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Welcome with Karim Kanji

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Welcome is a series of in depth conversations with interesting people doing interesting things.




Welcome is a series of in depth conversations with interesting people doing interesting things.







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NEW: Beth French

Dive into an inspiring conversation on the latest episode of [Podcast Name] featuring host Karim Kanji in dialogue with the incredible Beth French! They kicked off by exploring their shared affinity for the sea and the diverse accessibility it presents across different regions. Beth, a force to be reckoned with, shared insights into her health journey, her son's passion for water activities, and her awe-inspiring participation in the Ocean Seven Challenge. This entails conquering seven global channels solo, without any assistance - talk about an extraordinary feat! Get ready for a raw and honest conversation as Beth opens up about her challenging battle with ME, shedding light on the physical pain, bedridden moments, and the often overlooked struggles of her condition. Her journey into channel swimming post-single motherhood underscores her determination to overcome health barriers and navigate the unique challenges of solo parenting. The dialogue also unpacks their differing perspectives on open water, with Beth embracing it as a transformative experience while Karim grapples with a hint of apprehension. Beth delves into the significance of documenting her channel swimming exploits, sharing her transformative journey of pushing personal boundaries and conquering mental and physical hurdles. Hear her reflections on self-discovery, mental fortitude, and the decision to attempt all seven channels in a single year - a testament to her resilience and a challenge to understand her body's capabilities. But that's not all – the conversation extends to the trials Beth faced while filming her swimming adventures and parenting Dylan, her son with autism. Tune in to [Podcast Name] for an exploration of resilience, self-discovery, and the incredible journey of Beth French as she navigates the seas and life's challenges.


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NEW: Grant Avenue Studio

Welcome to an enriching exploration in the latest episode of "Welcome To The Music," where Karim Kanji, alongside Gregg Tilston, unfolds the intricate narrative of Grant Avenue Studio's Control Room. In this episode, we engage in profound conversations with the masterminds behind the scenes, Mike Bruce and Andrew Lauzon.This piece delves into the heart of Hamilton's musical legacy, unraveling the studio's rich history. From hosting distinguished visitors to the meticulous crafting of a distinctive "house sound," we venture into the personal anecdotes that breathe life into this iconic space.Mike and Andrew generously take us on a behind-the-scenes tour, sharing their journey and offering exclusive insights into the studio's intricacies. The mixing and editing suite, featuring high-end gear tailored for independent producers, is laid bare for our exploration.Our discourse explores the timeless allure of vintage gear, shining a spotlight on unique sonic qualities like the Neumann M49B mic. Andrew passionately emphasizes the irreplaceable value of vintage gear, crafting a sonic signature that echoes the concept of a "house sound."The narrative weaves around the idea that a studio's historical legacy serves as an everlasting inspiration for artists, propelling the creation of new musical stories. The episode concludes with tantalizing hints about upcoming talent in Hamilton, promising a vibrant future for the local music scene.Join us in this podcast episode as we celebrate the essence of musical storytelling and its profound influence on shaping the future of sound. Step into the magic of Grant Avenue Studio and uncover the sonic legacy it holds within its walls.


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Steven Page!

Gregg Tilston and Karim Kanji welcome to the show Steven Page! The episode begins with a discussion on the creation of the Trans Canada Highwaymen album Explosive Hits Vol 1, a K-Tel tribute album, sharing anecdotes about the song selection process, remote recording during the pandemic, and the creation of the infomercial for the album. They also explored the profound impact of growing up in Scarborough on Steven’s musical influences and personal identity, discussing how the multicultural environment and music programs in Scarborough played a pivotal role in shaping his perspectives and ultimately contributed to the formation of the band the Barenaked Ladies. Steven Page shared personal anecdotes about his enduring friendship with fellow musicians, past collaborations, and current work on a new record. He also emotionally recounted the experience of singing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” at Jack Layton’s memorial service, expressing the pressure and honor of fulfilling Layton’s request. Additionally, he performed a song from his recent album and discussed his regular live streams during the pandemic, where he plays his own songs and covers. The meeting also involved discussions about lost venues, Steven’s music preferences, and the details of the upcoming show on Easter weekend. For more information check out https://transcanadahighwaymen.ca/


