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The Deep Dive is a weekly podcast that goes deeper into everything we’re working on at The Walrus. Tune in to hear from writers, Talkers, illustrators, editors, and other contributors to all the things we create.

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Season One

May 19, 2022

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Since 2015, Canada had deployments of ground troops in Ukraine, working to reform the country’s military after the invasion of Crimea. In light of Russia’s most recent invasion of Ukraine, Sarah Lawrynuik wanted to take a look back at what the Canadian Armed Forces did there and how the training it provided has affected the country’s ability to hold off Russian advancements.

It’s the long view on a story that is still developing and a war everyone hoped could be avoided. Lawrynuik is a journalist who has written for Foreign Policy, the Toronto Star, and New Scientist.

Music for this podcast is provided by Audio Jungle. Our theme song is “This Podcast Theme” by Inplus Music. Additional music includes “Stay Cool” by Loops Lab and “Spring Thaw,” “Virtutes Instrumenti,” and “An Upsetting Theme” by Kevin MacLeod.

Spring Thaw by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4409-spring-thaw
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Virtutes Instrumenti by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4590-virtutes-instrumenti
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

An Upsetting Theme by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3362-an-upsetting-theme
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

May 12, 2022

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Bridging the distance between being a mom and being an artist can feel impossible at times. A new anthology edited by Stacey May Fowles and Jen Sookfong Lee explores “the fraught, beautiful, and complicated relationship between motherhood and creativity.”

We excerpted Teresa Wong’s essay about her portrait series based on her toddler’s tantrums. It’s one of twenty essays in the new collection Good Mom on Paper: Writers on Creativity and Motherhood.

Teresa Wong is a writer-in-residence at the University of Calgary and the author of Dear Scarlet: The Story of My Postpartum Depression. Stacey May Fowles is an award-winning journalist, essayist, and novelist, the author of four books, and the editor of four anthologies. Jen Sookfong Lee was a columnist for CBC Radio One, has taught fiction at Simon Fraser University, and co-hosts the literary podcast Can’t Lit with Dina Del Bucchia.

The music for this episode is a licensed version of “This Podcast Theme” by InPlus Music. Additional music are licensed versions of “Stay Cool” by Loops Lab, “Podcast Intro” by InPlus Music, “Oh My” by Patrick Patrikios, and “Umbrella Pants” by Kevin MacLeod.

Umbrella Pants by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4559-umbrella-pants
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

May 5, 2022

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Since COVID-19, we have all become more aware of death. We are bombarded with data on a weekly basis, watching charts and calculating deaths, all while trying to function in our daily lives. But our anxieties around death are not new, even if this pandemic is bringing them front and centre. What’s new is that everyone is talking about death rather than just those directly affected by it.

In this atmosphere, writer David Swick became fascinated by a unique postsecondary degree program in thanatology—the study of death—and by the students that feel compelled to dive deep into what is often a taboo subject. Swick is an assistant professor at the University of King’s College, in Halifax, where he teaches journalism ethics.

The music for this episode is a licensed version of “This Podcast Theme” by InPlus Music. Additional music are licensed versions of “Stay Cool” by Loops Lab, “Podcast Intro” by InPlus Music, “Shores of Avalon” by Kevin Macleod, and “Scandinavianz” by Skydancer.

Shores of Avalon by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4349-shores-of-avalon
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

April 28, 2022

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Organ donation is complex for many reasons: not only is it often an emotional decision that has to be made during a family’s time of grief, but many factors have to align for a recipient to receive the organ from a donor. And, in Canada, with its vast geography, getting organs to those in need before it’s too late becomes even more difficult.

Karin Olafson explains why so many donated organs can’t be used, how two Canadian doctors are working to ease the logistical strain on the donation process, and why she decided to look into this issue in the first place. Olafson is a Vancouver-based writer who focuses on health, science, and fitness.

The music for this episode is a licensed version of “This Podcast Theme” by InPlus Music. Additional music are licensed versions of “Stay Cool” by Loops Lab, “Podcast Intro” by InPlus Music, “Young Ballad” by Serge Quadrado, and “Screen Saver” and “Comfortable Mystery” both by Kevin MacLeod.

Screen Saver by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/5715-screen-saver
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Comfortable Mystery by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3531-comfortable-mystery
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

April 21, 2022

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This week we dive into the world of fiction, and we’re in conversation with award-winning writer Rawi Hage. Born in Beirut, he lived in Lebanon through the civil war in the 1970s and then immigrated to Canada in 1992. His work has been translated into more than thirty languages, and you might know him for acclaimed novels such as De Niro’s Game, Cockroach, and Beirut Hellfire Society.

