One of the most recognisable Calgarians, Dave Kelly has focused his career on bringing together business, not-for-profit and arts communities through the power of storytelling.
The host of Dave Kelly Live, he has also been around the world hosting live interview and panel conversations, most recently hosting A Conversation with Ellen DeGeneres in Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.
Today, Dave Kelly will sit down for a conversation with the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, in his first visit to Calgary since he left office. Not one to shy away from difficult conversations, we asked Dave to share how he prepares for these interviews and specifically, for our Calgary audience.
1. When preparing to interview a figure like Barack Obama, what do you take into consideration when preparing?
With any well-known figure, but especially with President Obama, the challenge comes from the myriad of topics you could ask and the expectations from the thousands of people in attendance.
President Obama is a thoughtful and complete interviewee - he doesn't give short answers. My job becomes finding a way to connect with him and have him speak on issues that I think many of us will find interesting, knowing that we won't get to all of it.
2. Why do you think it’s important to host well-known figures in Calgary?
We must be ready and willing to put Calgary on the world stage.
Whether or not you agree with President Obama’s politics, this conversation allows us to host an international conversation with the former President of The United States and one of the most recognized political leaders on the planet. Calgary should have no problem being in this conversation, and in fact, welcome these types of conversations.
3. Getting people thinking about big ideas is a way to drive the future prosperity of the city. Can you speak to what other ways these conversations can contribute to Calgary’s prosperity?
President Obama took office in the middle of the biggest economic crisis in the United States since the Great Depression. He campaigned on hope - and then somehow had to find hope in a difficult reinvention and change.
Calgary is not in an economic crisis equal to that; however, we do need to reinvent ourselves, we do need to embrace change - and President Obama's perspective on how positive change can happen is invaluable.