Spring Gillard

Hooked on The Tyee

Many years ago, a man named David Beers worked at the Vancouver Sun. He created a section for the newspaper called The Mix. It was exactly that, an eclectic mix of writing, with a beautifully designed layout. People bought the paper just to read The Mix. When David left, Jim Sutherland took over as editor […]

Christmas Can Can

On my way to the pool, I always pass this chorus line of composters. They are up against a fence that encloses a car impound, one of the places your car winds up when you get towed.

The bins are managed by the same guy who planted a guerilla garden along the chain link fence, […]

Two Magazines that Changed My Life

Back in the early 1990s, right before I left Winnipeg and an advertising career, I went to see the movie Green Card, a romantic comedy set in New York City. Bronte (Andie MacDowell) is a horticulturist who volunteers with the Green Guerrillas, a group that gifts gardens to inner city communities. She has her eye […]

Wishy Washy

I just got back from swimming at the Vancouver Aquatic Centre (VAQ), which I do a couple times a week. I like supporting my local community centres, but once again, I found myself cursing in the shower stall. In the last year, the Park Board upgraded the shower system as part of a change room […]

Cultural Gifts

Small theatre groups have been hit especially hard by funding cuts in the last few years. I have season’s tickets to my neighbourhood theatre. They’re called United Players and they operate out of a funky little space called the Jericho Arts Centre, right next to the most beautiful hostel on the planet, and yes, right […]

Mastering the Possibilities

I have applied to do my Master of Arts (MA) at the University of British Columbia (UBC). The application process is clearly designed to weed out the weak. The on-line system finally acknowledged that my submission was complete on Friday, even though I had everything in well before the December 1st deadline and some things […]

Unsung Heroes

We visited Brian Burke at Quayside Village Co-Housing on the North Shore today. He’s the recycling guru featured in the Clean Bin Project movie. We got to see his “extreme” recycling system in action. He explains, that some people may consider it extreme that they recycle everything, well beyond the blue box. They compost everything […]

Refuse Reuse

When I was at university there was a contest on the radio. The callers had thirty seconds to list other uses of a BLANK. You never knew what the object was going to be beforehand. Could be a lampshade. Could be a corkscrew. A golf club. The radio hosts were very creative in coming up […]