Hage recently released his first collection of short stories, Stray Dogs. In the May issue of The Walrus, we featured the story “The Wave”. Hage recently sat down with Jessica Johnson, the editor-in-chief at The Walrus, to talk about his latest book, being a political writer, and identity.

The music for this episode is a licensed version of “This Podcast Theme” by InPlus Music. Additional music are licensed versions of “Stay Cool” by Loops Lab, “Podcast Intro” by InPlus Music, “Floating Cities” by Kevin MacLeod; and “Oh My” by Patrick Patrikios.

Floating Cities by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3765-floating-cities
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

April 14, 2022

Like health care, child care is the purview of Canada’s provincial and territorial governments, which is why it’s a small miracle that the federal government has put together twelve separate deals with provinces and territories to provide $10-a-day daycare. (Quebec already had child care available for less than $10 a day.)

For our May cover story, Sadiya Ansari wrote about moving abroad and noticing that people approach family planning differently when child care is less of a financial burden. In Germany, parents were legally guaranteed a subsidized child care spot in 2013, and this policy change has allowed the government to shift its focus from affordability to quality of care. Ansari is an award-winning writer and journalist based in Berlin.

The music for this episode is a licensed version of “This Podcast Theme” by InPlus Music. Additional music are licensed versions of “Stay Cool” by Loops Lab, “Podcast Intro” by InPlus Music, “Both of Us” by Madrifan; and “Oh My” by Patrick Patrikios.

April 7, 2022

You may have noticed an increase in facial hair over the past two years, and Sean Wetselaar says that’s not surprising. According to his research, it’s not just the fashion of the times that drives our choices about shaving but also the politics and traumas of the day.

Wetselaar is a manager of scripts and content at The Score Esports, where he helps cover everything from competitive gaming to internet memes. He’s also a freelance writer based in Paris, Ontario.

The music for this episode is a licensed version of “This Podcast Theme” by InPlus Music. Additional music are licensed versions of “Stay Cool” by Loops Lab, “Podcast Intro” by InPlus Music, “Skydancer” by Scandinavianz, “Umbrella Pants” by Kevin MacLeod.

Umbrella Pants by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4559-umbrella-pants
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

March 31, 2022

When the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, Canada announced the suspension of most deportations. Then, despite its own advisories warning that international travel during a pandemic is a major risk, Ottawa lifted its moratorium on deportations in late November 2020. The federal government has since deported thousands of people during the pandemic.

Isabel Macdonald is an independent journalist and researcher living in Montreal. She spoke with public health experts and asylum seekers to examine why these deportations are happening and the added dangers of doing them in the time of COVID-19.

The music for this episode is a licensed version of “This Podcast Theme” by InPlus Music. Additional music are licensed versions of “Stay Cool” by Loops Lab, “Podcast Intro” by InPlus Music, “Skydancer” by Scandinavianz, “With Regards” by Kevin MacLeod, “Inspired” by Kevin MacLeod, and “Leaving Home” by Kevin MacLeod.

With Regards by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4636-with-regards
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Leaving Home by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4708-leaving-home
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Inspired by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3918-inspired
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

March 24, 2022

Have you ever noticed that there is an inordinate amount of sweets in films directed by women? Writer Heather O’Neill has. In her latest essay for The Walrus, “Let Her Eat Cake: The Subversive Power of Women Feasting,” she delves into the world of women indulging to explore this fixation on sweet treats.

Through a series of personal vignettes, O’Neill weaves the story of her own relationship with food into her analysis of feast-focused films both contemporary and classic.

Heather O’Neill is an award-winning novelist and essayist. Her works include Lullabies for Little Criminals and The Lonely Hearts Hotel. Her most recent novel is When We Lost Our Heads.

The music for this episode is a licensed version of “This Podcast Theme” by InPlus Music. Additional music are licensed versions of “Stay Cool” by Loops Lab, “Podcast Intro” by InPlus Music, “Skydancer” by Scandinavianz, “Private Reflection” by Kevin MacLeod, and “Protofunk” by Kevin MacLeod.

Private Reflection by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4241-private-reflection
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Protofunk by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4247-protofunk
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

March 17, 2022

It was a moment that most people won’t forget any time soon. Just over two years ago, COVID-19 was declared a pandemic.

Most of us were stunned, and our lives would be forever changed. The world seemingly went into lockdown overnight, masks and hand sanitizer became common accessories in most households, and the term social distancing became part of our vocabulary. Now, two years into the pandemic, many of us are still wondering: When will it end?

