This summer, CBC Arts is your tour guide to Canada's vibrant art scenes
And no, we don't mean Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver
Earlier this year, Saskatoon became the only Canadian city on the New York Times's annual "52 Places to Go" list, so CBC Arts decided to ask artist Zachari Logan to offer his own personal guide to his hometown to give the Times some extra tips.
And then we thought: why stop there?
Saskatoon — as worthy as it may be for inclusion on the Times's list — is far from the only worthwhile Canadian city to explore, especially with the right tour guides. Everyone knows about the art scenes in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver — but what about Lethbridge, Sudbury or Victoria?
So this summer, CBC Arts will be offering up a new weekly series: "I He(art) My City." Each edition will take on a different Canadian city, and each will be written and photographed by artists with special connections to those very places. Following Zachari Logan's Saskatoon, we're excited to re-start your tour.
Actors and directors Maxime Robin and Danielle Le Saux-Farmer share their secrets for getting the most out of your visit to Quebec City, whatever time of year you'll be there.
"Quebec City is the birthplace of French America, a city that has much to tell about its past and yet that has, in the recent years, dusted itself off to present a much younger side. New restaurants are popping up and the arts scene is getting livelier.
But few outsiders know that Quebec has four faces — one for each season. And missing out on this information can be deadly...boring. So we designed eight little promenades, with food, arts and a unique piece of scenery — each one tailored to a season."
Crocheter and visual artist Shanell Papp gives you a tour of Lethbridge's essential galleries, architecture, nature and shops.
"The story of this place is complex, layered and ever changing just like the weather here. Chinooks (warm winds) over the Rocky Mountains eat the snow and also push in heavy snowfalls. The weather is mirrored in the mercurial character of local personalities. The community discourse is continuous and passionate.
It is not uncommon to meet people working multiple paying jobs and having intense extracurricular passions — anywhere from arts to sports, cooking and brewing to fishing and hunting, local politics to fashion. It's a city where you can find virtually anything. These are the local places I visit for interesting conversations and community experiences!"
From vacant grocery stores to a park The White Stripes once played, multidisciplinary artist Joseph Tisiga celebrates the unexpected places you can find art in the Yukon city.
"As a kid, walking down main street Whitehorse, I would marvel at the thought that I was strolling down a road in what felt like the absolute middle of nowhere, a hundred or thousand or million kilometres from anywhere else. It seemed impossible that anyone lived here, or that anyone would know that there was a city to come to. I still feel that way sometimes, despite the growing ease of travel and constant influx of tourists and adventurers passing through or settling in to make the Yukon home.
Roaming around our downtown, you'll find a number of our stocked arts and culture spaces — but for this list, I wanted to mostly look at some of the variety of things happening and spaces that are not apparent at first glance or are often out of sight. In Whitehorse, most of the action is happening in a quiet, day-to-day way. And if you're here exploring yourself, you'll find there are many more people, spaces and events than could be included in this candid snapshot of Whitehorse."
Videographer and photographer Brandon Gray shows you that Sudbury is a lot more than just a mining town and celebrates the creative community that makes him proud to live here.
"When out-of-towners think of Sudbury, they remember the dirty days of the '70s. Well, times have kind of changed. We've got trees, lakes on lakes on lakes and a thriving, creative community driven to make Sudbury a place to be proud of. I was born and raised in Parry Sound, Ontario — a small blue-collar town nestled on the shores of Georgian Bay. When I moved to Sudbury after high school to study, I felt...at home. Sudbury has all the charm you'd expect from a small town and all the comforts you'd expect from a small city.
Mining and smelting processes during the first half of the 20th century obliterated all vegetation in the region and our landscape was ruined. (Honestly, Google that shit.) Fortunately, smelter technologies changed in the '70s and the city, along with the help of literally every resident, began its regreening efforts. Since 1978, we've treated 3400 hectares of land with crushed limestone and planted almost 10 million trees. Our crater looks and feels like a Northern Ontario town again with lush forests and thriving lakes, and we appreciate it. Like, really, really appreciate it. Here are a few of my favourite things to do in Sudbury!"
Writer Casey Plett is still discovering the place she moved to two years ago, but she's embracing it and says the city itself is just like its infamous Windsor Hum: "calm and soothing in an unexpected, otherworldly sort of way."
"Windsor, Ontario — located on the traditional territory of the Three Fires Confederacy — is a city with some peculiar claims to fame for this country. It is the southernmost city in Canada; it looks north onto the United States; it is the city with the worst air quality; its most famous exports are cars and whiskey; and everyone here cheers for the Detroit Tigers. VICE ran an article a couple years ago with the headline 'Windsor, Ontario Residents Tell Us Why It's Not The Worst Place on Earth.'
