Mark Perry leads the finale of the 4000 Reasons concert Saturday night at the Della Herman Theater in Smithers.

Smithers celebrates 4000 reasons for no pipeline

How many reasons does it take to invoke change? 100? 500? Or maybe 4,000?

How many reasons does it take to invoke change? 100? 500? Or maybe 4,000?

Those opposed to the Northern Gateway Pipeline project honoured the 4,000 voices across B.C. and Alberta last weekend, who are standing against Enbridge in defense of everything they hold dear.

Hosted by the Driftwood Foundation, 4000 Reasons brought together the who’s-who of performers in the valley and a message of hope the government will hear their plea for a northwest without pipelines.

“We really wanted to celebrate the beauty and diversity of northwestern British Columbia,” event organizer, Lynn Shervill said.

“At the same time, thank those 4000 people for speaking up in defense of the country and the area they call home.”

The festival kicked off Friday night with the presentation of Alberta Tarzans: The Penultimate Waltz, a story about a tone deaf representative of the Northern Gateway Pipedream Project, a moose, a duck, a bear, a spokes-salmon, a six-foot foreign radical environmental terrorist, some unspawned fishes and a couple of vicious old blobs. Using humor to project the awful consequences of an oil spill in the Northwest.

Saturday the festivities continued with a series of events starting with an afternoon of art, music and poetry with workshops and performances by some of the most exciting talent who call the Bulkley Valley home. Just as unique as each speaker who presented to the JRP.

“The 4000 Reasons was actually an idea from one of the performers, Jenny Lester, who said ‘even if some people repeat themselves to the panel, it’s still their independent, unique personal perspective on what’s being proposed,’” Shervill said.

“All the speakers should have equal weight and her way of giving them equal weight was to suggest the 4000 Reasons.”

After years of supporting various cultural projects in the valley, the Driftwood Foundation hosted the concert as a fundraiser to put money back into the community by continuing their support for local projects.

Formed in 1991, the Driftwood Foundation supports local artists, independent research and public involvement in the community for over 20 years. They continuously strive to inform the public of the bio-physical, economic, social and cultural effects policy makers have in the region.

The festivities finished Saturday night with a tribute concert to all the voices speaking out during the JRP hearings. Alex Cuba, Mark Thibeault, Magpie Ulysses, Mark Perry, Rachelle Van Zanten and others performed with the common theme of ensuring our voices don’t go unheard.



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