As the anchor of entertainment news show, etalk, Tanya Kim has traveled around the world and interviewed some legendary faces. Now that etalk is celebrating its 10th season, Kim is still being challenged by her job. Kim says: “I’m still very shy, when I’m hosting an event, it can be a little nerve wracking, but I like that challenge. It’s important to experience those butterflies.”
Growing up in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., Kim was teased for her looks by her classmates because there wasn’t a lot of cultural diversity. The hardships she endured taught her to be a more compassionate person. Kim took dance and music lessons, which helped her become comfortable in front of crowds. On Friday nights, one of the rare times she wouldn’t have a dance or piano lesson, Kim would watch primetime news shows like 20/20 with her mother. She was fascinated by the way the journalists would ask questions and pick apart their subjects. Kim was also interested in literature, and would read books with a flashlight under the sheets. Kim says, “Because I knew that dancing wasn’t in the cards, I went to my second love, reading and journalism.”
Kim went on to study broadcast journalism at Ryerson University. After graduating, she worked at Much Music and then she became a music reporter for CTV’s The Chatroom and a special correspondent for Canadian Idol. Her parents always encouraged her to work hard and taught her that it would pay off in the long run. This mantra continues to be instilled in Kim’s ethic to this day, and she says she would not be where she is today without the support from her parents- her dad still tapes every show.
But when Kim’s career timeline didn’t happen according to her plan, it was really tough. “But now I’m here and I’m enjoying every moment that I can,” says Kim. From working the red carpet at the Academy Awards to interviewing stars in the studio, Kim has experienced many wonderful moments in her career. Some of her own highlights include running with the torch at the Vancouver Olympics and feeling the energy of the people while supporting Canada. Kim also highlights being on the red carpet at the Academy Awards for the first time. When Kim was at Live Earth and the Princess Diana benefit concert in 2007, Kim got to do a walk and talk with a recovering Neil Young, one of the artists she admires.
Another moment Kim was grateful for was when she travelled to Zambia with CARE Canada. It was an eye-opening experience and she got to visit some of the projects CARE had set up. Kim’s own hardships growing up inspired her to give back, and in school, she would volunteer at the soup kitchen. “I think in general, as human beings, we should all want to look out for each other. It’s a natural instinct that I personally have,” says Kim. Kim is also the director of Blessings in a Backpack, a charity that helps feed elementary school children whose families qualify for the free or reduced meal program. Along with etalk co-anchor Ben Mulroney, they hosted Free the Children’s We Day youth events in Vancouver and Toronto.
Viewers can count on Kim and Mulroney to bring them access to all the hottest stars at the 36th annual Toronto International Film Festival. From etalk’s Magnum interview lounge at Front Street’s Intercontinental Hotel, stars and influential directors and personalities will stop by to talk about their projects. This is etalk’s 10th season covering TIFF as well, and Kim believes it’s going to be the biggest film fest season yet. “I am excited to see Ryan Gosling, which is probably a stock answer from a million of us girls!” she says, laughing.
For Kim, meeting creative minds and travelling are some of her favourite aspects of her job. “I’ve been blessed to have crossed paths with some wonderful individuals,” says Kim, who also enjoys playing dressup everyday with the wardrobe, “not that I get to keep everything.” And she’s thankful, because it would take up too much closet space! Kim’s own style is more casual, and she lists Fidelity Denim and Canadian label Mackage as her favourites. She adds, “I like my denim, but it’s fun to get dressed up once in a while.”
One of the biggest milestones in Kim’s career will be celebrating etalk’s 10th anniversary season, which kicks off September 6 at 7 p.m. on CTV. To celebrate the anniversary, etalk will be unveilling a new set, that will debut along with the beginning of the TIFF 2011 season coverage which runs from September 8-18. Viewers can also watch an etalk at TIFF 10 year retrospective this Thursday September 8 at 7:30 p.m. ET on CTV.
Kim adds, “When you start carving out your journalism career you need to live in the moment… and I’m just enjoying the moments as they come.”