OMNI'S VERONICA CHAIL
Bollywood Ambassador, Driven By Curiosity
By Ranga Rajah
On a cool, foggy morning, media personality Veronica Chail is visiting the Silvertrust Media office in Toronto and I get an opportunity to witness what it takes to be a celebrity. Shooting for a cover feature for Diversity magazine, Chail is calm and dignity personified.
It is not just posing for the pictures. One among her many fascinating attributes, is the fact that she takes an interest in everything. The people around her, checking the photographs, make-up and providing information about the designer she is wearing.
Veronica Chail, the host of OMNI Television's Bollywood Boulevard, has a long list of endearing qualities. Originally from India, Chail was born and raised in Sweden, but moved to Stratford, Ontario, when she was 10-years old. A self-confessed television addict, she holds a degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario and is quite comfortable wearing different journalistic hats. She has worked as news reporter, news writer and host at OMNI Television and as a TV producer at CBC for "The Hour" with George Stroumboulopoulos, who moved on to CNN.
Chail wanted to be an entertainment lawyer, but decided on journalism. "I have always been intrigued by the way people communicate." Chail says she picked up the finer nuances on how to argue and develop opinion from her father, who used to constantly challenge her about issues. Her living room, she says, was her microscope to the world. "That is probably why I ended up being a journalist. When I want to do something, it is a result of curiosity."
Dedicated to giving back to the community, Chail represents a few causes as an ambassador, including; anti human trafficking and human rights initiatives. She also works with the Mood Disorders Association of Ontario and the Chest of Hope Art Project for breast cancer research.
On Anti Human Trafficking Initiatives, Chail says, "I believe it is a huge problem in Canada as well as globally." She recently hosted the Freedom Walk and says human trafficking is an ugly reality in Canada and it is unbelievable that people pay to torture and sexually abuse others. She would like to use the media as a platform to create awareness. "I think that is just a part of my DNA. This cause needs attention."According to Chail, awareness and elimination are the bigger goals for this cause.
Chail works on empowering younger girls by speaking in universities about leadership and self-awareness. "Personally, I feel it can be challenging for a woman as she has to wear different hats and look good as well. I am thankful to my father for pushing my sister and me to be strong, independent women." She says women are in great leadership roles, but they still have a long way to go. "We are still trying to find our voice."
Just like other women who have opened doors for Chail, she hopes to do the same. "We need to push for equality and be that example. Being fearless as women is important."
The secret of her success is having a strong work ethic."I used to be afraid of making mistakes, now I have learnt that making mistakes is good. I have a much better, fearless attitude." Networking, giving back to the community, being persistent and prepared for the right opportunity, are a few of the things that Chail gives credit for her success.
"I am a small town girl with big city dreams. I hold onto those dreams, I believe in my talent and it is good to have people who believe in me."
Chail sees herself as a media powerhouse and the media as a great tool for making a positive impact. "There is this adrenaline rush, which no one can explain. There is so much fun, despite the chaos."