All posts by storyuntold

Searching for Sero: “You can’t buy happiness; you need to go find it”



Home for John Rathwell and Tracy Guenard is a pretty small space these days: since May of 2016, the Gatineau, Quebec couple has been crisscrossing Canada and the United States in a newly-polished 1991 Volkswagen Westfalia, meeting people and sharing their stories of pursuing happiness. “It’s a beautiful van,” says Guenard. “It’s small — 15 … Continue reading Searching for Sero: “You can’t buy happiness; you need to go find it”


Richard Holmes: “What you can’t see is often more important than what you are able to”



At 17, Richard Holmes had everything he had wanted: a successful career as a mountain biker; a life in beautiful Whistler, British Columbia; sponsors wanting to endorse him. Despite the accolades, he had one other thing that was tearing at his confidence and progressively worsening in the process: a stutter. “My speech was definitely the … Continue reading Richard Holmes: “What you can’t see is often more important than what you are able to”


5 Kids 1 Condo: “Reality is bigger than what [we’re] told it can be”



What if our collective idea of a good life — a house with a yard, two cars, maybe a summer home to boot — is missing the mark? Adrian Crook, the Vancouver-based author of 5 Kids 1 Condo, has been exploring that question. Living in a 1,000-square foot condo in the West Coast city’s Yaletown, … Continue reading 5 Kids 1 Condo: “Reality is bigger than what [we’re] told it can be”


My Son The Hurricane: “We’re nowhere near perfect, but we’re finding a recipe that’s working”



My Son The Hurricane is used to standing out onstage — after all, not too many bands come with 14 members these days. But after their latest scene-stealing cross-Canada tour, the Niagara/Toronto brasshop funk collective is standing out in a whole new way. “It’s a dream come true,” says frontman Jacob Bergsma, the always-energetic emcee. … Continue reading My Son The Hurricane: “We’re nowhere near perfect, but we’re finding a recipe that’s working”


Charlie Engle: “I would never want to lose the addict part of me, because it’s all the best parts of me”



Charlie Engle is not like most people. For one thing, he’s run across the Sahara Desert — a feat that turned into a documentary narrated by none other than Matt Damon. He’s “summited ice-covered volcanoes, swam with crocodiles, and served a stint in federal prison.” Making the North Carolina-based writer and ultramarathon runner’s story even … Continue reading Charlie Engle: “I would never want to lose the addict part of me, because it’s all the best parts of me”


Shelagh Rogers: “We need to support each other in our suffering”



Shelagh Rogers has built a legacy in Canadian radio on the strength of bringing people together. From the CBC’s Morningside, to Sounds Like Canada, to This Morning and The Next Chapter, the Ottawa-born broadcaster’s inimitable warmth, kindness, and curiosity have made loyal listeners across the country. With a voice heard by over a million Canadians, … Continue reading Shelagh Rogers: “We need to support each other in our suffering”


Wali Shah: “I had every strike against me”



Very few voices can cut through a room like Wali Shah’s. The Mississauga-raised spoken word artist’s signature baritone has led him to appearing on MTV with Selena Gomez, presenting as a TEDx speaker, performing at the Air Canada Centre, and even freestyling with Kendrick Lamar. Born in Pakistan, Shah touches on social issues and his … Continue reading Wali Shah: “I had every strike against me”


Robin Mazumder: “I’m really curious about how living in a city impacts your mental health”



What if urban planners started viewing themselves as part of a community’s health care team? That’s what Robin Mazumder, a Vanier Scholar and doctoral candidate in cognitive neuroscience at the University of Waterloo, would like to see. Mazumder, a former occupational therapist, started researching the psychological impacts of urban design after working in the mental … Continue reading Robin Mazumder: “I’m really curious about how living in a city impacts your mental health”


Ben Fanelli: “It’s amazing what you can overcome [with] the right people around you”



If there’s a blueprint to recovery after a traumatic brain injury, Ben Fanelli is prototype. Eight years after suffering a fractured skull as a 16-year-old rookie in the Ontario Hockey League — an incident that left him hospitalized and at risk of needing brain surgery — the former Kitchener Ranger is happy, healthy, and showing … Continue reading Ben Fanelli: “It’s amazing what you can overcome [with] the right people around you”


Josh Cassidy: “There are always people that will doubt us”



Josh Cassidy stopped listening to others’ doubts years ago. Born with neuroblastoma in his spine and abdomen, and left partially-paralyzed from near-birth, Cassidy has become a three-time Canadian Paralympian and World Record-setting wheelchair athlete. Quite the accomplishment for a kid who faced coin-flip odds over whether he’d live to see his first birthday. “I think … Continue reading Josh Cassidy: “There are always people that will doubt us”