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By Mark Pavilons
Joan Kelley Walker has become a social media force to be reckoned with, following her “incredible” experience on the recent reality show, The Real Housewives of Toronto.
She's thrilled with the “entirely positive experience” that helped raise the bar for reality TV. She's happy that she helped contribute to the show's quality and remained true to herself throughout.
Viewers were drawn to the content of the show and found it interesting without being trashy.
Walker was adamant that she remain as real as possible. “Everything from me was real and spontaneous. I'm the real deal on that show,” she said.
The participants were not all privy to the shots that centred around individuals, so many episodes came as a surprise to her when she watched the 10-episode series that debuted in March.
She did point out that she was a bit shocked at the choices some people made.
Despite the tensions and character conflicts, they mostly remain good friends. The cast of the 10-part series consisted of Walker, Kara Alloway, Roxy Earle, Gregoriane (Grego) Minot, Ann Kaplan Mulholland and Jana Webb.
Walker said she deepened her existing friendships with Jana and Grego and created new ties with Ann and Roxy. She wishes Kara every success. Walker noted it took her a while to click in to Ann's sense of humour and she finds Roxy to be quite open and genuine.
During the show's segment in Barcelona, Spain, Walker said she spent an entire day stomping on grapes in an ancient vineyard. This was the highlight of the trip, but unfortunately it got cut in the final edit.
The days of filming were long, intense and demanding. The crews did a lot of shooting, but given the tight timelines, a lot never made it to air. The focused editing did make for a better final product, however.
Throughout the process, Walker has become more active on social media, something she previously avoided. She has learned it's an “incredible tool” and she's discovered how nice it is to communicate with others in this manner.
“Now, I'm embracing it, but I have a lot to learn,” she said.
People have been really receptive and so kind about her appearance on the show.
Producers are still going through the viewership numbers, but the good news is the show has been picked up to air in Australia, and some other countries have expressed interest.
Joan would absolutely embrace a second season of Real Housewives, but there has been no word on that.
This experience seems to have put some wind in Walker's professional sails.
She's about to launch a new lifestyle brand bearing her name. The line of products include apparel, accessories and household items. She also keeps busy with speaking engagements.
We will definitely be hearing more from Joan in the coming months.
Joan has been involved in humanitarian work for the past 18 years and most recently visited Cambodia, via World Vision's “Starting Strong” program that protects children from life-long stunting and premature death. The program focusses on the health of mothers during pregnancy and newborn health and nutrition.
The World Vision ambassador and advocate has received the Mother Teresa Award from Athol Murray College of Notre Dame and a Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal as well as World Vision's highest award – “Heroes for Children-Power of Generosity Award.”
As a World Vision spokesperson, Joan Kelley has emceed panel discussions at the U of T, featuring international experts on HIV Aids. She also organizes and hosts fundraisers.
Joan Kelley has served as Chair of the United Way of York Region's Women's Leadership Counsel. She volunteers locally with Neighborhood Network and has served on Committee for “Right to Play.”
Walker and her husband Don, CEO of Magna International, are passionate philanthropists. Don was named Canada's Outstanding CEO of the Year for 2014.
For Joan Kelley Walker, “real” is the name of the game.
Excerpt: Joan Kelley Walker has become a social media force to be reckoned with, following her “incredible” experience on the recent reality show, The Real Housewives of Toronto. She’s thrilled with the “entirely positive experience” that helped raise the bar for reality TV. She’s happy that she helped contribute to the show’s quality and remained true to herself throughout.
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