What are your favourite short Canadian radio stories?
November 21, 2012 5:17 PM   Subscribe

What are your favourite short Canadian radio stories?

I'm teaching an introductory radio documentary workshop in Toronto next week and I need examples of very short radio stories - 6 minutes or less - or longer stories that I can excerpt a portion of.

I love the CBC - but most of my brainstorming is coming up with American stuff. Clearly, I'm not very patriotic in my radio nerd-dom...

So, can you help me out? What are your favourite short Canadian radio pieces? (fiction would be ok but I'm most interested in non-fiction)

posted by JPDD to Media & Arts (15 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Stewart McLean, Vinyl Cafe on cbc, would have lots of options for you.
posted by platypus of the universe at 5:24 PM on November 21, 2012 [4 favorites]

One classic is Alan Maitland's reading of The Shepherd (a Frederick Forsyth short story - British) that the CBC plays every Christmas Eve.
The CBC archive has Maitland reading other stories too but unfortunately none of them are particularly short, or Canadian
posted by Flashman at 5:36 PM on November 21, 2012 [2 favorites]

"The Great Beaver Attack" gets my vote. Markus Schwabe of the CBC Prince Rupert morning show interviews Penn Powell, an outdoorsman who was attacked by a beaver one night during a rainstorm. Mr. Powell gives a great interview; it's funny but harrowing, and ultimately pretty compassionate towards the beaver: "He was certainly [acting] in [self] defense--I hold nothing against the beaver whatsoever."
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 5:37 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you're going with Stuart MacLean - "Dave Cooks the Turkey" is a classic and timely in this season. Never fails to crack me up.
posted by hepta at 5:42 PM on November 21, 2012 [2 favorites]

Wire Tap with Jonathan Goldstein has so many good and very funny stories.
posted by lois1950 at 5:45 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

I have lots of Stewart McLean favorites. Among them is this one about the Boy who went over Niagra Falls.

There's a podcast of listener favorites here, which is also worth a listen. I particularly like the story with the telephone operators.

The only problem with Stewart's tales is whether they're going to be short enough for your needs.
posted by ceribus peribus at 5:57 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

This one is longer, but part two is just over 6 minutes and could be excerpted. It is an amazing piece about resilience and survival. It's an interview from the CBC Newfoundland morning show with a woman who was kidnapped and managed to escape after 26 days of being physically and sexually assaulted. It is obviously heavy and has the potential to be triggering, but it is one of the most riveting interviews I've listened to. I heard it in the car while on my way home, and I ended up sitting in my driveway with tears in my eyes listening to the end of it.

Diane's Story:
part one
part two
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 6:06 PM on November 21, 2012

Best answer: In the Field is specifically short radio documentaries. I'm sure you'll find something in there.
posted by looli at 6:57 PM on November 21, 2012

I can't find anything but standup routines right now, but Lorne Elliot is a national treasure and he put together some amazing short stories for Madly Off in All Directions.
posted by bonobothegreat at 6:58 PM on November 21, 2012

Best answer: Dispatches, now defunct, also had excellent short documentary on international stories. This is kind of their best of.
posted by looli at 7:01 PM on November 21, 2012

Oh, man, I went looking for a lot of my favourites, like Ivan Coyote, but staying under 6 minutes is hard. Ideas, In the Field, Wachtel on the Arts, and others tend to play longer, although I agree that Dispatches and Wiretap are great places to look.

DNTO is hit and miss for me these days, but you can poke through here and see if anything catches your fancy. Grant Lawrence's story on loving his dog back to life was pretty moving, and you can dig through a lot more here. The index on the left side lets you filter by theme. You'll find that almost all the excerpts fit your length limits.

Similar pages for:

In the Field
posted by maudlin at 7:10 PM on November 21, 2012

My favorite story from Wiretap is Rabbit Pellets.
posted by AaronRaphael at 7:48 PM on November 21, 2012

Best answer: A Street Car in the Bush: The story of northern artist Muriel Newton White who grew up in a Toronto street car left in the bush of Northern Ontario.
posted by yqxnflld at 8:15 PM on November 21, 2012

Best answer: CBC used to have a terrific show called "Outfront" which was as creative a storytelling venue as you could have imagined. If you troll around the web you can find audio archives of various prize winning episodes, but it seems that the CBC doesn't host them.

Outfront created many moving stories, but one that has stuck with me for years is "The Change in Farming" by Adam Goddard. A young composer, Goddard worked with his grandfather to produce a beautiful piece of art. His grandfather is a gorgeous man with a gorgeous voice and Adam's reworking of his story is touching and beautiful.
posted by salishsea at 12:13 AM on November 22, 2012

CBC Fiction:
Wiretap is fabulous - check out Goldstein's stories from the bible: Golden Calves and Sacred Cows
Some of the old podcasts can be found here... and can be bought from iTunes. Check out the "Best of Season..." Wiretap podcasts.

Alan Maitland once read Tobermory (Saki) - British, and hilarious.

As for CBC Non-fiction:
^nthing The Change in Farming ! I stop and listen to it every time it comes on.

Out of Their Minds was a really neat set of short conversations/documentaries of some innovative thinkers - mind-blowing concepts explored.

Morningside had some interesting bits too - this is where Stuart McLean got his start.

But this is the gem that I instantly thought of: Something from The Sunday Edition. Could listen to Michael Enright forever... wide range of Canadian topics there.
posted by NorthernAutumn at 2:24 PM on November 23, 2012

« Older Amp modules look great, but how would I use them?   |   Please help a high school graduate find where to... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.