Kolter Bouchard and Dominique Bouchard

Radio host Kolter Bouchard on surviving cancer and a pandemic with his wife by his side

Kolter Bouchard, radio host of Kolter & Meredith on 102.1 the Edge, has had a challenging couple of years. He underwent chemotherapy while also raising a newborn during the pandemic. He’s now in remission, but through it all, he’s had his “ride-or-die,” wife, Dominique Bouchard, by his side. Kolter shares how the pair met in school, their wild first date and their secret to marital success.

How they met

Dominique and I met at orientation for the Radio Television Arts program at Ryerson (now Toronto Metropolitan) University. We shared a media writing class on Thursdays, and I would always try to sit close to her. It took a few months, but around winter exams, I finally worked up the courage to invite her to my dorm. Do I sound like a stalker? Yes. Was my plan successful? Also yes.

The first date

Our first official date was in 2010 at a St. Patrick’s Day party held by Dominique’s childhood best friend, Juno-nominated artist Ceréna. We brought a thermos full of vodka-Sprite and shared it throughout the evening. When the thermos ran dry, we paid another partygoer for shots. We were a bunch of rowdy 18-year-olds and one (or more than one) of the neighbours called the cops. Dominique and I were more than a little intoxicated, and because we were afraid of going to jail, ran to the basement and hid in a bathroom. By the time we were ready to leave, we realized the trains had stopped running, so we slept on a couch and used my shirt for a blanket.

The courtship

The day I met my [then future] mother-in-law, Denise, my car overheated. It was a thousand degrees outside, and between trying to repair my 1997 Pontiac Sunfire and the embarrassment I felt, I was sweating like a pig as I asked for a ride to the train station. Twelve years later, my mother-in-law barely remembers the event. But it’s burned into my memory, and to this day I still cringe.

The proposal

A year into our relationship, I told Dominique I would propose at Cloud Gardens, an urban park at Richmond and Bay in Toronto. When the day came in late 2014, I took her to dinner at Spuntini’s in Yorkville (which burned to the ground a week later) and hired a photographer (Sid Naidu, creator of Scarborough Made) to capture the proposal. When I asked her to marry me, I expected tears. Instead, she started laughing!

The marriage and honeymoon

We were a couple of broke 23-year-olds and got married at Toronto city hall in January of 2015. We could barely afford the marriage licence, let alone a honeymoon, so that was delayed a couple years. When we finally saved enough money, we spent a glorious week in Mombasa, Kenya. This trip actually inspired our daughter’s name: Nia means ‘purpose’ in Swahili.

The kids

Two weeks before the start of the pandemic, we welcomed into the world our daughter Nia.

Balancing careers and marriage

The last two years have been difficult given not only the pandemic, but also my cancer treatment (I’m in remission!), raising a newborn and co-operating a digital marketing business. We share a calendar and schedule almost every aspect of our lives. It doesn’t sound super romantic, but having a handle on the need-to-dos allows us to focus on the want-to-dos. Also, having parents who are hungry to take their grandchild gives us much-needed alone time.

The secret to success

Laughter. Dominique and I share an incredibly dark sense of humour, which is not only how we bond, but how we’ve overcome stressful experiences like relocating to Dubai, beating cancer and, most difficult of all, potty-training a two-year-old.

For more How They Met stories like Kolter and Dominique Bouchard’s, click here.

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