Classical Guitarist Liona Boyd on Reinventing Herself

I grew up watching classical guitarist Liona Boyd’s television performances and being in awe of her talent and beauty. So when the opportunity to interview one of the finest guitar players in the world, I felt I already knew her. But of course, there was much to learn.

When Boyd first set out to create a career as a guitar player, she was met with many obstacles. In fact, she was told she would never make it as a woman in the guitar world, one that was a male-dominated industry.

Did she ever prove the naysayers wrong.

Over the course of her glamorous career, Boyd has performed for world leaders, and kings and queens. She has recorded 23 albums — many have gone “Gold” and “Platinum” — and has received numerous awards, including five Junos.

She has also worked with symphony orchestras such as The Boston Pops, and recorded with Sir Andrew Davis and the English Chamber Orchestra, Yo Yo Ma, Georges Zamfir and Michael Kamen. Breaking with classical tradition, she toured with Gordon Lightfoot and Tracy Chapman, and recorded with Chet Atkins, Eric Clapton, David Gilmore and Roger Whittaker.

In my interview with Boyd, we chat about her glamorous life and her latest album entitled Return to Canada With Love, an ambitious project that features guest performances by many celebrities such as Olivia Newton-John, Jann Arden, Dan Hill, Serena Ryder and even Chris Hadfield.

But at the heart of it, this is a story about reinvention.

Boyd was diagnosed with focal dystonia, a neurological condition that causes involuntary muscular contractions and abnormal postures. She was told she would never play guitar again. On that note, Boyd began the journey of reinventing herself.

“It was the biggest blessing in my life, says Boyd. “Sometimes you think it’s a tragedy when something bad happens to you. But I was able to turn it around, and open up a whole new chapter called singing and songwriting, which I would never have done.”

I invite you to watch my full interview with “The First Lady of the Guitar,” Liona Boyd, who speaks with passion about her success, love and how learning the art of singing and songwriting is changing her life.


Season finale of Extraordinary Women TV

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Extraordinary Women TV with Shannon Skinner

 

 

Season finale tonight of Extraordinary Women TV on Rogers TV
Guests: JoAnne Butler, VP, Ontario Power Authority AND Anne Sado, president, George Brown College

TORONTO, April 15, 2014 – The season finale of Extraordinary Women TV features Shannon Skinner’s interviews with special guests JoAnne Butler, VP, Ontario Power Authority, and Anne Sado, president, George Brown College. The show airs tonight at 7pm ET on Rogers TV Cable 10/63 in Toronto/Scarborough.

Also on tonight’s show, Shannon’s regular segment, “Women to Watch,” highlights Kristina Ejem, founder, Girls Just Wanna Box.

The hit television series began as the first-of-its-kind web TV talk show for women in Canada, and has grown into an inspirational, relevant and informative resource for women who want to follow their hearts and dreams, and live extraordinary lives. In January 2013, the show began airing on Rogers TV in Toronto/Scarborough, with 46 episodes being produced and aired over two seasons. This past summer, the show was also picked up on Rogers TV Mississauga and Richmond Hill.

Shannon’s guests are successful women from all walks of life – many high-profile — from Toronto and across Canada, from a range of industries, including: arts and entertainment, business, finance, charities, eco, media, experts – and more. Some past notable guests include: entrepreneur Debbie Travis; singers Jully Black, Sarah Slean and Suzie McNeil; entertainment editor at 680 News, Gloria Martin; dean of law faculty at the U of T, Mayo Moran; fashion designer and Canadian icon, Linda Lundstrom; president/CEO, ROM, Janet Carding; Rebecca MacDonald, founder, Just Energy; actress Sarena Parmar; Plan Canada’s president/CEO, Rosemary McCarney; beauty expert, Cheryl Gushue; among many others.

More than 100 episodes have been archived on the web since its inception in September 2010, when it began as a live web TV series. Extraordinary Women TV is produced and owned by Shannon Skinner and Comfy Chair Productions Inc., and is filmed in Toronto.

Rogers TV Toronto’s full scheduling information: click here.


Guests on Episode 21, season 2, of Extraordinary Women TV on Rogers TV

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Extraordinary Women TV with Shannon Skinner

 

 

Episode 21, season 2, of Extraordinary Women TV on Rogers TV
Guests: Rhiannon Traill, President/CEO, Economic Club of Canada AND Kathy Cheng, President, WS & Co.

TORONTO, April 8, 2014 – In this 21st episode of season two’s Extraordinary Women TV, host Shannon Skinner sits down with Rhiannon Traill, president & CEO of The Economic Club of Canada AND Kathy Cheng, president of WS & Co., one of Canada’s leading full-service apparel manufacturers, and Redwood Classics apparel. The show airs tonight at 7pm ET on Rogers TV Cable 10/63 in Toronto/Scarborough.

