A banner day

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Revelstoke, B.C. has a wonderful tradition: hanging hand-painted banners to deck the streets of the mountain city. The community-based program lets artists (and non-artists) paint their impressions of the town red. Or green, or brown or purple. After some prodding from friends, I put paint to canvas and helped create a flag for one of Revelstoke’s light poles. The street … Read More

The business of art

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The Department of Canadian Heritage is looking to hear from you about Canadian culture. What are your views on our arts scene? What’s important to you about our culture – is there even a Canadian culture? How do we support Canada’s artists, content creators and cultural entrepreneurs in order to create a cultural ecosystem in which they thrive… Here’s my … Read More

The Forgotten War

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Nicknamed the Forgotten War, the Canadian participation in the Korean War is overshadowed by our efforts in the First and Second World Wars. I barely knew about the Korean War when I was in secondary school. My only connection to it was the names of the men who fought in that conflict being called out at every Remembrance Day ceremony … Read More

A Wilde ghost writer

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What do ghost writers have in common? They all use invisible ink. Happy Halloween! The ghost above is Oscar Wilde. He was an Irish writer who wrote in the 1880s. You probably know The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Importance of Being Earnest: these are just two of his works.

Ode to my Rad Pants

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I’ve had my Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) Rad pants for many, many years. I got them from my roommate in Toronto in 1995. Mo liked my Guess jeans. I liked her Rad pants. We made a trade. I think I got the best part of the deal. The jeans would have been out of style a long time ago. The … Read More

The dammed fish

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My sisters and I spent a lot of our free time playing in the Nova Scotia woods with the neighbourhood kids. Since there were only a six houses in the area there wasn’t a lot of children but there was a lot of things to do. Sometimes we liked to go to the creek behind our family’s home and build … Read More

In the company of memoir writers

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Last week a friend forwarded me an article from the New York Times. The piece was about memoir companies and the people behind them: writers as well as business owners. They strongly believe in collecting and preserving stories before they’re gone as do I. I also appreciated the insight and explanations from the memoir writers about the business behind the … Read More

Rush of Nova Scotia

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I returned to the Maritimes last week to see my family. Among the hikes, bikes, lake swimming, night swimming and friend seeing, I went tidal bore rafting. The fresh water of the Shubenacadie River swirls and boils as it rushes out to meet the tidal bore (a wave of salt water that fills the Bay of Fundy). We hopped in … Read More

Healing history

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I’m writing a blurb on the history of the Iraqi Royal Medical College for a client. From what I’ve heard and read so far, it’s fascinating. However, there’s not a lot of material written in English and there are holes in the story that need to be filled. In 1958 there was a coup d’état and the Iraqi monarchy was … Read More