My best friend, Dan, lost his father earlier this week, to lung cancer. The funeral was earlier today, a beautiful Polish Catholic mass. Stanley Kukwa is survived by a wife, his son and a daughter, and they were joined by a wealth of family and friends who gathered for the mass and for the wake following.
One of my fondest memories of Mr. Kukwa was when he first met Erin, who at the time was working very hard to immigrate to Canada so that we could share our lives together. Dan had us over for a small party, and he welcomed her, quipped that it was nice to have Canada attracting people from the United States instead of the other way around, and then gave her an old-style European kiss on the back of her hand. Erin was charmed.
I regret that I do not know more about this man. He was in his appearance a quintessential Canadian immigrant, proud of his adopted home, conservative in his bearing, and one who had paid his dues. He worked all his life with his wife to raise his two children in a very fine home. He was congenial and welcoming. I had hints that his childhood, though, was one of struggle. One only needs to look at the year he was born and the country he was born in to get some sense of what he had to face before coming to Canada.
But perhaps the best testament of the man is the quality of the son he raised. He clearly loved Dan and challenged him. Dan himself says that he was defined by his father, through their similarities and their differences. Stanley Kukwa was conservative, and Daniel a card carrying Liberal. They got along as only fathers and sons can (which means, some interesting conversations were had, I’m sure), but the father clearly respected the man his son became.
He will be missed.
My article about independent record stores facing competition from online music stores and downloading ran in all editions of Business Edge today. The online version of the article is also up on the website.
I’m currently working on another story for Business Edge about the role artist communities have had and are having in revitalizing impoverished neighbourhoods in certain Canadian cities. After a slow start, it’s going well, and I have to thank Idealistic Pragmatist for putting me onto this subject. As you can expect, artists can be passionate about what they do and where they live, and passionate people make good copy.
Canadian Blog Awards Accepting Nominations
So the Canadian Blog Awards are under new management, a multipartisan new management, with Stephen Taylor, Jason Cherniak, Saskboy and many others collaborating to turn what was already a uniting feature of the Canadian blogosphere (not to mention a fun end-of-year celebration of blogs) into something even more people can enjoy.
Click on over to the CBA’s new website to nominate your favourite Canadian blogs in up to 26 categories. Thanks to Deanna who has already nominated me as Best Non-Partisan and for two of my blog series for Best Blog Post Series. I am most flattered. But don’t stop there, and don’t just nominate me. Let everybody know who your favourite blogs are, and don’t be afraid to click on some links and get to know some of the great Canadian blogs that are out there.