In my three months in the Robson Valley, this past week may have been the best one yet. It was filled with the arts.
It felt like art was literally, all over the place.
I was invited to a show at the Legion on Friday night, but I couldn’t make it because I had other shows to attend at the Robson Valley Music Festival. Like, what?
I loved it — all of it.
From acts at the RVMF like The Dead South (who were likely one of my favourite acts of the weekend), to local acts like Samson’s Delilah, all the workshops that took place, and this is without even mentioning the artwork occupying the actual festival grounds. The festival felt like such a safe, creative space.
I felt it, and I heard so many others talk about it — the feeling of community was overwhelming, and so apparent.
It was beautiful to watch a group of such diverse people with shared interest come together to create something so accepting and great.
My experience with art this week didn’t stop there. I was speaking with Sharon Stearns, a playwright with the Robson Valley’s Wishbone Theatre.
The organization was just given $10,000 (the article is in this edition, somewhere) from CBT to continue creating high-energy, high-value shows.
She said something to me that really resonated, while she was talking about how art is so integral to keeping small communities alive.
“People talk about industry, people talk about jobs,” says Stearns. “Often we forget about what a huge role art plays in forming a vibrant and dynamic community.”
I think she’s right. I, myself, am guilty of forgetting this concept sometimes.
This past week I saw people from all walks of life, and all parts of this province, come together as a community and embrace each other.
I think it’s important to bring some of that mentality back home with us, whether you were at the festival, or not.
We’re three weeks removed from the rejection of Valemount’s proposed rainbow crosswalk, but people have not forgotten.
This week alone, the Goat received a number of Letters to the Editor on the subject, all of which were in favour of acceptance.
Forget the politics involved in any of this. There is a group of people who are asking for acceptance and acknowledgement in this village. We should give it to them.
We shouldn’t be worried about anyone’s ‘agenda,’ because frankly, it just doesn’t matter.
I want to be a part of a community like the one I experienced this past week. We’ve seen open, accepting and supportive environments are things of beauty.
Let’s just take a second, to forget the politics, the policies and the councils, and let’s remember what acceptance, inclusiveness and love feels like.
Let the arts remind us of these things.