The Stroumboulopouli

The Stroumboulopouli

The place to get the latest news on what’s coming up on #Gtonight. Find out what Canada’s boyfriend is up to. Share stories, pictures, favourite tv and radio episodes.

CBC TV & Radio shows plus HNIC

His work with Artists for Peace and Justice

UN Ambassadorship for The World Food Programme

Sunday, March 29, 2009

It's Raining Men... This Week on The Hour!

Okay...Not REALLY raining men - and if my title puts that classic tune in your head, my apologies. If you didn't know, Canada's one and only Paul Shaffer wrote that little ditty... that and a good long term memory might get you a pie in a Canadian only version of Trivial Pursuit. OR perhaps a featured slot on RuPaul`s Drag Race. You're welcome!

Monday March 30th

George Galloway In the fine tradition of British politicians and gross understatements, things have not always run smoothly for Galloway. Though you may not instantly recognize his name, he is the MP that was recently denied entry into Canada for reasons that he may be a threat to National security. He`s rather radical in his opposition to Israel, has supported fundraising to support the Palestinians and is outspoken in his support for Hezbollah. If that`s not enough to incite some controversy, perhaps his defense of suicide bombings in occupied Israel might do it for you. If he makes it to the red chair for a chat, it will be interesting indeed.

Ben Elton

British humourist, playwright and novelist Ben Elton will make a return visit to The Hour. Best known for the enormously successful series Blackadder and work on the musical We Will Rock You - over the last decade, Elton has shifted his focus to concentrate on his career as a novelist. As his original work was viewed as rather cutting edge and groundbreaking, Elton is not without detractors who view him as a sellout. In most circles, I believe that`s fancy showbiz talk for for jealousy.

Tuesday March 31st

Barry Pepper

BC born Barry Pepper has been a successful working actor for years, with an extensive and impressive IMDB page of credits in film and television. His last high profile role was in the 2008 release Seven Pounds starring Will Smith. Perhaps you recognize him from his memorable turn in Saving Private Ryan? Or if your name is Tom OR Katie, you might know him best from his lead role in the horrific Battlefield Earth for which he received the Anti-Oscar, known as a Razzie for Worst Actor. In typical nice Canadian guy style, Barry has apparently said if he had known he was receiving the award, he would have picked it up personally!

David Frum

Canadian born, US resident Frum is a heavy hitter - perhaps best known as a speechwriter for George W. Bush. Yes, it IS hard to believe what were most likely comprehensible and well reasoned statements so tragically mangled were written by a Canadian, but it is all too true. I wonder if he got a bonus for coining the phrase AXIS OF EVIL? Perhaps his notes to GWB were illustrated, formatted into a pop up book or presented in a hooked on phonics style? Though a conservative, he was a vocal opponent of the decision to name Sarah Palin as John McCain`s running mate. I would bet all my hopelessly devalued stocks that the US economy, the Obama administration`s policies and performance thus far will be a hot topic.

Wednesday April 1st

Martin Short

Canadian comedy Icon Martin Short has, through his amazing work with SCTV and SNL devised and perfected some of the most indelible, funny and bizarre characters -- from Ed Grimley to Brock Linehan to Jackie Rogers Jr. and Irving Cohen --Short always leaves you laughing! To this day, his turn on SNL as a water winged, nose-plugged synchronized swimmer (with Harry Shearer) is one of the classics. If this whole comedy thing doesn`t work out, he could always fall back on his social work degree from McMaster.

Tom Avery

British adventurer Avery exemplifies a daring and risk taking. He`s walked to both the South and North poles... the youngest Brit to have accomplished that feat. Whether leading an expedition to the poles, writing about his experiences in his book `To the End of the Earth` or delivering motivational addresses, I bet Tom will have more than one `Best Story Ever`!

Thursday April 2nd

Kelly Hrudey

Former NHL goaltender with the New York Islanders and Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks - Kelly Hrudey has enjoyed a long career as a commentator on Hockey Night in Canada with his featured segment, Behind the Mask. Nicknamed `Hollywood`while playing for the Kings, Hrudey was part of the roster that made it to the 1993 Stanley Cup playoffs where they went down to defeat to the Montreal Canadiens. Everytime I hear his name I think of the Clash`s `Rudie Can`t Fail` ... but I digress.

David Cronenberg
Genius is a word that`s bandied about a bit too freely sometimes. Not so here -- evocative, provocative and stunning, Cronenberg is a true original. With a body of work that includes classics like Scanners, The Dead Zone, The Fly, Dead Ringers, Crash, A History of Violence and the amazing Eastern Promises -- Cronenberg has more than earned his many honours including a Star on Canada`s Walk of Fame, Order of Canada and a place on every reputable `Top Directors`list going. His latest project is rumoured to involve Tom Cruise and Denzel Washington... should be a great interview!

