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My youngest son is readying to fly the nest this year. We’ve been in university application angst for what is beginning to feel like my entire life. His stress is, of course, tinged with the excitement of adventure and independence. Mine is edged with melancholy. The natural order persists.
New Year’s resolutions have always seemed a bit ridiculous to me, perhaps because by the second week of January, I’m so fed up with winter that any decision to deny myself small pleasures feels masochistic. This year, as usual, I did not vow to give up alcohol or join a gym or run up Machu Picchu naked on my birthday.
Instead, I made a small promise to myself.
I would stop and pay attention to every moment my son and I spent together. Every argument over whether the dishwasher was emptied, laundry put away, or he had already told me he was going to be out all night… the highs, the lows, and even more important, the beautiful and banal everything in between.
As I write this—on deadline—I am navigating stress texts about a damaged trumpet mere days before a university audition, punctuated with minute-by-minute updates from Liverpool’s Champions League match against Real Madrid. It’s ridiculously distracting and yet. And yet…
Vancouver singer-songwriter Jill Barber must have been reading my mind: her new album, Homemaker, investigates what it is to balance ourselves, as women with passions and careers, with the constant tug of family. She talks to us about all the confounding, joyous frustrations that fuel her creativity.
Likewise, passion propels Teara Fraser. The owner of Iskwew Air is a proudly Indigenous woman who came to aviation by falling in love at first flight. Her journey, already remarkable, explores new horizons, as she looks to become a leader in the electric airplane space.
Such passion underpins much of this issue, whether it is the Catena sisters, reinvigorating the perception of malbec from their family winery in Argentina, or the startups in Canada and beyond growing plant-based alternatives to animal leather. The determined growers and producers of the Yukon, fighting the elements to feed their community, or the Toronto dentist who has single-mindedly amassed an important collection of Black art by Black artists, capturing the beauty of the everyday.
One of Vancouver’s most significant visual artists, Rodney Graham, died in October, a huge loss to the art world at home and abroad. We pay tribute to him in this issue with memories of the passion, humour, and friendship that drove the man behind the work.
Read more from our Spring 2023 issue.