POLcast episode 63

POLcast episode 63

April 28, 2019

In this episode you will hear:


• From building capitalism in Poland to writing books and helping others

Agnieszka Dydycz tells her story of the very beginning of capitalism in Poland and her role in creating capital markets at the national level, her interactions with the biggest institutional global investors, and then... her life as a writer and her charity work.


• Polished ice - curling in Poland

Adela Walczak lives in Poland, a country without any curling traditions and without any curling facilities. Until now, because Adela decided to build a world class curling club in her home town Łódź, in the centre of Poland. And she did!


• The land of mosquitos and Poles in Ontario

Kaszuby, an area in northern Ontario, about 200 kilometres west of Ottawa, named after the part of northern Poland from which the first settlers came, is the site of the first Polish settlement in Canada.


• Great Poles - Marian Smoluchowski

• Smacznego! Eating Polish - sorrel soup

POLcast episode 62

POLcast episode 62

March 9, 2019

In this episode you will hear:


• Polish art in Indian palaces

Poland’s connections with many geographically distant countries are a fascinating topic. This story of a famous pre-war Polish painter whose art decorates many palaces in India is told by a Canadian POLcast listener born in India. He had just come back to Canada after visiting his home country and was fascinated with artist Stefan Norblin’s contribution to India’s culture.

• Basia’s love line

Basia lives in a small town in Ontario. On a line between two trees in front of her house she hangs donated winter clothes as well as hats and scarves she and her daughter make. They are free for anyone who needs them. 


• The minorities of Poland – Lemkos.

• Smacznego! Eating Polish – pork roast

POLcast episode 61

POLcast episode 61

February 10, 2019

In this episode you will hear:


• If you cannot buy it – make it yourself: a story of Kannuk vodka

Imagine that you go to a store and want to buy something special as a gift – well, you cannot because it’s simply not available. 99.9 per cent of people would simply leave saying: “too bad. I wish they produced it” and go buy something else. But not Adam Szymkow…

• The world’s largest orchestra “plays” for sick kids

This year for the 27th time, Poland’s largest fundraising campaign – the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity, which collects money for medical equipment for Polish paediatric hospitals – has “played” in Poland and dozens of countries, including Canada. Every year the fundraising drive ends in a grand finale concert – ours was held at the Fregata Restaurant in Mississauga.

• Great Poles – Zbigniew Religa, a legendary cardiologist

• Smacznego! Eating Polish – bigos

POLcast episode 60

POLcast episode 60

December 16, 2018

This is our special Christmas Episode so we would like to wish you



In this episode you will hear:


• Art helps people in a remote African village

For six years Ted Dawson has travelled every fall to rural Tanzania, an area next door to Kilimanjaro, to help local people build and modernize infrastructure. In November, for the first time, he took with him Ewa Henry, a Polish Canadian artist, who opened an art program there, empowering local youth and help them get some income.

A Polish pre-war story getting yet another life in California

What I really love is when fascinating stories grow by getting extensions and often new lives. Here is one such story. Ana Bayat, a multilingual actress from San Francisco, met and heard the music and the story of Canadian jazz musician Ron Davis at the Edinburgh's Fringe Festival. It's the story of how Ron, a child of Holocaust survivors, discovered that his mother Alicja was right about his grandfather's pre-war past in Warsaw immortalized in a famous song "Bal na Gnojnej" a.k.a. "Bal u Grubego Jośka". Now Ana is writing a play about Ron's mother Alicja.


Money must not prevent anyone from experiencing the shows

Arthur Wachnik, actor, musician, singer, is the artistic director of an over 3000-seat venue - Christian Performing Arts Centre in Toronto. We talk about this great centre, its mission and its recent brand new show The Nativity Musical.

Great Poles - Janusz Korczak

Smacznego! Eating Polish  - yummy Christmas traditions

POLcast episode 59

POLcast episode 59

November 11, 2018

We are releasing this episode on a very special day - today, on 11 November 2018, Poland and Poles around the world are celebrating the 100th anniversary of Poland regaining its independence.

After 123 years of partitions, on 11 November 1918, the dream of generations of Poles came true: the Polish state was reborn and Poland reappeared on the maps of Europe.

In this episode you will hear:
The story of 100 years of Poland's independence

Special gift to Poland on its 100th anniversary of independence
• Each child deserves to learn music
Arthur Lewinowicz, a violin and viola player, composer and teacher, has made it his life mission to help kids with various disabilities and special needs learn to play the violin and enjoy music. His school Singing Strings in Toronto offers unconventional music education to everybody, including kids from low income families.

• Celebrating Poland - top young Polish writers in Toronto
“Celebrating Poland” at the 39th Toronto International Festival of Authors featured a panel discussion and a Q&A with three top young Polish authors chaired by our own Canadian best selling author Eva Stachniak and hosted by prof. Tamara Trojanowska, Director for the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at the UofT, former director of the Polish Language and Literature Program.

• Love for Polish cuisine - comfort food with multiple personalities
Every episode of POLcast brings you a taste of Polish cuisine - those yummy recipes come from Laura and Peter Zeranski, authors of two cook books sold around the world and a hugely popular blog.

