Colour Code

Colour Code


If there’s one thing Canadians avoid, it’s talking about race. This podcast is here to change that. Join hosts Denise Balkissoon and Hannah Sung for a new conversation on race in Canada. We won’t have all the answers but we do ask bold questions. First episode lands this fall. Theme music by Bonjay.


Your Turn  

In this, our last episode, we are featuring questions, comments and critiques from our listeners. It's a look back at the series while considering how we can all move forward with the conversation — how to approach and cope with discussions of race and identity at home, at school and with friends and family.

Surface Tension  

Is anyone responsible for a hate crime beyond the person who committed it? Hannah and Denise visit Sutton, Ont., where a racially-motivated act 10 years ago resulted in a tragedy that changed lives forever.

Guest episode: The Cajun Reconnection  

We’re hard at work on a new episode of Colour Code for next week, which means we’re taking a break today and using the opportunity to share an episode of Gravy, a podcast by our friends at the Southern Foodways Alliance. The Cajun Reconnection explores the culinary and cultural connections between the Cajuns of Louisiana and the Acadians of eastern Canada. Enjoy. Colour Code will return next week. Get more Gravy here:

Race and Real Estate  

The price of home ownership has skyrocketed in Vancouver, and many think foreign buyers – especially those from China – are a big reason why. Hannah visits the west coast city to learn the history of race and space in B.C. and speaks with Vancouverites, including an urban planning academic and a real estate agent. We talk to: University of British Columbia professor Henry Yu, realtor Melissa Wu, and urban planning academic Andy Yan.


Coined by educator Robin DiAngelo, the term “white fragility” refers to the emotional, defensive reaction some white people have to discussions of race. To explore the concept, Hannah and Denise revisit a recent conversation between Denise and a radio host that got more than a little bit uncomfortable. We talk to: Robin DiAngelo, CKNW program director Larry Gifford, and former CKNW host Ian Power and producer Zameer Karim

The Only One  

Canada may be a multicultural country, but there are still many places with very few people of colour. As city kids, Denise and Hannah have always wondered: Is it lonely to be the only racialized person, or family, in a small town? We talk to: Musician Fritz Helder, Globe national food reporter Ann Hui, William Choy, mayor of Stony Plain, Alta., and restaurant owners Peter Li and Linda Xie


This episode explores the concept of legitimacy in talking about race in Canada, from what we consider shared knowledge to the very words we use. What histories do we all know and accept to be true? What vocabulary do we consider acceptable and accessible? We talk to: filmmaker Sylvia D. Hamilton, University of Waterloo professor Naila Keleta-Mae, and comedian Celeste Yim

First Comes Love  

The number of mixed race relationships is growing in Canada. How do families negotiate race in the most intimate setting of all — at home, with the ones you love? We talk to: Globe reporter Sherrill Sutherland, who is biracial herself, Paul and Victoria Martin, a Black man and Chinese woman raising their family in Markham, Ont., Globe reporter Zosia Bielski, who covers relationships, and University of Toronto Scarborough professor Minelle Mahtani

The Angel Complex  

On this episode, we discuss a core concept of Canadian identity – comparing ourselves to the United States. Race relations in our neighbouring country are often dramatic and sometimes violent. But does that mean our actual level of racism is lower?

Pop, Power, Privilege  

This episode features an intimate, one-on-one conversation with British-Sri Lankan musician and pop provocateur M.I.A. From living through war as a child to performing at the Grammys and the Super Bowl as an adult, M.I.A.’s experiences transcend many identities at once.

The Most Visible Minority  

In this conversation-packed episode, we ask two Canadian leaders, Cameron Bailey in the arts and Naheed Nenshi in politics, to share thoughts on the experience of being a visible minority in a high-profile position.

Race Card  

On this, the first episode of Colour Code, we try to figure out Indian Status: who gets it, what it means, where it came from and how it resonates in Canada and indigenous communities today.

Introducing Colour Code  

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s new podcast series about race in Canada. For hosts Denise Balkissoon and Hannah Sung, it’s first things first: What is race? And why do we need this conversation right now? First episode lands this fall.

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