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Mark Leiren-Young

Mark Leiren-Young is a writer/director/performer who spends too much of his free time worrying about the environment, the Canadian political scene, and the Vancouver Canucks (not necessarily in that order). Mark won the Leacock Medal for Humour for his comic memoir, Never Shoot a Stampede Queen: A Rookie Reporter in the Cariboo. He was a finalist for the WGC Award for screenwriting for his first feature film, The Green Chain. His most recent book, This Crazy Time, was written with/about controversial environmentalist, Tzeporah Berman. He's half of the satirical duo Local Anxiety. Their latest comedy CD, Greenpieces, is available on iTunes and their 21st century version of O Christmas Tree is becoming a holiday favourite thanks to The Tyee.

Reporting beat: Life, the universe, and hockey.

Connection to B.C.: Mark was born in Vancouver, grew up in Williams Lake, and attended school at the University of Victoria.

Twitter: @leirenyoung

Personal website:

Stories by Mark Leiren-Young


Never Tweet a Stampede Queen

What I saw at the Williams Lake rodeo, 30 years after the town told me to buck off.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 12 Jul 2014


August Schellenberg: Gravitas and Wicked Wit

With his brilliant performances he graced many key productions. And saved mine.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 17 Aug 2013


A Teen Magician's Brush with Fame

In 1980, Mark Leiren-Young set out to write the greatest 'rock and roll magic show' ever.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 6 Jun 2013


Care to Reserve a Tweet-Seat?

A playwright and a critic debate whether tweeting during shows signals the apocalypse.

By Mark Leiren-Young and Shannon Rupp, 4 May 2013


'West of Memphis' Makes Case Against Death Row

How one wrongly convicted man kept hope alive for years until his release. New doc out now.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 22 Feb 2013


The Activist's Actor

Woody Harrelson talks championing hemp, the 's' word and his upcoming film 'Seven Psychopaths.'

By Mark Leiren-Young, 6 Oct 2012


Rob Stewart's Mission to Save the Humans

Shark conservationist, filmmaker and author tackles a new subject in 'Revolution.' See it at VIFF.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 3 Oct 2012


2012, Year of the Television Apocalypse?

Our man at Banff World Media Festival gauges fear and confusion among TV's elite.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 13 Jun 2012


No Fun City Hall

Why the wet blanket? Big screens, boisterous crowds didn't cause Stanley Cup Riot 2.0.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 29 Mar 2012


Curtains for the Vancouver Playhouse

With no hero in sight, the theatre is closing. In its honour, let's keep the arts centre stage.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 12 Mar 2012


Is William Gibson's 'Neuromancer' the Future of Movies?

Two who are turning the 1984 book into a film and game explain why now's perfect timing.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 6 Jan 2012


Highly Aggregated for 2011

Collected, tagged and bagged, the year's big moments and various signs of the Apocalypse.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 30 Dec 2011


The Artist Who Made 'The Artist'

The Tyee talks with Michel Hazanavicius, who wrote and directed the silent film blockbuster touted for an Oscar.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 16 Dec 2011


'Billy Bishop' Goes to Movie Screens

Playwright John Gray on the well-timed film reinterpretation of his classic Canadian play.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 11 Nov 2011


'Seeking the Current'

Dammed Quebec and energy alternatives are subjects of film having its English language premiere tonight in Vancouver.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 10 Oct 2011


'Waking the Green Tiger'

Watch China's enviro movement unfold in this new doc, debuting at Vancouver's film fest.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 7 Oct 2011


'Surviving Progress' at Vancouver's Film Fest

Talking with the co-director. And seven more great films this year.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 30 Sep 2011


Getting Used to Superman's New Underwear

A die-hard fan tries to make sense of DC Comics' massive superheroes do-over.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 14 Sep 2011


Ten Questions I Posed to the Riot Review Panel

Here was my submission to the commission. How many answers will we get?

