For Concordia journalism graduate Pamela Pagano, kindness is the ultimate virtue. Eager to spread a little warmth in the sometimes-dreary world of social media, she has been producing, editing and starring in Kind Time, a web series in which she interviews people sharing acts of kindness.
Long before COVID-19 hit, 23-year-old Pagano conceived the idea for Kind Time with her family as they contemplated her future in journalism. Pagano’s mother, Rita Chiovitti, suggested that she do something to marry her passion for kindness and love for journalism.
After gathering a team of volunteers, and weathering pandemic-related delays, season one of Kind Time was born and launched in a virtual format on IGTV, an app for watching long-form videos. “It really exceeded any expectation that my family and I had,” Pagano says. “Our expectation was, ‘Oh, we’re just going to have fun with it and see who else will watch.’ It was never like we expected it to be something big.”
Pagano conducted cheerful Zoom and FaceTime interviews with guests from around the world, including Montreal florists MFLEURS, who honoured healthcare workers with surprise rose deliveries, and a New York family whose therapy dog went viral, culminating in a People Magazine feature. Once government pandemic regulations allowed for it, Pagano recorded a second season in her living room.
Now, with the show’s third season slated to premiere later in June, Pagano is grateful to her growing audience, and stresses that the show is a community effort with a dedicated team, made possible with the support of her mother, her father Biagio and her sister Marilyn. “I’m not paid to do this,” she says. “Kind Time is possible because of the Montreal community, a community [that] believes in kindness.”
The show appeals to anyone who needs a smile. This season was filmed in a single day at Centre Leonardo Da Vinci, and it includes interviews with a young boy with dyslexia who has mastered the Rubik’s cube (“we did a competition and he won each time”), two athletes who ran across Canada in promotion of The Terry Fox Run, and a photographer who runs workshops for Syrian children.
Pagano describes her web series as a local, Ellen-style, feel-good show, with an apropos slogan coined by mom Rita: “Remember to think happy and be kind,” a common sentiment of the young journalist’s upbringing.
“News is so important. That’s what keeps us safe and informed and we need that,” Pagano says. “But just like how there’s entertainment news, there’s sports news, there’s business news … there can also be good news.”