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The Backstage Podcast

Arts & Culture Podcasts

Hi! My name is George Tsantrizos. ​From 2007-2018, I spent the better part of my life working as a political advisor, often referred to as the backstage of politics. The endless hours of a non-existent schedule; the media, community and government relations; the time away from home; the multiple campaign trails; the hurrays and the boos; the compliments and criticisms; all that and much more were just part of the deal. ​Why do it you say? For the absolute privilege of working with individuals that ceaselessly demonstrated their profound and remarkable desire to contribute to society. ​Here's where I surprise you... Many of those individuals had absolutely nothing to do with the political class. They were community organizers and leaders, businessmen and businesswomen, influencers, volunteers, inspirational men and women. ​Here's the irony... We depended on them as much, if not more, as they depended on us. And the conversations! I think I'll miss those the most! So I figured after all these years, perhaps there's a way to keep those going and share them with you all. Welcome to The Backstage! Hope you enjoy the conversations! ​

Hi! My name is George Tsantrizos. ​From 2007-2018, I spent the better part of my life working as a political advisor, often referred to as the backstage of politics. The endless hours of a non-existent schedule; the media, community and government relations; the time away from home; the multiple campaign trails; the hurrays and the boos; the compliments and criticisms; all that and much more were just part of the deal. ​Why do it you say? For the absolute privilege of working with individuals that ceaselessly demonstrated their profound and remarkable desire to contribute to society. ​Here's where I surprise you... Many of those individuals had absolutely nothing to do with the political class. They were community organizers and leaders, businessmen and businesswomen, influencers, volunteers, inspirational men and women. ​Here's the irony... We depended on them as much, if not more, as they depended on us. And the conversations! I think I'll miss those the most! So I figured after all these years, perhaps there's a way to keep those going and share them with you all. Welcome to The Backstage! Hope you enjoy the conversations! ​

Location:

Canada

Description:

Hi! My name is George Tsantrizos. ​From 2007-2018, I spent the better part of my life working as a political advisor, often referred to as the backstage of politics. The endless hours of a non-existent schedule; the media, community and government relations; the time away from home; the multiple campaign trails; the hurrays and the boos; the compliments and criticisms; all that and much more were just part of the deal. ​Why do it you say? For the absolute privilege of working with individuals that ceaselessly demonstrated their profound and remarkable desire to contribute to society. ​Here's where I surprise you... Many of those individuals had absolutely nothing to do with the political class. They were community organizers and leaders, businessmen and businesswomen, influencers, volunteers, inspirational men and women. ​Here's the irony... We depended on them as much, if not more, as they depended on us. And the conversations! I think I'll miss those the most! So I figured after all these years, perhaps there's a way to keep those going and share them with you all. Welcome to The Backstage! Hope you enjoy the conversations! ​

Twitter:

@gtsantrizos

Language:

English


Episodes

Episode #41 - John Parisella

12/18/2020
I am so excited to finally have John Parisella on the podcast. When I started working in politics, in 2007, I was almost immediately immersed in a world where legends were real. John had already and rightfully earned that title. When we talk about “The Backstage” of politics, John Parisella is most definitely the very definition of that statement! His involvement with the Quebec Liberal Party started in the late 70s as he quickly climbed the ranks to become the Party’s Director General; he...

Duration:01:01:19

Episode #40 - Evangelia Pavlakos

12/10/2020
My guest this week is Evangelia Pavlakos. Eva and I have known each other since high school and despite the fact that we haven’t seen or spoken to each other since, I’ve been following her journey as an entrepreneur while becoming one of the most sought-after makeup artists evolving in the very competitive pop culture scene in Quebec. This achievement has been anything but easy and on this episode she shares the challenges she faced and how she put aside a successful career to pursue her...

Duration:00:55:49

Episode #39: Anthony Di Carlo

11/28/2020
It’s very difficult to forget the day a very talented young man met with my colleagues and I with a request to provide any and all help to win his nomination as a Liberal Party of Canada candidate for the 2015 general election for the riding of Ahuntsic, in Montreal. I remember how much Anthony Di Carlo impressed us and demonstrated to us his passion for politics and his exceptional knowledge of that area he wished to represent. Which is why we were so torn when we told him that we couldn’t...

