Not Cancelled - Canadian Kindness in the Face of COVID-19 Book

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 unusual times.


Not Cancelled 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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$10 from every book sold will go towards supporting the BNFC. 


The BNFC offers a number of community programs, and it is the liaison between the Indigenous
community and the Barrie public at large. Not only does it offer its annual Pow Wow, it invites a
great deal of collaboration and educational programs for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous

BNFC offers a number of justice-related programs to help suitable low-risk offenders navigate
the criminal justice system. It’s not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing—what they do is apply
culturally significant diversions through case management, youth empowerment, and client
guidance—all within an Aboriginal framework.

But restorative justice is just one sector of the wonderful work the BNFC does. It also runs a
number of family and community-based programs, such as:
Aboriginal Healthy Babies, Healthy Children -- offers Indigenous culturally based supports to
Indigenous families. This program works with families and their children with physical, mental,
emotional and social issues including prenatal support and supports for children ages 0 to 6.
One-to-one support for youth, (two programs, for ages 7 – 12 and 13 – 18) helping them to
make better life choices, encouraging careers, schooling, etc.

Aboriginal Healing & Wellness -- provides services to families and individuals working to end
family violence. Crisis intervention, peer counseling, advocacy, referrals to outside agencies like
shelters, drug and alcohol treatment centres, psychological counseling services, trauma recovery
programs and food banks.

Kizhaay Anishinaabe Niin – providing Indigenous culture- based peer counselling and group
activities. Focuses on Indigenous men and male youth, committed to ending violence against
Indigenous women and girls. It promotes understanding and responsibilities of traditional roles
to resolve trauma, and, encourage overall well-being and community wellness.

Land acknowledgement follows the recommendations from the T&R Commission. Coates
Stadium is situated on the traditional land of the Anishnawbeg, including Ojibwe, Odawa, and
Pottawatomi nations, known as the Three Fires Confederacy.

If you follow BNFC on social media, you’ll be invited to participate in events run at the
centre—they are always running Indigenous food and craft events that promote a terrific sense
of wholeness in the Barrie community. Although they’re not running currently, anyone can
attend and learn to make food or traditional crafts or work with traditional healing herbs, etc.

Not Cancelled - Canadian Kindness in the Face of COVID-19 Book