This week, we’ll be speaking with Dan Werb, an award-winning writer and epidemiologist whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Salon, The Believer, and The Walrus, among other places. His latest book, The Invisible Siege: The Rise of Coronaviruses and the Search for a Cure, chronicles the emergence of coronavirus science across multiple epidemics. And we recently ran an excerpt of it at thewalrus.ca.

The music for this episode is a licensed version of “This Podcast Theme” by InPlus Music. Additional music are licensed versions of “Stay Cool” by Loops Lab, “Podcast Intro” by InPlus Music, “Ethereal Relaxation“, “Impact Prelude” and “Screen Saver” all by Kevin MacLeod.

Screen Saver by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/5715-screen-saver
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Impact Prelude by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/7565-impact-prelude
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Ethereal Relaxation by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/8719-ethereal-relaxation
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

March 10, 2022

This week we’ll hear from Annie Hylton. For the March/April issue of The Walrus, Hylton takes a look at the complex case of Ayoob Mohammed.

Mohammed is Uyghur—a largely Muslim, Turkic-speaking ethnic group that has faced persecution in China. Recently, Canada’s Parliament labelled China’s treatment of Uyghurs “genocide.”

While escaping from China in 2001, Mohammed found himself in Afghanistan on the eve of 9/11. In the chaos that ensued, he was sold for bounty to US forces and sent to Guantánamo Bay.

US officials maintained that Mohammed was a member of the Eastern Turkistan Independence Movement, allegedly a Uyghur terrorist group, though this may have been part of an attempt to secure China’s support for the war on terror.

Hylton takes readers through Mohammed’s long journey from his birthplace in China to Guantánamo Bay to Albania, where he remains after two rejected attempts to join his family in Canada.

Hylton is an independent investigative journalist and writer from Saskatchewan who is now based in Paris, where she is an associate professor at Sciences Po. She won a gold National Magazine Award for her 2020 long-form feature “Searching for Mackie,” which was published in The Walrus.

The music for this episode is a licensed version of “This Podcast Theme” by InPlus Music. Additional music are licensed versions of “Stay Cool” by Loops Lab, “Podcast Intro” by InPlus Music, “Floating Cities” by Kevin MacLeod, “Lightless” by , “Shores of Avalon” and “Comfortable Mystery” all by Kevin MacLeod.

Lightless Dawn by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3982-lightless-dawn
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Comfortable Mystery by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3531-comfortable-mystery
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Shores of Avalon by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4349-shores-of-avalon
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

March 3, 2022

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many predicted that the bra was fast-tracked for extinction. Instead, past styles were largely retired in favour of more comfortable options. What does the change mean?

From tight-laced corsets to push-ups, the idea that bras aren’t supposed to be comfortable has been around for over a century. But, as people increasingly dress for themselves, we’ve begun to reconsider the purpose of our undergarments.

This week on The Deep Dive, Sheena Rossiter speaks with writer Nicole Schmidt, an associate editor at The Walrus, about how the pandemic has changed the bra. Prior to joining The Walrus, Schmidt was an assistant editor at Toronto Life. She has written for Maclean’s, the National Post, Yahoo, and Vice.

Toronto-based illustrator Kate Traynor also speaks about her illustration for this story. Traynor’s work has been featured in publications such as Broadview, Quill and Quire, and Reader’s Digest.

The music for this episode is a licensed version of “This Podcast Theme” by InPlus Music. Additional music are licensed versions of “Stay Cool” by Loops Lab, “Podcast Intro” by InPlus Music, “Investigations” by Kevin MacLeod, and “Umbrella Pants” by Kevin MacLeod.

Investigations by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3924-investigations
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Umbrella Pants by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4559-umbrella-pants
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

February 24, 2022

Jennifer Robertson met her husband, Bitcoin entrepreneur Gerald Cotten, on Tinder. As their relationship flourished, so did Cotten’s company, QuadrigaCX, and the twentysomethings soon became wealthy beyond their wildest dreams.

Then, at age thirty, Cotten suddenly died. Overnight, their dream life became Robertson’s worst nightmare. Cotten possessed the only keys to the online vaults where his customers’ investments were supposedly stored.

No one knew where to find $215 million belonging to more than 76,000 investors. “Part of me felt as though our life together had been a dream, the best dream you could ever imagine, and now it was time to wake up,” says Robertson. “But to what?”

This week, Sheena Rossiter is in conversation with Jennifer Robertson. Robertson is a former HR specialist and property manager whose life was turned upside down in the Quadriga scandal. And, in her new book with journalist Stephen Kimber, Bitcoin Widow: Love, Betrayal and the Missing Millions, she shares her side of the story for the first time.

