Tom Power's top 10 q moments from 2017

From the Margaret Atwood extended universe to performing with Abigail Washburn and Béla Fleck

From the Margaret Atwood extended universe to performing with Abigail Washburn and Béla Fleck

Margaret Atwood and Tom Power in the q studios in Toronto, Ont. (Cathy Irving/CBC)

With 2017 almost wrapped, q host Tom Power runs down his favourite interviews and performances of the year from the show. 

Margaret Atwood

2017 was kind of the year of Margaret Atwood because I had a realization that all of my favorite chats revolved around Atwood and her work, such as Sarah Polley and Sarah Gadon. And Atwood came on to talk about The Handmaid's Tale. I was really nervous about that because I guess I have a bit of imposter syndrome every single day. You might have that as well but I kind of got over it a little bit when Margaret Atwood came in. I felt like a real CBC employee when I got to speak to Margaret Atwood. And she was just so so brilliant and not always easy, so I had to be on my game the entire time.

Jesmyn Ward

Maybe there's a couple of people I want to call today and go, 'hey, you know you were dealing with a genius the entire time.' That plus her story of living in a truck during Hurricane Katrina. So incredibly powerful and such a timely interview. And I kind of took that one home with me when I when I went home I couldn't stop thinking about it.


We ended up talking about influence and what influence is and why do we think some music is cheesy and some music isn't and then the value of all music again. A super heady chat but it was a risk we took to kind of listen to a record, go into it our own way, and we got something great out of it. It ended up becoming, surprisingly, one of our most listened to and viewed videos of the year.

Mike and Patrick Downie

There was a moment when everything just lifted and Mike and Patrick Downie started telling stories about their brother, not as this Canadian icon or as this rock star, but as their brother who was a goalie. They started telling stories about Gord's goaltending in hockey when they were kids and all of a sudden this guy, who to so many people was so deeply in our hearts as an icon of this country, became just Gord their brother. I'm eternally grateful that less than 24 hours after the announcement of his passing they came in and talked to me about it and I'll never forget that as long as I live.

Dave and Virginia Grohl
My favourite thing is when I get to talk to these people not as if they're larger than life figures, that's not the kind of interview I like to do. I like to talk to them because, really, I mean they put on their pants and they sing and then they sit in chairs and they like yogurt. People are generally people and I don't know why those are the examples I used. When I got to talk to Dave Grohl and his mom Virginia at the same time, I was hearing from Dave, not as Dave, arena rock superstar, but Dave the guy who, when his friend Kurt died, went home to his mom and hung out. And I just I loved hearing from Virginia on her perspective on how to raise a rock star and getting to know other rock star parents. I'll never forget that interview. I loved it so much and I really hope you listen to it.

Jason Isbell

To have kind of a private audience and to be able to give the listener this private audience with this genius of songwriting, by himself with an acoustic guitar singing the most introspective, the most personal songs about some of the deepest things that we don't talk about, was remarkable. If you haven't heard it yet I really hope you take a listen.

Diana Krall

We thought the cameras were off. Interview was over. I was sitting on a stool just around there and I said have you do "Moonglow" on your new record. The q team was filming the whole thing and what it ended up being was a really incredible moment.

Jessie Reyez

It's hard to talk in 2017 about my favorite moments without talking about maybe the most exciting performer to come from this country this year, Jessie Reyez. Reyez really spoke for a lot of performers, especially women performers, who have found themselves in uncomfortable situations, dangerous situations, abusive situations and what it is to be so vulnerable.

Alan Doyle

We had a really open direct conversation and I'll never forget that as long as I live. To be honest, when I became the host of this show the first thing I thought was, after I got over the initial panic, was, oh man someday Alan Doyle is going to be on the show.

Abigail Washburn and Béla Fleck

I practised the banjo like you wouldn't believe for this. It's like being invited to play guitar with Jimi Hendrix. I sang a little bit, Abby played beautiful claw hammer banjo and Béla a beautiful banjo, and my favourite moment was a comment that I saw. It was very true and very perceptive. It was, the two of them looked so at ease while Tom looked so nervous.


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