Friday April 3rd

Colin Mochrie
He`s becoming a regular around these parts. With his recent full interview and last week`s stint as a guest presenter of The News. This interview was a nice mix of topical issues facing the Canadian entertainment industry, specifically issues surrounding web content. He`s engaging and funny as ever - one of the true masters of improv.

The Killers
The Killers are a band who`s sound is fresh, powerful and modern. When You Were Young is likely their best known (and perhaps massively overplayed) single that really put them on the musical map. Kind of punk, alternative and always great live, The Killers have an extremely busy touring schedule that will see them hit Australia, Europe, North America -- most notably Coachella in April. Their latest CD Day & Age is doing great numbers!

Richard FloridaWho's Your City? Is the question posed by Professor and Author Richard Florida. A proponent of urban regeneration and the rise of the 'Creative Class' his theories and statements are not without detractors. Letting smaller, less sustainable cities and one horse towns - particularly in a globally struggling economy - die a natural death are a bit too tough to take for many, but applauded by others...

Happy April Showers - hopefully we ALL can finally begin to enjoy Spring!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Playing in the dark... Earth Hour 2009 *UPDATED*

According to the World Wildlife Fund's Earth Hour website, over 81% of Canadians will turn their lights off for Earth Hour this Saturday night. So what are you doing this Saturday night? Can you do it with the lights off? This Saturday, March 28th is the second annual Earth Hour and we're encouraging you to get involved.

So what can you do? Lots of things. You can either have your own private Earth Hour event or why not check out one of the many events across the country listed on the Earth Hour website, including:

Victoria, British Columbia
The Swing Dance Association of Victoria invites everyone to turn off their lights, go down to St. John's Hall for Nothin But Swing and learn how to swing dance.
Vancouver, British Columbia
Get into Earth Hour, the JunoFest way. Head down to the JunoFest WestJet stage (corner of Granville and Robson) for a free concert starting at 8:15.
Edmonton, Alberta
Check out the stars at the University of Alberta's
FABservatory on the roof of the Fine Arts Building. During the hour, you can observe star clusters, the crescent moon and Saturn.
Calgary, Alberta
Starting at 8:00 pm, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra will perform Vivaldi's Four Seasons in the Jack Singer Concert Hall at the EPCOR Concert Centre.
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Everyone is welcome to bring a beeswax candle and join in an evening of story-telling, prayer, music and fellowship at the
Mayfair United Church.
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Fort Garry United Church has an evening of
outdoor fun planned for Earth Hour, including games, singing and roasting marshmallows.
Barrie, Ontario
David Usher, Tal Bachman, After Tuesday and Derek James Tilley will take the stage at the
Barrie Earth Hour Music Festival, starting at 4:30pm.
Ottawa, Ontario.
The Green Party is hosting a
vigil on Parliament Hill, starting at 8pm at the Eternal Flame. Afterward, they will retire to the Darcy McGee Pub at the corner of Sparks and Elgin.
Toronto, Ontario
Check out the free concert at Nathan Phillips Square including performances by Suzie MacNeil, Crash Parallel, Karl Wolf, The Matt York Band. The evening starts at 7:00pm.
Montreal, Quebec
Check out the art at
Ideas in the Dark taking place at La Societe des arts technologiques, including live music and artists creating in the dark.
Stratford, Prince Edward Island
The Town of Stratford and the Prince Edward Island RASC have planned an
astronomy night starting at 8:30pm in Tea Hill Park, weather permitting.
Edmundston, New Brunswick
The Lotus Blue Cafe is hosting a
candlelight dinner.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Singer/Songwriter Dan McKinnon will perform an unplugged, totally
acoustic concert at The Music Room.
Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador
Flautist Margaret Culliton and and violinist Wesley Harris will perform An Earth Hour Light Concert at the First United Church. Doors open at 8pm. Admission is free, but they are collection donations to the World Wildlife Fund.
The CBC is the official broadcast sponsor for Canada's Earth Hour and they are preparing to showcase what Canadians are doing on Newsworld. Starting at 8pm ET (5ET), Diana Swain will showcase what Canadians are doing during Earth Hour. Then at 8pm PT (11ET), Ian Hanomansing will showcase what's happening in the west for Earth Hour. You can also follow along with CBC's Earth Hour efforts on Twitter at "earthhourcbc" or on skype at "earthhourcbc". Don't forget to add your participation in Earth Hour to your One Million Acts of Green total. With over 1.3 million acts already under our belts, let's see how many more people we can get involved.
So what are you doing for Earth Hour? Drop us a comment and let us know! No matter what you're up to this Saturday evening, have a safe, fun and memorable Earth Hour.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

BREAKING (the) NEWS....Special Delivery.

