CBC personality George Stroumboulopoulos got his start in B.C. Jason Payne/ PNG
Photograph by: Jason Payne , PROVINCE
Though he definitely identifies with his Ontario roots, George Stroumboulopoulos says it’s important to him to get out west a few times every year.
“It’s funny, because I’m a Toronto boy in all the senses of the word. But Vancouver, and the Pacific Northwest, there’s been a vibe here that I’ve really identified with,” he said. “I like the way people connect to each other here. It’s just more chill. It’s definitely more laid back.”
Stroumboulopoulos was in town this month to help out with CBC’s annual Open House and Food Bank Day, where he was frequently stopped in his tracks by admiring fans who waned to say ‘hello’ to George. He invariably stopped, engaged them, asked them their names.
He’s had a soft spot for B.C., he said, going back to his early days in broadcasting.
Fresh out of school in Toronto, Strombo moved west to take his first radio job at a rock station in Kelowna, 104.7 FM The Lizard, where he hosted a metal show called High Voltage.
Stroumboulopoulos expressed his admiration for Vancouver’s restaurants (especially veggie spots like The Naam and The Foundation), local music (especially punk bands like DOA and SNFU), and B.C.’s public broadcaster, the Knowledge Network).
The 41-year-old broadcaster also made a recent trip to B.C. to work on an upcoming project with another famous local, Michael Bublé.
The Burnaby-bred crooner has appeared several times on Stroumboulopoulos’ show over the years, and the two have hit it off, Stroumboulopoulos said. They’ve watched and talked hockey together — Strombo’s a massive Habs fan, while Bublé's a lifelong Canucks backer.
During the 2010 Olympics, Stroumboulopoulos said Bublé even let him crash at his place while he was in Vancouver.
“I had no real plans on coming here, then I bumped into him and he was like, ‘Go stay at my place,’ ” he said. “(Bublé) just left the keys at the front, and . . . let me crash.”