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Morgan Campbell: My Fighting Family

The episode kicks off with host Karim Kanji and returning guest and new author Morgan Campbell discussing the parallels between the publishing and boxing industries, highlighting the similarities between writers and boxers, editors and trainers, and agents and managers. They emphasize the importance of active promotion in both fields, drawing insightful comparisons between book promotion and the marketing efforts involved in selling pay-per-view boxing events. The episode then touches on the intricacies of writing a book about family, with Campbell highlighting the complexities of family dynamics and the need to write from his own perspective. They also reflect on their experiences with education, sharing memories of the lack of natural light in their school and the impact of technology on learning. Campbell passionately addresses the issue of Black America's culture being underappreciated and appropriated, emphasizing the lack of authentic love and compensation for their contributions. The meeting concludes with a discussion about a poignant passage from Campbell's book, "My Fighting Family Borders and Bloodlines and the Battles That Made Us," where Campbell vividly describes a pivotal moment in a high school football game. They also share their thoughts on the upcoming Super Bowl, with Campbell expressing his confidence in the Kansas City Chiefs' ability to outperform the San Francisco 49ers.


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Craig Northey: Odds and Trans-Canada Highwaymen

Craig Northey, lead singer of Odds, joined Gregg Tilston and Karim Kanji on the show earlier this year. Canadian rock band Odds released their seventh studio album, "Crash the Time Machine," co-produced by Steven Page earlier this year. The album explores themes of struggle and community, showcasing the band's evolution into new musical directions while maintaining their dark ironic signature. The first track, "Staring at a Blank Page," is described as defiantly joyful, offering a perspective on overcoming immovable obstacles by altering one's own outlook. Singer and guitarist Craig Northey emphasizes the significance of friendship as a form of immortality, acknowledging the collaborative influence of friends, including the late John Mann of Spirit of the West, on the album. The band, consisting of Northey, bassist Doug Elliott, drummer Pat Steward, and guitarist Murray Atkinson, reflects on their musical journey, rooted in the present but informed by a rich past dating back to their founding in 1987. Odds gained recognition with their 1991 debut, "Neopolitan," and continued to achieve success with Gold-selling releases like "Bedbugs" in 1993 and Platinum-selling "Good Weird Feeling" in 1995. After a hiatus in 1999, they regrouped in 2007 to embark on the second chapter of their recording career with the release of "Cheerleader" in 2008.


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101 Fascinating Canadian Music Facts

David McPherson joins the show to discuss his new book 101 Fascinating Canadian Music Facts which features stories about musicians and their experiences across Canada. Hosts Karim Kanji and Gregg Tilston start the episode off by discussing the Much Music documentary and tour, sharing details about the special guests and expressing their enthusiasm for the brand’s continued impact on Canadian culture. They also reflected on recent interviews with celebrities, highlighting their admiration for their work and personal qualities. David McPherson joined the conversation to discuss his book on Canadian music facts, sharing interesting stories about musicians and their experiences in the industry. The group also talked about guitars and musicians, highlighting the importance of chance encounters and the role they can play in success. The episode continued with David McPherson sharing an interesting story about the Maple Leaf Forever guitar, which was made using wood from a tree that inspired Canada’s unofficial national anthem. He also discussed his upcoming book tour. The group discussed the Much Comes Out initiative and its significance in Canadian music history, as well as various topics related to music, including Neil Young’s recording process and The Kings’ performance at the Heatwave Festival. David McPherson shared the inspiring story of Adrian Sutherland, an artist who created his debut solo record during COVID using an old shipping container as a studio. The episode concluded with David McPherson discussing his music preferences and promoting his book, “101 Fascinating Canadian Music Facts.”


