A Show to Remember
Olympic opening ceremonies mix nativist chest-thumping with Vegas-sized excess. They can bring forth tears and chortles in equal measure. Vancouver’s 2010 opening had it all— giant bears and lightning circles, Northern lights and daredevil snowboarders. Here’s a look back at Paul Wells’ take on the three-hour spectacle “that had something few Canadian cultural events display: a pulse.”
All That Jazz
This week, the great Oscar Peterson would have celebrated his 91st birthday. “There’s a saying that there are a lot of kings on the road but few kings at home,” he told June Callwood. “Well, I’m a king at home.” In memory of our nation’s jazz giant, a Maclean’s exclusive takes an intimate look at the Peterson family, away from the 88 keys and into his views on parenthood and being a black man in Canada.
A National Crime
The story of Charlie Wenjack, a residential school runaway, sparked the first inquest into the treatment of Indigenous children in Canadian residential schools. He had been gone a week when his frozen body was discovered beside railroad tracks near Redditt, Ont. in 1966. Dressed in only a thin layer of clothing, Charlie had nothing but a sealed jar of six matches. We are reminded of his story in the wake of the federal government’s inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls.
At the Olympics, everything is on the line. Every triumph is bigger, bolder and more breathtaking, every defeat more difficult, and every scandal more disappointing. This collection of Olympic moments profiles one of the greatest sprinters of all time, and reveals an unlikely winner of the “most dangerous event.” If you think the Rio Games have been a fiasco before they’ve even started, read John McMurtry’s essay on the Montreal Games in 1973.
“A song has to have a point of view, a philosophy to hold it together,” Gordon Lightfoot said in 1968. Canada has long boasted great songwriters, and we keep finding new talent. What does a Portuguese-Canadian girl cleaning hotel rooms in Victoria have in common with a child superstar scoring three billion hits on YouTube? They’re both stories of artists who have helped push the Canadian music scene into a promising groove.