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Heading north on Canada C3

I’m getting ready to pack my bags for a journey North later this week. This summer, I’m thrilled to be be one of 15 Canadian writers taking part in the Canada C3 sea expedition travelling across Canada. The expedition is a Canada 150 project which will travel along all coasts of Canada over 150 days, with a particular focus on four key themes: diversity, reconciliation, youth engagement, and the environment. Each leg of the journey features a small group of participants representing a cross-section of Canada, including:athletes, musicians, visual artists, elders, scientists, politicians, youth ambassadors, and other community members. There’s a very large outreach and education component to the expedition, and they’re hoping to connect with 20 million Canadians by the time the journey ends in BC at the end of October.

As writer-in-residence for Leg 6 (Nain, Labrador–Iqualuit, Nunavut), I’ll be documenting my leg of the journey and encouraging other journey participants to help tell the story of the expedition. On Leg 6, we’ll be visiting Nain, the largest community in northern Labrador, visiting the abandoned Inuit community of Hebron and exploring the incredible Torngat Mountains National Park, before sailing on to Iqaluit.

This is my second writing residency this year. In the winter of 2017, I was honoured to serve as writer-in-residence at Lester B. Pearson United World College (my alma mater). Pearson is also deeply committed to reconciliation, youth engagement, diversity, and the environment, and my time at the College was instrumental in exposing me to peaceful dialogue, challenging conversations, and a lasting celebration of difference.

I’ll be writing about the journey for a number of Canadian publications and will post updates periodically. I’ll also be writing an essay as part of a Canada C3 legacy book project, coordinated by author James Raffan. Other writers taking part in the expedition include Madeleine Thien, Lorna Crozier, Lori McNulty, and John Vaillant.

Follow along the journey with the Canada C3 livestream, interactive map, or through the many Canada C3 social media links.