June 4, 2010

5 Years of the CBC Radio 3 Podcast

The Podcast team clockwise L-R: Steve Pratt, Nicole Goodman, Jenn Aikman, John Paolozzi, Mark Macarthur, Grant Lawrence, Chris Kelly, James Booth, Ahmed Khalil.

Five years ago, CBC Radio 3 director Steve Pratt (top left, blue shirt) asked me if I would take a shot at hosting a pilot for something called the “CBC Radio 3 Podcast”. And I wasn’t the first choice, either. At the time, I was hosting a national Saturday night radio show on CBC Radio 2 and I thought was that about as big as it got. I totally and utterly was not interested. Really, what the hell was a Podcast?

Steve was convincing and in charge (still is), so I did it, introducing eight Canadian independent songs. That pilot became the first episode. A couple episodes later, our friend Lane Dunlop at iTunes Canada picked it up and all of the sudden it took off, quickly becoming the #1 Podcast in Canada. It was the first music podcast from CBC, and one of the first podcasts in the world to play music legally.

Since that first episode five years ago, we’ve now made 245 weekly shows, we’ve had millions of downloads, and have spawned shows and ideas like the CBC Radio 3 Bucky Awards, the Sweatin’ to the Indies workout podcasts, the Sing For Your Song Canada Day specials and much more. Over the half decade we’ve received mail from over 60 countries in response to the thousands of Canadian artists and songs we’ve showcased.

Now the fifth anniversary show is here… and you can download from right here.

Thanks for listening! Wait… you know what a Podcast is… right?

(9) Comments

  1. Cameron says:

    Many congratulations on the most popular podcast in Canada for however many years running! You said you hate when things end..me too usually. Here’s to at least 5 more cubed. Couldn’t stop laughing at the 90 second egg outtake at the end. Souvlaki is best line and Corgan is her musical inspiration? I must try again despite being laughed down first go around..

  2. Grant Lawrence says:

    you got “laughed down” the first time?? what happened?

  3. Steve Pratt says:

    Funny, eh? I wasn’t sure about the prospects of an all Canadian, all emerging artist podcast when we started – thought it might be a brief and low profile experiment. Clearly, I was totally wrong!!! Just goes to show how important it is to try new ideas and be okay with the idea of risking failure to learn something. And, of course, to find the best people to work with when you’re taking risks!
    Congratulations, Grant! Pretty awesome milestone…

  4. John "tb3" says:

    It’s amazing to think that buying an iPod and then hearing about a free podcast that could legally include music, would turn into this huge community of people with the same passion for music, culture and art as I.

    In my regular podcast downloads, Radio3 is the only one that I have been listening to consistently for five years. Your team has managed to keep it interesting and me drawn to it each and every week.

    Thanks for finding me with that podcast, and convincing me that music was worth getting excited about again!


  5. lane says:

    I loved the podcast the first time I heard at, and still do. It has been an inspiration for me every week while working on the iTunes Canada store.

    A tip of the hat to you, Mr. Grant Lawrence.

  6. Grant Lawrence says:

    @steve you’ve always had great instincts and foresight!

  7. Grant Lawrence says:

    @lane thanks for your five years of couldn’t-have-done-it-without-you support!

  8. Rebecca Tunnacliffe says:

    Steve is a visionary. Grant is a very engaging host. And the podcast group shot is a nice connection for we listeners – what a handsome group.

  9. Chris Kelly says:

    I don’t know how I am just reading this post right now (twenty days after being posted) but the CBC Radio 3 podcast is what got me into podcasts (i can still remember listening to episode #32 on a bus ride to Victoria, BC) and to have been producing it with Grant for the past four years is a dream come true!

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