First ever Manitoba podcast fest hopes to grow local scene

The first ever Manitoba Podcasting Festival took place this Sunday in Winnipeg to connect those passionate about podcasting and grow the local scene.

Podcasts now easier to make, more popping up in Manitoba every day, hosts say

Adeline Bird, host of the Soul Unexpected, was one of the panelists at the first ever Manitoba Podcast Festival. The event was organized by local podcast hosts to help the scene grow in Winnipeg and Manitoba. (Sarah Petz/CBC )

Whether you want to listen to interviews with your favourite comedians, hear true, gritty crime stories, or get money advice, you can bet there's podcast out there for you.

And for those wanting to hit the airwaves themselves, Manitobans who've created their own podcasts say it's more accessible than ever.

The first ever Manitoba Podcasting Festival took place Sunday in Winnipeg to connect those passionate about podcasting and grow the local scene.

"There's not one centralized place. That's what we're hoping to do here, is kind of create a community," said Stefan Richard, one of the organizers of the festival.

Richard, a former professional wrestler, started his podcast, Ever Sick, in his basement.

It led to a career in broadcasting for Richard, who now hosts an afternoon show for Native Communications Inc. (NCI).

The festival featured a series of panels, like this one called Podcasting 101, where local hosts shared how they got started and what it takes to produce your own show. (Sarah Petz/CBC )

For those who want to start their own podcast, Richard said the key is to just go for it.

"I think if you just actually take your phone, and record on a phone, you can do so much with that. Even if it's just 10 minutes of just getting your thoughts out, that's a start," he said.

Richard said often people think they need to buy expensive equipment or have a degree in journalism or broadcasting to start a podcast, but that couldn't be further from the truth.

"It's podcasting, it's DIY — people understand it's DIY, and they're very forgiving, as long as they enjoy the content."

For Adeline Bird, who hosts Soul Unexpected, an interview series, podcasting has given her a space to discuss issues that don't get a lot of airtime in mainstream media.

"It's really cool to sit down with people and have conversations that you wouldn't normally hear in mainstream media, when it comes to conversations around sex, race, identity and body image, to have those real, raw conversations, I feel, is so needed right now," she said.

"I think people are craving that, and that's why podcasting works."

Sam Thompson, another co-organizer of the festival and host of music podcast Witchpolice Radio, said there seem to more and more Manitoba-made podcasts popping up everyday.

"I think one of the reasons we wanted to do this is to get an idea of who is there, and everyone to meet each other and see how we can help the whole scene grow," he said.

The festival ran Sunday afternoon at the Park Theatre in South Osborne, and featured a series of panels coupled with networking sessions.

About the Author

Sarah Petz

Reporter, CBC Manitoba

Sarah Petz is a reporter with CBC Manitoba. She was previously based at CBC New Brunswick. Her career has taken her across three provinces and includes a stint in East Africa. In 2017, she was part of a team of reporters and editors nominated for a National Newspaper Award for a feature on the Port of Saint John in New Brunswick. She can be reached at sarah.petz@cbc.ca.