Duration:00:57:30

Episode #38 (FR) - Ali Nestor

11/6/2020
Mon invité cette semaine est Ali Nestor. Un individu quand même assez connu, surtout dans le quartier de Saint-Michel à Montréal. Pour plusieurs, Ali est le fondateur d’une école de boxe et d’arts martiaux à travers laquelle il a créé des programmes variés qui visent à encadrer des jeunes en difficulté et à les guider vers un chemin autre que celui pouvant les conduire vers le monde du crime. C’est justement ce Ali Nestor dont j’avais aussi entendu parler. Je ne savais pas que derrière cet...

Duration:01:19:51

Episode #37 - Dr. Christos Karatzios

10/22/2020
My guest this week is Dr. Christos Karatzios. He is a pediatrician specializing in infectious diseases with an additional specialization in pediatric HIV. I’ve been meaning to have him on the podcast ever since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out here in Quebec, but as you can probably imagine, he was quite busy saving lives. He’s finally here though and we talk exclusively about the coronavirus, how we’ve managed it so far, how we’ve prepared for what’s to come and much more. I hope you enjoy...

Duration:00:35:45

Episode #36 - Louis-Martin Leclerc

10/9/2020
My guest this week is Louis-Martin Leclerc. Louis and I met when he came over my studio while accompanying Alexandre Cusson, then candidate for the leadership of the Quebec Liberal Party (Episode #22). I later discovered that he is passionate about American politics and with the US elections due in less than a month, I thought it would be great to have his insight! Louis isn’t only knowledgeable on American politics but he also has significant experience in campaigning in the US! We talk...

Duration:00:52:49

Episode #35 - Francisco Randez

9/25/2020
My guest today is someone who always amazes me by his positive outlook, down-to-earthness and his constant desire for simplicity, despite the fact that he’s a pretty popular guy! Francisco Randez is a model, actor, TV and radio personality, entrepreneur, but more importantly an amazing humanitarian and philanthropist having associated himself with some exceptional causes. That’s quite an impressive track record for a young guy like himself! On this episode, we talk about all of that and...

Duration:00:51:26

Episode #34 - Varante Yapoudjian

9/10/2020
My guest this week is a young man who I met at the very beginning of my career in politics. Varante Yapoudjian is an extremely active member of the Armenian community involved mostly in its various advocacy efforts but who also has a keen interest in political engagement at all levels of government. On this episode we discuss the destructive and unfortunate events that have unfolded in Lebanon in the last weeks as well as his community and political engagement. I hope you enjoy this...

Duration:01:27:47

Episode #33 (FR) - Dominique Anglade

8/28/2020
Welcome to another French episode of The Backstage Podcast! If you understand French, please stick around because we have an extraordinary guest on the podcast this week. If you don’t understand French, feel free to watch or the listen to any other episode that’s available and come back again as we will have more English episodes in the upcoming weeks. Alors bonjour tout le monde et bienvenue au Backstage Podcast! Mon invitée aujourd’hui est une personne qui a accompli un exploit franchement...

Duration:00:43:48

Episode #32 - Kenneth George

8/13/2020
My guest this week is Kenneth George, one of the very first local leaders I met when I started to work as a political advisor back in 2007. Until recently, Kenneth was among the longest serving school commissioners in Montreal and definitely, in my opinion, the one most present and involved. He was a regular at our office and that’s because he always brought new and refreshing ideas on how to improve our local schools and, as such, the lives of the families living in our district. Needless...

Duration:01:04:29

Episode #31 - Dimitris Ilias & Maria Diamantis

7/3/2020
My guests this week are quite possibly two of my favorite people! Dimitris Ilias and Maria Diamantis are two exceptional opera singers that left behind their careers at some of the world’s most prestigious opera houses to focus on educating and promoting the values of this artform. Through their collaboration with over 25 schools across the Greater Montreal Area they continuously contribute not only to fueling the musical passion of hundreds of children, but offering them the accessibility...

