Who’s excited?! Vancouver musician and star to the under 10s Will Stroet of CBC’s Will’s Jams Live” is coming to town with his band. We did a Q&A with the affable (and talented) dad of two where he shared tidbits from his recent China tour, his love of hockey as well as his favourite Toronto coffee shops!
Psst … Early bird tickets are $12 until Oct. 15 – Get tickets!
TMN: You’re coming back to Toronto to do your Will’s Jams Live” show on November 12. I understand Toronto is a special city for you. Why?
WSWJ: While I’m from Vancouver, Toronto has been such a major city in my career as a performer for children. It all started with my pitch on CBC’s Dragon’s Den, which predated “Will’s Jams” on CBC by about a year. We were trying to get “Will’s Jams” in front of the folks at CBC and thought it was worth a try. We didn’t get a deal, which was really a blessing in disguise because we were able to get a deal with CBC Kids on our own just a few months later. CBC Kids is of course based at the CBC in Toronto so it is always fun for me to connect with my colleagues there when I’m in town. Another highlight of my touring schedule every year is when I get to perform as part of CBC Kids Days in July at the CBC building in Toronto. I’m here 2-3 times per year and I always look forward to my visits to the city.
TMN: I’ve heard you love your coffee. I’ve heard you have favourite coffee shop stops in all Canadian cities. What is your favourite place for coffee in YYC?
WSWJ: I have two favourite coffee shops in Toronto. I love Balzac’s in the distillery district and often suggest meeting people there if I’m doing a coffee meeting in Toronto. My other favourite is Rooster Coffeehouse up on Broadview Ave. I have friends who live in that neighbourhood and they introduced me to that place. Great coffee, and a great view of the city.
TMN: We know how you feel about hockey from your “Will’s Jams” song Hockey’s Just Really Cool.” What do you think about the Maple Leafs this year? Any predictions?
WSWJ: I wish I could predict a Toronto vs Vancouver Stanley Cup final this season, but I’m pretty sure the Canucks don’t have what it takes this year. The Leafs however look great. I’m excited to follow them more closely this season and I predict an all Canadian Stanley Cup Final Toronto Maple Leafs vs Edmonton Oilers.
TMN: You recently toured in China. What was that like?
WSWJ: It was an amazing experience. We played 8 shows in 6 cities including Shanghai, Hangzhou and Nanjing. The kids in the audience were amazing and reacted much like kids in Canada do by dancing, singing and participating. We created a multimedia show for the tour, featuring lots of the video content from “Will’s Jams,” which helped with our goal of teaching English through music. The tour was a success and it looks like we’ll be doing a 30-show tour in China next summer. I’ve always been a fan of using other languages in my shows and since my tour in China I now even sing a little bit in Mandarin in my show.
TMN: What can families expect at your show here in Toronto on November 12 at the Al Green Theatre?
WSWJ: The multimedia show we created for the China tour will be getting its Canadian debut in Toronto on November 12 at the Al Green Theatre. While the show features video content from the series, it is still very high-energy and interactive and will have kids and their parents singing and dancing from start to finish. Families will also have a chance to meet me and Janaye (one of the new hosts on CBC Kids Studio K) before the show.
The Will’s Jams Live show on November 12 at 11am at the Al Green Theatre in the Miles Nadal JCC. Early bird tickets are $12 until Oct. 15. Regular tickets are $15 or $55 for a 4-pack. Use the promo code “TorontoMomNow” or click on this link to save 10% off. Come early from 10:15-10:45am to meet Will and CBC Kids host Janaye from Studio K and have your photo taken in the inflatable photo booth.
For more info and tickets, visit www.willsjamstoronto.eventbrite.ca.