One of the things I love and hate about my city is the passion people put into complaining about it (myself included). To an impressive extent, the complaining is in a productive context and isn’t just aimless whining. But it can seem at times like the default attitude here is that everything sucks.

Last winter I followed my friend Lisa‘s good advice to enter contests, and I was lucky to win an Olympics transit pass from Vancouver Is Awesome, a local blog I’d only just discovered. I schlepped across town (by bus, natch) to meet the editor, Bob Kronbauer, to pick up my transit pass.

The short story is that I ended up joining the blogging team at VIA. I totally fell in love with Bob’s mission – the way he described it to me, he created VIA to highlight the great things about our city, so it can be the last thing people read after getting down reading all the other news and blogs. Like Cute Overload, but a city blog.

There are a couple dozen writers at VIA, all of us volunteers. Bob incorporated the project as a registered non-profit. He’s the only full-time employee, and he works his ass off. His passion for promoting and supporting arts and culture in this town is downright inspiring.

And once a year, like many a non-profit, he runs a donation drive to help cover the operating costs of the business. If you’re a Vancouverite and you enjoy the good times you’ve had with Vancouver Is Awesome, and you appreciate the vast number of events VIA sponsors each year, please consider a donation in any amount. Oh, and there are some rad prizes.

I love being part of a project dedicated to highlighting the greatness of this city, and I very much hope you enjoy reading it.

And now I’m going to “enjoy” the coldest cold spell I’ve experienced in my eight years living in this “mild climate” by pulling the blankets tighter and sitting closer to the space heater.