Explore: A Canadian Geographic podcast
Dave Bidini on the West End Phoenix and reviving local news
It’s hard to think of a person who has written with more passion about Canada, and in as many different mediums, as Dave Bidini. You might know him as the songwriter and frontman of the Rheostatics – that most Canadian of Canadian bands — or for his best-selling books On a Cold Road, The Tropic of Hockey, Keon and Me or Midnight Light, or from his award-winning journalism and documentaries, or for his latest endeavour, the West End Phoenix, a community newspaper he founded in Toronto.
The Phoenix is a bold effort to fill the void caused when big newspaper chains started closing down community newspapers. With a focus on great reporting and storytelling, it features guest writers like Margaret Atwood and Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson. The interview also gets into why the Yellowknifer newspaper in the N.W.T. was the inspiration for the Phoenix, and touches on Dave’s deep love of the Toronto Maple Leafs, a special moment with Wendel Clark, and a possible cause of the Leafs’ decades-long Stanley Cup curse.