What's Your Story

What's Your Story yearbook: 116 profiles, 279 photographs, 220 pages

As 2017 comes to a close, CBC/Radio-Canada unveils What's Your Story, A Canada 2017 Yearbook showcasing stories from Canadians in every province and territory.

A hardcover collection of stories from across Canada

CBC/Radio-Canada produced this yearbook as a tribute to the stories shared by Canadians in 2017. (CBC/Radio-Canada)

Throughout 2017 Canadians have shared their stories with CBC; what it means to be Canadian in the year of the sesquicentennial. 

Some stories have been inspiring, others have pointed a strong finger at issues we need to address. Our youngest contributor was a 9-year-old. One man sent us his life in a box

Each and every submission helped paint a picture of the country we live in. 

As a tribute to this collection of stories, CBC/Radio-Canada has produced a bilingual hardcover yearbook showcasing some of the profiles and portraits we received from every province and territory.

The yearbook is available through Indigo. A free downloadable, digital version will also be available in early December, 2017.

Here is a sneak peek at what's inside:

Paul Duffy, North Vancouver, B.C.

A recreation of a photo taken on Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver. (Paul Duffy)

I'm a staff sergeant in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in British Columbia.

I'm a very proud Canadian. I'm also a proud member of the RCMP,  an organization that has given me many opportunities, and I love wearing my red serge.

I've been stationed in North Vancouver since 1993, and it has become my home. It's a beautiful, beautiful city.

This year, I suggested that we have RCMP members recreate a photo taken several years ago of 103 air cadets lined up across the Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver.

On the day of our photo shoot, the biggest challenge was the weather. Initially, we planned to have a drone take the photo, but it rained. As a backup, we had a helicopter ready, but the cloud cover was so low even a helicopter couldn't get in. At the end, we were left with taking a photo from one of the cliff faces.

It was raining pretty heavily, but the rain didn't drown anybody's spirits. All 112 members showed up, which I was quite impressed with. And I think that the colours actually popped a bit more against the kind of cloudy and rainy background.

Everybody was happy to be there, and the camaraderie that everybody had, standing side by side in their red serge, was pretty amazing.

Now, the picture just blends into Canada 150. The Canadian flag is at the front, in the centre. That's huge. And you have 112 Mounties in red serge and we're all proud to be there and be part of it.

Leslie Thompson, Toronto, Ont.

Leslie Thompson poses for a fashion shoot. She calls herself a triple threat: female, blind and black. (Leslie Thompson)

I always call myself a triple threat because I'm female, I'm black and I have a disability. I lost most of my vision when I was six or seven years old.

On the first day of fifth grade they put me in remedial English. I was surprised since I was a good student. Later, my mom found out that they put me there because I was visually impaired.

When I was growing up, my parents often said: "You have to work twice as hard as Caucasian people in this country to progress. You have to try hard and do everything you can because there could be a skewed view because of the colour of your skin."

One thing I learned in that remedial English class is that I will have to fight for the rest of my life to be included and for everything that I want.

And I was right; I've had to prove myself and overcome perceptions, stereotypes and ignorance. It's not good enough for me to be twice as good; I need to be three times as good.

A person with a disability doesn't want to feel like they have a disability. You just want to live your life like everybody else. I want to blend in as much as possible, and the mosaic of this country is very diverse, which makes that possible to some extent.

I love Canada and, as a Canadian, one of my goals and responsibilities is to make it better. I'm not at a point in my life that I'm willing to lie down and just go with whatever everyone else says.

I didn't want to have to stand up and be identified and noticed and different, but I am different, so I might as well.

I advocate for inclusion and for making sure that any transformations made in society take people with disabilities into account.

Andrew Eastman, Winnipeg, Man. 

This mural called "Mending" is painted on a building in Winnipeg, Man. (Nic Kriellars)

My friend Chloe Chafe and I co-founded the Wall-to-Wall mural festival in Winnipeg, now in its fourth year.

Our festival combines with a big celebration at our city's Nuit Blanche, one of the rare times people from our suburbs come to explore downtown.

This year it's in the North End, a very stigmatized area that people often overlook. We bring thousands of people to this area with a huge outdoor event with interactive art, a feast and a celebration of huge new murals.

We're not just painting for the sake of beautifying; we're giving people the skills so they can participate or even just come out and engage in community events.

Our festival now serves as a platform for Indigenous communities in our city, primarily through a huge mural that was created last year.

It's a five-storey depiction of an Indigenous woman mending a human heart that was spray-painted by Bruno Smoky and Shalak Attack. It's at the epicentre of missing and murdered Indigenous women in our city –  a really powerful work that has led to a lot of tears and a lot of beautiful conversations.

Another ongoing project is the Star Blanket art project by local artist Kenneth Lavallee. He painted two full sides of a building as his interpretation of a star blanket.

The mural is in a part of our city that a lot of people avoid, but now you're enveloped by this beautiful, warm image of a colourful star blanket.

Through mentorship and empowerment, we're giving tangible skills to young people from a marginalized community so they can contribute to our city.

Anilee Ault, Whitehorse, Yukon

Anilee Ault (far right) and her three friends have been going on adventure trips together for the last 15 years (left to right: Bonnie Love, Lynda Ehrlich and Brenda Dion.) (Anilee Ault)

I was born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and I lived there until my early 20s, when I moved to Whitehorse for a summer. I loved it so much I never left.

I love the outdoors. I can't imagine living here in Whitehorse and not taking advantage of being outdoors. You do have to adapt to the temperatures though. I found friends who have the same interests and the four of us have gone on outdoor adventure trips for the last 15 years or so.

We've done a lot of the large lakes around here and we've also done a lot of kayaking. We've done backpacking trips, local hikes, and hikes along the Dempster Highway and in Tombstone Territorial Park.

We can winter camp; we can survive in the wilderness. We're always doing something — just paddling down the river for an afternoon or going for an overnight somewhere.

Whitehorse is called "The Wilderness City" for a reason. There is a lot of wilderness right around us. Out our back door, there are trails everywhere. On a daily basis, I like to get outside for a bit, whether it's to walk, ski, hike or paddle.

For me, being a Canadian is being able to enjoy the amazing wilderness and the outdoors.

It's so beautiful here. It's just amazing. But we have to pay attention to our natural resources, realize how fortunate we are to have them and take care of them, especially our water.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.