UPDATE: CTF Saskatchewan Director Lee Harding and WAM organizer Ellen Quigley speak debated on Tuesday, December 18 on Newstalk radio 650 and 980. Listen to or download the segment here. Quigley said that the event needed to be free to have the scope of impact necessary. Host John Gormley wonders if environmentalists and music fans won't pay for at least some portion of this, why should government?!
The WAM festival in Saskatoon forgot two letters--FG. The We Are Many festival should have been called With All Money From Government.
The festival is slated for August 22-24, 2008 in Saskatoon, and will feature music, theatre, visual arts, and dance – to commit participants to environmental sustainability, er, radical activism. Organizers plan for each participant to sign a
"WAM Pact" that includes 40 means of behaviour change to help the environment. A mandatory part of this pact is to sign up another 5 people. From here "community caucuses" will be formed to make environmental changes in their communities, including this radical example from their website:
For instance: the people of Montreal and Toronto could unite in agreeing never to fly between their two cities again. Together they might decide to work with ViaRail, the Quebec and Ontario provincial governments, the federal government, and Canada-based businesses to make their choice an affordable and viable one. We Are Many takes in the local and the global, and encourages collective action on every level.
Of course, ideas this radical can only be supported by government. On December 9, organizer Ellen Quigley wrote,
-- One month and two days ago, Lorne Calvert was the Premier of
Saskatchewan. As of Friday afternoon, he is an active participant in
WAM and has offered to approach people such as Shirley Douglas and
David Suzuki on behalf of the festival!
-- We now have the support of two Sask Party Ministers and nine MLAs
(provincial representatives, for the Americans on this list) from both
-- Also, 2 out of Saskatoon's 4 MPs are on board as well.
-- Not only that, but we can say we have the support of all 7 of the
City Councillors who have met with us so far. We have meetings with
the Mayor and an 8th Councillor on December 12th.
On November 12, WAM told us this:
Grants: The Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation has pledged $8000 for WAM and is applying on our behalf for significantly more. This is one of our largest single contributions to date and a major advance. We have also submitted applications for grants from the Sask Arts Board and Sask Environment's Green Initiatives Program. Grants we're working on for the near future include the EcoAction Grant and awards from the Crown Corporations.
If you think this is a waste of public money, let these groups know:
Saskatchewan Arts Board: (800)667-7526. Minister Tell: email@example.com
Sask Environment: 1-800-567-4224. Minister Heppner: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (306) 787-0393