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May-June 2016

Small is good

Big media is one hot mess. But it’s not all bad news. How community radio is set to triumph in the digital age and emerge as the surprising winner in the battle for the future of media

Doug Horner

THE CHEERY BANTER between a cartoon moose and flying squirrel has rung out over Calgary airwaves every Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. for the past 14 years. Dedicated listeners know what the goofy bit signals: it’s time for radio magic. “And now…” “Hey, Rocky!” Bullwinkle interrupts. “Watch me pull a rabbit out of this hat.” […] More »

The power of hip-hop

How music brings social change

Dina Lobo

“Having a message should be cool,” says Toronto hip-hop artist Rich Kidd on the power of rap. Kidd hosted First Out Here: Indigenous hip-hop, a documentary by Noisy, in which Kidd visited Winnipeg, Regina and Toronto to meet with Indigenous hip-hop artists. Kidd, born to Ghanian parents, says he drew a lot of parallels between […] More »
March-April 2016

We could be heroes

Epic fantasy and sci-fi are today’s bestsellers and blockbusters. But in a world that can imagine magic and dragons, why is diversity so hard to find?

Nicole Abi-Najem@NajemNorth

I was maybe, what, eight years old? There I was, standing in my literal cave of a stinky basement—a carved-out hollow of dark, dank stone under my rickety old house—scrounging through books piled high into mountains of dust. I whipped out one book. The cover stood out: A woman with flowing ebony braids is striking […] More »
March-April 2016

Speak out

How an inspiring new generation of spoken word poets found their voices—and are using them to confront racism and challenge damaging stereotypes about Muslim women

Fatima Syed@fatimasyed401

Nasim Asgari is looking at the tofu sitting in her shopping cart, waiting for her mother to join her at the food aisle at the No Frills store in north Toronto. I wonder what it’s going to taste like, she thinks. She adjusts her headscarf. Tomorrow she’ll start her trial 40 days as a vegetarian. […] More »

Gender Block: writing’s on the wall

Starchild Stela's radical softness

Hillary Di Menna

Growing up in a low-income household in a small Quebec town, Starchild Stela passed the time drawing, “It was one of the few things I felt I received validation for,” she says. As a teen she started to graffiti and moved to Montreal where she has been working since. Within the last five years the artist […] More »
January-February 2016

The People Do Good Stuff Issue: Kim Katrin Milan

The artist who helps her diverse communities tackle issues in creative ways

Blair Mlotek@blairmlo

YOU DON’T EXPECT the word “amazing” to come out of someone’s mouth so often when they speak about difficult issues every day. Splitting her time between New York and Toronto, Kim Katrin Milan is an an educator, writer, artist, yoga instructor, and activist. She does so much that a casual viewer would be forgiven for […] More »
May-June 2015

Puppet masters

Sean Flinn

The wonderfully non-human retelling of a Canadian novella on stage IT’S A STORY that needs to be retold. “The Faustian bargain is a classic hook,” says Gil Garratt, referring to Derek McCormack’s 2008 novella The Show that Smells. Garratt is adapting the book for the stage via Clawhammer, the small company he founded in 2011 […] More »
May-June 2015

Fight the system

Rebecca Hussman@hussmanr

How one teen combats oppression through art MAYA ADACHI IS FINISHING her final year of high school, but prom night and university applications are low on her priority list. Instead, she’s busy fighting systemic racism. As a final project for an art class at Inglenook Community High School in Toronto, Adachi started making stickers and […] More »
May-June 2015

Whitewashed

Nashwa Kahn@nashwakay

From our education system to our literary community, why is CanLit so white? Nashwa Khan challenges the default narrative JUNOT DÍAZ UNLEASHED A BOMBSHELL on the writing world when he published his essay “MFA vs. PoC” in the New Yorker last spring. The Dominican American author is a creative writing professor, a fiction editor for […] More »
March-April 2015

Go your own way

Hillary Di Menna

Lowell’s bold, new vision for a women- and girl-friendly pop future POP SINGER-SONGWRITER Lowell has recently been experiencing a recurring dream in which she’s robbing a bank, then driving away on a motorbike with her lesbian lover. Given the surreal imagery in the videos for her songs “The Bells” and “Cloud 69,” it’s easy to […] More »
March-April 2015

The Trope Slayers

Nadya Domingo

Métis in Space is a hilariously smart take down of Indigenous stereotypes in popular science-fiction LAST SUMMER, friends Molly Swain and Chelsea Vowel were having a rough time, and looking for an excuse to spend more time together. Swain and Vowel, who are both Métis and live in Montreal, came up with a solution to […] More »