Dilshad Burman is the host of Omni TV’s V-Mix, Canada’s first national music television program dedicated to showcasing the best Canadian, South Asian and International artists and videos. Over the 4-year history of the program, V-Mix has featured such names as Nelly Furtado, Karl Wolf, The Black Eyed Peas and Snoop Dogg. Astronaut Chris Hadfield was Dilshad’s guest for the V-Mix 150th Episode special.
Omni TV and Dilshad present the V-Mix ‘Best of 2014’ show on Saturday, January 10th on OMNI.2 at 4 PM & 6 PM (EST) in Ontario and on OMNI at 3 PM (PST) in British Columbia & 4:30 PM in Alberta (MDT).
- Where do you call home? Toronto is home now. I’m originally from Bombay, India.
- What do you love most about it? It’s hard to say. Toronto is so much like Bombay- it’s big, noisy, eclectic and colourful and has a lovely waterfront, much like my origin city. Ultimately I think what I love the most is the vibrant energy and creative forces that are so very palpable in the city.
- Is there anything you’d change about it? Probably. But I’d rather not. The bad stuff makes you appreciate the good stuff. Otherwise you’re living in an anti-septic utopia and that’s fun for a bit. But after a while you need to get down and get your hands dirty.
- Born and raised here or Johnny-come-lately? Johnny-come-not-all- that-lately. I’ve been in Toronto for coming up on 8 years.
- Is it a winter wonderland or summertime paradise? Toronto definitely comes alive in the summer. There’s hardly enough weeks in the season to enjoy everything – the food fests, the concerts, bumming on Wards island, taking in the activities at the harbourfront, theatre shows, the street fests – the city is just electric!
- What’s your commute like? Not too bad. On a good summer day I can walk to work if I feel particularly energetic. Else the TTC, for better or worse, gets me to work in about 15-20 minutes.
- What do you do on a day off? Days off are a rare treat so I usually veg out in my little concrete box condo and catch up on my writing and chores. But depending on the weather, I’ll venture out and take in a gig, find a patio and chill with friends or go on a picnic. I love picnics!
- It’s my first time in town. Where should we go? Ooh that’s a tough one! Aside from all the great food places and St. Lawrence Market?
Even though I’ve been in the city long enough, I still have this mad affinity for the CN Tower. So first – to the tower for a crazy view of the city and then to Panorama Lounge on top of the Manulife Centre for a crazy view of the tower.
- Where do you go when it’s time to get away? My condo is my haven and when it’s fully stocked with food, I’ve been known to spend several days being a hermit. But I’m also lucky to have friends with cottages and that’s always good for a weekend away. In a pinch, Wards Island is nice on a hot summer day and surprisingly quiet. For longer jaunts I hop across the border to visit friends in New York City.
- Favourite local landmark? Predictable yes, but…the CN Tower. I live downtown, so when I’m feeling down, all I have to do is look up! It reminds me of how far I’ve come, where I live and what a wonderful life I am lucky enough to lead! But I also have to mention the stunning and ever changing graffiti alleys along Queen Street. They showcase some of the most brilliant local aerosol artists.
- Best local event or festival: I hate to play favourites but the Toronto Harbourfront consistently puts on some awesome events – both food and music related. And the Jazz Fest has been a favourite since my very first summer in TO, when I caught Hiromi’s performance.
- Favourite local team: Team of what? I’m not the biggest of sports fans but the Raptors seem to be fairly consistent. Maybe.
- Favourite local celebrity: Aside from V-Mix’s Deejay Ra? Spock Vegas!
- Time to shop. Historic downtown or Big Box Land? I live, work and thrive downtown. So it’s both convenient and where I choose to shop.
- Favourite Mom & Pop shop: There’s a store on Jarvis and Front that I call the ‘Christmas Everyday Store’. I’m not sure if that’s what it’s actually called but it’s a wonderland of classic toys, random novelties and Christmas ornaments and it just makes me happy.
- Favourite local restaurant: New Generation on Spadina and Bloor if I want sushi. And I always want sushi.
- Best place to grab a beverage: ‘No One Writes to the Colonel’ makes some delicious mojitos.
- Grocery store or farmers market? Farmers Market. Either Kensington or St. Lawrence. And of course good old China Town.
- Tell us something only locals know: Some of those buskers you see at the subway stations are Juno winning artists.
- What does supporting local mean to you? Supporting local is more than just a lifestyle choice for me. It permeates every aspect of my life and the show I host, V-Mix on Omni Television, is a huge part of that. The show discovers and supports local, independent artists from every genre and every walk of life. I get to be a part of that brilliant process and promote talent that might otherwise go unnoticed. Encouraging the local arts and culture scene means fostering creative and artistic energies, which, in a larger sense is all about positivity and bringing joy into people’s lives – whether that be the artist via exposure of their work, or the audience for having been exposed to it. All of that translates into a very lovely, life affirming feeling so I get as much as I give by supporting local!
See more of our 20 Questions With… interviews here.