The weekend

My_freedom__your_freedom_by_celsojuniorTwo precious days of freedom or an endangered artifact of the linear, non-app world? On the weekend’s 75th birthday we are getting mixed messages about the block of time that bookends our days of worry and wage. Some say that only those 30+ remember the halcyon time before Ottawa followed Alberta’s lead and forever changed our weekend. Others figure that greater efficiency, delayed retirements and young ‘uns in need of jobs means we are about to see an expansion of the weekend. Three days anyone?

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Let’s make a podcast series about something we all love. More wars, love affairs, long term debt, promises, picnics, tears, babies and giggles happen on the weekend than any other time in the week. The two days when we spend our money, cement our friendships, rediscover who we hope to become, inhale the freedoms of sex, sangria, salvation and song and chase wild dreams of what might yet be are worth a closer look. The weekend: it’s what keeps us sane and makes us human.

I’m proposing a stand-alone podcast series about the weekend. The packages will be textured, upbeat and informative explorations of different aspects of the two days of delight. The soundscapepacks will be geographically neutral – yet Canadian – so they will be of interest to podcast listeners across the country. The subject matter is widely applicable and has two anniversary hooks this year – not only is it 75 years since the weekend became fact it’s also 30 years since Sunday shopping restrictions evaporated in 1985.

To my knowledge the last national examination of this topic was Witold Rybczynski’s Waiting for the Weekend, a book published in 1991. Things have changed in the past 24 years. So, from the summits of hump day let’s chant TGIF into the ultimate reward for our labours: the weekend. It’ll make great listening.

Proposed editorial topics for the shows:

  1. How did we get the weekend? History, connotations and comparisons
  2. What does the weekend mean to us? Work, worship, freedom, self, play, family, escape, re-creation; a revolutionary speed bump or simply a rest between battles?
  3. How do we spend the weekend? By the numbers – follow the money and the hours to see what we really do on the weekend. How vital is it to our economy? To our health?
  4. Weekend warriors – meet people who live for the weekend. Dancing, clubbing, boys and their toys, hunting, camping, shopping, meeting, mating and sermons.
  5. Music of the weekend – listen to iconic tunes that were shaped by the weekend and then shaped the weekend itself.
  6. Changing weekends – what lies ahead for the weekend in the always-on world? Where are trends for even shorter work weeks taking us?

Who am I?

toaster_soundI’ve been a freelance journalist for years. My formal training is in broadcast journalism although that was when beta was a tape format and we used razor blades to edit audio. I worked part time for CBC Radio in Winnipeg for several years doing news and short docs but when one of the periodic staffing upheavals cast me out yet again, I stopped going back.

I’ve travelled widely, worked cross platform and am a proud generalist. My bottomless curiosity helps me get stories of consequence. I’ve been researching the weekend for more than a year.

There is material about me online: bio | portfolio.

I see this podcast making its debut in the fall once the summer schedules are finished.


The numerous interviews I have already conducted via Skype (snippets of which are in the audio pitch) will be done again in-studio (the clips in the teaser are placeholders for better quality material).
This series involves no travel.

I look forward to working with you.

Bramwell Ryan
email | 204-298-4932