When I launched the Night Time Podcast, I did so with the intention of covering the many Canadian stories that have gone unnoticed by the international shows I had been listening to.
Considering the topics I planned to cover, I anticipated my show to appeal to Canadian listeners interested in learning more about our fascinating history. Now looking back at my statistics for my first year, I am surprised to see only 15% of my downloads were from Canada.
When I consider how TV shows like Rick Mercer Report and Murdock's Mysteries are able to build an audience in Canada, I feel like the answer lies in the function of the CRTC. Unlike TV and radio productions, podcasts are not afforded protection under the CRTC's Canadian content rules. This results in many Canadian podcasters struggling to find a Canadian audience, and many Canadian podcast listeners unaware of the great content being created here in Canada.
Seeing as so many great Canadian podcasts are being drowned out by International offerings, I decided to list some of my favorite Canadian productions!
In no particular order...
Someone Knows Something
My strongest Canadian podcast recommendation is for CBC's Someone Knows Something. Many people rank Serial as the high water mark for serialized true crime investigative journalism, however I believe season two of SKS is above any other serialized podcast to date. It's masterfully written, beautifully produced, and of course very Canadian.
Someone Knows Something is a podcast by Canadian award-winning filmmaker and writer David Ridgen. Using investigative journalism, Ridgen narrates a nonfiction story over multiple episodes released in seasons.
- Season one focuses on the 1972 disappearance of Adrien McNaughton, a five-year-old boy who vanished during a family fishing trip in Eastern Ontario.
- Season two covers the 1997 disappearance of Sheryl Sheppard, a 29-year-old who had gotten engaged on live televison in the days prior to her last being seen.
SickBoy is the second best podcast from my city of Halifax. The hosts of SickBoy are some of the best guys you could meet and they are truly doing good by producing a show with a goal of destigmatizing illness in a creative and accessible way.
Sickboy is a hilarious, yet insightful, podcast that aims to break down the stigma associated with illness and disease. The show started when the hosts (three best friends) recognized that when people face difficult situations, illnesses and diseases, they get awkward, and often don't know what to say. Taking the lead from co-host Jeremie Saunder's life long battle with Cystic Fibrosis, the trio help people understand that sometimes the best way to deal with illness, disease and life is simply to laugh.
If you follow Canadian news and politics, stop what you are doing and subscribe to Canadaland. It's the podcast you have been waiting for. It's smart, funny, and always interesting.
Hosted by Jesse Brown, Canadaland is both a news site and weekly podcast that focuses on Canadian media reporting and criticism.
The No Sleep Podcast
Are you into spooky and unsettling fiction? If yes, No Sleep is a must listen. The show is created by an international collective who formed to share the many pieces of fiction being submitted to the reddit group NoSleep. The No Sleep Podcast is hosted by David Cummings, a Canadian boy through and through.
The No Sleep Podcast is an anthology series of original horror stories. No Sleep features a cast of talented voice actors, rich atmospheric music and sound effects to bring the frightening tales to life. Put on some headphones and get freaked out!
If you like long form discussions on the strange and unusual, Grimerica may be for you. I think of it as The Joe Rogan Experience on acid.
The Grimerica Show is a podcast featuring casual conversations with guests from fields ranging from UFOs to conspiracies to psychedelics, meditation, consciousness, folklore and more.
The Sci-Fi Movie Podcast
I have been a life long movie buff, and sci-fi is one of my preferred genres. After stumbling upon the Sci-Fi Movie Podcast by chance I was delighted to hear like minded people discussing the Sci-Fi I grew up on. In each episode the hosts Remi Lavictoire and Jonathan Colbon discuss, critique, and provide background on a science fiction film. If you are a fan of the Sci-fi genre, especially so the classics from the 80s and 90s, you will likely enjoy the sci fi movie podcast.
The Sci-Fi Movie Podcast is currently defunct, however the host Remi recently announced the show would be returning shortly to focus on Sci fi television shows, including a personal favorite of mine Twin Peaks. Now is a good time to catch up on their back episodes and await their return.
The Baddest Ass
With a concept as good as The Baddest Ass, how can you go wrong. Two great guys (one of which is behind the Cape Breton if Trump Wins movement) choose two people from history and decide which of them is... The Baddest Ass.
Who is more Bad-Ass, Freddie Mercury, or Louis XIV? Bill Gates, or Billy the Kid? Each week two brothers debate the Bad-Assness of randomly assigned notable figures.
Missing and Murdered: Who Killed Alberta Williams
If there is any one Canadian true crime topic / social issue that lacks coverage and attention, it is that of our many missing and murdered Indigenous women. I have received many requests to attempt to cover the topic in some way but I would be in well over my head. Connie Walker is certainly the person for the job. Her masterfully told series on the death of Alberta Williams is bone chilling, and sadly this sort of story is all too common for our Indigenous people.
sparked by a chilling tip, Missing & Murdered: Who Killed Alberta Williams? is an eight-part podcast investigation that unearths new information and potential suspects in the cold case of a young Indigenous woman murdered in British Columbia in 1989.
Royal Canadian Movie Podcast
Want to fight an up hill battle as a podcaster? Then make a Canadian podcast covering Canadian films! I stumbled upon RCMP by chance when researching My Bloody Valentine and was delighted to find such a podcast exists. I'm now a regular listener of their show and recommend it to all my Canadian film fans.
Each week co-hosts Becky Shrimpton and Cameron Maitland invite filmmakers, actors, comedians, musicians, writers and theorists, to choose a Canadian film they love and want to share. We research, discuss, review, and summarize the films with wit, mirth and pith. Cam, Becky and their guests help listeners find the weird, the award winning, and the wilds of Canadian Film.
Pete's Paranormal Chronicles
PPC is easily one of the most unique podcasts I've listened to. This show is certainly not for everyone, but it's imaginative and strange. One thing I love about podcasts is that there is so many creative folks contributing in their own unique way... PPC is certainly filling it's own niche.
In 1996, Pete Schwartz began work on a documentary series called Pete’s Paranormal Chronicles. His sanity began to unravel during the production of the program and he became completely immersed in a nationwide conspiracy. December 12th, 1999 is the last day anyone remembers seeing Schwartz alive. These are the recordings of Pete’s old radio show…TURN THE VOLUME UP AND THE LIGHTS DOWN