Angela, from Pierre Berton Resource Library, and her daughters Maya and Kara, created this beautiful wall chalk art outside their homes to express their gratitude and thoughts on COVID-19. #TogetherVaughan
I’ve been thinking a lot about what community means. How do we define community? What brings communities together during times of hardship?
I’ve seen a lot of people uniting for the greater good lately. From demonstrations of appreciation for frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19, to peaceful protests against systemic anti-black racism and police violence. Our communities refuse to back down. We are strong, resilient, and we won’t stop fighting for justice.
Community isn’t just a group of people inhabiting the same place. Community is about solidarity, empathy, and respect. It’s about acknowledging the often invisible ties that link us all. To be a member of a community is to be a member of a team — something greater than yourself. You can’t spell community without unity.
© Government of Canada
Did you know that May is Asian Heritage Month in Canada? Heritage months can be a controversial subject — after all, shouldn’t we be celebrating the achievements, history, and culture of these groups all year? We should, but unfortunately, we often don’t. For some, the heritage months help to draw attention to the accomplishments of minority groups, while others fear that heritage months send the wrong message — that this history can be forgotten about after the month is over. Certainly, it’s not a perfect solution to making our knowledge of Canadian history less white male–focused, but it can help shine a light on people whose achievements haven’t received the recognition they deserve. To that end, the City of Vaughan holds the annual InSpirit Festival in May, offering arts and cultural programming. This year the festival has gone virtual, and will include Cantonese music on May 28 with Natalie Wong and Eric Laurent and a Bolly Concert on May 31 with musical duo Hasheel and Tej Hunjan. More details can be found on the City’s website. Continue reading
If, like me, you’ve binge-watched all three seasons of The Crown on Netflix, you may be looking for something else to pass the time while you anxiously wait for season four and its promise of Princess Diana and (hopefully) more corgis.
While The Crown is ostensibly about Queen Elizabeth II’s rise to the throne at the young age of 25 and her immersion into the world of politics, for me the more interesting character is her younger sister, Princess Margaret. Long before the tabloids reported on the comings and goings of Harry and Meghan or William and Kate (not to mention their fashion choices), Princess Margaret was a regular in the gossip columns of the 1950s thanks to her glamorous gowns, socialite friends and high-profile romances.
The Other Windsor Girl by Georgie Blalock chronicles Princess Margaret’s twentysomething years as seen through the eyes of her second lady-in-waiting, the Honorable Vera Strathmore. Vera is the daughter of a noble who has a title but lacks money. She dreams of moving to New York and becoming a writer, and secretly writes romance novels under a pseudonym. Vera is first introduced to Princess Margaret by her cousin Rupert at the princess’s request after she reads one of Vera’s novels. The two become friends by bonding over their shared loneliness — Vera still mourns her fiancé who was killed in World War II, while Margaret mourns the loss of her sister via her marriage to Prince Philip, fearing she will never find someone to love herself.