As anyone who has worked with her can attest, Bear Mountain resident Maria Manna isn’t shy in front of the camera or a microphone.
That much will be clear when her new cable TV show, Maria Manna City Chat, hits the airwaves on Shaw TV on Nov. 14.
Characterized by the jazz singer and social advocate as “fun, funny informative,” the five episodes will touch on issues that may not be top of mind for the average viewer.
So far those are marijuana, menopause, online seniors dating, mediumship – the art of contacting the dead, and a feature on Bikers Against Child Abuse, a worldwide organization in the process of setting up a chapter in Greater Victoria.
“The reason I wanted to do this was to enlighten people on topics that may not be talked about a lot,” Manna said.
“Some of these may be universal topics, but the questions we ask and the things we delved into with our guests are questions that are not normally asked.”
Among her interview subjects, Manna talks to vendor Ryan Handley of the Nature’s Botanical shop in the North Park neighbourhood about the industry and the movement to legalize and regulate pot in Canada.
Other firsthand stories will be featured in subsequent episodes, and a comfy couch panel discussion each week will see co-hosts Rheana Watterson from Langford, Jo Dibblee of Sooke and Manna’s husband, Chris Grew, offer up their views on these oft-controversial issues. And of course, Manna’s beloved pooch, Ciccio, won’t be too far away.
After the talk, Manna winds things up with a jazz number with her band.
The episodes, already taped, will run as part of a continuous loop on Shaw (check shaw listings for times).
The cast and crew have all donated their time to get the project off the ground, Manna said.
“I am so impressed with how much work all these people put into these shows,” she said.
The plan is to see how the first batch of episodes are received and potentially regroup after that, she added. “I’d like to go as big as I can with this.”
More information about the show can be found at mariamannacitychat.ca.