Author: Vern Hodgins

Seedy Saturday

Overheard: “Did all these people camp overnight to be first in line?” The speaker was looking for the end of the queue. The early lineup wasn’t about a new iPhone, a Hollywood star or famous author; it was for Seedy Saturday, an event that shouts, “Get ready for spring!” The early turnout shows just how keen people are for this particular gardening event held annually at Brampton’s Century Gardens Community Centre. Inside, folks shuffle from one display to the next, shopping seeds, soils, books, pamphlets, catalogues and expert advice and ideas. Those there for the seminars had their pick...

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Cherry blossoms symbolize beauty and transient nature of life

The Japanese have a springtime custom known as “Hanami” (flower viewing), which author Ann McClellan explains in her book, The Cherry Blossom Festival: Sakura Celebration, dates back to the eighth century. That’s when the Japanese adopted the Chinese Tang Dynasty practice of taking time to enjoy spring flowers. Over the following few centuries the Japanese recognized the popularity of the cherry blossoms. They selectively cultivated the Sakura cherry tree to produce white star-shaped flower petals that fade to a soft pink hue before they fall. The Japanese Hanami tradition involves romantic walks and family picnics beneath the blossoms and...

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Jael Richardson: in the FOLD

Jael Richardson, a longtime Brampton resident, has a passion for literacy and acts on it. She’s the founder and director of the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD). The aim, Richardson explains, is to “celebrate stories that are underrepresented in Canadian literature, stories that go beyond the narrow scope of Canada’s current literary culture, that employ different methods of storytelling.” With a master’s degree in fine arts from the University of Guelph, Richardson taught creative writing at Humber College until 2014, when she decided to step out to devote herself to FOLD and writing. Her first publishing success was an...

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Are we ready for the next thing?

Our food supply is ever changing. From hunting and gathering to farming our food, increasing yields has always been a challenge. Every major agricultural innovation heralds a new era of improved survival, increased life expectancy and along with that, more people. Keeping up with more people requires more innovation, which in turn means more people. Improving agricultural yields to fill today’s 7.6 billion stomachs requires unprecedented ingenuity. How will we meet the challenges of the 11 billion people projected to inhabit our shrinking blue orb by the end of this century? From the science of genetically modified organisms (GMO)...

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This is not a drill

It was just another beautiful sunny morning in paradise, when mobile phones woke up with the alert: “Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.” Hawaii’s Emergency Management Agency (EMA) issued the alert, interrupting radio and TV programming with a recorded message instructing people on what to do: “If you are outdoors, seek immediate shelter in a building. Remain indoors well away from windows. If you are driving, pull safely to the side of the road and seek shelter in a building (lie down on a floor). We’ll announce when the threat has ended....

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Calendar of Events

  1. Black Enslavement in Upper Canada

    November 10, 2017 - April 15, 2018
  2. The Black Community in Peel in the Late 19th Century

    November 10, 2017 - April 15, 2018
  3. What’s for Dinner?

    November 25, 2017 - November 25, 2018

    March 2 - June 3
  5. Alton Mill Heritage Exhibit

    March 2 - December 31