The Canadian Love Map

Leap Year Love: Emily and Jared

February 29th - it's a date so special that it only happens every four years. For many of us, however, it may come and go without much spectacle. But for Emily and Jared, February 29th is the day that the two tied the knot. Four years of marriage later, the couple prepares to celebrate their first official anniversary. In this episode, Nancy has a conversation with the couple about how the two met, their shared passion for adventure and the outdoors, and their decision to choose such a unique date for their wedding. 

The Vanishing Station: Gerald and Spencer


These two men share a strange bond that binds them together across three generations: a decommissioned railway station. Gerald is part of a rare breed of Canadians who actually lived in the railway stations that used to dot the prairies.  One of those grandchildren is Spencer Purdy, a visual artist, designer, and architect. When Gerald was approached by the town of Standard to erect a monument to the long-since demolished station, he knew that his grandson was the one for the job. And just like that, grandfather and grandson became partners in this project.

The Battle of Alberta: Tess and Payden


Fathers can play a big role in shaping the people we will become. For Tess and Payden, both of their fathers instilled in them an undying love for two Alberta NHL teams: the Edmonton Oilers and the Calgary Flames, respectively. Although the two teams and their fans are fierce rivals, the love between these two young people burned even stronger. It's a story that united even the fiercest hockey rivals for a brief moment of beauty and love.



The First Team to Arrive: Tyler and Kat


You may already know the story of Tyler and Kat - they're the inspirational young couple from Alberta who won the ninth season of The Amazing Race Canada. Throughout the 11-episode run, Ty and Kat (a.k.a. "TyKat") dominated in the competition's many challenges, but stood out to Canadians due to their positive attitude, their love of adventure, and their blooming relationship. This week, and just in time for Valentines day, we are excited to share the story of their next chapter. 


Open the Floor for Love: Rick and Haven


When thinking about how and where to pop the question to Haven, Rick realized that there was one place in particular that the two shared a unique connection to, and which would make the perfectly unexpected backdrop to this proposal. It was then that Rick, unbeknownst to him, decided to become the first person in Canada to propose to their beloved... on the floor of provincial legislature.



Finding Purpose: Debbie Adams


Our role models and peers often teach us to take opportunities free of fear and baggage - that the world is our oyster. But what if you grew up in a small, remote community that lacked role models who matched your expectations in life? From her early childhood, Debbie was the square peg, driven by a dream that one day she'd find her fit. Life continuously threw Debbie curveballs and she herself found routes that felt like deadends.

But after all that, Debbie built her dream life. Now full of joy, experience and generosity, she has become the role model that little girl from Upper Island Cove needed.

A Tail of Two Loves: Mike and Lisa


Behind each plea for help is a family worried for the wellbeing of their pet and an animal that is often scared and alone. The resources available to help recover lost pets are limited, so oftentimes the only tools available to owners are free time and goodwill.

But one couple is changing that. For the last 5 years, Mike Chapman and Lisa Johstone have given up countless days and nights, using expert skills to help track and recover lost pets. They do it totally out of pocket and ask for nothing in return. For Mike and Lisa, the real reward of this work comes from returning a beloved pet to the place they belong - with their family. 


Rise and Shine: Katelynn Smith


As a child of the fostercare system, Katelynn grew up in constant search of what she felt she never had: stability, family, and love. A life full of challenges and devastation eventually led her down a path of self-love and self-discovery, something which she now shares with an audience of nearly 300,000 followers on Tik Tok. 

Katelynn's life hasn't been without its dark spots, but she chooses to live in the light. She uses the pain of her past to relate to an ever-growing community of women online, becoming a personification of the unconditional love she once saught so tirelessly. 

Her online presence is proof of the fact that the more love you send out into the world, the more love is reflected back at you. 

Finding Strength in Vulnerability: Patrick Gaudet


This week's story comes from Patrick Gaudet, a Tik Tok creator from Montreal. Patrick's emotional and authentic videos focus on the subjects of love, life, and relationships - and have found him a substantial following on the platform. 

Using social media as an engine for impact, Patrick and the community he formed online helped to crowdsource an act of incredible generosity, introducing the creator to an even wider audience. Today, he continues to help and inspire through his brand of radical vulnerability. 

