Made-in-Montréal podcasts have fascinating stories to tell

Robyn Fadden

Robyn Fadden is a Montréal-based writer and editor who searches out city secrets, new bands, life-changing art and things to do with her perpetually active kid. Robyn has covered major events for HOUR, MUTEK, ARTINFO, CKUT 90.3FM and more.

Montréal is a city full of stories – and podcasts to tell them on. Several English-language podcasts bring the spirit of Montréal to the internet airwaves these days, talking with fellow Montrealers and far-away guests about everyday life, art and culture, global politics and more, all with a Montréal twist.

WireTap and fascinating friends

A podcast-like CBC radio show before podcasts were a thing, Montréal-based WireTap returns in podcast form to share host Jonathan Goldstein's trademark monologues, stories, and phone calls with a whole new audience and long-time fans. The cross-Canada cult classic show ran from 2004 until ending in 2015 with award-winning (video!) episode “How To Age Gracefully.”

 

Also check out Goldstein's podcast Heavyweight on the Gimlet network and CBC original podcast Love Me, about the messiness of human relationships, by WireTap producers Mira Burt-Wintonick and Cristal Duhaime.

Society and culture on the mic

Personal stories, political movements and engaging conversation make CBC Listen podcast Seat at the Table a must-subscribe. Montréal-based friends and well-known media figures Martine St-Victor and Isabelle Racicot talk candidly with guests on a range of topics, including recent episodes about being Black in media with Roxane Gay, derailing the revolution with Andray Domise, and food and politics with Marcus Samuelsson.

 

Hosted by “queer, cosmically-destined BFFs” Thomas Leblanc and Tranna Wintour, Chosen Family is another excellent CBC Listen podcast out of Montréal, with guests such as Brandon Ash-Mohammed, Rufus Wainwright, Sarah Schulman, Ty Mitchell, Bob the Drag Queen and other fabulous luminaries.

The Upford Network talks

The Montréal-based Upford Network produces podcasts focused on community engagement both locally and globally. The network's lighthearted Up For Discussion Podcast gets real about great food and the people who love to make and eat it, with host Tom Zalatnai. The Rad Child Podcast is a must-listen for parents who've ever asked the question “How do I talk to my child about that!?,” tackling issues of race, gender, sexuality, mental health, disability and much, with host Seth Day and informative guests. And the YA Podcast is all about Young Adult literature and the lessons we can learn from them at any age.

Podcasting from 9 to 5

A flagship show on podcast network 9to5, Go Plug Yourself asks Montrealer entertainers of all stripes the tough questions, like “What is the OMG moment of your life?” and “If you could be one existing soda, what would you be?” The answers are typically hilarious, with a good dose of politics and social commentary thrown in. Go Plug Yourself co-host Keith also co-hosts 9ES (aka The 9to5 Entertainment System), discussing movies, video games and all things pop culture.

Good conversation matters

Devoted to the lost art of conversation, Likeville digs deep into controversial topics while adhering to strong ethical guidelines. Host John Faithful Hamer interviews writers, artists, professors, activists, scientists and entrepreneurs about everything from radical political ideas to Artificial Intelligence. 

 

In podcast Coffee with My Ma, actor Kaniehtiio Horn (known for Letterkenny, The Man in the High Castle and more), who grew up partly in Kahnawake just outside Montréal, sits down with her mom Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) political activist, civil servant and former model Kahentinetha Horn. This storytelling podcast with a personal twist takes listeners from 1960s protests to the 1990 Oka Crisis to Wetsuweten actions to Horn's current policy work. On a related note, listen to The Secret Life of Canada's Kanesatake 300 Years Later episodes.

 

And step into the very recent past (2017) with CBC’s Montreapolis, as host Steve Rukavina talks with creative Montrealers, including novelist Kim Thúy and rapper Jonathan Emile, about their daily lives in the city they live in.

 

Food, music and mayhem

Two well-spoken kids, Gabriel and Gemma, and their guests drop all kinds of food knowledge in podcast Bagels & Baos, featuring amusing taste tests and interviews about everything from matzo to mocktails. A short-lived but highly entertaining local podcast, Dudes Talk Food debates whether sandwiches are dinner food, what constitutes a proper burger topping, and more.

 

In new podcast What Is This Music?!, Malcolm Fraser (of Montréal band The World Provider) sets out to explore the wide world of music in Montréal and beyond, featuring candid conversations with musicians such as Chilly Gonzales and Eliza Kavtion. And FML Podcast gets locals Freddy Lloyd and Lito Brigante debating hip hop culture, sports, politics and their own “dope stories” about life.

Robyn Fadden

Robyn Fadden is a Montréal-based writer and editor who searches out city secrets, new bands, life-changing art and things to do with her perpetually active kid. Robyn has covered major events for HOUR, MUTEK, ARTINFO, CKUT 90.3FM and more.

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