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Canada's Rock Of Fame

Karim Kanji and Gregg Tilston discuss the recent Canada’s Rock of Fame which took place in the historic Massey Hall. Karim Kanji and Gregg Tilston discuss their experience attending Canada’s Rock of Fame event which was, in part, sponsored by Forty Creek Whisky. The hosts share their thoughts on the performances of various bands and artists, highlighting the talents of some lesser-known musicians. They also discussed the relevance of songs from decades ago and the importance of strong female voices in the music industry. Karim and Gregg also mention the performances of Trooper and Crown Lands, who nailed their respective songs. They also raved about the performances by Lee Aaron, Platinum Blonde, Rough Trade, Parachute Club, Chilliwack, Lighthouse and others. The hosts also discuss their differing opinions on approaching famous musicians and rock stars. They discuss the Canadian culture of not bothering famous people and how it can be different in other countries. They also talk about the importance of being introduced to famous people through mutual friends rather than approaching them directly.


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Road To Peace - Karim Awad on Israel and Palestine

More than 2 years ago Israel and Palestine attacks on each other prompted me to have a chat with Karim Awad. Karim Awad's ancestral roots trace back to the historic region of Palestine, prior to the establishment of the modern state of Israel. In our engaging conversation, Karim provided glimpse into his family's history in the complex landscape of Israel and Palestine. As the discussion unfolded, we embarked on a journey through the numerous occasions when Karim ventured back to his homeland, visiting the culturally rich city of Jerusalem, the resilient West Bank, and the challenging terrain of Gaza. His personal experiences shed light on the deep emotional connections that many individuals of Palestinian descent maintain with their homeland. Delving into the heart of the ongoing conflict between Palestine and Israel, we strove to gain a holistic perspective by examining the motivations of both sides. This allowed us to better comprehend the multifaceted issues at play, recognizing that there are genuine concerns and aspirations on all fronts. Towards the conclusion of our conversation, Karim shared his insights on what a potential path to peace may look like in the future. His thoughtful reflections offered hope and vision for a harmonious resolution to a long-standing conflict, leaving us with a sense of optimism in a quest for a brighter future.


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299 Queen Street West Premiere

Karim Kanji and Gregg Tilston take to the red carpet at the 299 Queen Street West Much Music documentary premiere to speak with former VJs. Karim interviews former Much Music VJs about their favourite memories of Much Music, including stories of their experiences at the network and the impact of the station on Canadian culture. Gregg and Karim also talked about the premiere of the Much Music documentary, 299 Queen Street West, and the opportunity to meet special guests, including Ed the Sock, Steve Anthony, Monika Deol, Sook-Yin Lee, Denise Donlon, and musician Andy Kim. Additionally, Andy Kim shared details about his upcoming Christmas show at Massy Hal. Gregg and Karim reminisced about past interviews with Much Music VJs. Overall, the interviews were a nostalgic and engaging discussion of Much Music’s influence on viewers and the music industry.


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Arif Virani: Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

In 2017, I had the honour of interviewing my friend, Arif Virani. This past week, the Honourable Arif Virani became Canada's newest Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada!Arif Virani's impressive career and journey to success are truly captivating. As a Member of Parliament, he has made significant contributions to his community and the country at large. With a focus on human rights, social justice, and community development, Arif Virani's passion for making a positive impact is evident in every aspect of his work.From his early life experiences to his commitment to public service, Arif Virani's dedication to advocacy and public policy shines through. As a lawyer, educator, and political leader, he has consistently strived to bring about positive change and empower marginalized communities.With a background in international human rights law, Arif Virani has skillfully championed the causes of refugees and immigrants, providing a voice to those who need it most. His impressive accomplishments as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada further highlight his commitment to upholding justice and fairness.Arif Virani's journey is an inspiration to many, showcasing the transformative power of dedication, compassion, and hard work. As we delve into the pages of his story, we are reminded of the profound impact that individuals can have when they are driven by a genuine desire to create a better world.


