“…amazing presentation. It can be easy to start to feel hopeless or helpless about all that is happening in the world, but you two are doing honest to goodness wonderful work… and it was very heart opening and inspiring. Hope that many get the chance to meet you both and see your presentation! Gratitude!” Kelli Gallagher, Powell River.
Standing on the deck of the ferry, gazing back at Salt Spring Island, heading for home. Reflecting on all the coastal communities we were able to visit this fall, all the amazing people who organized the shows and opened their homes to us. It has been a great run and we are heading for home satisfied and inspired!
After performing the Clayoquot Summer 20 Years After show weekly in Tofino from July through September, we decided to get out on the road to reach communities around Georgia Strait. We travelled to Courtenay, Powell River, Cortes Island, Gabriola Island, Vancouver, Victoria, Denman Island, Cowichan Bay, and Salt Spring Island.
By year’s end, we have done a total of 22 shows for a total audience of over 1200 people! The postcard promoting the shows was addressed to Canada’s Prime Minister—4000 of those were mailed in, putting protection of Clayoquot Sound from mines, fish farms and oil spills firmly on his radar.
The response to the shows has been overwhelmingly positive. Most people were thinking that Clayoquot Sound had somehow been protected, and were alarmed to hear of the potential for two mines and the presence of 21 fish farm sites in the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. People’s passion for protecting Clayoquot Sound has not diminished, and many arrestees stated that they would risk arrest again if it came down to it.
So many highlights: sharing the stage with Tamo Campos of Beyond Boarding at the Vancouver International Mountain Film Fest—knowing there is a new generation of activists carrying the work forward; singing along with Bob Bossin on Gabriola Island to Cleaning up the Oil (his song about the 1989 Nestucca oil spill in Tofino); listening to non-violence trainer Jean McLaren on Gabriola speak about her summer in the 1993 Peace Camp; enjoying a wonderful vegan community supper cooked by Fireweed on Denman Island; being able to publicly thank eco-elder Ruth Masters of Courtenay for her immense contributions to many blockades; laughing while 1993 arrestee Des Kennedy read from his hilarious book about the summer, titled The Garden Club and the Kumquat Campaign; hiking on Salt Spring Island with local author Briony Penn; all the ferry rides hither and thither; and much much more.
It was amazing to meet so many of you who were arrested in 1993, or had visited the Peace Camp. With tears in your eyes and passion in your voices, you shared stories about how the protests had changed your lives, had shaped your lives, and for many were amongst your proudest moments.
Now we’re back home in Tofino, and looking forward to spending some time out in Clayoquot Sound, getting reinvigorated and stoked for the coming year!
Thanks so much to all the slide show hosts, including Watershed Sentinel, Sierra Club Malaspina chapter, Friends of Cortes Island, Tsiporah on Gabriola, VIMFF, Wilderness Committee, Fireweed on Denman, Cowichan Wooden Boat Society, and James and Brian on Saltspring.
And a special thanks to Sea Wench Botanicals and the Common Loaf Bakery for providing gifts for our hosts!