*Guest update for Wed, Mar 25
Appearing on The Hour - March 23 - 26, 2009.
Some of Canada's top comedians are booked this week to guest host & deliver "The News" - George's nightly entertainment wrap.

Here is the fantastic list of comics booked (click on pics for their websites):
sean cullen Pictures, Images and Photos colin mochrie Pictures, Images and Photos Photobucket Photobucket
Seán Cullen, Colin Mochrie, Gilson Lubin & Nikki Payne

THE HOUR - MARCH 23 - 27, 2009

Mon, Mar. 23

The News Guest Host – Seán Cullen
Harry S. Dent
Harry S. Dent Jr. Pictures, Images and Photos
U.S. economist that uses his unique methods to forecast the economy from consumer & demographic spending.
I wonder where 'thrift shop purchases' would land in his research?

Lewis Black
lewis Pictures, Images and Photos
From his official website: "Lewis’ live performances provide a cathartic release of anger and disillusionment for his audience. Lewis yells so they don’t have to. A passionate performer who is more pissed-off optimist than mean-spirited curmudgeon, he's perfected expressing what the rest of us cannot say in polite company. Lewis is the rare comic who can cause an audience to laugh themselves into incontinence while making compelling points about the absurdity of our world."
My kind of guy!

Tues, Mar 24
The News Guest Host - Colin Mochrie
David Chilton
A Canadian financial expert who's helped thousands to reach for their goals in financial success.

(Maestro Fresh) Wes Williams
A Canadian actor & Hip-Hop artist who's hit single "Let Your Backbone Slide" is still the only song from a Canadian Hip Hop artist to go Gold. Due to his influence & significance, in 1991 The Juno Awards implemented a new Hip-Hop catagory, to which may I add, he was nominated for 5 & walked away with 2. He is currently starring in a new HBO TV show called 'The Line' & has been touring with Naughty By Nature and Guests.
"A staple to The Maple!"

Wed, Mar 25
The News Guest Host – Gilson Lubin
Louise Arbour
Having held many high-appointed international positions in her career, the honorable Louise Arbour has very recently been selected as the next President of the International Crisis Group. The ICG is now generally recognised as the world’s leading independent, non-partisan, source of analysis and advice to governments, and intergovernmental bodies like the United Nations, European Union and World Bank, on the prevention and resolution of deadly conflict.
A huge step forward for women in the difficult global years ahead.

*Dave Salmoni

"Hello, my lovely..."
Rumour has it that our other boyfriend, Dave, will be bringing his snake & a previous furry guest onto the set.

Thur, Mar 26
The News Guest Host – Nikki Payne
Sheila Watt Cloutier
A 50yr old Grandmother & a long-time Inuit Spokesperson, Sheila is speaking out on the impending disasters being caused by global warming. Her people are witnessing first hand the devastating affects of climate change & its relentless assault on their traditional way of life. "We're already living this reality," Watt-Cloutier, said. "It's not a theory in the future, it's right now in the present." Her aim is to persuade states for emission reductions of greenhouse gases & the use of toxins.
Nicknamed the "Arctic Emessary' by Rolling Stone.

Fri, Mar 27
Tattoo artist - Kat Von D
Comedian - Eugene Levy
Former Canadian P.M.- Joe Clark

*Don't forget to check into
The total is over 1, 300, 000! Way to go Canada!
(The city of Airdrie won the challenge against Okotoks, with almost 7000 acts of green between them.)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


If you have ever attended a taping of The Hour, then you have likely heard George Stroumboulopoulos prompt bashful audience members, in his own unique way, to ask questions by commenting "you're paying for this s**t". As taxpayers, we do indeed fund our public broadcaster. Yesterday a story on the CBC's website noted that the broadcaster receives approximately $33 annually per taxpayer. From my perspective, I am getting a great return for my investment. However, there are some people who would disagree. It's hard to please all of the people all of the time.

Equally hard is facing the reality of the current economic climate. Our public broadcaster is not immune to a problem many Canadians currently face: simply not being able to make ends meet. Reports over the last few days suggest that the CBC is facing a massive budget shortfall as a direct result of reduced advertising revenue, combined with increased operating costs.