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Alan Cross, Broadcaster and Music Historian | Welcome To The Music

Gregg Tilston and Karim Kanji welcome Alan Cross to the show as our first guest of season three of Welcome To The Music. Alan Cross is a Canadian radio broadcaster and a writer on music. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he is best known nationally and internationally as host of the syndicated radio series The Ongoing History of New Music. In this episode, hosts Gregg Tilston and Karim Kanji discuss the following topics with Alan Cross: – the 1969 Toronto Rock Revival (also known as the Forgotten Festival) – the Win Butler/Sexual Misconduct story – Nickelback and music snobs – why Radio will never go away and why it continues to be strong – Alan’s favourite Lost Venues – how Alan even got started in this whole music historian business


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Perry Chafe: Closer By Sea (Son Of A Critch and Republic Of Doyle)

Perry Chafe is a Newfoundland-based writer, showrunner, and co-creator of TV series Republic of Doyle or writer / producer for Son of a Critch. Closer by Sea is a coming-of-age story perfect for book clubs, and comparable to Mary Lawson’s A Town Called Solace, or the film Stand by Me (Stephen King). It’s about the mysterious disappearance of a young girl and the fragility of childhood bonds, set during the 90s, against the backdrop of a small island community adapting to an ever-changing landscape.


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Jamaluddin Aram - Nothing Good Happens in Wazirabad On Wednesday

Jamaluddin Aram is a documentary filmmaker, producer, and writer from Kabul, Afghanistan. His works have appeared in Numero Cinq, The Write Launch, and Cagibi literary magazine among others.Jamaluddin’s short story “This Hard Easy Life” was a finalist for RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers in 2020. He was selected as a mentee by Michael Christie for the Writers’ Trust of Canada Mentorship program for his book Marchoba, now titled Nothing Good Happens in Wazirabad on Wednesday, his debut novel.He is the associate producer of the Academy Award–nominated film Buzkashi Boys. Jamaluddin has a bachelor’s degree in English and history from Union College in Schenectady, New York.He lives in Toronto. Connect with him on Facebook @Jamaluddin.Aram or on Instagram and Twitter @JamaluddinAram.Jamaluddin is the author of the new book, “Nothing Good Happens in Wazirabad On Wednesday”. Ask for it at your favourite local book store or online.This is Episode #281 of the Welcome! podcast.


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Gibby: Tales Of A Baseball Lifer

This episode originally aired on the Welcome To The Music Podcast. We spoke about: Listener Questions: Aneez from Whitby – It is said that rock stars want to be athletes, and athletes want to be rock stars… Adam Wainwright sang the National Anthem on Opening Day in St Louis… What’s the most John Gibbons Rock n Roll moment in the clubhouse, or on the road, or at a concert? Joshua from Scarborough – What was your walk up music when you were a Met? What would your walk up song be if you were playing today? Why don’t managers have walk up songs? (Fav song is Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd)Baseball: Two WS rings with Braves and 1986 Mets Getting umps to throw John out World Baseball Classic (Ohtani and Trout)One of John’s good friends, JP Ricciardi – disliked in Toronto among the fan base. Why does JP get a bad rap? Pete Walker, pitching coach with the Jays, played for John Blue Jays new manager Schneider Alex Anthopolous Why John didn’t like the Home run jacket. Music: Garth Brooks at METS spring training Rik Emmett and Gil Moore of Triumph came to games a lot Gil Moore helped John’s daughter, JORDAN, record couple of albums in his Toronto studio Having dinner with Geddy Lee and RUSH and so much more!


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Omer Aziz, Brown Boy

This past weekend I spoke with Omer Aziz about growing up in Scarborough and his new book, Brown Boy. We spoke about: living in Scarborough his book, Brown Boy why he wrote Brown Boy how seeing Barack Hussein Obama on television altered the trajectory of his life what his next book will be about his favourite bookstore what’s he’s currently reading and so much more! Omer Aziz is the author of the book “Brown Boy”. The book is a memoir in which Aziz reflects on his experiences growing up as a Pakistani Canadian Muslim and explores themes of identity, belonging, and family. In “Brown Boy”, Aziz writes candidly about his struggles with mental health, his relationship with his father, and his experiences of racism and discrimination. He also examines the larger societal and political forces that shape the experiences of people like him, including the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks and the rise of Islamophobia. The book has received positive reviews for its honesty, insight, and compelling storytelling. It has been described as a “brave and thought-provoking memoir” that “offers a fresh perspective on the challenges of growing up in a world that often fails to understand or appreciate difference.” Omer Aziz is a Canadian writer, lawyer, and journalist.


