A year in review: resilience amid adversity

The year 2021, much like the preceding year, brought its fair share of trials and tribulations. In addition to the ongoing pandemic, our province has experienced extreme climate change in the form of wildfires and floods, an increased focus on pressing social issues and a full-throated turn to technology as a way to cope and…

Celebrating International Volunteer Day

December 5 is United Nations (UN) International Volunteer Day. The UN General Assembly officially mandated the day in 1985 to celebrate the contributions of both volunteers and their organizations, as well as to showcase their efforts in their communities. The focus of International Volunteer Day is to thank volunteers worldwide and to highlight their work…

Appreciating the elegance of math and nature

November 23 is celebrated as Fibonacci day because when the date is written in the mm/dd format (11/23), the digits in the date form a Fibonacci sequence: 1,1,2,3. The sequence displays a simple pattern: every two numbers, when added together, equal the following number. Another uncanny pattern is that the ratio of any two sequential…

Big data and better solutions

World Science Day for Peace and Development is coming up next month. Simon Fraser University (SFU)’s Data for Good initiative is applying big data and artificial intelligence (AI) to finding solutions for societal problems like homelessness and addiction. Julian Somers, PhD, of SFU is at the forefront of the initiative. The United Nation (UN) celebrates…

Something on the shelf for everyone

Vancouver Writers Fest will return to Granville Island from Oct 18 to Oct 24 with a long lineup of exciting in-person, online and hybrid events featuring celebrated authors from all over the world. “There is a little bit of something for everyone; there are events for kids. Our mission statement is to connect people to…

A time for celebration and contemplation

This year marks a special occasion for the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) as it turns 40 years old. VIFF’s 2021 edition will run from Oct 1 to 11 in a hybrid format showcasing a diverse selection of more than 110 feature films, 77 shorts and 20 events online and offline. With theatres reopened since…

Advocates want more of B.C.’s – Black experience taught in schools

Calls to include British Columbia’s Black history in the public-school curriculum have grown over the past year. Many Black British Columbians have said that the province is not doing enough to ensure people are taught about the history of Black people in B.C. “When I first came to this province, and for much of the…

Loneliness in the age of internet connection

A recent study, co-authored by University of British Columbia (UBC) professor Yue Qian and Lancaster University lecturer Yang Hu, has revealed the importance of face-to-face interaction as well as the limitations of virtual communication when it comes to maintaining mental health among older adults (those aged 60 and above). The study, which draws data from…

The best treat on Earth: ice cream

In these trying times, it is important to provide comfort and…a bit of sweetness, too. For centuries, people have turned to ice cream for an irresistible treat that is sugary, creamy and delicious. Vancouver houses some of the best ice cream shops, including Umaluma and The Praguery. “Umaluma brings everyone together!” says Ian Bruce, owner…

Jazz performances for every mood

Coastal Jazz After cancelling their festival in 2020 due to the pandemic, Coastal Jazz returns to present the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival from June 25 to July 4, 2021. Breaking from the recent pandemic-era tradition of pre-recorded performances, the festival will be streaming artist performances live from several Vancouver venues, as well as hosting…

Youth employment, youth empowerment

COVID-19 has left its mark on British Columbia (B.C.)’s economy and workforce and shone a light on long-standing socio-economic issues and anxieties in need of addressing. One group hit particularly hard by the pandemic were the youth of B.C. According to the B.C Labour Market Statistics, as of March 2021, B.C. youth unemployment sits at…

A time to celebrate and reflect on Asian heritage

May is the Asian Heritage Month in Canada and this year the Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society (VAHMS) also celebrates the 25th anniversary of its annual explorASIAN festival. The festival brings together a variety of art and culture programs for the public to learn more about the diverse communities in Asia. “Every year we try…