Throughout my early years in my new homeland, on long and lonely Prairie drives, I inhaled my new country through the radio in my car. I gained so much pride, absorbed knowledge, and boosted my genuine patriotism for my chosen home, just by making CBC radio my everyday driving companion. Sometimes I would even tune in to Radio-Canada, on purpose, to stretch my comprehension and make myself feel like I belonged even more. At night, I would let Knowlton Nash gently guide me through the news of the land and the ways we stood out as the most inclusive, most diverse, most open, and most progressive human society in the world.
My Canadian pride and patriotism was so fundamentally shaped by what was coming across those airwaves. All that love of home, all that unique sense of ownership, ended up shaping my role and my place in this country. That special pull I felt from “owning” my Canada ultimately steered me into a career built around positive social impact. I found it impossible to resist the deeper lure of working to make the world a better place.
As I built a succession of social ventures—including Carrot, a wellness app that motivates Canadians to make better everyday health and lifestyle choices—I felt that unique patriotic joy that comes from devoting my mind, my energy, and my business muscle to the betterment of the society that had given me so much. That’s what makes me feel like a real builder, a real owner of my chosen country.
I love life’s full circles. Once upon a time my Canadian patriotism was shaped and deepened by the CBC on those long Prairie drives. Now it’s my turn to help shape the lives of so many others across our country.