Mike Browne, left, and Scott Hemenway are the voices behind Newton-based Dark Poutine podcast. (File photo: Lauren Collins)

ANNUAL FESTIVAL

Surrey podcast voices dish ‘Dark Poutine’ stories at Vancouver festival

Mike Browne and Scott Hemenway will be at Rio Theatre for the show’s live-event debut

Creators of the Surrey-based Dark Poutine podcast will be featured at a Vancouver festival devoted to such digital-audio adventures.

On Halloween two years ago, longtime pals Mike Browne and Scott Hemenway launched Dark Poutine in a spare bedroom in Newton, as a vehicle for “notorious Canadian crimes, dark history and other creepy topics as told by real-live Canadians.”

In early November, they’ll be guest speakers at the four-day Vancouver Podcast Festival, and will record the 100th episode of Dark Poutine during the show’s live-event debut at the Rio Theatre on Saturday, Nov. 9.

“I was at the festival last year and spoke on a couple of panels,” Browne said, “but they wanted to give us a chance to do a little more this year, with a masterclass (called “Started from the Bottom, Now I’m Here”), about how I got here, and the live show at the Rio, so it’ll be a good time. We’ll do a retrospective of the show so far and probably cover a case, maybe a missing-persons case in B.C.”

Dark Poutine has earned close to 7,000 “consistent” weekly listeners in the Vancouver area, Browne said, and the podcast is downloaded nearly 100,000 times a week, at darkpoutine.com and other platforms.

“We just passed the five-million mark for the run of the show, so that’s four million (downloads) in just one year,” he added.

• RELATED STORY, from October 2018: Surrey-based podcast focuses on Canadian true crime.

Browne’s masterclass will be held at SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts on Nov. 9, starting at 2 p.m., and the Dark Poutine event at the Rio gets going at 10 p.m. General-admission tickets for each are $25, or $20 for students and seniors, via vanpodfest.ca.

Browne has an background in film, advertising and social media, while Hemenway is a photographer who brings humour to the podcast, “helping the listener absorb some of the harder parts of the sometimes brutal stories,” according to a biography.

“We’re pretty proud of the stories we’ve covered and are humbled by our success,” Browne says in a post at mikebrowne.com. “We’ve covered stories from coast to coast about a variety of dark subjects. We have mixed emotions about the fact that we don’t see any end to the stories we can share.”

The goal of Vancouver Podcast Festival is to highlight “the power and potential of podcasts,” and bring together local podcast creators with national and international series. The event is presented by DOXA (The Documentary Media Society), best known for its annual film festival.

Other mainstage events at Vancouver Podcast Festival include Dirty John’s Christopher Goffard, Secret Life of Canada, The Allusionist and Red Man Laughing.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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