Helping You Be Contemporary in a Traditional Way

It was a tough night. A community and a nation came together last night as Humboldt gathered for their first game since last Spring’s tragedy to the Broncos when 16 were killed in a bus crash. In a game televised commercial-free in Canada and the United States, the Broncos faced the Nipawin Hawks, the team […]

Leonard Cohen, the hugely influential Canadian singer and songwriter whose work spanned five decades, died at the age of 82. Wrote Rolling Stone of the Westmount, Quebec born Cohen: Cohen was the dark eminence among a small pantheon of extremely influential singer-songwriters to emerge in the Sixties and early Seventies. Only Bob Dylan exerted a […]

It’s understandable if folks from Toronto may not want to vsit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame over the next little while. For the second time this year, Toronto’s hopes for a championship parade to City Hall were dashed by a feel good story from Cleveland. In the Spring it was the basketball Cavaliers […]

Where has the time gone ? Seems just liked yesterday that this magical combination of mass transit system and art gallery opened below Montreal. Once shiny and new, the Metro is now a routinely accepted part of urban life in Montreal – both negative and positive. But for a moment, and as a prelude for […]

Oscar Brand, the renowned and popular folk singer and songwriter whose weekly on-air radio program was the longest-running radio show in history with a single host, died on September 30 at Great Neck, N.Y. He was 96. He was a fixture in musical circles as well as on the radio. His radio program “Folksong Festival” […]

Consider this smart narrative – in just a short time, quite a story is told. It’s about hockey. It’s about community. It’s about humanity. This article was first published on

“Main Street is the glory of Canada. If a community has no heart, it has no soul; and its heart should beat faster at the core. For here is the glory of the past, the symbol of stability, the structures that our fathers and their fathers erected, the visual reminder of another time that gives […]

From here it’s starting to look like the U.S. media (and others) are starting to replace one caricature of Canada with another. For as long as I can remember, say Canada to folks south of the 49th Parallel and they knew little about the country beyond beer, hockey, snow, “socialized medicine”, O Canada and the […]

It’s a time of peace, hope and, hopefully, inspiration. This is a story that may already familiar to you, especially if you are from Canada. As we are to the south of the 49th parallel, it only became known to us recently. But has it had a remarkable impact on us and how we look […]

Santa and the North Pole always seemed to be safe heavens, off limits. But just as Global Warming has grown as a concern, so too is another controversy encroaching on the peace and good will near Santa’s Workshop. It seems that many nations have eyes for the North Pole. In tones that are started to […]

With thanks to a dear friend (not just for this item but for your friendship), here is the elevator pitch they have forever been seeking. It was actually written a while back, but it was not until this infinitely patient and compassionate friend saw it in a recent post that we were together identify it […]

In Flanders Fields by John McCrae, May 1915 In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved […]

Even with congestion, pollution and crumbling infrastructure, the network of highways we have assembled remains a monument to achievement. In the U.S., the Interstate System has been called the Greatest Public Works Project in History. The Trans-Canada (and its successor freeways/autoroutes), along with the railroads, hockey and the CBC is said to have played a […]

Democracy at work in Canada as the reigns of government leadership passed from Stephen Harper to Justin Trudeau today This article was first published on

Thanksgiving in Canada comes in October. It is tied to the harvest season, not the start of Christmas shopping. In fact, long before Plymouth and even before Jamestown there was Thanksgiving in what is now called Canada. The year was 1578 when English explorer Martin Frobisher gave thanks for a long journey (which failed in […]

It’s Thanksgiving in Canada – a time when folks not only give thanks, but also take stock of what it means to be Canadian. This article in Regina’s Post-Leader does both – describing eight Canadian destinations he is thankful for.Jim Byers writes:I have been privileged to live in what I think is the greatest country […]

The big baseball story heading into baseball’s playoffs is the return to post season play for the Chicago Cubs and the New York Mets. But also garnering some attention, even south of the border, is baseball fever taking home in Toronto. Numerous American media outlets have noticed how the city of Toronto, the province of […]

Cam Cole’s column in the Vancouver Sun the other day was hockey and how he views it as having become homogenized.In particular, he invoked the term “playing the right way” and asked just what is “the right way”.Added Cole”…and how come there’s only one? Has coaching become so form-fitted that to play differently is to […]

Six goalies who left their stamp on the game can now be found in your mailbox. Canada Post unveiled their Great Canadian Goalie stamps on Thursday October 1. The limited edition stamps feature Bernie Parent, Johnny Bower, Lorne “Gump” Worsley, Tony Esposito, Ken Dryden, and Martin Brodeur. All living honourees were in attendance except for […]

  <a href=””>Most Canadians feel a stronger sense of belonging to their country than their province or community — and for many immigrants, their country of origin, according to Statistics Canada’s new General Social Survey on Social Identity based on 2013 data from people aged 15 years and older. This article in The National Post’s […]

