You can pitch your best podcast idea to influential producers at the upcoming Vancouver Podcast Festival

VanPodFest, presented by DOXA, returns later this month with a new virtual format, featuring a variety of free and pay-what-you-can events

Learn how to monetize your podcast, participate in live pod recordings and pitch your best ideas to producers at the upcoming Vancouver Podcast Festival, taking place virtually this November | Photo: Courtesy of Vancouver Podcast Festival

Podcasts may have lost their starring role when commuters ditched highways and public transit in favour of their living rooms and home offices this spring—eliminating the need for in-car entertainment—but that doesn't mean Canada's most popular podcasts have lost any fans. 

Nowadays, it's a safe bet that most podcast-listening is happening at home. Podcast fans can similarly celebrate their favourite pods  from the comfort of their homes when the Vancouver Podcast Festival returns for the third consecutive year. 

The five-day festival, presented by DOXA, is going virtual this year, taking place online from Wednesday, Nov. 18 to Sunday, Nov. 22. The schedule will be packed with a mix of live events, workshops and panels, as well as VanPodFest’s first-ever pitch session. That event will give Vancouver podcasters the opportunity to pitch their best ideas and get feedback from the executive producers responsible for some of the country's biggest podcast networks—think CBC Podcasts, TELUS STORYHIVE, and Canadaland, to name just a few. To that end, the festival's roster is also set to feature a wide variety of acclaimed creators, hosts, and producers. 

“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,” said Hannah McGregor, one of the festival's programming committee members, in a release.

“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.”

Some highlights from the festival's schedule include Michelle Shephard of the Brainwashed podcast in conversation with CBC's Ian Hanomansing, as well as live recordings of Sandy & Nora Talk Politics and Pop Chat. Attendees can also take part in a workshop dubbed "How to Monetize Your Podcast," and observe a Producer's Rountable where a group of high-level producers will talk about the challenges of producing podcasts virtually, sharing tips about how to produce a studio-quality podcast from home. 

Among participating podcasters are Elamin Abdelmahmoud (Pop Chat, Party Lines, Party in the USA), Andréa Schmidt (Canadaland), Lauren Bercovitch and Chris Kelly (This Sounds Serious, Kelly&Kelly Studios), Laura Palmer (Island Crime: Where is Lisa?) and more.

“Like documentary film, podcasting continues to exemplify the kind of creative and critical commentary needed to help us make sense of these increasingly complex and challenging times brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic," added Selina Crammond, DOXA's director of programming, in the release. "We’re excited to connect with a range of podcast makers, thinkers and listeners during our third annual VanPodFest–at home edition." 

The 2020 Vancouver Podcast Festival ('At Home' Edition) 

Where: Online at vanpodfest.ca

When: Wednesday, Nov. 18 to Sunday, Nov. 22

Cost: Prices for individual events range from free or pay-what-you-can to $5 (students/seniors/reduced income) and $10 (adults) per ticketed event. Full festival passes can be purchased for $25. 

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