrepreneurship for social change.

Paul joined the Centre for Social Innovation as a member a few months ago and has benefitted from the space immensely. He was excited to sit down with Tonya and learn the history of CSI, her role in building the core concepts of the organization and what motivates her to innovate.

Follow Tonya on Twitter: @tonyasurman.

Centre for Social Innovation’s website: socialinnovation.ca.

CSI on Facebook: facebook.com/centreforsocialinnovation.

CSI on Twitter (Toronto): @csiTO.

CSI on Twitter (New York): @csiSL.


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Episode 80: Ryan Stevens

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The best thing about being involved with the skating community for Pj is the chance to get to know fans on a one to one basis. Ryan Stevens is just one of those people.

The best thing about Ryan Stevens is that he decided to return to figure skating as a writer. Ryan’s blog skateguard1.blogspot.ca is a great source of information about past and present skaters. Ryan’s ability to capture the essence of the person in his interviews is first-rate.

As Pj and Ryan became friends via the internet, it occurred to Pj that Ryan would make a great podcast subject. Ryan agreed and the conversation was wonderful. The subjects ranged from skating and Ryan’s previous incarnation as a skater to his plans for a Salute to Canada theme for the month of July on his blog. Ryan was also willing to talk about another phase of his professional life when he was a drag queen.

If you want to know more about this very interesting and quite hilarious man you can follow him on Twitter @ohh_n and find him on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SkateGuard.


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Episode 79: Kevin Kennedy

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Kevin Kennedy is the man behind Tallboys – Craft Beer House, Pitch: Talks on Baseball and The Big Smoke Bands & Brews Festival. In his spare time he also manages Toronto indie outfit Army Girls. He is also the founder and Creative Director of Swingman Live, a full-service event production company specializing in promotion, marketing and management. With Swingman Live, Kevin works directly with non-profits, government, artists, entrepreneurs, corporations and start-up companies.

Prior to founding Swingman and Tallboys, Kevin spent time in several professions including corporate communications, teaching, journalism and banking. His diverse professional experience led to a role on the communications team for Canada at the London 2012 Olympics.

Paul was excited to sit down with Kevin and get his experiences on building a business, his perspective on what it takes to be an entrepreneur and beer, or more specifically, Ontario craft beer.

Stop by Tallboys for a beer and some great food at 838 Bloor Street West.

Website: tallboyscraft.com

Twitter: @tallboysbar

Facebook: facebook.com/tallboysbar

Or check out Kevin’s work with Swingman Live: swingmanlive.com.


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Episode 78: Amanda Barbara

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Amanda Barbara is the Vice President and co-founder of Pubslush, a global crowdfunding and analytics platform for the literary world. A philanthropist at heart, she serves on the board of directors for the Pubslush Foundation, which supports children’s literacy initiatives worldwide, and is a founder and director of The Barbara Family Foundation, an organization committed to assisting charities and children in need. Amanda is member of the Young Entrepreneur Council and is an advocate for crowdfunding in the publishing world. She has spoken at various conferences, such as Writer’s Digest, Exceptional Women in Publishing, Crowdfunding East Conference, and the Digital Publishing Innovation Summit, and has served as an ambassador and speaker at CONTEC at the Frankfurt Book Fair. Amanda has also contributed to Elite Daily, Yahoo Small Business, and Tech Cocktail.

Pubslush is located in New York City and Paul happened to be traveling there for other reasons. Through his publisher Iguana Books, Paul was able to setup this fascinating interview with Amanda. The conversation ranges from discussing new models of publishing to how the relationship has changed between the reader and writer. A discussion on the cutting edge of the publishing world.

Amanda and the wonderful people from Pubslush have given our listeners the opportunity to download a free ebook about crowd funding. Sign up for an account using the promo code crowdfund1 to receive The Guide: Tips To Successful Crowdfunding, an informative manual created by Pubslush for their authors.

Pubslush online:

Website: pubslush.com

Twitter: @pubslush

Facebook: facebook.com/PUBSLUSH

Follow Amanda on Twitter: @AmandaBabs1


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Episode 77: Helen Croza

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Pj is lucky to have friendships that go back decades, like the one with Somatic psychotherapist Helen Croza, whom she’s known since being a teenager.

Helen started her career in the field of massage therapy a little over 30 years ago and it was there that she discovered that the relationship people had with their bodies was at the root of many problems. With a keen interest in healing, Helen was prompted to continue her education culminating in a Master’s degree.

Her practice is focused on life coaching, wellness and psychotherapy for her clients, the majority of whom are women. Helen is a sought after speaker and webinarist (Pj’s word for people who offer webinars! lol!).

