Mediaplanet: You have been able to make a connection with viewers all over Canada — how have you been able to attract such a loyal fan base?

Dina Pugliese: I feel so blessed and privileged to work on a long-running hit show, and we all have an authentic relationship with our viewers. There wouldn’t be a show without them, so we make it a priority to listen, engage, and cater to their needs. I think that’s the key to BT’s longevity; it’s very much a spontaneous show that changes depending on what our viewers have to say — and all of it is done with a side of sass and humour. Life is loaded with stress, so our goal is to serve up news, entertainment, and lifestyle segments while putting a smile on your face. We truly care about what’s going on in the living rooms and offices of everyone tuning in, and that translates in the ratings. 

MP: What types of loyalty programs do you participate in? 

DP: I am addicted to travel rewards programs...why? I love to travel! I only wish I had the time to do more of it. There is nothing quite like the feeling you get when boarding a plane: anticipating the sights, smells, and sounds that await upon arrival. It’s inspiring, exhilarating, and gives you a lifetime of memories and experiences to cherish. It also makes you realize how small the world is — how connected we all are and how beautifully diverse it can be.

MP: Where have you been able to travel to on rewards?

DP: We’ve recently redeemed our rewards for a trip to Dubrovnik, Croatia. My husband Alek wanted to head there as it serves as one of the prime location shoots for his favourite show (Game of Thrones), and because we both feel so at home breathing in coastal air. The views were spectacular along the Adriatic Sea. 

“I am addicted to travel rewards programs...why? I love to travel!”

MP As a consumer — do you feel that loyalty programs influence your spending habits?

DP: I spend the way I always spend….the loyalty programs just serve as a bonus, icing on the cake.  Then we base our travel plans (which hotels we stay in, the airline we fly) on the ones who participate in them as well. So we travel with less guilt because we save money in the end.

MP What are your favourite three destinations that you have visited in Canada and why?

DP: I love BC. The mountain/sea/air combo makes you feel alive and take in deep, healing, breaths. And the food! Best dumplings and sushi money can buy in all of Canada. Oh and I hear they have great ski slopes too, if you’re into that sort of thing. I’m more of an après ski kind of girl — minus the ski part. 

I love Halifax. Rolling city streets, amazing food, and warm, welcoming people. I also love Muskoka. It’s a three-hour drive from Toronto, and we take the show on the road there quite a bit and it never disappoints.  There’s also Niagara on the Lake. My husband proposed to me there! And that wine — there are lots and lots of gorgeous, intoxicating vines. What more can one ask for? Wait...you wanted me to pick just  three? I couldn’t possibly…

MP You have already accomplished so much in your career – what’s next for you?

DP: I very much live in the “now” and appreciate what’s in front of me today. As they say: it’s called being “present” because it’s a “gift” to live in the moment. I’m so fulfilled with my beautiful family, friends and work life. I think it’s a pretty cool thing that I don’t think of “what’s next” because I’m so content with “what’s now.”  Cheers!