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Why Vancouver? Why You?

Thank you to all entrants. Please visit the semifinalist page to view the top ten essays as determined by our panel and the public voting. Click here to view the top ten

A Few of My Favourite Things discovered while on my quest to become Canadian

By Zara Jackson

My thoughts and reflections during my perambulations throughout Vancouver, B.C. as a newly arrived immigrant. My first foray into my newly-adopted community is at 7 a.m. when I walk to my favourite coffee shop; which has become my happy hunting ground. I have always been a coffee shop frequenter during the time that I was […]


By Jay Jameson

Every window, wall and walkway of that city has been saturated with memories of you. It is no longer the aloof city we found together in the autumn of our youth – that emerald place compelling us from just beyond our reach. We found that city together and made it our own. On every grey […]

Get The Kleenex Out

By Leta Jones

Every day I count many blessings because I grew up in Vancouver. My treasure chest of memories and stories continue to overflow because of friends I met in good and difficult times. Special places brought people I would never have met and taught me lessons I cherish today because of how I changed one day […]

The Landlord

By Zuzanna Juszkieweicz

The old see visions and the young dream. My new apartment is painted in pink with ornamental decorations, colour representative of the pinkest flesh or salmon. “Thank god you got here early, usually you would not be able to catch me until after eleven, but last night I slept like Jesus on the Cross.” Vera […]

Big Bad Vancouver (The Setting Of My Girlhood Dreams)

By Melanie Kaklamanis

My introduction to Vancouver came at the age of six shortly after being diagnosed with Petit Mal Epilepsy, as it was the start of countless trips to the BC Children’s Hospital for EEG tests. At the time I was living in the small town of Campbell River, where I already felt like a city girl […]

Irrational Vancouver

By Jason Keller

Vancouver is a city that makes you behave in irrational ways. Less than a year ago, I had a well-paying job, within a respected news organization, and a strong social circle while living in bustling Toronto. Today, I am sitting in a food court sponging free WiFi and anxiously wondering if I will be rejected […]

Growing old with Vancouver

By Tony Kirby

People’s attitudes to large cities are ambiguous and often based on very trivial reasons. For example, you hated Paris because the natives were rude to you (quite possible). You loved Paris because you were immediately charmed by its beauty and culture (more usual). When I first came to Vancouver as a young man in the […]

Through Mine Own Mother’s Eyes

By Brandon Kostinuk

Vancouver, the region, not the city, contained over 2.3 million people as of the 2011 census. It can be difficult to stand out, to feel noticed. This was never an issue for my single-parent mother. An immigrant, who came to Vancouver, B.C. in the 1970s, like many, searching for a better life than what she […]

Living Bigger, Looking Closer

By Charlene Kwiatkowski

I went to the city not because I wished to live deliberately and front only the essential facts of life, but because I wished to live, period. To say I was dying might sound melodramatic, but I am an English major. We can be prone to embellishment and altering Thoreau quotes. I came to Vancouver […]

The Vortex Effect

By Kathy Kwon

“The way you got sideswiped was by going back.” –Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking – Humans are the strangest creatures. With all our cognition, we choose to dampen it. We spend a lifetime perfecting our arrangement of filters and screens. But who can blame us. We wanted not just to see God’s face, […]

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