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November-December 2017

REVIEW: New novel brings together crime and sport in moving narrative

Inside In the Cage by Kevin Hardcastle

Aaron Broverman

In the Cage By Kevin Hardcastle Biblioasis, $19.95 In the Cage, the first novel by Kevin Hardcastle, follows his award-winning 2015 short story collection, Debris. Like his previous work, In the Cage concerns petty organized crime, rural poverty, and the hard-knock life of Mixed Martial Arts fighters. This time, it features Daniel, whose career-ending injury […]

After a century-long absence, bison are returning to Canada’s national parks

Sixteen of the animals were successfully reintroduced at Banff National Park earlier this year

Kyle Edwards

There was a time when close to 30 million bison roamed the plains of what is now Canada and the United States. In the mid-1800s, after the influx of European settlers, the animal—once the most abundant large mammal on the continent—was hunted to near extinction. But the bison has returned to Canada’s oldest national park. […]

The gadgets we rely on are intrinsically changing us

Technology helps us unconsciously make major life decisions—from the way we live to the way we love

Tyler Hellard@poploser

On February 1, 2003, Space Shuttle Columbia came apart somewhere over Texas, reminding us that putting people into space is hard to do and very, very dangerous. Engineers determined a piece of foam that broke off during launch had damaged the heat shield on one of the wings. NASA knew about it almost immediately and […]

Forgetting Charles Lawrence

The racist Nova Scotian tried to destroy my family’s Acadian culture. I’m refusing to let his legacy live on

Tyler LeBlanc

I went to church in August. I hadn’t been in 20 years. It was Monday and St. Paul’s Anglican in downtown Halifax was dead quiet. A young woman in burgundy sat at a table near the door. I looped around the pews before asking the question I had come here to ask: “Charles Lawrence is […]

Is Ottawa’s proposed mega-shelter the right way to tackle homelessness?

Critics say it’s the wrong approach

Courtney Dickson

The Salvation Army is proposing an 892-square-metre “mega-shelter” in Ottawa’s Vanier neighbourhood that would provide temporary shelter beds for up to 350 people. The shelter would be the biggest in North America, featuring a special health care unit, a space for addictions recovery, permanent housing referrals, a dining facility, counselling, employment skills training, and more. […]

REVIEW: New dystopian novel finds influence in today’s biggest conflicts

Inside Tarry This Night by Kristyn Dunnion

Ophelie Zalcmanis-Lai

Tarry This Night By Kristyn Dunnion Arsenal Pulp Press, $16.95 Tarry This Night by Kristyn Dunnion is a dystopian tale that takes readers through the days of a bunkered polygamist cult leader, Father Ernst, and his “family.” Told from the perspectives of various family members, Dunnion’s novel reflects a dark coming-of-age story about protagonist Ruth, who must […]

B.C. clothing line takes back the appropriated designs of Indigenous communities

Section 35 tackles Indigenous stereotypes head-on with political statements people can wear

Isabelle Docto

What do the Chicago Blackhawks, Washington Redskins, and Cleveland Indians have in common? Sport and its continued appropriation of Indigenous culture. Section 35, a B.C.-based apparel company, is pushing back. Founded by friends Justin Louis and Andrew Kazakoff, Section 35 tackles Indigenous stereotypes head-on with political statements people can wear. “You can still create conversation […]

Vancouver’s Sandeep Johal offers hope in the face of female violence with her artwork

The artist's Rest in Power series celebrates women whose lives were taken brutally and unjustly

Madi Haslam

When Vancouver-based artist Sandeep Johal read Shauna Singh Baldwin’s novel, The Selector of Souls, she was deeply moved. The story of two Indian women tackles difficult gender-based issues Johal often finds herself considering: female foeticide, infanticide, femicide, domestic abuse, dowry, and rape. Soon after reading it, Johal was bringing a fictional goddess from the novel to […]

How voice casting for video games has made the Canadian industry more homogenous than ever

Improved video game technology should have made more room for visible minorities. Instead, it’s created more jobs for white people

Mike Sholars@Sholarsenic

When you love something,  you want to know it loves you back. It’s why we look for ourselves in art: We want to see reflections of our struggles acknowledged, and we long to hear stories where we can be heroes. As a Black and Indian child of the 1990s, I was starving to see myself […]

Toronto’s BookThug brings together music and literature in new imprint

Chaos & Star Records launched this fall

Jessica Rose

Since it began in 2004, Toronto-based literary press BookThug has been best known for publishing innovative and groundbreaking works of contemporary literary fiction and non-fiction, poetry, and drama. Now, it’s delving into new territory. With the recent launch of Chaos & Star Records, the press has begun a new label that brings together readings by […]

No, Canada isn’t the beacon of racial tolerance that it’s made out to be

As Robyn Maynard writes in her new book, Policing Black Lives, invisibility has not protected Black communities in Canada

Robyn Maynard

Canada, in the eyes of many of its citizens, as well as those living elsewhere, is imagined as a beacon of tolerance and diversity. Seen as an exemplar of human rights, Canada’s national and international reputation rests, in part, on its historical role as the safe haven for the enslaved Black Americans who had fled […]