The Doc Project


The Doc Project

High-stakes storytelling at its most artful and human -- radio documentary on the next level. Stories lived, stories told.

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The Children of Fairbridge Farm

From the 1860s to the 1940s, more than 100,000 British children were separated from their families and sent to Canada. They were known as British Home Children, and were often treated as free farm labour. Fairbridge Farm, on Vancouver Island, was supposed to be different. The farm school promised better training, and a better life. But it didn't always work out that way. Now, a legacy of "Fairbridgians" and their children are looking for answers.

Download The Children of Fairbridge Farm
[mp3 file: runs 00:28:10]

A Tale of Two Jennifers

Two different Jennifers, at 11 years old, take flight towards a whole new identity. Jennifer Yoon came to Canada when she was 11. But when she arrived, she had only been "Jennifer" for a few minutes. On the flight from Korea, her mom told her to choose a more Western name. Now, 14 years later, Jennifer is wondering - should she make it official and become Jennifer legally? PLUS the night before her Grade 6 school photo, Jennifer Warren walked into the hair salon across the road from her house. And she walked out... with an epic fail of a haircut. Soon after, she was also cast as the lead in her school play, a modern-day musical version of the Pilgrim's Progress. Would the lure of the stage be her salvation? Could Grade 6 get any more humiliating?

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[mp3 file: runs 00:28:08]

PODCAST EXCLUSIVE: Music from "The Pipeliner Wives Club"

Adrienne Pan, producer of the documentary "The Pipeliner Wives Club," speaks to singer-songwriter Chelsea Savage about music, inspiration, and the pipeline life. This behind the scenes conversation pairs with the episode "The Pipeliner Wives Club."

Download PODCAST EXCLUSIVE: Music from "The Pipeliner Wives Club"
[mp3 file: runs 00:15:32]

The Pipeliner Wives Club

Adrienne Pan is a host at CBC Edmonton. Her husband, Ben, is a utility welder who works on pipelines. When they first met, Ben had decided to leave that life behind. Then, three years into their marriage, he got back into it. Ben is now on a seven-month Enbridge contract, living over 1,000 km away from his wife. This is not the marriage Adrienne had in mind. So, she's reaching out to a group she's suddenly found herself a part of - a group she calls "The Pipeliner Wives Club."

Download The Pipeliner Wives Club
[mp3 file: runs 00:30:23]

Addict Samaritan

Danny MacKillop was homeless and struggling with addiction, stealing to get money for his next high. But when a Toronto special constable left $40 in an ATM, Danny chased him down and returned the money. The officer posted about Danny's good deed on Facebook and tagged him. Danny's mother, Mary, hadn't seen him in 8 years, but she saw the post. Mary knew immediately what she had to do. She packed a bag and flew from her home in Cape Breton to Toronto, to search the streets for her son, and save his life.

Download Addict Samaritan
[mp3 file: runs 00:28:01]

Music in the Attic

After Pat Maloney's death, his widow, Joanne, found dozens of tapes hidden away in the attic. Now she's called up her neighbour who's a musician to help digitize them. He presses play. And just like that, a neighbour and a family discover the hidden life of Pat Maloney.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:27:36]

Going The Distance

When Sarah Roselen got sick, she got sick fast. What she thought was bronchitis, or maybe pneumonia, turned out to be Acute Lymphoblastic Lymphoma, an aggressive cancer. And just like that, her life in remote Fort Smith, Northwest Territories, was put on hold. For months of harsh chemotherapy, she's had to relocate to Edmonton, a 14-hour drive away from her partner and young son. But Sarah is finding a surrogate family in her new Edmonton home: Compassion House, where women with cancer from far-flung communities can live and recuperate together during treatment. And they're learning the best treatment is each other.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:27:40]

Psychic Pet Detective

Robert Lindblad is a self-described psychic in Montreal. His friends say he developed this ability after a traumatic childhood accident. Robert doesn't charge for his services... like when Portland, Oregon's Lisa Lieberman swears he helped find her beloved Dachshund-Yorkie mix, Lucy, in real time, using Google Maps, from over 4,000 kilometres away. And when a Montreal couple were thrilled to learn the whereabouts of their beloved grey tabby, Titite. Learn more about the man who pet owners say is purr-fectly legit, and decide for yourself - do you believe?

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[mp3 file: runs 00:27:36]

The Invisible Woman

In Canada, more than 200 languages are spoken. So how does this play out in our hospitals? For palliative care physician Evan Schneider, communicating bad news is a fundamental part of the job. Every day he has to navigate emotionally charged conversations - sometimes with patients don't speak the same language as him. Meanwhile, Maria Anna Calamia tries to be invisible at work. It's her job as a medical interpreter - translating between doctors and patients who don't speak the same language. But there are times that Maria Anna has been deeply affected by the conversations she facilitates. Her goal is to try not to let it show.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:26:36]

The Skinny Twin

Bridget and Brianna are identical twins. And they are really close. Growing up, they had the same friends, liked the same sports, and shared everything - except Bridget had and eating disorder and Brianna didn't. Now, a decade since the height of Bridget's illness, the twins are asking if their DNA is identical, why did this happen?