Duration:01:11:32

Episode #30 - Nelson Ossé

6/18/2020
My guest this week is Nelson Ossé, quite possibly among the most active and engaged community leaders I had the privilege of working with. His dedication to youth empowerment through sport is exemplary and his involvement in his community has led him not only to the very top of his organization, but also at a leadership position through which he administers the most important cultural and community center in Park-Extension, the William-Hingston Complex. On this episode, we discuss his...

Duration:01:14:07

Episode #29 - Jim Beis

6/4/2020
My guest this week is Jim Beis. Jim and I have known each other for a long time. He is a stark example of the opportunities that are available for anyone that has a desire to contribute to his or her society. Jim started working at a very young age at the Parks and Recreation Department of the City of Roxboro. He then went on to run for office as a City Councilor and eventually became Mayor of the Pierrefonds-Roxboro Borough. For over 30 years, he has dedicated his life for the development...

Duration:01:15:02

Episode #28 - Jo-An Jette

5/21/2020
If you don’t know what local leadership is or what heroes look like these days during this pandemic, this is the episode for you! I met Jo-An Jette back in 2007 while she was an engaged and pivotal member of the personnel at PEYO (Parc-Extension Youth Organization). I witnessed her involvement in the community and her passion for the development of various programs aimed at youth engagement and social and community development. I couldn’t be happier when I learned, not long ago, of her...

Duration:01:01:07

Episode #27 - Joshua Wolfe

5/8/2020
My guest this week is an exceptional guy, a very good friend and a former colleague! Joshua Wolfe was the very first intern we ever had at our riding office. I remember his first day like it was yesterday: a shy young kid, freshly out of university, looking completely lost and scared and who seemed to hate having picked that particular day to start working with us. His first day at the office coincided with an important announcement and press conference we’d been preparing with a cabinet...

Duration:00:58:48

Episode #26 - Michael Forian

4/23/2020
My guest this week is Michael Forian! He’s back! This time we talk about our new normalcy under the Coronavirus and how we’re coping with this new reality. Also, we talk about how this pandemic has affected different sectors. Obviously, we throw in some politics as well! I hope you enjoy this conversation!

Duration:01:19:30

Episode #25 - Carlos Godoy

4/9/2020
My guest this week is my very good friend Carlos Godoy. You may remember him from the Car Ride Conversations segment, last year, during which we discussed the federal elections in Canada. On this episode we discuss about the Coronavirus that has affected millions of people around the world. As a communications and public and government relations expert I thought it might be interesting to have his take on the political and social leadership that we’re all witnessing during these trying...

Duration:01:05:04

Episode #24 - Perry Calce

3/26/2020
My guest this week is Perry Calce. It is nearly impossible to be involved in the district of Parc-Extension and not cross paths with Perry! Whether it’s political, social or community involvement, at some point or another, you will meet Perry and quickly realize how indispensable he is as a community leader. It is no coincidence we called him Mr. Parc-Ex! Through his leadership as the President of the Board of Directors of PEYO but also as a Board member of various social and community...

Duration:01:13:10

Episode #23 - Pantelis & Poseidon

3/12/2020
We made it folks! An entire year has passed since this podcast began and I couldn’t be happier! What an experience this has been and I can’t wait for all that’s coming! To celebrate this 1st anniversary episode, I brought Pantelis back on the podcast. He was my very first guest and he is the reason this podcast even began! Aside from being a good friend, he is one the funniest guys I know! His career as a stand-up comic has really taken off in the last years and he also produces the...

Duration:01:43:58

Episode #22 (FR) - Alexandre Cusson

2/27/2020
Vous étiez nombreux pendant la dernière année à me demander si j’avais l’intention de produire des balados en français. C’est maintenant chose faite et je suis ravi d’avoir comme premier invité, monsieur Alexandre Cusson, candidat dans la course à la chefferie du Parti libéral du Québec. Alors que plusieurs, partout au Québec, apprennent à le connaître, il n’est certainement pas inconnu dans le monde de la politique municipale. On discute de ses décisions à faire le saut en politique en plus...

Duration:00:44:48