A city story: what the hell does that even mean?

  I remember an illustrated Globe and Mail page a few years ago with Canadian cities and their iconic images. Toronto had the CN Tower. Winnipeg had The Forks. Halifax had its harbour. Vancouver had the glass and the mountains. Calgary had its own tower and its own mountains. The photograph the editor chose for […]

How To Build A Festival

  On Friday we learned the Edmonton Indy, the summertime car race, had ended. Last week we also learned Winter Lights, a linked series of snowy parties, would fold. Eight years ago, when it launched as Champ Car, I thought of Montreal. Every summer, when I lived there, Formula 1 turned the island into a big, crass party that […]

Why the magpie?

  They live in climates that lesser birds — less imaginative birds — would ignore. Magpies are urban birds: noisy, incomprehensible. They are not subservient, like pigeons and rock doves. Magpies are intelligent. They work together in mysterious ways.  Magpies are hot lovers. We think they’re ugly, or perhaps vulgar, because they’ll eat a dead […]