There are events we see coming from so far off they’re marked on the calendar, such as Ramadan or the official first day of spring — and then there are ones that come out of nowhere to blindside us. We had both on this week’s show, and started with one of the latter kind.

Two hosts in studio at their mics

Hosts Devon Tredinnick and Lauren Roulston

Reporter Reanna Julien looked into the sudden, shocking collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank in the U.S., and found a scholar at Western University who’s studying financial modelling. Together they led us through how it and other financial upsets might affect Canadians in the months to come, and what we may be able to do to protect ourselves.

Midweek’s Annie Doane then spoke with Brian Stratton, the manager of engineering services for the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority, about what this year’s thaw season might look like along the rivers running through and by Ottawa.

Gail Pope took her mic out around Carleton University’s campus earlier this week to ask students who observe Ramadan how they handle day-long fasting while leading a busy life, and also how it feels for those who are far from home who can’t gather with family to break the fast after sundown.

reporter in headphones working on computer

Reporter Sember Wood edits audio on as the show nears.

Uganda just passed one of the harshest anti-LGBTQ+ laws in Africa — or anywhere — and Reanna Julien interviewed Arsham Parsi, the executive director of the International Railroad for Queer Refugees, about whether Canada is doing enough to provide a haven for those fleeing such persecution.

But is Canada the safe place many see it as? Devon Tredinnick, one of this week’s hosts, followed up on a recent Statistics Canada report showing a spike in hate crimes here. He spoke with Amanda Arella, the director of public policy, advocacy and strategic communications for the Young Women’s Christian Association of Canada, about hate crimes targeting women and girls because of sex or gender.

Mack Linke then took us inside the intriguing topic of the food rights of those locked in prisons and jails, and the way those pushing to have these rights respected are connecting with other activists involved with the broader issues of how Canada and its provinces treat those sentenced to incarceration.

smiling reporter working at computere, wearing headphones

Reporter Mack Linke keeps his sense of humour as deadline nears and … no … one … is … calling … back…!

Devon Tredinnick then came back to discuss rising right-wing extremism and what he’d learned from activists who monitor it and a journalist who has covered it — and been its target. Devon’s sources described disturbing trends, but also inspiring ways that communities are standing up to those who pick on vulnerable minorities or others who are different in some way.

Gail Pope also returned with another bit of inspiration: She interviewed Sadaf Ebrahim, an Ottawa woman, about the food drive she decided to start in front of her house last year as part of marking Ramadan and how this has developed into something much more for her than just part of an annual celebration. 

Finally: What’s a chain of pubs in Ottawa with an ampersand in the middle of its name? From what language did the ampersand evolve? What the heck IS an ampersand? And what’s a six-letter word for these sorts of questions?

The answer to the last one is “trivia,” and Heart & Crown pubs dotted around Ottawa are getting strong turnout for their regular trivia nights. Midweek’s Bobby Eros attended one on the night before our show, and took us there, too, through the documentary he produced about those who organize the weekly contests and those who join in.

What’s a Midweek? Well…all this.