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September-October 2018

Indigenous arts are the real deal. How counterfeiting is destroying that

New campaign aims to protect Indigenous crafts from mass-produced knock-offs in Canada’s gift shops

Prajakta Dhopade

Think of the dreamcatcher and it evokes a familiar image. A hoop, a woven web, adorned with beads and feathers. The iconic talisman, said to have originated from the North American Ojibwe, is a common sight in most Canadian souvenir shops. But don’t believe its “Made in Canada” label. More likely, it’s been mass produced […]

Music criticism is changing its tune—and that’s a good thing

The music explainer is the new review, and it has the potential to improve our understanding of music criticism

Drew Crocker

“Music criticism is dead,” proclaimed Dan Kopf emphatically on culture website Quartzy this past spring. In the present streaming era, when you can easily discover music on your own, the “music explainer,” in the form of podcasts, is where it’s at, he argued. Why consider secondhand opinions when you can hear directly from creators about […]

New Toronto film project aims to preserve the pasts of Indigenous and visible minority communities

A look inside the Home Made Visible project

Emily Macrae

A child playing in a snowbank. A woman cutting a cake. A man digging a car out of a snowdrift. At first glance, these are common Canadian moments. But look closer and they become celebrations in the daily life of any Canadian family. Whether they are new to the country, first- or fifth-generation Canadians, these […]

Ibu Saudara Isteri

New poetry by Tess Liem

Tess Liem

Aunt Hwie, (like we) was, I learned, aunt Hoei (like oui) was bibi Hoei to me and The Thian Hoei (like thé, tiens, oui) Father, took Joseph in English, is Sioe An (like Sue Ann), is bapak to me, & we spelled her name wrong repeatedly. Uncle, took Joseph in English too, is Sioe Siet […]

Why did a young mother die in an alley after she was admitted to hospital? Her family says it’s because she was Indigenous

Windy Sinclair went to a Winnipeg ER. Three hours later, she went missing. Her body was found frozen in an alleyway three days after.

Ryan Thorpe

It was freezing in Winnipeg, cold enough that frostbite threatened to set in minutes; the kind of cold that sets deep in the bones, down to the marrow. Unforgiving wind ripped through flat, icy streets, and snowdrifts piled along sidewalks. A frigid, stainless steel sky descended on the prairie capital. By the time Windy Sinclair, […]

This Vancouver teacher turned her master’s thesis into a comic book

She wanted to prove that graphic art can still be scholarly

Valérie Frappier

It’s been said that the medium is the message, but how much say do we have over which mediums shape our experiences—and how might they shape our education? Meghan Parker, an art teacher at a public high school in North Vancouver, considers this question in her recent thesis, “Art teacher in process: An illustrated exploration […]

Stand-up comedy got me through the darkest point of my life

How I laughed through the pain

Erica Ruth Kelly

Dear stand-up comedy, I almost threw up all over you the first time we met. I was 18. My then-boyfriend took me to a Just for Laughs showcase in Montreal. Mascara ran down my face as I watched one of the performers, Jeremy Hotz. You and I were still getting to know each other then. […]

Hundreds of Canadian adults still struggle to read and write—but you wouldn’t know it

Inside the country’s invisible issue of adult literacy

Phylicia Davis

William Chemno’s educational journey in Toronto began in Parkdale, a small but bustling neighbourhood in the city’s west end. Originally from Kenya, the 32-year-old had his sights set on a post-secondary education. Chemno knew that in order to be successful in a post-secondary program, he needed to improve his reading, writing, and math skills. So, […]

Learning to Swim

Poetry by Henry Noble

Henry Noble

Listen to music too loudly / Sing along to songs I don’t know the lyrics to / Get stoned and turn into a fiery ball of Love / Kiss my best friends square on the mouth / Drink water, gotta stay hydrated / Hate everything I write / Love everything you write / Sleep off […]

When it comes to new treatments for addiction that rely on medication, Canadians need to have an open mind

Echoing failed policies of the drug war, calls for banning all pharmaceuticals are counter-productive and even dangerous

Tracy Giesz-Ramsay

It was the second day of the Calgary Stampede, a 10-day bonanza of cowboy-themed festivities in the Canadian province most stereotyped by its beef, oil, and country music. Nearly every local business had shut down for the week. “It’s our biggest holiday. You just don’t mess with the Stampede,” Calgary-born Mandy Alston tells me nearly […]

Why is the number of women in Canada’s prisons increasing?

New report sheds light on the experiences of imprisoned women across the country

Melanie Woods

For many female inmates in Canada’s prisons, a routine trip to the gynecologist could mean being shackled to a bed. This is according to a 2016–17 investigative report from Canada’s Office of the Correctional Investigator (OCI). About one-quarter of female maximum security prisoners interviewed in the investigation reported being restrained during off-unit movement, including health […]