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A conversation about Canadian and Eurasian business

Icebreakers is the only podcast exploring the intersection of Canadian and Eurasian business, culture and personalities. Join Nathan Hunt as he hosts leaders, politicians, artists, and more as they reflect on the current state of Canadian and Eurasian cooperation and look to the future to speculate on what is to come. With each new episode, we discover new exciting stories, personal experiences and determine various opportunities to form a bilateral dialogue between our countries and people.

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"Tim Gitzel: Building Bridges from Canada to Kazakhstan"

In today's episode, we're excited to chat with Tim Gitzel, the President and CEO of Cameco Corporation, the world's largest uranium producer. With over 25 years of senior management and legal experience in Canadian and international uranium mining, Mr. Gitzel has a wealth of knowledge and expertise to share with our listeners.

As the Honorary Council of Kazakhstan to Saskatchewan and a Board member of various prestigious organizations including the World Nuclear Association and the Kazakhstan- Canada Business Council, Mr. Gitzel provides valuable insights on the transformation of Kazakhstan's mining industry and what makes the country an attractive destination for foreign investors.

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"Uzbekistan:New Heights in Higher Education" with Peter McCann

In today’s episode we are joined by Mr. Peter McCann, a Management Consultant, an author of two business books, and now Advisor to the Rector at Tashkent Chemical Technologies Institute. Peter has over 30 years of experience in consulting small and large businesses in the USA & Canada, as well as taught and lectured in Finland, Germany, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

Peter shares his firsthand experience in establishing his own business and new professional and social life in Central Asia, education reforms in Uzbekistan and large-scale projects in partnership with the world leaders in vocational training. How will applying the best international practices address the core challenges in education? What opportunities does this tremendous transformation open for Canada-Uzbekistan cooperation?

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"A Merit-Based Education System in Kazakhstan" with Jean-François Caron

Today we’re hosting Dr. Jean-François Caron, an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan, where he teaches Political Theory. Dr. Caron has authored 6 monographs and more than 20 peer reviewed articles and book chapters.

Jean-François shares a story of his career development in a cross-national perspective, forming family, teaching and living in Kazakhstan. He also elaborates on principles and admission criteria in the Nazarbayev University, as well as discusses State Scholarship Opportunities for foreign students.

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"Uzbekistan: New Era of Opportunity" with Eldor Mannopov

Join us on a journey through the heart of Central Asia and the birthplace of 1001 Arabian Nights - the Republic of Uzbekistan. Visit Tashkent and Navoi, Khiva and Samarkand, Kyzylkum and Aralkum deserts - all through the eyes of the Canadian Honorary Consul of Canada in Uzbekistan and Managing Partner at Dentons Uzbekistan - Mr. Eldor Mannopov.

In this episode, we discuss the progressive reforms and improvements introduced by the government of Shavkat Mirziyoyev in support of the foreign business, Uzbek's extraordinary hospitality and personal experiences living and working in the country.

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"Seizing an opportunity in Kazakhstan" with Darren Klinck

We are excited to host Mr. Darren Klinck today, President and Director at the Arras Minerals – a Canadian junior mining & exploration company operating in Kazakhstan.

Darren has extensive international experience in mining, having raised over 800 million for the projects globally including Guatemala, Laos, Australia, New Zeeland and Myanmar. He is sharing his personal stories about growing up in rural Alberta, getting involved in mining and capital markets, founding the first ever Canadian junior mining company in Kazakhstan and providing a piece of advice for Canadian investors considering Eurasia.

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"How to Change the World" with Jim Gibson

We are hosting Mr. Jim Gibson today, Chief Catalyst and Community Leader at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT). Jim is a passionate serial entrepreneur and author of “Tip of the Spear: Our Species and Technology at a Crossroads”. Jim brings over 30 years of experience in digital technologies, innovations, mentorship, and technological ventures into the conversation.

With his help we are exploring the notion of digital literacy and digital citizenship as well as investigate the coming tsunami of technological change. Precisely, how will the exponential technological growth influence our lives, education sector and contemporary youth? What are the opportunities for Canada-Eurasia collaboration and what does “How to change the World” program contribute to the global education industry?

