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Canadian Stories that Will Inspire, Educate and Entertain



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For generations of Canadians, storytelling has been one of the most important tools for surviving long Canadian winters.

When the wind is howling outside your window and it feels like the night will never end, anecdotes, true stories, and tall tales are a vital way of keeping your spirits up while connecting with loved ones, so it’s no surprise that this country has a long history of producing storytellers of remarkable talent.

And as this list of Canadian Audible Originals attests Canadians have access to more stories than ever before. Whether you’re looking for narratives about failure and success that will inspire you to take charge of your own life, celebrated accounts from Indigenous storytellers, or fascinating true-crime adventures, here are just a few of the audiobooks and podcasts you should check out this season.

Michele Romanow’s The Revisionaries

In the world of business, the most glowing victories usually come after years of setbacks and missteps, and in our haste to celebrate success we often downplay the failures that most entrepreneurs have had to deal with on the way to their big breakthroughs.

Over the course of ten illuminating episodes, The Revisionaries entrepreneur and Dragon’s Den star Michele Romanow interviews the leaders of some of the world’s most exciting start-ups about the mistakes they made and the pitfalls they encountered along the way.

Thomas King’s Indians on Vacation

Few living artists in Canada can command the same respect as Thomas King, author of The Back of the Turtle — and his latest audiobook, Indians on Vacation offers up the same signature blend of humour, wit and trenchant cultural criticism that has made him a household name.

Now more than ever, it is important to celebrate Indigenous writers and learn from their unique perspectives on pressing cultural concerns like environmental degradation, racism and the importance of respecting the treaties that laid the foundation for Canada’s existence.

If you want to listen to an audiobook that is as thought-provoking as it is entertaining, this is one title you should download immediately.

Colm Feore’s True North Heists

Have you ever heard about the time Georges Lemay broke into the Bank of Nova Scotia and got away with hundreds of thousands of dollars? Or the group of criminal masterminds who successfully pulled of a plan to steal thousands of barrels of maple syrup?

In True North Heists one of Canada’s most celebrated actors shares some of this country’s most fascinating true crime stories. From train bandits to securities fraudsters, this series will introduce you to audacious plots and daring thieves that will change the way you think about Canadian history.

With winter setting in again and many Canadians turning to more contemplative activities, audiobooks and podcasts are a wonderful way to unwind.

Cozying up under a warm blanket and putting on the latest episode of The Revisionaries or Truth North Heists won’t just help you clear your mind and focus on what’s important — it will also help you plug into a storytelling tradition that is as old as Canada.


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Social Media Buzz: Larry King Dies, Dr. Birx, Heathrow Crowds – BNN



(Bloomberg) — What’s buzzing on social media this morning:

Larry King, the interviewer whose schmoozy style attracted celebrities, politicians and other newsmakers as guests and made him the star of a top-rated U.S. cable talk show, has died. He was 87.

  • King died Saturday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. The cause of death wasn’t provided. The cancer and stroke survivor had spent time recently undergoing treatment for Covid-19.

Pfizer Inc. is trending on Twitter. Senior doctors in the U.K. are urging the gap between first and second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine doses be halved to ensure efficacy. The U.K. extended the maximum wait from three to 12 weeks to get more people to take the first shot. France may also delay second doses to stretch supplies.

  • Large crowds at Heathrow Airport on Friday sparked concerns of virus spread. U.K. only allows residents to travel internationally for “legally-permitted reasons.”

Dr. Deborah Birx said she “always” considered quitting Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force as she worried she’d been viewed as a political person. “I mean, why would you want to put yourself through that, um, every day?” Birx told CBS in an interview that will air Sunday, according to an advance clip. Her term ended as Biden took office.

Protests broke out in cities across Russia as tens of thousands demanded the release of jailed opposition leader Alexey Navalny. Police detained hundreds of people.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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Blockbuster Laine-Dubois deal draws mixed reviews on social media –



Sometimes, change happens fast.

Mere days after Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella benched Pierre-Luc Dubois, one of his team’s best players, in an overtime loss against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Dubois was packing his bags to go play in another country altogether.

The Blue Jackets traded the 22-year-old, who had requested to be dealt shortly after signing a two-year, $10-million bridge contract in the off-season, to the Winnipeg Jets for superstar winger Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic in a move that sent shockwaves through the NHL.

Not all blockbusters are universally well-received, of course. And while some on Twitter celebrated the move as a shuffling of high-profile talent, others were quick to wonder how the dynamic between Laine, an offensive-minded forward, and Tortorella will play out.

Here is some of the best reaction to the winter blockbuster:

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Social media's sea shanty trend scores well with musician-curator –



Southern Ontario folk musician Ian Bell says it makes sense that sea shanties are taking off on social media right now because they are participatory and easy to learn.

“It’s easier to learn Heave ‘Er Up and Bust ‘Er than it is to try and figure out all the bits for, say Bohemian Rhapsody or something,” Bell, who is also the former curator of the Port Dover Habour Museum, told CBC. 

“I think for a lot of people, singing shanties at this moment is like the musical equivalent of learning to bake your own bread.”

The social media platform Tik Tok is awash in videos of people performing the traditional work songs or altering others’ videos of them, and even talk show hosts such as Stephen Colbert have gotten in on the action.

The songs are appealing because of their communal nature, Bell said.

“There is nothing better than being in a large gang of people who are singing their faces off often in three or four part harmonies, and it’s one of those situations where it kind of goes beyond musical. You know the vibrations can go right through you,” he said.

One of the best shanty sings used to take place at the Mill Race Festival in Cambridge, he said, where 60 or 70 singers would pack into the Kiwi Pub and belt out the numbers.

Musician Ian Bell has been singing sea shanties for many years and says he loves shanties about the Great Lakes because of the local connection. (

Songs to make work easier

Shanties aren’t so much songs as they are templates of songs, Bell said.

The rhythm helped workers carry out tasks in unison such as pulling in sails on sailboats.

“Some of the jobs needed a bunch of short pulls, and some of the jobs needed longer pulls, and so there was a whole repertoire of songs that fitted those needs and that the sailors sang to make the work go a little more easily,” he said.

But the lyrics were fluid.

Each work crew might have a shantyman — possibly the person with the loudest voice — who might recall some of the original words to the number, but there was a lot of improvisation, Bell explained.

“If the job wasn’t over and he’d finished the song, ‘Well, we’ll add a verse about the cook,'” he added.

Great Lakes shanties name local spots

A number of sea shanties were written on or about the Great Lakes and they are particular to the types of ships on the lakes, he said. Specifically, they were schooners rather than clipper ships. 

There were lots of capstan shanties, or songs sung while rotating the capstan to pull in an anchor, he said. Some also specifically mention the lakes or the surrounding areas.

“They mention Buffalo and they mention Long Point and they mention Windsor and Sarnia,” Bell said. 

For those wanting to learn a shanty or two and get in on the social media activity, Bell recommended Bully in the Alley and It’s Me for the Inland Lakes.

“I love the way it’s happening on Tik Tok,” Bell said, “which I haven’t tried, because, let’s be frank; I’m an old guy.”

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