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The WorkNotWork Show

Business & Economics Podcasts

Have you ever met someone who seemed to have the dream job? Ever wonder how they managed to get it? Has it turned out the way they had planned? The WorkNotWork Show tracks down people with interesting jobs which in many cases started with a lifelong passion for the subject which they have managed to make into their career. Each episode, we talk to one person who is 'living the dream'.

Have you ever met someone who seemed to have the dream job? Ever wonder how they managed to get it? Has it turned out the way they had planned? The WorkNotWork Show tracks down people with interesting jobs which in many cases started with a lifelong passion for the subject which they have managed to make into their career. Each episode, we talk to one person who is 'living the dream'.




Have you ever met someone who seemed to have the dream job? Ever wonder how they managed to get it? Has it turned out the way they had planned? The WorkNotWork Show tracks down people with interesting jobs which in many cases started with a lifelong passion for the subject which they have managed to make into their career. Each episode, we talk to one person who is 'living the dream'.






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Glenn Street: Top Dog

When the 2019 Super Bowl was broadcast to something like one hundred million viewers around the US and still more internationally, you wouldn’t fault Glenn Street for thinking it was a watershed moment for the Calgary-based entrepreneur and Street Characters the company he founded in 1987 and now known around the world for creating amazing sports and corporate mascots. In that Super Bowl matchup, both Rampage for the Los Angeles Rams and Pat Patriot for New England were products of Glenn’s...


Don Tse: Beer Writer

The first act of Don Tse’s life began when he was just ten years old with his own subscription to the Financial Post and a dream to become a securities lawyer. It was a dream realized and a career he loved. But even as he practiced law, Don knew that he didn’t have the control over his life for which he yearned and also realized he was doing something which, for him, no longer had the lustre it once did. He then did something unthinkable and began the second act of his life: Don Tse walked...


Emily Hicks: President and Co-Founder, FREDsense

Emily Hicks is President and Co-Founder of FREDsense, a Calgary, Canada based biotechnology startup focused on the measurement of water quality. FRED stands for Field Ready Electrochemical Detector, which is the product that Emily—along with her FREDsense colleagues—invented, developed and brought to market. It’s used to detect trace amounts of chemicals in a water using a groundbreaking new approach. Her studies in biomedical sciences at the U of C eventually led her to work on the...


Carol Pilon: Wingwalker

Sometimes life changing inspiration comes in an instant and from an unexpected source. In Carol Pilon’s case, it was the split second clip of a wingwalker she saw advertised for a local airshow in 1993. She was transformed by the experience and knew that it was something she simply had to do. Little did Carol know that it would take seven years for her to get her first opportunity to step out of the cockpit of a Stearman biplane and climb up onto the top wing. It was a life changing moment...


Dr. Eve Crane: Pathologist

When Dr. Eve Crane was just five years old, her father became gravely ill with what was eventually diagnosed as an aggressive form of multiple sclerosis. It eventually rendered him a quadriplegic and tragically led to his early passing. It was during this period Eve made up her mind that she was going to grow up and dedicate her life to finding a cure for her father’s illness. She turned her family’s tragedy into a true triumph of the human spirit. It’s an inspiring and heartwarming story....


Sean Loutitt: Aviator

Sean Loutitt seemingly seeks out opportunities to fly at high latitudes and low temperatures. Born and raised in the far north of Canada, the son of a bush pilot, it was almost inevitable that Sean would eventually follow in his father's footsteps. His informal training began at age one, perched on his mother's lap at the controls of one of his family's aircraft. His apprenticeship continued at age 12 when he signed on as a dock boy for Latham Island Airways in Yellowknife for the princely...


Sebastian Sztabzyb: Co-Founder, Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters

Our guest on this episode of The WorkNotWork Show is Sebastian Sztabzyb, co-founder of Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters. He just described his reaction to opening their first store and, as it turned out, bringing an end to his career as a full-time, professional engineer. Coffee had been his passion for seven years, and now it was his profession. The Phil & Sebastian brand he co-founded with Phil Robertson in 2007 sources, processes and serves ultra-premium coffee using an approach more akin...


Gary Burns: Storyteller | Filmmaker | Educator

Gary Burns has been making feature films since 1997 and has been called “Canada’s king of surreal comedy”. While apt, it does not adequately capture the range of this unique filmmaker. In this extensive interview we talk about Gary’s films in the context of his strong opinions about urban planning, the built environment and modern society. The magical element of his work is that he rivets our attention on important social issues while entertaining us with compelling, quirky characters and...


Paul Brodie: Fabricator | Artist | Educator

Paul Brodie is an artist who works in the medium of steel and machines. It is not just rhetoric: before devoting almost his entire life to steel fabrication—mostly of bicycle frames and reproduction vintage motorcycles—Paul dabbled in line art drawings and even took steps to make more traditional art his career. However, when he discovered his talent for bicycle frames wrought from steel, it wasn’t surprising that he ‘signed’ them—just as you would expect from an artist—starting with frame...