In reading about the CBC's woes, one thing that has been glaring to me, is the contrary comments of our Federal Heritage Minister James Moore. In one statement, Moore says "I don't like it when I see the CBC cancelling Canadian content, and we see Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune". In another he points out that he feels that the CBC should have to work out it's own problems like broadcasters in the private sector, remarking that it is not for him "to tell the CBC how to run itself". I'm confused Mr. Minister, which is it?

The fact is that the advertising revenue generated by hugely popular US-origin shows such as Jeopardy! (hosted by a Canadian Alex Trebek) can help subsidize the homegrown efforts. Producing relevent and fresh Canadian content costs money. The government holds on tight to the purse strings and has for well over a decade. Few taxpayers would be willing to see that annual $33 substantially increase. In a recent Harris-Decima poll overall "a bare majority believe the government should provide bridge funding to the CBC". This issue is indeed complex and coming up with a solution will not be easy.

So, what do think?

Should the government extend additional funding to help the
CBC through the current financial crisis?

Is it wrong for Canada's public broadcaster to generate advertising
revenue using some US programming?

If the CBC has to make programming cuts, what should go? What should stay?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Top O' The Blog To Ye... The Week of March 15-March 20

Sunday, March 15th

As always, George starts the week off with the Strombo Show on the Corus radio network. Tune in 5-8 EDT (2-5 PDT).

Monday, March 16th
To some, he's a hero... beating the man and living his own life. To others, the numbers just don't add up. Derek Foster is the author of Stop Working: Here's How You Can, a guide detailing how he left the Canadian workforce at 36 to become "Canada's Youngest Retiree". Foster has also written two other books: The Lazy Investor and Money for Nothing: And Stocks for Free!

Rich Terfry originally started as a radio announcer on CBC-3 and then moved over to CBC-2 after the radical programming changes were announced last year (you'll probably remember the protests). Terfry is also an acclaimed hip hop artist, performing under the name Buck 65 with an amazing 17 albums under his belt.

Tuesday, March 17th
Kevin Gaudet heads up the Canadian Taxpayer Federation, a non-partisan, non-profit advocacy group dedicated to lowering taxes and holding the government accountable for its actions.
Ivan Reitman is currently in Toronto shooting his latest feature film Chloe. Toronto's film industry has recently seen an upswing in production after a dismal year. Directed by Atom Agoyan and starring Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore, Chloe is slated for release later this year.

Wednesday, March 18th
Before Being Erica, Erin Karpluk played a variety of roles in Canada and the States on The L Word, Godiva and the particularly questionable made-for-TV Movie 10.5. Being Erica airs on the CBC, Wednesdays at 9.
As the author of Real Estate Investing in Canada and the director of the Real Estate Investment Network, Don R. Campbell has the following saying as the foundation for his business: "You can have anything you want in life... just help enough other people get what they want". Through his book and seminars, Campbell helps Canadians find their way to financial independence.

Thursday, March 19th
Revered Canadian writer Margaret Atwood's latest book Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth doesn't deal with the current financial crisis... it deals with one of the major underlying causes of it. The book is the printed copy of the 5 speeches Atwood presented on CBC radio last year. In the book she takes on how debt has integrated itself into societal culture and customs.
As a profession of Bioethics at Princeton University, Peter Singer, published the book Animal Liberation in 1975 which is considered by some to be the basis of the animal liberation movement as we know it today. His latest book, The Life You Can Save, takes on a different perspective, that global poverty would be easy to erradicate if we just follow a few basic principles that anyone can do, even in these hard economic times.

Friday, March 20th
It's a 'Best Of' show featuring actors Paul Rudd and Jason Segal and Canadian Rock Band Nickleback.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


War Child released a charity album last week titled "Heroes", a compilation of some of the best songs ever written and performed.  Sixteen musical legends chose one of their favourite songs and then mentored a younger performer as they covered the song. The first single from the album is the classic Kinks song "Victoria" which was covered by The Kooks.
There's an amazing line up on this album:

Beck (Bob Dylan - “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat”)

The Kooks (The Kinks – “Victoria”)

The Hold Steady (Bruce Springsteen – “Atlantic City”)

Hot Chip (Joy Division – “Transmission”)

Lily Allen feat. Mick Jones (The Clash – “Straight To Hell”)

Yeah Yeah Yeahs (The Ramones – “Sheena Is A Punk Rocker”)

Franz Ferdinand (Blondie – “Call Me”)

Duffy (Paul McCartney – “Live And Let Die”)

Estelle (Stevie Wonder – “Superstition”)

Rufus Wainwright (Brian Wilson –“ Wonderful & Song For Children”)

Scissor Sisters (Roxy Music – “Do The Strand”)