The theme music for this episode is a licensed version of “This Podcast Theme” by InPlus Music. Additional music is a licensed version of “Stay Cool” by Loops Lab and “Podcast Intro” by Inplus Music.

February 17, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult time for bars and nightclubs, many of which have had to shutter. But it’s been especially hard for gay bars, which have acted as safe spaces for the queer community for decades.

Gay bars have been suffering a slow, drawn-out death for years. Skyrocketing rental prices, diminished interest, and a shrinking economy have forced many queer spaces—including some legendary historic ones—to call it quits.

This week, Angela Misri speaks with writer KC Hoard, whose work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, the National Post, Broadview Magazine, CBC Arts, and Xtra Magazine. And Sheena Rossiter speaks with Tim Singleton, an artist, designer, and illustrator from Toronto whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, HuffPost, Adweek, and more.

The theme music for this episode is a licensed version of “This Podcast Theme” by InPlus Music. Additional music is a licensed version of “Stay Cool” by Loops Lab and “Podcast Intro” by Inplus Music.

February 10, 2022

In early 2021, as gyms remained shuttered and wet weather made walks almost unbearable, Carine Abouseif found herself reaching for the nostalgia of the home workout—and she isn’t alone. Many Canadians have gravitated to home workouts over the past year. And market research suggests that this revival isn’t just a pandemic blip. Some former gym goers say they’re never going back, and many of those that do want to return plan to keep YouTube instructors in their fitness repertoire.

As part of a new digital series on wellness, Abouseif dives into the return (and evolution) of home workout videos. While the VHS tapes of workouts past touted trimmer waists and sculpted calves, today’s fitness regimes promise something much more vague: strength.

This week, Angela Misri speaks with Carine Abouseif, a features editor at The Walrus, about her article on the history and revival of the home workout. Before joining The Walrus, Abouseif edited news and features at the Globe and Mail, and her writing has also appeared in Maisonneuve and This Magazine.

The theme music for this episode is a licensed version of “This Podcast Theme” by InPlus Music. Additional music is a licensed version of “Stay Cool” by Loops Lab and “Podcast Intro” by Inplus Music.

February 3, 2022

In a few memorable cases, athletes have been penalized after testing positive for cannabis—a drug that normally isn’t considered performance enhancing. Attitudes toward cannabis have changed dramatically over the past couple of decades, but less so for professional athletes. It’s been twenty-four years since Canadian snowboarder Ross Rebagliati won gold at the 1998 Winter Olympics, in Nagano, Japan, only to be temporarily stripped of his medal hours later, after testing positive for marijuana. Now that cannabis is legal in several parts of the world, can weed and sports finally coexist?

This week, we hear from Alex Cyr, who recently wrote about the relationship between professional sports and weed. He’s a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the Globe and Mail and Toronto Life.

The theme music for this episode is a licensed version of “This Podcast Theme” by InPlus Music. Additional music is a licensed version of “Stay Cool” by Loops Lab and “Podcast Intro” by Inplus Music.

January 27, 2022

As housing inequality rises across the country, many Winnipeg residents have been left without a place to call home. In the grips of winter, they live without permanent shelter at bus stops and riverside camps. What failures led us here, and what’s being done to make change?

This week, we hear from the Justice Fund Writer-in-Residence, Julia-Simone Rutgers. She’s a writer, journalist, essayist, and sometimes poet. She’s written daily news for the Winnipeg Free Press and StarMetro Halifax, and her work has also appeared in the Globe and Mail, the Coast, and the Discourse.

The theme music for this episode is a licensed version of “This Podcast Theme” by InPlus Music. Additional music is a licensed version of “Stay Cool” by Loops Lab and “Podcast Intro” by Inplus Music.

January 20, 2022

Lou D’s intimate snapshots of Madonna, Jay-Z, and other VIPs are fascinating dispatches from a time before Instagram changed celebrity photography forever. Lou was backstage with some of the most iconic musicians of the 1980s and ’90s. As a photographer, he has recorded pop culture history in publications worldwide.

This week, we hear from Connor Garel, who was recently The Cannonbury Fellow at The Walrus. Garel is an arts-and-culture reporter with bylines in BuzzFeed, Fashion, Canadian Art, and of course, The Walrus.

The theme music for this episode is a licensed version of “This Podcast Theme” by InPlus Music. Additional music is a licensed version of “Stay Cool” by Loops Lab and “Podcast Intro” by Inplus Music.

January 2, 2022

Subscribe now to The Deep Dive from The Walrus wherever you get your podcasts. And look out for our first full episode mid-January 2022. The music for this trailer is a licensed version of “This Podcast Theme” by InPlus Music.