The 401
Looking across the Salish Sea to Lasqueti Island

Please, No Frozen Graveyard For Me

Posted: March 7, 2018 at 10:26 pm   /   Gulf Islands, The 401

By Rose Willow Photos: Anthony Hutchins As another autumn approached and the otters splashed in the little cove in front of our house, and the sky turned crimson at dusk, Tony refilled our glasses with homemade blackberry wine, and brought up the subject of aging. He began by mentioning those who had left Lasqueti Island […]

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Tip of a burning cigarette

Rising from the Ashes: My Journey to Quit Smoking

Posted: February 22, 2016 at 12:17 pm   /   The 401

By Sarah Torgerson Nestled in the heart of Vancouver Island University’s Nanaimo campus is one of about a dozen designated smoking areas, where you are likely to come across a handful of generally unhappy-looking smokers wreathed in plumes of grey. I’m often among them. This mecca for the stressed-out and nicotine-addicted is where I take my […]

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Stars and stripes shield with inscription "Welcome to America"

Is Toque a Real Word?

Posted: February 12, 2016 at 12:12 pm   /   The 401

By Chelsea Mark “Where are you headed, and how long?” “Pullman, Washington, a week.” “Pullman?” The customs agent looked at me confused. “Yes, Pullman, it’s right on the border of Idaho—“ “I know where it is. Why?” Anyone who knew anything about Pullman had reacted in the same way when I told them my travel plans. Apparently […]

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Young girl hugging pit bull

Powerful, and Stigmatized, Breeds

Posted: March 28, 2014 at 12:35 pm   /   The 401

By Sheena Gnos Imagine walking in a park on a beautiful day. The sun is shining and you’re basking in the summer heat, minding your own business. Suddenly, from around a corner, comes a Rottweiler. He’s bounding across the grass in great leaping strides, ears back, mouth gaping wide. What do you do? Is your […]

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Liquor store - distorted view

What the hell was I thinking?

Posted: March 9, 2014 at 4:50 am   /   The 401

Editor’s note: This powerful account of an alcoholic binge contains graphic images and language that may be disturbing to some readers. For some, it may also provide inspiration to change. The author’s name is a pseudonym. By Jack Craig Believing even a little that I’m just like those fun people I‘ve seen drinking in television […]

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Ivy Johnson with ventriloquist dummy

The Youngest Ventriloquist in the World

Posted: March 5, 2014 at 11:23 pm   /   The 401, Vee-Ai-Yi-Yi

By Alexandria Stuart The air in England’s West Midlands in 1907 was thick with the dust of coal fires. Once-white bedclothes, hung to dry, took on a shadowy tinge of grey. In a Birminghan home, in a spartan bedroom, the figure seated in a straight-back wooden chair towered over Ivy Johnson. The little girl stretched […]

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Two trickles of blood on skin

Private Function

Posted: April 30, 2013 at 4:06 am   /   The 401

By Mary Fraughton I walk around the main hall, keeping carefully to the edges. When I trod on someone’s toes, I turn to apologize and nearly collide with an elderly man who is wearing nothing but a red g-string. Several feet in front of me is a massage table with another naked man lying on it. […]

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Amazon Kindle

Gutenberg 2.0

Posted: March 25, 2013 at 12:47 am   /   The 401

By Mike Calvert Ten years ago, the aspiring writer’s dream was simple. Spend two years of your life in hibernation writing a 300-hundred page novel, scrounge up a few dollars from the few friends who still knew you existed, print and mail copies of your manuscript to publishers across North America, and then pray. Pray that out […]

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Fan holding sign: "Hockey is Canada's game"

Hockey Night *is* Canada

Posted: February 21, 2013 at 5:28 pm   /   The 401

By Meagan Dyer “Hockey captures the essence of Canadian experience in the New World. In a land so inescapably and inhospitably cold, hockey is the chance of life, and an affirmation that despite the deathly chill of winter we are alive.” — Stephen Leacock The National Hockey League entered its third work stoppage in just […]

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Hockey Night *is* Canada (Part Two)

Posted: February 21, 2013 at 3:26 pm   /   The 401

Hockey and geopolitics meshed differently but with just as much emotion nearly three decades later, during the 1972 Summit Series against the Soviet Union. Canada had not won a tournament in 20 years, mostly because the rules prohibited NHL players from taking part. That left our energetic but definitely B-list national team to battle Soviet […]

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