Streaming consciousness

Podcasting from the ‘Peg

Jane Testar produces a weekly podcast for the CBC consisting of sketches, columns and streeters. Dylan Hewlett

Winnipeg is home to a number of locally produced podcasts.

Whether they’re recorded in a basement or a high-tech radio studio and whether they have thousands or tens of listeners, one thing is the same - podcasting is an avenue to get one’s voice heard, to stream your mind.

When it comes to speaking one’s mind, Escape Velocity Radio definitely fits the bill.

The monthly podcast sees Propagandhi’s Chris Hannah and former G7 Welcoming Committee member Derek Hogue pontificating on philosophy, science, history, hockey and, of course, music.

They also feature interviews with people they feel need to be heard.

While the podcast is produced in Hannah’s cellar, its reach goes far beyond the basement. The podcast’s Propagandhi connection means it has listeners all across the globe.

“If we started this from ground zero with no pre-existing audience, I certainly don’t think we’d have nearly the number of listeners that we do,” says Hogue, 34, of the podcast, which is available at, iTunes and Soundcloud. 

“I don’t know if that would stop us from doing it, because we clearly love the sound of our own voices, but it’s definitely a plus to have people who already know a bit about the angle we’re coming at things from. Politically and in terms of interests, Chris and I are very much on the same page, so there’s a built-in fit with Propagandhi’s audience.”

Speaking of a pre-existing audience, Jane Testar works for CBC Radio’s Comedy Factory.

The Comedy Factory produces the short sketches for CBC Radio shows like The Current. Those sketches are compiled, and along with columns (Testar produces an etiquette column called Miss Conduct) and streeters, is released as a weekly podcast.

Realizing she’s not starting a podcast from scratch and that she’s fortunate to have the CBC’s backing, Testar says she takes full advantage of their resources.

“I put a lot of work into it,” says Testar, 29, who is a member of the sketch comedy troupe Hot Thespian Action. “I write it, I mix it and sometimes if I’m really ambitious, I make it into a theme, like ‘Spring has sprung,’ so I’m putting in birds chirping and stuff like that. I like to put in a little extra effort. My boss is probably like ‘Just slam it together,’ but I want to make it fun.”

Fun, that’s exactly the point of Jesse Bercier and Lindsay Brown’s Moviehead podcast.

The film-related series - which just launched and doesn’t yet have a ton of listeners - sees Bercier and Brown reviewing movies, mostly new, in an honest and humourous fashion.

“I’m trying to give a more everyman’s perspective on things,” says Bercier, 25, of Moviehead, which is available at and iTunes.

“Lindsay keeps the balance on the other end with more of a reviewer’s mindset. She uses the big $7 words and my responsibility is to offer the counterpoint, ‘Would an everyday dude like these movies?’”

From movies to music, Josie Loeppky’s podcast, &then, is committed to the stories behind Manitoban musicians.

Loeppky, a Creative Communications student at Red River College, pitched the podcast for her Independent Professional Project.

So far she’s produced 15 episodes and has just over 2,300 downloads, earning support from local blogs and Manitoba Music.

She says &then is somewhat of a niche product.

“I’ve heard that Winnipeg is home to 12 per cent of Canadian musicians, despite the city making up only 2.25 per cent of the country’s population,” says Loeppky, 25, who produces the podcast out of RRC’s radio studio.

“There’s a large market for me to pick and choose from and also a large market that’s willing to tune in and support.”

While she’s almost completed Cre-Comm, Loeppky says she plans to continue producing &then, which is available at and iTunes.

“I’m still getting submissions so I think I will keep going,” Loeppky says. “I’ll see if UMFM will let me use their studio and if not, I’ll just grab a digital recorder and see what I can do.”

Published in Volume 67, Number 24 of The Uniter (March 21, 2013)

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