Patrick has amassed a Tik Tok following of 310, 600, most of whom are women. 


Creativity, Curiosity, Community: The Curiosity Club


This love story belongs to a terrific trio of women, Stephanie McNamara, Erin Bulger and Kristen Herrington.

Kristen, Stephanie and Erin first became creative collaborators and the magic they discovered led to a deep and rewarding friendship. Now they're joining forces to encourage others to tap into their creativity with a collective called Curiosity Club.

It all started when Stephanie asked Erin to mentor her in photography, then led to a magical run of her one-woman show "Her Beautiful Brain". The experience was so profoundly moving it inspired the 3 women to start something special.

The Curiosity Club is a collective of professional artists and entrepreneurs who specialize in
facilitating creative experiences. Each woman offers a unique skill set and area of expertise with the shared mission to help bring ideas to life.

On January 17, they will be launching our first virtual program. A 12-week online
community to work through the infamous teaching of Julia Cameron's, "The Artist's

For more information:
Follow Curiosity Club: @curiosityclubcreative
Follow Kristen:
Follow Erin: @Erin Bulger
Follow Stephanie: @StephMcNamaraPhotography


Open To Love: Coco Love Alcorn


This love story belongs to the aptly named Coco Love Alcorn, a Canadian singer-songwriter whose music has found its way into hearts around the world. She had been writing and performing for decades when her song The River suddenly floated her music to a global audience when choirs everywhere started singing it. That birthed the idea for the Wonderland singers, a virtual community created by Coco, that might just be the best thing to come out of the pandemic.

The Wonderland Singers is an interactive, spontaneous, offering creative freedom to those who participate. Her online and in-person choirs have inspired many to find their voice and raise their voice.

Alcorn’s career has spanned more than 20 years, with 12 (9 solo) albums, cross-Canada tours, collaborations, festival appearances, award nominations, and notable success in TV and film licensing.


Seasons Greetings From The McMasters: Steve and Alyssa


This love story is straight out of a Holiday Rom-Com. It all started at a party when Alyssa spotted a Christmas card featuring a scantily clad bachelor with a huge sense of humour. It was that very Christmas card that was the start of a great love story.

For 5 years, Steve had his very own unconventional tradition of humorous photoshoots, which he turned into yearly Christmas cards for his family and friends. But when Alyssa entered the picture, the solo shoots were no more, and the pair has now embraced the tradition together. 

Steve and Alyssa are truly a united team, who have navigated the waters of life's obstacles together. They have also learned a thing or two about how to maintain a strong marriage. For these two, life is all about enjoying the moment, embracing who you are, and finding the person you can fully be yourself with.

Beauty From Trauma: Jaysn Lucus


This love story belongs to Jasyn Lucas, an Indigenous Canadian painter from the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation in northern Manitoba. Jasyn is a survivor of the “Sixties Scoop”, which refers to the large-scale removal of Indigenous children from their homes, communities, and birth families through the 1960s. Subsequently, these children were adopted into predominantly non-Indigenous, middle-class families across the United States and Canada. 

Jasyn graduated from the Studio Art Diploma Program from Capilano University where he studied Printmaking, Sculpture, Drawing, Painting, and Art History. His extraordinary paintings are done with a combination of both airbrush and hand-painted applications, using both traditional and contemporary practices. He also applies this to everyday living as well, preserving tradition while exploring technologies and new ideas.

Jasyn finds inspiration for his art everywhere and he has been devoted to creating for over 20 years. His art not only shares extraordinary beauty with others but has provided him with profound healing from his traumatic past. 


More Than Friends: Alex and Corinna


This love story belongs to Alex and Corina, a couple who met while working at a movie theatre. Their modern love story started with friendship, and soon grew into a sitcom-worthy romance.

Both movie buffs, Alex and Corina share a love for the cinema, and specifically the show Friends has played a starring role in their lives. They are a real-life Chandler and Monica as their relationship took a while to get off the ground, but is now full of entertaining and sweet memories, including a Friends-inspired candlelit proposal.

For Alex and Corina, shared passions, humour, and appreciation of the simple everyday moments are at the core of this special connection. And they happen to be tying the knot next year, at the very theatre where it all began.


