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On his podcast, Canadian History Ehx, Craig Baird interviews historians and famous Canadians to tell the stories that give Canada its colour and character.

The podcast started as a side hustle but when the pandemic hit it quickly became his full-time job, which he could do from home.

Craig now lives on the acreage in Alberta where he grew up, with the closest town being about 15 minutes away.

“I love how quiet it is. From where I’m working at my desk, I can see coyotes walking by and moose and porcupine so it’s a really calm area to live,” he said.

Craig became an Xplornet customer in 2017 and says the Internet connection is vital to the production podcast.

“There’s no way I could do this podcast if I didn’t have high-speed Internet. The main thing is the research online but the way it really comes in handy is the Zoom interviews that I’ve been doing all this year,” he explained.

A screenshot of of Craig Baird chatting with Fred Penner.

These Zoom meetings allow him to speak directly with famous Canadians and historians face to face.

“When I’m uploading videos to my YouTube channel having high-speed Internet means I don’t have to wait hours. Having high-speed Internet is absolutely necessary,” he said.

Craig started listening to podcasts before it was cool. You could say he was one of the earliest people to appreciate the medium as a listener.

“It was just such a cool way to learn a lot of things,” he said.

So, it’s no surprise that he decided to start his own show.

“Podcasts clicked with me. I really like the format. And there’s such a great community of history podcasters. We get to be guests on each other’s shows, and it allows me to teach about Canadian history to a variety of audiences. Sometimes things I didn’t even learn in school,” he said.

Craig says his favourite episode of Canadian History Ehx is the story of Mr. Dressup or Ernie Coombs, who passed away in 2001.

“Mr. Dressup came to Canada with Mr. Rogers. They had a show together on the CBC in 1962. Mr. Rogers went back to the states, but Mr. Dressup decided to stay. A lot of people don’t even realize that happened and that he decided to stay in Canada and spend the rest of his life here is pretty incredible,” Craig explained.

Craig particularly enjoyed making this episode because it allowed him to take a trip down memory lane.

“For an entire week, I was being hit with nostalgia. I got to interview Fred Penner and Judith Lawrence the woman who created and was the voice of Casey and Finnegan. It was a fun episode to do because I got to rewatch a bunch of episodes of Mr. Dressup to get quotes and things,” he said.

Craig says that rural Canadian history tends to be the most interesting.

He will routinely write historical columns for small-town newspapers in Western Canada and he has found all kinds of interesting stories to cover.

One of his favourites is a story about the Royal family making a stop in rural Manitoba and having a BBQ with a nearby farm family.

A photo of Queen Elizabeth and the royal family visiting with a Canadian family in rural Manitoba.

“The entire Royal family was passing through by train. There’s a picture of Queen Elizabeth and the entire royal family, Princess Ann, Prince Philip and Prince Charles. The fact that the queen and the entire Royal family stopped and chatted with this rural Canadian family in Manitoba. It’s just such a cool story. You think of them as these lofty mythical people and then you see Queen Elizabeth in a lawn chair talking to this family,” he said.

When he’s not telling stories, Craig likes to play video games with friends across Canada.

“Having high-speed Internet from Xplornet means I can watch Netflix, Crave and Disney+. I play video games when I’m not writing podcasts and I can play with friends from across the country,” he said.

When asked to describe his experience using Xplornet Internet Craig said he’s been very satisfied.

“It’s been fantastic. The first plan I was on was 100 GB a month and Xplornet let me know about new data limits and now I have more than enough data. It’s always been really great out here and without it, I wouldn’t be able to do my job the way that I do,” he explained.

Podcast fans can find Canadian History Ehx on every platform. All 260 episodes, as well as hundreds of articles on rural Canadian history, are available at canadaehx.com.