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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

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By S. J. Schwartz

It sounds so strange to say: I came to Vancouver because I thought I was going to die. Because while I survived 9/11 in New York City, in the years that followed I developed severe respiratory problems from my prolonged exposure to the toxic chemicals I inhaled while trapped underground for hours during the attack. […]

Dollar forty Nine Day Woodwards

By Sharon Sisterson

I remember it was this large department store downtown called “Woodwards”. We used to catch the bus in the early morning and take a trip straight down Hastings Street right into the heart of the city. In fact it was only blocks away from where we first started our journey in coming to Canada. The […]

Why Vancouver is part of me now

By Delaney Smith

I moved to Vancouver in 2001 from Ottawa. I had visited California and one morning while taking a walk a guy walking his dog said “Hi”. This was unknown in Ottawa as people were pretty tunnel-vision there. I thought “Wow, the west coast is great people acknowledge you there”. So I packed a suitcase and […]

Vancouver, My Stage (or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the City)

By Diana Squires

When I graduated with my BA in Drama, I had no idea what to tackle next. My body knew it wanted to act, I had recently discovered directing, and visions of running my own theatre company had started to turn in my head like a kaleidoscope of possibility. The summer after graduation consisted of popsicles […]

The Lion’s Roar

By Susan Stenersen Gerle

A three year old child questions everything. My granddaughter, EmmyLou, was no different as she looked up at me. I was perched on one of the lions guarding the doors of the the old Vancouver Court House, now housing the Vancouver Art Gallery. “Grandma, why are you sitting on that lion?” I grinned down at […]

To Be Free

By Melanie Stewart

The Pacific Ocean crashed over the rocky shore, with the hum of her spirit ringing in the salty air, as the seagulls dove down into the waters below; I looked out into the ocean and let out a long sigh. Embraced by the wind, and the knowledge of another chapter closed, I thanked my God […]

The Flinging Place

By Suvi Teigen

I come from the prairies, from wide-open spaces that fling their arms in welcome to newcomers in ways only wide-open spaces can. The meals and conversations are long and lingering, the laughter is infectious and hearty, and if the door is locked, you know where all the keys are.  Court is held at a thousand kitchen tables […]

Moving to the Big Smoke

By Shari Van Spronsen

My daughter asks my husband Ivan: What kind of money would you need to earn in order to get you to live in Vancouver? My husband replies wild-eyed but convinced: About $200,000. The next day he was offered that amount for a job in Surrey. But he would have to move from Dawson Creek, a […]

The City at the End of the Road

By Fernando Villasmil Barbera

I moved here almost a year ago pursuing something that, and I think it’s safe to say, everybody wants. A better life chasing your dreams. Mine is writing for any screen and so I found myself attending VFS. It wasn’t easy getting here but at last I made it, and it has been the adventure […]

My Journey From NYC To Vancouver

By Lisa Wartur

My very first flight ever from New York City to Vancouver was scheduled for September 14, 2001…. As a native New Yorker growing up in Queens, the city of Vancouver, British Columbia had never been on my radar. In fact, I’d never spent much time in Canada at all, with the exception of a brief […]

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