Progressive politics, ideas & culture



January-February 2018

West-coast all-Indigenous burlesque group destroys stereotypes with their performances

Meet Virago Nation

Megan Jenkins

With the first chord of “Burn Your Village to the Ground,” the song accompanying a burlesque act titled “Not Your Stereotype,” a transformation begins. The figures on stage, dressed in racist caricatures of Indigeneity—feathered headdresses, wearing “Indian” Halloween costumes, carrying “Made in China” dreamcatchers—begin to shed their layers. The commodified image of the “Indian” is […] More »
January-February 2018

New collaborative art installation brings Winnipeg residents together

The mural allows even those without an arts background to participate

Jenna Anderson

Works of art are often able to draw people together and show their connections. Ojibwe artist Jessica Canard thought up the design for her recent mural with this goal in mind. Commissioned by the National Arts Centre in partnership with the University of Winnipeg, Canard combined her years of experience making murals and facilitating art […] More »

Toronto film screenings break down female representation on the big screen

Inside the bimonthly series Bechdel Tested

Hanna Lee@hanlllee

For Erica Shiner, 2015 marked the year she first launched herself into the world of feminist activism. That May, she started a petition to stop American rapper Action Bronson from performing at Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square for annual music festival North by Northeast, saying his lyrics “[glorify] gang-raping and murdering women.” After gaining more than 40,000 […] More »
January-February 2018

Whose job is it to tackle sexism in comedy?

The onus often falls on women—but it shouldn't

Stephanie Philp

I take improv on Wednesday nights in a basement dance studio with floors so sensitive we’re not allowed to wear outdoor shoes on them. The ratio of men to women in the class is about five to one, which is pretty normal. It’s my turn to play. On stage my scene partner stations himself at […] More »
January-February 2018

Nunavut-based recording label Aakuluk Music is on a mission to keep—and grow—talent in Canada’s North

A look inside Nunavut's first record label

Jackie Hong

Nancy Mike knows the challenges of being a musician in Canada’s North all too well. The throat singer and accordion player for Iqaluit band The Jerry Cans recalls when the band—whose fusion of Inuit throat singing, Inuktitut lyrics, and folk-rock sound have won them an international fanbase—recorded in home studios without adequate equipment, space, or […] More »
January-February 2018

New exhibit at Saskatoon’s contemporary art museum sheds light on Indigenous histories and beyond

Inside the Remai Modern

Linda Nguyen

Nestled along the riverbank of the South Saskatchewan River in Saskatoon stands the Remai Modern, the new contemporary art museum that currently houses Indigenous artifacts from artists of the Treaty 6 territory—the land on which this $84.6 million facility resides. Determined by the river, a collaborative exhibition by Ontario-based artists Duane Linklater and Tanya Lukin […] More »
November-December 2017

Inside Edmonton’s first Indigenous art park

Carrying the theme “the stories of This Place,” each piece will showcase different ways Indigenous people connect to the land

Brandi Morin

A unique endeavour to transform an undeveloped area of land within Edmonton into an Indigenous art park is the first of its kind in Canada. Slated to open in the fall of 2018, the Indigenous art park named ᐄᓃᐤ (ÎNÎW) River Lot 11∞, pronounced (EE-NU) River Lot 11, is a partnership between the City of […] More »
November-December 2017

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 […] More »
November-December 2017

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 […] More »

Hamilton choreographer draws from her Ghanaian heritage in dance

Meet Esie Mensah

Victoria Chan@vchanimal

For Esie Mensah, the delicate balance between artistic expression and political commentary lies in one simple ingredient: intention. While the Hamilton, Ont., choreographer’s portfolio includes a feature in Drake and Rihanna’s “Work” video, and most recently, a live on-stage performance with hip-hop artist French Montana, she is not afraid to use dance as a vessel […] More »
September-October 2017

Toronto’s VideoCabaret brings your history textbook to life with wit and charm

Behind the scenes of the city's historically inspired stage shows

Allyson Aritcheta@ariCheddar

Walking into a small room, I am greeted by an usher as songs about Louis Riel and Canadian identity foreshadow the upcoming play. I take my seat across from the centre of what I assume is the stage. Scarlet curtains frame a black window made to look almost as if you are peering into a […] More »