To The Moon and Back: Lars Callieou


Today's love story belongs to Lars Callieou, a Canadian comedian who has given the gift of laughter to audiences all over the world, including six military tours. For Lars, feeling at home on the road was very normal, as his parents were travelling musicians. When following in their footsteps didn't quite pan out, he found solace and purpose in standup comedy.

His love of comedy has taken him across Canada and the US in his beloved 2009 Volkswagen Jetta, which he calls Silver. Lars has travelled so much that he's travelled the exact distance to the moon and back (768,00km)...and then some. Currently, he has logged 818,000km.

Lars has an impressive comedy career that spans 20 years, and he's worked with such luminaries as Joan Rivers, Jeff Foxworthy, and Bob Saget. His fuel is passion, generosity, and the pure love of performance. 


Sowing Seeds of Empowerment: The Hope Blooms Story


Today's love story belongs to Jessie and Kolade. They are friends, colleagues, magic makers, and they are both part of a phenomenal social enterprise in Halifax, Nova Scotia called Hope Blooms.

Hope Blooms engages with inner-city youth to become change agents, positively impacting the community through innovative agricultural and culinary programs. These changemakers made a national impact a decade ago on the show Dragon's Den, where 6 young and enthusiastic youth pitched their salad dressing business and made a deal for $40,000. They even moved one of the dragons to tears.

It was a vision that started with a seed, and has since bloomed into a movement on a mission to create future leaders. It's all about growth. From the garden where the program took root, to salsa, salad dressings and scholarships.

Hope Blooms has become what it is today because of the hard work, commitment and compassion of Executive Director, Jessie Jollymore. The future is bright for this enterprise, and at the helm is Kolade Boboye, who is currently the Manager of Social Business and Innovation.

For more information about Hope Blooms visit


Tiny Tales, Big Love: Nancy Rose


Nancy Rose is a former teacher and guidance counsellor whose passion for photography and crafting has transformed into an unusual new career. When Nancy found herself seeking creative inspiration, she found it in her own backyard when she witnessed the entertaining behaviours of her neighbourhood squirrels. She started creating miniature squirrel-sized displays and props, using cardboard, clay, and other craft supplies. Motivated by hidden treats, squirrels became the subject of her photographs, as they interacted with her creations. Chasing her creativity even further, Nancy turned these whimsical sights into children's stories. Nancy's innovative creations have not only sparked joy for many but they also spread a powerful message: embrace you.


An Amazing Friendship: Craig and Catherine


Catherine and Craig are two multi-talented theatre performers, whose 25-year friendship has seen its fair share of peaks and valleys. Throughout their journey, this dynamic duo has consistently supported, challenged, and inspired one another to become better. They faced their greatest obstacle when Catherine was diagnosed with brain cancer. However, the life-threatening crisis didn't stop them from auditioning for Season 8 of The Amazing Race Canada. Proving the old saying what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, they not only competed in this nationally televised reality show...they took home the grand prize.

Blood Relatives: Shelia and Cody


Sheila and Cody, living in different countries, were complete strangers who became bonded by blood through the gift of life. Sheila, a veteran from New Brunswick, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and received chemotherapy in 2012. In need of bone marrow, Sheila was alerted of a donor match. Her match wasn't a friend or a close family member; it was someone she didn't even know. Cody, hailing from Mississippi, signed up for the donor list, believing it was a simple way to help another person in need.  A year after the procedure, Sheila and Cody got in touch and developed a long-distance friendship. A decade later, Cody made the journey to New Brunswick, where they finally met in person. Today, they are close friends who share a unique bond, an experience few can lay claim to.

Brushes With Love: Holly Carr


This love story belongs to Holly Carr, a Canadian artist who turns silk into stories with her unique style of silk paintings, creating joyful magic with her brushes.In addition to her other pursuits, she captivates audiences with her mesmerizing live performance art that unfolds on stage to the backdrop of live music. Her artistic journey has taken her across the nation, including her notable 26-date tour alongside the late Stewart Maclean of Vinyl Café fame. One of her early sources of inspiration was the cherished Ernie Coombs, the Canadian entertainer who brought Mr. Dressup to life Recently, Holly has brought to life an extraordinary art installation called Light In The Forest: an intersection of art, music and mental wellness filled with messages of hope and resilience. The installation was inspired by her then young son, who suffered from anxiety. It's evolved into a multimedia immersive experience, an award-winning children’s book and an app that Holly developed with Acadia University. Light In The Forest has touched the lives of over 3000 youth across Nova Scotia. 