Finally found some parade music for Canada Day. Here’s a playlist of 12 selections. Happy Canada Day and happy marching ! This article was first published on

I write to you from the State side of the border. It will be July 4th on Saturday – parade, town fair, hot dogs, baseball, Louis Armstrong music, Sousa, fireworks. An All-American day. We write asking Canadians to share with us something distinctively “Canadian” you do to mark Canada. Clearly, it is a day off. […]

Music for Canada Day and more And another Finally, two of our favorites: This article was first published on

It came from England, but to me it was one of those All-American (Canadian) songs of vacation time in the early 1960’s – often trips to Canada. “Stranger on the Shore” was written clarinetist Acker Bilk for his then young daughter. He first named the tune “Jenny” after her, but was later changed when used […]

A Q and A on the origins of what is now la Fete Nationale (“National Holiday”) of Quebec from the Montreal Gazette This article was first published on

<a href="http://June 24 is a public holiday, the Fete Nationale de Quebec (the National Holiday of Quebec). In 1977, an Order in Council by Lieutenant Governor Hugues Lapointe, on the advice of René Lévesque, declaring June 24 the national holiday in Quebec.Prior to that designation the holiday celebrated annually on June 24 was to mark […]

Perhaps it’s inevitable, a sign of “progress and change”, but we read this morning with disappointment of a report that Canadian towns could see a number of bank branch closures as customers shift away from entering local branches for everyday banking. “As all the banks look at their retail banking footprint in small town Canada, […]

That was how Winston Churchill described the Niagara Parkway. Most folks going to Niagara Falls are content to admire the Falls. Most acknowledge that the view from the Canadian side is most worth the trip. But beyond the Falls, the cliffs, the river and the “Maid of the Mist”, there is beauty on the Canadian […]

Those who like to describe Vancouver as the “San Francisco of Canada”, also like to describe the Lions Gate Bridge as the “Golden Gate Bridge of Vancouver”. Vancouver is not San Francisco. But like the “City on the Bay, it is a special place. So too, the Lions Gate Bridge holds a special place to […]

“The decor is urban cool, but the service is true, warm, East Coast hospitality”. The place is Halifax. An area once known mostly for its seafood is now making a reputation for that and alot more. There are new foods, and new ways of presenting not so new foods. As importantly, the area is distinguishing […]

Seeking to put a local development focus on the next federal election, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities is conducting a Hometown Proud Campaign to get citizens talking about their respective cities, villages, townships and otherwise incorporated municipal entities. First prize in the contest at is a pair of tickets to, your hometown for you, […]

I am on the other side of the Canada-U.S. border, so I am not quite sure what to make of Victoria Day. I know where it came from. I also know that it is not so popular in Quebec. But beyond being the unofficial start of Summer, just what is Victoria Day about in Canada […]

Politicians from both sides of the border were there with furling flags behind them. So were the media to record the photo-op. The news was that the new cross-border bridge set to be built over the Detroit River by 2020 between Detoit and Windsor, Ontario will be named the Gordie Howe International Bridge. Howe, an […]

Why can’t folks just be happy with who they are and what they have ? Seems we always have to crown something or someone as “the best”. What does it have to be a winner take all ? There is so much to take in – quoting Fred Rodgers, “everyone (everything) is special in their […]

“Finnish Pancakes” are served at The Hoito Restaurant (often referred to as “The Hoito” by locals), a Finnish-Canadian restaurant in Thunder Bay since 1918. Despite their name, the pancakes appear to be an all-Canadian creation of bush camp cooks. But they are usually not served with Canada’s other contribution to breakfast, maple syrup. There are […]

Carriage horses have been a source of controversy in the news in recent years – most predominately in New York where they were once a fixture in and around Central Park. They are now history, a casualty of changing tastes and concerns about animal welfare. Charlottetown, the carriage horses have been the news as well. […]

That is what some folks visiting the Calgary Stampede might be asking if they got a look at one of the menus at the event. The Stampede has introduced a number of more upscale items to its menu. For example, there is a foot-long bratwurst infused with cognac (Remy Martin Louis XIII that sells for […]

I have enjoyed listening to reports from Eric Weiner for years on National Public Radio and elsewhere. Recently I stumbled upon this essay fo his posted at Personally, I have always been drawn to Canada, things Canadian and the peoples of Canada. But, as an old-time hockey fan, I must think that there are […]

A new logo has just been announced for Canada’s 150 th anniversary. And, already there is controversy surrounding it. Selected from 300 entries in a contest aimed at students, the winning design is a stylized maple leaf made up of multi-coloured diamond shapes. It will be featured in all Government of Canada products and events […]

