I’ve been meaning to blog about these things for a while now and it kept getting put off. This is just a recounting of some of the things I did recently and not-so-recently.
First up was Wordstock, a festival in Collingwood that celebrates the written word. I was invited by Janet Fairbridge (a friend and colleague from my CBC days) who, in concert with Silann Kaduc, produced their Off The Page cabaret night. It was a blast!
Sean Cullen hosted the event which included readings from Lee Maracle, music from John Somosi and a great band called Snack!, the Toronto Poetry Slam Team, and in the middle of it all was Césan d’Ornellas Levine painting up a storm. Césan’s finished canvas was auctioned off at the end of the night with the proceeds going to support the Wordstock Festival.
I was there as Ruffus and got to engage in some wonderfully silly banter with Cullen before giving the crowd a sneak peek at some clips from our Christmas Carol. Sean is always hilarious and he had me snorking into my microphone or hooting loudly from the back of the room throughout the night.
The whole thing was a lot of fun and I got to meet up with a lot of great people and later at a party Stuart Ross and I had the opportunity to reminisce about the late bp nichol, whom I had known from my days on Fraggle Rock.
So thank you, Janet and Silann for including me in the festivities.
The other event I attended recently was Foodstock, organized by Chef Michael Stadtlander and a host of about 100 other great chefs from across Canada in support of the efforts to stop th edevelopment of a mega-quarry that threatens to destroy 2,316 acres of prime agricultural land in Dufferin County.
What better way to draw the support of the people than to feed them.
The lines of hungry activist citizens wound through the trees of this beautiful landscape and we indulged in a seemingly endless stream of delicious cuisine based on the foods grown and raised locally.
We also met up with a bunch of friends we hadn’t seen in a while.
Good food and a good cause. And a shit load of mud.
The taking stock part of this blog post is my lack of attendance at the ongoing #OccupyTO action which has taken up residence in St. James park and continues to grow. I haven’t been wholly neglectful of our local Occupy protests, I just haven’t shown up in person – yet. I’ve tweeted my ass off (for what that’s worth) about #occupyTO and #ourwallstreet and I WILL be getting out there soon. This is part of a much larger global movement that holds the promise to change our world for the better.
Yeah right. Words. Don’t mean a thing without action.
Sometimes just showing up is the support that’s needed. We can write our rage in tweets and blogs and clever signs but in the end it is physical presence that defines any movement. You gotta show up.
And that’s what I’ll be doing. Not camping out – I’m too old and creaky and selfish to do that – but I’ll give whatever material and moral support I can. Small potatoes for some but for an agoraphobic curmudgeon it’s a relatively big deal.
So, whatever changes you want to see in the world you have to become that change yourself. Get out there. Make a sign. Make a noise. Put on a show. Show up.
And now – speaking of stock – I gotta get my ass back into my own kitchen and finish making some soup.
P. S. Another thing we did a little while back was take part in one of the Nuit Blanche works.
It was called Ride The Rocket and was put together by Kurt Firla and his colleagues.
My wife Karen and I provided and performed a bunch of puppet characters for part of their immersive and surreal streetcar ride.
It was easily the best presentation of the entire festival and that would have been true without our involvement but it was certainly a pantload of fun to play with Kurt and his team and then on the night ride the finished work.