Lisa Van De Geyn

When you look at the major events in Canada’s history, and the period of time that immediately follows each era, you can clearly see a country in transition. You can pinpoint the ebbs and flows of the economy, of growth and innovation, of rethinking and reinvention. And you can see how companies, sectors and people adapted to the demands of the day (in other words, how Canadians pivoted in times of yore, even if they didn’t call it that).

The COVID-19 pandemic is no different, of course: Every aspect of our nation has been affected. Every sector is changed — some companies are completely unrecognizable from March 2020. But the interesting thing is, in many cases, that’s actually kind of awesome. We’re certainly not denying that the current public health crisis has made for a very tough time, for everyone, but this issue of The Spark proves that it’s not all bad.

When we were planning this magazine, themed around “a brave new world,” our editorial team was reminiscing about reading the namesake Aldous Huxley novel in school. We all remembered Brave New World as a book that stays with you. It is oft-discussed and controversial, there’s no denying that, but it makes you think long after you finish the last page. 

One of the lines in the story is,
“Stability isn’t nearly so spectacular
as instability.” 

Think about that for a minute: We all aim for stability, in one way or another, but the last two years have been an exercise in instability. At times, that has felt terrifying. But if you really drill down and look at the ways in which Canadians discovered untapped resources, new products, ways to fill gaps in services, better ways of doing things…it’s nothing short of spectacular. It’s more than resilience in action — it’s ingenuity under pressure. These companies are painting the silver linings on this time in our history, and we say that’s definitely worth celebrating.

We hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as we enjoyed making it. 

Until next time…

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You wouldn’t believe some of the everyday items that were invented in times of turmoil. 

World War I: Kleenex, zippers, sanitary products, teabags, stainless steel

The Great Depression: Sliced bread, Scotch tape, car radios 

World War II: Radar, computers,
penicillin, duct tape

The Cold War: GPS, the credit card, Tupperware, hairspray, cat litter

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