How to find a conversation starter

How to find a conversation starter
When she said “it was all very confusing and frustrating,” it was like a woman in the audience at the University of Toronto Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work event Alumni Distinguished Speakers Series on the Truth, Reconciliation in view of Canada’s 150th birthday was taking the words right out of my mouth. She was speaking ...

You are a white girl

You are a white girl
“You are a white girl.”‘It’s a line I’ve been hearing a lot in the last few years. And for some, born and raised in North American compared to other parts of the world are different (i.e. they aren’t considered white, like me I guess). I don’t understand. Uncomfortable words.  And then there’s this video that ...

Cheers to vulnerability & changing my mind

Cheers to vulnerability & changing my mind
This year has been one of the most challenging and fun that I’ve had in about 10 years – both personally and professionally. It started on new year’s day and it’s still unfolding. Of course, at Thanksgiving we all give thanks for those we love. Life’s not worth living without them and I keep all those ...

It’s all possible, no reminder needed

It's all possible, no reminder needed
A couple years ago I had written about some graffiti I was seeing in a bunch of places.  It’s “Tout est possible,” meaning “Anything is possible” or “Everything is possible” — depending on how you want to translate it from French. I’ve been reading The Moth – which is a book of 50 true life stories ...

Going Home Star: Ballet to reconciliation

Going Home Star: Ballet to reconciliation
“The path of vengeance and the path of feathers start and end together. On the path of vengeance I departed. By the path of feathers I arrived.” Kyaanusili Haida Peace Poem It’s incredibly hard to put into words the experience of Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Going Home Star about Truth and Reconciliation based on the stories ...

Sex is different in Québec too

Sex is different in Québec too
When we were teens, we often tuned into Radio-Canada hidden camera show Surprise, sur prise ! on Sunday evenings. Like Candid Camera, but not. Growing up Francophone surrounded by Anglophones we were hybrids – neither fully identifying with either. Probably the reality of anyone who straddles more than one culture. One night a gag had ...

My refugee experience

My refugee experience
On a Friday this summer, I received a phone call that set off a chain of unexpected events. A refugee from Iran was arriving the following Wednesday and needed a home. “Why not?” I thought. I’d sort of forgotten that I had volunteered – almost a year back, should the need arise – with a ...

Jon Stewart on bullshit

Jon Stewart on bullshit
“We owe you because we learned from you, we learned from you, by example, how to have a show with intention, how to work with clarity, how to treat people with respect. You are infuriatingly good at your job, and all of us who were lucky enough to work with you for 16 years are ...

Size doesn’t matter, knowing does

Size doesn’t matter, knowing does
Humans in small towns and cities are exactly the same when it comes to human experience. Individuals within them both are unexpected mysteries the more you get to know them. And when you don’t get to know them, they remain exactly as you imagined them. Unmysterious perceptions we make up. Always. The human responsible Humans ...

Our first Aboriginal Prime Minister

Our first Aboriginal Prime Minister
Last year at a screening of all 77 or so Heritage Minutes, one stood out. It’s the one where a Chinese man volunteers to place explosives while building the railroad. Most others generated some sort of audience reaction, but for that one – silence. Our dark Canadian history is not often evident. That video was ...