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Not Cancelled: Canadian Kindness

In a time when it felt like everything from sports gatherings to birthday parties were being cancelled, a realization emerged that important things such as love, kindness, and ingenuity can never be cancelled. This book is a collective heartbeat and history of our nation as we navigated personally and as a whole through these unprecedented times.

Not Cancelled: Canadian Kindness in the Face of COVID-19 is a collection of non-fiction essays from across Canada during the pandemic lockdown in early 2020. From a dancing Sikh in the Yukon to a couple’s first wedding dance in British Columbia to a talking Schnauzer in Quebec to a real-life Spider-Man walking the streets of Newfoundland to a pilot flying in a heart-shaped flight path over Nova Scotia after Canada’s deadliest shooting, we realized that, for the most past, Canadians were kind, creative, and most importantly, resilient . . .

After authors Heather Down and Catherine Kenwell wrote many stories and collected others—forty-nine in all, representing Canada’s worldwide address of the forty-ninth parallel—a challenge was how to combine so many voices, styles, and approaches to create one cohesive book. Stories came from every single province, spanning Indigenous people to new immigrants—and everybody whose family has occupied this country in a timeframe in between. In this celebration of Canada’s diversity, the collective voices in this book have variation but still sing the same tune.

In Not Cancelled, the reader will find narratives, reflections, past-tense and present-tense essays, polished literary pieces, and stories from newly minted writers who are sharing their soul the best they can. Like the wood grain of a plank from a maple tree, there are various textures, colours, and veins. But together, they make the perfect whole, just like the country its leaf represents.



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