It is hard to describe where exactly my first guest falls in the pantheon of great Canadians. She was our first woman in space, is a registered neurologist, has degrees in zoology, agriculture, experimental pathology, and doctorates in neuroscience and medicine and was NASA’s head of space medicine for over a decade. In addition she is also an accomplished photographer, educator and public speaker and has certifications in skydiving and parachuting. In 1992, after eight years of training, she was one of two payload specialists aboard Space Shuttle Discovery during Mission STS-42, which was designated the first mission for work on the International Microgravity Laboratory. Since her retirement from both NASA and the Canadian Space Agency, she has received a host of honour and awards including the Order of Canada, Order of Ontario, the NASA Space Medical, induction into Canada’s Medical Hall of Fame and a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame. She is Dr. Roberta Bondar; I caught up with her at the Planet in Focus Film Festival where she was set to receive an eco-hero award. Here is our conversation.
Jasper Sloan Yip came from humble beginnings in Vancouver. His first ever show was played on a makeshift stage in his backyard. After spending a year traveling Europe, his first record dropped on his 23rd birthday. Fast-forward ten years; Post Meridiem – his third record – is a series of vignettes that comprise an intimate self-portrait played against soaring soundscapes, eloquently and introspectively musing on life and loss. I spoke with him earlier in the week when he passed through Toronto.
My final guest is a writer-director, whose fourth feature film – “Tragedy Girls” effortlessly blends horror with comedy while satirizing social media and insatiable desire for instant gratification. The film was the special feature at the closing night gala of the Toronto After Dark Festival and stars Brianna Hildebrand, Alexandra Ships, Craig Robinson and Josh Hutcherson. The writer and director of the film is Tyler MacIntyre.
Before we go… I woke up Wednesday to the news that Gord Downie had passed away. Countless artists and fellow Canadians have bestowed tributes far better than I can. I was never a die-hard Tragically Hip fan, though seeing him in concert several years ago in Vancouver was definitely a treasure. If Leonard Cohen was Canada’s poet Laureate, then Gord Downie was our National Frontman. This is Long Time Running. Thanks Gord. So long for now
Jasper Sloan Yip – In The Living Room; Tinfoil Hats; The Day Passed and the Sun Went Down
The Tragically Hip – Long Time Running