YEGPodFest offers you the best of local and national audio

Article content

If there’s one local festival that seems perfect for another online iteration, the second annual YEGPodFest is it. Lockdown mode is not what the organizers of this celebration of all podcasts want to see happen, but it is also everything they have known.


Article content

“We haven’t really had a chance to do a ‘normal’ year yet,” explains festival producer Fawnda Mithrush, “because last year was the first year.”

Ah, 2020, surely you already know the whole song and dance of the pandemic.

“We applied for an initial grant through the Edmonton Arts Council Connections and Exchanges program to host our collaborative festival between Alberta Podcast Network and LitFest, ”explains Mithrush,“ so last year was the first year that happened. And of course, it ended up online.

“But,” he says, “it allowed us to really get closer and get more talent in.”

Stars far away

Radiolab host Jad Abumrad, last year’s headliner, is a great example. And this year’s show looks just as interesting as 2020’s; Thanks to him, I have enjoyed two clever podcasts while researching, namely the thoughtful Women of ABPoli and the hilariously curse-laden analysis show, The Strategists.


Article content

The panel of the festival’s crushed political group, Zain Velji, Kathleen Smith, Stephen Carter, Deirdre Mitchell-MacLean and Corey Hogan, opens the three-day festival at 7pm on Friday.

“It’s great to have those two shows really square off,” says Mithrush, “and I hope they end up talking a little bit about the Edmonton election because I want to hear what they think about all of that. We are going to have a completely new list of councilors and mayors. “

Like the nine events scheduled for the weekend, all you have to do is register in advance at And boom you’re in for free But there is a one-time $ 49 VIP link to avoid having to register individually for each event.

Virtual events range from panels to a couple of compelling ‘hands-on podcasts’ masterclasses, including one with the powerful Karen Unland from That’s One Thing! One of the more notable events of ‘In Conversation’, Sunday at 1pm, is a chat with Life Jolt’s Rosemary Green, a former inmate and show producer John Chipman.


Article content

“This is a podcast that is going to have a huge impact on the next snippet,” says Mithrush. “These are women in the Canadian prison system. She talks about being in prison as a life sentence, because you will never really get out of it, even when you are no longer in prison, there are always barriers. “

Exploring the spectrum

Another ear-catching item is a conversation about CBC’s The Flamethrowers podcast. This series of audio documents looks at the long history of right-wing radio that culminated in the rise of Donald Trump, who followed conservative talk radio scripts all the way to the White House. With Mark Connolly, reporter Justin Ling (The Village) and producer Peter Brown will introduce the show and its fascinating theme.


Article content

Mithrush loves how meta this one gets: radio on radio. “Podcasting is the new age that radio is becoming, and of course here we have one of the biggest podcasts in the country, The Ryan Jespersen Show,” he observes. “If you listen to it, just in tone, it has all the kind of marks from those radio shows.”

Another event worth noting is the Alberta Book Pods panel, at 2:30 pm Sunday, which attracts a wide range of local book lovers, including Rayanne Haines of Crow Reads, Makda Mulatu of Glass Bookshop Radio and Anita and Scott C. Bourgeois of The Leer together. Glass Q&A teacher Jason Purcell presents.

Makda Mulatu from Glass Bookshop radio is on a YEGPodFest panel at 2:30 pm Sunday.
Makda Mulatu from Glass Bookshop radio is on a YEGPodFest panel at 2:30 pm Sunday. Photo provided by

“We definitely wanted to feature more of our local podcasters this year,” explains Mithrush, “but also some a little more out of the box that Edmonton audiences may not have heard of.


Article content

“I am definitely a bookworm. So it was great to be able to schedule a panel with three podcasts that basically focus on the Alberta books. “

Coast to coast

With that said, The Future of Canadian Podcasting panel features voices even the Maritimes. Food Podcast’s Lindsay Cameron Wilson is from Halifax; Jen Moss’s JAR Audio is out of BC; and producer Maddie Styles (Your Girl Karly; The Startup Canada Podcast; The Startup Women Podcast) will stream to the festival from Ontario.

The full schedule resides in, please have a look.

Looking forward, Mithrush laughs, “I mean, with our fingers crossed, we will be able to do things that are in person in 2022.”

She notes that if this happens, the festival is likely to delve even further into local content, including all 40 shows on Alberta’s podcast network.

“It’s more profitable when you’re not flying in people, but also, with the YEGPodFest brand, we want to promote the podcasts that are happening here and the voices and storytellers creating content here.

“Looking ahead cautiously, tentatively, that’s what we’re looking at next year.”

[email protected]




Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civilized discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments can take up to an hour to moderate before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications – you will now receive an email if you receive a response to your comment, there is an update from a comment thread you follow, or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Principles for more information and details on how to adjust your E-mail settings.

Leave a Comment