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[mp3 file: runs 00:27:40]

Raising Hair

Amelia "Ed" Pittbrooke will never forget the first time she walked into a barbershop. She was hoping to finally get what she'd always wanted - a typical men's haircut. But it didn't go according to plan. Lots of people have a bad haircut story, but for LGBTQ people, getting your hair cut can be a minefield. ALSO, for almost 20 years Tej Swatch was in a battle... with his beard. And his beard was winning. The story of the lengths one man went to to conquer his beard.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:27:41]

All I Have Is Now

Looking back, there were warning signs. Starting in his late fifties, John Alex McDonald would forget things. He would continually misplace his keys and his wallet, but he chalked it up to absent-mindedness. Then, one day, he was driving on the highway and suddenly forgot everything. Where he was. Who he was. It was 10 minutes before he remembered, and his new reality set in. PLUS, when author Ivan Coyote went to visit their 97-year-old grandma for the last time, they'd been warned that Grandma Patricia now gets things, especially people, confused. But that night Grandma Patricia knew exactly who Ivan was.

Download All I Have Is Now
[mp3 file: runs 00:28:10]

PODCAST EXCLUSIVE: Behind the scenes with John Alex McDonald

Acey speaks with John Alex McDonald and Alison Cook, subject/writer and producer, respectively, of the essay "Can't Remember, Can't Forget." They discuss making a piece about early-onset Alzheimer's while navigating the effects of the disease. This behind the scenes conversation pairs with the episode "All I Have Is Now."

Download PODCAST EXCLUSIVE: Behind the scenes with John Alex McDonald
[mp3 file: runs 00:15:59]

Toronto Blind Jays

The Jays have one big dream: to make it to the World Series. Not the Toronto Blue Jays... the Toronto Blind Jays! They play "Beep Ball" - baseball for the blind, so named because the ball beeps, as do the bases. The Blind Jays are Canada's only blind baseball team. They're headed to the World Series of Beep Ball in Wisconsin, determined to beat their rivals and move up in the rankings. One beep at a time.

Download Toronto Blind Jays
[mp3 file: runs 00:27:40]

The Hopeless Mountain

While desperately trying to make space in his home for his girlfriend to move in, Tom Howell unearths 20 years of unfinished To-Do lists. He dubs the chaos "The Hopeless Mountain". What follows is a personal quest in which Tom sets out to master the art of completing a To-Do list. For once.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:27:40]

Medieval Combat

Steve Pearson has had more than his share of challenges. Born with a short femur, he had 26 surgeries on his right leg throughout his childhood and teens. But the surgeries didn't stick, and at 20 his leg was amputated. So what did Steve do? He joined The Company of The White Wolf - Yukon's medieval combat team. Now, Steve is on his way to Scotland to compete against the best knights in the world. And he has a lot to prove.

Download Medieval Combat
[mp3 file: runs 00:27:40]

Auntie Karrie

Karrie Würmann always knew she was adopted. But only last year did she learn the context of that adoption, when a visit to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights introduced her to the Sixties Scoop. This new information changed how she saw her past and her family. Now, Karrie has decided to return to the people and community she was taken from. And her adoptive nephew, Isaac, is going with her.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:27:41]

Beulah's Beach (Summer Rebroadcast)

Beulah Chandler was on her favourite Cape Breton beach when she saw the most beautiful thing she'd ever seen. It was Duncan Gillis, a stranger, helping his ailing wife walk. Beulah posted a video of the couple online. Forty thousand views later, their story is only beginning, starting with the real reason Beulah was on the beach that day. (Originally aired April 30, 2018)

Download Beulah's Beach (Summer Rebroadcast)
[mp3 file: runs 00:30:56]

All the people on my street (Summer Rebroadcast)

Tom Howell has lived in his house in Toronto's East York neighbourhood for 15 years. But last year, he learned that there was a New Year's Eve party for the people on his street... and he hadn't been invited. This discovery, and the realization that he has only learned the names of 5 people on his street in 15 years, leads Tom on a quest to find out what exactly it means to be a good neighbour. (Originally aired March 5, 2018)

Download All the people on my street (Summer Rebroadcast)
[mp3 file: runs 00:29:18]

Amber Valley (Summer Rebroadcast)

