A BC coastal community orchestrates a new role in the global economy

Powell River's PRISMA on the Beach is part of a global movement of summer music festivals in towns that love to organize, fundraise and volunteer for the arts

A BC coastal community orchestrates a new role in the global economyA local history of volunteerism and love for the performing arts have given Powell River a cultural base for its second coming. Every year for the past five years, this community on British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast has hosted the Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy – PRISMA. The whole experience is festival-like and runs for…

Bridging the gap that Trump has created

Let’s try to do what Trump doesn’t. Let’s open our hearts and minds and try to grow together

Anyone who reads social media threads, visits online news sites, or follows old media like TV and print news probably finds themselves in one of two camps: you either love Donald Trump or hate him. Comments on the sites of the media I follow (Washington Post, New York Times, the Atlantic, the Guardian, the New…

Fado’s heartfelt strains infuse Portuguese life

The wistful working people’s music traces its roots to class struggles, but is now widely embraced – and is a soundtrack for everything, including haircuts

Fado’s heartfelt strains infuse Portuguese lifeLISBON, Portugal - Fado is the essential working people’s music of Portugal. It’s rooted in the class struggles and awareness of the early 1800s, and first celebrated the lives of sailors, agricultural workers, tavern dwellers and ladies of the night. It evolved at the same time as the classic Portuguese guitar, a 12-string instrument crafted…

The Algarve: Portugal’s magnificent beach of a south coast

Imagine golden sand, 25C with a blue sky in May, and the cleanest blue-green ocean you’ve ever seen. Add boardwalks stretching for kilometres and fabulous food

The Algarve: Portugal’s magnificent beach of a south coastImagine golden sand, 25C with a clear blue sky in May, and the cleanest blue-green ocean you’ve ever seen. Add boardwalks that stretch for kilometres across salt marshes and sand dunes. Every so often, include colonies of beach lounge chairs, arrayed under stretched blue canvas canopies. Add swirls of swallows and gulls above, and cue…

Obnoxious waiter didn’t spoil our Lisbon lunch

An over-eager cafe waiter in Lisbon trying to up sell us on what we should have for lunch didn't stop us from enjoying a satisfying meal

Obnoxious waiter didn’t spoil our Lisbon lunch“Would you like a better table?” We have just sat down at a curbside café table under a sun awning, on a busy avenue full of tourists. They’re mostly European Union folk, celebrating this mid-May day during the Queima das Fitas, the weeklong celebration of the end of the university year. “No – this is…

What’s the big deal about volunteer work?

Our society is filled with organizations that need volunteer help. And it is both fun and ennobling working for the common good

What’s the big deal about volunteer work?I keep hearing from older volunteers that it’s getting harder to find younger folks to volunteer for civil society board work. When I tell people I’m on five boards, I often get asked, “Why do you do it?” Even my almost-95-year-old mother asks, “Do they pay you for all the volunteering you do?” I have…

‘The bloody ants are back!’

For me, the concept of ant-ridden food, ants in bed and ants all over the bathroom just doesn’t cut it

‘The bloody ants are back!’When you spend a few years living up the coast in a forest, you learn about the seasons. And I don’t just mean the obvious: winter, spring, summer and fall. There are literally hundreds of others seasons: pink salmon season, humpback whale season, rufous hummingbird season, rhododendron season, Steller sea lion rutting season, black bear…

Curating kindness: the acts of humanity that inspire daily life

Amidst the turmoil, simple acts of kindness: feeding a homeless man, art classes for apartment kids, and Wood Camp with Steve

Curating kindness: the acts of humanity that inspire daily lifeMy wife and I had dinner with old friends last month. One continues to work in the final year of distinguished academic service as a professor; the other has recently retired from a career in planning and consulting. In these situations, I find that our conversation tends to focus on the partner who has made…