Thursday February 16, 2017

Celebrating a side of Stuart McLean you may not know: documentary maker

In 1979 Stuart McLean travelled to Florida and aboard the USCGC Steadfast for his documentary, The New Goldrush.

In 1979 Stuart McLean travelled to Florida and aboard the USCGC Steadfast for his documentary, The New Goldrush. (CBC)

Listen to Full Episode 27:30

Today, we're celebrating the life — and storytelling — of Stuart McLean by replaying one of his extraordinary documentaries.

If you listen to CBC Radio, you know Stuart and The Vinyl Cafe. You've heard his stories about Dave and Morley, their kids and neighbours.  

But what you maybe don't know is that Stuart was also an accomplished documentary producer.

In the late 1970s the U.S. was losing the battle in their war on drugs. Marijuana smuggling, particularly, was a nightmare for law enforcement. The drug was coming into the U.S. by air and by sea from the Guajira Peninsula in Colombia.

In 1979 Stuart McLean travelled to Florida — the distribution point of the drug to North America — and aboard the United States Coast Guard cutter, Steadfast. His documentary is called The New Goldrush, and you can listen to the full version below.

The Doc Project Blog

Stuart McLean - Blog Headline

Stuart McLean's former radio students remember his most unforgettable lessons

By Kaj Hasselriis 

Stuart McLean's radio documentary class at Ryerson University was one of the best courses I ever took. As a teacher, Stuart was the same "national treasure" you got to know on the radio: a humble, witty raconteur who loved to pass on what he learned. Continue reading →