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John Shannon

This past week John Shannon joined me to chat about his career and new book, Evolve or Die (published by Simon and Shuster). Topics we discussed: - His relationship with Don Cherry - working with Richard Peddie and Sherali Najak - why he decided to write his first book - working with Bob McCown - working at Wayne Gretzky's last NHL game - and so much more! Who is John Shannon: John Shannon is a Canadian sportscaster, television producer, and former panelist on Rogers Sportsnet's Hockey Central. He won a Sports Emmy Award in 2003 for Outstanding Live Sports Special for his work on NBC's broadcast of the XIX Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. Shannon was named Executive In Charge of Programming and Production for NHL Network in 2008, in addition to being Executive Vice President of Programming and Production for the National Hockey League. In 2009, he left the NHL Network to become an on-air panelist for Rogers Sportsnet and a co-host of sports talk radio show Prime Time Sports on Fan 590 in Toronto alongside Bob McCown. The show was simulcast on Rogers Sportsnet. The show aired for the final time on June 19, 2019, before its cancellation. On August 28, 2019, it was reported that Shannon would be retained by Rogers Sportsnet for the upcoming NHL season. In 2020, Shannon became a co-host of the sports talk podcast, "The Bob McCown Show," alongside Bob McCown, which discusses sports topics of the day and features guests from the sports industry.


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Chris St. Clair: Weather Permitting

From the long time host of The Weather Network comes a behind-the-scenes look at Canada’s biggest weather events and climate phenomena.Chris St. Clair was a weather presenter and journalist on The Weather Network for more than twenty-five years. He is also a popular speaker on meteorology and climate change. He lives in Kingston, Ontario. Connect with him on Twitter @CStClair1.For more than twenty-five years, Chris St. Clair was on the frontline of Canada’s biggest weather events as a popular presenter on The Weather Network. For the first time, he shares his never-before-told stories covering the country’s most astounding weather events.From the flooding of the Red River in Winnipeg to the ice storm in Montreal, the hurricanes in Newfoundland, the devastating wildfires in Fort McMurray, the hailstorm in Calgary, and the heat dome and horrifying floods in British Columbia, St. Clair recalls these extreme weather events and relays their impact on communities across the country. He also follows Canadian snowbirds south to Florida and recounts their dramatic escape from record-breaking Hurricanes Matthew and Irma.A vivid personal narrative with accessible scientific explanations and meteorological analysis, Weather Permitting tells the story of how the weather has shaped the character and psyche of our nation, and is an homage to the strength and resilience of Canadian communities from coast to coast.


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Shenaz Lila

Shenaz Lila is my aunt (my dad's sister) and one of 8 siblings. Her eldest brother is Noordin Kassam whom I interviewed in 2018. I've also interviewed Amin Kanji and Taj Charania earlier this year. This is a continuation in a series of conversations I have with all the KKC siblings. Including my dad.


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Gabriela Casineanu

Gabriela Casineanu is an award-winning author who founded the Immigrant Writers Association in 2018. The IWA is a non profit organization that assists new Canadian immigrants find support to express themselves through creative writing. Each year the IWA releases a new anthology featuring short stories and poetry from their members. This past Tuesday the IWA released a new anthology called Finding The Way featuring 12 new Canadian writers. https://immigrantwriters.com/finding-the-way/ Finding The Way features writing from new Canadians that have come from Ghana, Ukraine, Romania, USA, India, Cuba, Senegal, United Arab Emirates, Trinidad and Tobago.


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Mike Dancy on Running for Brampton Council

I've known Mike for quite some time. He's a stand up guy who lives in Brampton and cares about his community.When asked by the Brampton Guardian who he wanted to run this is what he said, "Originally, I decided to run since the incumbent, Pat Fortini, was running unopposed. Everyone needs a choice and I put my name in so that people would have an option. Once I realized what a regional councillor could do with helping people, I decided that I was going to put 110 per cent into this campaign."This was Mike's first time running for public office. So I thought I'd ask him on what lessons he learned. Hope you enjoy this conversation.