VIFF 2011

VIFF hits Vancouver with fresh foreign films

Presenting cinematic marvel from the world over, the 2011 Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) will take audiences from the northern skies of Nunavut all the way to the sands of Africa. This year’s line up includes the winner of HotDocs Best Canadian Feature Length, Family Portraits in Black & White by Julia Ivanova. Exploring sadness, devastation, isolation and life’s cruel injustice, Ivanova takes our hearts and minds on a journey through the darkness bi-racial orphans experienced in the former Soviet Union. [Read more]

The interminable electoral cycle

Our neighbours in the south are already finding themselves caught up in the paralyzing cogwheels of their electoral cycle. While the economy (as much in the United States as in the rest of the world) is spinning its wheels, the American political class have their eyes on the next presidential electoral appointment. If you live in the United States and the situation disquiets you, don’t count on your Congress to make life easier for you anytime soon. [Read more]

Windy City blows writer away

My wife hasn’t been to the U.S. since her birthday over a decade ago. I can think of worse traditions, especially since I usually reap the travel benefits. But it’s a tricky habit to maintain if you live in Vancouver, as your options for quick, cheap non-Canadian travel are quite limited. I love Portland, but I can only handle the company of bearded hippies for so long, especially considering that I live on Main Street. [Read more]


Denis and I were on holiday in Eastern Canada this summer and one of our most poignant memories was our visit to Grand-Pré, Nova Scotia. We stayed with friends who enjoy this view in front of their house. We see a church built between 1922–1930 which commemorates the deportation of the Acadians of Minas Basin. In the mists behind the church are farmlands which flow down to Horton landing, an area of marshlands believed to be the site where Acadians from this area were deported. From these mists arises a formidable history. [Read more]