Steve Burgess

Steve Burgess is an accomplished freelance writer who lives in Vancouver. He is a two-time winner of Canadian National Magazine Awards and his book Who Killed Mom? made the 'Best of 2011' lists of both the Toronto Star and Globe and Mail newspapers.


Niagara's Polka King Walter Ostanek. POSTMEDIA NETWORK

Polka King makes case we should rig lotteries

Kids: The next time your parents say you can’t become a millionaire while playing polkas on the accordion, you just set them straight. Because Walter Ostanek just did.

Ad poster for Game of Thrones. Getty Images

Life empty when Game of Thrones ends

The Game of Thrones season has ended. It’s more like the English Premier League season than the NHL, in the sense that there are no playoffs.


Vancouver must put leash on Airbnb

Remember the pot-bellied pig craze? Back in the ‘90s, a lot of people started keeping them as pets — adorable little miniature pigs. Designer pigs, really.


The real Gordie Howe hat trick

When I was just a toddler, our family moved to Regina. It was 1960. The kid who lived across the street would eventually become my brother’s best friend. But the first time the two boys met, they got into a fight. “Hi,” the neighbour boy introduced himself. “I’m Rick Howe.”

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. FILE PHOTO, 24 hours

Mayor’s dumb promise years in the making

How did Bill Clinton become president of the United States? The 1992 election may have been decided four years earlier in 1988, when George Herbert Walker Bush was elected president. Among Bush’s most popular campaign lines: “Read my lips — no new taxes.”

B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver. SUBMITTED

Green Party goes for the real green

For political parties, raising money is always a priority. There are different ways to do it. We’re familiar with the BC Liberal Party approach — $10,000-a- plate dinners with Premier Christy Clark, exclusive access to our provincial leader for the well-heeled.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. REUTERS

Commons fracas reveals MPs out of touch

What a pushy week we had. It started with the Toronto Blue Jays and the Texas Rangers brawling and Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor punching Jays fielder Jose Bautista in the face.

A promo for a web series about the high-flying Vancouver real estate market. SCREENGRAB

A show to break your laptop over

Do you have a chronic toothache? Suffering from persistent arthritic pain, an infected hangnail, or pink eye? I have just the remedy. It’s the upcoming web-based series Vancouver Million Dollar Agent, aka Gold Broker. It won’t cure your afflictions but you’ll probably forget about them for awhile.

A Canadian Joint Operations Command aerial photo shows wildfire in Fort McMurray, Alberta. REUTERS

Wildfire underlines fragile human structures

Armageddon — it’s not something you see every day. But Fort McMurray got one — an apocalyptic firestorm that incinerated large sections of the city and clogged the highways with frightened residents leaving their settled and comfortable lives behind.

Yep, another day in paradise. FILE PHOTO, 24 HOURS

Fall in love with Stanley Park all over again

Poor Vancouver has been taking a kicking of late. There’s is justifiable groaning about the cost of housing. That large, blue, local tabloid recently printed an essay from a young woman who said she is leaving town for the boonies and good riddance.

A model displays a new Lamborghini concept car. REUTERS

Time to stop tiptoeing around affordability crisis

The New York Times ran a story last week titled Chinese Scions’ Song: My Daddy’s Rich and My Lamborghini’s Good-Looking, all about super-rich Chinese kids in the faraway city of Vancouver, British Columbia.


Railway loss another blow to bands

My niece Emily Burgess is a remarkably talented guitarist. (And it isn’t just me or her dad who say so.) You really ought to hear her. These days, she plays with The Weber Brothers, but last time she was in Vancouver she was still with her old band the 24th Street Wailers.

Paul McCartney performs near Paris, France. REUTERS

Boomer generation losing their rock gods

Paul McCartney is coming to Rogers Arena April 19-20. Not to be morbid — Sir Paul appears to be in excellent health — but there may be an added urgency to the rush for tickets this time around. The world of rock music is feeling its mortality this year. Musical legends who inspired a generation are dropping fast.

Canucks GM Jim Benning has fans in a tough spot. FILE PHOTO, 24 HOURS

Canucks should partner with Airbnb

They say there’s no cheap real estate remaining in Vancouver. Not true. Just buy a seat at a Canucks game. These days, Rogers Arena offers the most reasonable accommodations in town. There have been reports of tickets selling as low as $13.