When I look around this city of ours, I see very little pride but a lot of smugness, the sort of smugness that makes people from elsewhere hope for an earthquake.
Winnipeg can be proud of having a cultural importance way above its weight in a place that humans have a hard time living. Kamloops can be proud of its amazing community spirit and volunteerism – I figure Kamloops would do a better job of 2010 than Vancouver. Fairbanks has its amazing can-do, frontier spirit it can be proud. But here in Victoria we are not proud, we are smug, arrogantly smug
Cities elsewhere in the world envision their future and then strive to try and achieve, here we let the future happen and accept the result, trusting that it will not affect our attitudes of smugness. Why try when this place is so wonderful?
What great people do we have that came from here, that called this city their home? We have the Courtnalls and David Foster but that is not nearly enough.
I dream of a city that people from coast to coast in Canada and around world would know where it is and have an image of it.
This does not mean we need to change the physical look of the city, or have the city grow to some huge metropolitan centre. Our size and scale is almost perfect – another 100 000 to 200 000 over a few generations would enhance the city.
So what can we be known for as a city? What is our place in the world? Clearly we are a centre for the arts or film or governance. We need to express our vision forcefully and push for excellence.