Out in the Openwith Piya Chattopadhyay

Latest

'I didn't want to be ridiculed': The emotional toll of microaggressions at work

Karlyn Percil-Mercieca says experiencing racial microaggressions at work in Toronto's financial district impacted her mental health.
Profile

David Treuer says Indigenous people are not 'perpetual sufferers stuffed into reserves'

The award-winning Ojibwe author and academic uses his writing to challenge racist stereotypes that don’t square with his reality.

A mom learns to navigate a relationship with her child's homeless birth parents

Vanessa McGrady was overjoyed when she finally adopted a child. But her desire for an open adoption got complicated when the birth parents became homeless, and she invited them to stay with her.

Emergency dispatcher tried to 'brush off' her PTSD, until she couldn't

‘I went into my own crisis,’ said Jessica Patoine after an emergency call.

Fat, tattooed and on the trail: Meet the woman changing what it means to be a hiker

Meet the woman who carved out a space for herself, and thousands of others who don't fit the mould, in the world of outdoor activities.
Q&A

'They have become the new religion': Esther Perel says we expect too much from relationships

Couples therapist talks about why we fail to connect and how we can do better.

'There isn't anywhere to go': Ontario halfway house for aging inmates addressing gap in prison system

Haley House, a unique halfway house in Ontario, specifically caters to the needs of older and palliative offenders on parole — a type of facility prisoner advocates say we need more of.

Breaking the branch: How one woman plans to stop spread of disease by not having kids

Huntington's disease runs in Chantelle Smith's family. She will die of it herself, should she live long enough. So she's decided not to have kids of her own to stop the perpetuation of the disease.

'It's the dementia, it's not me': How this woman finds resilience in the face of memory loss

At 58, Wendy Mitchell was diagnosed with early onset dementia. She describes coping strategies she's developed to deal with her memory loss, and explains why she thinks dementia shouldn't be seen as an ending, but as the start of a new life.

'To call myself Canadian would speak to the success of residential schools'

Three Indigenous people reflect on the word ‘Canadian’ and what fuels their individual choice to acknowledge or reject the term in how they identify.

'Who am I?' A third culture kid finds himself in Canada

Alain Derbez was born in Mexico, spent his formative years in France, then moved to Canada — his mother’s homeland. He always felt like an "other" until he stumbled upon a book about third culture kids and saw himself in the term.

Members of Hindu temple destroyed by fire plan to raise funds for Notre-Dame

In the days after 9/11, Subhash Dighe's Hindu temple burned down in Hamilton, Ont. A multi-faith community rallied to rebuild it, including members of Javid Mirza's Muslim mosque, which had also been attacked. They both speak with Piya about how their experience informed their belief that Notre-Dame too should be rebuilt, and inspired a local fundraising effort to help.
Updated

Newfoundlander's house burns down during CBC Radio interview

Last year, Piya conducted an interview with Anne Marie Hagan about her father's brutal murder, and reconciling with his killer. After she left the St. John's studio, she got a phone call, learning her house and business had burned to the ground. Initially, she vowed to rebuild. Piya catches up with her to hear whether she did, and how she so often manages to hold onto hope amid tragedy.

Why a scientist is dedicated to preserving a spider that serves no known purpose to the ecosystem

Today's dire state of biodiversity has led conservationists to essentially triage, attempting to tally which species are most important to save. And while there's no evidence an extremely rare spider called the horrid ground-weaver does much at all to ensure our survival, Andrew Whitehouse is determined to preserve it.

