Five brilliant Canadian podcasts to engage, inform, and entertain you

Listen for a deeper understanding of Canadian history and social issues

By: Meera Eragoda, Arts & Culture Editor

If you’re anything like me, you listen to hours of podcasts in a week — but somehow, the majority of them end up being American and you’re left wondering where all the Canadian podcasts you can support are. As I’m trying to diversify and Canadian-ify (not a word but shouldn’t it be?) my podcast feed, I thought I would share my top five Canadian podcasts. Some of these I’ve been listening to for awhile, and some I’ve recently gotten into, but all are engaging.

 

Sandy and Nora Talk Politics

Courtesy of Sandy Hudson and Nora Loreto

Terrible podcast art aside, this podcast is my favourite of the moment. Hosted by Sandy Hudson and Nora Loreto, this podcast shines a light on Canadian politics from a radical perspective and covers topics in the news such as the WE scandal, statues, and the police. I discovered this podcast after a series of tweets by Hudson which pointed out the misogynoir (misogyny towards Black women) apparent at the CBC. I started listening to understand more about defunding the police as Hudson, founder of BLM Toronto, along with BLM Toronto were responsible for getting the Canadian mainstream media to start talking about the defund the police movement. This podcast is acerbic and intelligent and will provide you with insight into federal politics. Because both Hudson and Loreto are based in Eastern Canada (Ontario and Quebec, respectively), the podcast tends to focus more on political events that occur there but is nevertheless relevant to listeners in BC.

 

CRACKDOWN

Courtesy of Cited Media Productions LTD.

This is a Vancouver-based podcast that I would highly recommend everyone listen to, especially as we are not only facing the COVID-19 pandemic but also an overdose epidemic. CRACKDOWN is hosted by Garth Mullins, an award-winning documentarian, activist, and opioid user. This monthly podcast brings you the stories of people who use drugs from their perspectives and platforms them as the experts in their lives. It explores drug policy, criminalization, and activism. I would recommend listening to understand why people who use drugs need to be the ones in charge of decisions that affect them.

 

Secret Feminist Agenda

Courtesy of Hannah McGregor

This podcast is hosted by SFU associate professor of publishing, Hannah McGregor, and covers a wide range of topics from a feminist perspective. McGregor, unfortunately, is taking a hiatus and evaluating the future of the podcast, but the good news is that even if it ends up being cancelled, there are plenty of episodes in the back catalogue to listen to. Many of the episodes contain interviews with various people — including Sara Ahmed, which hopefully gender studies majors appreciate! — but some are just McGregor talking about a variety of issues from a feminist perspective such as ableism, trans rights, feminist science, and more. As she’s based in Vancouver, there is more BC content, making it a perfect complement to Sandy and Nora Talk Politics. This podcast will encourage you to be unapologetic in practicing feminism in an anti-oppressive way.

 

The Secret Life of Canada

Courtesy of CBC/Radio-Canada

This CBC podcast hosted by Leah-Simone Bowen and Falen Johnson, and produced by TK Matunda, is here to bring us the untold and undertold histories of Canada. They tackle subjects such as the secret history of Japantowns and the secret history of blackface in Canada, to more light-hearted topics such as the history of Canadian snacks. This podcast has definitely taught me a lot that I never knew and has episodes on histories all across Canada, including the Maritimes — which I always somehow overlook and can now pay attention to thanks to this podcast.

 

Let’s Talk About Myths, Baby

Courtesy of Liv Albert

In this podcast, host Liv Albert, tells you stories of various Greek and Roman myths with hilarious interjections of feminist takes on how ridiculous the characters of these myths really were. Her love for mythology really shines through, as does her ability to shake her head at the antics of various characters. If you find Greek and Roman mythology entertaining but also want a podcast that doesn’t overlook the problematic stereotypes present within them, this one’s for you.

All of these podcasts are available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.