Letters to the Editor

Performing Arts Festival postponed; Wildfire protection; Understanding in the world today

Provincial Performing Arts Festival postponed to 2021

As your community is aware, the 2020 Performing Arts B.C. Provincial Festival was to have been held in Cranbrook, June 2 – 6.

As with many events sidelined by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had to postpone the Festival until 2021 when it will take place from June 1 – 5!

We are incredibly disappointed that we are unable to hold an annual event this year; the Provincial Festival is the high point of the festival year in B.C., bringing together the very best young performers for four days of performances, workshops, classes and highlight concerts all of which are open to the public.

Annually in B.C. alone, more than 24,000 young participants take part in a performing arts festival in their are,a and between 500 and 700 of them are recommended to the Provincial Festival each year.

We cannot put this event on without the tireless work of the local host committee and the support of local organizations. Thank you to all groups in Cranbrook and the surrounding area who had already shown support for the 2020 B.C. Provincial Festival. These include the City of Cranbrook, the Regional District of East Kootenay, the City of Kimberley, Cranbrook Tourism, Sunrise and Afternoon Rotary, Fraternal Order of Eagles, St. Eugene Golf Resort and Casino, Community Futures, Resorts of the Canadian Rockies, Blue Sky Realty, Rella, Paolini, and Rogers, Lotic Environmental, Connect Church, BDO, College of the Rockies, MLA Tom Shypitka, Spring Honda, Ramex Renovations and Bumble Tree. Local business who have donated their space include: Connect Church, Fellowship Baptist Church, Abundant Life Church, Kootenay Dance Academy, Stages School of Dance, and Mountain Life Hot Yoga Studio. Provincial organizations include RBC Future Launch Program and The Hamber Foundation. We look forward to being in Cranbrook in 2021 and are delighted by the continued support being shown for this event.

Until we are actually able to be there, please continue to support the performing arts in the East Kootenays and particularly the East Kootenay Performing Arts Festival, our hosts for the Provincial Festival.

Stay safe and be well.

Antonia Mahon, Executive Director/On behalf of the Board of PABC

Wildfire Protection on Cranbrook’s southern boundary

I agree with the Mayor’s comments about the need to protection Cranbrook from forest fires. However, I totally disagree with the methods being used to achieve those goals.

There is a very long extended Hydro right-of-way along our southern border that is not to be utilized. Instead, the Province, with the help of certain forest companies, are clea-cutting the forest, especially near the South Star Recreational Trails. Please refer to the pictures I sent to you last month. If you need them again let me know.

If the people of Cranbrook see the damage been done to protect them to the forests I don’t think they would be too thrilled. But that is only my opinion.

Yours

Barry Christie/Cranbrook

Creating a better understanding of what is happening in the world

Dear City of Cranbrook;

As a young person who has grown up in the City of Cranbrook, I do not understand. When I first heard about the protests surrounding George Floyd’s death it was through social media sites. I saw videos of buildings being lit on fire, shopping centers being looted, and businesses being destroyed. My initial reaction to these video clips was sadness, frustration, and to some degree disgust. My main thought was “I can’t get behind a protest that encourages violence and destruction” and “I am not a racist, so why does this have to clog my newsfeed?” These thoughts had stuck with me for a few days and I am not afraid to admit it.

The problem with my initial thought is that I was persuaded by the small group of people that set out to take advantage of a vulnerable situation. I focused only on the bad and not the incredible amount of good that is happening. The fact is that the majority of protestors are operating peacefully and in a direction towards change. The black community is exhausted. They are exhausted from having to fight through systemic racism in every aspect of society including the criminal justice system that is supposed to protect them. It is time for change.

Now, growing up in Cranbrook does not offer a significant amount of exposure to and education on Black culture. However, our community is full of disadvantage and inequity, and it is on our streets, hidden behind closed doors, and was pushed off onto reservations. There is a history of systemic racism against non-Caucasian citizens and a symbol of this racism is tied historically to the St. Eugene residential school.

My initial thoughts to the Black Lives Matter movement that is happening globally were wrong and uneducated. That is because I do not understand what it is like to try and grow and develop into a healthy person while society is oriented in a way that prevents this.

My reason for writing this letter is to help others in our community create a better understanding of what is happening in the world because as our community grows, and we become more diverse, it will be important for the citizens of Cranbrook to avoid ignorance, promote equality and equity, and enact change. Because many of us who have grown up in Cranbrook do not understand.

Brody Pocha/Cranbrook

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