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"Can-do Attitude Globally" with Don Streu

It’s time to hear words of wisdom from our honoured guest and oil and gas expert, Mr. Don Streu, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Alberta and President, CEO and Director at Condor Petroleum.

Don has over 35 years of experience in the oil & gas industry globally: from Angola to Indonesia, from Canada to Central Asia. He’s sharing his personal experience of operating a company in Kazakhstan, exploring the Uzbekistan market, working with oil&gas reserves, and leading LNG technological revolution in Central Asia.

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"Reinvention" with Nathan Hunt

We’re turning the tables on Nathan Hunt today - the host for the ICE/Breakers Podcast - making him the interviewee. Nathan is a Yale University graduate, summa cum laude, and a former Russia Director of the Canadian meat and dairy traders, Ronald A. Chisholm Limited.

Nathan is one of the founders of CERBA and has chaired its Moscow Chapter since its inception. He’s sharing his experience of living and doing business in rapidly changing Russia reinventing himself and discovering new potential throughout two and a half decades in the country.

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"A Blueliner's Path to Kazakhstan" with Darren Dietz

It's a great pleasure to welcome Darren Dietz, Canadian-born, former "Barys Nur-Sultan" team Captain and current Russian CSKA hockey player to CERBA Icebreakers Podcast today.

In this new episode, Darren shares his professional hockey journey throughout the NHL and KHL leagues and his experience living in the Republic of Kazakhstan. He also discusses international sports cooperation opportunities between Canada and Eurasia and his latest transition to the CSKA Moscow.

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"On Leadership" with Margaret Skok

Today we are joined by the former Canadian Ambassador to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan (2006 - 2009) – Honourable Margaret Skok. Margaret started her career with the RCMP Canada, as well as served with Global Affairs Canada at the Embassy of Canada in Moscow (1991 – 1994).

She is sharing her experiences of unlocking Eurasian markets to Canadian businesses, the role of women in Central Asia, mobilizing change in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan and Canada’s place in the international nuclear strategy.

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"We - The North" with Valerii Maximov

IceBreakers welcomes Valerii Maximov, Senior Trade Commissioner of the Russian Federation in Canada, former Minister of Economy of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) and Advisor to the President of the Republic. Valerii will share the stories about the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) - the world's largest administrative and territorial subdivision, a homeland for such known start-ups as InDriver and MyTona. We will also learn more about Yakut language and culture, success stories of cooperation with Canada and how the Canadian North is similar to that of Russia.

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The Valdai Story with Piotr Dutkiewicz

Today we welcome CERBA's National Board member - Mr. Piotr Dutkiewicz, to the IceBreakers Podcast. Piotr is a Professor of Political Science and former Director of the Institute of European and Russian Studies at Carleton University. He is also an author of 16 books and a current Valdai Club member, a group of forty world-renowned experts on Russia. Piotr is sharing stories about his family, living and studying in Russia, moving to Canada, "Golden time" in Canada-Russia relations, teaching at Carleton University and the areas of prospective cooperation between our countries.

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"The Apollo Murders" with Chris Hadfield

CERBA is hosting an exceptional guest on this episode of IceBreakers: a heavily decorated astronaut, engineer, and pilot - Colonel Chris Hadfield. Chris is sharing his stories about living, working and playing music in space, working in Russia and being an influencer. He is also talking about his new book, "The Apollo Murders" - an exceptional Cold War thriller from the dark heart of the Space Race, described as "Nail-biting" by James Cameron, another Canadian star, the writer and director of Avatar and Titanic.

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Our Man in Moscow with Gilles Breton

Nathan Hunt is joined by Gilles Breton - a former Canadian diplomat and a current CERBA National Chair. Gilles has served three assignments at the Canadian Embassy in Moscow and shares some great stories about his experience working in Russia during the Cold War; a 25,000km trip across the Soviet Union, heading CERBA and Canada-Russia Business Council.

