I recently had the chance to catch up with SiriusXM Canada Radio host Allison Dore who, on September 19th, will be launching Howl & Roar Records - a female centric comedy record label aimed at empowering artists and facilitating the creation of content for women and underrepresented performers in comedy. The official launch will coincide with a party and an album taping show taking place at Bad Dog Theatre featuring a stellar line‐up of celebrated female comedians including Michelle Shaughnessy, Aisha Brown and Kate Davis.
Check out our Q&A below:
I think now is the perfect time to launch a female centric comedy record label. What are your goals for this?
I want to create a place where comics feel supported and valued. We already undervalue our artists in Canada, and comedians are treated like the bottom of the barrel. So at Howl & Roar, we think you are important, and doing great work, and we’re going to tell everyone about it!
I program a show for SiriusXM’s Canada Laughs channel, called Allison Dore’s BroadCast. Doing that show made me realize that women aren’t putting out content as much as men, and so I am looking to remove the obstacles that are standing in the way - whether they are financial, mental, whatever - and help them keep building their career.
One of the analogies I use that seems to resonate with comics is that when women come to a door, they stand outside and wait to be invited in; when men come to a door, they open it and walk in. This is obviously a generalization, but it’s the clearest way I can explain it. So I’m inviting them in. All they need to think about are their jokes, I’ll do the rest. I am lucky enough to be working with one of the best sound engineers around, so these albums will sound great too. We’re also going to put out some EP’s (shorter albums) to introduce you to some of the newer comics taking the stage by storm. And though women are the top priority, we’re going to be helping some men out along the way too.
What can people expect?
Great shows and quality recordings! Many of the albums we record will be from shows we produce ourselves, and we have one planned every month up to the New year, and I imagine that will continue in 2019. Our shows won’t just feature comics who are working with Howl & Roar on an album, we want to showcase all the amazing talent this country has to offer!
"Norm Macdonald has a Show features host Norm Macdonald along with his trusty sidekick, Adam Eget, as they dive into hilarious and unexpected conversations with celebrity guests. The premiere season of the talk series welcomes Drew Barrymore, David Spade, Judge Judy, David Letterman, Jane Fonda, Chevy Chase, M. Night Shyamalan, Michael Keaton, Billy Joe Shaver and Lorne Michaels."
I don't know how you couldn't be sold by that description of Netflix's new original show, but perhaps my thoughts will help persuade you to give it a shot. Norm Macdonald is one of my favourite comedians and that lineup of guests features my idols Jane Fonda and David Letterman. I was jumping for joy when I received an email notifying me that I was assigned the screener for review.
As per usual, Norm brings the funny and nothing is off limits in the conversations. Not that I thought Netflix was missing anything before, but I think this just took the streaming service to the next level. I truly hope that we'll get more episodes. The world needs more funny.
Please bingewatch it when it starts streaming tomorrow.
Recently, I had the chance to catch up with Vancouver, B.C. based musician Gabriela Geneva regarding her single "You Were Right". Check out the Q&A below:
What did you learn about yourself and your craft while working on “You Were Right”?
I’ve had some amazing co-writers when it comes to my music, and I used to feel like I was being carried by the other writers in the room. Since moving to Toronto last year however, my sole focus has been writing and recording and I have definitely noticed a change within myself and my abilities throughout even just the last year. When I was writing “You Were Right” with Shobha and Rob Wells, I knew I was in a room with two phenomenal musicians, so I knew I had to give my absolute best, and I was pleasantly surprised. First and foremost, both of them were incredibly nurturing of what I wanted to create, so that elevated everything, but I also wasn’t as timid as I used to be when it came to having input on production ideas and so on. So, even just a year of honing that songwriting skill really made a difference, which may be an obvious result, but it felt really great for me to actually demonstrate it and feel it.
You’ve opened up for some notable artists - which artist do you dream of performing with?
I would absolutely love to share the stage with Camila Cabello, Anne-Marie, and Jessie J. I think they are absolute forces of nature, and I admire all of them for their uniqueness, talent, and showmanship.
How and why did you get into the music industry?
Genuinely, I think it all started with Disney movies. I grew up with them and one of my first singing memories is singing along with Ariel when her voice was being taken away by Ursula. I always knew I loved music but realistically, I had no idea that it would be a viable career path until my family and I moved to Canada. I had so many more opportunities available to me at that point, and I honestly owed it to my parents and myself to make use of them and pursue my dreams, as cheesy as that might sound.
Another VMAs in the books means another blogging season is beginning - this is The Saverina Scozzari Collective's 4th season!