Also featured is Shannon’s regular segment, “Women to Watch.” This week highlights Jenna Evans, Research Fellow at the Institute of Health Policy, Management & Evaluation, University of Toronto, where she recently completed her PhD in Health Services Research, and active volunteer with the Girl Guides of Canada.

The hit television series began as the first-of-its-kind web TV talk show for women in Canada, and has grown into an inspirational, relevant and informative resource for women who want to follow their hearts and dreams, and live extraordinary lives. In January 2013, the show began airing on Rogers TV in Toronto/Scarborough, with 46 episodes being produced and aired over two seasons. This past summer, the show was also picked up on Rogers TV Mississauga and Richmond Hill.

Shannon’s guests are successful women from all walks of life – many high-profile — from Toronto and across Canada, from a range of industries, including: arts and entertainment, business, finance, charities, eco, media, experts – and more. Some past notable guests include: entrepreneur Debbie Travis; singers Jully Black, Sarah Slean and Suzie McNeil; entertainment editor at 680 News, Gloria Martin; dean of law faculty at the U of T, Mayo Moran; fashion designer and Canadian icon, Linda Lundstrom; president/CEO, ROM, Janet Carding; Rebecca MacDonald, founder, Just Energy; actress Sarena Parmar; Plan Canada’s president/CEO, Rosemary McCarney; beauty expert, Cheryl Gushue; among many others.

More than 100 episodes have been archived on the web since its inception in September 2010, when it began as a live web TV series. Extraordinary Women TV is produced and owned by Shannon Skinner and Comfy Chair Productions Inc., and is filmed in Toronto.

Rogers TV Toronto’s full scheduling information: click here.


Episode 18, Season 2, guests on Extraordinary Women TV on Rogers TV

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Extraordinary Women TV with Shannon Skinner

 

 

Episode 18, season 2, of Extraordinary Women TV on Rogers TV
Guests: Karen King & Roxanne Joyal

TORONTO, March 18, 2014 – On tonight’s show, host Shannon Skinner sits down with founder, Productions Without Borders, Karen King, about diversity in media; and Roxanne Joyal, Co-CEO, Me to We, an innovative social enterprise that offers socially conscious and environmentally friendly products and life-changing experiences.

This episode also feature’s Shannon’s special segment — “Women to Watch” — celebrating local up-and-coming Toronto-area entrepreneurs. This week highlights Jenna Brooks., Co-Founder, Toronto’s Fitness and Health Network “Eleven Lifestyle.” The show airs tonight at 7pm ET on Rogers TV Cable 10/63 in Toronto/Scarborough.

The hit television series began as the first-of-its-kind web TV talk show for women in Canada, and has grown into an inspirational, relevant and informative resource for women who want to follow their hearts and dreams, and live extraordinary lives. In January 2013, the show began airing on Rogers TV in Toronto/Scarborough, with 46 episodes being produced and aired over two seasons. This past summer, the show was also picked up on Rogers TV Mississauga and Richmond Hill.

Shannon’s guests are successful women from all walks of life – many high-profile — from Toronto and across Canada, from a range of industries, including: arts and entertainment, business, finance, charities, eco, media, experts – and more. Some past notable guests include: entrepreneur Debbie Travis; singers Jully Black, Sarah Slean and Suzie McNeil; entertainment editor at 680 News, Gloria Martin; dean of law faculty at the U of T, Mayo Moran; fashion designer and Canadian icon, Linda Lundstrom; president/CEO, ROM, Janet Carding; Rebecca MacDonald, founder, Just Energy; actress Sarena Parmar; Plan Canada’s president/CEO, Rosemary McCarney; beauty expert, Cheryl Gushue; among many others.

More than 100 episodes have been archived on the web since its inception in September 2010, when it began as a live web TV series. Extraordinary Women TV is produced and owned by Shannon Skinner and Comfy Chair Productions Inc., and is filmed in Toronto.

Rogers TV Toronto’s full scheduling information: click here.


Shannon’s guests tonight on Extraordinary Women TV on Rogers TV: Rose Barroso & Lynda Budd

NEWS RELEASE:
Extraordinary Women TV with Shannon Skinner

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Guests on tonight’s episode of Extraordinary Women TV on Rogers TV
Rose Barroso, Barroso Homes; AND Canada’s leading tea expert, Lynda Budd

TORONTO, Dec. 2, 2013 – Tune-in tonight for the next episode of season two’s Extraordinary Women TV, when host Shannon Skinner speaks with Rose Barroso, founder, Barroso Homes, about how she went from being and airline stewardess to becoming one of few women in Canada who build homes, and how she manages to work and thrive in a male-dominated industry; PLUS Canada’s leading tea expert, Lynda Budd, founder, TeAlchemy, discusses her unique company that blends and sells teas and wares online. The show airs at 7pm ET on Rogers TV Cable 10 & 63 in Toronto/Scarborough.

