The Big Listen ended production in May 2018. While this site is no longer updated, all the content remains available for archive purposes.
It seems like every time there’s an American president who some voters don’t like, they threaten to move to Canada. When Trump eked out a win over Hillary, the phenomenon played out again, just as it did when George W. Bush was elected.
But what do we really know about our neighbors to the North? Well, probably not that much. Apart from the fact that they like beer and hockey and saying “sorry” a lot in a delightful accent. But here’s an important Canadian fact — the country that we think of as America’s hat is turning 150 years old. July 1 is Canada Day, celebrating the unification of the three separate colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in 1867.
And because we are good neighbors, we figured we’d take the opportunity to fête our Canuck friends with a celebration of Canadian podcasts. Canada has a long and storied history of audio stories, starting with the CBC/Radio Canada, which began broadcasting more than 80 years ago. Today, the CBC makes some amazing podcasts including Sleepover, Someone Knows Something and Podcast Playlist, our sister from another mister. But there are also lots of independent producers making great work.
So Happy 150th, Canada! Don’t get too crazy, eh!
Tell Me More Canadian Shows To Check Out!
- Indian & Cowboy — This isn’t a show exactly, but a podcast network. Specifically, the world’s only indigenous podcast network. Founded by Anishanaabe comedian Ryan McMahon, Indian & Cowboy is home to nine podcasts on an array of indigenous topics — connection to the land, intersection of native and black identities and colonialism in sci-fi movies. Check out Stories From The Land, an indigenous storytelling show from native people across Canada.
- Love Me — Human relationships are messy. And that’s exactly what makes them so appealing. This CBC show from longtime collaborators Cristal Duhaime and Mira Burt-Wintonick delves into stories about human connection, and at times, disconnection. Host Lu Olkowski deftly introduces the stories with tales from her own life. And all of it is beautifully packaged in a way that will make you forget your own messy reality.
- CANADALAND — Jesse Brown has long been a flamethrower of Canadian media. As a media critic and former investigative reporter, Brown is well-suited to riffle through all of Canada’s dirty laundry. And he does so with aplomb in this show. Brown will happily dispel the myth that Canadians are all nice and accommodating. If you want to know the nitty gritty about Canadian media and politics, you can get a healthy dose of it here. Also, check out his entertaining new book, The CANADALAND Guide To Canada.
- Heavyweight — Self-styled mealy-mouthed mensch Jonathan Goldstein is a Canadian-American hybrid. He was born in the U.S., moved to Canada as a tot and has spent his adult years moving between both. He created the CBC show Wiretap and recently returned to the U.S. to make Heavyweight, a show where he helps people resolve issues from their past. Including some of his old pals from Canada. In addition to making a podcast, Goldstein is also a big podcast listener. Here are his recent recommendations:
Do you have a podcast recommendation you’d like to share with us? We want to hear it! Give us a jingle on the Pod Line at 202-885-POD1 and leave a message. Then we’ll put you on the radio and it’ll be the best day of your life
Thanks for reading, pals! ‘Til next time…keep listening, America.
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