Christa Couture Interview


Christa has taken a unique journey to becoming the host of a television travel show. She’s an artist, singer-songwriter, author, and lifestyle TV producer. We had a conversation with Christa about her journey.


HNMAG: You’re originally from Edmonton?

Christa Couture: I grew up in Edmonton. I was born in Peterborough, Ontario and then we moved to Florida. After that, we moved to Edmonton. I grew up there from the ages of four to eighteen. 


HNMAG: Did you have any aspirations of working in television, growing up in Edmonton?

Christa Couture: No, and even when I got this job a year ago, it wasn’t a goal, but growing up I wanted to be a writer and a performer. That’s the path I was on. I studied musical theatre in high school and I sang in a bunch of choirs. After high school, I went to Vancouver Film School for a year and I ended up working in production for many years. I was a production coordinator for ten years. Then my music career took off more. I started doing more touring and recording. About a year ago, I got an email from Leah Mallen from Paperny Films, who I worked with before. I am now in Toronto, so I thought she was looking for a Toronto producer or even crew. I got on a call with her and there were four other people. She said actually “we are working on this show and we want you to be the host.” I said, “Oh, well, I’ve never done that before.” By that time I was doing top 40 radio here in Toronto. It wasn’t like a giant leap but on-camera is very different. 


HNMAG: One of the first shows that you worked with in Vancouver with Paperny was Kink.

Christa Couture:  That was my first job there. I started out as an office production assistant (PA). I was young and I didn’t know much about productions. I certainly didn’t know much about dungeons. I went to play parties, poking my head in and asking people to sign release forms. A person is chained up to something and I’m the set PA, trying to get them to sign a form. It was very adventurous, and I stayed with that production company for so long because they are fantastic. On the second season, I became an associate producer and later did clearances. I learned a lot. I feel very lucky because I became a freelancing artist that does lots of different things. Having a start in production gave me the skills to create deal memos, balance a budget, do the scheduling, the travel arrangements. All of this stuff is a huge part of making anything. When I was a full-time musician, people would be surprised when I would tell them that it was mostly a desk job. There’s so much admin. You’re writing for grants, reporting… Starting in television production really prepared me to be a freelance artist. 

Now being the host of Postcards From… I feel that I have such an appreciation for what everyone does around me. Our very first shoot was last June and my flight got canceled. My thought then was, “Oh, someone else is going to fix that for me. I’m the talent. This is amazing!”


HNMAG: You had a band, you wrote a book, and had a career as an artist before becoming a TV travel host. 

Christa Couture: I was focused on performing as a singer-songwriter for about ten years. My most recent recording came out in 2020. I love singing. I love performing. I’m half Cree. My traditional name is Singing Woman. That’s my role in my community to sing and share stories. 


HNMAG: When was that Cree name given to you?

Christa Couture: It was given to me when I was a couple of years old, in a ceremony. The elder who named me told my family that I would sing and talk a lot. He was right. I had to take a break from music. I had thyroid cancer and I had to have my thyroid removed. I took a full-time job as an associate producer in digital with the CBC in Toronto. I was working on the project “2017” which was for Canada’s 150th. It was looking at what is Canada. One hundred and fifty years of what? While doing that, I remembered how much I liked producing. It was also nice being in one place without traveling. It was also nice being home. I also had a daughter. That’s when I wrote my memoir How to Lose Everything. Then I made an animated short from an excerpt from the book which turned into five short animated films. That came out in 2023 and it’s on CBC Gem. After that, I got the email that led to hosting this travel show. My career has just been connecting the dots. One thing leads to another. It all comes down to some kind of storytelling. 


HNMAG: What name did you record music under? 

Christa Couture: I just performed as Christa Couture. I wished that I came up with a stage name but I didn’t. The majority of what I did was solo. I play guitar and piano. Folk is a broad term but I guess it could be classified as folk-pop. 

HNMAG: Where are you at with Postcards From… on AMI?

Christa Couture: I came in for season five and soon we will start shooting season six. 


HNMAG: What happened with the first four seasons before you were involved?

Christa Couture: There were a variety of hosts for the first few seasons on AMI. It was put on the shelf for a while and along came Black Rhino Creative, they pitched reviving Postcards From… with a new host. Season four was with Therese Estaction who was wonderful, but she wasn’t available for season five.  


HNMAG: Is there a focus on accessibility? 

Christa Couture: Yes. It is an accessible travel show. My left leg is amputated above the knee. Anything we do, has to be accessible for me. We try and think of other accessibilities as well. The primary audience for AMI is blind and partially sighted. The program is meant to be quite integrated but the way I speak in the show keeps in mind that the audience might be partially sighted. As a sighted person, I need to be aware that I should be descriptive. It’s a really beautiful challenge. The accessibility is still implicit. It’s not on the nose. It’s still a travel show where we are looking at human stories and experiences. Each segment focuses on a sense. That’s a way to think about inclusion. 


HNMAG: How long have you been an amputee?

Christa Couture: My leg was amputated when I was thirteen, so almost thirty-three years. I had bone cancer and I was very lucky that the amputation was the cure for my cancer. A lot of cancers are fatal. Even though it was sad and challenging, being a kid, I could adjust. I wasn’t losing a certain career or something that an adult might if they acquired a disability. In some way, this was part of my adolescence. 


HNMAG: Do you travel outside of Canada for Postcards From….?

Christa Couture: It’s just Canada so far but we’re about to do our sixth season and there is no shortage of places to explore. 


HNMAG: Canada is the second largest country in the world. 

Christa Couture: Exactly! The crew is based in Vancouver and I’m in Toronto. It’s a lot of travel. We have to cover long distances. 


HNMAG: Did you move to Toronto for a job with the CBC or were you already there? 

Christa Couture: I was already here. I moved in 2015 and I was going to live here for just a year but there were so many career opportunities working in the Arts and I was working in the Indigenous Arts at the time. So I stayed. Once I had my daughter, it’s home now. 


We have had conversations with many very talented Canadian performers, writers, directors, and composers. Christa Couture is certainly another who covers most of those disciplines. Her show Postcards From…is very well made, entertaining, and accessible. It also celebrates this beautiful country that we live in and shares wonderful stories while introducing amazing personalities and things to check out during your travels. How about watching the show and then start planning your next trip?


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