The MTV Video Music Awards are known to be one of the most controversial award shows hence why I love to kick-off each blogging season with one my brutally honest recaps of the show. The VMAs have given us many infamous moments over the years including Madonna and Britney kissing, Miley twerking on Robin, and #Kanye2020. This year's show felt like a bit of a let down. Perhaps it's because my expectations were high, or maybe the show just actually sucked. Here are some of the highlights:
1. JLo's Super Bowl Worthy Performance
Give this legend a halftime performance spot because she was on fire last night. Jennifer Lopez received the Video Vanguard Award and hit the stage to perform both her old and new hits. I may or may not have been dancing along in my living room. My favourite songs of hers are "Waiting For Tonight", "Love Don't Cost A Thing", "Jenny From The Block" and "Get Right". Another reason why I loved this performance is because JLo's one of the few artists I recognized last night. The music industry is continuing to change and I felt like a totally dinosaur watching.
2. Madonna Pays Tribute To Aretha Franklin
Later on in the night, Madonna came on stage to present the prestigious Video of The Year Award, but first she took time to pay tribute to the late and great Aretha Franklin. A snarky Twitter user joked that they would have rather seen her sing the tribute rather than speak. Madonna told a story from her days starting out auditioning for a couple of producers from France and singing Aretha Franklin's song. It was more about Madonna than Aretha and not surprisingly received a lot of backlash.
3. Post Malone + Aerosmith
This was a match made in heaven. Though I'm still not entirely sure who Post Malone is, I was delighted to see him performing with Aerosmith. It was one hell of a way to close the show and I hope other award shows will take note.
Overall, I'd give the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards a 7/10. It had its high energy moments, but everything else was blah. For the full list of winners, click here.
After earning the title of Mr. World Canada 2012, Frankie Cena has become a well-known emcee in the pageant world serving as the Mr. World 2014 host as well as the web presenter for the larger Miss World 2014. In 2017, he hosted the first ever Miss World Head-to-Head Challenge, a 10 x 30-minute segment streamed all across the world on YouTube. This Fall 2018, Frankie will once again join the Miss World Team as their host in Sanya, China. I was lucky enough to be able to catch up with him regarding the lessons he's learned, reality television and his goals for the future. Check out the Q&A below:
What have you learned about yourself throughout your time hosting Miss World?
I have learned so much during my time hosting Miss World, but I think 3 very important things I’ve learned are:
1. I’ve learned that I am capable. The Miss World experience really threw me to the wolves—asking me to host the world’s largest and oldest beauty pageant, despite having, at the time, a pretty fresh hosting resume. I had to learn how to use auto cue and teleprompter and interview people and speak off the cuff and write scripts, and all these things that I’d never really done before. And I had to do them with confidence, and the pressure of an enormous production looming over me. But I succeeded. And I came out of it with more confidence than ever.
2. I’ve learned that the world is filled with amazing individuals. People might believe the stereotype that Miss World contestants are unintelligent and only there to be beautiful—but that is so far from the truth. Miss World’s motto is “Beauty with a Purpose,” and it recruits some of the most talented people I’ve ever met. They are doctors, lawyers, actresses, athletes, people who’ve raised thousands and thousands of dollars for various charities, people who’ve travelled the world. And just through having met them all, I’ve learned that there are so many wonderfully talented and caring people out there.
3. I’ve learned that there are people alive who, somehow, can just do more than others. I worked very closely with Miss World chairman Julia Morley—a woman who’s been around the organization for many years, yet still comes to work in the office every day and oversees every aspect of the organization. She speaks to every contestant and staff member, makes sure everyone is happy, travels the world to ensure that her charity is helping the greatest number of people possible—I’ve even seen her move sets! She would do anything for the organization, because she knows that it’s hers. And it’s been through her that I’ve learned how to be a CEO, a leader, a business owner, and a good person.
Your Instagram bio says that you’re a reality TV fanatic - what’s hot and what’s not right now?
Big Brotherand Survivorare still killing it. They’ve both been around since I was nine years old, so more than 15 years, and remain so amazing. They still showcase human psychology in its best form, putting people in strange environments and having them get by on their personalities—on their ego, charisma and merit. I’d highly, highly recommend.
As for music: The Fourhas been a spectacular series, with probably the best singers I’ve heard on any singing show. Every single singer in the season-one finale was just tremendous and awe-inspiring, doing vocal things that no other show has quite come close to.
Another great new one is World of Dance. It’s taking the dance genre to a new level. Jennifer Lopez is amazing, stunning, and so fun to watch. And the show itself includes dancers from all around the world, including Canada—and getting to see local talent on American television has been very inspiring.
Where do you see yourself in the next few years?
I would love to have my own television show. To host a game show like “Chopped” or “Cupcake Wars”, or even something as big as “Survivor” or “Canadian Idol”—that’s my big dream right now, and it feels like the right time. So, if anyone out there has a pilot or is looking for a host, please do contact me!