Now entering our second decade, Canadaland is trying something new. We’re actively seeking original podcast ideas from across Canada and beyond, to fund, produce, and release, and we’re searching for new creators to work with.
We’ve had great success with series such as Cool Mules, The White Saviors, and Thunder Bay (now a Crave Original TV series) and want to help bring more of these epic tales into the world. So we’re reaching out to journalists, audio producers, writers, comedians, and anyone who has an incredible story to tell and the skills to tell it.
What exactly are we looking for? Something different. Too many podcasts sound like too many other podcasts. For a series to spark our interest and belong on our network, it needs to be unique, surprising, and instantly compelling. We want to support stories that need to be told and voices that deserve to be heard.
We specialize in longform journalistic investigations, but we’re also interested in new formats and genres, including comedy, and will consider concepts for both limited and ongoing series. Having recently cemented a multi-year partnership with Entertainment One, we’ll prioritize pitches that have strong adaptation potential.
Finally: while we’re looking to hear from Canadians, we’re also opening the process to pitches from around the world. If you think you have something wonderful for us, pitch it! You just might.
Please submit your pitch and any relevant materials via this form.
What are you looking for in a pitch?
We are hoping to be surprised by great ideas we could never have anticipated, so this is tricky to answer in advance, but here are some tips that might help:
A great story. If your pitch is for a narrative series, it should be a story that grabs our attention, scratches our curiosity, defies expectations, and makes us need to know what happens next.
A great character. Whether it’s a story or a talk show, we want to care about the people who are talking.
A unique sound. In the increasingly formulaic podcasting terrain, there are unexplored worlds of sound. Whether it’s through voice, music, field tape, sound design, or just crisp writing, we’re looking for podcasts that will stand out and make people take notice.
A purpose. We believe that podcasts should matter. Sometimes this means speaking truth to power or uncovering social ills, sometimes it just means paying attention to someone who deserves to be heard. Sometimes it’s an artistic purpose that pushes the boundaries of the medium.
Does my pitch need to have an overtly Canadian angle?
Not necessarily. There are many ways in which a series can make sense as a Canadaland podcast. We might find a Canadian aspect to your story that you hadn’t considered or find the perfect Canadian collaborator to work with you. But our audience is global, and we are looking for great ideas without limitations.
How would the money work if my pitch is accepted? Who would pay for what, and who would get paid for what?
We compensate and budget shows and creators fairly and within industry standards. Each project is different, and requires a different amount of labour, travel, expense, and so on. Some projects can be produced externally, and others will require a lot of lift from our in-house team. Some creators have already taken on expenses by the time they pitch, and others require us to pay for everything. There are no standardized answers, but we work collaboratively with creators to make sure each deal works for them.
Who would I be working with at Canadaland?
We have an amazing team of passionate and dedicated podcasting professionals who will help you bring your series to life. Podcast industry luminary Julie Shapiro (Ear Hustle, Radiotopia, PRX) is leading our development project in collaboration with publisher Jesse Brown (Thunder Bay, The White Saviors, CANADALAND). Canadaland editor-in-chief Karyn Pugliese will be involved with all new journalistic series. For shows that require more hands, we will assemble production teams from our network of producers, writers, and editors. On the non-editorial side, our COO Alan Black (Hot Docs) and his team will work with creators on marketing and distribution.
What if I want to bring a team to the project?
We are open to it! We are expecting pitches from a wide range of creators, including those who come to us in packs, with the experience to handle everything needed.
If I make this story with Canadaland, who benefits from the intellectual property?
We both will. Every project will be openly negotiated before production begins, and we want creators to benefit from things like TV and film adaptation, should that occur.
Will I have editorial control over the series, from the content to the branding?
Yes and no. Like any publisher, we have editors and marketing professionals who know how to make good shows great and how to set them up to succeed. Like any news organization, we have an editorial chain of command, and our editor-in-chief has final authority over all journalism we publish. But our process is highly respectful of creators, and we work closely and collaboratively throughout the production process
What kind of marketing support would this project receive?
The good, smart kind. Our marketing team develops a launch strategy for every new show we release. We have budgets for advertising and excellent relationships with Apple, Spotify, Amazon, and most other top podcast publishers, with whom we partner for promo-exchanges. We also regularly receive earned media attention, and our podcasts have made “Best of the Year” lists from outlets like New York Magazine, The Atlantic, the CBC, and The Globe and Mail. Our new shows regularly hit #1 on the charts and are downloaded by millions of listeners.
How would this series be presented among other Canadaland shows?
Any new show we release is featured across our network, with feed drops, trailers, and more. Our ever-growing audience supports all Canadaland projects, ensuring that each new show immediately is heard widely.
What happens after I submit my idea? When will I hear back from you?
As creators ourselves, we know how frustrating it can be to pitch an idea and then wait, sometimes forever, for an answer. We can’t promise detailed feedback to every pitch we receive, but we will be in touch about whether or not we’re interested.
Unless you hear from us sooner, our commitment is to get back to you by August 31, 2023, if you send us your pitch by July 1, 2023, and by January 31, 2024, if you send us your pitch by November 30, 2023.
And if you don’t see your question here, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.