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CBC Interview with Syd Barrett, Roger Waters, and Nick Mason,  December 1966, Radio International Recording Studio in London, England.
The interview was recorded as part of a series on new concepts in sounds in popular music of the weekly one hour CBC Radio program “The Action Set” on Saturday mornings across Canada, probably aired very early in 1967.
This interview also includes an early version of “Interstellar Overdrive” which have been recorded earlier at an Oxfam Benefit Concert at The Albert Hall in London or at another venue in late 1966 for specific use by the CBC.
Breaking new ground: Kim's Convenience to be Canada's 1st sitcom led by Asians
CBC-TV series based on hit stage play debuts on Oct. 4

Kim’s Convenience, originally an acclaimed stage play, is breaking new ground as Canada’s first TV sitcom led by Asian actors.

“I’m really excited to have the show being broadcast at this time in history,” said Ins Choi, the Korean-Canadian actor-playwright who wrote the hit theatre production, about life behind the counter of a corner shop run by Korean immigrants and the family’s intergenerational conflict.

The TV show debuts amid discussion about Hollywood’s lack of diversity and dearth of significant roles for minorities.

“I love that we are part of that [discussion]. That this show — in a positive, proactive way, with a lot of humour, a lot of heart, kind of an essentially Canadian way — we can add to that conversation,” Choi told CBC News.

For the show’s stars, the change has been a long time coming after years toiling in theatre and small roles in TV and film.

“I’ve grown up here my entire life,” said Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, who plays the lead role of Mr. Kim (also known as Appa, or Daddy in Korean).

“I love hockey. I love the Blue Jays. I drink beer, maple syrup. I’m Canadian through and through, but a lot of times I’m not allowed to play a Canadian. I’ve got to be the guy in the background,” Lee said, quipping he’s played a doctor so often he feels he’s fulfilled his parents’ wish for him to study medicine instead of acting.

Jean Yoon, who plays Mrs. Kim (called Umma, Korean for Mommy), concurs.

“It’s great as an artist of colour to be playing a fully rounded character,” she said.

“In my experience, we’re coming in to play roles that will further the plot, that would deliver information, that would set the hero up, but in this show we — the people of colour — get to be the heroes.”

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The CBC's Strange Empire is the Best Feminist Western You're Not Watching

Tonight I watched the pilot episode of the CBC’s newest drama, Strange Empire, a gritty western set in 1869 on the border between Alberta and Montana. Now, it’s been a long time since any original programming on the CBC interested me, but there was no way I could pass up watching this. Why? Well for starters, it features a multiracial main cast made up of predominately women. It also describes itself as a Western drama from a feminist perspective. Yeah, you read that right. The CBC is airing a feminist, multiracial western. And you know what? It’s pretty damn good.

The show’s website explains:

Strange Empire is a Western whose heroes are women. With most of their men gone, and those who remain battling for control, the women struggle to survive, to find their independence, and to build a life in which to thrive and raise families. As the stories of Janestown’s citizens unfold we see the clash between a power-hungry father and son and the deep prejudices among races, but also the start of something akin to community in this Wild West. Western stories take civilization as a goal; they begin in blood, and end in the morality of Main Street. 

The pilot details the unintended meeting of three very different women, all of whom are struggling with their own pasts. Thrust together by tragedy, they are forced to band together in order to survive and make a life for themselves on the lawless Canadian frontier. It isn’t completely problem free, but it mostly rolls along well with everyone pulling their weight. It’s also shot beautifully, which honestly is a welcome departure from a lot of CBC’s past offerings. 

Cara Gee (half ojibwe), who I saw last year in the Nightwood Theatre’s production of The Penelopiad, plays Kat, a stoic and frontier-tough Metis woman on the run who becomes the leader of this ragtag group of women. Melissa Farman (who I *knew* I recognized from somewhere- she played Bristol Palin in Game Change) is FANTASTIC as autistic genius, aspiring doctor, and former Asylum patient Rebecca, and Tattiawna Jones is also great as the mysterious and unpredictable Isabelle (we see the least of Isabelle in the pilot, but I think she has potential as the most layered and interesting character down the road). 

