Paul's Internet Landfill/ 2023/ Sheryl MacKay Has a Podcast

Sheryl MacKay Has a Podcast

One of my favorite CBC podcasts was North by Northwest, the regional weekend show for British Columbia. The show featured a lot of interesting interviews by interesting people, hosted by Sheryl MacKay. The real radio show lasts three hours and is full of traffic reports, but the podcast usually edited it down to the interesting bits -- word games, recipes, and the interviews.

This is going to sound hyperbolic, but so be it: Sheryl MacKay may be the best interviewer I have ever encountered. She does not do a lot of talking (although she makes a lot of positive affirming sounds), but the questions she asks often spurs her guests to dig deeply and speak openly. She has a sunny disposition which helps her subjects seem more interesting. Here are three interviews I found notable. (Links are directly to MP3 files, because the CBC website sucks. When those links break, then maybe searching for the guest name and "North by Northwest" will work?)

It turns out that MacKay does not prepare lists of questions for her interviews, and it totally works. Her conversations flow naturally in a way few radio interviews do. She was also trained as a clinical counsellor, which does not surprise me at all.

The BCNXNW podcast feed was updated sporadically at best. Mostly I did not mind this. Several of the side features were interesting enough, but the interviews were the highlight. So I was dismayed when I heard that Sheryl MacKay was retiring and leaving the program. There are other hosts, but I am much less fond of their interviews.

Fortunately, MacKay did not give up on interviews. She has started a podcast called Listen with Sheryl MacKay. I have only listened to the first episode with painter Corey Hardeman, which was fine if not mind-blowing. It was good enough that I am happily subscribed, and I recommend that you give a few episodes a try as well. If I had my way this would be an incredibly popular podcast that mattress companies would want to sponsor, but that is not up to me.

There is still probably good content on the BCNXNW feed (such as this poetic essay about beekeeping, but I have unsubscribed from the feed for now. It might be worth a subscription if you are lacking in podcasts.