trampoline hall

Trampoline Hall is Toronto's best lecture series now in podcast form

On Monday night, hundreds of devoted fans and friends gathered at the Garrison to toast Trampoline Hall, the informal lecture series that just turned 15.

Although now you don't need to buy a ticket to get in on this monthly event. Anyone from around the world can listen in because Trampoline Hall just launched a podcast.

Writer Sheila Heti started the show back in the early 2000s. The premise is simple, but unique. Each month, three lecturers jump on stage to talk about something they're not an expert in. Afterwards, there's a Q&A, which is often more entertaining and informative than the lecture itself.

Host Misha Glouberman was worried that the magic of live show would be lost in podcast form. "They actually sound really good and I’m surprised they capture what’s interesting about the show," he says.

For the past number of years, Glouberman says the Trampoline Hall team has been thinking about how to share their vast archive; each show is recorded so they have lots of material. And until now, Trampoline Hall didn't have much of an online presence.

"At this point, in 2017, the internet has reached a point where it feels like if you’re keeping something off the internet, you’re making a choice," says Glouberman. "I don’t think we want to be in a position where we’re keeping this off the internet."

Each podcast features one lecture per episode as well as the Q&A session. While they've explored radio in the past, podcasting seemed like a better medium.

Today, there are plenty of podcasts and shows that bring amateurs on stage to speak. However, when Trampoline Hall first started it was unique. However, Glouberman doesn't see it being associated with other live storytelling events. Instead, he thinks it was part of the Torontopia movement or scene, which emerged in the early 2000s.

Torontopia, largely ushered in by the Wavelength Music Series, spoke to a sort of cultural resurgence in the city, one focused on participation.

Today, there's another such renaissance happening as Toronto's international recognition continues to grow. And Glouberman hopes the podcast can contribute to that in some way.

"There’s something very pleasing to us that people in other cities would listen to Trampoline Hall and say, 'aw man, I wished I lived in Toronto where this cool thing is happening.'"

Lead photo by

Laura Dittman

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