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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

My Bumpy Journey in Vancouver

By Doaa Mohamed

Every time I start loving Vancouver, I get hit by a car. I’ve been living in Vancouver for four years and I got hit by a car in two consecutive years and spent the remaining two years in recovery. In Cairo, we don’t only cross streets, but also highways with no traffic lights. All you […]

How did I end up here?

By Cindy Molina Q

Three years ago, leaving Venezuela to pursue a career as writer was not even a distant dream, let alone considering Vancouver as my destination. But it turns out that with the right recipe and good timing, turning your career goals upside down is simpler than it seems. You’ll just need the following ingredients and follow […]

Why I Live in Vancouver

By Carol Narod

​To help me with this essay, I asked my ESL students, “What does Vancouver present to newcomers?” They shared an honest, sometimes startling, collection of observations: Sneaky moss; coffee galore; free tennis; city folk who look like they are going camping; dogs in houses; potheads; the smell of rain; “nerds” on bicycles (no offence); healthy […]

A Vancouver Odyssey

By William New

Warsaw, Algiers, Montreal, Portland, Vancouver. A lifelong journey through languages, universities, technologies. From Polish to Russian, then French, now at Simon Fraser teaching in English. From a small cold apartment to desert hot single bedroom, a cramped first house, then larger family home, eventually a tiny cottage, one of the oldest in Mount Pleasant. From […]

Vancouver’s Love

By Inga O Lawrence

My fascination with Vancouver began early on. I was born in Quebec to Caribbean parents so Vancouver seemed a world away to my East Coast brain. I’d travelled up and down the East Coast, almost to Venezuela with ease but western North America seemed so foreign. Yet as the restlessness started to emerge I knew […]

A Forest Full of Secrets

By Marla O'Brien

Coasting down the highway the continuous motion held me somewhere between consciousness and sleep. I lie in the front seat of the car with my head in my mother’s lap. She stroked my hair, tucking it behind my ear and hummed Doris Day’s, Que Sera Sera. I focused on her soothing voice “….the future’s not […]

Maybe it’s The Cherry Blossoms

By Lynn Passmore

I had only been in the city a couple of hours before I ended up sitting at a Starbucks on Seymour Street blubbering over a piece of pumpkin loaf. It was autumn. A man across the street was using a leaf blower to clean the sidewalk, but every time a car drove by, a gust […]

People Versus Place

By Marco Pennino

When I graduated from university, I wanted to do something more than just stay at my home in Laval, Quebec. I imagined my name in lights and my face on the big screen. My family tried to talk me into moving to Toronto, where I wouldn’t be far from familiar faces, and I had a […]


By Stephen Pike

People always ask me why I came to Vancouver all the way from Barrie, Ontario and the reason is simple. Cheryl. Let me begin by saying that I never intended to drop everything and travel over 4000 plus kliometers to meet someone I met on Facebook…I’ve never been the embrace change kind of guy. I […]

Small City by the Sea

By Erin Poettcker

You hear it a lot from people: Vancouver is a lonely, unfriendly city. But I just don’t see that. When I’m walking down the street, any street- it could be Granville, it could be Main, I am struck by the number of people who find a reason to stop and talk. It helps that I’m […]

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