POLcast episode 58

POLcast episode 58

October 14, 2018

In this episode you will hear:
• A ticking piece of Poland with a charity twist
Robin Devine makes beautiful watches which she donates as gifts to hundreds of veterans, at the same time providing significant support for many charities (over 22 years around half a million dollars have been donated to numerous charitable causes). Now on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Poland's independence, she created an exquisite Polish Eagle Watch to celebrate this special occasion.

• It starts with a bang - Scotland and Poland
Wanda Koscia talks to Neal Ascherson, a renowned Scottish author and journalist, with books and articles on a wide range of topics: including the Congo, the Spanish Civil War, archaeology, Scotland and more, an expert on Poland, who recently published his first novel “The Death of the Fronsac”.

• EKRAN - 10 years of Polish film in Toronto
The 10th EKRAN Toronto Polish Festival is starting very soon, on November 5. Nine years is a long time - lots of films, guests, screenings, events. It's a perfect moment to look back.

• Great Poles - Henryk Sienkiewicz

• Smacznego! Eating Polish  - halusky

POLcast episode 57

POLcast episode 57

September 16, 2018

In this episode you will hear:


• Poles and Jews meet through their common music

Olga Avigail Mieleszczuk, born in Poland, is a singer, accordion player and researcher of Eastern European musical folklore. Since the very beginning of her creative work, she has been focusing on Jewish music of Ashkenazi roots. She converted into Judaism and now lives and works in Jerusalem. She performed at Toronto’s Lula Lounge at the 2018 Ashkenaz Festival with her three Polish musicians.

The Things of Warsaw

When I was in Poland in June, I attended the official opening of the Museum of Warsaw, also referred to as the Museum of Things, located in a number of historic buildings in the Old Town Market Square.

  • From law and math to the cutting-edge computing technology

Bohr Technology Inc., based in Warsaw, works on creative ideas behind the new revolutionary quantum computers, which in the next 5 years will probably start replacing classic computers for the purpose of solving optimisation problems. Witold Kowalczyk and Przemyslaw Chojecki are the founders and the brains behind this innovative startup company.

• The statue of Fahrenheit in Gdansk

• Smacznego! Eating Polish – peach turnovers

• We leave you with “Rebecca” sung by Olga Mieleszczuk

POLcast episode 56

POLcast episode 56

August 12, 2018

In this episode you will hear:

  • A childhood dream that came true

Maple syrup, Leonard Cohen, hockey – these are Canadian icons. There is one more, very special – Anne of Green Gables, the red-haired orphan whose life in Avonlea in Prince Edward Island was described by author Lucy Maud Montgomery. Bernadeta Milewski is a Pole living in the US, whose life has been influenced by Anne of Green Gables in many ways.

  • The money is on the road – a study of immorality

After the successul premiere of hs feature debut “22 Chaser”, we talk to Polish Canadian filmmaker – Rafal Sokolowski, an award-winning film and theatre director whose short films have been shown worldwide.

  • White and red hearts from Chicago

The Jeopardy-style 2nd annual contest tests elementary and high school students of Polish language schools in Canada and the US on their knowledge about Poland – its history, geography, culture, traditions (and this year also sports) – all in Polish.

  • Great Poles – about themselves and their recent accoplishments and projects

Smacznego! Eating Polish – Polish sauces

POLcast episode 55

POLcast episode 55

July 8, 2018

This is a special episode of POLcast, recorded during my visit to Poland in June, where Margaret received the prestigious journalistic Maciej Plazynski Award for her work on POLcast.

In this episode you will hear:
• And the M. Plazynski award for POLcast was granted by….
Jarosław Włodarczyk is the president of the Press Club Polska. This organization is the founder of the annual Maciej Płażyński award together with Jakub Plazynski, a son of the late Maciej Plazynski. This year’s award in the category of “Journalist of a Polish diaspora medium” was granted to Margaret P. Bonikowska for her work on POLcast.

• The inspiring time at the steering wheel
Jeremy Wallace is the charge d’affaires at the Canadian Embassy in Warsaw, now the acting chief diplomat there until the arrival of the new Canadian ambassador.

• Helping the talented Polish teenagers study abroad
Marzena Reich helps to place Polish teenagers in prestigious British boarding schools.

• The freedom that comes at a price
Two Muslim students from Turkey talked about their experience of Poland.

• “The best Canadian thriller of 2018”?
Rafal Sokolowski talks about his feature directorial debut “22 Chaser” which opened on Friday June 6, at the Carlton Cinemas in Toronto.

Also in this episode:

  • Some sounds of Warsaw:
  • Great Poles – the team of POLcast’s collaborators talk about themselves
  • The song at the end of Epsode 55 was recorded at the Music Theatre in Gdynia during the show “Poczekalnia” after the award gala
POLcast episode 54

POLcast episode 54

June 10, 2018

In this episode:
• The eye - where the microscope and the paintbrush meet

Eva Henry (Toronto) is an artist and Dorota Skowrońska Krawczyk(California) is a scientist who work together to create VISIONS.
• Looking for love stories across Canada

Monika Grzelak, a photographer from Toronto, drove across Canada to find and photograph couples in love.
• The teacher taking his students far away from the classroom

There are special teachers - Marcin Zarod is one of them.

Also in this episode:

  • Coś z Polski
  • Great Poles -  Kazimierz Nowak
  • Smacznego - Fruit tarts