The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “culture

Payette Speech Should Spark Serious Reflection

Posted on November 24, 2017

Her speech was bound to raise the ire of many, but when Governor General Julie Payette spoke to the respected Canadian Science Policy Centre convention two weeks ago it’s likely she was unaware of the response it would generate. Yet, she’s been dealing with it ever since. Before proceeding further, I should declare that I had penned a National Newswatch article following her appointment that praised Payette’s selection, revelled in her life of remarkable accomplishments, and concluded that she was, indeed, a woman of her times. I should also state that I’m a person of religious faith who rejoices in her scientific advancements. Yet, after viewing her speech a number of times, I grew to understand how she got into some hot water. It…

Lead by Example or Force: Which is It?

Posted on November 26, 2015

IN 2003, THE U.S. ARMY SPONSORED a conference in Washington to consider the possibilities of soft power, among other things. When asked by the media what he thought of the insights into soft power that had just been presented, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld appeared a bit miffed and answered, “I don’t know what it means.” That lack of understanding and appreciation of power in its other low-key forms would ultimately contribute to the chaotic nature of the Iraq war. But, in truth, the lack of knowledge of soft power is part of our problem as well, especially as Canada continues to mull over its role as part of the 65-member coalition fighting ISIS. And when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he wanted to help…

A City of Soul

Posted on December 16, 2014

THE CITY OF SURREY, BRITISH COLUMBIA, decided it was time to get more serious about the arts. Only they didn’t undertake the task in the fashion other municipalities had tried. Believing that every aspect of the arts was vital to any future life the city had, they laid out some clear markers: they would develop 6 community public art plans, identifying sites and themes for the public arts around the city Surrey would compile an inventory of public and private sector cultural assets, services and facilities n the city – identifying gaps and needs seek to identify needs, opportunities, space and operational requirements for a decentralized model of arts and heritage identify space and resource requirements for the growth and preservation of cultural and art…

The Culture of Connectedness

Posted on July 1, 2014

  THERE ARE TIMES IN OUR COMMUNITIES WHEN INDIVIDUAL change just isn’t enough. That’s not to minimize the importance of personal transformation and growth, but when the structural problems in our cities face a place of deep challenge after decades of decline, waiting for individuals to catch up to the imposing challenges before us can be an exercise in futility. Citizenship matters, it’s true. But when the limiting efficiencies of the past keep our lone efforts from creating the change we seek, a new kind of collective citizenship is required – and soon. For perhaps too long we have counted on the aggregation of individual effort to rebuild our communities. But it’s not working, despite some remarkable individual success stories and achievements. Yet no matter…

Be It Resolved

Posted on December 31, 2013

New Years doesn’t quite retain the deeper cultural meanings it used to possess years ago, but it still carries quite a punch.  Growing up in Edinburgh, Scotland, some of my most vivid memories swirl around New Years Eve, the gathering of family and friends, community celebrations, and, of course, the singing of Auld Lang Syne.  There was a depth of humanity to its words that transcended the moment.  But there was a restrained sadness in its singing, a kind of brooding acknowledgement that the arrival of a new year meant having to deal with some of the more difficult realities of the one just expired. The words “Auld Lang Syne” could literally be translated as “old long since” and spoke of the passing of…

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