Daniel Francis

Reading the National Narrative


August 5, 2013


Today is a national holiday across Canada. Depending on where you live it may be Family Day or Simcoe Day or Natal Day or whatever. What matters is, most of us get a day off work.

In BC the holiday is called, predictably, British Columbia Day and often is used as the occasion for gushing displays of provincial pride. (As humorist Eric Nicol once remarked, BC residents like...

August 3, 2013

Here are some photographs from my recent stay on Savary Island.

For those unlucky enough never to have visited, Savary is a small (less than 8 km from end to end), crescent-shaped island just north of Powell River at the top of BC's Sunshine Coast. Ringed with sandy beaches, Savary offers some of the nicest ocean swimming on the coast.



July 28, 2013

Three of my enthusiasms to share this time:

1. basketball. NBA teams, in this case the Toronto Raptors, are using video technology to choreograph their play.

2. Woody Allen. His thirty best one-liners, at least according to the London ...

July 23, 2013

The new issue (#89) of Geist magazine is making its way onto newsstands. It contains my column about a new book, Desiring Canada (UofT Press), that takes on the always vexing topic of national identity.

The authors, Patricia Cormack and James Cosgrave, are both sociologists, which means that the book can be a little heavy-going at times, but it is worth the effort for its provocative discussion of several aspects of our popular culture (CBC...

July 21, 2013

The Daily Beast has an interview with Princeton U historian Anthony Grafton. "That's my preeminent method: let stuff fall on my head and then try to crawl out and put some order to it."

Active History has an article about that vexing question: what to do...