By Mark Leiren-Young, 1 Sep 2011


Canucks' Loss: Dissection Is Painful

They were the favourites. So losing the Cup this time is going to hurt a whole lot more.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 16 Jun 2011


A Social Media Riot Made for TV

This wasn't '94. This was weirder, more violent, driven by a lust for digital attention.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 16 Jun 2011


Game Seven: Mental Preparation

Thinking about how the Canucks got here, and why they will win.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 15 Jun 2011


Why My Money's Still on Luuuuuuuuuu

I'm not sure why any goalie would want to play for the Canucks, but I'm still glad Luongo does.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 10 Jun 2011


Hockey Nut in Canada

These are my memories from a bittersweet lifetime of rooting for the Canucks. What are yours?

By Mark Leiren-Young, 1 Jun 2011


Hockey Riot Vancouver: Myth and Fact

Time to set record straight on why a melee broke out last time Canucks made the finals.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 27 May 2011


Win One for the World, Canucks

When they say we're not Canada's team, just smile. We're bigger than that.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 20 May 2011


Puck Luck and the Vancouver Canucks

After 40 years of open-ice hits and headshots from the hockey gods, Mark Leiren-Young wonders if this is the year the pain ends.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 13 May 2011


Congratulations, Preston Manning

It's your country now, with adversaries defunded, in disarray, or both.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 3 May 2011


How Dare You Censor the, Um, 'N-Word'

Twain's classic 'Huckleberry Finn' gets cleaned up, and maybe it's time.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 7 Jan 2011


The Tyee's Year in ReTweet

Meating Gaga, birthing Obama, the Gordo heave ho, Cherry's bombs, the wrath of Kwan, and more of 2010.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 31 Dec 2010


'Oh Christmas Tree, Correct Politically...'

Weary of your kid lecturing you on how holiday fun kills the planet? Sing along.

By Kevin Crofton and Mark Leiren-Young, 20 Dec 2010


Dennis Foon's (Latest) Big Break

The screenwriter of Oscar entry 'Life, Above All' talks about Soweto's baby toy strewn cemetery, Roger Ebert, blind luck, and more.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 10 Nov 2010


Two Kids Who Cut the Scary Successful 'Saw'

Now Wan and Whannell have crafted the horribly good 'Insidious.'

By Mark Leiren-Young, 29 Oct 2010


Pilgrimage with David Suzuki

Sturla Gunnarson, director of the bio-doc 'Force of Nature,' on Suzuki's anger, urgency and faith in miracles.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 14 Oct 2010


Celebrity Journalism: Who's the Boss?

Notes on watching Edward Norton interview Bruce Springsteen.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 20 Sep 2010


Goodbye, Babz

The actress was feisty, funny, fully alive. And she distilled a lot of wisdom into 10 words.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 10 May 2010


A Tyee Series

Patrick Moore, Proud Heretic

Why did fellow Greenpeace founders shun him? He defends nuclear power, corporate forestry and other eco-bugaboos. A Trees and Us podcast.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 26 Mar 2010


A Tyee Series

Ken Wu Wants to Save 'the Avatar Grove'

The veteran BC forests activist has a new organization and cause. A Trees and Us podcast.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 9 Mar 2010


Fill Your Opening Ceremony with Arts, then Cut Them

Thanks for the show, artists -- now get lost. BC to slash 90 per cent of culture funding.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 15 Feb 2010


A Tyee Series

'Wild Foresting'

New book by UVic profs Drengson and Taylor is a guide to 'practicing nature's wisdom.' A Trees and Us podcast.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 2 Feb 2010


Tourist Trapped

For a young Cariboo reporter it was a major scoop. The damnedest way to catch a bear.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 27 Jan 2010


A Tyee Series

He Sees Our Hot Future

A 'Trees and Us' podcast with botanist geologist Richard Hebda.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 19 Jan 2010


A Tyee Series

How Adbusters Grew on Trees

Kalle Lasn on how his fight against Big Timber and Big Media sparked creative dissent. A Trees and Us podcast.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 16 Sep 2009


A Tyee Series

Betty Krawczyk, Proud Fanatic

The queen of protest on activism, prison life and second acts after raising kids. A Trees and Us podcast.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 1 Jun 2009


Obama Wuz Here, Gang War Fear, BC in Arrears

And more Fast Rewind of February.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 4 Mar 2009


A Tyee Series

Reviving Forest Protests in BC

Kenneth Wu is working hard to make it happen. A Trees and Us podcast.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 25 Feb 2009


Bridge Burners! Eco-John Turner! Dirty Earners!

