A Place to Start


This seems like a good time to start a conversation about community journalism

For all the talk of education, modern societies neglect to examine by far the most influential means by which our populations are educated. The news is the single most significant force setting the tone of public life and shaping our impressions of the community beyond our walls. It is the prime creator of political and social reality. Modern societies are still at the dawn of understanding what kind of news we need in order to flourish.
The News and Democratic Politics

Along with some observations on the future of journalism in Canada

News travels fast online. However, so do rumours, shocking photos, veiled advertisements and outright lies. With the rise of social media and citizen journalism, we’ve never had so many messages, from so many sources, available at our fingertips. However, it has become clear in recent years that news shared online comes with serious risks due to its lack of objectivity and its emphasis on speed and volume over fact. Public shaming is one expression of this modern reality, as well as increasing sponsored and promotional content blurring the lines of news and advertisement.
The Future of Canadian Journalism

And the opportunity for Canada

The likely deadlock in Washington and the almost certain inability of the U.S. government to take serious action to deal with the impact of climate change, to build new infrastructure, or with the challenge of changing demographics may well provide an opportunity for Canada’s prime minister to take a leading role in motivating the collaborative search for solutions to issues that now confront us.
The opportunity for Canada

And the opportunity I am imagining

We are nice people. We like to share. We like to share our opinions, our feelings, and our ideas. We offer our views thoughtfully, considerately, and politely, – mindful that we all have different ideas. We are respectful of the ideas of others. We are interested in and appreciative of the ideas of others. We try to contain our excitement about our ideas. We are averse to pushing our ideas on others. We don’t like to show off. We are pleased with our success. We like our culture. Perhaps the whole world would like to be Canadian. This is my idea of what it is like to be Canadian.
Why I am Doing This

We are defining our culture online. What we like. What we are like. What we do. How we are. How we are known. Other cultures and communities of common interests and ideas and behaviour learn who we are and how we are and our creative interests from our media, – from the stories, ideas, interests, and ways of seeing and doing things that demonstrate who we are and how we are, and the experience of our world, and the world we are contributing to creating.
We are Creating our Story

We are a microcosm of the world. We have the ability to demonstrate how we can create a better world by learning about our different cultures, learning from our different cultures, and contributing to our different cultures in our country, and in our communities around the world. We can learn from our different ways of seeing things, thinking about things, and doing things. We can learn how to communicate with our cultures, how to contribute to our cultures, and how to explore our common experiences, interests, and ideas, and create together in the creative age.
Imagining our Possibilities

And some creative contributions to our imagination

On April 1, 2016, Melanie Joly, the Minister of Canadian Heritage, spoke to the 19th Annual Canadian Arts Summit at the Banff Centre about why Canadian Heritage has never been more important in creating a foundation for a creative economy.
A Creative Economy

Hubert T. Lacroix, President and CEO of CBC/Radio-Canada, spoke to the Alumni UBC Master Mind Master Class at UBC Robson Square in downtown Vancouver on May 24, 2016 about the challenges and opportunities of change at Canada’s largest cultural institution, and what the Government’s reinvestment in public broadcasting will mean for Canadians.
Creating a Public Space

David Johnston, the Governor-General of Canada, spoke about creating Canadian culture at the Inaugural Governor-General’s Innovation Awards Ceremony at Rideau Hall on May 19, 2016
Creating a Culture of Innovation

And some observations about Canada

“Three concepts seem to me essential in creating, stabilizing and strengthening democracy around the world, including among the people in Africa and Asia with whom I have worked in the past. These concepts are meritocracy, pluralism, and civil society. What role can Canada play, drawing upon its national genius, in creating or enhancing these great underpinnings of democracy in the developing world?” His Highness, The Aga Khan from Where Hope Takes Root Democracy and Pluralism in an Interdependent World
Canada as a Global Leader