"Where are you from, from?" Jesse Lipscombe is tired of being asked this question. Especially because the people asking never seem to accept his answer. Jesse is 4th generation Canadian and his family hail from Amber Valley, Alberta, a community formed by black settlers in 1908. (Originally aired February 27, 2018)

Download Amber Valley (Summer Rebroadcast)
[mp3 file: runs 00:27:40]

Wait, is that my sister? (Summer Rebroadcast)

Coral and Candace always knew they had a long-lost half-sister, Machelle. They also knew they'd never meet her - they thought she'd been adopted by a family, somewhere far away. But it turns out that for almost 50 years, their sister had been living right under their noses. (Originally aired March 13, 2018)

Download Wait, is that my sister? (Summer Rebroadcast)
[mp3 file: runs 00:27:40]

PODCAST EXCLUSIVE: Behind the scenes of "Dungeon Master for Hire"

A hilarious, behind-the-scenes chat between Acey Rowe and Pete Morey, producer of the documentary "Dungeon Master for Hire". Find out how much it costs to hire your very own Dungeon Master, and hear the story of how three bags of chips almost ruined the doc. (Originally released November, 2017)

Download PODCAST EXCLUSIVE: Behind the scenes of "Dungeon Master for Hire"
[mp3 file: runs 00:15:38]

Dungeon Master for Hire (Summer Rebroadcast)

John Dempsey was in a career crisis until he took a chance on his life's obsession - Dungeons & Dragons. But could he make a living with the game? Things weren't looking good... until help came from an unexpected source: Netflix. (Originally aired October 31, 2017)

Download Dungeon Master for Hire (Summer Rebroadcast)
[mp3 file: runs 00:27:59]

Quest for the Golden Spurtle (Summer Rebroadcast)

Held in a tiny Scottish village every year, the Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championship is a "grueling" business. (Originally aired January 2, 2018)

Download Quest for the Golden Spurtle (Summer Rebroadcast)
[mp3 file: runs 00:29:45]

PODCAST EXCLUSIVE: advice from a porridge champion

Acey speaks with two-time porridge making champion, Neal Robertson (2010 winner of the Golden Spurtle and 2011 Speciality winner) and Canadian hopeful, Denise Wright Ryback, who will be competing at the World Porridge Making Championship for the first time this year. Listen as Acey admits the arguably disgusting way that she eats porridge to Neal... PLUS hear Neal's advice for Denise as a first time competitor.

Download PODCAST EXCLUSIVE: advice from a porridge champion
[mp3 file: runs 00:18:15]

Blackflies and Bears (Summer Rebroadcast)

It's a quintessentially Canadian story: the wildlife run in. From The Doc Project's vaults, two stories about bears and what happens when you run into them on their turf. Plus, an updated intro from Acey about her new (and unwelcome) furry roommates. Happy camping! (Originally aired May 2017.)

Download Blackflies and Bears (Summer Rebroadcast)
[mp3 file: runs 00:27:40]

Evidence of a Father (Summer Rebroadcast)

Author Camilla Gibb's father was brilliant, talented, but also menacing. Thirty years after he disappeared, Camilla got a message from a doctor saying, "I believe I am taking care of your father." Suddenly Camilla knew where he was... and what had happened to him. The discovery sent Camilla on a journey into her past and across the country. (Originally aired April 17, 2018)

Download Evidence of a Father (Summer Rebroadcast)
[mp3 file: runs 00:28:44]

Engaged at 14 (Summer Rebroadcast)

Sadia Rafiquddin was a Grade 9 student in Mississauga, Ontario, when her mother said to her, "Your dad and I got a proposal from my sister. Would you agree to marrying her son?" Sadia said yes. She was 14 years old. (Originally aired September 5, 2017. Winner of two silver medals at the New York Festivals International Radio Awards.)

Download Engaged at 14 (Summer Rebroadcast)
[mp3 file: runs 00:28:17]

PODCAST EXCLUSIVE: Forced marriage in Canada

Acey Rowe speaks with Aruna Boodram from The South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario about the issue of forced marriage in Canada. Boodram is a licensed paralegal and project coordinator for SALCO's "Non-Consensual/Forced Marriage Project".

Download PODCAST EXCLUSIVE: Forced marriage in Canada
[mp3 file: runs 00:17:25]

PODCAST EXCLUSIVE: Behind the scenes of "Operation Good Times"

Acey Rowe speaks with Samira Mohyeddin, producer of the award-winning documentary "Operation Good Times," about the making of her doc, her family's reaction to it, and what it was really like to live in a palliative care ward for 28 days.