From Helen’s website: “My passion and mission is to help women attain a healthier relationship with their body and themselves by addressing their Emotional Health; to support women in finding a kinder, more peaceful and compassionate way of being with themselves.”

That kind of attitude goes a long way to helping someone feel better about themselves.

For more information, visit her website www.helencroza.com and sign up for her no obligation newsletter. Helen can also be found on Twitter @HCroza and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/healthcounsellingforwomen.


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Episode 76: David Dore, Part Two

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Here is the second part of Pj’s interview with another Dore, Paul’s father David. While in Toronto receiving a lifetime achievement award from the Central Ontario Section, Pj grabbed the opportunity to sit down with David for an extended interview.

David was introduced to figure skating as therapy to regain his ability to walk after nearly losing his life to polio. He soon developed a love for the sport that would become a huge part of his life. David’s first figure skating coach, Wally Distelmeyer, taught him to love a sport, and to celebrate every moment with enthusiasm. From Sheldon Galbraith, his second coach, he learned to respect what the sport was, and to strive for excellence. He achieved the gold level and competed at the National Championships. At university, he turned from competitive skating to judging where he rose quickly officiating at seven World Championships and the 1984 Olympic Games.

In 1980 he became the youngest president of the Canadian Figure Skating Association (now Skate Canada) Board of Directors bringing fresh enthusiasm to the organization. Four years later, David accepted the staff position of Director General, a place he would hold until 2002. During his tenure he developed the National Team program, created the Athlete’s Trust and developed successful marketing and television concepts. In 2000, the International Olympic Committee presented David with the Olympic Order, its highest honour, for his contribution to sport in the global community. In 2008 he was inducted into the Canada Sports Hall of Fame and the Skate Canada Hall of Fame in 2010.

This half of the conversation deals with David’s work as the Vice President of the International Skating Union. Not to be missed.


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Episode 75: David Dore, Part One

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This interview was so jammed packed full of insightful information that it’s split it into two parts. The subject of these two episodes is another Dore, Paul’s father David. While in Toronto receiving a lifetime achievement award from the Central Ontario Section, Pj grabbed the opportunity to sit down with David for an extended interview.

David was introduced to figure skating as therapy to regain his ability to walk after nearly losing his life to polio. He soon developed a love for the sport that would become a huge part of his life. David’s first figure skating coach, Wally Distelmeyer, taught him to love a sport, and to celebrate every moment with enthusiasm. From Sheldon Galbraith, his second coach, he learned to respect what the sport was, and to strive for excellence. He achieved the gold level and competed at the National Championships. At university, he turned from competitive skating to judging where he rose quickly officiating at seven World Championships and the 1984 Olympic Games.

In 1980 he became the youngest president of the Canadian Figure Skating Association (now Skate Canada) Board of Directors bringing fresh enthusiasm to the organization. Four years later, David accepted the staff position of Director General, a place he would hold until 2002. During his tenure he developed the National Team program, created the Athlete’s Trust and developed successful marketing and television concepts. In 2000, the International Olympic Committee presented David with the Olympic Order, its highest honour, for his contribution to sport in the global community. In 2008 he was inducted into the Canada Sports Hall of Fame and the Skate Canada Hall of Fame in 2010. David is currently the International Skating Union’s Vice-President.

This very special conversation reveals many details about David’s history, his contributions to the sport and what skating has meant to his life. Not to be missed.


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Episode 74: Deanna Wright

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If clothes make the man (or woman) then that must go double for figure skaters. The people responsible for the ‘look’ that skaters appear in on the ice is the handiwork of Deanna Wright. Deanna’s professional life has meandered from teaching high school to creating fashion looks for children’s wear and, subsequently, uniform ensembles prior to coming home to figure skating. The intimate understanding of what makes a good skating costume has its roots in Deanna’s early life as a figure skater in a suburban Toronto club.

When Pj and Deanna first met it was in the halls of the Mississauga Skating Club where Pj was coaching and Deanna had been contracted to produce costumes for the annual ice show. It wasn’t long after that Deanna opened a retail store: DressWright on Ice, where she sold skating equipment, supplies and skating wear. Currently the majority of Deanna’s professional life is taken up by dressing choruses, whose membership can push over 100 people, and numerous Synchronized skating teams.  She is called on frequently to design outfits for competitive skaters and has also worked with marketing companies to bring their costumes to life. This is an interesting conversation in particular for anyone curious about the creative process of taking an idea from concept to sketchpad to skaters or singers in competition.

If you want more information go to www.dresswright.com or follow Deanna on Twitter at @DressWright.


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