Since August of 2004, Vancouver-based Joseph Planta has been relentlessly interviewing hundreds of “unique and diverse guests from renowned bestselling and prize winning authors, Canadian newsmakers and political figures, internationally known print and broadcast journalists, prominent academics and public intellectuals, as well as noted artists and personalities”.
His web site TheCommentary.ca started out as an e-mail newsletter commentary in 1999 and has since evolved into a tool with which to publish commentaries as well as his audio interview series entitled Planta: On The Line, and it is what many (myself included) consider to be one of the most important forums for current affairs in this city. Joseph approaches many topics and issues in his frank, engaging conversations with interesting folks and from what I can tell the only thing he gets out of it is the joy of doing it and sharing with his listeners. That is so awesome.
Some of my recent favourites include his talks with Tamara Taggart and Mike Killeen on their new roles at CTV, V.I.A. favourite Charles Demers on TV news and politics, legendary sports columnist Don Taylor on his latest book, Georgia Straight editor Charlie Smith on politics and the HST, iconic artist Robert Bateman on his art and his latest book, Alan Haig-Brown on the BC fishing industry, Allen Garr on beekeeping and the Olympics, Kirk Lapointe (former Sun editor turned CBC Ombudsman) on the Olympics, Mike McCardell on his book(s)… it is impossible not to find something you’re interested in if you dig back through these hundreds of interviews Joseph has done.
I was honoured earlier this week when Joseph called on me to talk about Vancouver Is Awesome. We talked about the past, present and future of V.I.A., the upcoming Vancouver Book Club event, our teaming up with the Rain City Chronicles and Vancouver 125, the Olympics, urban chickens, Expo 86 and more. Have a listen below and be sure to bookmark TheCommentary.ca as I promise that most of Joseph’s frequent guests (often a few interviews are posted per week!) are infinitely more interesting than I am.
Planta: On the Line with Bob Kronbauer: