Sangita Patel: “Every Kid Should Have Access to Education”

Sangita Patel is a Canadian television personality, currently the host of HGTV’s Home to Win and an on-air personality of Entertainment Tonight Canada. She appeared in a few movies and TV series, such as The Death and Life of John F. Donovan, Arrival, and Private Eyes. 

(Margarita): If you could be an advocate for any issue in the world what would it be?

(Sangita): I’ve been involved with so many charities but I think my main one would be education. I’m a big believer in education, and I think education is the main key to solving every problem. If you can educate kids, they’ll have the power to create a better future. The One Campaign invited me to be one of their Canadian ambassadors for their campaign where their goal was to get 130 million girls into schools within the next 5 years. If you think about it, that number sounds ridiculous that so many young girls are denied an education! Access to education shouldn’t be a question. Every kid should have access to education. If you can support women by giving them education, you can solve any problem in the world. And that’s why I teach my kids that it’s so important to utilize the resources they’ve got, and to take advantage of it.

And what would you want your kids to be when they grow up?

You know, they are so lucky. They live in a country where there are so many opportunities. I want them to grow as confident women knowing that they have every opportunity available to them. But they have to be sensible and take care of themselves. They need to learn what it means to be able to be your own person. And that’s what I’m trying to teach them now. I want them to be successful!

The reason why I’m asking it is that you studied engineering and your husband went to a medical school – which are pretty serious careers.

I know, so typical! (laughs). But look at me now. I’m living my passion. I applied for engineering AND secretly for journalism at the same time. And my dad was like ‘where are you going to get a job? How are you going to make money?’  So I went to study engineering. But I’m glad I did that, as it taught me how to think in a 3D world, which is why I’m able to be calm and assess the situation now. So for my kids I just want them to be successful. I don’t know what the world is going to look like once their out on their own, but right now there are no jobs, it’s all AI (artificial intelligence). What is the future? Is it being a doctor anymore? I don’t know. Is it robotics? Maybe. Is it programming? Maybe. So that’s kind of scary for me as a parent – not knowing what to really teach them. When we were growing up it was like become a doctor, or become an engineer, or a lawyer – you knew what it was going to be like. And now, what is the next step? I’m not sure.

Dress on Sangita by Aidan Mattox

And tell us, how did you meet your husband?

I was in my last year of high school, and he just got into med school. We did long distance for a year. It was actually calling each other at that time and talking to each other (as opposed to messaging). We got to know each other emotionally, rather than physically. And that’s how we became best friends. You don’t get that anymore, you don’t get that connection like I did with my husband. Now its texting or whatever it is. That’s what makes our bond so strong.

What is the best thing about your husband that you love the most?

He’s an incredible dad and the kids for both of us come first. He’s more in control of what’s happening with the kids than I am, and he takes care of so many things. He’s on top of that. And he loves being a dad. Also, there is that chemistry between us. We are able to read each other without even talking to each other. He keeps me calm as well, and he has a way of making me realize that things are going to work out. He is a radiologist, and he works in Guelph. So literally we live in Mississauga, and he goes one way and I go the opposite way. And he gets to work before I do – which makes no sense to me. So we found a prefect house and a prefect place to live, so it all worked out perfectly.

Bracelet, Ring, Necklace by Birks. Dress by Aidan Mattox

Do you see yourself living in another country other than Canada?

There is something about Canada that I’m in love with. My family are immigrants from India. I have two sisters and a brother. Life is so good here. I feel safe here. And the world right now is a scary place. I travel a lot. Last time I was in London, 5 blocks away from me was a terrorist attack. You know you think about it, ‘is this becoming a norm?’ No, it shouldn’t be. And one place I always love coming back to is Canada. If I want to retire, then maybe I’ll relocate to an island in Bahamas or Turks and Caicos, for sure (laughs). But right now with my kids, it’s here.

What’s your favourite place you’ve been to?

We travel at least twice a year with our kids. We believe that you learn a lot more, when you travel. So we invest a lot of our time and money resources into travelling. We went to Croatia, Costa Rica, Africa, Thailand, Italy. I’m a big fan of exotic places. So Costa Rica is one of my favourite places for adventure. Our honeymoon in Tahiti was amazing. I would love to go back there. Beauty of that place is unbelievable. I went to Hawaii as well, but it’s not even comparable. I love nature, the beauty of it – I don’t like the bugs!

Dress on Sangita by Aidan Mattox

On Sports & Fitness:

I used to be into sports a lot, like volleyball and basketball. Tennis I’m trying to learn, because my kids play tennis. And they also do swimming but I have a fear of the water, so I’m not going to do it. We do a lot of hiking. We are very active as a family. But I took a break for sure for the last 10 years.

I do fitness Tuesdays on my social media. I started doing that 2.5 years ago, it was recommended by one of our producers/supervisors. She was like ‘you know, you should try this’. So I did it every Tuesday, and one day I saw so many direct messages from people, who were inspired by it. And these were mothers. The reason I started it was that I was having a hard time after having my kids, I lost myself. I knew I had to do something with myself physically. And thats why I started fitness. It’s just me doing workouts. Hopefully it inspires somebody. There is something about physical activities that makes you happy. And I love food too, that’s why I work out (laughs).

On Healthy Eating:

I love food, especially cake. Every time there is a cake, I will eat it. I’ve eaten a whole cake before. During the week when I’m working, I’m very sensible with what I eat. I started something called Macros – it’s when you ingest a certain amount of fat, protein and carbs, and as long as you meet that number, you can eat whatever you want. So essentially I enjoy the food as long as I stay within my Macros.

But I love Italian food. I love pizza, I’d die for it. So anywhere there is pasta or pizza, I’d eat there. I love Terroni. For me in Oakville there is a restaurant called Seven -looove their food! They grow their own vegetables in their garden in the summer. You can’t get any fresher than that. And there is a kids playground area where they can play, while food is being prepped.

Dress on Sangita by Aidan Mattox

On Beauty:

So being in this industry is very demanding to always look young, look your best. It always blew my mind, how you are supposed to be you, but you 20 years ago. I’m happy about my smiley face and my wrinkles. I think I earned my laugh lines. And there is always that demand, but I told myself that I’m not going to do botox or any fillers. I drink a lot of water. I have a cream system that I love, that is for me – because my skin is sensitive. So I try to do it in a very natural organic way. I use something called NuFace when I need a little lift. I love it. So I try to be as natural as possible.

On Fashion:

I’m always looking for new up and comers. Stephan Caras is amazing. I love their new line. There is a Ryerson student with his Cashmere collection which is incredible. So I’m going to the Golden Globes and I’m thinking maybe to wear some of his designs. L’Momo designer Muhammad Alamgir created my Canadian Screen Awards dress and my Emmys dress. And I’m trying to find these younger Canadians designers to provide them with a platform to help them grow.

Out of all celebrities who you have not interviewed yet, who would you like to interview the most?

Oh my Gosh, Oprah! Who doesn’t want to talk to Oprah?! Also Angelina Jolie. Both I still haven’t met and they are on my top 5 list. Also, Barack or Michelle Obama would be great. People who have made a difference. It’s great to interview celebrities, and I have a blast with them, but the idea of having an opportunity take my position and talk to someone who inspired me, really excites me. I looked at my list and it’s all people who are trying to use their voice for great.

Tune in: ET Canada airs weeknights at 7:30pm ET/7pm PT on Global.

Photography by Margarita Menard

Makeup by Kristina Brakhnova

Hair by Maggie Ng

Location: The Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre