making the most with whatever you've got
My story about writing and editing starts in the 1980s when I drove the winding highway to a nascent ski resort called Whistler and took a job as a reporter at the local newspaper. It was my first job out of journalism school. A year later, I bought the Whistler Question and its sister publication, Whistler Magazine, making me one of the youngest publishers in Canada.
With a small but terrific staff we went on to win top national and provincial awards for excellent newspapering, proving you don't have to have a lot of money or resources to deliver good things. What you must have, though, is integrity and imagination along with respect for your subject material and the people you work with.
My story about art starts in the 1950s when I won first prize — a red ribbon and 75 cents — for the best painting by a first grader at the Edmonton Exhibition. It was a circus scene and the pony with two rabbits riding on top was really hard to paint. That led to Saturday morning art lessons at the Edmonton Art Gallery at age six and, eventually, a career making the most of art, journalism and good science.
My story about science and sustainability starts decades ago but crystalizes in the early ’90s. I was working for the largest forest company in Canada and begged my boss to send me to the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Wood from well-managed forests, after all, is one of the most sustainable building materials we have. He didn't send me, but I channeled my interest in science and sustainable living into art and good journalism.
Today, I blend all three stories into a narrative called “My Life” and enjoy the incredible luxury of working on projects that I believe in.