I've called Windsor home for two years now, an eager and willing transplant who came in search of actually-affordable housing and a more stable pace of life after spending my 20s in bigger cities. While I've barely begun to discover all the sweet and strange oddities of this city of a quarter million people, I know enough to show someone around for a weekend. So if you, dear artistic reader, were in town looking for a good time, here's where I'd take you."
Photographer and makeup artist Dallas Curow tells us how the charm of Alberta's capital won her heart when she made it her new home.
"Edmonton welcomed me into its arms just under three years ago, and moving here really did feel like an embrace due to the startling friendliness of Edmontonians. Having previously lived in some of Canada's busiest cities such as Toronto and Montreal, I knew little of Edmonton and was slightly nervous that I would quickly grow bored in this comparatively smaller Prairie city. Oh, how wrong I was.
As a photographer, I find inspiration in the big Prairie skies, the flora and fauna and even the strange mishmash of architectural styles. I often find myself feeling buoyed by the palpable and contagious energy of the city. Most people will direct you straight to Whyte Avenue, but if you have a little more time to explore beyond Whyte, here are some of the things you might enjoy."
Author and playwright Catherine Hernandez — whose debut novel is literally named after Scarborough — helps you escape the chaos of big city Toronto.
"Last year, Susan G. Cole interviewed me about my book Scarborough while in Scarborough for her article in NOW Magazine. She wanted me to show her various locations that had meaning to me. I still chuckle to myself remembering her eating a Jamaican beef patty at Warden Station like it was a foie gras served at Scaramouche (it was no surprise — if I still ate gluten, I would have been all over it too). So when CBC Arts asked me to pen this travel guide to Toronto's notorious east end, I jumped at the opportunity to share more of a place I call home.
While downtown has its Distillery District or the CN Tower, we don't have a wealth of iconic monuments to represent Scarborough. Instead, our monuments are the spaces between us and the space we lovingly share. So fasten your seatbelts — we're going for a ride!"
Arts journalist and born-and-raised Newfoundlander Wendy Rose shares the classic spots and hidden gems that make East Coasters gravitate to St. John's.
"Perched on the edge of the Atlantic, on the most easterly tip of North America, there is a big little city I call home. With a huge and vibrant arts and entertainment scene, 'mainlanders' from all land masses have been repeatedly tempted to relocate to this wonderfully strange foreign land.
Though the fog, wind, rain and cold temperatures may inspire you to layer up in Newfoundland, our amazing arts scene will entertain, inspire, stimulate and hopefully influence. (After all, we don't live here for the weather.) From a born and raised Newfoundlander, proud down-Townie and part-time bayman, here's the ultimate guide for gettin' on the go in St. John's."
Curator Michelle Jacques shows us why we shouldn't let Vancouver steal the spotlight when it comes to B.C.'s cultural scene.
"When I moved to Victoria from Toronto five and a half years ago, I didn't know what hit me — I experienced a culture shock I didn't think possible moving from one Canadian city to another. Five years ago, I could go downtown in Victoria on a weekday night and hardly run into another soul on the streets. This town has changed considerably since then — it seems to have had a population surge over the last couple of years, presumably because Vancouver's skyrocketing rents are causing people to look to the province's second-largest centre as a place to live and work.
As I have gotten to know Victoria, my affection for it has grown exponentially. Here are some of the places that have helped make that happen."
Indigenous writer and theatre producer Frances Koncan confronts Winnipeg's reputation head on — and shares the places that have helped her appreciate her city more.
"The Gateway to the West! The Chicago of the North! The Most Racist City in Canada!
Winnipeg. You've probably heard of us. We're sort of a big deal. We have a famous bear named after us. Keanu played Hamlet here. We have cold winters, hot summers, an inexplicable worm infestation problem and our NHL hockey team is actually pretty darn good.
Now that I call this city home once more, I've been trying to appreciate it more. Here are some of my top favourite places to do all my favourite things: drinking, crying, laughing, eating, swimming and — last but not least — reclaiming my cultural identity so I can one day become Prime Minister and/or famous on Instagram."
Visual artist Zachari Logan shows the New York Times (and the rest of the world) why they were right to declare Saskatoon a place worth visiting.
"City named for a berry. City of bridges. Paris of the Prairies. Former home of Joni. Former home of me. As a child, I loved living on the edge of a suburban outskirt. There were plenty of frog ponds, wildflowers and endless dramatic skies. I never once found my landscape boring, physically — or later, as I became an artist, metaphorically. Saskatoon has always seemed sleepy to me, but in the best possible way. It is rousing to a few important changes since my teen years; a powerfully artistic place with intense beauty and ugliness as well. Complicated, isolated and present to the weather, as any northern prairie city is, here is my Saskatoon top 10."
Check back every week as we add new guides to this page!