Interview

Host Dale Curd Talks Season 2 Of His CBC Show “Hello Goodbye”

Dale Curd is a man with many titles, as a Toronto-based psychotherapist, co-founder of school workshop ChangeBullying, and the director of the Men’s Program, a network of support groups for men. This week, Curd will reprise yet another one of his titles as host of the CBC series Hello Goodbye, which is returning for its second season on CBC. Hello Goodbye follows Curd as he approaches strangers in Toronto Pearson International Airport and investigates what has brought them to their destination. Curd caught up with Real Style to fill us in on the show’s success, its challenges and what fans can expect from Season 2.

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Real Style: Hello Goodbye has been so popular. Why do you think it has worked so well in Canada?

Dale: I think it struck a chord with Canadians because the stories are highly relatable. The show deals with themes of family, of friendship, of love, of hope, of triumph over adversity and those are all universal themes that we don’t see too much of on TV in a very real way, particularly on prime time, 30 minute shows.

Real Style: What can viewers expect from Season 2? Is there anything different from Season 1? 

Dale: I would say that the stories are far more complex, more involved, and deeper. Most of the stories that we’ve done this year equal some of the best stories we did last year. So we’ve been able to achieve a quality this year which is much higher than what we did last year.

Real Style: What have been some of the bigger challenges you’ve faced while filming the show?

Dale: First off, we’re having these kinds of conversations in a very public space. One of the things we have to do very quickly as a team is establish a way of doing these interviews so that people feel comfortable and make sure that we’re filming in such a way that people don’t become overtly aware of the fact that they’re on camera, I know that for our camera operators, another challenge is making the airport look like a beautiful place. I would say Pearson is one of those airports that is actually quite beautiful, but it’s still an airport, so it doesn’t have a lot of cozy spaces to it. I would say the third challenge is finding the people. When we started the show, we thought Canadians would be somewhat reserved and held back, but we found the opposite, actually. We’ve had a high success rate when it comes to people agreeing to be interviewed, and I think a big part of that has been the way that we approach it. We have story producers that are quite friendly who approach people and merely ask them from a genuine point of view who are they waiting for or who are they saying goodbye to. My job is to follow up on that first contact and make sure that the interview feels very genuine, which it is. I would say those are the top 3 challenges.

Real Style: Do you ever need to unwind after filming such emotionally charged interactions? What do you do to relax afterwards?

Dale: For the second season, we did 68 days of shooting, so I get into a routine very quickly. I think a big part of that is learning how to pace myself because they’re long days, and to take breaks when I need to, like when a story is particularly touching or connects with something that’s personal to me as well. For example, if an interview touches on a theme of parenthood, or relationships, or anything that I’ve also experienced, sometimes I really need to walk away and take ten minutes and let that interview wash out of me. I try to find a quiet spot outside the airport for ten minutes and just relax, doing my best to clear my head out. If it’s really tough for me emotionally, I just allow myself to feel the feelings that I have, versus trying to hold them in. I would say out of the 267 interviews we did this season that happened probably 10% of the time.

Real Style: Do you have a favourite story or moment from Season 1?

Dale: I think one of my favourite moments was when I had a conversation with a guy who was picking up his wife. He told me how they met at a jazz festival in Barrie, but that led into a story about his father, who had recently passed away. Despite being tired or having a long day, his dad would always take him to hockey games, would always play baseball with him. As this man got older, he couldn’t find the time to go visit his dad as often as he wanted to. Now, his dad had passed and he had a lot of regret about that.  It was such a honest conversation between two guys about the choices that we make on a day to day basis and how powerful regrets are.

Real Style: What do you hope that people take away from the show?

Dale: I hope people feel less alone by watching this show. Sometimes we can feel like we’re the only ones who go through what we go through, or no one will understand what we’re feeling because they haven’t gone through the exact same thing. I hope that people watch this show and get their heads around the fact that they’re not the only one going through something. I think that would be a huge achievement for all of us. Given the divisiveness that’s happening culturally in America, and how it’s really shining a light of divisiveness around the world, I really hope that people come away from this show unaware of a person’s skin colour or cultural background. I hope that they can see these people for what they are, which are just humans going through moments in life. It doesn’t matter what a person wears or what they believe in, if they’re falling in love or they’ve lost someone close to them, we can all relate to them, regardless of where we come from.

Season 2 of Hello Goodbye returns to CBC today at 8:30 p.m. (9 p.m. NT).

Photo: Matt Barnes c/o Forte Entertainment



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