Raina Douris: Rain's World Goes National
Updated: Feb 2
Raina Douris has spent her entire career working in Toronto, and it has served her well. Let's face it, when you love music, Toronto is a great place to live, work and breathe your passion. From her radio beginnings at 102.1 the Edge, to upstart Indie 88 and now working mornings at CBC Radio 2 nationally, Raina shares her music and radio experiences with us on the podcast.
In this week's episode, we talk about Raina's love of Twitter, her favourite albums and what needs to change in the music business. There are few Sound Off firsts on this episode. First, this interview marks our first discussion about Cancon and second, Raina is our first CBC personality on the show (but not the last!). The biggest takeaways are going to have to be a) if she could interview any broadcaster of all time, it would be Bookie on Indie 88, and b) never talk about how Raina manages to wakeup at 4 am every day, because in truth, it never gets easy.
Still a young broadcaster (Allan Waters Young broadcaster of the year nomination pending), Raina already has an impressive amount of industry experience under her belt and the accolades to prove it. She was chosen as the Best Radio Personality in Toronto by Now Magazine readers, after all. And while she might admit that she once had aspirations for a life in theatre, taking the back-yard performances of Joseph and the Technocolour Dreamcoat of her childhood to the main stage, she remains steadfast in her passion for radio.
In the episode, she tells us about one of her earliest gigs working at CBC3 alongside some familiar broadcast names today -- like CBC personality and host of Q, Tom Power (and potential future guest of the Sound Off Podcast). She even tells us about that time she developed a YouTube series called "Rain's World" where she would -- with nothing but a small sponsorship of "free beer" -- interview musicians while pounding back SteamWhistle beer and play board games, bake cookies, or play in the park. We found an episode where she interviews the band Topanga, which is only appropriate since she references them on the podcast.
She also tells us about her time at Ryerson University, enrolled in their four-year program in the Media Production and she explains why it's one of the best programs in the country. From its passionate teachers to a state-of-art facility (that literally didn't exist when she attended there), she tells us the training she received in digital media provided her with the well-rounded training she needed to make it happen when she was done.
We also talk about the great transition from commercial independent radio to the CBC, which for those listeners who aren't familiar, is the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, our national state-sponsored broadcaster. She tells us about what it means to work for Canada's largest broadcast network and what it's like to serve the entire country of listeners, rather than regional markets. When asked what she misses, she tells us that she might occasionally miss the real-time talk of live radio, which just doesn't happen on her current program. When it comes to Raina's time on-air, her only connection to the outside world is social media, so be sure to Tweet at her to feed her Twitter addiction.
One of my favourite parts about this episode is opening that can of worms that is Cancon. We cover how the grant system doesn't really work for emerging artists. She even entertains my (patent pending) idea of creating a rating system that rewards broadcasters for playing emerging Canadian talent. She uses Drake as an example of an artist that wasn't supported as well as he should've been, which explains why he is more or less reluctant to work with Canadian broadcasters now. She urges Canadian see our musicians as legitimate while they're working here.