And more Fast Rewind of January.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 3 Feb 2009


Puffins Pooped, Duffy Scooped, Canadians Hooped

And more fast rewinding of 2008. Happy New Year everyone!

By Mark Leiren-Young, 1 Jan 2009


Mayor Smoothie, Harper's Doozy, God Got Choosy

And more Fast Rewind of a wild November.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 1 Dec 2008


Eeek! Run from October!

Our Fast Rewind of a very scary month.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 31 Oct 2008


Campaign Silliness So Far

A special election version of the Tyee's Fast Rewind.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 1 Oct 2008

A Tyee Series

Velcrow Ripper's 'Fierce Light'

PODCAST: The doc director on 'non-flaky spirituality' and more.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 30 Sep 2008


Russia Grabbed, Dems Blabbed, Duchovny Rehabbed

And more Fast Rewind of August.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 2 Sep 2008


Sundin Thinks, Starbucks Shrinks, Barenaked in Klink?

And more Tyee fast rewind of July.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 2 Aug 2008


Barack's Black! Ladner Attacks! SkyBridge Cracks!

And more of our fast rewind of June.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 3 Jul 2008

A Tyee Series

Simpson Chops Coleman

PODCAST: NDP critic calls shuffled forest minister 'worst in BC history.'

By Mark Leiren-Young, 25 Jun 2008


Twain Unhitched, Preacher Ditched, Baby Pitched

And more Fast Rewind of May.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 10 Jun 2008

A Tyee Series

Beyond 'Molly's Reach'

A 'Trees and Us' podcast with Jackson Davies.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 19 May 2008


Feist Snares, Slur Airs, Miley Bares

And more of our fast rewind of April.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 2 May 2008


My Joust with Senators over Free Speech in Film

Jitters, the F word, and what I told the Bill C-10 hearings.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 14 Apr 2008


Les Done? Iggy Mum? Zalm's Plum?

And more Fast Rewind of March.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 2 Apr 2008

A Tyee Series

A Certified Forest Saviour

A 'Trees and Us' podcast with Antony Marcil.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 20 Mar 2008


Castro Retired, Nader Aspired, 'DiscDrive' Expired

Tyee's fast rewind of February.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 3 Mar 2008


PG Freezes, Lunn Fires, Spidey Splits

And more Fast Rewind of January.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 4 Feb 2008

A Tyee Series

Green Is The New Black

Tzeporah Berman: Part two of a 'Trees & Us' podcast.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 22 Jan 2008


A Tyee Series

BC's Eco-Activist 'Rock Star'

Tzep Berman on celebrity and getting things done. A 'Trees and Us' podcast.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 15 Jan 2008


2007 Fast Rewind

The loonie flew, so did Luongo, and Vancouver got trashed.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 1 Jan 2008


A Tyee Series

BC's Vanishing Timber Worker

A Trees and Us podcast with Wade Fisher, 'the best person on trees in Williams Lake.'

By Mark Leiren-Young, 7 Dec 2007


Lindros's Brain, Feenie's Flambé, Harper's Privy

And more Fast Rewind for November.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 4 Dec 2007


A Tyee Series

Building Treeless Houses

A Trees and Us podcast with 'Garbage Warriors' director Oliver Hodge.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 2 Nov 2007


October's Fast Rewind

Loony's crazy, Dumbledore's gay, Harper's revved, and more...

By Mark Leiren-Young, 1 Nov 2007


A Tyee Series

Tree Love and Murder

A Trees and Us podcast with George Bowering.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 19 Oct 2007


Oops! Britney, O.J. and Sam Sullivan Do It Again

The Tyee's fast rewind of September.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 2 Oct 2007


A Tyee Series

Why Rocket Science Is Easier than Forestry

A 'Trees and Us' Tyee podcast with Jean-Pierre Kiekens.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 28 Sep 2007


Why Humans and Nature Collide

A 'Trees and Us' Tyee podcast with John Vaillant.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 7 Sep 2007


A Tyee Series

Trees and Us

Our new podcast series asks: what does the forest mean to you? First up, Severn Cullis-Suzuki.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 17 Aug 2007


Black Clams up, Beetles Spruce Up, Paris Rises Up

The Tyee's Fast Rewind of June.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 2 Jul 2007


TV 2.0

TV is dying. What will replace it?