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Hockey diplomacy with Vladislav Tretiak

In this exciting episode of Icebreakers, Nathan Hunt hosts Vladislav Tretiak, Honoured Master of Sports of the USSR and "the best hockey player of the 20th century" titleholder. Vladislav recalls the history of the 1972 super series, shares his impressions of Canada and tells about his life-work balance as a professional athlete, coach, State Duma deputy and philanthropist. The episode is available both in Russian and English languages.

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Business diplomacy with Lou Naumovski

In the new episode, Nathan and Lou Naumovski, former Vice President and Director-General of the Kinross gold Moscow office, discuss Lou's professional journey from the Trade Commission Service to the leading positions at EBRD, Visa International and Kinross Gold. Lou is sharing stories and the lessons learnt when working in the Russian market and reflecting on how to influence change through doing business in a sovereign country.

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Share the good, learn from the best with Paul Fast

On this new episode of IceBreakers, Nathan hosts Paul Fast, a founder of the well-known Vancouver structural engineering firm, Fast+Epp. Paul is an award-winning engineer, designer, and philanthropist. He is not only a great construction engineer and sustainable materials innovator, but also an open-hearted person, who has founded an orphanage for the kids in need in the South of Russia and established the Memorial Foundation to support the local community.



Bringing Coca-Cola and Cirque du Soleil to "Mother Russia" with Craig Cohon

On this episode of Icebreakers, Nathan sits down with Craig Cohon, a London-based businessman, entrepreneur and investor, and the Chief Strategy Officer at ApiJect. During the episode, Nathan and Craig discuss the process of introducing Coca-Cola to the USSR while it was undergoing major cultural and political upheaval to become Russia as we know it today. They also discuss Craig’s experiences carrying the torch during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, and bringing Cirque du Soleil to Russia.



Hermetic Art of Kazakhstan with Frank Albo

On this episode of Icebreakers, Nathan Hunt is joined by “Canada’s Dan Brown” - Frank Albo. Frank is a Canadian architectural historian, the academic inspiration behind "The Hermetic Code" and the author of "Astana: Architecture, Myth, and Destiny". On today’s episode, Nathan and Frank explore how freemasonry uses architecture as a vehicle for moral, spiritual and ethical illumination and reflect on Astana, freemasonry and the Canadian connection.



Diplomacy of Canada-Eurasia collaboration with Alison LeClaire

Today we are hosting Her Excellency Alison LeClaire, Ambassador of Canada to the Russian Federation, Republic of Uzbekistan and Republic of Armenia. During her career with Global Affairs Canada, she served as a Deputy Director of Policy Planning; Director of China, Mongolia and Taiwan relations; Senior Arctic official and Director General for the Arctic, Eurasian and European Affairs.



East by Far East with Ilya Lagutenko

On this episode of Icebreakers, Nathan is joined by Ilya Lagutenko, the founder and lead-singer of one of the Russia’s most popular and influential bands – Mumiy Troll - an accomplished and influential musician who has not only won accolades like GQ’s Musician of the Year, but has also had significant influence on the music, clothes, hairstyles and behaviour of Russian youth. Nathan and Ilya discuss his history growing up in Russia and becoming a musician.



Breaking the Ice with Stockwell Day

On the inaugural episode of Icebreakers, Nathan is joined by Stockwell Day, an accomplished politician with over 25 years of experience in the public and private sectors. Stockwell reflects on his experiences visiting Eurasia during times of unprecedented, unparalleled change, in the early nineties, as things were “breaking open” and influencing the good, the bad and the ugly of social and economic transformation.

Nathan Hunt, Podcast Host

Nathan Hunt is one of the founders of CERBA and Chair of its Moscow Chapter. He graduated from the Russian Studies Department of Yale University and moved to Moscow in 1992. Nathan led the CERBA National Board of Directors from 2009 to 2013, during which the Association extended its activity to Vancouver and Kazakhstan. He is fluent in the Russian language, enjoys skiing and a good discussion over a cup of coffee.


Opinion Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed in the Podcast episodes are those of the invited guests and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CERBA or any of its Chapters, Directors, or members. The content of the Podcast should not been taken as representations designed to induce parties into business relationships or to recommend any related business activity or investment. CERBA is sensitive to the social content that may be included in the Podcast, and the expressed opinions are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual, or anyone.