Sunday, November 4, 2018

The Heart of the City Festival



I'm just back from attending the final event for the Heart of the City Festival in the DTES. It was a concert and dinner at the Ukrainian Hall at 805 East Pender. I have to admit is was awesome.

The politics of Surrey and the DTES are very different but I certainly do respect the cultural heritage of the DTES. The Ukrainian Hall has been a vibrant part of the DTES history. In the 1930's it was set up as a field hospital for the wounded when the police attack protesters.

Kat Norris, the presiding elder for the festival set the evening off with a magnificent speech and song on her drum. It was wonderful. She mentioned that she was a residential school survivor and explained how her mother was told her kids had to go or she would never see them again. We now know some of the horrors that existed within the residential school system that was forced upon First Nation kids and we respect her for overcoming that hardship.

This year the festival's theme is Seeds of Justice, Seeds of Hope. The highlight of the event was the Soujourners. They were well respected, well received and were given a standing ovation. They set the place on fire. The perogie dinner afterwards was pretty awesome as well.

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