Third Annual Vancouver Podcast Festival Returns (At Home)

Following an incredible second year, the Vancouver Podcast Festival, presented by DOXA, returns for its 2020 ‘At Home’ edition. The virtual festival takes place November 18-22 online. Given the pandemic, VanPodFest has refined its programming, but still offers a robust mix of live events, workshops, panels, and VanPodFest’s first-ever pitch session over the course of five days.

Vancouver Podcast Festival (at home) may look a little different, but we’re excited to continue showcasing the best storytellers and audio producers from around Vancouver, Canada, and the globe,” says Hannah McGregor, Vancouver Podcast Festival programming committee member. “Our pared-down online programming has a little bit of something for everyone, whether you’re a brand new podcaster looking to pitch your ideas, a producer trying to put together a great show despite social distancing, or a fan excited to see your favourite podcasters live.


Event Highlights Include:

In Conversation: Michelle Shephard (Brainwashed) and Ian Hanomansing 

Brainwashed is a multi-part investigation into MKUltra in Montreal — how the CIA and Canadian government-funded secret experiments to find out whether people’s brains could be rewired and controlled. We learn about the psychiatrist who used hundreds of his patients as human guinea pigs. And discover the devastating impacts that the experiments have had — on the victims, their families, and on thousands of other people around the world.

Sandy & Nora Talk Politics live recording

Sandy & Nora Talk Politics is a weekly podcast that’s required listening. Every week Sandy Hudson and Nora Loreto talk politics, radical social change, what’s currently wrong with the Left and what must happen to make it right. In this live event, the co-hosts will discuss the outcome of the American presidential election, its impact on Canada, and where we all go next.

Pop Chat live recording
Host Elamin Abdelmahmoud and the Pop Chat panel invite you in to the group chat to help make sense of the cultural drama blowing up the internet. Bringing their hottest takes to the table, join them every week as they debate, discuss and work through the pop culture discourse. The Pop Chat panel consists of: Shireen Ahmed, Angelina Chapin, Kevin Fallon, Sarah Hagi, Hussein Kesvani, Stacy Lee Kong, Kathleen Newman-Bremang, Amil Niazi, and Andrea Warner.

How to Monetize Your Podcast

Can podcasts make money? Do you have to sign up with a big network, or can you do it on your own? Lauren Bercovitch and Chris Kelly from Kelly&Kelly host a workshop looking at different ways to monetize your podcast with companies like RedCircle and Supercast (both local to Vancouver!) and demonstrate that making money from your podcast doesn’t have to be hard.

VanPodFest Pitch session
Local Vancouver podcasters are given the opportunity to get feedback on their best podcast show pitch from executive producers at some of the biggest podcast networks around, including CBC Podcasts, TELUS STORYHIVE, and Canadaland.

Libraries, Archives, and Podcasts are Never Neutral (Amplify Podcast Network) 

Join a group podcasters working at the intersections of libraries, archives, activism, and community organizing to discuss why podcasting is the perfect medium to democratize access to information and politicize how we share knowledge. Featuring Allison Jones and Karen Ng (Organizing Ideas), Yves Rees ( Archive Fever), and Kendra Cowley and María Alvarez Malvido (Communication at the Edge [forthcoming from Amplify Podcast Network]).

Producer’s Roundtable

VanPodFest gathers a group of high-level producers to talk about the challenges of producing podcasts virtually. What are their best practices? What kind of studio setup do they recommend at home? How do you get a good performance from your hosts? Find out how to produce a studio-quality podcast in the comfort of your own home.

Narrative News Panel

Many current events podcasts are created with narrative structure in mind, and employ strategies used by nonfiction podcasts to tell real life stories. How do they pull it off? What roadblocks arise? And when do the lines of journalism become blurred? This panel will feature local people and perspectives.

Additional online workshops from Vancouver Public Library’s Inspiration Lab enable podcasters to hone their own production skills. And, for podcast creators or businesses looking to connect further with the community, the Vancouver Podcast Fest’s Virtual Podfair Happy Hour on Friday, Nov. 20, hosted by Hannah McGregor (Witch, Please and Secret Feminist Agenda) and Andrea Warner (Pop This! and Pop Chat)  will provide a fun online hangout opportunity for attendees and guests to get to know each other.

Festival passes and individual tickets are on sale now. Event prices range from free or pay-what-you-can to $5 (students/seniors/reduced income) and $10 (adults) per ticketed event, and $25 (full festival pass). 

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