The hit television series began as the first-of-its-kind web TV talk show for women in Canada, and has grown into an inspirational, relevant and informative resource for women who want to follow their hearts and dreams, and live extraordinary lives. In January 2013, the show began airing on Rogers TV in Toronto/Scarborough. This past summer, the show was also picked up on Rogers TV Mississauga and Richmond Hill.

Shannon’s guests are successful women from all walks of life – many high-profile — from Toronto and across Canada, from a range of industries, including: arts and entertainment, business, finance, charities, eco, media, experts – and more. Some past notable guests include: one of Canada’s most successful women, TV personality and designer, Debbie Travis; singers Jully Black, Sarah Slean and Suzie McNeil; entertainment editor at 680 News, Gloria Martin; dean of law faculty at the U of T, Mayo Moran; fashion designer and Canadian icon, Linda Lundstrom; president/CEO, ROM, Janet Carding; Rebecca MacDonald, founder, Just Energy; actress Sarena Parmar; Plan Canada’s president/CEO, Rosemary McCarney; beauty expert, Cheryl Gushue; among many others.

More than 240 one-on-one, in-studio interviews have been archived since its inception in September 2010. Extraordinary Women TV is produced and owned by Shannon Skinner and Comfy Chair Productions Inc., and is filmed in Toronto.

Rogers TV Toronto’s full scheduling information: click here.


Interview: Urban Native Girl blogger, Lisa Charleyboy, on empowering Canada’s Aboriginals [video]

One of the things I love the most about interviewing extraordinary women is uncovering the moment or event that put them on their path, leading to the point where they are today. In some cases, it was a turning-point event in their lives. For others, their journey began as a deep creative desire at an early age.

For Lisa Charleyboy, a Toronto-based Aboriginal writer and blogger who is dedicated to inspiring and empowering other young Aboriginal people to follow their dreams, it was at the age of 10 when she picked up a copy of Vogue magazine that created a deep love of writing and fashion. At 17 years of age, she made a decision to follow her dream. So left her home in Abbotsford, B.C. and headed across the country to Toronto, to begin her studies in fashion communication.

It was while studying writing at York University that she discovered a deep passion for something that touched her even more deeply: her Indigenous roots — and that connection to culture. In 2007, Lisa blended all her passions and launched her popular blog, Urban Native Girl,  (now called Urban Native Magazine), covering pop-culture with an Indigenous twist. Her new magazine is in the beta stage and most certainly looks promising.

Charleyboy has taken an active role in the community, having served as a board member for Association for the Native Development of Visual and Performing Arts (ANDVPA), the Young Indigenous Professionals, and now the Director of Communications for the Aboriginal Professionals of Canada (APAC). She has also been invited to give talks at Harvard University and to Aboriginal Women Entrepreneurs, and has become a regular writer/contributor and guest in the media.

To discover more about this inspiring young woman and what she is doing to empower Aboriginal Canadians, I invite you to watch my interview with Lisa Charleyboy on Extraordinary Women TV:

Extraordinary Women TV with Shannon Skinner airs Mondays at 7pm ET on Rogers TV Cable 10 & 63 in Toronto/Scarborough. View it online at ExtraordinaryWomenTV.com.

 

 


INTERVIEW: Eva Karpati, a champion of Toronto’s everyday heroes (VIDEO)

Upon hearing some friends complain about Toronto after a local violent crime hit the news, Eva Karpati became determined to show the world that Toronto is a “wonderful city filled with amazing people.” She wanted those people with a negative view of our city to see the positive side of Toronto. This gave her the inspiration to launch Good News Toronto, a publication that celebrates our local everyday heroes.

In my recent interview with Eva Karpati, publisher/editor, Good News Toronto, on my talk show Extraordinary Women TV with Shannon Skinner , she discusses the importance of telling “good news” stories, why she feels mainstream media perpetuates fear and what she is doing to change that. I invite you to watch the interview (below):


Extraordinary Women TV announces guests for Rogers TV premiere

Extraordinary Women TV with Shannon Skinner

For Immediate Release

Extraordinary Women TV announces special guests for Rogers TV premiere

TORONTO, Jan. 5, 2013 – On Monday, Jan. 7, 2013 at 7:30 pm ET, Extraordinary Women TV with Shannon Skinner premieres on Rogers TV Cable 10 & 63 in Toronto/Scarborough. Shannon’s special guests for this first episode are Toronto-based singer/songwriter, Sarah Slean, and actress, Sarena Parmar.

Sarah Slean has made eight albums, including her latest, the critically-acclaimed double-album, Land & Sea. She has starred in two short films and a movie musical, published two volumes of poetry and, as a visual artist, held exhibits of her paintings. She has written two string quartets and shared the stage with five of the country’s leading orchestras. Slean has been nominated for three Junos, two Geminis, and her records have been released worldwide.

