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The Backstage Podcast
61 minutes | a month ago
Episode #41 - John Parisella
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 has served five Quebec Liberal Party leaders among which three became Premiers; he has played a crucial role in organizing general election campaigns as well as three referendums; he has represented Quebec as Delegate General in New York and Washington DC; he is often called upon for political commentary on various media outlets; he is an author but most of all, as he likes to say, he is passionate about teaching! On this episode, we walk through this very exciting and often challenging journey as he shares his encyclopedic knowledge of Quebec politics but also some of his personal stories and thoughts. I cannot express the level of appreciation I have for him and am very grateful for his generous time. I hope you enjoy this conversation!
56 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode #40 - Evangelia Pavlakos
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 passion! I hope you enjoy this conversation!
58 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode #39: Anthony Di Carlo
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 help or get involved strictly because of how delicate, politically, it is to throw support behind an aspiring election candidate. Unfortunately, despite the incredible local support he had worked so hard to get, he stepped aside to allow for someone else to be nominated. However, that selfless action helped to open another door which propelled him to the successful career he now has. On this episode, we talk about all that political journey, his contribution as a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, as well as the crucial work he now does at the Dallaire Institute. I hope you enjoy this conversation!
80 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode #38 (FR) - Ali Nestor
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 homme, se cache une histoire incroyable d’adversité liée à la violence domestique, le racisme systémique, les crimes et la violence liés aux gangs de rue, les centres de détention et la désobéissance civile. Mais surtout, c’est une histoire de développement personnel et de réussite. Tout est exposé dans son nouveau livre Moi Ali Nestor, Petit Prince de la Rue. Sur cet épisode, nous parlons de ce passé sombre et tout ce qui lui a donné la force de trouver la lumière et de devenir l’homme inspirant qu’il est aujourd’hui! J’espère vraiment que vous apprécierez cette conversation! Bon podcast!
36 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode #37 - Dr. Christos Karatzios
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 this conversation!
53 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode #36 - Louis-Martin Leclerc
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 about that experience, the current election and much more! I hope you enjoy this conversation!
51 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode #35 - Francisco Randez
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 more! I hope you enjoy this conversation!
88 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode #34 - Varante Yapoudjian
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 conversation!
44 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode #33 (FR) - Dominique Anglade
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 incroyable. Je vous parle de nulle autre que Dominique Anglade! Elle est la nouvelle cheffe du Parti libéral du Québec. Elle est non seulement le toute première femme à diriger ce parti mais elle aussi la toute première femme d’une minorité visible à diriger un grand parti, pratiquement dans le monde occidental! Malheureusement, on a eu un tout petit problème technique et nous n’avons pas de vidéo! C’est des choses qui arrivent! Donc vous allez devoir vous contenter seulement de l’audio! Mais ce sera aussi intéressant; On parle de sa famille, sa passion pour la politique et des enjeux qui l’attendent dans ses nouvelles fonctions! Encore une fois, désolé pour ce petit problème technique et bon podcast tout le monde!
64 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode #32 - Kenneth George
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 to say, that most of his ideas came with a request of a rather large sum of government funding, but nothing made us happier to support his projects because they made sense and were necessary for the development and advancement not only of our schools but our community at large. On this episode we discuss his journey as an academic and what encouraged him to run for public office as a school commissioner. Also, we discuss the recent education reform of the Quebec government which brought forth the abolishment of school boards, the impact it already has and will continue to have on the students, their parents and the teaching personnel. I hope you enjoy this conversation!
72 minutes | 7 months ago
Episode #31 - Dimitris Ilias & Maria Diamantis
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 to this industry’s multiple facets such as concerts, rehearsals, recordings and production. These children have taken part in high-end productions like children’s operas and musicals, multiple audio story books for children, concerts and collaborations with revered composers, singers, songwriters and symphony orchestras. Dimitri and Maria have received many distinctions and awards and their contribution to Quebec society, but more importantly to our youth, is exemplary. I hope you enjoy this conversation!
74 minutes | 7 months ago
Episode #30 - Nelson Ossé
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 journey and also dive into the current turmoil around racial profiling and systemic racism that exist in our country as well as the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement and its impact in the advancement and betterment of our society. I hope you enjoy this conversation!
75 minutes | 8 months ago
Episode #29 - Jim Beis
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 and the betterment of his city and I couldn’t be happier that he’s on the podcast to talk all about it! I hope you enjoy the conversation!
61 minutes | 8 months ago
Episode #28 - Jo-An Jette
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 well-deserved promotion to Director of the organization! On this episode we talk about her journey through PEYO from the very first day she was hired all the way to the crucial work conducted on the ground and on the front lines every single day during these very trying times that we are all living in. I hope you enjoy this conversation!
59 minutes | 9 months ago
Episode #27 - Joshua Wolfe
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 Minister. In retrospect, perhaps there wasn’t a better way to be thrown into this gig than to be shown exactly what this job is all about and what the expectations are! Josh proved not only to be incredibly intelligent and efficient, but he also quickly adapted and developed an impressive political acuity. Needless to say, we kept him onboard once his internship was over. He later went on to work in advocacy and build an impressive network of political staffers, cabinet senior advisors, Ministers and even the Premiers themselves! He now works in a field that he has always been passionate about: political engagement. He works with different professionals, community and social groups, schools and other leaders with one main purpose: getting our citizens, and primarily our youth, engaged in our society’s political, social and community affairs. I really hope you enjoy this conversation!
80 minutes | 9 months ago
Episode #26 - Michael Forian
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!
65 minutes | 10 months ago
Episode #25 - Carlos Godoy
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 times, the impacts of this pandemic, how government must prepare for the post-pandemic period and how, if at all, will this change the way we live going forward. I hope you enjoy this conversation!
73 minutes | 10 months ago
Episode #24 - Perry Calce
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 organizations, he has greatly impacted the development of Parc-Extension. What a pleasure it was to have him go back in time to recount what Parc-Ex was, how it evolved and how he sees the future of this ever-changing neighborhood! I hope you enjoy this conversation!
104 minutes | 10 months ago
Episode #23 - Pantelis & Poseidon
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 tremendously successful Pantelis Podcast as well as the 2 Drink Minimum Podcast with mega comedian Mike Ward and, of course, his now famous sidekick, Poseidon! So happy to have these guys on the podcast! Enjoy this conversation!
45 minutes | a year ago
Episode #22 (FR) - Alexandre Cusson
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 de ses idées et ses propositions avec lesquelles il espère non seulement gagner la confiance des membres libéraux mais aussi amener le Parti libéral du Québec à une victoire lors des prochaines élections. J’espère que vous apprécierez cette conversation! Bon podcast!
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