Why the things we take for granted could be keys to innovation

Organizational cultures are ripe for change when the familiar starts to seem odd

Why the things we take for granted could be keys to innovationImagine having never seen a handshake. You would know nothing of the different levels of importance and intimacy, when it should be done, what’s happening during the shake and even whether you can learn something from the shake itself. Trying to learn about it all at once would be akin to learning a new language.…

Inuk author sends up settler stereotypes in short stories

Norma Dunning’s latest subversive collection has earned her a Governor General’s Literary Award

Inuk author sends up settler stereotypes in short storiesInuk author Norma Dunning loves to court the absurd. In one of her short stories, called “Eskimo Heaven,” an Inuit ancestral spirit visits a priest from the North. “The spirit says, ‘Come with me, we’re gonna take a walk on the wild side,’” explained Dunning, a lecturer in the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Education…

Canada must overcome its lingering linguistic imperialism

Nowhere else in the world could a person speak only one language and be considered educated

Canada must overcome its lingering linguistic imperialismA Czech proverb says, “You live a new life for every language you speak. If you only know one language, you only live once.” Air Canada CEO Michael Rousseau got himself into hot water recently due to his inability to speak French. How he was chosen to lead a corporation that’s expected to offer services…

Return iconic Toronto concert hall to its populist roots

Incorporate Hart Massey’s original model for Massey Hall and charge $1 for tickets to the first few concerts

Return iconic Toronto concert hall to its populist rootsCOVID-19 remains a significant health problem around the world. Fortunately, some things are slowly beginning to shift into what’s commonly referred to as the “new normal.” It’s certainly happening in Canada. Many sports stadiums have returned to full capacity. Small and large businesses like movie theatres, gyms, hair salons and (fairly soon) restaurants are increasing…

The Toronto Blue Jays truly are Canada’s team

Just like Canada, baseball has a way of bringing diverse groups together

The Toronto Blue Jays truly are Canada’s teamThe Toronto Blue Jays are often referred to as Canada’s team because they’re the only Major League Baseball organization in the country. This season they’re playing the most exciting baseball we’ve seen in years, and even though their ranks don’t include many Canadian players, they certainly look a lot like Canada. There are as many…

Artifacts from composer’s life included in international registry

Designation signifies late U of A professor’s importance to the Canadian cultural landscape as a renowned classical music composer

Artifacts from composer’s life included in international registryAn archival collection documenting the life and accomplishments of a University of Alberta music professor has struck a high note by earning a world-class designation. The Violet Archer fonds at the U of A has been accepted into the Canada Memory of the World Register, part of a UNESCO program that showcases the most meaningful documents in humanity’s…

Reflections on reaching middle age

Is this what life is all about?

Reflections on reaching middle ageI am a middle-aged man. There, I have said it. I have alluded to the not-so-stealthy approach of decrepitude, laughed (ha!) about my declining years, but never actually admitted the awful truth. I don't feel particularly different, except perhaps to feel more isolated than ever . . . and don't get me wrong . .…

Lean on family, community after heartbreaking losses

Januel Ibasco kept his goals in sight despite the deaths of his mother and grandmother, and was inspired to explore his Filipino roots

Lean on family, community after heartbreaking lossesThe traditional Indigenous game of Back Push sees two competitors seated on the ground back-to-back with their arms locked. The object is to stand up together but push your opponent out of a designated area. The goal of a children’s version of the contest is to simply communicate and lean on each other so that,…

Education grad and powwow dancer follows in her father’s footsteps

For Alicia Cardinal, attending the U of A was the fulfilment of a childhood ambition and a way to honour her dad’s memory

Education grad and powwow dancer follows in her father’s footstepsMany educators say they knew from an early age what they’d be when they grew up, but Alicia Cardinal says she knew from age four where she would go to school to become a teacher. Her father, a University of Alberta graduate, teacher and principal at First Nation schools around Alberta, would bring her to…

Trudeau trampling freedom of expression

So culture lobby can rake in more dough

Trudeau trampling freedom of expressionThe Trudeau government is throwing freedom of expression under the bus so the entertainment and culture lobby can pocket more dough. The proposed law, Bill C-10, opens the door for unelected bureaucrats to put online content under their microscope. These ramifications led Peter Menzies, former vice-chair of Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications, to refer to the…