Shannon’s second guest, actress, Sarena Parmar, has starred in the Gemini-nominated series, How To Be Indie, playing the role of Indie’s older sister, Chandra Metha. Parmar has also guest starred in Degrassi: The Next Generation, Flashpoint and The Border, and the feature film, Radio Rebel. She is also an ambassador for “Because I am a Girl” program created by Plan Canada.

“These are two accomplished artists in their own right who share what inspires their hearts and how they achieved their success in my interviews with them,” says Shannon Skinner, producer and host, Extraordinary Women TV. “I encourage Torontonians to tune-in and get inspired by their stories.”

Extraordinary Women TV with Shannon Skinner is a first-of-its-kind web TV talk show that is an inspirational, relevant and informative resource for women who want to follow their hearts and dreams.

Shannon’s guests are women – many high-profile — from a range of industries, including: arts and entertainment, business, finance, charities, eco, media, experts – and more. Some notable guests include: singers/songwriters Suzie McNeil, Sarah Slean, Selina Martin and Amy Sky; media personality/relationship expert Jen Kirsch; journalist/author Jan Wong; businesswomen Rebecca MacDonald and Kelsey Ramsden; game inventor Laura Robinson; actresses Sarena Parmar, Lisa Berry; Plan Canada’s Rosemary McCarney; former Chatelaine editor Rona Maynard; among many others.

More than 170 one-on-one interviews with successful women from all walks of life, from Toronto and across Canada, have been conducted and archived since its inception in September 2010.

For full scheduling information, visit: www.rogerstv.com/ExtraordinaryWomenTV

For information, contact:

Shannon Skinner
Producer/Host, Extraordinary Women TV
416-576-8809 (cell)
shannon@skinnerpublicity.com
www.ExtraordinaryWomenTV.com


This woman created a hugely successful enterprise out of a mother’s love (VIDEO)

Jennifer Carlson Broe is the founder and president of Baby Gourmet Foods Inc., an organic baby food company specializing in nutritious and delicious packaged food for babies and toddlers.

The entrepreneurial bug bit Jennifer at the age of 7, when she started a lemonade stand and a dog walking business. As an adult, she found herself working in a 9-5 office job for years – unfulfilled and longing for more. Deep in her heart, she knew she could be a successful entrepreneur and was just waiting for the right idea.

The right idea finally came along when she started experimenting with healthy food recipes for her young children in her kitchen. Then she took her product, Baby Gourmet, to the Calgary Farmers’ Market and through word-of-mouth, largely by moms, her brand started to take off.

That was in 2006. Since, she has built a company with product distributed in major retailers across North America, and has been recognized for her leadership and innovation. Jennifer works closely with her sister, Jill, who is responsible for new product development, and she now leads a team of 13 full-time employees. Today, Baby Gourmet is available in locations where 80 per cent of all baby food is sold in Canada.

What has made Jennifer Carlson Broe and Baby Gourmet so successful? The answer might have to do with a little tender loving care.

I invite you to check out my one-on-one, in-depth interview with Jennifer Carlson Broe.


Honouring Aleksandra Knezevic, founder, HA Solutions, who passed away (VIDEO)

Yesterday morning, I received sad news about the sudden death of Aleksandra Knezevic, founder, HA Solutions. I had the honour of interviewing Aleksandra earlier this year on Extraordinary Women TV.

Coincidentally, only minutes before getting this news, I happened to be reviewing some of Aleksandra’s tips about how to meditate — her key to a successful life — that she had provided in the interview, when my first business call of the day brought this unexpected news. My heart sank.Aleksandra Knezovic

While the timing of Aleksandra’s death corresponds with the second anniversary of my talk show, Extraordinary Women TV,  it felt right to put my own milestone celebrations on hold and, instead, celebrate Aleksandra’s extraordinary life.

Aleksandra’s personal journey is inspiring and is truly the immigrant success story. After leaving her war-torn homeland of Serbia, she came to Canada along with her family. She spoke little English and soon began to feel dissatisfied. Aleksandra longed to find the connection between business and spirituality, which led her to Joe Vitale, of ‘The Secret’ movie fame, whose book about a Hawaiian healer made an impression. This changed her life. From this point on, she dedicated her life to learning about the Universal Laws and making meditation a daily ritual. As a result, HA Solutions, an organization dedicated to helping others get over the mental blocks so they can have fulfilling lives, was born.

My interview with Aleksandra is a fond one for me. Her energy is beautiful and magnetic, and youthful. Her laughter was infectious. I truly enjoyed my time with her — it is a blessing.

Bon voyage, Aleksandra, may you have your best journey yet. Thank you for your special gifts.


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