Peaches (Iggy Pop – “Search And Destroy”)

Adam Cohen (Leonard Cohen – “Take This Waltz”)

Elbow (U2 – “Running To Stand Still”)

The Like (Elvis Costello – “You Belong To Me”)

TV On The Radio (David Bowie – “Heroes”)

Lily Allen spoke of her contribution to this album when she recently appeared on The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos.
Proceeds from the album will help War Child help children whose lives have been affected by war.  War Child works to empower these children to take back their lives through providing access to education and life skills training along with protecting and campaigning for children's rights. War Child has made a difference in many war torn countries including Darfur and Afghanistan.  Dr. Samantha Nutt appeared on The Hour last year and spoke of War Child's mission.
CDs are available at most of the places you buy your music, or you can get it on iTunes for $9.99.
Already have the album? Let us know what you think.  

Sunday, March 08, 2009

It's the week of March 8th...

Coming to a radio near you...another edition of the Strombo Show kicks off today at 5 pm EST on these Corus Radio stations:

The Edge 102.1 (Toronto)
The Fox 99.3 (Vancouver)
Power 97 (Winnipeg)
Y108 (Hamilton)
FM96 (London)

This week on The Hour....

Monday, March 9th

"In war, truth is the first casualty."
~ Greek playwright and soldier Aeschylus (b. 525 BC d. 456 BC)

Back in Aeschylus' time this quote was indeed accurate. Today, the combination of modern technology and the work of embedded journalists brings the truth about war into our homes. "AT WAR" is the story of award winning documentary filmmaker Scott Kesterson's experiences watching the front line through his camera lense.

The following clip is an example of Scott's work (not suitable for children). The soldiers are our guys, Alpha Company, 2nd Platoon, the "Red Devils" from Edmonton. The scene is a dawn raid on a Taliban compound in 2006. It's the TRUTH of what our soldiers face in Afghanistan everyday. I love the comment the soldier makes at the end of the clip.

And on a much lighter note, Natalie Brown, star of the CBC series "Sophie"

Tuesday, March 10th

Boy meets girl. Boy asks girl to marry him. Boy needs to find a best man. Boy finds best man, but alienates his fiancee in the process. This is a synopsis for the soon to be released movie, I Love You, Man. The two male leads, Paul Rudd and Jason Segel are on The Hour.

If you are a regular CBC News viewer, then the name Joe Schlesinger is likely familiar to you. Born in Austria in the late 20's, Schlesinger eventually emigrated to Canada, working as a translator for the Associated Press. In 1966 he began a nearly thirty year tenure with the CBC. Schlesinger is one of the most respected foreign correspondents this country has ever seen and he has witnessed some of the most signifcant events in history. This June, Joe Schlesinger will be the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Journalism Foundation.

Wednesday March 11th

As we all know, things are not going well with global economy. Many Canadians are worried about job security, while others have already felt the effects of the crisis and are among the growing numbers of the unemployed. Need help? Author and career coach Alan Kearns, founder of CareerJoy, may well be able to offer some insights as to how best one can navigate the bumpy waters of today's job market.

Tattoos. What do you think when you see one? Do you make a judgement about the wearer of the body art? I think tattoos, particularly on women, are more accepted today then they were years ago, in part due to the success of shows such as Miami Ink and LA Ink. In my teen years, I remember my paternal grandmother commenting 'nice girls don't get tattoos". I'm sure if Grandma were still alive and viewed a photo of Kat Von D and her body of work, she would be completely mortified. Fortunately, the apple fell far from the tree and while I myself do not have any tattoos, I appreciate the artistry of the craft. Kat is currently on tour to promote her new book, High Voltage Tatoo.

Thursday, March 12th

In an EXCLUSIVE interview, Juno Award winning musician Bif Naked will sit down for a one-on-one chat. Bif was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 and first announced this publically during a radio interview with George during the Strombo Show. You can check out Bif's website here.

That was then...

...this is now.

To say that John D. Roberts has done okay for himself would be an understatement. Canadians remember him as "JD Roberts", host of The NewMusic and co-host of Canada AM. Our neighbours to the south know him as a weekend anchor on CBS and currently as the co-anchor of CNN's American Morning. This week, John, the winner of three Emmy Awards, will be inducted into Canada's Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame.

Friday, March 13

In case you missed them the first time...

Legendary Canadian band RUSH.

Funny man Howie Mandel.

In other news...

In case you missed it on their blog, in June, The Hour will win a Gracie Award in the Outstanding Talk Show Category - Public Television Division. This is an award sponsored by the American Women in Radio and Television, honouring programming for, by, and about women.