“Chefs from some of the chillier regions of North America are making an effort to dive deeper into their habitat. From New England up through the Maritime Provinces of Canada and west to Montreal and Toronto, they are doing culinary work that poses questions without simple answers: What exactly is Northern cooking? And how do […]

  Jim Fanning, a longtime Montreal Expos general manager who spent over 60 years in a variety of roles in professional baseball, has died. He was 87. Fanning was named the Expos’ first GM in August 1968 and spent 25 years with the club. He served as vice-president, scout and had two stints as manager […]

Los Angeles-based comedy writer and displaced Canadian Rob Cohen was sick of battling the usual stereotypes of Canadians(but, sadly, sometimes true) stereotypes. And he hated that no one (besides his fellow “California Canadians”) knew anything—or even cared—about Canada. So he decided to make a movie. In Being Canadian, Cohen travels across the country, seeing the […]

The Ottawa Valley is the valley of the Ottawa, along the boundary between Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec. More than half  wilderness, the is home to  over 900 lakes and four major river systems. Canada’s capital city, Ottawa,  itself  is at the confluence of three rivers,  the Ottawa, Gatineau and Rideau. Samuel de Champlain traveling the area between […]

Lois Lillienstein of the Canadian children’s musical trio Sharon, Lois & Bram has died at age 78. The multi-award-winning recording artists won the hearts of Canadian kids and families with their fun-loving songs like as Skinnamarink and Peanut Butter. The group also had a top-rated preschool show, Sharon, Lois & Bram’s Elephant Show. It aired on […]

Folks in the know say it’s been a decent season for backyard rinks. But these folks are also concerned because the season is getting shorter. Real life environmental issues seem to be intruding on the idyllic ice surface built to be a refuge. This feature courtesy of PRI highlights the passion of those who create […]

Tisdale is a business centre for the rich agricultural area of northeastern  Saskatchewan. Located at the junction of Highways 35 and 3, and serviced  by both the the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Railways, Tisdale is the grain handling centre of the region with five inland grain terminals, and is the centre of local industry. That […]

In the early 1900s, most of the larger buildings in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan were heated by steam. The engineers who maintained the coal-fired boilers in the basements arranged for the creation of an elaborate network of tunnels linking them so that they could move themselves and their equipment from building to building without facing the […]

Clifton Hill is one of the major tourist promenades in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The street, close to Niagara Falls and the Niagara River, leads from River Road on the Niagara Parkway to intersect with Victoria Avenue. Today, the street contains a number of gift shops, wax museums, haunted houses, video arcades, restaurants, hotels and themed […]

Heywood Hale Broun (March 10, 1918 – September 5, 2001) was an author, sportswriter, commentator and actor. He was born and reared in New York City, the son of writer and activist Ruth Hale and newspaper columnist Heywood Broun. In 1940, Broun joined the staff at the New York tabloid PM as a sportswriter. His […]

“One potential casualty of the great strides in the field of modern communication is the postcard. With the advent of Twitter and Instagram, the once mandatory holiday card is fading into nostalgia”. So began a fascinating piece by a Montreal local historian and freelance writer, Robert N. Wilkins. In his Montreal Diary in the Gazette, […]

Such was the connection made by the New York Times in trying to describe the mood in many cities (playoff cities) in Canada as the Stanley Cup playoffs begin. In fairness, it was a real quote by Paul Maurice, coach of the Winnipeg Jets, to try to explain to an American journalist just how important […]

It’s a story increasingly forgotten. But back 50 years ago it was a big deal when Canada introduced a new flag. Younger generations presume that the Maple Leaf was always the national flag. In fact, the read and white flag is a relatively recent addition to the national landscape. The national flag of Canada was […]

(Originally Published February, 2015) They only played just two weeks ago, but it’s another Saturday night get together among old rivals. Not much is at stake in this match at the Bell Centre as Montreal is poised for a playoff appearance and Toronto is rebuilding again. But Canadien-Leaf games tend to be more spirited than […]

April 8 is the anniversary of the birth date of the Father of Canadian Rodeo. His name was Raymond Knight. Though he was born in Payson, Utah in 1872, his father, a Utah mining magnate named Jesse Knight, founded the town of Raymond, Alberta in 1901. In 1902, Raymond Knight produced Canada’s first rodeo in […]

When I first traveled to Montreal as a child in the mid-1960’s I was captivated by so much of the place. From the French to its vibrancy, to its anxious feel as related to language. St. Catherine’s Street as it was then called also caught my attention as a combination between New York’s Fifth Avenue […]

(Originally Published February 12, 2015) It’s going to be cold, real cold. But that will not stop folks from near and not so near from converging on Port Dover, Ontario because it is Friday, the 13th. You see, any time it is Friday the 13th, there is a motorcycle rally in Port Dover. It is […]