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Street art blooms on Vancouver walls

Photo: Rachel Sanders

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There's a little burst of colour emerging from an alleyway near Vancouver's 8th Ave. and Main Street. Giraffes and chickadees poke their heads out from a riot of magnolia blossoms in Vancouver's newest mural.

It's the work of artist Ilya Viryachev, who has been painting outdoor murals in Vancouver since 2014. This latest piece, In Bloom, was completed two months ago.

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Documentary film on mining in South Africa opens Vancouver South African Film Festival

Photo: The Shore Break

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We've all heard the story: an international corporation proposes to build a mine on land occupied by Indigenous people and endanger the environment on which their livelihood and culture depends. Some community members support the project. Others organize to oppose it.

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#OscarsSoWhite transcends borders: Five diverse Canadian films you must see

Photo: flickr/ lincolnblues

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Discussions of diversity -- or the lack thereof -- in Hollywood media have dominated the landscape in the wake of the 2016 Oscar nominations. Social media campaigns like #Oscarssowhite have ignited conversations about representation, recognition and opportunity for non-white actors, directors, writers and producers.

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Syria Film Festival addresses conflict through cinema and activist art

Image: Syria Film Festival facebook page

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Powerful reflections on the Oka Crisis at Red Post Art Exhibit

Photo: Onehkwéntara Kanehtsóte - the Red Post Art Exhibit facebook page

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Onekwenhtara Kanehtsote - the Red Post Art Exhibit, curated by Katsi'tsakwas Ellen Gabriel of Kanehsatà:ke and Jolene Rickard of Tuscarora, commemorates the 25th anniversary of the Crisis of 1990, also known as the Oka Crisis, by demonstrating its impacts through art.

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Art on the move: Train of Thought explores treaties and decolonization in cities across Canada

Photos: Liam Coo Jumblies Theater (used with permission)

Train of Thought, an artistic journey across Canada consisting of Indigenous and non-Indigenous voices, pulled into Toronto last week. 

On Wednesday, I found myself sitting cross-legged in Ange Loft's workshop -- described as 'quick theatre creation using audio' in the program.

I had my brown sheet of paper in front of me and my blue oil pastel in hand, ready to be inspired by the interview with Lee Maracle playing on the speakers.

The interviewer asked Maracle how she felt about treaties.

"It's sort of like this," Maracle begins. "You had a house, and the neighbour moves into your house. Pretty soon he kicks you out. It's still your house, and you will always believe it's your house."

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Francine Pelletier: 'Violence against women is the Western world's dirty little secret'

Photo: Elvira Truglia

Not even one headline calling out an "attack on feminists" or "assault on women or equal rights," remembers award-winning journalist Francine Pelletier as she speaks about the 1989 Montreal Massacre.

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Television wants you to love bad cops

Photo: flickr/Paul Townsend

Television shows and movies about the police have been a huge part of my popular culture consumption since I can remember; Dexter, Brooklyn 99, CSI, and 21 Jump Street are just a few of the many. No one enjoys settling in with Froot Loops, some knitting and a Netflix more than me. That said, it’s important to examine what we’re consuming. I believe cop shows provide a strong example of how entertainment can be used to affect public opinion about policy issues.

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Heartwood Community Café provides social change through social space in Vancouver

Photo: Heartwood Community Cafe facebook

Radical social change initiatives can form just about anywhere, inspired by a complex set of interlocking barriers and systems, designed to keep us apart. But these initiatives grow in more depth and with so much more light, when they have elements of community gathering to replenish and refill our human need for care.

Enter: social spaces, such as Heartwood Community Café in Vancouver, that act as a satellite for social movements and all forms of organizing to bloom.

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Citizen Marc: Narcissistic megalomaniac or selfless activist?

Photo: flickr/Cannabis Culture

In the venerable Canadian TV show Trailer Park Boys, Ricky points out the prevalence of marijuana in Canadian culture: "Everybody does [marijuana], all right? Carpenters, electricians, dishwashers, floor cleaners, lawyers, doctors, fucking politicians, CBC employees, principals, people who paint the lines on the fucking roads, get stoned, it'll be fun, get to work!" It's a part of Canadian identity that separates us from our southern neighbours and yet hypocritically remains prohibited.

Roger Evan Larry's new documentary Citizen Marc is at once a portrait of a singular figure of marijuana activism, Marc Emery, and a study of Canadianness more generally.

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