Stuart McLean

Bestselling Author and Host of CBC Radio's The Vinyl Café

Stuart McLean is without a doubt one of Canada’s most popular storytellers. A man possessed with the gift of narrative, a knack for writing relatable characters, and a voice recognized from Victoria to St. Johns’. As the host of The Vinyl Cafe on CBC radio, he has created a national institution that is somehow folksy and familiar but also utterly contemporary. On the airwaves or on-stage, McLean comes second to none.

Every week, over one million listeners tune in to The Vinyl Cafe. Since 1998, McLean has performed his show across Canada, allowing him to not only do what he loves most (tell his stories to live audiences), but also experience the unique culture and people of Canada, from which he draws endless inspiration. In its traveling incarnation, The Vinyl Cafe’s roots as a variety show come into focus. His venerable program is also an important showcase for some of this country’s most talented local musicians, comedians, and storytellers.

McLean has also authored a series of bestselling books, including Home from the Vinyl Cafe and Vinyl Cafe Unplugged, both winners of the Stephen Leacock Award for Humour. He is also the author of The Morningside World of Stuart McLean, Welcome Home: Travels in Small Town Canada, and The Vinyl Cafe Notebooks. McLean is also editor of the collection When We Were Young.

McLean has made documentaries for CBC Radio’s Sunday Morning, and was a columnist and guest host on Morningside. A professor emeritus at Ryerson University, he is also the school’s former director of the broadcast division of the School of Journalism. He has also been honored by: Nipissing University (Ed.D.(H.); University of Windsor (LL.D), Trent University (D.Litt) and Saint Mary’s University (D.C.L.). In 2011, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.

The Vinyl Café

Stuart McLean incorporates The Vinyl Café characters and storylines into his speeches. The Vinyl Café chronicles the misadventures of Dave, the owner of the “Vinyl Cafe”, the world’s smallest record store, where the motto is “We may not be big, but we’re small.”

The show also features Dave’s wife, Morley, their two children, Sam and Stephanie and assorted friends and neighbours. Stuart may tailor his talks to specific groups and convention themes when requested.