Canadians have a fairly solid sense of themselves. If you seek, among the complexities of our national life, the expressions of common themes, the often repeated desires, the shared indications of intent or frustration, you can identify quite easily what sort of country we keep saying we want to be. Whenever asked, whenever listened to, citizens express with some confidence what kind of education system we want, what kind of health care, what minimum standards of living, what approach to justices. These are contemporary manifestations of fundamental themes. If a people know how they want to treat social and physical well-being, and shared rules of behaviour, and responsibility versus authority, then they have a good handle on the way they want to live together.
Telling Truths About Canada

It happened at a meeting between an Indian community in northwest British Columbia and some government officials. The officials claimed the land for the government. The natives were astonished by the claim. They couldn’t understand what these relative newcomers were talking about. Finally one of the elders put what was bothering them in the form of a question. “If this is your land,” he asked, “where are your stories?” He spoke in English but then moved into Gitksan, the Tsimshian language of his people – and told a story.
Reimagining Them and Us

We think, and we hope you agree, that all Canadians want to know what Canadians think. And while no Canadian is exactly like any other, when we begin to put one opinion beside another, then add another belief, and put that beside a preference or an aversion, and so on, and we let the numbers add up, after all the years we’ve been at this, we get a pretty good idea of what is on Canadians’ minds. If we’ve learned one thing from our years of prying into the minds of Canadians, it is that we are a fascinating lot, – mostly unreasonable, usually congenial, sometimes exasperating, from time to time simply bizarre. And we ought to know. We’re Canadian too. Not a day goes by that we are not surprised by something we stumble across in our research, and I hope we never stop being surprised.
What Canadians Think

And some ideas and opportunities we could explore

In 1967 we celebrated our 100th anniversary by bringing the world to Canada. In 2017, we can celebrate our 150th anniversary by bringing Canada and what Canada cares about to the world. In 1967, Canada invited the world to Expo 67 to explore the creative contributions of 62 countries from around the world. In 2017, Canada can invite the world to explore the cultural history and the creative evolution of a country of communities without borders and the imagination of the possibilities of creative world.
Creative Canada 2017

Art opens up a realm of debate, of affirmation, of refuge, of honour, of beauty and shame, of fact, of reclamation, of tenderness, of indignation and revolt. Only art can speak to the highest and lowest extremes of human existence and action. Artists are society’s leaders, showing us the way forward, while illuminating the past, interrogating the present. They are at the centre of the conversation here and now. I invite you to join them
2017 Push International Performing Arts Festival

We can explore our 150 years as Canada for the 150 people, events, and enterprises which contributed most to creating our idea of Canada, and the 150 people, events, and enterprises which contributed most significantly to our creative and cultural evolution, and the 150 most significant contributions Canada has made to the creative and cultural evolution of the world.
Creative Canada 150

Deliberative democracy is a rich ideal. It invokes a democratic system of governance in which citizens actively exchange ideas, engage in debate, and create laws responsive to their interests and aspirations. Canada appears to have good prospects for realizing interconnected sites, forums, and procedures informed by its central principles of citizen participation, inclusion, equality, reasoning, agreement, and empowerment.
Deliberative Democracy in Canada

In a January address to the World Economic Forum, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau noted that he wants Canada and Canadians to be known as much for our resourcefulness as for our resources. We agree. Our natural resources are important. They will continue to be a cornerstone of our economy. But resourcefulness, talent and diversity are natural resources, too, and equally critical to our growth and success. Most of these resources reside in our biggest cities, which are home to 49 per cent of our population and generate 52 per cent of our gross domestic product.
The Key to Canada’s Future

It is up to Canadians to define their brand, the image we want people to visualize when they think about Canada. We are the makers of our own good name. And a good name matters. In a world of extraordinary mobility, it matters when competing for top talent and investments. It matters when we seek to trade or share knowledge with other countries. It matters when Canadians travel abroad. We want the world to see beyond moose and Mounties and think of Canada’s dynamism.
The Canada Brand