The Love Of The Chase: Jenny and Shannon


Across Canada is a special group of women connected by one thing: a fearless curiosity about severe weather, and a passion to diversify the face of weather and science. They are a courageous community called Girls Who Chase. Their goal? To inspire, empower and equip girls and women to pursue storms, the sciences, and their passions. Jenny Hagan is the Girls Who Chase Canada Chapter Lead and an award-winning photographer. She has embarked on a journey of self-education, delving deep into the realms of forecasting and meteorology. Today, she passionately pursues storms across North America. Shannon is a landscape photographer from Manitoba.  After seeing her first tornado in real life in 2007, she bought a DSLR and committed to getting the perfect shot of lightning. Now, her photos of lightning strikes and auroras impress anyone who finds them, including Jenny. Shannon and Jenny eventually connected and became friends, mentors, and partners in storm chasing.


A Slice Of Love: Jessica and Juan


At the age of 15, Jessica Kruger's life took a profound turn when she became a quadriplegic due to a life-altering workplace injury that resulted in a spinal cord injury. Her injury ignited many changes, including a new passion for baking and cake decorating. However, one aspect of her character remained unaltered: her stubbornness. To Jessica, it's a superpower. Soon enough, her persistence to prove others wrong and defy expectations led to the creation of her thriving business venture, The Stubborn Baker, which specializes in baking and custom cake decorating. Jessica's newfound confidence led to another life change when she met Juan, a restless and soft-spoken chemical engineer from Columbia. He was looking for someone who shared the same sense of devotion to family and friends as he did. Juan found exactly what he was looking for in Jessica. And the two have been together ever since. So what are the ingredients for an incredible love story? You'll just have to listen to find out.


Sparking Conversations and Change: Jenny and Sophia


This love story belongs to the mother-daughter duo, Jenny Kierstead and Sophia Rae, a remarkable mother-daughter duo who are bridging the intergenerational gap.

They're also co-hosts of a podcast called Spark, A Mother-Daughter Journey, where they have open-hearted conversations and engaging discussions with special guests. Together, they pave the way for healing and understanding, forging connections that transcend age and experience. Spark was created from a place of profound loss and global isolation. After Jenny's sister Lisa tragically lost her life in the Nova Scotia mass casualty, and as the world grappled with the challenges of the pandemic, this podcast was a light in the darkness.

Jenny Kiersted is the creator of the Girl on Fire movement. She dedicates her life to empowering young women and guiding them in harnessing their inner wisdom and strength through in-person workshops and online programs. Her daughter Sophia Rae, an aspiring singer-songwriter, mental health advocate, and public speaker, joins her mother on this journey, adding her own unique perspective and passion to the mix.

In this heartfelt conversation with Nancy, Jenny, and Sophia, delve into their ever-evolving mother-daughter relationship and discuss the power of conversation, the importance of empowering young women and how their relationship has impacted their own personal growth.


From Pen To Premiere : Kim Albright and Julia Lederer


This love story belongs to Kim Albright (Director) and Julia Lederer (Writer), the creative duo behind the powerful new film With Love and a Major Organ.  The inspiring film has been touring the festival circuit, captivating and connecting with audiences nationwide.

With Love and a Major Organ is set in an alternate world where hearts are made of objects and suppressing emotions is self-care, a lonely woman rips out her own heart for the man she loves, only to discover that he has run away with it. Whimsical, quirky, and wildly original, With Love and a Major Organ pushes on the ever-stranger phenomenon of physical human interaction in the age of technology. Why is it that we are ever more connected and yet we have never felt more alone?

In this episode, we discuss the heart-centred themes in the show and the journey from screenplay to feature-length film. Kim and Julia share their thoughts on the creative process, challenges, and triumphs that brought this extraordinary film to the big screen.