By Mark Leiren-Young, 22 Jun 2007


Loonies Shot Up, Paris Locked Up, BC Lotteries' Fix Up

The Tyee's fast rewind of May

By Mark Leiren-Young, 1 Jun 2007


Imus Kissed Off, Sanjaya Idoled Off, Harper Buzzed Off

Our fast rewind of April.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 1 May 2007


God Bless You, Mr. Vonnegut

What he told me about writing, lying and science. An interview and memoir.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 16 Apr 2007


Harper Budget Hatched, Ahnold and Gordon Matched, Britney Scratched

Our fast rewind of March.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 30 Mar 2007


Britney Shorn! Gay Rev Reborn! No Telus Porn?

And more in our fast rewind of February.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 1 Mar 2007


Searching for Intelligent Life Beyond the Steves, Hillary and Press Corpse

Our fast rewind of January.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 1 Feb 2007


Fast Rewind of 2006

Dion, truthiness, and 'you,' win.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 29 Dec 2006


Britney Warred, Dion Scored, Lions Roared, and More...

Our fast rewind of November.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 4 Dec 2006


Hot Air Harper, Dogged MacKay, Mum Madonna, and More...

Our fast rewind of October.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 1 Nov 2006


Gordo Bored, Domi Scored, Paris Burns, Bye Bye Fry...

Our fast rewind of September.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 2 Oct 2006


Harry's Naked Wand, Baby Luv's Bite, Harper's Icy Heart and More...

Our fast rewind of August.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 31 Aug 2006


Green Aliens, Smoking Bouquets and the Undead Mick

Those are just the B.C. highlights of The Tyee's Fast Rewind for July.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 31 Jul 2006


Canada’s Next Top Anchor Launched, Aniston Out-Riced, Campbell Souped

The Tyee’s fast rewind of June.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 3 Jul 2006


Wind Broken, Apologies Made, Shiloh Born, Monkeys Fingered...

The Tyee's fast rewind of May.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 2 Jun 2006


April Fools, Alberta Rules, Snoop Dogg Drools…

Time for another Fast Rewind of the month that was.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 1 May 2006


Death and Renewal for America on Prime Time

'The West Wing' ends as it began.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 14 Apr 2006


Fast Rewind of March

Harper is ‘steely’, Bardot went sealy and Emerson stays squirrely.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 3 Apr 2006


Fast Rewind of February

Deadeye Dick Cheney, Kleanup Klassen, 'Brokeback Bond' and more.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 28 Feb 2006


Fast Rewind of a Weird Month

Libs Fry, Frey burns, Trump primps, Harper coughs up a cold war and more.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 31 Jan 2006


The Tyee's Fast Rewind of 2005

Belinda's gay marriage intelligent design Republican shootout.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 30 Dec 2005


Tyee's Fast Rewind of November

CSIS non-profit brothel returns Madonna's chihuahua in election.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 30 Nov 2005


'Best City in the World' for Strikes and Barbies

And more headlines in this month's 'Fast Rewind' of BC news.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 31 Oct 2005


Man in Wheelchair Runs over Christy Clark!

And more news updates from 'Fast Rewind', a new Tyee feature.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 26 Sep 2005


Canada's Stupid Party

New reasons I fret about the ReformaTories.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 10 Jun 2005


The Year in Revue

Taking stock of a world gone mad.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 30 Dec 2004


Lock-Out? Life is Good!

With the hockey monkey finally off my back, today is the first day of the rest of my life.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 21 Oct 2004


The Case for Voting Liberal

You don't need to trust Paul Martin to re-elect his party. You just have to trust less Stephen Harper's Reform 2.0.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 14 Jul 2004


No Tory Defence for Artistic Merit

Culture barely registers on the Conservative election platform, except as a shocking excuse for porn.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 24 Jun 2004


I'll Hate Calgary Next Year

I've fallen in love with the Flames. Does that make me a traitor to the Canucks?

By Mark Leiren-Young, 7 Jun 2004


This Is a Svend We Never Knew

I've seen Robinson in leg irons, and relied on him for political drama, but I never expected this.

By Mark Leiren-Young, 13 Apr 2004