Download PODCAST EXCLUSIVE: Behind the scenes of "Operation Good Times"
[mp3 file: runs 00:19:22]

Operation Good Times (Summer Rebroadcast)

When Samira Mohyeddin's dad was dying of cancer, she moved into his hospital room and transformed his last 28 days into a non-stop party. She filled it with fun, friends, and his favourite disco music - like Studio 54, including the drugs. She called it "Operation Good Times." (Originally aired February 6, 2018. Gold medal winner at the New York Festivals International Radio Awards.)

Download Operation Good Times (Summer Rebroadcast)
[mp3 file: runs 00:27:59]

The Kim Kardashian of cows

In 2014, Danny Da Silva moved to Cathedraltown, a suburban development in Markham, Ontario. He was particularly pleased to have found a spot on Charity Crescent - a semi-circle of two-storey houses around a parkette. But one day Danny came home and there was an incredibly large statue in the middle of the parkette. The statue was of a cow. A giant, stainless steel cow, looming two stories high, on stilts. According to its plaque, the statue was an homage to Charity the cow, an award-winning Holstein. Award-winning or not, Danny and his neighbours wanted the cow gone. But moo-ving Charity wasn't going to be that simple.

Download The Kim Kardashian of cows
[mp3 file: runs 00:30:55]

The Canadian Shield

Colin MacAdam has spent decades digging up the Canadian Shield around his cottage. Now, his daughter Veronica Simmonds digs to the bottom of why... Meanwhile, Jesse Kinos-Goodin pulls over at a rock face by the side of the Trans-Canada Highway, to visit the spot where his mom died - the same spot where she was born.

Download The Canadian Shield
[mp3 file: runs 00:27:41]

"Dearest Joan..."

During the Second World War, the Canadian government interned approximately 22,000 Japanese Canadians. And among them were teenagers, taken away from their schools, their homes and their friends. Now, a trove of letters received by one pen pal, Joan Gillis, offers a new glimpse of wartime through teenage eyes.

Download "Dearest Joan..."
[mp3 file: runs 00:27:40]

Everything old is new again

From construction boots at the local dump to a historic but under-attended church, two stories of giving things a much-needed second life.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:27:40]


Colleen Underwood was raised a "white kid" in suburban Edmonton. Two generations earlier, her grandfather, Johnny Rodgers, led the movement to disband his reserve, the Michel First Nation. What was behind Johnny's determination to assimilate?

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[mp3 file: runs 00:27:40]

The Grader Operator

April 1, 2017, a snowy Easter Saturday. That's the day Brenda Duhaime thinks it all started going wrong for her husband. Robert Duhaime worked as a grader operator, clearing the roads in rural Saskatchewan. But that day, his grader got stuck in a ditch. And shortly after, Brenda says he started receiving angry phone calls from work. Four months later, Robert took his own life. And now his widow is trying to get answers.

Download The Grader Operator
[mp3 file: runs 00:27:40]

From homeless to "Homeward Bound"

In the small city of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, 120 homeless people have been given housing for less than half the cost of a single house in Vancouver or Toronto. The apartments are fully subsidized and, unlike most shelters, you don't need to be clean to get a spot.

Download From homeless to "Homeward Bound"
[mp3 file: runs 00:28:10]

Weirdest Trade Ever (Rebroadcast)

In 1999 two friends struck a strange deal: they traded stories. Each chose his favourite story about himself and told it to the other. From then on, they agreed to stop telling their own story, and to only tell each other's. 19 years later, we find out how the stories held up. Spoiler alert: the results are totally bizarre. (Originally aired January 23, 2018)

Download Weirdest Trade Ever (Rebroadcast)
[mp3 file: runs 00:28:01]

Beulah's Beach

Beulah Chandler was on her favourite Cape Breton beach when she witnessed the most beautiful thing she'd ever seen. It was Duncan Gillis, a stranger, helping his ailing wife walk on the beach. Beulah posted a video of the couple online. Forty thousand views later, their story is only beginning, starting with the real reason Beulah was on the beach that day.

Download Beulah's Beach
[mp3 file: runs 00:30:34]

Crossing the divide

From university students bunking with seniors to an outpouring of support for a northern Ontario hockey team, two stories of the remarkable rewards that come from reaching out to others.

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[mp3 file: runs 00:28:25]

Evidence of a father

Camilla Gibb's father was brilliant, talented, but also menacing. Thirty years after he disappeared, Camilla suddenly learned his whereabouts, sending her on a journey both into the past and across the country.

Download Evidence of a father
[mp3 file: runs 00:29:08]

Saving the train to Churchill

When the Hudson Bay Railway shut down in 2017 it didn't just hit Churchill's polar bear tourism industry... it cut off a major lifeline to the northern communities along the railroad, places that depend on the train for survival. But the people who live along the tracks have a plan — a dark horse plan, one that's 15 years in the making — to save the train.

Download Saving the train to Churchill
[mp3 file: runs 00:30:02]