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Culture Archive

Moncton a surfing destination

On our way back from PEI this summer we drove through Moncton, N.B. In Ontario we’re used to thinking of “down east” places like Charlottetown and St. Johns as somewhat quaint backwaters that have tourist potential. New Brunswick? Well, there’s call centres and the Magnetic Hill, but that’s about it. These stereotypes are obviously outdated.

CBC Kitchener-Waterloo a welcome addition

A few years ago CBC started broadcasting to the K-W area at 89.1 FM because the Toronto frequency (99.1) had problems in this area. Then, several months ago 89.1 was elevated to a full regional station with local K-W news and events coverage and a local staff. I’ve been listening to CBC Toronto since I

More balanced picture of Indian reservations in the James Bay area

The inside of Fort Albany Chief Edward Metatawabin’s home. For the past months we’ve been fed a steady diet of dismal reports from Attawapiskat in the James Bay area. Combined with Theresa Spence’s fish broth diet and the Idle No More protests, this has been a particularly bad bad news period for Canada/First Nations relations.

Police can be pretty bad drivers

A few times every week a police cruiser goes “cruising” at high speed through our little town, sirens howling. Some times there are serious accidents “up at the corner”, other times they are (apparently) just on important police business. The kind of importance that requires them to speed through the main intersection of a little

Coureurs de bois were uniquely Canadian

I suspect that most Canadians have heard the phrase coureurs de bois and at least some of us have a vague idea who they were and what they did. But I also suspect that very few of us know how truly unique these people were and what an important role they played in Canada’s early

The Last Spike and Other Bits of Canadiana

“The Last Spike” that’s Donald Smith at Craigellachie, B.C., 1885 I was in the local Chapters book store a few days ago looking for something interesting to read and two things about their selection of Canadian books stuck out. First there is the aggravating use of the cute term “Canadiana” to classify books about Canada.

Tom Brokaw explains Canada to US viewers

In this video NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw narrates an “explanation” of Canada meant for American viewers during the 2008 Vancouver Winter Olympics. Some of the cliches left out: Canada’s obsession with hockey, universal health care, much less crime and gun violence. Related Posts:Why the “Olympic Spirit” Thing is a Hoax

Tim Hortons in Iqaluit – entering the mainstream

Iqualuit has finally entered the mainstream of Canadian culture by opening its own Tim Hortons. It may be just a self-serve kiosk, but it’s a Tim’s and the locals love it. A local Inuit elder even lit a candle and said a prayer at the grand opening. The Iqaluit location is one of three Tim’s

Don Cherry for King of Canada

Since we’re talking about the monarchy a lot these days. I thought I’d make some proposals for “King of Canada”. I would like to see us start our own monarchy in Canada, and I can’t think of a better person than Don Cherry to serve as KofC. As we all know, Don even looks great

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie, In

The Case Against Making Remembrance Day a Holiday

Canadian attack of Vimy Ridge, April 16, 1917 – Library and Archives Canada In an op-ed piece in the National Post Matt Gurney argues that Remembrance Day (November 11) should not be made a statutory holiday in Ontario . There are good arguments on both sides of this debate, but generally I agree with Gurney.

Justin Bieber’s Memoirs

“Canadian icon Gordon Pinsent” reads from Justin Bieber’s memoirs. Very inspiring. Related Posts:No Related Posts

Messing with Masculinity

In an insightful article in This Magazine Graham F. Scott argues that the current concern with the loss of male masculinity is, in his words, “horseshit”. As he says, “My hackles go up when those who are obviously powerful claim they are powerless.” The kind of media coverage he’s talking about are studies that show

In My Life by the Beatles – Guitar Lesson

In this video guitar teacher Mark Easley explains how to play the Beatles “In My Life”, one of the more touching and enduring tunes created by the famous group. Mark is not the world’s best singer, but his approach to the song is simple and straightforward and relatively easy for a “beginner” like me to

Canada as a Metis nation

Over the last few days I’ve been reading the book called “A Fair Nation” by John Ralston Saul. The main argument put forward by Saul is that Canada’s development for at least 250 years after “contact” – the early 1500s when Europeans first started coming to what is now Canada – the territory that eventually

Sharon Temple a Unique Historical Site

On our way back from our annual September getaway to Muskoka we got off Hwy 400 just before coming to the Holland Marsh and took a detour along Canal Road. We eventually ended up in the small town of Sharon just outside of Newmarket. Sharon is the site of what is now known as Sharon

Why the “Olympic Spirit” Thing is a Hoax

Dedicated to being the best at what they do I just read a glowing tribute to the “Olympic spirit” displayed by all the happy young Olympic athletes. The focus of the tribute was on how we can apply some of the dedication shown by Olympians to our personal, business and professional lives. Now I don’t

More Books from the Bargain Table – The Kindle2

I was investigating the Kindle the other day. In case you don’t know, the Kindle is a digital tablet designed for reading books in digital form and is sold (exclusively I think) by This technology has been in development for quite a few years, and the Kindle is already in its 2nd version (Kindle2),

Books from the Bargain Table

In case you haven’t noticed, I like buying (and reading) books. Usually history or “ideas” books like Blink by Malcolm Gladwell or Traffic by Tom Vanderbilt, or 1491 by Charles C. Mann (a really awesome book if you are interested in the history of the Americas). Often I buy books when I’m travelling somewhere. Some

Squashed Plato

Here’s a novel idea I found while using Stumbleupon. (In case you don’t know, SU walks you through a series of websites according to topics of interest you have previously chosen. It also learns what you like as you go along. You find websites that you probably wouldn’t have otherwise found in a hundred years.)