An eloquent defense of Government funding for the arts

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Actor Dave Lamb wrote this for Australians, in response to a Sydney Morning Herald article moaning about tax money being spent on “lazy” artists. We in Canada have heard those ridiculous arguments, usually spread by Conservatives bucking for the arts, and the careers of artists themselves, to live and die by… Read more »

Practical Jean makes the List!

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Just got word that Practical Jean made the list of “100 Canadian Books To Read in a Lifetime” as determined by the great Canlit website You can see the list here. Practical Jean comes in at number 32, which hereby becomes my favorite number. This happened on the same… Read more »

That Day in Yale

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(This is the third of three posts on what we’ve dubbed the Leacock Road Trip — five men, four of them winners of the Leacock medal for humour (the other the curator of the Leacock Museum), transporting a portion of the ashes of a fifth winner to be distributed on… Read more »

Getting there

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The flight out of Toronto got off with a couple of hiccups. A security officer wanted to check my bag for something suspicious and when I opened it as she requested she rummaged around and then tapped a solid wooden box. Something in there was bothering her. I opened it… Read more »

Westward Whaa?

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There are questions on this November night. So many questions: What exactly is the weather right now in the Rocky Mountains? What do you pack when you’re going to meet W.P. Kinsella in Yale, BC? Does the van we’re taking to meet him have chains on its tires? Wait, I… Read more »

Save us from Awards Season

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It comes between summer and winter. It is a time of stiffening winds, dying hopes and chilling glimpses of our (books’) mortality. It is a bitter time, ameliorated only by the promise of fleeting shafts of warm sunlight that we know, from experience, will fall through the clouds onto a… Read more »

Journey to a beginning

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We journey for different reasons, but they come down to one of two things I think: To get away, or to find. Sometimes it’s both. Six or seven months ago, I decided I needed to move away from the life I had toward something new. I was struggling to start… Read more »

The Importance of Ceremony

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Life rushes by very quickly. One day you’re worrying about buying a present for your daughter’s 10th birthday, and the next you’re thinking about what to get for her start at university. You think about moving to a new house or apartment and suddenly realize your history includes owning three… Read more »

Can you feel the love?

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This is Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore. It has to be said, in the context of the current political realities, he is probably the best friend the Canadian arts community could ask for at the moment. A few days ago, in the wake of the government’s announced funding cuts to… Read more »

Nobody said this was going to be easy

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Nobody said this was going to be easy. And we knew that, right? Today it was announced that the Conservative Government of Canada cut funding to the Literary Press Group, thus severing one of the vital arms that get the books of independent Canadian publishers to retailers and readers.… Read more »