The following is an open letter to anyone who helped with, was part of, came to, performed at, volunteered, reposted or tagged a post, or in any small way helped make the festival happen.
Thank you to everyone who played a part in the Gathering Festival this year. We really knocked it out of the park this time. Each year we get a little better and we move a little closer to becoming one of the outstanding arts, cultural and community events in Vancouver’s inner-city. There were many people who worked extremely hard to make this year’s event a success from hundreds of volunteers, community partners, performers, production staff, board members, funders, supporters and participants. If it weren’t for everyone pulling together we could never put on such an amazing show for the community.
This year we had more events than previous festivals, they were better produced and better attended than ever with about 6000 folks coming to almost 50 events, workshops and activities over 4 weeks; we had a super lineup of bands including Powder Blues, Jim Byrnes, Katari Taiko, Tishamingo String Band, and others; more than 200 people helped to make art, perform, cook and deliver more than 1500 servings of free food, set-up gear and stages, host community information booths and activities and generally take care of the many small details that are essential to making these events happen. These events are fun and make for great community building but it does so much more. It raises the Gathering Place’s profile in the community, builds partnerships, establishes new programs, supports local artists and generally assists us in helping provide for Vancouver’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged inner-city populations.
I can’t tell you how proud I am of everyone’s contribution. I may not have the chance to personally follow up and thank each of you but please know I am grateful for your contributions. Though I will be off much of the summer I will follow-up with some of you when possible (maybe in the fall) to discuss your experience, find out what worked, and see what can be improved. In the meantime, over the next few weeks we will be posting photos and stories from the festival on our facebook and web pages. Check it out and I look forward to seeing everyone next year.
Yours, Alex Chisholm
The “Gathering Festival” is a multidimensional and multi-day community festival that celebrates the diversity and unique make up of Vancouver’s Downtown South with four weeks of free public art workshops and programs leading to three days of celebrations at Emery Barnes Park (Davie and Seymour St.)