Students speak out about the potential pitfalls of gifted testing

While he was in school, Braxton Wignall showed signs of strong intelligence but also had strong behavioural challenges. When he was tested for being "gifted", he didn't make the cut. We hear from Braxton and students he works with today about the controversial practice of labelling students as 'gifted' and who defines what being exceptional looks like.
Video

The promise and pitfalls of assistive technologies for people with visual impairments

Visually impaired users of assistive technologies say apps, gadgets and other innovations go a long way, but broader measures to enhance accessibility would be better.
Audio

Searching for ways to hold on after leaving outport Newfoundland

In February, the Newfoundland and Labrador town of Little Bay Islands voted to relocate. Resettlement of outport communities has a controversial and deeply emotional past in the province. Piya explores how people have tried to hold on to their homes, and how moving has brought salvation with Cindy Billard, whose town of Grand Bruit relocated a decade ago.
Full Episode

Holding On

Soon after Paris's Notre-Dame Cathedral burned, a global fundraiser was launched to rebuild it. The effort sparked debate among those who believed in preserving the historic structure, and those who contend we should move on and use the money for other needs. This week, Piya dives into that tension, asking: What's worth holding onto... even when it's almost gone?

Why a near-perfect memory can be both a blessing and a curse

Markie Pasternack has Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM), meaning she has a nearly perfect memory for things that have happened to her and things she happens to have heard about. She tells Piya how her exceptional memory has bolstered her relationships, but also made it impossible to forget the more difficult experiences she's lived through.

A mother suspected that a kid might shoot someone. So why didn't she phone the police?

Bellamy Shoffner came upon a group of young black boys while walking in the park. She believed one of them pulled out a gun and she considered calling the police for help. But she was also afraid police might end up shooting one of the boys. Bellamy tells Piya why she's pleased with the decision she ultimately made... even though she holds it was the wrong one.
Audio

Want your kid to love playing sports? Try letting them quit

Growing up, David McGlynn was a very strong swimmer, working his way up to train with future Olympians. But his talent eventually topped out, ending his career. As an adult, David encountered that drive to be exceptional from another vantage point: his son's. He tells Piya about the challenge of grappling with his child's basketball prowess – and its ultimate plateau.
Audio

At 6 foot 3, her height was her pride and joy ー until she learned it came with a genetic disorder

At six feet three inches tall, Janna Klostermann has towered above most people in her life. She used to use her height as a way to connect with others, whether on the basketball court or on the dance floor. But being diagnosed with Marfan syndrome – a genetic disorder posing risks to her health – has made Janna reevaluate the pride she once took in her remarkable height.
Full Episode

The Special Edition

When we call someone 'exceptional', it's often for something enviable, like being top of your class, or most successful in your field of work. But being exceptional also makes you different, which can lead to isolation and a whole lot of expectation. This week, Piya asks: Is being exceptional a blessing or a curse?

'I just see myself as me': What DNA tests don't say about who you are

Olivia Bowden knows that her mom's an Indian immigrant to Canada and that her dad's Caucasian. She also knows that DNA, which is scientific, should not be conflated with race, a social category. And yet, as a biracial woman who's struggled with belonging, she still wanted to take a DNA test to affirm who she is.
Audio

'I had no cushion': The stigma of seeking social assistance as a single mother living in poverty

In her 20s, Stephanie Land left an abusive relationship with her infant daughter in tow. But leaving meant going it alone, and struggling to make money as a house cleaner to support her and her child. She tells Piya how the stigma attached to poverty and receiving social assistance prevented her from seeking financial help when she most needed it... and why she thinks we need to stop vilifying people in the situation she once found herself in.
Profile

David Treuer says Indigenous people are not 'perpetual sufferers stuffed into reserves'

The award-winning Ojibwe author and academic uses his writing to challenge racist stereotypes that don’t square with his reality.

'I didn't want to be ridiculed': The emotional toll of microaggressions at work

Karlyn Percil-Mercieca says experiencing racial microaggressions at work in Toronto's financial district impacted her mental health.
Q&A

'They have become the new religion': Esther Perel says we expect too much from relationships

Couples therapist talks about why we fail to connect and how we can do better.

A mom learns to navigate a relationship with her child's homeless birth parents

Vanessa McGrady was overjoyed when she finally adopted a child. But her desire for an open adoption got complicated when the birth parents became homeless, and she invited them to stay with her.

'It's the dementia, it's not me': How this woman finds resilience in the face of memory loss

At 58, Wendy Mitchell was diagnosed with early onset dementia. She describes coping strategies she's developed to deal with her memory loss, and explains why she thinks dementia shouldn't be seen as an ending, but as the start of a new life.