What I appreciate most about this effort is that all the women are very different, but none are written as cookie cutter female tropes. They’re being written the way that male characters usually get written in this genre: as multi dimensional human beings with full pasts and hidden motivations. For example - Kat is tough and headstrong, comfortable with guns and violence, and determined to bring about justice in a lawless environment. But she also longs for a family and doesn’t hesitate to adopt two young girls to spare them from a life of whoring, asking them to call her ‘ma’. Rebecca is socially awkward and detached in most of her interactions with others, brought up without much human connection and treated as more of an experiment than an individual. Despite this, she is shown boldly staring back at a handsome cowboy who comes upon her while she is unbuttoning her dress to gain relief from the heat. This, I’ll just add, is a fantastic veering away from the common portrayal of autism spectrum characters as sexless and desire-less. Isabelle is a daughter of freed sleeves, a former prostitute, and an incredibly savvy business woman determined to build her own empire. 

This is big stuff, people. Normally you don’t find female characters like this on one network, let alone a single show. Let alone featuring women of colour as main characters. Let alone Canadian programming!! I am just so stoked to learn more about these incredible women, and the fact that the series creator (Laurie Finstad ) is a woman and the showrunners are mainly women is just icing on this cake. 

Find out more about the show at the CBC’s official page, right here. 



Canada’s CBC News Shows What Thoughtful Breaking News Coverage Really Looks Like

For hours this afternoon, Canada’s CBC News covered the breaking news of at least three shooting incidents in Ottawa. Led by veteran anchor Peter Mansbridge, the rolling coverage was smart, careful, and absolutely un-American.

As NPR’s Andy Carvin noted, Mansbridge set a respectful, careful tone, calling out interview subjects who had unconfirmed or contradictory information. “So much we could learn from his delivery today,” Carvin told me on Twitter.

On screen, CBC News kept a ticker scrolling, a “Breaking News” bug in the corner, a “LIVE” bug at the top right, and three boxes showing video and live pictures. Mansbridge rarely appeared on camera, even as he took pains to ensure information was correct before reporting anything–particularly the news a soldier shot at Ottawa’s War Memorial had died of his injuries.

As I watched via the network’s live stream in New York, I never heard a second of dramatic music, never saw a full-screen wipe with a catchy graphic like TERROR ON PARLIAMENT HILL, and never, ever heard Mansbridge or any of the CBC’s reporters dip even a toe into the waters of self-promotion.

Compared that to the American cable news networks, where we’ve come to expect that every prime time newscast will begin with urgent music and BREAKING NEWS–complete with multiple on-screen reminders that this is BREAKING NEWS of great importance. CBC’s coverage was, well, very Canadian. And to the nervous system of an American observer of TV news, it was decidedly strange to experience.

Mansbridge, in sharp contrast to the frenetic, breathless delivery we’ve come to expect from American news anchors in times of breaking news (including stories of far less significance than the attacks in Canada), was thoughtful, took his time, and seemed at times to pause, and to consider his words before speaking. Just. Imagine. That.

Around 1:30 ET, three-and-a-half hours into his coverage, Mansbridge paused to update viewers. “What do we know with certainty right now?” There was no place for exaggeration, rumor, or mistakes. It was like watching grown-up news. And suddenly, seeing it, I was struck by how often wedon’t see it here in the U.S. It’s been a long time since American anchors like Frank Reynolds said “let’s nail it down…let’s get it right.”

Even if it means letting someone else report it first.

CBC News was soundly beaten by various journalists on Twitter with word the War Memorial soldier had died, but when time came for Mansbridge to bring this sad fact into his coverage, he warned he had “bad news” to report, and then very carefully explained how CBC came to believe this information was correct. It wasn’t loud and urgent. It was quiet and somber. And as such, it felt very, very important. It felt proper.

On a very frightening and horrific day for Canada, Mansbridge and his CBC colleagues did their jobs with dignity and respect. Andy Carvin is right. We could learn from their example.