Rob 'Scratch' Mitchell: Aviator | Actor | Producer/Director

Imagine taking advantage of virtually everything a modern air force has to offer and living that life to its fullest for two decades. Now imagine that while acknowledging the amazing life you have led to that point, there are still things that you want to do – there are still challenges that scare you and deciding you are going to pursue those challenges. This is the amazing, dual life of Rob ‘Scratch’ Mitchell, our special guest on episode #009 of The WorkNotWork Show. Scratch Mitchell...


Tamir Moscovici: Filmmaker

Tamir Moscovici can’t wait to get up in the morning and go to work. He’s a gifted storyteller and telling stories on film is what he gets to do for a living. The most important benefit of loving his work the way he does? Perhaps surprisingly, he says it’s because he gets to show his two young children that it’s possible to love what you do for a living while still looking after your family. It seems that if he can convey that life lesson, it’s more important than any accolade or award he...


Dr. Sean Morrison: Stem Cell Researcher

$150-million over 10 years. It could easily have been an announcement about the signing of the latest phenom in the NHL, NBA or NFL. Dr. Sean Morrison even jokes that if had won the genetic lottery for size, strength and speed, playing centre for the Montreal Canadiens would have been high on his list of his dreams as a kid. But it turned out that he had other talents into which he could channel his fiercely competitive nature and relentless curiosity about the world around him. Dr. Sean...


Wayne Thomas Yorke: Actor

From the time he donned the robes of Friar Tuck in a fourth grade staging of Robin Hood, Wayne Thomas Yorke knew he had found his home. It was on the stage, a passion which he is not able to easily explain other than it was a place where he felt comfortable “goofing around” because everybody else was doing exactly the same thing. It was in ninth grade, when he appeared in a high school play, when he first realized that acting was a viable option for a future career. For him, it was pretty...


Philip Raby: Automotive Writer

Porsches are sometimes called ‘bookend’ cars. You buy one at the first hint of disposable income coming your way and sell it when spouse, house and family come calling. Then a decade or two or three goes by. Just as you get a sense that life may be passing you by, you convince yourself that you’ve once again earned a Porsche. Maybe even a red one. Now imagine a life where the Porsche obsession takes hold early, in the usual way, but then you get to indulge that passion all the time for a...


Dr. Robert Thirsk: Astronaut | Engineer | Physician | University Chancellor

Dr. Robert Thirsk isn’t ready to write his autobiography – yet. You would think someone who qualified first as a mechanical engineer then as a medical doctor and then became an astronaut and is now a university chancellor there would already be lots to put in at least one book. But Bob Thirsk, at 63, believes there’s lots more life to live. He describes himself, first and foremost, as an explorer. Quite simply he says there is lots more to explore before he writes his memoire. It would be...


Dave Thomas, Publisher Emeritus, The Pragmatic Bookshelf (Part 3)

In this third and final part of our interview, we talk with Dave about his life after retiring from his life as a publisher. We start with his thoughts on agile (both as a noun and as an adjective) as well as the use and value of spoken and written language in the digital age. We talk about society's relationship with the book and whether there is in fact a future for bookstores as we currently know them. We wrap up with what advice Dave can offer the next generation of programmers.


Dave Thomas, Publisher Emeritus, The Pragmatic Bookshelf (Part 2)

In this, the second part of the interview, we pick up the story when Dave first met Andy Hunt. Dave and Andy co-founded The Pragmatic Bookshelf after they had already written and published books with Addison-Wesley. We learn about Dave and Andy's motivations for starting The Bookshelf, the trials and tribulations of getting it up and running, and what the future holds for publishing in general and the printed book.Dave recently retired from The Bookshelf, but remains involved as Publisher...


Dave Thomas, Publisher Emeritus, The Pragmatic Bookshelf (Part 1)

In this, part one of our interview, Dave reflects on his early influences, his formal education at Imperial College in London, making the leap into the commercial software development world and laying the foundation for both his writing and publishing careers. We also talk about that little bit of Dave that is heading for outer space. Finally in this part, Dave takes time to reflect on formal education and provides some surprising thoughts on whether or not there is still value in...


PREVIEW: Dave Thomas, Publisher Emeritus, The Pragmatic Bookshelf

Dave Thomas is co-founder of The Pragmatic Bookshelf, co-author of the landmark books The Pragmatic Programmer, Programming Ruby and Agile Web Development with Rails as well as many other titles. Dave is also a highly sought after as a keynote speaker, an enthusiastic and popular educator and a true icon of the modern software development industry. In this preview of the groundbreaking three part interview, Dave talks about his early career influences, gives us a peek inside The Pragmatic...


Michael C. Smith, Olympic Decathlete

Our full interview with Michael C. Smith, three time Olympic Decathlete. When he was just 18 years old Canadian Olympic Coach Andy Higgins knocked on the door of Michael Smith's parents home in Kenora, Ontario. After seeing Michael at various junior meets, Andy just knew that Michael had what it took to be a world class Olympic decathlete. Just one week later, Michael was launched on a 13 year odyssey that would take him to the Seoul, Barcelona and Atlanta Olympic Games. We talk with Michael...